GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
Part 3 out of 3
CUSINS. What! no capital! Is my mastery of Greek no capital? Is
my access to the subtlest thought, the loftiest poetry yet
attained by humanity, no capital? my character! my intellect! my
life! my career! what Barbara calls my soul! are these no
capital? Say another word; and I double my salary.
UNDERSHAFT. Be reasonable--
CUSINS [peremptorily] Mr Undershaft: you have my terms. Take them
or leave them.
UNDERSHAFT [recovering himself] Very well. I note your terms; and
I offer you half.
CUSINS [disgusted] Half!
UNDERSHAFT [firmly] Half.
CUSINS. You call yourself a gentleman; and you offer me half!!
UNDERSHAFT. I do not call myself a gentleman; but I offer you
CUSINS. This to your future partner! your successor! your
BARBARA. You are selling your own soul, Dolly, not mine. Leave me
out of the bargain, please.
UNDERSHAFT. Come! I will go a step further for Barbara's sake. I
will give you three fifths; but that is my last word.
LOMAX. Done in the eye. Why, _I_ only get eight hundred, you
CUSINS. By the way, Mac, I am a classical scholar, not an
arithmetical one. Is three fifths more than half or less?
UNDERSHAFT. More, of course.
CUSINS. I would have taken two hundred and fifty. How you can
succeed in business when you are willing to pay all that money to
a University don who is obviously not worth a junior clerk's
wages!--well! What will Lazarus say?
UNDERSHAFT. Lazarus is a gentle romantic Jew who cares for
nothing but string quartets and stalls at fashionable theatres.
He will get the credit of your rapacity in money matters, as he
has hitherto had the credit of mine. You are a shark of the first
order, Euripides. So much the better for the firm!
BARBARA. Is the bargain closed, Dolly? Does your soul belong to
CUSINS. No: the price is settled: that is all. The real tug of
war is still to come. What about the moral question?
LADY BRITOMART. There is no moral question in the matter at all,
Adolphus. You must simply sell cannons and weapons to people
whose cause is right and just, and refuse them to foreigners and
UNDERSHAFT [determinedly] No: none of that. You must keep the
true faith of an Armorer, or you don't come in here.
CUSINS. What on earth is the true faith of an Armorer?
UNDERSHAFT. To give arms to all men who offer an honest price for
them, without respect of persons or principles: to aristocrat and
republican, to Nihilist and Tsar, to Capitalist and Socialist, to
Protestant and Catholic, to burglar and policeman, to black man
white man and yellow man, to all sorts and conditions, all
nationalities, all faiths, all follies, all causes and all
crimes. The first Undershaft wrote up in his shop IF GOD GAVE THE
HAND, LET NOT MAN WITHHOLD THE SWORD. The second wrote up ALL
HAVE THE RIGHT TO FIGHT: NONE HAVE THE RIGHT TO JUDGE. The third
wrote up TO MAN THE WEAPON: TO HEAVEN THE VICTORY. The fourth had
no literary turn; so he did not write up anything; but he sold
cannons to Napoleon under the nose of George the Third. The fifth
wrote up PEACE SHALL NOT PREVAIL SAVE WITH A SWORD IN HER HAND.
The sixth, my master, was the best of all. He wrote up NOTHING IS
EVER DONE IN THIS WORLD UNTIL MEN ARE PREPARED TO KILL ONE
ANOTHER IF IT IS NOT DONE. After that, there was nothing left for
the seventh to say. So he wrote up, simply, UNASHAMED.
CUSINS. My good Machiavelli, I shall certainly write something up
on the wall; only, as I shall write it in Greek, you won't be
able to read it. But as to your Armorer's faith, if I take my
neck out of the noose of my own morality I am not going to put it
into the noose of yours. I shall sell cannons to whom I please
and refuse them to whom I please. So there!
UNDERSHAFT. From the moment when you become Andrew Undershaft,
you will never do as you please again. Don't come here lusting
for power, young man.
CUSINS. If power were my aim I should not come here for it. YOU
have no power.
