Source: geocities.com/inge_y

THE GOLDEN BOWL
Directed by James Ivory
Written by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, based on the 1904 novel by Henry James


PROLOGUE. Palazzo Ugolini.
[Sorry I speak no Italian]

Scene 1. Palazzo Ugolini - 1903

CHARLOTTE
And the murdered woman, she was the boy's stepmother?

AMERIGO
His father's wife. And his brother, who was always jealous of him, led their father to see what was going on. 

CHARLOTTE
Hmm.

AMERIGO
But the Duke was anyway tired of his wife. She was always greedy for-- for money, as well as young lovers.

CHARLOTTE
Hmm. You have some charming ancestors.

AMERIGO
I don't know what these rooms were for, or who used them. My grandfather, the old Prince, used to say that a house of which one knows every room is not worth living in. The last member of the family to live here was my uncle, Alfonso. He had to move out because he was being poisoned. Not by a person, but by bits of gold leaf falling from the ceiling into his coffee cup. It was found to contain arsenic. Come. This is how they spent the money that might have come to me. One of the Princes from the last centuries spent everything he had on staging commedia, in which he always starred.

CHARLOTTE
It would take Mr. Verver's millions to fix this up. Fortunately, he has them.

AMERIGO
Yes. Are you really going to Baden-Baden? Why on earth Baden-Baden?

CHARLOTTE
Because some kind people kindly asked me. I wish I could go home.

AMERIGO
But you can't stand America for more than five minutes.

CHARLOTTE
It has the merit of being far away from you and your fiancée.

AMERIGO
Do you know what I'd really like for you?

CHARLOTTE
You'd like me to get married, too. What sort of person do you have in mind for me?

AMERIGO
Someone good and kind and clever--- and rich.

CHARLOTTE
Will you help me find this magnificent husband? Someone to make me forget you?

AMERIGO
Oh, Charlotte. No, there is no choice. I have no money.

CHARLOTTE
I don't care. Please don't do this.

AMERIGO
Charlotte. Charlotte. Charlotte!

Scene 2. Cleveland Row.

MAGGIE
I can't believe it. Fanny, it's too good to be true. Charlotte is here in London? When did she come? I thought she was in Baden. And she's with you at this very moment? But I have to see her at once. Fanny, dearest, please. Of course. I insist. Thank you, dearest, bless you. It's too wonderful. Charlotte has come for our wedding. Amerigo, you'll meet Charlotte.

ADAM
I always liked Charlotte. Of all your friends in school, I thought she was the best for you.

MAGGIE
Imagine, here was this splendid, noble girl who knew every language and every country in the world and here was this creeping little American thing terrified out of my wits. She made me her friend. What are you looking at?

ADAM
Something unique. It's a very handsome present from our bridegroom.

AMERIGO
It's interesting for me, because it shows the ancestor after whom I'm named: Amerigo. This Amerigo sailed in the wake of Columbus and somehow managed it that the new continent was named after him, not poor old Columbus. And ever since, in every generation, one son in the family is called Amerigo. Amerigo.

MAGGIE
Well, now you must do something for me, my dear, grand Amerigo. Go and bring Charlotte. She's staying with the Assinghams; but of course she has to stay with us. Will you, bring my friend?

AMERIGO
Si.

Scene 3. Cleveland Row.

MAGGIE
I don't feel it's fair for me just to give you a push and let you go.

ADAM
Let me go? You're not letting me go. You and Amerigo are only moving next door, practically. The Carlton House Terrace.

MAGGIE
But now it will be he and I, and you alone. We've lost our symmetry.

ADAM
Symmetry? Ah. Is it your wish then that to keep it, I had better get married, too?

MAGGIE
Well, if you did, I'd understand. I certainly would. And I know that it was my fault.

ADAM
Your fault? Oh, come here, my darling. You're such a silly, silly girl. Do you know, the English would call you absurd? And in an American City, what would we call you? You know the words.

BOTH
Talking through your hat.

ADAM
Yes, yes, yes. It's talking through your hat.

Scene 4. Cadogan Place.

CHARLOTTE
You did a wonderful thing for him, Fanny. I mean it. If I had to choose a wife for him, Maggie is perfect. In herself, of course. And of course, in her father. It was wonderful of you to introduce them.

FANNY
Well, I want to do something wonderful for you, too, Charlotte. You can't spend your whole life being a guest in other people's houses. You're made for a grand life, not a poor one. You're not a poor person, Charlotte.

CHARLOTTE
All the same, that's what I am: poor. You've never told Maggie?

FANNY
That you and the Prince knew each other? No. Haven't we all decided it's for the best? That everyone should have a fresh start?

CHARLOTTE
A fresh start.

BOB
I was telling the Prince all we hear about nowadays is him and the coming great event. My dear chap, we all have to go through it.

AMERIGO
Fanny will take care of me.

BOB
Oh, yes. Fanny takes care of everyone.

AMERIGO
So it's all right.

FANNY
It's more than all right.

CHARLOTTE
See? You're not rid of me.

AMERIGO
I'm glad you've returned to us.

CHARLOTTE
Oh, I couldn't miss Maggie's wedding.

AMERIGO
You mustn't miss anything.

FANNY
And Baden-Baden was just too beastly; all those hotels and the people in them, the shops full of the most vulgar, awful things. Pink shoes and umbrellas to match.

BOB
A lot of rubbish that no one in their right mind would ever want to buy.

CHARLOTTE
Exactly. I had to leave because I couldn't find anything good enough to give Maggie for a wedding present. You must help me find something, Prince. I know from our days in Rome how you can bargain.

AMERIGO
Yes, in Rome, with my poor old Romans; but in London I'm not so effective.

Scene 5. Antique shop in Bloomsbury.

CHARLOTTE
There's nothing here that she could wear.

AMERIGO
Is there anything that you could wear?

CHARLOTTE
Are you offering me a gift?

AMERIGO
Would you take it?

CHARLOTTE
If I did, what should I do with it?

AMERIGO
Wear it.

CHARLOTTE
And if I did, would I go home and show it to Maggie as your present?

AMERIGO
Why in the world not?

CHARLOTTE
This is why I came back for: to be with you as we used to be in our days in Rome.

AMERIGO
Charlotte, why are you saying this?

CHARLOTTE
I have to.

AMERIGO
You must not.

CHARLOTTE
I want to say it. I want you to know that I came back for us to be together one more time before-- before what you're going to do. I'm not asking anything from you. What am I asking? An hour or two, no more.

AMERIGO
Yes. An hour or two to buy a present for your friend.

CHARLOTTE
I had to come. I missed you so much. I thought my heart--

SHOPKEEPER
Do you like it?

CHARLOTTE
Do you like it?

AMERIGO
What is it?

SHOPKEEPER
It's cut out of a single, perfect crystal.

AMERIGO
Perfect?

SHOPKEEPER
I can promise you that you will never find any joint or any piecing together.

CHARLOTTE
Even if I were to scrape off the gold?

AMERIGO
I'll wait for you outside.

SHOPKEEPER
You couldn't scrape the gold off it. It's been put on by some very old process.

CHARLOTTE
Is there something the matter with it? It's to be a present for a friend. If it has a flaw, I must know what it is.

SHOPKEEPER
Your friend would never find a flaw.

CHARLOTTE
Let me think about it.

SHOPKEEPER
I will keep it for you.

CHARLOTTE 
Thank you.

Scene 6. Outside the Antique Shop, Bloomsbury

CHARLOTTE
It seems so much the right thing.

AMERIGO
Didn't you see?

CHARLOTTE
See what?

AMERIGO
It has a crack.

CHARLOTTE
I saw no crack. I only saw that it was beautiful.

AMERIGO
That's the danger.

CHARLOTTE
Danger? To your marriage? Danger to your happiness?

AMERIGO
To everything. You know how superstitious I am.

Scene 7. Fawns - 1905

MAGGIE
Yes, Papa.

AMERIGO
Steady. Coccolino di Papa. Tesoro mio. Tesoro mio.

MAGGIE
Let's put him back. Oh, what a boy!

Scene 8. Fawns

MAGGIE
Here we are.

CHARLOTTE
I'm so pleased. Oh, so pleased to be here.

MAGGIE
Is it just exactly how you imagined?

CHARLOTTE
Oh, I think it's even more wonderful.

MAGGIE
We must find Father. He'll be so happy to see you.

ADAM
Welcome to Fawns, Charlotte.

CHARLOTTE
Thank you so much for having me, Mr. Verver.

MAGGIE
Charlotte's boat train to Victoria was late, but here she is, safe and sound at last. She hasn't slept a wink, so I'm taking her straight to her room.

ADAM
Good idea.

