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A Family Man : in three acts   By: (1867-1933)

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First Page:

FIFTH SERIES PLAYS OF GALSWORTHY

A FAMILY MAN

By John Galsworthy

CHARACTERS

JOHN BUILDER................ of the firm of Builder & Builder JULIA....................... His Wife ATHENE...................... His elder Daughter MAUD........................ His younger Daughter RALPH BUILDER............... His Brother, and Partner GUY HERRINGHAME............. A Flying Man ANNIE....................... A Young Person in Blue CAMILLE..................... Mrs Builder's French Maid TOPPING..................... Builder's Manservant THE MAYOR................... Of Breconridge HARRIS...................... His Secretary FRANCIS CHANTREY............ J.P. MOON........................ A Constable MARTIN...................... A Police Sergeant A JOURNALIST................ From The Comet THE FIGURE OF A POACHER THE VOICES AND FACES OF SMALL BOYS

The action passes in the town of Breconridge, the Midlands.

ACT I. SCENE I. BUILDER'S Study. After breakfast. SCENE II. A Studio.

ACT II. BUILDER'S Study. Lunchtime.

ACT III. SCENE I. THE MAYOR'S Study. 10am the following day. SCENE II. BUILDER'S Study. The same. Noon. SCENE III. BUILDER'S Study. The same. Evening.

ACT I

SCENE I

The study of JOHN BUILDER in the provincial town of Breconridge. A panelled room wherein nothing is ever studied, except perhaps BUILDER'S face in the mirror over the fireplace. It is, however, comfortable, and has large leather chairs and a writing table in the centre, on which is a typewriter, and many papers. At the back is a large window with French outside shutters, overlooking the street, for the house is an old one, built in an age when the homes of doctors, lawyers and so forth were part of a provincial town, and not yet suburban. There are two or three fine old prints on the walls, Right and Left; and a fine, old fireplace, Left, with a fender on which one can sit. A door, Left back, leads into the dining room, and a door, Right forward, into the hall.

JOHN BUILDER is sitting in his after breakfast chair before the fire with The Times in his hands. He has breakfasted well, and is in that condition of first pipe serenity in which the affairs of the nation seem almost bearable. He is a tallish, square, personable man of forty seven, with a well coloured, jowly, fullish face, marked under the eyes, which have very small pupils and a good deal of light in them. His bearing has force and importance, as of a man accustomed to rising and ownerships, sure in his opinions, and not lacking in geniality when things go his way. Essentially a Midlander. His wife, a woman of forty one, of ivory tint, with a thin, trim figure and a face so strangely composed as to be almost like a mask (essentially from Jersey) is putting a nib into a pen holder, and filling an inkpot at the writing table.

As the curtain rises CAMILLE enters with a rather broken down cardboard box containing flowers. She is a young woman with a good figure, a pale face, the warm brown eyes and complete poise of a Frenchwoman. She takes the box to MRS BUILDER.

MRS BUILDER. The blue vase, please, Camille. CAMILLE fetches a vase. MRS BUILDER puts the flowers into the vase. CAMILLE gathers up the debris; and with a glance at BUILDER goes out.

BUILDER. Glorious October! I ought to have a damned good day's shooting with Chantrey tomorrow.

MRS BUILDER. [Arranging the flowers] Aren't you going to the office this morning?

BUILDER. Well, no, I was going to take a couple of days off. If you feel at the top of your form, take a rest then you go on feeling at the top. [He looks at her, as if calculating] What do you say to looking up Athene?

MRS BUILDER. [Palpably astonished] Athene? But you said you'd done with her?

BUILDER... Continue reading book >>




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