UNDERSHAFT. None of my own, certainly.
CUSINS. I have more power than you, more will. You do not drive
this place: it drives you. And what drives the place?
UNDERSHAFT [enigmatically] A will of which I am a part.
BARBARA [startled] Father! Do you know what you are saying; or
are you laying a snare for my soul?
CUSINS. Don't listen to his metaphysics, Barbara. The place is
driven by the most rascally part of society, the money hunters,
the pleasure hunters, the military promotion hunters; and he is
UNDERSHAFT. Not necessarily. Remember the Armorer's Faith. I will
take an order from a good man as cheerfully as from a bad one. If
you good people prefer preaching and shirking to buying my
weapons and fighting the rascals, don't blame me. I can make
cannons: I cannot make courage and conviction. Bah! You tire me,
Euripides, with your morality mongering. Ask Barbara: SHE
understands. [He suddenly takes Barbara's hands, and looks
powerfully into her eyes]. Tell him, my love, what power really
BARBARA [hypnotized] Before I joined the Salvation Army, I was in
my own power; and the consequence was that I never knew what to
do with myself. When I joined it, I had not time enough for all
the things I had to do.
UNDERSHAFT [approvingly] Just so. And why was that, do you
BARBARA. Yesterday I should have said, because I was in the power
of God. [She resumes her self-possession, withdrawing her hands
from his with a power equal to his own]. But you came and showed
me that I was in the power of Bodger and Undershaft. Today I
feel--oh! how can I put it into words? Sarah: do you remember the
earthquake at Cannes, when we were little children?--how little
the surprise of the first shock mattered compared to the dread
and horror of waiting for the second? That is how I feel in this
place today. I stood on the rock I thought eternal; and without
a word of warning it reeled and crumbled under me. I was safe
with an infinite wisdom watching me, an army marching to
Salvation with me; and in a moment, at a stroke of your pen in a
cheque book, I stood alone; and the heavens were empty. That was
the first shock of the earthquake: I am waiting for the second.
UNDERSHAFT. Come, come, my daughter! Don't make too much of your
little tinpot tragedy. What do we do here when we spend years of
work and thought and thousands of pounds of solid cash on a new
gun or an aerial battleship that turns out just a hairsbreadth
wrong after all? Scrap it. Scrap it without wasting another hour
or another pound on it. Well, you have made for yourself
something that you call a morality or a religion or what not. It
doesn't fit the facts. Well, scrap it. Scrap it and get one that
does fit. That is what is wrong with the world at present. It
scraps its obsolete steam engines and dynamos; but it won't scrap
its old prejudices and its old moralities and its old religions
and its old political constitutions. What's the result? In
machinery it does very well; but in morals and religion and
politics it is working at a loss that brings it nearer bankruptcy
every year. Don't persist in that folly. If your old religion
broke down yesterday, get a newer and a better one for tomorrow.
BARBARA. Oh how gladly I would take a better one to my soul! But
you offer me a worse one. [Turning on him with sudden vehemence].
Justify yourself: show me some light through the darkness of this
dreadful place, with its beautifully clean workshops, and
respectable workmen, and model homes.
UNDERSHAFT. Cleanliness and respectability do not need
justification, Barbara: they justify themselves. I see no
darkness here, no dreadfulness. In your Salvation shelter I saw
poverty, misery, cold and hunger. You gave them bread and treacle
and dreams of heaven. I give from thirty shillings a week to
twelve thousand a year. They find their own dreams; but I look
after the drainage.
BARBARA. And their souls?
UNDERSHAFT. I save their souls just as I saved yours.
BARBARA [revolted] You saved my soul! What do you mean?
UNDERSHAFT. I fed you and clothed you and housed you. I took care
that you should have money enough to live handsomely--more than
enough; so that you could be wasteful, careless, generous. That
saved your soul from the seven deadly sins.
BARBARA [bewildered] The seven deadly sins!
UNDERSHAFT. Yes, the deadly seven. [Counting on his fingers]
Food, clothing, firing, rent, taxes, respectability and children.
