The Importance of Being Earnest
Merriman: Mr. Frank Dyall.
Lane: Mr. F. Kinsey Peile.
Lady Bracknell: Miss Rose Leclercq.
Hon. Gwendolen Fairfax: Miss Irene Vanbrugh.
Cecily Cardew: Miss Evelyn Millard.
Miss Prism: Mrs. George Canninge.
Morning-room in Algernon's flat in Half-Moon Street. The room is
luxuriously and artistically furnished. The sound of a piano is
heard in the adjoining room.
[Lane is arranging afternoon tea on the table, and after the music
has ceased, Algernon enters.]
Algernon. Did you hear what I was playing, Lane?
Lane. I didn't think it polite to listen, sir.
Algernon. I'm sorry for that, for your sake. I don't play
accurately--any one can play accurately--but I play with wonderful
expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my
forte. I keep science for Life.
Lane. Yes, sir.
Algernon. And, speaking of the science of Life, have you got the
cucumber sandwiches cut for Lady Bracknell?
Lane. Yes, sir. [Hands them on a salver.]
Algernon. [Inspects them, takes two, and sits down on the sofa.]
Oh! . . . by the way, Lane, I see from your book that on Thursday
night, when Lord Shoreman and Mr. Worthing were dining with me,
eight bottles of champagne are entered as having been consumed.
Lane. Yes, sir; eight bottles and a pint.
Algernon. Why is it that at a bachelor's establishment the servants
invariably drink the champagne? I ask merely for information.
Lane. I attribute it to the superior quality of the wine, sir. I
have often observed that in married households the champagne is