Daisy Miller: A Comedy. In Three Acts













ACT I. — An Hotel on the Lake of Geneva.

ACT II. — The Promenade of the Pincian,Rome.

ACT III. — An Hotel in Rome.


Garden and terrace of an hotel on the Lake of Geneva. The portico of the hotel to the left, with steps leading up to it. In the background a low parapet dividing the garden from the lake, and divided itself by a small gate opening upon a flight of steps which are supposed to descend to a pier. Beyond this a distant view of mountains and of the lake, with the Château de Chillon. Orange-trees in green tubs, benches, a few small tables and chairs.


MADAME DE KATKOFF, coming in as if a little startled, with a French book in a pink cover under her arm. I believe he means to speak to me ! He is capable of any impertinence.

EUGENIO, following slowly, handsomely dressed, with alarge watch-guard, and a courier’s satchel over his shoulder. He takes off his hat and bows obsequiously,but with a certain mock respect. Madame does me the honor to recognize me, I think.

MME. DE K. Certainly I recognize you. I never forget my servants, especially (with a little laugh) the faithful ones !

EUGENIO. Madame’s memory is perhaps slightly at fault in leading her to speak of me as a servant!

MME. DE K. What were you, then ? A friend, possibly ?

EUGENIO. May I not say that I was, at least on a certain occasion, an adviser ?

MME. DE K. In the way of occasions, I remember only the one on which I turned yon out of the house.

EUGENIO. You remember it with a little regret, I hope.

MME. DE K. An immense deal — that I had n’t dismissed you six months sooner!

Copyright, 1883, by HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN & Co.

EUGENIO. I comprehend the regret of Madame. It was in those six months that an incident occurred— (He pauses.

MME. DE K. An incident?

EUGENIO. An incident which it is natural that Madame should not have desired to come to the knowledge of persons occupying a position, however humble, near Madame.

MME. DE K., aside. He is more than impertinent — he is dangerous. (Aloud.) You are very audacious. You took away a great deal of money.

EUGENIO. Madame appears still to have an abundance.

MME. DE K., looking at him a moment. Yes, I have enough.

EUGENIO, smiling. Madame is to he congratulated ! I have never ceased to take an interest in Madame. I have followed her — at a distance.

MME. DE K. The greater the distance, the better!

EUGENIO, significantly. Yes, I remember that Madame was very fond of her privacy. But I intrude as little as possible. I have duties at present which give me plenty of occupation. Not so much, indeed, as when I was in the employment of Monsieur de Katkoff : that was the busiest part of my life. The Russians are very exacting — the Americans are very easy !

MME. DE K. YOU are with Americans now ?

EUGENIO. Madame sees that she is willing to talk ! I am traveling with a family from New York — a family of three persons.

MME. DE K. YOU have no excuse, then, for detaining me; you know where to find conversation.

EUGENIO. Their conversation is not so agreeable as that of Madame ! ( With a slight change of tone.) I know more about you than you perhaps suspect.

MJIE. DE K, I know what you know.

EUGENIO. Oh, I don’t allude to Madame’s secrets. I should never be so indiscreet! It is not a secret to-day that Madame has a charming villa on this lovely lake, about three miles from Geneva.

MME. DE K. No, that is not a secret.

EUGENIO. And that though she leads a life of elegant seclusion, suited to the mourning which she has never laid aside — though she has lightened it a little — since she became a widow, Madame does not entirely shut her doors. She receives a few privileged persons.

MME. DE K., aside. What on earth is he coming to ? (Aloud.) Do you aspire to be one of them ?

EUGENIO. I should count upon it the day I should have something particular to say to Madame. But that day may never come.

MME. DE K. Let us hope so!

EUGENIO. Let us hope so! Meanwhile Madame is in a position to know as well as myself that — as I said just now — the Americans are very easy.

MME. DE K. The Americans ?

EUGENIO. Perhaps, after all, Madame does n’t find them so ? Her most privileged visitor is of that nationality ! Has he discovered — like me — that the Russians are very exacting ?

MME. DE K., looking at him a moment, then quickly, though with an effort. The Russians, when their antagonists go too far, can be as dangerous as any one else ! I forget your nationality.

EUGENIO. I am not sure that Madame ever knew it. I ’m an Italian Swiss, a native of the beautiful city of Lugano. Is Madame acquainted with Lugano? If she should go that way, I recommend the Hôtel Washington: always our Americans, you see! The Russians ? They are the most dangerous people I know, and we gentlemen who take charge of families know everything.

