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    Act I

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    Chapter 2
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    SCENE: _A plantation of thin young trees, in a misty and rainy
    twilight; some woodland blossom showing the patches on the earth
    between the stems._

    THE STRANGER _is discovered, a cloaked figure with a pointed hood.
    His costume might belong to modern or any other time, and the
    conical hood is so drawn over the head that little can be seen of
    the face._

    _A distant voice, a woman's, is heard, half-singing, half-chanting,
    unintelligible words. The cloaked figure raises its head and
    listens with interest. The song draws nearer and_ PATRICIA CARLEON
    _enters. She is dark and slight, and has a dreamy expression.
    Though she is artistically dressed, her hair is a little wild. She
    has a broken branch of some flowering tree in her hand. She does
    not notice the stranger, and though he has watched her with
    interest, makes no sign. Suddenly she perceives him and starts

    PATRICIA. Oh! Who are you?

    STRANGER. Ah! Who am I? [_Commences to mutter to himself, and maps out
    the ground with his staff._]

    I have a hat, but not to wear;
    I wear a sword, but not to slay,
    And ever in my bag I bear
    A pack of cards, but not to play.

    PATRICIA. What are you? What are you saying?

    STRANGER. It is the language of the fairies, O daughter of Eve.

    PATRICIA. But I never thought fairies were like you. Why, you are taller
    than I am.

    STRANGER. We are of such stature as we will. But the elves grow small,
    not large, when they would mix with mortals.

    PATRICIA. You mean they are beings greater than we are.

    STRANGER. Daughter of men, if you would see a fairy as he truly is, look
    for his head above all the stars and his feet amid the floors of the
    sea. Old women have taught you that the fairies are too small to be
    seen. But I tell you the fairies are too mighty to be seen. For they are
    the elder gods before whom the giants were like pigmies. They are the
    Elemental Spirits, and any one of them is larger than the world. And you
    look for them in acorns and on toadstools and wonder that you never see

    PATRICIA. But you come in the shape and size of a man?

    STRANGER. Because I would speak with a woman.

    PATRICIA. [_Drawing back in awe._] I think you are growing taller as you

    [_The scene appears to fade away, and give place to the milieu of_
    ACT ONE, _the Duke's drawing-room, an apartment with open French
    windows or any opening large enough to show a garden and one house
    fairly near. It is evening, and there is a red lamp lighted in the
    house beyond. The_ REV. CYRIL SMITH _is sitting with hat and
    umbrella beside him, evidently a visitor. He is a young man with
    the highest of High Church dog-collars and all the qualities of a
    restrained fanatic. He is one of the Christian Socialist sort and
    takes his priesthood seriously. He is an honest man, and not an

    [_To him enters_ MR. HASTINGS _with papers in his hand._

    HASTINGS. Oh, good evening. You are Mr. Smith. [_Pause._] I mean you are
    the Rector, I think.

    SMITH. I am the Rector.

    HASTINGS. I am the Duke's secretary. His Grace asks me to say that he
    hopes to see you very soon; but he is engaged just now with the Doctor.

    SMITH. Is the Duke ill?

    HASTINGS. [_Laughing._] Oh, no; the Doctor has come to ask him to help
    some cause or other. The Duke is never ill.

    SMITH. Is the Doctor with him now?

    HASTINGS. Why, strictly speaking, he is not. The Doctor has gone over
    the road to fetch a paper connected with his proposal. But he hasn't far
    to go, as you can see. That's his red lamp at the end of his grounds.

    SMITH. Yes, I know. I am much obliged to you. I will wait as long as is

    HASTINGS. [_Cheerfully._] Oh, it won't be very long.


    [_Enter by the garden doors_ DR. GRIMTHORPE _reading an open paper.
    He is an old-fashioned practitioner, very much of a gentleman and
    very carefully dressed in a slightly antiquated style. He is about
    sixty years old and might have been a friend of Huxley's._

    DOCTOR. [_Folding up the paper._] I beg your pardon, sir, I did not
    notice there was anyone here.

    SMITH. [_Amicably._] I beg yours. A new clergyman cannot expect to be
    expected. I only came to see the Duke about some local affairs.

