An Ideal Husband
SIR ROBERT CHILTERN. But it is so late. It is close on twelve.
LADY CHILTERN. That makes no matter. She must know at once that she has
been mistaken in you - and that you are not a man to do anything base or
underhand or dishonourable. Write here, Robert. Write that you decline to
support this scheme of hers, as you hold it to be a dishonest scheme. Yes - write
the word dishonest. She knows what that word means. [SIR ROBERT
CHILTERN sits down and writes a letter. His wife takes it up and reads it.] Yes;
that will do. [Rings bell.] And now the envelope. [He writes the envelope slowly.
Enter MASON.] Have this letter sent at once to Claridge's Hotel. There is no
answer. [Exit MASON. LADY CHILTERN kneels down beside her husband, and
puts her arms around him.] Robert, love gives one an instinct to things. I feel to-
night that I have saved you from something that might have been a danger to
you, from something that might have made men honour you less than they do. I
don't think you realise sufficiently, Robert, that you have brought into the political
life of our time a nobler atmosphere, a finer attitude towards life, a freer air of
purer aims and higher ideals - I know it, and for that I love you, Robert.
SIR ROBERT CHILTERN. Oh, love me always, Gertrude, love me always!
LADY CHILTERN. I will love you always, because you will always be worthy of
love. We needs must love the highest when we see it! [Kisses him and rises and
[SIR ROBERT CHILTERN walks up and down for a moment; then sits down and
buries his face in his hands. The Servant enters and begins pulling out the lights.
SIR ROBERT CHILTERN looks up.]
SIR ROBERT CHILTERN. Put out the lights, Mason, put out the lights!
[The Servant puts out the lights. The room becomes almost dark. The only light
there is comes from the great chandelier that hangs over the staircase and
illumines the tapestry of the Triumph of Love.]