How He Lied to Her Husband HTML version
tariﬀ to keep up the price of every American commodity except
American manhood and womanhood.
Unfortunately, Mr Daly had already suﬀered the usual fate of
those who direct public attention to the proﬁts of the sweater
or the pleasures of the voluptuary. He was morally lynched side
by side with me. Months elapsed before the decision of the courts
vindic ated him; and even then, since his vindication implied the
condemnation of the press, which was by that time sober again,
and ashamed of its orgy, his triumph received a rather sulky and
grudging publicity. In the meantime he had hardly been able to
approach an American city, including even those cities which had
heaped applause on him as the defender of hearth and home when he
produced Candida, without having to face articles discussing
whet her mothers could allow their daughters to attend such plays
as You Never Can Tell, written by the infamous author of Mrs
Warren’s Profession, and acted by the monster who produced it.
What made this harder to be ar was that though no fact is better
established in theatrical business than the ﬁnancial
disastrousness of moral discredit, the journalists who had done
all the mischief kept paying vice the homage of assuming that it
is enormously popular and lucrative, and that I and Mr Daly,
being exploiters of vice, must therefore be making colossal
fortunes out of the abus e heaped on us, and had in fact provoked
it and welcomed it with that express ob ject. Ignorance of real
life could hardly go further.
One cons equence was that Mr Daly could not have kept his
ﬁnancial engagements or maintained his hold on the public had he
not accepted engagements to appear for a season in the vaudeville
theatres [the American equivalent of our music halls], where he
played How He Lied to Her Husband comparatively unhampered by the
press censorship of the theatre, or by that sophistication of the
audience through press suggestion from which I suﬀer more,
perhaps, than any other aut hor. Vaudeville authors are
fortunately unknown: the audiences see what the play contains and
what the actor can do, not what the papers have told them to
expect. Success under such circumstances had a value both for Mr
Daly and myself which did something to console us for the very
unsavory mobbing which the New York press organized for us, and
which was not the less disgusting because we suﬀered in a good
cause and in the very best company.
Mr Daly, having weathered the storm, can perhaps shake his soul
free of it as he heads for fresh successes with younger authors.
But I have certain sensitive places in my soul: I do not like
that word ”ordure.” Apply it to my work, and I can aﬀord to
smile, since the world, on the whole, will smile with me. But to
apply it to the woman in the street, whose spirit is of one
substance with our own and her body no less holy: to look your
women folk in the face afterwards and not go out and hang
yourself: that is not on the list of pardonable sins.
POSTS CRIP T. Since the above was written news has arrived from
America that a leading New York news paper, which was among the
most abusively clamorous for the suppression of Mrs Warren’s
Profession, has just been ﬁned heavily for deriving part of its
revenue from advertisements of Mrs Warren’s houses.