Strange Free World – Act 1; Scene 1.

by richardhutton

 

 

(Act 1; Scene 1 )

(During the intermission of a play – Sutherland and R. are sitting in the front-row seats of a small, half-empty theatre – the lights are on but not so bright; the background is fairly noisy).

(Sutherland) That’s not true!

(R.) It is true.

(Sutherland) Well, maybe you’re right – but I disagree.

(R.) How can you disagree? If you think I’m right?

(Sutherland) It just doesn’t add up.

(R.) Well it does if you tally properly.

(Sutherland) Why? Why would anybody need a left-handed cheque-book? Why?

(R.) Well, I don’t know; but that’s what they gave me.

(Sutherland) Did you send it back?

(R.) Of course not.

(Sutherland) You should’ve complained.

(R.) Why? It wasn’t exactly a problem.

(Sutherland) That’s where I disagree with you.

(R.) No it wasn’t – you said they didn’t exist. That’s quite a leap.

(Lights go off)

(Sutherland) Well, we’ll just have to agree to differ.

(Actors enter stage from left and right; play begins.

Setting: two dining quarters in a small inn, separated by a heavy grey curtain which is drawn between the two rooms. There is a short corridor to the left of the Masters’ quarter; from which the doorway of the quarter can be seen.

The masters’ quarter is very fine, lit by a large fire and a three-branched silver candelabrum on the table: yet despite these the room is still gloomy, and the areas not close to the fire are in heavy shadow[1]. The masters’ room is quiet. The sound of the fire crackling and chairs when they scrape on the stone floor are clearly audible. Heavy over-coats are noisy; placing cutlery down likewise. There is a coat-stand towards the back, with an expensively tailored coat hanging on it.

The servants’ area is very pauce, slightly smaller than the masters’ room, unheated and it has only a candle for light– but it’s bright enough to see the faces of the people in the room by. When speaking, people’s voices sound full and hearty. It’s a working room, with cupboards on the wall and tankards, pots and pans hanging up. There is a door in the right hand side wall. The inn’s servant is sitting at the table eating quietly. The table is a large wooden one with the candle in its middle, but otherwise bare except for the servant’s plate and cup. It has two benches for seats, and the servant is facing the audience.

The Innkeeper and his wife are in the masters’ dining room. The Innkeeper’s wife is seated on a wooden chair in the left-hand corner nearest the stage – her back to the audience – embroidering; Lord Featherstone-Hough of Wensleydale and his wife are seated at the highly polished wooden table in the middle of the masters’ dining quarter eating – silence between them. The Innkeeper is hovering about them noticeably. Both the Lord and the Innkeeper wear periwigs. Featherstone-Hough’s is voluminous and white; the Innkeeper’s is less ample and dark grey.

It is late at night. The Featherstone-Houghs are eating at the inn while on the journey to their home estate. They have been at the inn for approximately half-an-hour. Their coach has not off-loaded, and is ready and waiting for them to finish).

(Innkeeper) Lord Featherstone-Hough…

(Featherstone-Hough) (Glowers) Fan-shaw. Fan-shaw.

(Innkeeper) I see, I see. I do apologise, Lord Fanshaw.

(Fanshaw) Yes; well.

(Innkeeper) Indeed I do, sir. My wife must have written your name down quite incorrectly. Will it be the full three-courses tonight, sir?

(Fanshaw nods)

(Innkeeper) And coffee, and dessert? We have the most splendid…

(Fanshaw) Yes, yes. I expect you’ll put it on my tab.

(Innkeeper) Yes, of course, but…

(Fanshaw) Good man. You can add a tip to it.

(Innkeeper) Well, thank you, my lord.

(Fanshaw) A respectable one.

(Innkeeper) A…pound?

(Fanshaw) Two percent of the overall bill is tolerable.

(Innkeeper – under breath) A pound it is then.

(Fanshaw) What?

(Innkeeper) Nothing. Nothing – I will take no tip. An honest ‘keeper’s wage is enough of a reward for me. A privilege, even. A godsend.

(Fanshaw) It is at your discretion.

(Innkeeper) Well…

(Fanshaw) Well what?

(Innkeeper) Truly sir, I am a poor fellow that would make ends meet.

(Wife) And a tidy profit.

(Innkeeper) Be quiet.

(Fanshaw) (Chewing, swallows) A scold was once made to wear a bridle.