Nothing can lift those seven millstones from Man's neck but
money; and the spirit cannot soar until the millstones are
lifted. I lifted them from your spirit. I enabled Barbara to
become Major Barbara; and I saved her from the crime of poverty.
CUSINS. Do you call poverty a crime?
UNDERSHAFT. The worst of crimes. All the other crimes are virtues
beside it: all the other dishonors are chivalry itself by
comparison. Poverty blights whole cities; spreads horrible
pestilences; strikes dead the very souls of all who come within
sight, sound or smell of it. What you call crime is nothing: a
murder here and a theft there, a blow now and a curse then: what
do they matter? they are only the accidents and illnesses of
life: there are not fifty genuine professional criminals in
London. But there are millions of poor people, abject people,
dirty people, ill fed, ill clothed people. They poison us morally
and physically: they kill the happiness of society: they force us
to do away with our own liberties and to organize unnatural
cruelties for fear they should rise against us and drag us down
into their abyss. Only fools fear crime: we all fear poverty.
Pah! [turning on Barbara] you talk of your half-saved ruffian in
West Ham: you accuse me of dragging his soul back to perdition.
Well, bring him to me here; and I will drag his soul back again
to salvation for you. Not by words and dreams; but by
thirty-eight shillings a week, a sound house in a handsome
street, and a permanent job. In three weeks he will have a fancy
waistcoat; in three months a tall hat and a chapel sitting;
before the end of the year he will shake hands with a duchess at
a Primrose League meeting, and join the Conservative Party.
BARBARA. And will he be the better for that?
UNDERSHAFT. You know he will. Don't be a hypocrite, Barbara. He
will be better fed, better housed, better clothed, better
behaved; and his children will be pounds heavier and bigger. That
will be better than an American cloth mattress in a shelter,
chopping firewood, eating bread and treacle, and being forced to
kneel down from time to time to thank heaven for it: knee drill,
I think you call it. It is cheap work converting starving men
with a Bible in one hand and a slice of bread in the other. I
will undertake to convert West Ham to Mahometanism on the same
terms. Try your hand on my men: their souls are hungry because
their bodies are full.
BARBARA. And leave the east end to starve?
UNDERSHAFT [his energetic tone dropping into one of bitter and
brooding remembrance] I was an east ender. I moralized and
starved until one day I swore that I would be a fullfed free man
at all costs--that nothing should stop me except a bullet,
neither reason nor morals nor the lives of other men. I said
"Thou shalt starve ere I starve"; and with that word I became
free and great. I was a dangerous man until I had my will: now I
am a useful, beneficent, kindly person. That is the history of
most self-made millionaires, I fancy. When it is the history of
every Englishman we shall have an England worth living in.
LADY BRITOMART. Stop making speeches, Andrew. This is not the
place for them.
UNDERSHAFT [punctured] My dear: I have no other means of
conveying my ideas.
LADY BRITOMART. Your ideas are nonsense. You got oil because you
were selfish and unscrupulous.
UNDERSHAFT. Not at all. I had the strongest scruples about
poverty and starvation. Your moralists are quite unscrupulous
about both: they make virtues of them. I had rather be a thief
than a pauper. I had rather be a murderer than a slave. I don't
want to be either; but if you force the alternative on me, then,
by Heaven, I'll choose the braver and more moral one. I hate
poverty and slavery worse than any other crimes whatsoever. And
let me tell you this. Poverty and slavery have stood up for
centuries to your sermons and leading articles: they will not
stand up to my machine guns. Don't preach at them: don't reason
with them. Kill them.
BARBARA. Killing. Is that your remedy for everything?
UNDERSHAFT. It is the final test of conviction, the only lever
strong enough to overturn a social system, the only way of saying
Must. Let six hundred and seventy fools loose in the street; and
three policemen can scatter them. But huddle them together in a
certain house in Westminster; and let them go through certain
ceremonies and call themselves certain names until at last they
get the courage to kill; and your six hundred and seventy fools
become a government. Your pious mob fills up ballot papers and
imagines it is governing its masters; but the ballot paper that
really governs is the paper that has a bullet wrapped up in it.
