« Ralph Had A Speech… | Home | Loose Lips »


Hi! I’m back in the Bronx. I received an email from a friend who was in a bad mood and asked if I have any good news to cheer him up with.  I emailed him this section from a play, and realized you too should have it in your library of  ”cheer up quotes.”  I happen to be writing a paper on Oscar Wilde which is due tomorrow by 4pm, so, it was uncanny to be asked for advice regarding cheering up, particularly since it is gloomy as hell and rainy in the Big Apple along with dealing with the loss of yet another memeber of the tribe, Norman Mailer. Doug Brinkley spoke at the small elegant funeral with Doris Kerns Goodwin and said it was a moving and beautiful service with a few friends and family members.  Anyway, as we get ready to see Clinton attacked by Edwards and Obama, here is my email:

NO, I have no good news, but I do have a great Oscar Wilde quote from "The Importance of
Being Earnest."  This summer, when I arrived in this apartment that I am renting from my friend Sue, I was turned on to Oscar Wilde for the first time in my life because there happened to be a book sitting on a shelf with various Wilde stories.  First I read "The Picture of Dorian Gray."  Most recently, for a class, I read Earnest. This following quote is from a scene where Jack and Algernon find out the terrible news they will not be able to marry the women they love because they have been caught in the same lie (both claimed to have the name "Ernest." But alas, by the end of the play, we find out that the truth is actaully being told!)Cecily and Gwendolyn are madly in love with the idea of marrying a character named Ernest. After finding out that their lovers are not named Ernest, the women quite upset over the fact of being lied to, exit, and Algernon and Jack are left sitting in Jack’s garden:

JACK: There is certainly no chance of you marrying Miss Cardew.

ALGERNON: I don’t think there is much likelyhood, Jack, of you and Miss Fairfax being

JACK: Well, that is no business of yours.

ALGERNON: If it was my business, I wouldn’t talk about it. (Begins to eat muffins.) It is
very vulgar to talk about one’s business.  Only people like stockbrokers do that, and
then merely at dinner parties.

JACK: How can you sit there , calmly eating muffins when we are in this horrible trouble,
I can’t make out.  You seem to me to be perfectly heartless.

ALGERNON: Well, I can’t eat muffins in an agitated manner.  The butter would probably get
on my cuffs. ONe should always eat muffins quite calmly. it is the only way to eat them.
JACK: I say it’s perfectly heartless your eating muffins at all, under the circumstances.

ALGERNON: When i am in trouble, eating is the only thing tha consoles me.  indeed. when i
am in really great trouble, as anyone who knows me intimately will tell you, i refuse
everything except food and drink.  At the present moment i am eating muffins because I am
unhappy. Besides, I am particularly fond of muffins. (Rising.)

JACK: (Rising.) Well, that is no reason why you should eat them all in that greedy way.
(Takes muffins from Algernon.)

ALGERNON: (Offering Tea cake.) I wish you would have tea-cake instead. I don’t like

JACK: Good heavens!  I suppose a man amy eat his own muffins in his own garden.

ALGERNON: But you have just said that it was perfectly heartless to eat muffins.

JACK: I said it was perfectly heartless of you, under the circumstances. That is an
entirely diffent thing.

And it goes on, while Gwendolyn and Cecily watch them from inside the house, wondering
why the two men are not coming in to the house after them to fix the problem…

Wonderful play. It will cheer anybody up. So, I suggest you read some Oscar Wilde and eat
a muffin or two…

Cheers, Anita

Email this to a friend

E-mail this entry to:
To prevent misuse of this service, only one recipient is allowed per email

Your Name* : required
Your Email* : required

* This information is used for the sole purpose of identifying you in this email you are sending. We at Owl Farm hate spam just as much as you do, and will never sell or give out any of your personal information to third parties. Ever.