(Innkeeper) I assure you, my lord, my wife has never once attempted to fasten one on me. She has certainly never succeeded. She knows her place. We keep one purely for the mice. It makes an excellent mousetrap.

(Fanshaw) Mice?

(Innkeeper) We have no mice here, my lord. An ornament, an antique, a family heirloom.

(Sutherland leans towards R. with a very sapient look) So, the innkeeper, right –

(R.) He owns the inn.

(Sutherland) I know that. Honestly. I was just thinking, his wife’s having an affair, right?

(R.) No, that’s the problem.

(Sutherland – loud enough for actors to hear) Ah, I see.

(R) What?   

(Sutherland) It’s all clear now. That’s the key, isn’t it?

(R.) Sex?

(Sutherland) What?

(R.) Their unhappy marriage?

(Sutherland) (Pause; leans back in chair) I hadn’t thought about that. (Pause) You know, it’s just like…

(R.) Look, if you’re going to bring up that stupid theory again…

(Sutherland) No, no, no, no, no. Well, yes. Wait, what did she just say?

(R.) Who?

(Sutherland) The innkeeper’s wife.

(R.) How should I know? I was listening to you.

(Sutherland) Was it something important? Only, I have to write a paper on this.

(Fanshaw) It’s just a simple question of respect. (Sutherland sinks into his chair – but = part of the play’s dialogue).

(Innkeeper) My Lord Fanshaw, I do apologise.

(Fanshaw) Yes; well.

(Innkeeper) Indeed I do, sir. I do indeed, sir. You must forgive my wife. She’s not used to such distinguished, gracious company. She doesn’t know how to behave herself accordingly.

(R.) They don’t love each other anymore, but they’re husband and wife.

(Sutherland) So?

(R.) I told you earlier – they can’t (legally) divorce.

(Sutherland) Oh, yeah.

(R.) Her looks are going, she has no children, she has nowhere to go, she can’t work, and they live between two cities in the middle of nowhere.

(Sutherland) Uh-huh, uh-huh. Sure.

(R.) Have you listened to any of it?

(Sutherland) Some. But…

(R.) So, what happens when there are no customers at the inn? When no-one else is around?

(Sutherland) (Thinks). I see. Wait…

(R.) He has the inn, for better or worse…

(Sutherland) No, no, no. Are you going to finish your ice cream?

(R.) It’s not mine. Neither was the one you took when I went to the bathroom, incidentally.

(Sutherland – sinks into chair again).

(Innkeeper’s wife: puts embroidery down, gets up and motions her husband into the corridor).

(Wife) He still hasn’t paid the bill his party racked up last year.

(Innkeeper) I know that!

(Wife) Well, are you going to ask him about it?

(Innkeeper) Of course, of course. But there are means and ways – means and ways. See, we need to attract a better class of visitor. You need money in order to make money…

(Wife) Well, that’s my point.

(Innkeeper) …horse dealers and bank clerks are all well and good, but it’s the nobility who really pay by the pound – and you need connections – a reputation and a standing – not riff-raff and refuse…

(Wife) Paying customers.

(Innkeeper) … muddying up the place embarrassing them to high heavens. It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement. It’s quite simple really. This will be the finest inn on the finest road in the finest country in the world. The service will be magnificent: the porcelain exquisite; the tea-pots of silver, the canteens likewise; bread-baskets gilt with lace; beer-tankards and flagons of pewter; a tea-urn of gold. People will be able to purchase an experience of gentility. Who knows? With enough of a turnover I could buy a title; one may even be forthcoming. The gentry will surely wish to be guests in an established house – the acquaintances of an equal, perhaps even…well, at any rate, not visitors to a mere tradesman’s lowly hub. It will mean having to turn some custom away, of course, but there we go[2].

(The Inn’s bell rings noisily: the Innkeeper gives his wife a signal with a nod of the head, who then goes to answer the door – off stage – while the Innkeeper returns to the masters’ dining room. A few moments pass while the Innkeeper waits on Fanshaw, rubbing has hands, partly with cold from standing in the corridor. His wife calls his name indistinguishably: the Innkeeper leans his head out of the dining room door into the corridor).

(Innkeeper) What? No, no, no. No, there’s no room. No – I’m sorry, but we can’t house everybody. No. No. No. How much? Well, there’s the shed for the firewood. Fine. There’s space in the stable. Look, it’s the best that I can do. There’s a bucket. There’s a trough. There’s a floor. Fine. I’ll fetch a blanket – just let me finish up here first. And I want a deposit on it – up front. (To Fanshaw – shaking head) A gypsy stable hand and his wife. (Tuts) I do apologise for the interruption, my goodly lord. Is there anything you require, your graciousness?

