Act 1 Scene 3
Factory Town (Factory Town; dark dirty place, heaps of rubbish in different corners – rubbish is mainly scrap metal, a little boy dressed in rags is under one of the heaps of rubbish. Dirty Industrial Factories can be seen in the back) Charles enters with his face turned slightly – it is obviously he has been talking to Edmund. Charles looks disgusted and scared – he looks about often. Edmund walks in smiling – looking around there is concern and curiosity in his face. Both wear suits.
Edmund: I confess that, in my imagination this place seemed rather less mournful, I am sure in my youth it could not have looked this disconsolate – it is no wonder my mother never allows Eleanor out the house, it has gotten so unsafe, so hopeless. I am partly glad she is shielded from this – our garden is the only effervescent place which is still the same – though what she does there – I know not
Charles: Has she not told you? This is the garden she refers to as Flo’s garden – where she spends time talking to that young woman.
Edmund: You surprise me exceedingly Charles in your behaviour towards that young woman, it is quite obvious from your countenance towards Eleanor when she spoke of her that you dislike her exceedingly – and for what I do not know. Surely, your one brief interview with her a few years ago cannot be the cause for you to form such a strong opinion of her? I may go as far as to say that you where even uncivil towards my sister when she continued to speak of the amount of time they spent together. I can not make it out – as you are such a studier of characters, I have the highest opinion of you when you make a denouncement of ones character – yet this woman? Do you know something I do not? Has she caught you in a compromising position? – come tell me.
Charles: I certainly have not the talent which I have thus been praised with – ones character is always hard to determine, but there is no doubt in my mind that she is rather quiet strange.
Edmund: You are far too modest; Charles, but I still can not comprehend your meaning?
Charles: Then allow me to make myself perfectly plain – I find…Salathiel a most frightful creature, in all that she says and all that she does it makes me feel most uncomfortable, and the influence she is having upon your sister – I do not think it is right.
Edmund: Hmm that seems an insufficient reason – I am quite curious to see her – it has been nearly a decade. I do not know why you insist on keeping her away from me – I must see her! She left such an impression upon Eleanor – thereby I already like her. Upon whose account did you form such a strong opinion of her?
Charles: Edmund, I implore you to see reason, do not seek her out she is…Did you know her hair is white – pure white and she were born that way, in case that slipped your mind. What do you make of that?! Shall you entertain such a being at court or the balls?! I think not. I am sure you’re Grandmother; the Baroness shall pass out when she lays eyes on her, and her face so strange. (Pause) Though it is quite attractive – I shall give her that. But there is something in her manner – that incites fear and awe in me – very unnatural.
Edmund: Now I must meet her – rather than crushing my curiosity you have done quite the opposite. And for you to say she is attractive – you whom no woman can please – she must be quite something to behold. Ah I have figured it out – you dislike this power she has over you – thereby you want to stay as far away from her as possible – it is quite alright Charles you can find a girl other than Caroline your beloved attractive – I shall permit you to find her attractive, and I shall keep your secret safe. Mums the word! There now you can be at ease. (Laughs)
Edmund waits for his friend to comment – Charles crosses his arms his face stubborn.
Edmund: She is quite knowledgeable I hear.
Charles: O yes, yes – she is learnered – always has her head in a book. What else has she to do? No one will speak to her – they shun her as should you. Edmund this is no joke – you speak quite carelessly at times – but you know as well as I do that you have certain responsibilities; when we are announced you should not associate yourself with such people.
Edmund: Come now Charles, we are friends, but I was told that it is more than knowledge from books. She knows things about the New world;India, Africa andJapan. On her travels it is said she visited all these places’ if you can imagine – more places than even us! – Eleanor was quite taken in.
Charles: I shall have words with your sister! She needs to learn some decorum – Young ladies must not go running their mouths like that – entertaining all sorts of ideas. You mustn’t encourage her else she will grow quite wild.
Edmund: It’s all quite harmless really – Eleanor has always been that way – it’s what I like about her most – there is always something she wants to do – and why should she not?
Charles: Edmund, you go too far! There is a natural way of things – we cannot and should not change from that natural order else – the entire world will fall into chaos. Things are the way they are for a reason – there is nothing anyone can do about it.
Edmund laughs and pats Charles on the back.
Edmund looks at him patiently – then goes to a rubbish heap – he picks something up – examines it and shakes his head.
Edmund: It’s alright old boy – she will grow out of it – your precious order shan’t be disrupted.