MAGGIE
You can talk to her later.

ADAM
Maggie has put you in the Red Room. It has two wonderful Canaletto views of the house. Unfortunately, they're not ours.

MAGGIE
It's so good to have you here, where you'll be appreciated, where you're loved.

ADAM
Well, I'm sure Charlotte is appreciated wherever she goes.

MAGGIE
You'll have the best room and I promise you there are no ghost in it. Here's Charlotte.

AMERIGO
Charlotte.

MAGGIE
She's extremely tired, so I'm tucking her straight into bed.

CHARLOTTE
I don't want to go to bed.

MAGGIE
Well, you'll have to visit later. You look very tired to me. Your room is right this way.

Scene 9. Fawns.

MAGGIE
You know what I think?

AMERIGO
Hmm?

MAGGIE
That you are a tiny bit homesick.

AMERIGO
I am at home.

MAGGIE
Homesick for Italy. Naturally, you'd want to see Rome again, a grand Roman like you. There's no reason now we shouldn't go.

AMERIGO
You mean, now that Charlotte is here?

MAGGIE
I would feel perfectly easy about leaving Father and the Principino in her care.

AMERIGO
And Charlotte is very competent.

MAGGIE
Yes, she's very practical. I suppose she's had to be. But she's romantic, too. Il rei nel paesi--

AMERIGO
Il rei. Il rei nel paesi-

MAGGIE
Il rei -- We must go, if only to improve my abysmal Italian.

AMERIGO
Oh, it would be so good to be in Rome. We-- You and I, alone together.

Scene 10. Fawns.

ADAM
That's really fine, Charlotte. Really fine.

CHARLOTTE
Do you know who these ladies are? Les Dames de Carite.

ADAM
I've often wondered who they are. I don't know their names. They came with the house.

CHARLOTTE
And what of the painters?

ADAM
Hmm, the painters? Oh, they, too, shall remain nameless. Charlotte, come to the study. There's something I must show you. Come now. These are by Raphael. This is the very first drawing of his I ever bought. I've been lucky over the years and now I have five. They never come on the market anymore. This is my newest discovery. But is it by Raphael? Or is it by Perugino, his teacher?

CHARLOTTE
It's beautiful.

ADAM
Anyone would want it. Don't you agree?

CHARLOTTE
Yes!

ADAM
I take these with me wherever I go. They make me feel at home in all the rented places we live in. They're like old friends who can stay as long as they like. I've had a letter from a Mr. Gutermann-Seuss. He writes he has a very interesting set of Turkish tiles. I plan to visit Mr. Gutermann-Seuss. One never knows what one might not find. Before she was married, I always took Maggie with me. I couldn't leave her alone in a hotel. As you know, after her mother died, there was no one else, only she and I. So from the age of ten, she has visited every dealer in Europe, even some quite shady characters buying and selling stolen goods in some little room in a back alley. These are the plans for the museum I'm building in American City. Would you like to see? My ambition is to create a Roman palace on a piece of barren wasteland. These are the galleries: Medieval collection, Roman statuary. Oh, the good citizens of American City are not too pleased with the statuary. There is some talk of fig leaves, even putting brown paper swimming costumes on them. That's how they solved the problem at the Uffizi.

CHARLOTTE
Ridiculous. They don't deserve your generosity.

ADAM
Well, I guess they'd rather have, uh, new gasworks in American City. That's where I got my start from bituminous coal. It's a soft coal, makes the best coking coal in the world with the help of immigrant labour, of course, stoking the ovens. They used to work twelve hours a day, seven days a week, year after year. They've never seen anything beautiful all their lives long. I want to give them something, give something back, more than lumps of black coal. I owe it to them, to bring to them all the treasures I can find. So I go out and buy it for them. Like a pirate, I go on my raiding expeditions, ransacking and plundering, get the loot and I hide it. I keep it here, Paris, Italy, some in Spain - vaults, banks, warehouses. And one day I'll pack it up and take it all back home with me.

CHARLOTTE
It'll all go here.

ADAM
To the ungrateful citizens of American City. That's my plan for the future. My dilemma, of course, is it's a large task for one man. Oh, I shouldn't be keeping you up. I promised to take good care of you.

CHARLOTTE
Maggie gave me the idea it was the other way around.

ADAM
Look, whichever way, I know she'd be mighty glad that we're keeping each other company. She, uh- She hates for me to be alone without her. She has this odd idea that she's forsaken me.

CHARLOTTE
Well, I suppose that when a girl marries, she does in a sense forsake her father.

ADAM
Maybe- in a sense. But I feel bad that she feels bad about me, and- Oh, I'm keeping you up with all this talk.

CHARLOTTE
No, no. Not at all.

ADAM
Well, we- We should get some sleep. (later) Charlotte? I'm glad you've stayed on.

CHARLOTTE
Oh, I'm happy to be here.

ADAM
If I do go to Camberwell to see Mr. Gutermann-Seuss' Turkish tiles-

CHARLOTTE
I might come with you. I would like that very much.

ADAM
Wonderful. Good night, Charlotte.

CHARLOTTE
Good night.

Scene 11. Palazzo Ugolini - one month later

MAGGIE
You'd better prepare yourself. "I finally plucked up my courage and ask Charlotte to be my wife. And Charlotte, wonderful as she is, has answered: Provided Maggie and the Prince approve. So we should be starting for Rome to obtain in person what we most anxiously hope and trust will be your consent." Our consent! "And of course, we shall not miss the opportunity to take in all the new work at the Palazzo, of which you write such tantalizing reports." They'll be here- What's the date? The fourth. They'll be here, I think, Wednesday or Thursday at the latest.

Scene 12. Palazzo Ugolini

CHARLOTTE
Maggie!

MAGGIE
Charlotte. Father.

ADAM
Meg.

MAGGIE
Do show Charlotte the Palazzo. She's never seen it.

CHARLOTTE
I'm dying to be taken on a personal Princely tour.

MAGGIE
If you had seen it the way it was just two years ago, it's a miracle what has been done. Do show her.

AMERIGO
And this is where the first Duke kept his museum of mummies, in case you've forgotten. Whenever he returned from battle, he brought his captives back, killed them and stuffed them with straw and dressed them--

CHARLOTTE
Dear old Italy. Ha, ha!

AMERIGO
It's impossible to walk side by side with that hat. Not that it isn't absolutely splendid.

CHARLOTTE
A present from my fiancé. But I haven't yet had your consent, or any word from you. Are you not pleased to be presented with a bouncing baby stepmother?

AMERIGO
Oh, what you are doing will take great courage. Not only from you, but from both of us. It will take all our best intentions, Charlotte, for them. All our-- our care. They're good and-- and kind.

CHARLOTTE
Of course. They're good children, and the children of good children.

ADAM (To Maggie)
You had several, remember?

CHARLOTTE
Hello?

MAGGIE
There they are. Hello.

Scene 13. The Lancaster House Ball - Three years later

WILLIAM SHEPP
Lady Castledean!

LADY CASTLEDEAN
William Shepp.

MRS. SHEPP
Ah, you look marvelous.

A LADY
That's Mrs. Verver.

BOB
They are certainly a handsome couple.

FANNY
Do you call a stepmother and her son-in-law a couple? 

BOB
Well, what else do you call them when they're seen together here, there, and everywhere?

FANNY
I don't know what she thinks she's doing.

BOB
What do you expect her to do? Stay locked up in one of Mr. Verver's cabinets along with his other handsome pieces? 

WILLIAM SHEPP
Three nights in a row. I heard it from her lips.

CHARLOTTE
You liar.

FANNY
Ahem.

CHARLOTTE
Fanny?

FANNY
You say your husband is ill? He felt too ill to come?

CHARLOTTE
No, dear. If he had, I wouldn't have left him.

FANNY
And yet Maggie was worried?

CHARLOTTE
She worried easily, you know. At least about her father.

FANNY
Don't you think it would be more appropriate for his wife to worry about him than for his daughter?

CHARLOTTE
You know how things are with us. Father and daughter are happier when they're alone. They're forever arranging for it. "I'll come to you in Cleveland Row." "No, I'll come to you in Carlton House Terrace."  They're like two children arranging a doll's tea party. They love it. They're cozy together.

FANNY
Oh. And where does that leave you?

CHARLOTTE
To be cozy on my own, I suppose.

FANNY
And the Prince?

CHARLOTTE
Well, we're in the same boat, you know.

FANNY
You are naturally in Mr. Verver's boat.

CHARLOTTE
Isn't the Prince also in Mr. Verver's boat? Where would he be, if he were not?

FANNY
Where would you be?

