卖花女:五幕传奇剧(txt+pdf+epub+mobi电子书下载)

作者:萧伯纳

出版社:上海译文出版社

格式: AZW3, DOCX, EPUB, MOBI, PDF, TXT

卖花女:五幕传奇剧

卖花女:五幕传奇剧试读:

前言

里说得很明白,概括起来就是一、有助于学习口语,二、学到雅俗不同的语言,三、体验名作家萧伯纳的作品。

我再浓缩一下:学习口语,分辨雅俗,亲近经典。

若还要简单,那就一个字吧——辨。

因何要辨?因为我在中国看到的是多数学习者没有“分别心”,说出的英语像念报告,从句套从句,写下的英文却很通俗,你都怀疑他中学没毕业。细究起来,其实他们对汉语也没有这方面的意识。可以说,虽然学习的是语言,而且花费的精力足令欧美教育界叹为观止,但对于语言本身的特点却茫然不知,只是一头扎在背单词、做考卷的泥潭里。

雕虫不易,雕龙尤难。辨别口语和书面语、文雅的表达和粗鄙的表达,乃至伟大的作品和平庸的作品,这些都需要下工夫才能习得。

上世纪末,《故宫博物院院刊》载有一篇《光绪帝朱批述评》,其中提到年幼的清德宗在广西巡抚奏折上朱批:“知道了。你们作督抚的,务尽心民事,感召天和……”在“你们作督抚的”六字边,注有小字“尔等身膺疆寄”,显然是他的大学士师傅们在教导他如何在文字中“辨”,方不失帝主之尊。可惜,存世十八万件光绪朝朱批有多少处是帝师修改,已不得而知。否则编写文言文教材,倒是有了绝佳素材。英文方面,幸而还有《卖花女》这样一部(以我寡见,也仅此一部)真材实料造就的教材,引领我们窥见语言在教科书的模版之外,于实际生活中还有更多纷呈异彩的“变态”。

其实,整个故事大概也就是为了打破“模版至高无上、涵盖一切”的错觉而写的吧。按我愚陋的理解,萧伯纳是想说,这种自我表达的“变态”才是语言的常态、社会的常态吧——究其本质,乃天赋予人之自由是也。前言“读什么?”,“怎样读?” 这是我们经常听到学习英语的同学提出的两个问题。学习英语,除阅读之外,当然还有听、说、写、译。这五者是相辅相成、不可偏废的,但阅读是基础。尤其在应用方面,我国极大多数从事涉外工作的人员最需要的还是阅读。阅读,对于自学者来说,更是学好外语的重要途径。

读什么? 现代英美人写的英语。作为精读材料,最好选择一些现代英美作家的作品。要新而不“怪”,就是说,语言既不陈旧,又没有很多奇怪的句子结构和俚语、方言之类;艺术表现手法新,又必须是现实主义的,既不是传统小说的平铺直叙,纯粹的讲故事,又不是“新”得出奇,变成了梦呓式的“天书”。总之,选择读物要着眼于最能起到帮助学习英美语言(进而研究英美文学)的实际效果……

怎样读? 读有精读和略读之分。两者也是相辅相成、不可偏废的,只是要求有所不同。略读从“量”来要求,广泛浏览,达到见多识广,可以容许“不求甚解”;精读则从“质”来要求,务必一词、一句都弄得清清楚楚:每个词的正确发音、它的词性、在文中的意义、色彩、搭配、用法,以及在句子中的作用;每个短语、每个从句在文中的作用和相互关系;每个句子的语法结构,有否倒装或者省略等,句型有无习惯上的特殊之处,以及句子的精确含义。这一切都弄清楚了,才能弄清每一章节的意思和各章节之间的联系。这才算是语言方面真正读懂了,才能理解全文讲的是什么,是怎样讲的,才谈得上文艺欣赏、文艺评论和翻译。

这本注解本是为精读而编写的,也可以说,是试图回答“怎样读”的问题的一个探索性的答案。

精读读懂以后,还希望能反复诵读,因为对于外语学习来说,懂和熟是两回事。懂而不熟,可以说并没有完成学习任务。“熟读唐诗三百首,不会吟诗也会吟。”熟读不但可以加深理解,提高阅读水平、鉴赏水平,而且直接有助于写和译,间接有助于听和说——达到全面学好英语的目的。