CUSINS. That is perhaps why, like most intelligent people, I
UNDERSHAFT Vote! Bah! When you vote, you only change the names of
the cabinet. When you shoot, you pull down governments,
inaugurate new epochs, abolish old orders and set up new. Is that
historically true, Mr Learned Man, or is it not?
CUSINS. It is historically true. I loathe having to admit it. I
repudiate your sentiments. I abhor your nature. I defy you in
every possible way. Still, it is true. But it ought not to be
UNDERSHAFT. Ought, ought, ought, ought, ought! Are you going to
spend your life saying ought, like the rest of our moralists?
Turn your oughts into shalls, man. Come and make explosives with
me. Whatever can blow men up can blow society up. The history of
the world is the history of those who had courage enough to
embrace this truth. Have you the courage to embrace it, Barbara?
LADY BRITOMART. Barbara, I positively forbid you to listen to
your father's abominable wickedness. And you, Adolphus, ought to
know better than to go about saying that wrong things are true.
What does it matter whether they are true if they are wrong?
UNDERSHAFT. What does it matter whether they are wrong if they
LADY BRITOMART [rising] Children: come home instantly. Andrew: I
am exceedingly sorry I allowed you to call on us. You are
wickeder than ever. Come at once.
BARBARA [shaking her head] It's no use running away from wicked
LADY BRITOMART. It is every use. It shows your disapprobation of
BARBARA. It does not save them.
LADY BRITOMART. I can see that you are going to disobey me.
Sarah: are you coming home or are you not?
SARAH. I daresay it's very wicked of papa to make cannons; but I
don't think I shall cut him on that account.
LOMAX [pouring oil on the troubled waters] The fact is, you know,
there is a certain amount of tosh about this notion of
wickedness. It doesn't work. You must look at facts. Not that I
would say a word in favor of anything wrong; but then, you see,
all sorts of chaps are always doing all sorts of things; and we
have to fit them in somehow, don't you know. What I mean is that
you can't go cutting everybody; and that's about what it comes
to. [Their rapt attention to his eloquence makes him nervous]
Perhaps I don't make myself clear.
LADY BRITOMART. You are lucidity itself, Charles. Because Andrew
is successful and has plenty of money to give to Sarah, you will
flatter him and encourage him in his wickedness.
LOMAX [unruffled] Well, where the carcase is, there will the
eagles be gathered, don't you know. [To Undershaft] Eh? What?
UNDERSHAFT. Precisely. By the way, may I call you Charles?
LOMAX. Delighted. Cholly is the usual ticket.
UNDERSHAFT [to Lady Britomart] Biddy--
LADY BRITOMART [violently] Don't dare call me Biddy. Charles
Lomax: you are a fool. Adolphus Cusins: you are a Jesuit.
Stephen: you are a prig. Barbara: you are a lunatic. Andrew: you
are a vulgar tradesman. Now you all know my opinion; and my
conscience is clear, at all events [she sits down again with a
vehemence that almost wrecks the chair].
UNDERSHAFT. My dear,you are the incarnation of morality. [She
snorts]. Your conscience is clear and your duty done when you
have called everybody names. Come, Euripides! it is getting late;
and we all want to get home. Make up your mind.
CUSINS. Understand this, you old demon--
LADY BRITOMART. Adolphus!
UNDERSHAFT. Let him alone, Biddy. Proceed, Euripides.
CUSINS. You have me in a horrible dilemma. I want Barbara.
UNDERSHAFT. Like all young men, you greatly exaggerate the
difference between one young woman and another.
BARBARA. Quite true, Dolly.
CUSINS. I also want to avoid being a rascal.
UNDERSHAFT [with biting contempt] You lust for personal
righteousness, for self-approval, for what you call a good
conscience, for what Barbara calls salvation, for what I call
patronizing people who are not so lucky as yourself.
CUSINS. I do not: all the poet in me recoils from being a good
man. But there are things in me that I must reckon with: pity--
UNDERSHAFT. Pity! The scavenger of misery.