CHARLOTTE
Precisely. But now where I am is fixed. Fixed as a pin, stuck up to its head in a cushion.

ITALIAN AMBASSADOR
Good evening, Signora. His Royal Highness has expressed a desire for your company. May I have the great honour of introducing you to His Royal Highness?

CHARLOTTE
What in the world would His Royal Highness want with me?

AMERIGO
You must go immediately. It's a summons.

FANNY
They send for Charlotte through you?

AMERIGO
No, my dear. As you see, through the Italian ambassador.

FANNY
That's your ambassador. She's treated as your appendage.

AMERIGO
My appendage? Cara mia, what a name!

FANNY
I have noticed before with you, that you like to have a thing without liking to call it by its name.

AMERIGO
I am as ready as the next fellow to call a spade 'a spade'.

FANNY
Then let me name this 'spade'. Mrs. Verver should be known less as your mother-in-law and a little more as her husband's wife.

AMERIGO
For that, Mr. Verver should be known a little more as his wife's husband. She's no one's appendage. She is a splendid, wonderful creature in her own right.

FANNY
So is your wife.

AMERIGO
Believe me, cara, I know how fortunate I am, in my wife, in my father-in-law, in my mother-in-law, and in my friend.

BOB
We are to be photographed. Come on.

PHOTOGRAPHER
Are you composed, Madam?

CHARLOTTE
Yes.

PHOTOGRAPHER
Then we will expose. Excellent. And once more. That's perfect. (To Amerigo) Now, are you ready?

AMERIGO
Si.

PHOTOGRAPHER
Very well. Are you comfortable?

AMERIGO
Yes.

PHOTOGRAPHER
Then I shall expose. Good. Next.

Scene 14. Cadogan Place.

FANNY
Oh, damn. Would you get that for me, Bob?

BOB
I've got it. I still don't see why you should blame yourself. He needed a rich wife, she a rich husband.

FANNY
I introduced him to Maggie. I helped him because I trusted him. I still do.

BOB
Then you've made up your mind that it's all poor Charlotte?

FANNY
If only she'd leave him alone.

BOB
Perhaps he doesn't want to be left alone. Don't forget, the man's in a position where he has nothing in the world to do.

FANNY
Poor, dear, little Maggie. I'm to blame. I should've told her.

BOB
That her husband and her friend had been acquainted? I never did understand why that had to be kept from her.

FANNY
There are things in life that Maggie does not- should not know. Don't you feel that? One has to protect her innocence.

BOB
In that case, is it any wonder that the Prince is bored with her? No man of sense would want to be married to an ignorant child. Come to bed.

FANNY
Come to bed. That's your solution to everything.

BOB
Hmm. Mary, Queen of Scots.

Scene 15. Carlton House Terrace

PORTER
Good afternoon, Madam.

CHARLOTTE
Thank you.

DRIVER
Oh, thank you, ma'am. Walk on!

AMERIGO
Why have you come in a cab? Where's your motor?

CHARLOTTE
I left it at home. I wanted to feel as I used to when I could do as I liked.

AMERIGO
I don't remember that you ever liked knocking about in discomfort.

CHARLOTTE
It seems to me I liked everything then. Anyway, it brings back the old feelings. They come back. They do. Everything comes back.

AMERIGO
Uh, you must awfully want your tea. So let me give you a good, strong cup. Maggie has taken the boy to Cleveland Row.

CHARLOTTE
As usual, they came before eleven and they're still there. I wonder what they think what I'm doing, what becomes of me while they're so happy together, or what becomes of you.

AMERIGO
Well, of course I'm-- I'm happy that they are happy and that they so adore my boy. And they'd have done the same for one of yours.

CHARLOTTE
It will never be.

AMERIGO
Never?

CHARLOTTE
Never.

AMERIGO
It would have been better for you.

CHARLOTTE
It would have taken more than any child of mine. It would have taken more than ten children, could I have had them, to keep our two spouses apart. It's strange, isn't it, the way you and I so immensely alone?

AMERIGO
Because they are so immensely together. Yes, it has struck me. Sometimes-- Sometimes I feel, instead of more, I understand less and less these people amongst whom I've married. Americans. They're too different.

CHARLOTTE
You understand me.

AMERIGO
Oh, you. You are the same as I am.

CHARLOTTE
You mean, Italian and terrible.

AMERIGO
No. American and terrible.

CHARLOTTE
And they?

AMERIGO
They're simple and they're good. That is why we have to protect them; isn't that what we said in Rome, we would do? Act together to care for them?

CHARLOTTE
Yes, we have to act together. Heavens knows they do.

AMERIGO
When you go home, where will you say you've been?

CHARLOTTE
I shall say I've been here, keeping you company in your solitude. What else, my dear? What in the world else can we do?
Oh, your invitation to Matcham!

BUTLER
Will that be all, sir?

AMERIGO
Thank you.

CHARLOTTE
We got ours yesterday. We'll have a good time, I promise you. Those Matcham weekends are such fun.

Scene 16. Cleveland Row

ADAM
Oh, packing for your weekend?

CHARLOTTE
I hear you've cried off.

ADAM
Maggie told you, did she? I asked her to. I didn't dare tell you myself.

CHARLOTTE
Such a pity. She at least would have enjoyed it.

ADAM
She's a very silly girl. She should go. I told her so. If nothing else, she shouldn't be depriving Amerigo of a good time.

CHARLOTTE
Amerigo is going. I can't show up at Matcham by myself.

ADAM
Should we, uh, be asking him to leave Maggie? I'm sure he'd prefer to stay with his wife.

CHARLOTTE
No doubt. But I can't very well carry the whole thing off by myself, can I?

ADAM
Charlotte, would it be matter so very much if you, too, did not go? No. Of course you must go. The whole world has to see you in all your splendour. It can't be wasted on just one husband.

CHARLOTTE
Well, you know, Adam, we can't all hide ourselves away from the world. Someone has to go to this sort of things, whether we want to or not.

ADAM
I know, I know. Did you speak to him?

CHARLOTTE
To whom?

ADAM
Amerigo. What did he have to say?

CHARLOTTE
About what?

ADAM
About the two of you going to Matcham alone.

CHARLOTTE
What could he say, since it was your wish and not his, or mine?

ADAM
When you get there, everyone will feel very sorry for you, that you're married to a dreary husband who does nothing and goes nowhere. That's what they will say.

CHARLOTTE
They can say what they like.

ADAM
And we can do what we like. Yeah, absolutely right. One should always follow one's own clear conscience. What about this one? This is beautiful. Shall we try it? Oh, yes.

Scene 17. Matcham.

LADY CASTLEDEAN
I think he cheated.

LORD CASTLEDEAN
How is it possible to cheat on a bicycle?

LADY CASTLEDEAN
Italians can be very devious. One of his ancestors was a pope, and there were any number of cardinals, all of them with dozens of children. If that's not cheating, I would like to know what is.

LORD CASTLEDEAN
With these grand Romans, it's "Aut Caesar aut nihil," either a Caesar or nothing. "Aut vincere aut mori," to win or to die. Good show.

CHARLOTTE
Bravo, Prince.

LADY CASTLEDEAN
Very well done.

LORD CASTLEDEAN
Bravissimo.

LADY CASTLEDEAN
That's very becoming.

LORD CASTLEDEAN
Well done.

(later)

AMERIGO
No, I don't think Maggie and her father would like it here.

FANNY
Well, if it's so bad for them, how can it be good for you?

AMERIGO
You know, you needn't be ashamed of me, Fanny. For four years I've lived the life, I've thought the thoughts that best suited Maggie and her father. But there are times when I have to get out and stretch my legs a little.

FANNY
You mean, you need to have your own kind of a good time?

AMERIGO
No. You know for that I wouldn't be here. I'd be where I belong, in the air I was born to breathe.

FANNY
So you still long for it?

AMERIGO
For Rome? Oh. What do you think? Every minute. Every bit of me.

Scene 18. Matcham.

MR. BLINT (singing)
I'm just a silly when the moon comes out.

LADY CASTLEDEAN (singing)
I hardly seem to know what I'm about.

MR. BLINT (singing)
Skipping-

LADY CASTLEDEAN (singing)
Hopping-

MR. BLINT (singing)
Never, never stopping.

BOTH (singing)
We can't stand still although we try.

BOB
Are you sure that was correct? We may have bid too low.

LORD CASTLEDEAN
You wait until the game is over.

FANNY
That's all right. I feel confident.

MR. BLINT & LADY CASTLEDEAN (singing)
When the moon comes creeping around the sky.

CHARLOTTE
They've really got something, haven't they?

A LADY
Absolutely.

MR. BLINT (singing)
Moon, moon- Aggravating moon-

LADY CASTLEDEAN
Isn't he divine?