上面这段话是我们在合注的《再会,契普斯先生》一书“前言”中所说的。继《契普斯》之后,今又选择了萧伯纳的《卖花女》加以详注,都是试图用实例来解答“读什么?”和“怎样读?”的问题。《契普斯》是小说,《卖花女》是剧本。这回选用一个剧本的原因是希望它在大体上帮助读者学习英语之外,还有助于学习口语。借助阅读学口语,通常采用会话书。从会话书中固然可以学到许多现成的日常口头用语,但往往比较刻板,太“规范化”,而实际生活中说的要随便得多、灵活得多。戏剧家模拟人物在实际生活中的对话,像录音一样记录成文字,比一般会话书中的对话更接近实际、更活泼。从不同人物口中,我们可以学到雅俗不同的语言,这对于听懂不同阶层的人所说的英语,也有帮助。

但是,应该强调说明,我们选用这本剧本,决不光是为供学习口语之用的。我们选用这个剧本,首先是因为萧伯纳的语言精练明快,是英国文学史上继斯威夫特(Jonathan Swift)以来第一人,而且这个剧本无论从题材还是思想性、艺术性方面来说,作为学习英语的读物都是比较理想的。

关于萧伯纳 萧伯纳(George Bernard Shaw)是现代爱尔兰戏剧家,鲁迅称他为“世界的文豪”,于1856年出生在爱尔兰都柏林一个小公务员的家庭。中学毕业后,因家贫,没有能够上大学,在一家公司里当职员。二十岁时,迁居伦敦。当时英国社会主义运动高涨,他在参加社会活动的同时,开始文艺创作,先是写小说,所著《一个脱离社会的社会主义者》(An Unsocial Socialist),尖锐批判资本主义。九十年代,他受了易卜生的社会剧的影响,并鉴于英国戏剧界的萎靡不振,决心从事戏剧创作。到1950年萧伯纳以九十四岁的高龄逝世,半个多世纪里他写了五十一个剧本。他惯用似非而是的俏皮话,无情揭露、批判资本主义社会种种不合理现象。资本主义的政治、经济、宗教、文化无不是他抨击的对象,其影响之大,遍及全世界。然而,他本身毕竟是个改良主义者,所以始终不能指出彻底改造社会的道路。

萧伯纳曾在1933年访问我国,受到宋庆龄、鲁迅等进步人士的热情接待。鲁迅有专文记述,极言“萧的伟大”,说“我是喜欢萧的”,“他说的是真话”,“他说的是直话”(《南腔北调集》)。萧的好多作品很早就在我国有译本介绍。在1956年萧伯纳诞生一百周年时,人民文学出版社曾出版他的戏剧集,1963年又出版了《萧伯纳戏剧三种》。

萧伯纳的主要剧作有《鳏夫的房产》(Widowers' Houses, 1892)、《华伦夫人的职业》(Mrs Warren's Profession, 1893)、《武器与人》(Arms and the Man, 1894)、《魔鬼的门徒》(The Devil's Disciple, 1897)、《凯撒和克丽奥佩拉》(Caesar and Cleopatra, 1898)、《人与超人》(Man and Superman, 1903)、《巴巴拉少校》(Major Barbara, 1905)、《卖花女》(Pygmalion, 1912)、《伤心之家》(Heartbreak House, 1919)、《回到玛士撒拉》(Back to Methuselah, 1921;旧译《千岁人》)、《圣女贞德》(Saint Joan, 1923)、《苹果车》(The Apple Cart, 1928)等。

关于《卖花女》剧本原名Pygmalion Pygmalion原是希腊神话中的塞浦路斯国王,善于雕刻。他刻了一个象牙美女,名为Galatea,对她迷恋不置,祈求爱神赋予她生命,愿与她结为夫妻。爱神玉成了他的祈求,两人终成眷属。在本剧中,萧伯纳用Pygmalion比喻语言学家Higgins。Higgins用六个月的工夫训练一个满口伦敦土音的街头卖花姑娘,居然使她学会了上层社会的文雅口音、语言和风度。他带她出席大使馆的招待会,她那雍容大方的仪态使四座震惊,被疑为某国公主光临。故事的结局则与神话不同:Pygmalion娶Galatea为妻,而萧伯纳却在剧中以卖花女Eliza(即Liza)和Higgins教授之间的矛盾分歧收场,并在剧本后面加上了一条小品体裁的长尾巴(sequel,本书未收入),写Eliza最后离开Higgins,嫁了一个热爱她的穷小子Freddy。