CUSINS. Well, love.
UNDERSHAFT. I know. You love the needy and the outcast: you love
the oppressed races, the negro, the Indian ryot, the Pole, the
Irishman. Do you love the Japanese? Do you love the Germans? Do
you love the English?
CUSINS. No. Every true Englishman detests the English. We are the
wickedest nation on earth; and our success is a moral horror.
UNDERSHAFT. That is what comes of your gospel of love, is it?
CUSINS. May I not love even my father-in-law?
UNDERSHAFT. Who wants your love, man? By what right do you take
the liberty of offering it to me? I will have your due heed and
respect, or I will kill you. But your love! Damn your
CUSINS [grinning] I may not be able to control my affections,
UNDERSHAFT. You are fencing, Euripides. You are weakening: your
grip is slipping. Come! try your last weapon. Pity and love have
broken in your hand: forgiveness is still left.
CUSINS. No: forgiveness is a beggar's refuge. I am with you
there: we must pay our debts.
UNDERSHAFT. Well said. Come! you will suit me. Remember the words
CUSINS [starting] Plato! You dare quote Plato to me!
UNDERSHAFT. Plato says, my friend, that society cannot be saved
until either the Professors of Greek take to making gunpowder, or
else the makers of gunpowder become Professors of Greek.
CUSINS. Oh, tempter, cunning tempter!
UNDERSHAFT. Come! choose, man, choose.
CUSINS. But perhaps Barbara will not marry me if I make the wrong
BARBARA. Perhaps not.
CUSINS [desperately perplexed] You hear--
BARBARA. Father: do you love nobody?
UNDERSHAFT. I love my best friend.
LADY BRITOMART. And who is that, pray?
UNDERSHAFT. My bravest enemy. That is the man who keeps me up to
CUSINS. You know, the creature is really a sort of poet in his
way. Suppose he is a great man, after all!
UNDERSHAFT. Suppose you stop talking and make up your mind, my
CUSINS. But you are driving me against my nature. I hate war.
UNDERSHAFT. Hatred is the coward's revenge for being intimidated.
Dare you make war on war? Here are the means: my friend Mr Lomax
is sitting on them.
LOMAX [springing up] Oh I say! You don't mean that this thing is
loaded, do you? My ownest: come off it.
SARAH [sitting placidly on the shell] If I am to be blown up, the
more thoroughly it is done the better. Don't fuss, Cholly.
LOMAX [to Undershaft, strongly remonstrant] Your own daughter,
UNDERSHAFT. So I see. [To Cusins] Well, my friend, may we expect
you here at six tomorrow morning?
CUSINS [firmly] Not on any account. I will see the whole
establishment blown up with its own dynamite before I will get up
at five. My hours are healthy, rational hours eleven to five.
UNDERSHAFT. Come when you please: before a week you will come at
six and stay until I turn you out for the sake of your health.
[Calling] Bilton! [He turns to Lady Britomart, who rises]. My
dear: let us leave these two young people to themselves for a
moment. [Bilton comes from the shed]. I am going to take you
through the gun cotton shed.
BILTON [barring the way] You can't take anything explosive in
LADY BRITOMART. What do you mean? Are you alluding to me?
BILTON [unmoved] No, ma'am. Mr Undershaft has the other
gentleman's matches in his pocket.
LADY BRITOMART [abruptly] Oh! I beg your pardon. [She goes into
UNDERSHAFT. Quite right, Bilton, quite right: here you are. [He
gives Bilton the box of matches]. Come, Stephen. Come, Charles.
Bring Sarah. [He passes into the shed].
Bilton opens the box and deliberately drops the matches into the
LOMAX. Oh I say! [Bilton stolidly hands him the empty box].
Infernal nonsense! Pure scientific ignorance! [He goes in].
SARAH. Am I all right, Bilton?
BILTON. You'll have to put on list slippers, miss: that's all.
We've got em inside. [She goes in].
STEPHEN [very seriously to Cusins] Dolly, old fellow, think.