CHARLOTTE
Mr. Blint has a lovely voice.

LADY CASTLEDEAN
Yes, but we need more practice. We're staying over tomorrow when everyone else goes up. Wouldn't it be fun for you and the Prince to stay over with us? Just the four of us. Would you like that?

MR. BLINT (singing)
-just as soon as the daylight's gone,
Well, it's then I feel a foolish sort of feeling coming on.

MR. BLINT & LADY CASTLEDEAN (singing)
I'm such a silly when the moon comes out.

LADY CASTLEDEAN (singing)
I hardly seem to know what I'm about.

MR. BLINT (singing)
Skipping-

LADY CASTLEDEAN (singing)
Hopping-

MR. BLINT (singing)
Never, never stopping-

MR. BLINT & LADY CASTLEDEAN (singing)
We can't keep still although we try.

LADY CASTLEDEAN (singing)
I'm all a-quiver when the moonbeams glance.

MR. BLINT (singing)
That is the moment when I long to dance.

BOTH (singing)
I can never close a sleepy eye,
When the moon comes creeping around the sky.

AUDIENCE
Well done! Bravo! Encore!

Scene 19. Matcham.

FANNY
Bob and I would be delighted to take any train that would suit you and the Prince. I feel almost as if after all this time I've seen nothing of you.

CHARLOTTE
Oh, that's awfully sweet of you, darling. But we've settled, Amerigo and I, to stay over till after luncheon.

FANNY
You're staying on?

CHARLOTTE
Yes.

AMERIGO
Yes. Charlotte promised our hostess. Rather a bore, since it means that I, too, must stay on.

FANNY
You must stay with Charlotte?

AMERIGO
Yes. I must see her decently home. Mr. Verver and Maggie would expect it, of course.

FANNY
Of course.

AMERIGO
You might do us one great favour.

FANNY
Of course.

AMERIGO
Leave word at Cleveland Row that we have been kept over, but that we shall be back in time for dinner, hmm?

FANNY
I shall do better than that. I shall go straight from the station and report on the situation here for you and Charlotte.

AMERIGO
That would be kind. Yes, you can tell them that we are bearing up.

FANNY
You're bearing up?

AMERIGO
Yes.

FANNY
Good.

Scene 20. Matcham - the stairs.

CHARLOTTE
You needn't be afraid of Fanny.

AMERIGO
It's you I'm afraid of, sometimes.

CHARLOTTE
Don't be. She can't very well go to your wife and say, "I'm sorry, my dear, for arranging your marriage. I was mistaken."

AMERIGO
She wasn't. She's right. Everything's right.

CHARLOTTE
Then that's what I say. They're happy. We can be happy, too. And if it didn't sound so very vulgar, I should say that we're safe. Good night, my dear.

BOB
Oh, is that you? It's like playing blind man's bluff up here, the deuce only knows what anyone's up to. Ah, well, good night.

AMERIGO
Yeah. Good night to you and- and Fanny. Sleep well.

BOB
Oh, I sleep like a log. It's Fanny who lies there brooding.

AMERIGO
Poor Fanny. What does she have to brood about?

BOB
Don't ask me. These are things far above my head. Metaphysics and Psychology.

Scene 21. Matcham - the Assinghams' room.

FANNY
Were you talking to somebody? I heard you.

BOB
I must have been talking to myself again. Poor old man.

FANNY
Don't you lie to me. There are enough people doing that already. What lie shall I tell Maggie tomorrow?

BOB
You don't have to tell her anything. You said one has to protect her innocence.

FANNY
Yes. Well, if she remains innocent much longer, she's going to lose her husband.

BOB
I don't think he really cares for Charlotte. Men don't when it's made too easy.

FANNY
You have this extraordinary notion you know anything about men and women.

BOB
I don't. I leave all knowledge of the human heart to you. I'm only here to see it doesn't land you in trouble.

Scene 22. Matcham.

LADY CASTLEDEAN (singing)
I'm such a silly when the moon comes-

MR. BLINT
Breathe deeply.

LADY CASTLEDEAN
You're making me laugh.

MR. BLINT
After four.

LADY CASTLEDEAN (singing)
I'm such a silly when the moon comes out.

MR. BLINT
That's very good.

LADY CASTLEDEAN (singing)
I hardly seem to see that I'm about. Skipping, hopping, never-

BOTH (singing)
Never stopping. We can't keep still although we try.

LADY CASTLEDEAN
Are you looking for Charlotte? Because I think she's looking for you.

MR. BLINT
Hunting for you.

LADY CASTLEDEAN
Shh.

MR. BLINT
Yapping for you.

LADY CASTLEDEAN
Don't be so naughty and get on with your work.

MR. BLINT
My work is to teach you to play. (singing) I'm just a silly when the moonbeams shine.
That's all I do when I da da da da-

BOTH (singing)
Can't keep still although we try.

LADY CASTLEDEAN (singing)
I'm all a-quiver when the moonbeam-

Scene 23. Matcham - The garden.

AMERIGO
It's after eleven o'clock. And if we stop here for luncheon, then what becomes of our afternoon?

CHARLOTTE
Why should we stop here for luncheon?

AMERIGO
Our hostess-

CHARLOTTE
Doesn't dream of our staying. She dreams only of Mr. Blint. That's Gloucester over there. It has a very fine cathedral. And everyone knows whenever we've the chance, we stop to see cathedrals. I've discovered the name of the inn. There are two, but I've chosen the right one. You'll see.

AMERIGO
You're terrible. How do you know so exactly what I'm thinking?

CHARLOTTE
I know it ten miles off because it is always what I'm thinking, too. We have these harmonies.

AMERIGO
Get your things. Get your things. Quick! Hurry. Presto. Presto.

Scene 24. Gloucester.

DRIVER
Thank you, sir. Move on.

CHARLOTTE
It has the tomb of some very famous king.

AMERIGO
How very interesting.

CHARLOTTE
Richard II. Or was it Edward II? I know he was murdered in some particularly horrible and revolting way.

AMERIGO
I thought that it was only we Italians that did that.

CHARLOTTE
Oh, you Italians with your poisons and your daggers. We might not make it home in time for dinner.

AMERIGO
They might not even notice. That anyone might imagine that a man could be left alone with a woman, and a woman such as you.

CHARLOTTE
Like Adam and Eve before the fall.

AMERIGO
That could not be.

CHARLOTTE
It could not.

Scene 25. Carlton House Terrace

AMERIGO
Why are you in the dark? Didn't you get our telegram that we missed the train?

MAGGIE
Yes. It was so thoughtful of you to send it.

AMERIGO
You've dined?

MAGGIE
With Father. We were together when your telegram came.

AMERIGO
Oh, you have a new frock. It's very pretty.

MAGGIE
Uh, you like it? I wore it tonight at dinner--- for you. But you've dined.

AMERIGO
On such horrors. We had an adventure.

MAGGIE
Fanny told us what a success Charlotte was at Matcham. The beautiful, great, grand Mrs. Verver we're so proud of. And that Lady Castledean just could not bear to part with her and kept her over.

AMERIGO
And so that I, too, was kept over. I couldn't let her come back alone.

MAGGIE
Of course not. Father said you did the right thing.

AMERIGO
He did? Oh. I thought you would be asleep.

MAGGIE
Oh, I couldn't. I missed you too much. I missed you.

AMERIGO
Wait till you hear of our adventure.

MAGGIE
Yours and Charlotte's?

AMERIGO
Yes. We decided to visit the cathedral at Gloucester.

MAGGIE
It's a magnificent cathedral, I believe, with cloisters.

AMERIGO
Yes. And the tomb of an old king. They boy is asleep?

MAGGIE
Hours ago. Which king?

AMERIGO
Hmm?

MAGGIE
Which king has his tomb at Gloucester?

AMERIGO
Oh. Um- Is it Richard II or Edward II? I've forgotten.

MAGGIE
Don't wake him. Then, what else?

AMERIGO
What else besides stupidly missing the train?

MAGGIE
Where did you dine?

AMERIGO
At a very nasty little inn on something very nasty called, I believe, the Shepherd's Pie. English cooking. What did you do?

MAGGIE
We were with Father. We stayed over at night.

AMERIGO
Every night?

MAGGIE
Um- You were away Friday, Saturday, Sunday-- We came back to Carlton House Terrace on Sunday, thinking, perhaps you might return a day early, instead of--

AMERIGO
Instead of?

MAGGIE
A day late. I had a strange dream on Sunday. It was a nightmare, really.

AMERIGO
Oh, you were afraid and alone. You should have stayed with your father in Cleveland Row.