    DOCTOR. [_Smiling._] And so, oddly enough, did I. But I suppose we
    should both like to get hold of him by a separate ear.

    SMITH. Oh, there's no disguise as far as I'm concerned. I've joined this
    league for starting a model public-house in the parish; and in plain
    words, I've come to ask his Grace for a subscription to it.

    DOCTOR. [_Grimly._] And, as it happens, I have joined in the petition
    against the erection of a model public-house in this parish. The
    similarity of our position grows with every instant.

    SMITH. Yes, I think we must have been twins.

    DOCTOR. [_More good-humouredly._] Well, what is a model public-house? Do
    you mean a toy?

    SMITH. I mean a place where Englishmen can get decent drink and drink it
    decently. Do you call that a toy?

    DOCTOR. No; I should call that a conjuring trick. Or, in apology to your
    cloth, I will say a miracle.

    SMITH. I accept the apology to my cloth. I am doing my duty as a priest.
    How can the Church have a right to make men fast if she does not allow
    them to feast?

    DOCTOR. [_Bitterly._] And when you have done feasting them, you will
    send them to me to be cured.

    SMITH. Yes; and when you've done curing them you'll send them to me to
    be buried.

    DOCTOR. [_After a pause, laughing._] Well, you have all the old
    doctrines. It is only fair you should have all the old jokes too.

    SMITH. [_Laughing also._] By the way, you call it a conjuring trick that
    poor people should drink moderately.

    DOCTOR. I call it a chemical discovery that alcohol is not a food.

    SMITH. You don't drink wine yourself?

    DOCTOR. [_Mildly startled._] Drink wine! Well--what else is there to

    SMITH. So drinking decently is a conjuring trick that you can do,

    DOCTOR. [_Still good-humouredly._] Well, well, let us hope so. Talking
    about conjuring tricks, there is to be conjuring and all kinds of things
    here this afternoon.

    SMITH. Conjuring? Indeed? Why is that?

    _Enter_ HASTINGS _with a letter in each hand._

    HASTINGS. His Grace will be with you presently. He asked me to deal with
    the business matter first of all.

    [_He gives a note to each of them._

    SMITH. [_Turning eagerly to the_ DOCTOR.] But this is rather splendid.
    The Duke's given £50 to the new public-house.

    HASTINGS. The Duke is very liberal.

    [_Collects papers._

    DOCTOR. [_Examining his cheque._] Very. But this is rather curious. He
    has also given £50 to the league for opposing the new public-house.

    HASTINGS. The Duke is very liberal-minded.


    SMITH. [_Staring at his cheque._] Liberal-minded!... Absent-minded, I
    should call it.

    DOCTOR. [_Sitting down and lighting a cigar._] Well, yes. The Duke does
    suffer a little from absence [_puts his cigar in his mouth and pulls
    during the pause_] of mind. He is all for compromise. Don't you know the
    kind of man who, when you talk to him about the five best breeds of dog,
    always ends up by buying a mongrel? The Duke is the kindest of men, and
    always trying to please everybody. He generally finishes by pleasing

    SMITH. Yes; I think I know the sort of thing.

    DOCTOR. Take this conjuring, for instance. You know the Duke has two
    wards who are to live with him now?

    SMITH. Yes. I heard something about a nephew and niece from Ireland.

    DOCTOR. The niece came from Ireland some months ago, but the nephew
    comes back from America to-night. [_He gets up abruptly and walks about
    the room._] I think I will tell you all about it. In spite of your
    precious public-house you seem to me to be a sane man. And I fancy I
    shall want all the sane men I can get to-night.

    SMITH. [_Rising also._] I am at your service. Do you know, I rather
    guessed you did not come here only to protest against my precious

    DOCTOR. [_Striding about in subdued excitement._] Well, you guessed
    right. I was family physician to the Duke's brother in Ireland. I knew
    the family pretty well.

    SMITH. [_Quietly._] I suppose you mean you knew something odd about the

    DOCTOR. Well, they saw fairies and things of that sort.

