Book: The Apple Cart – George Bernard Shaw
Here’s a little more from the “Political Extravaganza” that is ‘The Apple Cart’! If only we could sit in on current meetings such as this..
I wrote this post a few days ago, and apparently it just saved as a draft! Took me a long time to notice, I’m not very on the ball…
“BALBUS: Safe! Look at my constituency: Northeast-by-north Birmingham, with its four square miles of confectionary works! Do you know that in the Christmas cracker trade Birmingham is the workshop of the world?
CRASSUS: Take Gateshead and Middlesbrough alone! Do you know that there has not been a day’s unemployment there for five years past, and that their daily output of chocolate creams totals up to twenty thousand tons?
MAGNUS: It is certainly a consoling thought that if we were peacefully blockaded by the League of Nations we could live for at least three weeks on our chocolate creams.”
“MAGNUS: But what interest has a king in flattering a subject?
AMANDA: Suppose she’s a good looking woman, sir!
NICOBAR: Suppose he has a lot of money, and the king’s hard up!
PROTEUS: Suppose he is a Prime Minister and you can do nothing except by his advice.
MAGNUS: [Smiling with his utmost charm] Ah, there you have hit the nail on the head. Well, I suppose I must surrender. I am beaten. You are all too clever for me.
BOANERGES: Well, nothing can be fairer than that.
PLINY: [Rubbing his hands] You are a gentleman, sir. We shan’t rub it in, you know.
BALBUS: Ever the best of friends. I am the last to kick a man when he’s down.
CRASSUS: I may be a jobber; but nobody shall say that I am an ungenerous opponent.
BOANERGES: [Suddenly overwhelmed with emotion, rises and begins singing in stentorian tones]
Should auld acquaintance by forgot,
And never brought to mind —
Amanda bursts into uncontrollable laughter. The King looks reproachfully at her, struggling hard to keep his countenance. The others are beginning to join in the chorus when Proteus rises in a fury.
PROTEUS: Are you all drunk?”
“PROTEUS: The working of the Press from the palace back stairs must cease.
MAGNUS: You know that I have no control of the Press. The Press is in the hands of men much richer than I, who would not insert a single paragraph against their own interests even if it were signed by my own hand and sent to them with a royal command.”
“ORINTHIA: Oh you are blind. You are worse than blind: you have low tastes. Heaven is offering you a rose; and you cling to a cabbage.”
“MAGNUS: But my wife? The Queen? What is to become of my poor dear Jemima?
ORINTHIA: Oh, drown her: shoot her: tell your chauffeur to driver her into the Serpentine and leave her there. The woman makes you ridiculous.
MAGNUS: I don’t think I should think like that. And the public would think it illnatured.”
“MAGNUS: Yes; but this king business, as the Americans call it, has got itself so mixed up with democracy that half of the country expects me to wipe my perfectly polished boots on the Cabinet, and the other half expects me to let the Cabinet wipe its muddy boots on me. The Crisis at five o’clock is to decide which of us is to be the doormat. “
Taken from ‘The Apple Cart’ by George Bernard Shaw.
Available from Amazon UK : http://www.amazon.co.uk/Plays-Political-Geneva-Bernard-Library/dp/0140450300/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1250853022&sr=1-4