MAGGIE
No, I wasn't afraid. And it began as a dream, not a nightmare. I was in a beautiful pagoda, all jeweled and plated with coloured porcelain. And I loved being there and I was happy. I thought I was happy. But then something strange happened. I can't describe it. It was like some strange sound. No, it was a feeling more than a sound, like a warning. I tapped the wall, that beautiful porcelain, and then there was a sound. You know, the way you tap something with a key and it gives out a certain sound that tells you it has a crack in it. It was like that, as if the pagoda had a crack in it. And that's where the nightmare began, because I thought I was trapped in there and it would split apart into thousands of pieces and bury me alive. It seemed to be moving. But you know what frightened me the most? It was that Father would hear I was trapped in this terrible, cracked pagoda and I thought, "He mustn't know. He must not ever know of my danger. I must not cry out." And when I woke, I found I had stiffed the sheet into my mouth to stop myself from crying out, so that Father wouldn't hear anything.

AMERIGO
Shh.

Scene 26. Madame Tussaud's 

AMERIGO
And he-- he asked absolutely nothing?

CHARLOTTE
Not a word. The subject of where we had been or why we had missed the train was apparently not the slightest interest to him.

AMERIGO
What must he be thinking?

CHARLOTTE
With him, who can ever tell? I believe even Maggie doesn't know what he thinks. She's with him now. Of course, we have no way of knowing what she's telling him, what they're saying to each other.

AMERIGO
About us?

CHARLOTTE
About anything.

AMERIGO
Why on earth did we meet in this place?

CHARLOTTE
Because no one we know, or who knows us, would ever dream of coming here.

AMERIGO
Huh. Yes. We shouldn't be seen too much together.

CHARLOTTE
If we are, it's their fault: making us go everywhere together while they sit at him hatching their plans. This is their latest: my husband wants to take your wife on a trip to Spain to see a possible Goya he's heard about. Just the two of them in their old way together, leaving you and me--

AMERIGO
In our old way together?

CHARLOTTE
No. We mustn't be seen alone and they mustn't be left alone. We must pair off in a different way.

AMERIGO
So, what is your idea? You're so full of them.

CHARLOTTE
My idea is simply that you should be more with my husband and I should be more with your wife. Only for a time. Oh, come.

AMERIGO
Can we leave?

Scene 27. London.

AMERIGO
I'm told you heard of a Goya in Spain.

ADAM
Yes. There's a possibility. Maggie told you?

AMERIGO
Charlotte did.

ADAM
Ah!

AMERIGO
She said you were thinking of taking Maggie with you when you go to see it.

ADAM
Yes, that's our plan, provided we have your permission.

AMERIGO
If that is what Maggie wishes.

ADAM
Yes, of course. You would always do what your wife wishes. We're two ideal husbands, you and I.

PRINCIPINO
Are you scared, Granddaddy?

ADAM
Oh, are you?

PRINCIPINO
No.

ADAM
No, you don't scare so easy, do you? Not like your poor, old granddaddy.

AMERIGO
I can't imagine you afraid, sir, of anything in the world.

ADAM
Well, how little you know me. My heart's in my mouth all the time, that something might happen to this boy, or to Maggie, that she might be harmed in some way. I don't know of anything I might not be capable of in such a case. So I'm afraid, afraid of myself, too, what I might do, if she were ever hurt.
Here's a funny story. This happened years ago. In Paris, on my first visit, honeymoon with Maggie's mother. We were in this restaurant and a man sitting at another table was looking at my wife in a kind of way I really didn't like. So I grabbed a knife off of the table and I rushed over to him. It might not even have been the steak knife, it was probably just a butter knife. I can still see his face, stupid with astonishment. I guess I thought I was going to stab him. I was only when I felt my wife hanging on my arm that I lowered my hand and dropped the knife. She marched me out of there, apologizing to everyone, left and right. First and last time in my life, I failed to pay the check. And no one ran after us. I guess they were all scared to death of that crazy, wild American. "Who is this Monsieur Verver?"

Scene 28. A Party in London.

ADAM
Why is it there is never anything I can possibly eat?

MAGGIE
Is there nothing at all? What about this?

CHARLOTTE
He hates aspic. Why don't you try the goose, Adam?

ADAM
What are these small birds?

MAGGIE
I believe that's a pigeon.

ADAM
I'll have the goose.

MAGGIE
Oh, thank you.

CHARLOTTE
Has he said anything more to you about the Goya he wants to view in Spain?

MAGGIE
No. Has he to you? Perhaps, Charlotte, you would go with Father to Spain?

CHARLOTTE
Most willingly. I happen to like my husband's company. But I don't know that he would like mine in place of yours.

MAGGIE
I'm sure that's not true.

CHARLOTTE
It's hardly a secret anymore that he marries me not for my sake, not even for his own, but for yours. Perhaps Spain isn't the best idea just now. Unless he very much wants it. Unless you do. But, of course, you would only want what he wants.

MAGGIE
And Amerigo.

CHARLOTTE
Amerigo?

MAGGIE
My husband. I'd like to follow my husband's wishes, too.

CHARLOTTE
Do you know what they are?

MAGGIE
Do you?

AMERIGO
Maggie.

LADY CASTLEDEAN
Oh, I'm dreadfully jealous. You bring your pretty wife here and not to us at Matcham? What have we done to be so horribly neglected by you and your father?

MR. BLINT
She's far too charming to leave at home, you know.

LADY CASTLEDEAN
Next time I'm not going to let her off the hook. We had such fun. Ah, I love your dress. Is it Paquin?

LUCY MONCREIF
Hello.

LADY CASTLEDEAN
Look at you. Turn around.

MR. BLINT
Delightful.

LADY CASTLEDEAN
Now, I tell you: there is nothing like the French. Charles Blint, that Lucy Moncreif.

MR. BLINT
How do you do?

LADY CASTLEDEAN
Come on, Charlie.

MAGGIE
She has the biggest diamonds and the reddest hair.

AMERIGO
And the longest false eyelashes.

MAGGIE
On the falsest eyes. I don't like her.

AMERIGO
That is the first time I've ever heard you say you don't like someone. You should say it more often.

CHARLOTTE
What are you two talking about?

MAGGIE
You must all have had a very jolly time at Matcham.

CHARLOTTE
Oh, it was a fearful bore.

MAGGIE
But Gloucester? I'd have loved to have seen the cathedral with you.

CHARLOTTE
Amerigo! We must take Maggie to Gloucester. Yes, we must absolutely all go. Architecturally, it's of tremendous interest.

MAGGIE
And historically, too, I believe, with the tomb of some old king. Who was it?

CHARLOTTE
Richard II.

MAGGIE
Oh, was it? I thought it was Edward II. I must have been mistaken.

AMERIGO
We should find our seats.

LADY CASTLEDEAN
The Ritz.

FANNY
On Friday.

LADY CASTLEDEAN
One o'clock.

FANNY
Don't be late.

LADY CASTLEDEAN
I won't.

CHARLOTTE
What did the marmalade cat want?

FANNY
To find out what I may have found out.

CHARLOTTE
About her?

FANNY
Well, she has no stone to throw at anyone else's window.

CHARLOTTE
Mm. It's always a comfort to know about one's friends. Just as you can't throw any, Fanny.

FANNY
What stone would I throw?

CHARLOTTE
If you tried, it would come right back at you in the most horrid way.
(later) Thank you so much.


Scene 29. The Hall in the party house

MAGGIE
Playing truant again.

ADAM
Well, you know how I am with this modern noise. What is it anyway?

MAGGIE
Gavrilka.

ADAM
Hmm. Mighty loud. Well, Meg, it looks like we won't be taking our little trip to Spain after all.

MAGGIE
No, it wouldn't be fair to the others.

ADAM
Nope. It wouldn't be fair to them.

MAGGIE
But I do feel guilty about you and Amerigo.

ADAM
Why? What have you done to us?

MAGGIE
Keeping the two of you here in domestic harness, with me and the Principino and Charlotte, when the two of you must be longing to get away on your own.

ADAM
So, Meg, is it your idea then to realign us, the Prince and myself on one side, and Charlotte and you on the other?

MAGGIE
Wouldn't it be fun? And how many couples are there who could even think of such  a thing? Who're as fortunate as we are, the four of us, to get on so wonderfully belong together? 

ADAM
Well, since we do, let me make another suggestion for a different harmony this summer.

Scene 30. After the show

MR. BLINT
It's just like Hamlet.

FANNY
Thank the Lord that's over.

CHARLOTTE
You didn't like it?

AMERIGO
Excuse me. Thank you.

CHARLOTTE
I wonder what Fanny's thinking. Don't tell me, I know she's thinking something.

