Cecily I suppose so. But it seems very unfair. And was your novel ever published?
Miss Prism Alas! no. The manuscript unfortunately was abandoned.° (Cecily starts) I used the word in the sense of lost or mislaid. To your work, child, these speculations are profitless.
Cecily (smiling) But I see dear Dr Chasuble coming up through the garden.
Miss Prism (rising and advancing) Dr Chasuble! This is indeed a pleasure.
Enter Canon Chasuble
Chasuble And how are we this morning?° Miss Prism, you are, I trust, well?
Cecily Miss Prism has just been complaining of a slight headache. I think it would do her so much good to have a short stroll with you in the Park, Dr Chasuble.
Miss Prism Cecily, I have not mentioned anything about a headache.°
Cecily No, dear Miss Prism, I know that, but I felt instinctively that you had a headache. Indeed I was thinking about that, and not about my German lesson, when the Rector came in.
Chasuble I hope, Cecily, you are not inattentive.
Cecily Oh, I am afraid I am.
Chasuble That is strange. Were I fortunate enough to be Miss Prisms pupil, I would hang upon her lips. [Miss Prism glares] I spoke metaphorically.My metaphor was drawn from bees. Ahem! Mr Worthing, I suppose, has not returned from town yet?
Miss Prism We do not expect him till Monday afternoon.
Chasuble Ah yes, he usually likes to spend his Sunday in London. He is not one of those whose sole aim is enjoyment, as, by all accounts, that unfortunate young man his brother seems to be. But I must not disturb Egeria° and her pupil any longer.
Miss Prism Egeria? My name is Laetitia, Doctor.
Chasuble (bowing) A classical allusion merely, drawn from the Pagan authors. I shall see you both no doubt at Evensong?
Miss Prism I think, dear Doctor, I will have a stroll with you. I find I have a headache after all, and a walk might do it good.
Chasuble With pleasure, Miss Prism, with pleasure. We might go as far as the schools and back.
Miss Prism That would be delightful. Cecily, you will read your Political Economy in my absence. The chapter on the Fall of the Rupee° you may omit. It is somewhat too sensational. Even these metallic problems have their melodramatic side.
Goes down the garden with Dr Chasuble
Cecily (picks up books and throws them back on table) Horrid Political Economy! Horrid Geography! Horrid, horrid German!
Enter Merriman with a card on a salver