    SMITH. And I suppose, to the medical mind, seeing fairies means much the
    same as seeing snakes?

    DOCTOR. [_With a sour smile._] Well, they saw them in Ireland. I suppose
    it's quite correct to see fairies in Ireland. It's like gambling at
    Monte Carlo. It's quite respectable. But I do draw the line at their
    seeing fairies in England. I do object to their bringing their ghosts
    and goblins and witches into the poor Duke's own back garden and within
    a yard of my own red lamp. It shows a lack of tact.

    SMITH. But I do understand that the Duke's nephew and niece see witches
    and fairies between here and your lamp.

    [_He walks to the garden window and looks out._

    DOCTOR. Well, the nephew has been in America. It stands to reason you
    can't see fairies in America. But there is this sort of superstition in
    the family, and I am not easy in my mind about the girl.

    SMITH. Why, what does she do?

    DOCTOR. Oh, she wanders about the park and the woods in the evenings.
    Damp evenings for choice. She calls it the Celtic twilight. I've no use
    for the Celtic twilight myself. It has a tendency to get on the chest.
    But what is worse, she is always talking about meeting somebody, some
    elf or wizard or something. I don't like it at all.

    SMITH. Have you told the Duke?

    DOCTOR. [_With a grim smile._] Oh, yes, I told the Duke. The result was
    the conjurer.

    SMITH. [_With amazement._] The _conjurer_?

    DOCTOR. [_Puts down his cigar in the ash-tray._] The Duke is
    indescribable. He will be here presently, and you shall judge for
    yourself. Put two or three facts or ideas before him, and the thing he
    makes out of them is always something that seems to have nothing to do
    with it. Tell any other human being about a girl dreaming of the fairies
    and her practical brother from America, and he would settle it in some
    obvious way and satisfy some one: send her to America or let her have
    her fairies in Ireland. Now the Duke thinks a conjurer would just meet
    the case. I suppose he vaguely thinks it would brighten things up, and
    somehow satisfy the believers' interest in supernatural things and the
    unbelievers' interest in smart things. As a matter of fact the
    unbeliever thinks the conjurer's a fraud, and the believer thinks he's a
    fraud, too. The conjurer satisfies nobody. That is why he satisfies the

    [_Enter the_ DUKE, _with_ HASTINGS, _carrying papers. The_ DUKE _is
    a healthy, hearty man in tweeds, with a rather wandering eye. In
    the present state of the peerage it is necessary to explain that
    the_ DUKE, _though an ass, is a gentleman._

    DUKE. Good-morning, Mr. Smith. So sorry to have kept you waiting, but
    we're rather in a rush to-day. [_Turns to_ HASTINGS, _who has gone over
    to a table with the papers._] You know Mr. Carleon is coming this

    HASTINGS. Yes, your Grace. His train will be in by now. I have sent the

    DUKE. Thank you. [_Turning to the other two._] My nephew, Dr.
    Grimthorpe, Morris, you know, Miss Carleon's brother from America. I
    hear he's been doing great things out there. Petrol, or something. Must
    move with the times, eh?

    DOCTOR. I'm afraid Mr. Smith doesn't always agree with moving with the

    DUKE. Oh, come, come! Progress, you know, progress! Of course I know how
    busy you are; you mustn't overwork yourself, you know. Hastings was
    telling me you laughed over those subscriptions of mine. Well, well, I
    believe in looking at both sides of a question, you know. Aspects, as
    old Buffle called them. Aspects. [_With an all-embracing gesture of the
    arm._] You represent the tendency to drink in moderation, and you do
    good in _your_ way. The Doctor represents the tendency not to drink at
    all; and he does good in _his_ way. We can't be Ancient Britons, you

    [_A prolonged and puzzled silence, such as always follows the more
    abrupt of the_ DUKE'S _associations or disassociations of thought._

    SMITH. [_At last, faintly._] Ancient Britons....

    DOCTOR. [_To_ SMITH _in a low voice._] Don't bother. It's only his

    DUKE. [_With unabated cheerfulness._] I saw the place you're putting up
    for it, Mr. Smith. Very good work. Very good work, indeed. Art for the
    people, eh? I particularly liked that woodwork over the west door--I'm
    glad to see you're using the new sort of graining ... why, it all
    reminds one of the French Revolution.