萧伯纳别出心裁地拿语言学问题作为剧本的题材,讽刺上层社会所谓文雅的语言和风度,鲜明地显示劳动人民淳朴的本质远远高于上层社会的空虚外表。Eliza不能容忍上层社会熙来攘往的浮华无聊,不能容忍Higgins目空一切的高傲、任性,更不能容忍自己成了一个假人。Eliza最后离去,正表示她同上层社会的决裂。她宁愿嫁个穷小子,因为她深信,她和Freddy之间有真正的爱情,他们在一起可以有真正的生活。

萧伯纳在剧本序言中说,在Higgins身上有英国著名语言学家Henry Sweet(1845–1912)的影子。但这与剧情和剧本的中心思想没有多大关系。《卖花女》写于1912年,1914年首次上演,1916年出版,是萧伯纳最有趣的一个剧本。1938年修改,并添上了一些场景,拍摄电影,也很成功,曾在我国放映。王佐良先生在《萧伯纳戏剧三种》的“译文序”中称《卖花女》“情节有趣,发人深思。至今显得十分新鲜。”这是很恰当的评语。《剑桥英国文学史简编》(The Concise Cambridge History of English Literature)也承认《卖花女》是“可喜的喜剧”,但不喜欢它的结局,这正是资产阶级的偏见。1956年美国抒情歌曲作家Alan Jay Lerner把萧伯纳的这部剧本改编成音乐喜剧《窈窕淑女》(My Fair Lady),把原来的结尾改成Higgins和Eliza“大团圆”,并拍摄了电影,轰动一时。

关于注解 和前注《契普斯》“前言”中所说的一样,“我们是从语言角度进行注解的,力求详尽。如果你觉得有些讲解是多余的,那就说明这些你已经懂了,可以跳过去。相反,如果这样详尽讲解了,你阅读还有困难,那说明这本书也许暂时对你还太深了些,可以先读一些简易读物,作为一个阶梯。注解的详略要正好符合所有读者的要求是不可能的。我们希望读者能够看得出,我们是认认真真地做了这本书的注解工作的,煞费苦心,总想切实有助于我国的英语学习者,尤其是自学者。”

剧本因为都是对话,句子结构和所用词汇比其他体裁的文学作品简单。然而口语常有特殊的表现方法,本书的讲解在这方面特别注意,尽量指出各种惯用法和阐明有些句子比较含蓄的涵义。萧伯纳的语言是现代英国语言的典范,既如上述。剧中在模拟卖花女未受训练前的语言时,出现少数伦敦土语、土音(主要是在第一幕中),都一一注出其相应的规范英语和正规读音。另外,萧伯纳特意在拼法中把ain't、don't、haven't等中的撇号(’)删去,写成aint、dont、havnt等;同样,把that's、let's、you'd、you're、it'll写成thats、lets、youd、youre、itll等。但是I'll、she'd、we'll、it's等中的撇号不删,以免与Ill、shed、well、its等相混淆。I'm中的撇号也不删,因为删了之后似应读成[ɪm]而不是[aɪm]了。对此,我们在这里作一总的说明,注中不再分散地解释了。

本剧有杨宪益先生译的英汉对照本(中国对外翻译出版社公司出版,1982)。杨译极好。如把详注对照译文研习原著,可以更加加深对原文的理解,更充分地欣赏原文、欣赏译文,学习翻译。

最后,申明一下:为了帮助读者精确了解原文,学好英语,我们的注解旨在讲清原文词义,明析原文的语法结构。注文不同于译文。翻译追求“信、达、雅”,而我们的注文常难免读来佶屈聱牙。好在没有人会把注文当作汉语规范,不会通过注文来学习汉语。但我们还是恳请读者谅解我们的苦心。