Think before you decide. Do you feel that you are a sufficiently
practical man? It is a huge undertaking, an enormous
responsibility. All this mass of business will be Greek to you.
CUSINS. Oh, I think it will be much less difficult than Greek.
STEPHEN. Well, I just want to say this before I leave you to
yourselves. Don't let anything I have said about right and wrong
prejudice you against this great chance in life. I have satisfied
myself that the business is one of the highest character and a
credit to our country. [Emotionally] I am very proud of my
father. I-- [Unable to proceed, he presses Cusins' hand and goes
hastily into the shed, followed by Bilton].
Barbara and Cusins, left alone together, look at one another
CUSINS. Barbara: I am going to accept this offer.
BARBARA. I thought you would.
CUSINS. You understand, don't you, that I had to decide without
consulting you. If I had thrown the burden of the choice on you,
you would sooner or later have despised me for it.
BARBARA. Yes: I did not want you to sell your soul for me any
more than for this inheritance.
CUSINS. It is not the sale of my soul that troubles me: I have
sold it too often to care about that. I have sold it for a
professorship. I have sold it for an income. I have sold it to
escape being imprisoned for refusing to pay taxes for hangmen's
ropes and unjust wars and things that I abhor. What is all human
conduct but the daily and hourly sale of our souls for trifles?
What I am now selling it for is neither money nor position nor
comfort, but for reality and for power.
BARBARA. You know that you will have no power, and that he has
CUSINS. I know. It is not for myself alone. I want to make power
for the world.
BARBARA. I want to make power for the world too; but it must be
CUSINS. I think all power is spiritual: these cannons will not go
off by themselves. I have tried to make spiritual power by
teaching Greek. But the world can never be really touched by a
dead language and a dead civilization. The people must have
power; and the people cannot have Greek. Now the power that is
made here can be wielded by all men.
BARBARA. Power to burn women's houses down and kill their sons
and tear their husbands to pieces.
CUSINS. You cannot have power for good without having power for
evil too. Even mother's milk nourishes murderers as well as
heroes. This power which only tears men's bodies to pieces has
never been so horribly abused as the intellectual power, the
imaginative power, the poetic, religious power that can enslave
men's souls. As a teacher of Greek I gave the intellectual man
weapons against the common man. I now want to give the common man
weapons against the intellectual man. I love the common people. I
want to arm them against the lawyer, the doctor, the priest, the
literary man, the professor, the artist, and the politician, who,
once in authority, are the most dangerous, disastrous, and
tyrannical of all the fools, rascals, and impostors. I want a
democratic power strong enough to force the intellectual
oligarchy to use its genius for the general good or else perish.
BARBARA. Is there no higher power than that [pointing to the
CUSINS. Yes: but that power can destroy the higher powers just as
a tiger can destroy a man: therefore man must master that power
first. I admitted this when the Turks and Greeks were last at
war. My best pupil went out to fight for Hellas. My parting gift
to him was not a copy of Plato's Republic, but a revolver and a
hundred Undershaft cartridges. The blood of every Turk he shot--
if he shot any--is on my head as well as on Undershaft's. That
act committed me to this place for ever. Your father's challenge
has beaten me. Dare I make war on war? I dare. I must. I will.
And now, is it all over between us?
BARBARA [touched by his evident dread of her answer] Silly baby
Dolly! How could it be?
CUSINS [overjoyed] Then you--you--you-- Oh for my drum! [He
flourishes imaginary drumsticks].
BARBARA [angered by his levity] Take care, Dolly, take care. Oh,
if only I could get away from you and from father and from it
all! if I could have the wings of a dove and fly away to heaven!
CUSINS. And leave me!
BARBARA. Yes, you, and all the other naughty mischievous children
of men. But I can't. I was happy in the Salvation Army for a
moment. I escaped from the world into a paradise of enthusiasm
and prayer and soul saving; but the moment our money ran short,
it all came back to Bodger: it was he who saved our people: he,
and the Prince of Darkness, my papa. Undershaft and Bodger: their
hands stretch everywhere: when we feed a starving fellow
creature, it is with their bread, because there is no other
bread; when we tend the sick, it is in the hospitals they endow;
if we turn from the churches they build, we must kneel on the
stones of the streets they pave. As long as that lasts, there is
no getting away from them. Turning our backs on Bodger and
Undershaft is turning our backs on life.