    [_Another silence. As the_ DUKE _lounges alertly about the room_,
    SMITH _speaks to the_ DOCTOR _in an undertone._

    SMITH. Does it remind you of the French Revolution?

    DOCTOR. As much as of anything else. His Grace never reminds me of

    [_A young and very high American voice is heard calling in the
    garden. "Say, could somebody see to one of these trunks?"_

    [MR. HASTINGS _goes out into the garden. He returns with_ MORRIS
    CARLEON, _a very young man: hardly more than a boy, but with very
    grown-up American dress and manners. He is dark, smallish, and
    active; and the racial type under his Americanism is Irish._

    MORRIS. [_Humorously, as he puts in his head at the window._] See here,
    does a Duke live here?

    DOCTOR. [_Who is nearest to him, with great gravity._] Yes, only one.

    MORRIS. I reckon he's the one I want, anyhow. I'm his nephew.

    [_The_ DUKE, _who is ruminating in the foreground, with one eye
    rather off, turns at the voice and shakes_ MORRIS _warmly by the

    DUKE. Delighted to see you, my dear boy. I hear you've been doing very
    well for yourself.

    MORRIS. [_Laughing._] Well, pretty well, Duke; and better still for Paul
    T. Vandam, I guess. I manage the old man's mines out in Arizona, you

    DUKE. [_Shaking his head sagaciously._] Ah, very go-ahead man! Very
    go-ahead methods, I'm told. Well, I dare say he does a great deal of
    good with his money. And we can't go back to the Spanish Inquisition.

    [_Silence, during which the three men look at each other._

    MORRIS. [_Abruptly._] And how's Patricia?

    DUKE. [_A little hazily._] Oh, she's very well, I think. She....

    [_He hesitates slightly._

    MORRIS. [_Smiling._] Well, then, where's Patricia?

    [_There is a slightly embarrassed pause, and the_ DOCTOR _speaks._

    DOCTOR. Miss Carleon is walking about the grounds, I think.

    [MORRIS _goes to the garden doors and looks out._

    MORRIS. It's a mighty chilly night to choose. Does my sister commonly
    select such evenings to take the air--and the damp?

    DOCTOR. [_After a pause._] If I may say so, I quite agree with you. I
    have often taken the liberty of warning your sister against going out in
    all weathers like this.

    DUKE. [_Expansively waving his hands about._] The artist temperament!
    What I always call the artistic temperament! Wordsworth, you know, and
    all that.


    MORRIS. [_Staring._] All what?

    DUKE. [_Continuing to lecture with enthusiasm._] Why, everything's
    temperament, you know! It's her temperament to see the fairies. It's my
    temperament not to see the fairies. Why, I've walked all round the
    grounds twenty times and never saw a fairy. Well, it's like that about
    this wizard or whatever she calls it. For her there is somebody there.
    For us there would not be somebody there. Don't you see?

    MORRIS. [_Advancing excitedly._] Somebody there! What do you mean?

    DUKE. [_Airily._] Well, you can't quite call it a man.

    MORRIS. [_Violently._] A man!

    DUKE. Well, as old Buffle used to say, what is a man?

    MORRIS. [_With a strong rise of the American accent._] With your
    permission, Duke, I eliminate old Buffle. Do you mean that anybody has
    had the tarnation coolness to suggest that some man....

    DUKE. Oh, not a _man_, you know. A magician, something mythical, you

    SMITH. Not a _man_, but a medicine man.

    DOCTOR. [_Grimly._] I am a medicine man.

    MORRIS. And you don't look mythical, Doc.

    [_He bites his finger and begins to pace restlessly up and down the

    DUKE. Well, you know, the artistic temperament....

    MORRIS. [_Turning suddenly._] See here, Duke! In most commercial ways
    we're a pretty forward country. In these moral ways we're content to be
    a pretty backward country. And if you ask me whether I like my sister
    walking about the woods on a night like this! Well, I don't.