我们这样详尽的注解是否有必要,以及注解不当和错误之处,诚望英语学者和读者们予以批评指教。葛传椝 俞亢咏一九八五年五月于汉光院第一幕剧情提要

夏夜大雨。剧院散场,众人在教堂廊下避雨,一面抢着叫车子。Freddy在纷乱中撞翻了卖花女Liza的花篮,Liza要他赔钱,又缠着一位中年绅士,要他买花,说的是满口土话。语言学家Higgins教授背着众人在笔记本上记录Liza的发音。周围的人还当他是警察局的密探,以为他把她当做坏女人,要找她的麻烦,纷纷不平,引起一番争吵。后来Higgins才说出他是以研究语音学为职业的。他对Liza说,经过三个月的语音训练,他能使她冒充公爵夫人,参加外国大使的招待会,还说能使她在上等人家找到个保姆或者店员的工作。Liza要他买花,他扔了一把钱币在她篮子里,这一把钱里不但有好些银币,还有一枚金币。

那位中年绅士Pickering上校是研究印度方言的。他是远道而来、专程寻访Higgins教授的。Higgins对他也慕名已久。如今他们不期而遇,喜出望外。Higgins把地址告诉了他,请他来家一叙。就是这一对独身的语言学家,闹出了一场好戏。

撞翻花篮的Freddy是个破落户子弟。他在这一幕里只匆匆过场,后面可成了一个意想不到的角色。ACT I12

London at 11.15 p.m. Torrents of heavy summer rain. Cab 3whistles blowing frantically in all directions. Pedestrians running for 456shelter into the market and under the portico of St. Paul's Church 78(not Wren's cathedral but Inigo Jones's church in Covent Garden 910vegetable market), among them a lady and her daughter in evening 11dress. All are peering out gloomily at the rain, except one man with 12his back turned to the rest, who seems wholly preoccupied with a notebook in which he is writing busily.13

The church clock strikes the first quarter.

THE DAUGHTER [in the space between the central pillars, close 1415to the one on her left] I'm getting chilled to the bone. What can 1617Freddy be doing all this time? He's been gone twenty minutes.18

THE MOTHER [on her daughters' right] Not so long. But he 19ought to have got us a cab by this.

A BYSTANDER [on the lady's right] He wont get no cab not until 2021half-past eleven, missus, when they come back after drop-ping 22their theatre fares.

THE MOTHER But we must have a cab. We cant stand here until 23half-past eleven. It's too bad.2425

THE BYSTANDER Well, it aint my fault, missus.

THE DAUGHTER If Freddy had a bit of gumption, he would have 26got one at the theatre door.27

THE MOTHER What could he have done, poor boy?

THE DAUGHTER Other people got cabs. Why couldnt he?28

Freddy rushes in out of the rain from the Southampton Street 29side, and comes between them closing a dripping umbrella. He is a young man of twenty, in evening dress, very wet around the ankles.

THE DAUGHTER Well, havnt you got a cab?30

FREDDY Theres not one to be had for love or money.31

THE MOTHER Oh, Freddy, there must be one. You cant have 32tried.33

THE DAUGHTER It's too tiresome. Do you expect us to go and 34get one ourselves?3536

FREDDY I tell you theyre all engaged. The rain was so 37sudden: nobody was prepared; and everybody had to take a cab. Ive been to Charing Cross one way and nearly to Ludgate Circus the 38other; and they were all engaged.39

THE MOTHER Did you try Trafalgar Square?

FREDDY There wasnt one at Trafalgar Square.

THE DAUGHTER Did you try?40

FREDDY I tried as far as Charing Cross Station. Did you expect 41me to walk to Hammersmith?

THE DAUGHTER You havnt tried at all.42

THE MOTHER You really are very helpless, Freddy. Go again; and dont come back until you have found a cab.434445

FREDDY I shall simply get soaked for nothing.4647

THE DAUGHTER And what about us? Are we to stay here all 4849night in this draught, with next to nothing on? You selfish pig –

FREDDY Oh, very well: I'll go, I'll go. [He opens his umbrella and 5051dashes off Strandwards, but comes into collision with a flower girl who is hurrying in for shelter, knocking her basket out of her hands. A 52blinding flash of lightning, followed instantly by a rattling peal of 53thunder, orchestrates the incident.]54

THE FLOWER GIRL Nah then, Freddy: look wh' y' gowin, deah.

FREDDY Sorry. [He rushes off.]