(Fanshaw) (Talking with mouth full, without looking at the Innkeeper, mumbles vaguely).

(Innkeeper) Brandy? Brandy – the very best (runs and fetches it from a cupboard). Fully French. Well, part Swiss. Or Belgian.

(Fanshaw – shakes head)

(Innkeeper) No? What then, your superbness? Whisky? Rum? Surely not beer? Perhaps ale?

(Fanshaw – nonchalantly indicates the Innkeeper’s breast-pocket)

(Innkeeper) My handkerchief?  (Hands it over to Fanshaw, who empties his mouth into it, then hands it back without a word). Thank you. (His wife re-enters the room – the Innkeeper hands it to her, who puts it resignedly into a bin before taking her seat and stitching again).

(Wife) They’re just putting their things in the stable. They’ll be through in a minute.

(A guest staying at the inn passes through the room – his overcoat wet and sounding heavy – en route to the servants’ quarter. The man cheerily addresses Fanshaw and his wife: ‘How do you do, fella; misses?’).

(Fanshaw – puts down his cutlery in disgust) Impudence.

(The guest leaves the curtain open and sits down noisily: his voice carries from room to room).

(Guest) It’s bloody freezing out! It’s bloody freezing in! What’s the eats? Bread? Ale? Ooh, not bad that (laughs).

(The Innkeeper closes the curtain and grimaces).

(Innkeeper) The common herd (tuts) – no manners my good lord. Little respect for us – for you – for etiquette.

(Fanshaw) A failure to defer to masters always has fatal consequences.

(Innkeeper – to his wife) I told you to send the meagre guests to the tradesman’s entrance. Go and make sure the newcomers go that way.

(His wife puts her embroidery down, gets up and goes through the servants’ quarter off stage).

(Innkeeper) How so, my good lord?

(Fanshaw – speaking with mouth half-full) Free and easy intercourse propagates the most dangerous and immoral opinions. The designs the lower orders have…sedition inevitably follows. I see it in your wife.

(Innkeeper) My wife? Yes, well, she persists, but she’s …

(Fanshaw) The wife…(still chewing).

(Innkeeper) Yes, my decency; yes your gracious lord. I cannot apologise enough.

(Fanshaw – indicates his own wife with his knife) A marriage of forty-five years, and evermore.

(Innkeeper) An example – a sterling example. Even for a lowly, trustworthy, commendable tradesman, whose own spouse is quite the pity.

(Fanshaw) Pithy; quite.

(Innkeeper) Oh, don’t get me started. You know (Fanshaw empties mouth into a napkin)…oh.

(The Innkeeper’s wife re-enters the servants’ quarter through the door on the right-hand side with a young couple – both dressed poorly; the woman is mid-term. The servant is talking quietly to the guest who has his back to the audience. The young couple take a seat near them, the young man sits next to the guest, the woman – evidently very tired and discomforted ­– is helped to sit down next to the servant by the Innkeeper’s wife, who then fetches them food and drink before returning to her own chair in the Masters’ room).

(Innkeeper – to wife) No, no – go back around – the curtain must remain closed.

(Innkeeper’s wife ignores him and retakes seat).

(Fanshaw) It reminds me of France.

(Innkeeper) France? Oh no, no – none of that goes on here. I keep a clean, respectable, upright…

(Fanshaw) The indecorousness of the French woman is a sign of the times. Uncouth and loutish. Fit for no gentleman on earth. The restaurants are no different.

(Innkeeper) The license? The tawdriness?  The ease?

(Fanshaw) The seating arrangements. Nobody chooses their neighbours; social precedence is irrelevant; one is forced to take a seat next to the natives. Those of a more genteel sensibility naturally prefer to dine in their own quarters, however confined.

(Innkeeper) Oh, yes. Of course. The only way to ensure a quiet meal.

(Fanshaw) Conversation spoils good company.[3]Familiarity is the ruin of polite society.

The French converse freely with associates in the presence of strangers, without displaying any unease.

(Innkeeper) Disgraceful; truly atrocious.

(Fanshaw) French shop-keepers would stare at you until their eyes were fit to rupture.

(Innkeeper) Oh, how horrid.