CUSINS. I thought you were determined to turn your back on the
wicked side of life.
BARBARA. There is no wicked side: life is all one. And I never
wanted to shirk my share in whatever evil must be endured,
whether it be sin or suffering. I wish I could cure you of
middle-class ideas, Dolly.
CUSINS [gasping] Middle cl--! A snub! A social snub to ME! from
the daughter of a foundling!
BARBARA. That is why I have no class, Dolly: I come straight out
of the heart of the whole people. If I were middle-class I should
turn my back on my father's business; and we should both live in
an artistic drawingroom, with you reading the reviews in one
corner, and I in the other at the piano, playing Schumann: both
very superior persons, and neither of us a bit of use. Sooner
than that, I would sweep out the guncotton shed, or be one of
Bodger's barmaids. Do you know what would have happened if you
had refused papa's offer?
CUSINS. I wonder!
BARBARA. I should have given you up and married the man who
accepted it. After all, my dear old mother has more sense than
any of you. I felt like her when I saw this place--felt that I
must have it--that never, never, never could I let it go; only
she thought it was the houses and the kitchen ranges and the
linen and china, when it was really all the human souls to be
saved: not weak souls in starved bodies, crying with gratitude or
a scrap of bread and treacle, but fullfed, quarrelsome, snobbish,
uppish creatures, all standing on their little rights and
dignities, and thinking that my father ought to be greatly
obliged to them for making so much money for him--and so he
ought. That is where salvation is really wanted. My father shall
never throw it in my teeth again that my converts were bribed
with bread. [She is transfigured]. I have got rid of the bribe of
bread. I have got rid of the bribe of heaven. Let God's work be
done for its own sake: the work he had to create us to do because
it cannot he done by living men and women. When I die, let him be
in my debt, not I in his; and let me forgive him as becomes a
woman of my rank.
CUSINS. Then the way of life lies through the factory of death?
BARBARA. Yes, through the raising of hell to heaven and of man to
God, through the unveiling of an eternal light in the Valley of
The Shadow. [Seizing him with both hands] Oh, did you think my
courage would never come back? did you believe that I was a
deserter? that I, who have stood in the streets, and taken my
people to my heart, and talked of the holiest and greatest things
with them, could ever turn back and chatter foolishly to
fashionable people about nothing in a drawingroom? Never, never,
never, never: Major Barbara will die with the colors. Oh! and I
have my dear little Dolly boy still; and he has found me my place
and my work. Glory Hallelujah! [She kisses him].
CUSINS. My dearest: consider my delicate health. I cannot stand
as much happiness as you can.
BARBARA. Yes: it is not easy work being in love with me, is it?
But it's good for you. [She runs to the shed, and calls,
childlike] Mamma! Mamma! [Bilton comes out of the shed, followed
by Undershaft]. I want Mamma.
UNDERSHAFT. She is taking off her list slippers, dear. [He passes
on to Cusins]. Well? What does she say?
CUSINS. She has gone right up into the skies.
LADY BRITOMART [coming from the shed and stopping on the steps,
obstructing Sarah, who follows with Lomax. Barbara clutches like
a baby at her mother's skirt]. Barbara: when will you learn to be
independent and to act and think for yourself? I know as well as
possible what that cry of "Mamma, Mamma," means. Always running
SARAH [touching Lady Britomart's ribs with her finger tips and
imitating a bicycle horn] Pip! Pip!
LADY BRITOMART [highly indignant] How dare you say Pip! pip! to
me, Sarah? You are both very naughty children. What do you want,
BARBARA. I want a house in the village to live in with Dolly.
[Dragging at the skirt] Come and tell me which one to take.
UNDERSHAFT [to Cusins] Six o'clock tomorrow morning, my young
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