« PreviousContinue »
isn't good for kids to look pale—shows that they don't get enough fresh air and sunshine; so do you know what I'm going to do?
He tells her that he is going to give her an automobile for the baby's use. Stafford grows more intoxicated; Virginia more distressed. The Gilleys leave. Stafford orders another bottle of wine, in spite of Virginia's protests.
Stafford—I want that wine and I'm going to have it.
Virginia—Then say good-night and take it to your own room.
Stafford-Drink alone! And you right here! I should say not! Where'd be the fun of that! No! We'll have it in here, and we'll have a little party-just you and me. A little party! Eh!
Fanny, Virginia, Jim, and Stafford sit down to dinner, and
Virginia- I love the man I married-love too. In case of a separation, he sees his him with all my heart and he loves me. one hundred and fifty per fading away like But you are not the man I married. You the morning's mist. Stafford enters. are another man! You are a stranger, a man influenced with liquor, a man who comes Stafford-Dearie, before you say a word, and talks to me of love when it isn't love at I want to tell you that I'm sorry for the conall, a man whose every protestation of love dition I was in last night and-well, go to is an insult! That's the man you are and I Tiffany's and get anything you like. hate you! I hate you!
Virginia-I don't want anything from Stafford-So you hate me, do you? — ,
Tiffany's. Virginia—Yes! I do! And now will you Stafford-Don't tell me you want another let me go?
yacht! Stafford-Not much I won't. Even Virginia—I don't want-anything. though you do hate me, you're still my Stafford-Nothing? wife. Do you hear, you're still my wife! Virginia-Nothing. Do you know what Virginia—Robert!
you said to me last night? Stafford-Who were you till I married you? Stafford-Sweetheart, I was drunk last Nobody! What were you? A telephone night, and I'm sorry—and I'm ashamedgirl getting ten dollars a week! And now and I apologize! And I've got a dreadful who are you? You're Mrs. Robert Stafford! head this morning and I'm as nervous as I And what are you? You're the wife of one of can be! So don't bother me any more than the richest men in the country! And how you have to, will you, dearie! Be nice to did he get you for his wife? He bought you me this morning. Come on now,
Come on now, dearie, be and he paid for you.
nice to me. Virginia—You didn't. You tried to buy Virginia–Last night you said that you me, but you couldn't do it.
bought and paid for me!
-! Stafford-Oh, yes, I could-and I did! Stafford-But I've explained, haven't I? Did you love me when you married me? And I've said that I'm ashamed, and I've No! Would you have married me if I'd apologized, and I've told you to buy anybeen poor? No! I bought and paid for thing you like! Can I do any more? And you and anything I've bought and paid for you don't know how nervous I am to-daybelongs to me! Understand? It belongs to nor how I feel! I can't stand these rackets me! And now will you kiss me?
like I used to. So be nice to me, dearie, Virginia-No.
please. Be a dear, good, sweet little girl and Stafford— Then if you won't —— ! (He pulls don't scold me. Please, dearie, please! Oh, Virginia to him and, despite her struggles, come on now, be nice to me--be nice to me. kisses her on the mouth. Then he unthink- Virginia-You said that you bought me ingly releases his hold)
and paid for me. It isn't the first time you Virginia-Oh, my God! (She runs from have said it, either. And the dreadful thing the room, slams the door, and bolts it. Staf- about it is—that it's true. ford goes to the door and tries to open it)
Stafford—But it isn't true. You know it Stafford-Unbolt this door! Unbolt this isn't. I married you because I cared for you door, I tell you! You can't get away from -because I loved you. me like that! Unfasten this door! Do you Virginia—The dreadful thing about it is hear me-unfasten this door! All right, then that it is true. -if you won't-(He picks up a heavy and
Stafford-I won't have you say that. I iron from the fireplace and smashes in the panel tried you, to see if money would influence of the door. Then he reaches through the broken you and found that it wouldn't. You know panel, pulls back the bolt, throws open the how glad I was of it, too. door, goes out, and slams the door after him) Virginia—Just the same, if you hadn't CURTAIN
been rich I should not have married you,
because I didn't feel toward you-then-as As the curtain rises on the third act, Vir- a girl should feel toward the man she is ginia is arranging her jewels in their separate to marry cases. Fanny smells trouble in the air. Stafford-Virginia! She begs Virginia not to do anything rash Virginia-You knew it, and last night and finally leaves her. Jimmie is troubled you told me of it. And so the fact remains respect-and I am going to keep ittwo and only two. One is this, you must promise me, now, that you will never drink again.
that you did buy me! And - (In-
Virginia-You bought me, but you didn't buy my selfrespect! And no matter what happens, I am going to keep that.
Stafford—It's the last thing in the world that I'd have
Virginia-Then why do you try to rob me of it? Why do you come to me-as you did last night-and insult and degrade me.
Virginia -So you have told me before! And I've cried-and suffered-and forgiven you and prayed that it would never happen again! And now, dear, I'm not going to cry any more, and it won't happen again.
Stafford - You mean?
Virginia-I mean that we have got to have a definite and explicit understanding. I refuse to remain in a position where you can humiliate me as you have done. What must I think of myself if I do? I ask you, Robert, what must I think of myself? (There is a pause) A good woman must retain her respect for herself-she must know in her heart that she is sweet and fine-if she doesn't, what is there left for her? There are just two ways in which I can keep my
Fanny, whois visiting her sister, sees that Virginia is unhappy. Virginia declares Stafford to be the best husband alive except when he drinks. Twice lately, she declares, he has made a ast of himself, but he has promised never to do so again
Stafford—I'm not sure that I could keep such a promise. I'll agree, though, to try.
Virginia—No, dear. That won't do. How many times already have you agreed to try and how many times have you failed? You can stop if you wish. You are not a weakling. You're a big man, a strong man. You can stop if you wish and
you must promise me that you will or—!
Virginia—Or I shall take the only other course open to me and—leave you.
Virginia-Yes. (There is a pause. Stafford pours some water into a glass and drinks it
Stafford-Let me get this straight. You say I must promise that I will never take another drink, or you'll leave me. Is that it?
Stafford–And you want an answer here and now.
Stafford-Very well, then, you shall have it. I won't promise.
Stafford—I can't be driven and I won't be bullied! No man, by holding a revolver to my head, can force me to do anything I don't want to do, nor can any woman, either, not even you.
Stafford—Besides, there has to be a head of every family, just as there has to be a head of every business and every country, and so long as I have my family, I am going to be the head of it! If I had a partner and he came to me and said, “Do this thing or I quit you," whether the thing was right or wrong, I'd say, “Go ahead. Quit.” Because if I didn't, from that minute on, he, not I, would be the boss! So it is with us.
Virginia Then Ia m to
Stafford — There's no time like the present, so I'll have Oku bring it in — go.
and I'll drink-I'll drink to your pretty eyes! My, but you look sweet to-night! I'll ring for Oku. You won't run away? It wouldn't be a pretty thing for you to run away from your hus
band! So you won't do it, will you? (There is a pause) Will you? Tirginia- Vo, I won't run away