AMERIGO
You said that Fanny doesn't matter.

CHARLOTTE
Go in and take care of your wife! Come on, trust me. I know what I'm doing.

AMERIGO
Do you? Do you? Then you are more fortunate than I am.

CHARLOTTE
"Everything's right", remember? There you are!

ADAM
Maggie helped me escape the music of the 20th century. In the meantime, we have been settling here, haven't we, Meg? Hatching a diabolical plot.

MAGGIE
Father thinks he would like to go down early to Fawns this year, if that suits you two.

CHARLOTTE
Perfectly. We could all leave together this very week if that's what you prefer.

ADAM 
I prefer that you and I go first. Yes, this weekend if you'd like and stay there on our own for a while, make the place habitable as it were. What do you say, Charlotte?

CHARLOTTE
Wonderful.

ADAM
Good. Amerigo?

AMERIGO
Yes.

ADAM
Wonderful. See, Meg, how fortunate we are, the four of us? We're always in perfect agreement on every plan that is proposed. Did you like the dancing?

Scene 31. Cinematograph.

LECTURER
Next! This stronghold, constructed in the Middle Ages, upon the ruins of a Roman fortress is where the famous, or should I say, infamous executions took place of the Third Duke's wife and his son. The boy, Ugo, was the Duke's favourite, which prompted a jealous older brother to lead their father to Ugo and their stepmother, Parisina, where they were found in fragrante delicto. The lovers were at once seized and dragged to their deaths. They boy was sixteen, his stepmother twice that. The Duke was soon remarried to Eleonora of Aragon, who was only eleven years old. Next slide.

MAGGIE
What awfulness is there between them? Between my husband and my father's wife?

FANNY
Between them? What do you mean?

MAGGIE
Anything there shouldn't be. Do you believe there is?

SPECTATORS
Shh.

LECTURER
-cause his wife, Parisina, and his adoreed son, Ugo, her secret paramour, to be beheaded. It was the Fifth Duke who first assumed the title of Prince of Ugolini. He also took the name of Amerigo, after his famous seafaring kinsman.

MAGGIE
Come with us to Fawns, Fanny, you and the Colonel. Don't leave me alone there, watching and guessing, trying to make out what lies I'm being told.

FANNY
Charlotte has changed towards me. She might not want us there. It is her house.

MAGGIE
It is my father's house.

LECTURER
The beautiful women upon whom his eyes are cast, he lures to love him and moves them in a wondrous way, more powerfully than the magnet influences iron.

Scene 32. Antique shop in Bloomsbury

MAGGIE
It looks that sort of place where I might- just might find something odd and nice for Father's birthday. It is very pretty, but- I'm not sure it would quite do for my father.

FANNY
Her father's Adam Verver.

SHOPKEEPER
Oh, yes. The American collector.

MAGGIE
Hmm-mm. You see, I wouldn't know how to give him anything that's, well, anywhere near good enough. But he has this very sweet theory that a present given out of affection is in a special category. He even has a special glass cabinet for just such gifts. Mine all figure in it. Every single one of them going back over the years. Why do you say Charlotte has turned against you?

FANNY
Perhaps I'm only imagining it.

MAGGIE
One doesn't imagine such things out of nothing, out of thin air. You must have some proof for your suspicions.

FANNY
Do you have any for yours?

MAGGIE
What's that?

SHOPKEEPER
Oh, it's something I've had for a long time. It's Byzantine. I've been keeping it for a lady who said she would come back for it. A lady and a gentleman with her - be careful - her husband or her fiancé. It must be more than five years now. Eight of July, 1903.

MAGGIE
Three days before my wedding.

SHOPKEEPER
They have not returned. So I believe I am within my rights to say it is still for sale.

MAGGIE
How much is it?

SHOPKEEPER
Three hundred pounds.

MAGGIE
It might be just the thing for Father's special cabinet. Would you send it to me?

SHOPKEEPER
It will be delivered tomorrow. It is an honour.

FANNY
Where is Byzantium, actually?

MAGGIE
They know I know.

FANNY
But know what, for heaven's sake, my dear? That your husband and your stepmother have been intriguing day after day, in your house and in your father's? Such a thought would be unbearable. One couldn't bear it.

MAGGIE
One must bear many things for love.

FANNY
Love of your husband or your father?

MAGGIE
For love.

Scene 33. Fawns.

CHARLOTTE
It's so lonely without them- without Maggie and the Principino.

ADAM
And the Prince. Oh Lord, yes, how we miss the little family. But what a blessing, darling, we have each other. I brought these to show you. Here is where we laid the foundation stone. We took this building out between 4th and 5th Street. American City has brought objection that the museum is encroaching on a new streetcar concession. It's all a matter of politics and the usual payoffs. And if necessary I'll buy both sides of the street. But I ought to be there. I can't leave it all to the architect.

CHARLOTTE
There is no reason why you shouldn't go.

ADAM
Is there any reason why you shouldn't? If I were to go, say, next week, would you come with me?

CHARLOTTE
I would like to, immensely.

ADAM
Hmm-mm.

CHARLOTTE
But it wouldn't be very easy for us both to go on such short notice. And you wouldn't have to be gone very long.

ADAM
How would it be if we did go for very long? And if we were to stay and start our work, our real work, Charlotte, you and me together, not later, not at some future time, but now?

CHARLOTTE
No! I couldn't bear to think of your collection, all your treasures, to be buried out there.

ADAM
You call it a burial to go to American City?

CHARLOTTE
For your treasures, yes. To be in a place where no one could or would appreciate them, it's like burying them in a tomb.

ADAM
A tomb? My museum a tomb, eh? Tombs can be very beautiful. You've seen pictures of the Taj Mahal, the tomb in India that an emperor built for his beloved queen.

CHARLOTTE
Yes. After she was dead.

ADAM
Of course. No one would dream of burying a queen while she was still alive.

CHARLOTTE
It's not as if they have any use for it. They want their streetcar, not your museum.

ADAM
They may not want it, but they shall have it. (later) Charlotte? I've just asked for my supper in the study. I have a heap of letters to write. I hope you won't mind. Good night.

CHARLOTTE
Good night.

Scene 34. Carlton House Terrace.

MAGGIE
You've brought me the golden bowl. How kind of you.

SHOPKEEPER
Princess, a most extraordinary coincidence. I told you that a lady and a gentleman had been interested in the same golden bowl. Now, I see here the same lady and gentleman.

MAGGIE
Are you sure?

SHOPKEEPER
They're not a couple one can easily forget, even after five years. It was my impression that they were affianced, or perhaps a newly married couple. Each was trying to choose a present for the other. The lady liked my golden bowl, the gentleman did not.

MAGGIE
To whom do I write the cheque?

SHOPKEEPER
A.R. Jarvis. J-A-R-V-I-S.

MAGGIE
Three hundred pounds, you said?

SHOPKEEPER
No, Princess. Forgive me. Half that sum would be quite sufficient. That is why I came myself today. I felt that I had to tell you that the bowl is cracked. Yes, the crystal is cracked. I could not leave you in ignorance to give such a present to your father. Princess, it has a flaw. So, a hundred and fifty pounds would be sufficient. I thank you, Princess.

PRINCIPINO
I'm gonna get you!

MAGGIE
Oh, you scared me. Come here, my big, scary boy.

SHOPKEEPER
Good evening.

AMERIGO
Good evening.

Scene 35. Carlton House Terrace

FANNY
You look lovely, dearest, much too lovely for our ambassador. Poor dear man, he still hasn't learned how to throw a decent dinner party. Ah, your father's birthday present?

MAGGIE
It has turned out to be something quite different.

FANNY
Hmm. It is beautiful.

MAGGIE
It seems so, but actually it has a flaw.

FANNY
A flaw? I can't see any flaw.

MAGGIE
That's what is so deceptive. It has a crack.

FANNY
A crack? You mean, in the gold? How is it so heavy?

MAGGIE
Well, it's crystal and was once, I suppose, worth something.

FANNY
And now?

MAGGIE
Now it's just a gilded bowl with a crack in it.

FANNY
I can't believe it. It looks so perfect.

MAGGIE
Yes. A perfect fake.

FANNY
Maggie, dear, what's wrong?

MAGGIE
Do you remember that nice man told us in his shop about the couple who wanted to buy it? I think he said husband and wife, but he may have meant lovers. He recognized them. And he remembered the date. 8th of July, 1903. We talked about it in the shop. Three days before our wedding. They- they were intimate, you see.

FANNY
Well, it all depends what you mean by that.

MAGGIE
What I mean they were too intimate to let me know anything about it, even to let me know they had ever met. And you knew nothing? Suspected nothing? Nothing? Darling Fanny, I know, whatever you did or did not do, I know it was with the best intentions.