MME. DE K. You had better add frankly that you traffic in your knowledge.

EUGENIO. What could be more just ? It costs us a good deal to get it.

MME. DE K., to herself, after a pause. It is best to know the worst, and have done with it. (Aloud.) How much do you want ?

EUGENIO. How much do I want for what? For keeping quiet about Mr. Winterbourne, so that his family shan’t think he’s wasting his time, and come out from America to bring him home ? You see I know even his name! He’s supposed to be at Geneva for purposes of study.

MME. DE K. How much do you want to go away and never let me see you again ? Be merciful. Remember that I’m not rich.

EUGENIO. I know exactly the fortune of Madame ! She is not rich, for very good reasons— she was exceedingly extravagant in her youth ! On the other hand, she is by no means in misery. She is not rich, like the American lady — the amiable Mrs. Miller — whom I have at present the honor to serve; but she is able to indulge herself with the usual luxuries.

MME. DE K. It would be a luxury to get rid of you !

EUGENIO. Ah, I’m not sure that Madame can afford that; that would come under the head of extras! Moreover, I’m not in want of money. The amiable Mrs. Miller —

MME. DE K., interrupting. The amiable Mrs. Miller is as great a fool as I ?

EUGENIO. I should never think of comparing her with Madame ! Madame has much more the appearance of one who is born to command. It is for this reason that I approached her with the utmost deliberation. I recognized her three days ago, the evening she arrived at the hotel, and I pointed her out to Mrs. Miller as a Russian lady of great distinction, whose husband I had formerly the honor to serve in a very confidential position. Mrs. Miller has a daughter even more amiable than herself, and this young lady was profoundly impressed with the distinguished appearance of Madame.

MME. DE K. Her good opinion is doubtless of great value; but I suppose it’s hardly to assure me of that —

EUGENIO. I may add that I did n’t permit myself to make any further remarks.

MME. DE K. And your discretion’s an example of what you are capable of doing ? I should be happy to believe it, and if you have not come to claim your reward —

EUGENIO. My reward? My reward shall be this : that we leave the account open between us! (Changing his tone entirely.) Let me speak to you very frankly. Some eight years ago, when you were thirty years old, you were living at Dresden.

MME. DE K. I was living at Dresden, but I was not thirty years old.

EUGENIO. The age does n’t matter — we will call it twenty, if you like: that makes me younger, too. At that time I was under your roof ; I was the confidential servant, on a very exceptional footing, of M. de Katkoff. He had a great deal of business — a great deal of diplomatic business; and as he employed me very often to write for him—do you remember my beautiful hand ?— I was not so much a servant as a secretary. At any rate, I was in a position to observe that you had a quarrel with your husband.

MME. DE K. In a position ? I should think you were! He paid you to spy upon me.

EUGENIO. To spy upon you ?

MME. DE K. To watch me—to follow me — to calumniate me.

EUGENIO,smiling. That’s just the way you used to talk! You were always violent, and that gave one an advantage.

MME. DE K. All this is insupportable. Please to spare me your reminiscences, and come to the point.

EUGENIO. The point is this — that I got the advantage of you then, and that I have never lost it! Though you did n’t care for your husband, you cared for some one else; and M. de Katkoff — with my assistance, if you will — discovered the object of your preference. Need I remind you of what followed the day this discovery became known to you ? Your surprise was great, because you thought yourself safe; but your anger was even greater. You found me for a moment in your path, and you imagined — for that moment — that I was a Russian serf. The mistake had serious consequences. You called me by the vilest of names — and I have never forgotten it!

MME. DE K. I thank you for reminding me of my contempt. It was extremely sweet.

EUGENIO. It made you very reckless. I got possession of two letters, addressed to the person I speak of, and singularly rash compositions. They bear your signature in full.

MME. DE K. Can there be any better proof that I have nothing to be ashamed of ?

EUGENIO. You were not ashamed then, because, as I have already remarked, you were reckless. But today you are wise.

MME. DE K., proudly. Whatever I have said — I have always signed!

EUGENIO. It’s a habit I appreciate. One of those letters I gave to M. de Katkoff ; the other — the best — I kept for myself.

MME. DE K. What do you mean by the best?

EUGENIO. I mean — the worst!

MME. DE K. It can’t be very bad.

EUGENIO, smiling. Should you like me to submit it to a few of your friends ?