(Fanshaw) It has arrived here. The behaviour of the English plebeians has taken a turn for the worse. It was mortifying when we arrived back in England. Being looked upon in our carriage by all the idlers and common debris of society – staring and gaping up at you like fish on a riverbank. It’s what I said to the parliamentarian we met in Dover – may he perish – ‘the obliging civility of the common people has been replaced with presumptions and insolence’. I saw him writing it down.

(Innkeeper) Of course, of course. They’re all the same. They visit us here all the time. Government officials, health inspectors – all alike. Always with the same attitude.

(Back in the servants’ quarter: all four people are sitting consciously close to each other for warmth).

(Servant) ‘S alright – draw near. Warmer that way. (To the original guest) You’re itching – do you have fleas, man?

(Guest) Probably – if the horses have them.

(Young man – polite but weary) You sell horses?

(Guest) No, I sell the manure. Costs nothing to produce, does it? But farmers pay for it by the barrel! Terrific stuff – and a painless living.

(Man) Beats scratches and blisters, that’s for sure.

(Guest) Absolutely. As good as gold. And everyone needs to eat.

(The Innkeeper leans his head into the room and motions the servant, who puts his own cutlery down, comes through and clears Fanshaw’s table – taking the crockery to a small stand at the side of the room, and setting the dessert bowls – but remains in the room standing next to the fire. Fanshaw has a spoon poised near his mouth but refuses to eat until the servant leaves. Eventually he puts his cutlery down forcefully).

(Fanshaw) The servant.

(Innkeeper) Yes my lord. An excellent vassal. 

(Fanshaw) (Aggressively) It is degrading to be expected to eat in the presence of the lower orders.

(Innkeeper) (To the servant) Why are you standing there?

(Servant) It’s cold out there – my hands…

(Fanshaw) Can’t afford to heat the servants’ quarters?

(Innkeeper) Nonsense – it’s perfectly well heated. A veritable mountain of logs; a roaring fire.

(Servant) Not in the least…

(Innkeeper) Be quiet!

(The Servant goes to draw the curtain – the Innkeeper intervenes, and shoves the servant through, who knocks into the table spilling the guest’s ale on the floor).

(Innkeeper – in response to wife’s injurious look) What? I pay the man enough.

(Wife) In food and lodging.

(Innkeeper) Precisely.

(Wife) It’s mid-winter and you make him sleep in the stable, and the dysentery…

(Innkeeper) (Coughs very loudly and ushers wife to her chair). 

(Fanshaw) Every inn should invest in a dumb-waiter.

(Innkeeper) Don’t be so sure.

(Fanshaw) Yes; a dumb-waiter – a small lift that hauls comestibles up and down from the basement. Purchase one. The quietness is delightful – one forgets its existence; as opposed to a mute servant and their silent insistence.

(Innkeeper) We have no basement here, my good lord. We are but a small tavern – the ceilings are low, the walls are thin, the plastering – if you’ll notice….

(Fanshaw) Very well. Give me wine. The red.

(Innkeeper) Of course. (Innkeeper calls servant back in who leaves the curtain open. The guest’s voice is heard through the aperture: ‘the arse on it’ – Innkeeper coughs again and closes the curtain. After service, the servant retakes his position standing next to the fire).

(Fanshaw) The servant.

(Innkeeper) What? Oh, yes, of course. (Points to servant) You – out. (Motions to wife) You – clear the table.

(Wife) Get bent.

(Innkeeper) What?

(Wife) Get…

(Innkeeper – splutters and ushers his wife and the servant from the room into the servants’ quarter – but realises he will have to clear the table himself and draws his wife back in).

(Innkeeper) Go and sit down and be quiet until I tell you. Get the coffee.

(Wife) And supposing…

(Innkeeper – marches her forcefully over to her chair by the arm) Silence. Not a word.

(His wife sits down and takes up her embroidery again. The servant has re-taken his seat at the table. The innkeeper goes back through to the servants’ quarter).

(Innkeeper) Coffee, now. 

(The servant gets back up and serves the Fanshaws; when he’s finished the Innkeeper bustles him back out again). 

(Fanshaw – speech slightly slurred) Worse, even worse on the continent. Throughout our stay in France we’d been obliged to drink our wine and break our bread in the same room as postillons, labourers and tradesmen. They almost strove to drink out of the same glass, not content with drinking from the same bottle[4].

(Innkeeper) Oh my word, how horrid. My lord, I mean. Appalling.