    DUKE. I am afraid you Americans aren't so advanced as I'd hoped. Why! as
    old Buffle used to say....

    [_As he speaks a distant voice is heard singing in the garden; it
    comes nearer and nearer, and_ SMITH _turns suddenly to the_ DOCTOR.

    SMITH. Whose voice is that?

    DOCTOR. It is no business of mine to decide!

    MORRIS. [_Walking to the window._] You need not trouble. I know who it


    [_Still agitated._] Patricia, where have you been?

    PATRICIA. [_Rather wearily._] Oh! in Fairyland.

    DOCTOR. [_Genially._] And whereabouts is that?

    PATRICIA. It's rather different from other places. It's either nowhere
    or it's wherever you are.

    MORRIS. [_Sharply._] Has it any inhabitants?

    PATRICIA. Generally only two. Oneself and one's shadow. But whether he
    is my shadow or I am his shadow is never found out.

    MORRIS. He? Who?

    PATRICIA. [_Seeming to understand his annoyance for the first time, and
    smiling._] Oh, you needn't get conventional about it, Morris. He is not
    a mortal.

    MORRIS. What's his name?

    PATRICIA. We have no names there. You never really know anybody if you
    know his name.

    MORRIS. What does he look like?

    PATRICIA. I have only met him in the twilight. He seems robed in a long
    cloak, with a peaked cap or hood like the elves in my nursery stories.
    Sometimes when I look out of the window here, I see him passing round
    this house like a shadow; and see his pointed hood, dark against the
    sunset or the rising of the moon.

    SMITH. What does he talk about?

    PATRICIA. He tells me the truth. Very many true things. He is a wizard.

    MORRIS. How do you know he's a wizard? I suppose he plays some tricks on

    PATRICIA. I should know he was a wizard if he played no tricks. But once
    he stooped and picked up a stone and cast it into the air, and it flew
    up into God's heaven like a bird.

    MORRIS. Was that what first made you think he was a wizard?

    PATRICIA. Oh, no. When I first saw him he was tracing circles and
    pentacles in the grass and talking the language of the elves.

    MORRIS. [_Sceptically._] Do you know the language of the elves?

    PATRICIA. Not until I heard it.

    MORRIS. [_Lowering his voice as if for his sister, but losing patience
    so completely that he talks much louder than he imagines._] See here,
    Patricia, I reckon this kind of thing is going to be the limit. I'm just
    not going to have you let in by some blamed tramp or fortune-teller
    because you choose to read minor poetry about the fairies. If this gipsy
    or whatever he is troubles you again....

    DOCTOR. [_Putting his hand on_ MORRIS'S _shoulder._] Come, you must
    allow a little more for poetry. We can't all feed on nothing but petrol.

    DUKE. Quite right, quite right. And being Irish, don't you know, Celtic,
    as old Buffle used to say, charming songs, you know, about the Irish
    girl who has a plaid shawl--and a Banshee. [_Sighs profoundly._] Poor
    old Gladstone!

    [_Silence as usual._

    SMITH. [_Speaking to_ DOCTOR.] I thought you yourself considered the
    family superstition bad for the health?

    DOCTOR. I consider a family superstition is better for the health than a
    family quarrel. [_He walks casually across to_ PATRICIA.] Well, it must
    be nice to be young and still see all those stars and sunsets. We old
    buffers won't be too strict with you if your view of things sometimes
    gets a bit--mixed up, shall we say? If the stars get loose about the
    grass by mistake; or if, once or twice, the sunset gets into the east.
    We should only say, "Dream as much as you like. Dream for all mankind.
    Dream for us who can dream no longer. But do not quite forget the

    PATRICIA. What difference?

    DOCTOR. The difference between the things that are beautiful and the
    things that are there. That red lamp over my door isn't beautiful; but
    it's there. You might even come to be glad it is there, when the stars
    of gold and silver have faded. I am an old man now, but some men are
    still glad to find my red star. I do not say they are the wise men.

    PATRICIA. [_Somewhat affected._] Yes, I know you are good to everybody.
    But don't you think there may be floating and spiritual stars which will
    last longer than the red lamps?