THE FLOWER GIRL [picking up her scattered flowers and 5556replacing them in the basket] Theres menners f' yer! Tə-oo 57banches o voylets trod into the mad. [She sits down on the plinth of the column, sorting her flowers, on the lady's right. She is not at all a 58romantic figure. She is perhaps eighteen, perhaps twenty, hardly 5960older. She wears a little sailor hat of black straw that has long been 6162exposed to the dust and soot of London and has seldom if ever 63been brushed. Her hair needs washing rather badly: its mousy color 6465can hardly be natural. She wears a shoddy black coat that reaches 6667nearly to her knees and is shaped to her waist. She has a brown 68skirt with a coarse apron. Her boots are much the worse for wear. 6970She is no doubt as clean as she can afford to be; but compared to 7172the ladies she is very dirty. Her features are no worse than theirs; 73but their condition leaves something to be desired; and she needs 74the services of a dentist.]

THE MOTHER How do you know that my son's name is Freddy, 75pray?76

THE FLOWER GIRL Ow, eez yə-ooa san, is e? Wal, fewd dan y' dəooty bawmz a mather should, eed now bettern to spawl a pore 7778gel's flahrzn than ran awy athaht pyin. Will ye-oo py me f'them? [Here, with apologies, this desperate attempt to represent her dialect without a phonetic alphabet must be abandoned as unintelligible 79outside London.]8081

THE DAUGHTER Do nothing of the sort, mother. The idea!8283

THE MOTHER Please allow me, Clara. Have you any 84pennies?85

THE DAUGHTER No. Ive nothing smaller than sixpence.86

THE FLOWER GIRL [hopefully] I can give you change for a 87tanner, kind lady.88

THE MOTHER [to Clara] Give it to me. [Clara parts reluctantly.] Now[to the girl] this is for your flowers.89

THE FLOWER GIRL Thank you kindly, lady.

THE DAUGHTER Make her give you the change. These things are only a penny a bunch.90

THE MOTHER Do hold your tongue, Clara. [to the girl] You can keep the change.

THE FLOWER GIRL Oh, thank you, lady.

THE MOTHER Now tell me how you know that young gentleman's name.

THE FLOWER GIRL I didnt.91

THE MOTHER I heard you call him by it. Dont try to deceive me.92

THE FLOWER GIRL [protesting] Who's trying to deceive you? I 939495called him Freddy or Charlie same as you might yourself if you 9697was talking to a stranger and wished to be pleasant.

THE DAUGHTER Sixpence thrown away! Really, mamma, you 98might have spared Freddy that. [She retreats in disgust behind the pillar.]

An elderly gentleman of the amiable military type rushes into the 99shelter, and closes a dripping umbrella. He is in the same plight as Freddy, very wet about the ankles. He is in evening dress, with a light 100101overcoat. He takes the place left vacant by the daughter.

THE GENTLEMAN Phew!

THE MOTHER [to the gentleman] Oh, sir, is there any sign of its 102stopping?103104

THE GENTLEMAN I'm afraid not. It started worse than ever about two minutes ago. [He goes to the plinth beside the flower girl; puts up his foot on it; and stoops to turn down his trouser ends.]

THE MOTHER Oh dear! [She retires sadly and joins her daughter.]105

THE FLOWER GIRL [taking advantage of the military 106gentleman's proximity to establish friendly relations with him] If it's 107108worse, it's a sign it's nearly over. So cheer up, Captain; and buy 109a flower off a poor girl.110

THE GENTLEMAN I'm sorry. I havnt any change.111

THE FLOWER GIRL I can give you change, Captain.112113

THE GENTLEMAN For a sovereign? Ive nothing less.114

THE FLOWER GIRL Garn! Oh do buy a flower off me, Captain. 115116I can change half-a-crown. Take this for tuppence.117

THE GENTLEMAN Now dont be troublesome: theres a good 118119120girl. [trying his pockets] I really havnt any change – Stop: 121heres three hapence, if thats any use to you. [He retreats to the other pillar.]

THE FLOWER GIRL [disappointed, but thinking three halfpence 122better than nothing] Thank you, sir.123

THE BYSTANDER [to the girl] You be careful: give him a 124125flower for it. Theres a block here behind taking down every 126blessed word youre saying. [All turn to the man who is taking notes.]