FANNY
I tried hard. I tried hard to act for the best.

MAGGIE
I'm sure of it. I believe you. But now, the best you can do for me is to lie for me, to lie to Father, because he must not know.

FANNY
But are you quite sure he does not know?

MAGGIE
No. No, I'm not sure at all. All I'm sure of is that his first- his very first thought is to keep me from being hurt. That's why he says nothing.

FANNY
And you say nothing?

MAGGIE
Yes, when I had only suspicions. But now that I have proof- Now that this exists-

FANNY
What if it did not exist? What if you had never found it?

MAGGIE
But I did find it. And now it's there, in all its ugliness.

FANNY
Look.

MAGGIE
Put it down, Fanny. I can't bear to see it.

FANNY
Magic. If I may, I'll take your motor to the embassy and send it back for you. Prince.

MAGGIE
Do you recognize it?


AMERIGO
No.

MAGGIE
It's the bowl you and Charlotte almost bought in that little shop in Bloomsbury.

AMERIGO
Oh, yes!

MAGGIE
Five years ago.

AMERIGO
Yes. Yes.

MAGGIE
Three days before your wedding.

AMERIGO
Ah- which was also your wedding, my dear, and that's the point.

MAGGIE
The point of your excursion alone with Charlotte?

AMERIGO
In search of a wedding present for you. She wanted so much to give you something. And there was this little fellow in the shop trying to palm his bowl off on us, but I saw at once, that it wouldn't do, that it was cracked.

MAGGIE
But now it's mine, this present from you both.

AMERIGO
What is it you want me to say?

MAGGIE
Nothing more. This has said it all. So I am grateful that you left it in the shop for me to find, so at last I can be sure.

AMERIGO
Sure of what?

MAGGIE
Of what I've been suspecting, doubting, fearing these many months.

AMERIGO
And all this time you've said nothing? Nothing? Oh, cara-- Cara, you're deep.

MAGGIE
Oh, no. It's you who are deep. For five years you've said nothing, not a word, not even that you knew each other before, even that was kept a secret from me at the time of our marriage.

AMERIGO
And if I had told you, would it have made any difference?

MAGGIE
To our marriage? Probably not. Because even then, as early as that, I knew I couldn't live without you, which you knew very well! You pretended to love me.

AMERIGO
No.

MAGGIE
And you pretended to love him!

AMERIGO
No!

MAGGIE
Why did he marry? Why did he? It was good before with only the three of us, and then our boy. None of us needed her. Unless you did.

AMERIGO
It's you I need. And more than ever now.

MAGGIE
You mean now that I know? And have to shield you and Charlotte both? But it's not you I have to shield.

AMERIGO
Has he said anything?

MAGGIE
To me? Father would die first. His wife would know better than I. You should ask her.

AMERIGO
As if I would.

MAGGIE
But don't you ask her everything? Haven't I seen you both arranging together?

AMERIGO
It's a shame. Fanny shouldn't have done this.

MAGGIE
Fanny wanted to destroy the evidence. But it's no longer possible to be blind and stupid, or for you to think me so.

AMERIGO
If-- If I thought that, then it would be I who was very stupid. Tell me what you want.

MAGGIE
I want a happiness without a hole in it. I want the bowl without a crack. And now I don't have a birthday present for Father.

AMERIGO
Let me find something. Maggie?

Scene 36. Fawns.

AMERIGO
My dearest heart, you are in the next room and I want to say this to you and I cannot. So I am writing to you, not like your husband, but like a lover, too full of love and fear to speak out. My life is only you, nothing but you. I have no words in English, and not even in Italian. So, hold my letter in your hands. Hold it and keep it, please. Hold and keep me.

Scene 37. Fawns.

MAGGIE
Hello. Could you pass me the towel, please? I'm afraid Daddy wouldn't let us bathe Olmo. He's been worrying all day about Olmo having some dog disease.

CHARLOTTE
Where is he?

MAGGIE
Olmo? He's in the Bow Room, being made a fuss of. Go and tell Amerigo that dogs sometimes don't feel like playing, not because they're sick, but just sleepy and lazy.

CHARLOTTE
All right.

MAGGIE
I'm going to get you. I'm going to get your feet and your paws and your tail.

Scene 38. Fawns - Bow Room.

CHARLOTTE
Ever since you came, you and I haven't had a moment alone together. Has she said anything to you?

AMERIGO
Has who said anything?

CHARLOTTE
Who? Your wife! Has she spoken to you?

AMERIGO
Well, naturally, a husband and wife do speak together. Has your husband said anything to you?

CHARLOTTE
My husband speaks only to your wife, you know that. But still there is something. Something. Amerigo, answer me. Has she said anything to you about us? What has she said?

AMERIGO
She has said nothing.

CHARLOTTE
Nothing at all?

AMERIGO
Nothing at all.

CHARLOTTE
She hasn't found out?

AMERIGO
Found out what?

CHARLOTTE
Has Fanny told her anything?

AMERIGO
Why? What should Fanny know to tell?

CHARLOTTE
I don't trust Fanny.

AMERIGO
You should. She's been a very good friend.

CHARLOTTE
A very good friend to the Ververs, to father and daughter, not to us.

AMERIGO
Us?

CHARLOTTE
You and I. That's all there is for me. You and I. As if-- As if you've never married and I've never married and there are only those weeks we had together in Rome when you loved me.

AMERIGO
Charlotte. Charlotte. That's all in the past. In the past.

CHARLOTTE
In the past, is it? Buried and forgotten? That's how it is. It's easy for you. You can just turn away and smoke your cigarette and play with your child or your dog!

AMERIGO
You yourself were always saying to me that we had to be careful, that no one must suspect.

CHARLOTTE
Does she?

AMERIGO
I told you: no. No!

CHARLOTTE
Are you telling me the truth?

AMERIGO
Don't you trust me? Hmm? Charlotte.

Scene 39. Fawns - The study.

ADAM
It came in the mail, offered privately.

CHARLOTTE
Isn't that the Raphael in the Royal Collection at Windsor?

ADAM 
Quite right. You've learned something.

CHARLOTTE
Living with you, I could hardly fail but to learn. How much longer are the Assinghams staying with us?

ADAM
I hope as usual they're here for a good, long visit. Fanny calls herself our regular boarder.

CHARLOTTE
But as you know, we have a great many visitors coming towards next week.

ADAM
Well, we have a great many rooms.

CHARLOTTE
Adam? I feel uneasy about Fanny.

ADAM
I don't understand.

CHARLOTTE
Fanny has changed towards me. And I feel as if she's trying to change Maggie, too. As if she were telling her things about me. Imaginary things, of course. Lies, for all I know. Forgive me, it maybe I who am imagining things.

ADAM
It may be.

CHARLOTTE
But I can't help it, because I feel she has been successful. Fanny has been successful in influencing Maggie and changing her toward me.

ADAM
Maggie would never change. She is steady and true.

CHARLOTTE
I know it better than anyone. Since childhood we've been each other's closest friends.

ADAM
She wouldn't know how to betray, deceive, or lie; except to protect those that she loves. And then I guess she can tell lies and pretend along with the best of us. If Maggie were to change toward a friend, it would not be for mere slander. It would be for something truly terrible, truly unforgivable. Hmm? The Raphael at Windsor is a miniature reduction. The original was sold after the execution of Charles I and went into the collection of Cardinal Mazarin.

CHARLOTTE
And now you're buying it.

ADAM
I'm thinking about it, but they want a great deal of money.

CHARLOTTE
Are you sure it's genuine?

ADAM
You know I never act until I'm sure.

Scene 40. Fawns - The card game.

FANNY
I had a sad letter from poor Isabel P-. She's still in Venice with that fearsome husband. What's his name? 

BOB
Feldman.

FANNY
I'd love to help her get away from him. But what can anyone do? I'm afraid she's made her bed.

ADAM
Don't be scared of Maggie giving away any secrets. She doesn't know one card from another. I tried to teach her for years, but I gave up in despair.

MAGGIE
I use to play whist with the aunt.

ADAM
Whist, Fanny?

FANNY
Whist. She told me she warned the uncle not to leave all that money to poor Isabel. This girl would only fall prey to some dreadful fortune hunter, and of course, that's exactly what happened. What no one foresaw what that the dreadful fortune hunter would turn out to be an American and not the usual impecunious Italian.

ADAM
It's your turn, Prince.

CHARLOTTE
I was looking for you.

MAGGIE
It's so close in-doors.

CHARLOTTE
Yes, even out here. There may be a storm.

MAGGIE
Yes, perhaps we should go in.

