Paula Tanqueray is fed up with her sequestered, dull life at her new
Paula: Oh! I’ve no patience with you! You’ll kill me with this life!
(She selects some flowers from a vase on the table, cuts and arranges them, and fastens them in her bodice)
What is my existence, Sunday to Saturday? In the morning, a drive down to the village, with the groom, to give my orders to the tradespeople. At lunch, you and Ellean. In the afternoon, a novel, the newspapers; if fine, another drive -- if fine! Tea -- you and Ellean
(Playing with nosegay off table)
Then two hours of dusk; then dinner -- you and Ellean. Then a game of Bésique, you and I, while Ellean reads a religious book in a dull corner. Then a yawn from me, another from you, a sigh from Ellean; three figures suddenly rise -- ‘Goodnight, goodnight, goodnight!’
_(Imitating a kiss) _
‘God bless you!’
(With an exaggerated sigh and putting nosegay in belt)
[Aubrey: Yes, yes, Paula -- yes, dearest -- that’s what it is now. But, by and by, if people begin to come round us --]
[Paula: Hah! That’s where we’ve made the mistake, my friend Aubrey!]
(Pointing to the window)
Do you believe these people will ever come round us? Your former crony, Mrs. Cortelyon? Or the grim vicar, or that wife of his whose nose is positively indecent? Or the Ullathornes, or the Gollans, or Lady William Petres? I know better! And when the young ones gradually take the place of the old, there will still remain the sacred tradition that the dreadful person who lives at the top of the hill is never, under any circumstances, to be called upon! And so we shall go on here, year in and year out, until the sap is run out of our lives, and we’re stale and dry and withered from sheer, solitary respectability. Upon my word, I wonder we didn’t see that we should have been far happier if we’d gone in for the devil-may-care, café-living sort of life in town! After all, I have a set and you might have joined it. It’s true I did want, dearly, dearly, to be a married woman, but where’s the pride in being a married woman among married women who are -- married!
Pinero, Arthur Wing, The Second Mrs. Tanqueray, Oberon Books, 2012, pp. 54-55.
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