THE FLOWER GIRL [springing up terrified] I aint done nothing 127wrong by speaking to the gentleman. Ive a right to sell flowers if I 128129keep off the kerb. [hysterically] I'm a respectable girl: so help 130me, I never spoke to him except to ask him to buy a flower off me. 131[General hubbub, mostly sympathetic to the flower girl, but 132133deprecating her excessive sensibility. Cries of Dont start 134hollerin. Who's hurting you? Nobody's going to touch you. Whats 135136137138the good of fussing? Steady on. Easy, easy, etc., come 139from the elderly staid spectators, who pat her comfortingly. Less 140patient ones bid her shut her head, or ask her roughly what is 141142wrong with her. A remoter group, not knowing what the matter is, 143144crowd in and increase the noise with question and answer: 145Whats the row? What-she do? Where is he? A tec taking her 146147148149down. What! him? Yes: him over there: Took money off the gentleman, etc.]150

THE FLOWER GIRL [breaking through them to the gentleman, 151crying wildly] Oh, sir, dont let him charge me. You dunno what it 152153means to me. Theyll take away my character and drive me on 154the streets for speaking to gentlemen. They –

THE NOTE TAKER [coming forward on her right, the rest 155crowding after him] There! There! There! There! Who's hurting you, 156you silly girl? What do you take me for?

THE BYSTANDER It's aw rawt: e's a genleman: look at his bə-157oots. [explaining to the note taker] She thought you was a copper's 158nark, sir.

THE NOTE TAKER [with quick interest] Whats a copper's nark?159160

THE BYSTANDER [inapt at definition] It's a – well, it's a 161162copper's nark, as you might say. What else would you call it? A 163sort of informer.164

THE FLOWER GIRL [still hysterical] I take my Bible oath I 165never said a word –

THE NOTE TAKER [overbearing but good-humored] Oh, shut up, shut up. Do I like a policeman?166

THE FLOWER GIRL [far from reassured] Then what did you take down my words for? How do I know whether you took me down 167168169right? You just shew me what youve wrote about me. [The note taker opens his book and holds it steadily under her nose, though 170the pressure of the mob trying to read it over his shoulders would 171172upset a weaker man.] Whats that? That aint proper writing. I cant read that.173

THE NOTE TAKER I can. [reads, reproducing her 174pronunciation exactly] 'Cheer ap, Keptin; n'baw ya flahr orf a pore 175gel.'

THE FLOWER GIRL [much distressed] It's because I called him 176177Captain. I meant no harm. [to the gentleman] Oh, sir, dont let 178him lay a charge agen me for a word like that. You –179

THE GENTLEMAN Charge! I make no charge. [to the note taker] Really, sir, if you are a detective, you need not begin protecting 180me against molestation by young women until I ask you. Anybody could see that the girl meant no harm.181

THE BYSTANDERS GENERALLY [demonstrating against 182183police espionage] Course they could. What business is it of 184185yours? You mind your own affairs. He wants promotion, he 186187188does. Taking down people's words! Girl never said a word to 189190him. What harm if she did? Nice thing a girl cant shelter from the 191rain without being insulted, etc., etc., etc. [She is conducted by the more sym-pathetic demonstrators back to her plinth, where she 192resumes her seat and struggles with her emotion.]193

THE BYSTANDER He aint a tec. He's a blooming busybody: thats what he is. I tell you, look at his bə-oots.194

THE NOTE TAKER [turning on him genially] And how are all 195196your people down at Selsey?

THE BYSTANDER [suspiciously] Who told you my people come 197from Selsey?198199

THE NOTE TAKER Never you mind. They did. [to the girl] 200How do you come to be up so far east? You were born in Lisson 201Grove.

THE FLOWER GIRL [appalled] Oh, what harm is there in my 202leaving Lisson Grove? It wasnt fit for a pig to live in; and I had to 203204205pay four-and-six a week. [in tears] Oh, boo-hoo-oo –206

THE NOTE TAKER Live where you like: but stop that noise.207

THE GENTLEMAN [to the girl] Come, come! He cant touch 208you: you have a right to live where you please.