CHARLOTTE
Look at your father. One wouldn't ever want to disturb or distress him. I know you feel the same.

MAGGIE
You're right. I do feel it.

CHARLOTTE
Maggie, have you any complaint against me? Have I hurt you in any way? I've turned this way and that, trying to think what I could have possibly done against you. What wrong have I done you? Perhaps I've been mistaken.

MAGGIE
You have been mistaken.

CHARLOTTE
Oh. How you relieve me! You see, I had to speak out, it's in my nature.

MAGGIE
I accuse you of nothing.

CHARLOTTE
Oh, that's lucky.

MAGGIE
I have never thought of you as anything but beautiful, wonderful, and good.

CHARLOTTE
As I have thought of you, my love. Will you kiss me on it, then?

Scene 41. Fawns.

CHARLOTTE
She doesn't know a thing. You saw how she kissed me.

AMERIGO
Oh, yes, I saw. Oh, you're very foolish, Charlotte. You don't understand her. Good night.

CHARLOTTE
Good night.

ADAM
Good night.  

CHARLOTTE
Are you coming to bed?

ADAM
No. I need some fresh air. It's too close inside the house tonight. It's stifling.

Scene 42. Fawns - Amerigo & Maggie's bedroom.

AMERIGO
He might shriek as loud as he liked, she took no notice of him. Then she went to Gretel and shook her till she woke and cried, "Get up, little lazy bones, fetch some wat--"

MAGGIE
What's happening? Why are you here, darling?

AMERIGO
There was a tiger under his bed, so he had to come into ours.

MAGGIE
Oh.

AMERIGO
Fetch some water and cook something nice for your brother. He is in the stable and has to be fattened. When he is nice and fat, I'll eat him. This is a sad story.

MAGGIE
It's his favourite. When the children are lost in the dark forest and are eaten by a witch. He only likes stories when terrible things happen.

AMERIGO
It comes from living where there is no sunshine, no blue sky, not our kind of blue. It would be wonderful, wouldn't it, to take him to Italy?

MAGGIE
Father couldn't live without the Principino.

AMERIGO
Or without you? Or you without him? And I would never ask that. You know I would not.

MAGGIE
Not even if you wanted it terribly? If you wanted it more than anything?

AMERIGO
Not unless you wanted it more than anything.

MAGGIE
I should take him to bed.

AMERIGO
No.

MAGGIE
Oh, I've got you.

Scene 43. Fawns - the study.

ADAM
Go away, Maggie. You've been doing that since you were a little girl and you have yet to fool me. Come here. Loom here. These stairs are too narrow, are they not?

MAGGIE
They do seem somewhat narrow for the building.

ADAM
Yes, I want to widen them so people can sit and relax, converse, enjoy the sun. These are too narrow. All the stairs are too narrow.

MAGGIE
You should be in bed, my dear sir, not in here thinking about your museum.

ADAM 
I never stop thinking about it. I dream about it. It's my work, what I've staked myself on.

MAGGIE
You see, that's your greatness, your great motive- while all I have is my own selfishness.

ADAM
I believe that when Amerigo complains of you.

MAGGIE
But don't you see? It's he who is my selfishness, my selfish motive for everything I do. I love him so that I'd die for him. I love him so that it's horrible. So, you see, for him which is really myself, I've just simply given you up, sacrificed you. I might as well have just shipped you back to American City.

ADAM
See here, Maggie, if you go on like that, you'll make me wish I had shipped back to American City. In fact, you make me quite want to ship back myself. You make me quite feel as if American City could be the best place for us, for me and Charlotte. 

MAGGIE
So now you're offering up the two of you as victims to my selfishness.

ADAM
Oh, young lady, I'll let you know the day I feel myself to be your victim. And the meanwhile, I'll do whatever I think is best.

MAGGIE
Best for whom?

ADAM
For you.

MAGGIE
Of course. Always, always for me. And what about you?

ADAM
Oh. I can take care of myself and my wife. Don't you believe in me?

MAGGIE
More than in anyone. And that's the way, I think, you believe in me.

ADAM
Yeah. About the way. Yes.

MAGGIE
Well, then.

ADAM
Well, then.

Scene 44. Fawns.

CHARLOTTE
Amerigo, they don't own us. One can't be shipped off with all their goods where and when they please.

AMERIGO
No one is shipping you off, Charlotte. You're going away to take your rightful place. You were born for it. You can carry the torch of civilization, like the statue of Liberty. I mean it. Your husband is giving you a great future.

CHARLOTTE
There is no future for me except to be with you. Listen, I'm ready to leave this house tomorrow. Today, with nothing, the way I came, we can go anywhere.

AMERIGO
Don't you understand? I love my wife. I love Maggie more every day. It's different from anything before.

CHARLOTTE
You're lying to me. You've always lied to me.

AMERIGO
No. Not to you, but to her. And it will take me a lifetime to get the taste out of my mouth of those lies. The dishonour. Charlotte, the dishonour. Disonore.

CHARLOTTE
Liar!

Scene 45. Fawns.

CHARLOTTE
This charming cupid asleep on a dolphin, dates from about 1766, and it's by Joseph Nollekins. I think there is something very attractive about Nollekins' classical imitations, which we could compare to, say, a musician's variation on a baroque theme.

ADAM
I would also like to point out that the marble boy rests on a stand.

FANNY
American City. The very name must sound like doom to her. Like some Indian trading post on the Oregon Trail.

CHARLOTTE
And on the right, "Rebecca at the well." We think it's Giacomo Cavedoni.

FANNY
She sees it all before her. She can't speak or resist or move a little finger.

ADAM
The subject is peasants having a good meal, 1600s.

LORD CASTLEDEAN
And all this is leaving for America.

LADY CASTLEDEAN
You ought to ask some questions in Parliament. Make it a cause celebre. Don't these things belong in British museums?

LORD CASTLEDEAN
It used to be only thieves and murderers were transported overseas.

LADY CASTLEDEAN
Now it's the portraits of your ancestors.

CHARLOTTE
I think you will all agree with me when I say this life-sized portrait of King Henry VIII by Hans Holbein dominates all the other pictures in this room. Holbein presents the most striking depiction of royal authority in English art. But to me, it is also a chilling portrait of the masculine ago in all its brutal physical strength and hardness. The subject matches the cold hardness of Holbein's style here, which brings out so well the King's defiance of all who stood in his way, including his numerous women, who, one by one, went to their doom. Please.

Scene 46. Fawns - Amerigo & Maggie's room.

MAGGIE
Amerigo? Why don't you go out to her?

AMERIGO
No, you're right. Of course, I should do it. I owe it to her. She ought to understand you better. Charlotte hasn't begun to know you.

MAGGIE
Then I hope she never will. I hope that she'll never guess that it was I who asked Father to take her away. If you won't go to her, I shall.

AMERIGO
What will you say to her?

MAGGIE
It will depend on what she will say to me. Whatever she can find to save her pride. Anything to make her a little less unhappy. It's only one more lie.

AMERIGO
Let it be the last, my dear.

MAGGIE
Wait, wait.

Scene 47. Fawns - The garden.

MAGGIE
I thought you might find this interesting.

CHARLOTTE
Huh. I've read something by the same author. I found it rather contrived, but I'll try this.

MAGGIE
You might like some of the social scenes. They're well done.

CHARLOTTE
I'm tired- tired of this life we've been leading. I know that you like it, that it suits you, but it doesn't suit me. I told my husband, "Our real life isn't here." His and mine. That's why I decided to take him home.

MAGGIE
So it was your decision?

CHARLOTTE
Mine entirely. I told him, what's the use of our staying here in England? Our work is there, waiting for us in American City. You see, I'm very selfish. I place my husband first.

MAGGIE
Well, since that's where I place mine-

CHARLOTTE
I'm taking him away from you.

MAGGIE
You're taking my father away from me?

CHARLOTTE
You've always been jealous of our marriage. From the very beginning you've tried to come between us. But I mean to keep the man I married. I want to have him at last, a little to myself- far away where you can no longer work against us.

MAGGIE
If that's what I've done, then I appear to have failed.

CHARLOTTE
You have failed. I'm glad to hear you admit it.

Scene 48. Fawns - Charlotte's bedroom.

ADAM
There, there, there. The packers are coming back on Thursday, so I guess you and I have a heap of work ahead of us. Very agreeable work. With you there to help me, we'll soon have it all in its proper place, in its own museum, its own city. And when they see all of the treasure, all my plunder, unpacked and displayed, oh, they'll learn to like it, all right. When they see you, my dear, won't they just sit up and take notice? They've never seen the likes of you. You'll make their eyes snap right out of their head, as they say over there.

=The End=