(Fanshaw) Time was, a person knew their place; time was, those who did not would merit the sword.

(Innkeeper) Lamentably no more. What has happened to manners? You know, just the other day…

(Fanshaw) At one inn, there was a Dutch footman –

(Innkeeper) Oh the Dutch! Don’t even get me started…

(Fanshaw) … he refused to sit with his fellow servants, or remove his hat in our presence. He would go into the servants’ quarter, cut himself a slice of bread, and return to the parlour to eat it, speaking to his master and the ladies as equals. Of course, the other servants were laughing all the while at the thought of their masters dining with a servant[5].

(Innkeeper) Rightly so. Rightly so. The thought of a gentleman dining with an inferior. Outlandish.

(Fanshaw) The French kindness to inferiors is spreading. It has arrived here. It is a threat to society, no less – to good Christian society. The French ease and familiarity; their easy going attitude towards mixing with inferiors. Revolution is in the air.

(Innkeeper) Never fear, never fear.

(Fanshaw – inebriation showing) The lowest and dullest of mankind outnumber us.

The French common have begun to get ideas above their station. Half-bred, half-educated. A herd, pushing at the gate. So many persons there have raised themselves by their own exertions…

(Innkeeper) Contemptible.

(Fanshaw) …indeed, so much so that everyone thinks himself entitled to rise. Very few are contented to remain in the rank to which they were born[6].

(Innkeeper) Oh, I know, it’s like…

(Fanshaw) It’s like breeding a horse – if you maintain good stock, you produce a superior animal. If you mix the mediocre elements with higher ones, however, you get an inferior creature with pauce haunches and gimbly legs. Unfit to win any race; unfit to pull a coach. Unfit for any purpose, in fact. Useless. 

(Innkeeper) Oh, yes. True breeding is…

(Fanshaw) A matter of birth.

(Clatter of tankards being slammed onto the table and raucous laughter from the servants’ quarter).

(Innkeeper) Oh for God’s sake; what now? Excuse me.

(The Innkeeper goes into the servants’ quarter drawing the curtain behind him. Sees the ale spilled on the floor). (Innkeeper – barking) Look at this mess! (To the servant) You’re paying for this! This is coming out of your wages! No, stay in your seat! (To the three guests) You, you, and you: you sit in your places and don’t move an inch until I say so! (To the servant) You – clear this mess up! It’s what you’re paid for, isn’t it? In fact, no. Go to the stable – I’ll sort it out myself – where’s my wife? (To the guest) You as well – beat it. This is the second night in a row. (To the young couple, morosely) You stay where you are: finish your food, then I’ll get my wife to sort your beds out. (The servant and the guest get up and exit via the door to the right; the young couple remain seated while the Innkeeper wipes the table down and dabs the floor. Meanwhile, Fanshaw and his wife put down their cutlery quietly and leave without paying their bill, slinking calmly out through the corridor to the left – Fanshaw’s wife unhappily, but impassively following him. The Innkeeper’s wife remains sitting silently on the Innkeeper’s instruction, embroidering perversely while they slope past. The Innkeeper returns).

(Wife) Your lord and his lady have left.

(Innkeeper) What? Why didn’t you say something?

(Wife) He hasn’t paid his bill.

(Innkeeper) What? Be quiet.

(Wife) He hasn’t.

(Innkeeper) Of course he has! He’s the fifth Lord of Wensleydale! They don’t just bloody… wait. You mean he didn’t pay you while I…? No – it must just have been his distaste for … He must have left it for me, somewhere. No (checks table for bill) – no member of the nobility could be so…you’re right; he hasn’t paid. Not even for today’s fare. He hasn’t paid!

(Wife) He hasn’t paid his bill.

(Innkeeper) He hasn’t paid his bill!

(Wife) Apparently not; no.

(Innkeeper) A thief! A thief! Nothing but a swindling, low-down dirty rotten common crooked thief! Nobility! Nobility! High and mighty! Nothing but a common crook! Sitting there, picking his teeth like a common ragabond!

(Wife) Vagabond.

(Innkeeper) Spitting his offal into my handkerchief, my napkins.

(Wife) My embroidering.

(Innkeeper) Who’s the real beggar? The real low-life? That’s what I say. That’s what I want to know! And the worst thing – the worst thing! – they’ll be half-way to Yorkshire by now! If he wasn’t – if he wasn’t…if he comes back…well, I’ll not accept his custom again. He’ll be turned away at the door like the fiddling felon he is. Him and all his friends!