    SMITH. [_With decision._] Yes. But they are fixed stars.

    DOCTOR. The red lamp will last my time.

    DUKE. Capital! Capital! Why, it's like Tennyson. [_Silence._] I remember
    when I was an undergrad....

    [_The red light disappears; no one sees it at first except_
    PATRICIA, _who points excitedly._

    MORRIS. What's the matter?

    PATRICIA. The red star is gone.

    MORRIS. Nonsense! [_Rushes to the garden doors._] It's only somebody
    standing in front of it. Say, Duke, there's somebody standing in the

    PATRICIA. [_Calmly._] I told you he walked about the garden.

    MORRIS. If it's that fortune-teller of yours....

    [_Disappears into the garden, followed by the_ DOCTOR.

    DUKE. [_Staring._] Somebody in the garden! Really, this Land


    [MORRIS _reappears rather breathless._

    MORRIS. A spry fellow, your friend. He slipped through my hands like a

    PATRICIA. I told you he was a shadow.

    MORRIS. Well, I guess there's going to be a shadow hunt. Got a lantern,

    PATRICIA. Oh, you need not trouble. He will come if I call him.

    [_She goes out into the garden and calls out some half-chanted and
    unintelligible words, somewhat like the song preceding her
    entrance. The red light reappears; and there is a slight sound as
    of fallen leaves shuffled by approaching feet. The cloaked_
    STRANGER _with the pointed hood is seen standing outside the garden

    PATRICIA. You may enter all doors.

    [_The figure comes into the room_

    MORRIS. [_Shutting the garden doors behind him._] Now, see here, wizard,
    we've got you. And we know you're a fraud.

    SMITH. [_Quietly._] Pardon me, I do not fancy that we know that. For
    myself I must confess to something of the Doctor's agnosticism.

    MORRIS. [_Excited, and turning almost with a snarl._] I didn't know you
    parsons stuck up for any fables but your own.

    SMITH. I stick up for the thing every man has a right to. Perhaps the
    only thing that every man has a right to.

    MORRIS. And what is that?

    SMITH. The benefit of the doubt. Even your master, the petroleum
    millionaire, has a right to that. And I think he needs it more.

    MORRIS. I don't think there's much doubt about the question, Minister.
    I've met this sort of fellow often enough--the sort of fellow who
    wheedles money out of girls by telling them he can make stones

    DOCTOR. [_To the_ STRANGER.] Do you say you can make stones disappear?

    STRANGER. Yes. I can make stones disappear.

    MORRIS. [_Roughly._] I reckon you're the kind of tough who knows how to
    make a watch and chain disappear.

    STRANGER. Yes; I know how to make a watch and chain disappear.

    MORRIS. And I should think you were pretty good at disappearing

    STRANGER. I have done such a thing.

    MORRIS. [_With a sneer._] Will you disappear now?

    STRANGER. [_After reflection._] No, I think I'll appear instead. [_He
    throws back his hood, showing the head of an intellectual-looking man,
    young but rather worn. Then he unfastens his cloak and throws it off,
    emerging in complete modern evening dress. He advances down the room
    towards the_ DUKE, _taking out his watch as he does so._] Good-evening,
    your Grace. I'm afraid I'm rather too early for the performance. But
    this gentleman [_with a gesture towards_ MORRIS] seemed rather impatient
    for it to begin.

    DUKE. [_Rather at a loss._] Oh, good-evening. Why, really--are you

    STRANGER. [_Bowing._] Yes. I am the Conjurer.

    [_There is general laughter, except from_ PATRICIA. _As the others
    mingle in talk, the_ STRANGER _goes up to her._

    STRANGER. [_Very sadly._] I am very sorry I am not a wizard.

    PATRICIA. I wish you were a thief instead.

    STRANGER. Have I committed a worse crime than thieving?

    PATRICIA. You have committed the cruellest crime, I think, that there

    STRANGER. And what is the cruellest crime?

    PATRICIA. Stealing a child's toy.

    STRANGER. And what have I stolen?

    PATRICIA. A fairy tale.

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