A SARCASTIC BYSTANDER [thrusting himself between the note 209taker and the gentleman] Park Lane, for instance. Id like to go into 210211the Housing Question with you, I would.212

THE FLOWER GIRL [subsiding into a brooding melancholy 213over her basket, and talking very low-spiritedly to herself] I'm a good girl, I am.214

THE SARCASTIC BYSTANDER [not attending to her] Do you 215know where I come from?216

THE NOTE TAKER [promptly] Hoxton.217218

Titterings. Popular interest in the note taker's performance in-creases.219

THE SARCASTIC ONE [amazed] Well, who said I didnt? Bly 220me! you know everything, you do.221

THE FLOWER GIRL [still nursing her sense of injury] Aint no 222call to meddle with me, he aint.

THE BYSTANDER [to her] Of course he aint. Dont you stand it 223224from him. [to the note taker] See here: what call have you to 225226227know about people what never offered to meddle with you?

THE FLOWER GIRL Let him say what he likes. I dont want to 228have no truck with him.229

THE BYSTANDER You take us for dirt under your feet, dont 230you? Catch you taking liberties with a gentleman!

THE SARCASTIC BYSTANDER Yes: tell him where he come 231232from if you want to go fortune-telling.

THE NOTE TAKER Cheltenham, Harrow, Cambridge, and 233India.

THE GENTLEMAN Quite right.234

Great laughter. Reaction in the note taker's favor. 235236237Exclamations of He knows all about it. Told him proper. Hear 238239him tell the toff where he come from? etc.240

THE GENTLEMAN May I ask, sir, do you do this for your 241242living at a music hall?243

THE NOTE TAKER Ive thought of that. Perhaps I shall some 244day.

The rain has stopped; and the persons on the outside of the 245crowd begin to drop off.

THE FLOWER GIRL [resenting the reaction] He's no gentleman, 246he aint, to interfere with a poor girl.247

THE DAUGHTER [out of patience, pushing her way rudely to 248249the front and displacing the gentleman, who politely retires to the 250other side of the pillar] What on earth is Freddy doing? I shall get 251252pneumownia if I stay in this draught any longer.

THE NOTE TAKER [to himself, hastily making a note of her 253254pronunciation of 'monia'] Earlscourt.

THE DAUGHTER [violently] Will you please keep your impertinent 255remarks to yourself.256257

THE NOTE TAKER Did I say that out loud? I didnt mean to. 258259I beg your pardon. Your mother's Epsom, unmistakeably.

THE MOTHER [advancing between the daughter and the note 260261262taker] How very curious! I was brought up in Largelady Park, near Epsom.263

THE NOTE TAKER [uproariously amused] Ha! Ha! What a 264265devil of a name! Excuse me. [to the daughter] You want a cab, do you?266

THE DAUGHTER Dont dare speak to me.267

THE MOTHER Oh please, please, Clara. [Her daughter 268repudiates her with an angry shrug and retires haughtily.] We 269should be so grateful to you, sir, if you found us a cab. [The note 270271taker produces a whistle.] Oh, thank you. [She joins her daughter.]272

The note taker blows a piercing blast.273

THE SARCASTIC BYSTANDER There! I knowed he was a 274plain-clothes copper.275

THE BYSTANDER That aint a police whistle: thats a sporting 276whistle.277

THE FLOWER GIRL [still preoccupied with her wounded 278feelings] He's no right to take away my character. My character is 279the same to me as any lady's.280

THE NOTE TAKER I dont know whether youve noticed it; but the rain stopped about two minutes ago.281

THE BYSTANDER So it has. Why didnt you say so before? 282And us losing our time listening to your silliness! [He walks off towards the Strand.]

THE SARCASTIC BYSTANDER I can tell where you come from. 283Youcome from Anwell. Go back there.284

THE NOTE TAKER [helpfully] Hanwell.

THE SARCASTIC BYSTANDER [affecting great distinction of 285286287288289speech] Thenk you, teacher. Haw haw! So long. [He 290291touches his hat with mock respect and strolls off.]

THE FLOWER GIRL Frightening people like that! How would he 292like it himself?

THE MOTHER It's quite fine now, Clara. We can walk to a motor bus. Come. [She gathers her skirts above her ankles and hurries off towards the Strand.]293

THE DAUGHTER But the cab – [Her mother is out of hearing.] Oh, how tiresome! [She follows angrily.]

All the rest have gone except the note taker, the gentleman, and the flower girl, who sits arranging her basket, and still pitying herself in

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