(Wife) Indeed.

(Innkeeper) Oh, don’t you see if I won’t! Drifting moochers. I’d rather have the stable-hands pay visit – it may not be up to much, but at least they pay. In fact, yes, bring them in – go and invite them in.

(Wife) Sure, I will in a few minutes. I’ll let them finish their…

(Innkeeper) No, no, do it now. Go on. I’ll set the table myself. They may be poor, but they’re the true nobility, oh yes. Honest labourers – the salt of the earth. I’ll set the table for them myself. I will. Yes, I’m not too proud to. Paying customers. On the house.

(The innkeeper’s wife goes into the servants’ quarter to fetch the young couple. The Innkeeper begins to set the table; he thinks briefly about setting the remaining wine but decides against it, corking the bottle instead and putting it back in the cupboard. His wife returns with the couple – both sit down slightly awkwardly on the plush chairs. The innkeeper’s wife re-takes her own seat and begins embroidering with her eyes averted).

(Innkeeper) Come, come. Sit down, sit down. Here, have a glass of water; have something to eat. This is the finest mutton we have. Beats bread and ale, doesn’t it? (To self) The Lord of Wensleydale. Nothing but a common tapster – silk stockings, lace garters, velvet cloak! A heart like a halibut – a face like a cod! You know, there’s no wonder they secretly use prostitutes to…(Fanshaw re-appears from the corridor). My lord – you’ve returned.

(Innkeeper hustles the couple out immediately, tipping the woman off her chair). Get out, go on, get out! (Both return to the servants’ quarter).

(Fanshaw – off-handed) I left my coat; be a good man and fetch it will you?

(Innkeeper) (Bows politely) Yes of course; at once my lord. (Nods to wife, who sighs imperceptibly, puts down embroidery, then goes to the coat-stand resignedly and returns with Fanshaw’s coat. She walks past Fanshaw and hands it to the Innkeeper, who hands it to Fanshaw, who takes his coat without saying thank you).

(Fanshaw – about to leave) Oh, er, the er, the bill…

(Innkeeper) Oh don’t trouble yourself, my Lord. I’ll put it on your tab. Such an esteemed guest. Such worthy company, your decency: worth its own weight in gold. Will attract untold custom, your having graced us with your presence. In fact, it would surely only further our prosperity all the more if you were to visit us again in good time, regardless of cost.

(Fanshaw) Yes, yes.

(Innkeeper) Bring your friends, your acquaintances. I’ll have my wife set up a special waiting room for you. We’ll set up tabs for all.

(Fanshaw walks out of room and out of sight down the corridor). 

(Innkeeper – calls) We’ll name it after you! (Quietly) ‘The Featherstone-Hough suite’.

(Fanshaw – calls back) Fan-shaw. Fan-shaw.

(Innkeeper) Yes, my Lord.

(Play and scene ends – cut to Sutherland and R. leaving theatre).

(R. – after play/opening: as leaving hall – early evening; cold, light rain – very dryly) If there’s one thing I value most about university it’s the all-surrounding yet subtle intimations towards enlightenment; and the bonds of kinship that tie, occasionally bind, but ultimately and universally unite us all as brethren within a culture of studied progress and carefully measured illumination.

(Tall, slim young man walks by in shorts and sandals with sunglasses – despite being overcast and grey September day; cell-phone; fatigued Southern accent: “Yeah, yeah. It was completely boring. The whole lecture. And the book; the teacher as well. In fact the whole course itself is mind-numbing. But I went out afterwards and I got just twatted off my tits”). For example.

(Sutherland – in sympathy, but unwilling to say so) Are you still thinking of leaving?

(R.) No; I don’t see the point. I’ve already finished two years; one more’s not going to kill me. Plus, I’m only working on theses now, so I don’t have to attend seminars anymore.

(Sutherland) God, I wish I didn’t have to. I’ve lost count of which ones I’ve cut. I did have a system working for long enough, but I lost my diary. Left it in a lecture.


[1]  For this and other setting details see Langford, Paul; 2000. Englishness Identified: Manners and Character 1650-1850. (Oxford University Press; Great Britain); pp. 187-90.

[2]  See Langford; 2000. p 233.

[3]  See Henry Mackenzie in Langford; 2000. p. 189.

[4]  See the Earl of Bristol in Langford; 2000. p. 244.

[5]  See Langford; 2000. p. 245.

[6]  Ibid. p. 264.

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