MME. DE K., aside. Horrible man ! (Aloud.) That’s the point, then : you wish to sell it.

EUGENIO. NO ; I only wish you to know I have it.

MME. DE K. I knew that already. What good does it do you ?

EUGENIO. You suspected it, but you did n’t know it. The good it does me is this — that when, as sometimes happens to us poor members of a despised and laborious class, I take stock of my prospects and reckon up the little advantages I may happen to possess, I like to feel that particular one among them.

MME. DE K. I see — you regard it as a part of your capital. But you draw no income.

EUGENIO. Ah, the income, Madame, is accumulating !

MME. DE K. If you are trying to frighten me, you don’t—very much!

EUGENIO. Very much — no! But enough is as good as a feast. There is no telling what may happen. We couriers have our ups and downs, and some day I may be in distress. Then, and only then, if I feel a pinch, I shall call on Madame. For the present —

MME. DE K. For the present, you only wish to insult me !

EUGENIO. Madame does injustice to my manners : they are usually much appreciated. For the rest of the time that we remain under the same roof— so to speak — I shall not again disturb your meditations.

MME. DE K. Be so good as to leave me.

EUGENIO. I wish Madame a very good morning ! (He goes into the hotel.)

MME. DE K., stands a moment, thinking. That’s what it is to have been a fool — for a single moment! That moment reëchoes through eternity. He has shaken my nerves, and in this wretched garden one is always observed. (Exit into the hotel.)

SCENE II. MRS. COSTELLO, MISS DURANT, CHARLES REVERDY. They come out of the hotel as Madame de Katkoff passes into it, looking at her attentively.

REVERDY, who carries a camp-stool. That’s the biggest swell in the house — a Russian princess !

MRS. COSTELLO. A Russian princess is nothing very great. We have found one at every hotel.

REVERDY. Well, this is the best of them all. You would notice her anywhere.

MRS. C. The best bred people are the people you notice least.

REVERDY. She ’s very quiet, any way. She speaks to no one.

MRS. C. You mean by that that no one speaks to her.

REVERDY, aside. The old lady ’s snappish this morning: hanged if I’ll stand it! (Aloud.) No one speaks to her, because no one ventures to.

MISS DURANT. YOU ventured to, I think, and she did n’t answer you. That’s what you mean by her being quiet!

REVERDY. She dropped her fan, and I picked it up and gave it to her. She thanked me with a smile that was a poem in itself : she did n’t need to speak!

MRS. C. YOU need n’t mind waiting on Russian princesses. Your business is to attend to us — till my nephew comes.

REVERDY, looking at his watch. As I understand you, he’s already due.

MRS. C. He’s a quarter of an hour late. We are waiting breakfast.

MISS D. I ’m afraid the delay will bring on one of your headaches.

MRS. C. I have one already, so it does n’t matter !

REVERDY, aside. Very convenient, those headaches ! (Aloud.) Won’t you sit down, at least ? (Offering campstool.) You know I don’t come out for three minutes without our little implement.

MRS. C. I don’t care for that; I ’ll sit on a bench.

REVERDY, aside. She insists on my bringing it, and yet she won’t use it! (The ladies seat themselves, and he places himself between them, astride the campstool. He continues, aloud.) If Mr. Winterbourne is already due, my holiday has legally begun.

MISS D. You won’t lose anything by waiting. After he comes you will be at perfect liberty.

REVERDY. Oh yes, after that you won’t look at me, I suppose! Miss Durant is counting very much on Mr. Winterbourne.

MRS. C. And I am counting very much on Miss Durant. You are to be very nice to him, you know.

MISS D. That will depend on how I like him.

MRS. C. That’s not what I brought you to Europe for — to make conditions. Besides, Frederick ’s a perfect gentleman.

MISS D. YOU seem to wish me to promise to marry him. I must wait till he asks me, you know.

REVERDY. He will ask you if Mrs. Costello bids him. He is evidently in excellent training.

MRS. C. I have n’t seen him for ten years : at that time he was a model nephew.

REVERDY. I should n't wonder if he were to turn out a regular “ hard ” one. That would be a jolly lark !

MRS. C. That’s not his reputation. Moreover, he has been brought up in Geneva, the most moral city in Europe.

REVERDY. You can’t tell anything from that. Here am I, brought up in New York — and we all know what New York is. Yet where can you find a more immaculate young man ? I have n’t a fault — I’m ashamed of myself !

MISS D. If Mr. Winterbourne is a little wild, I shan’t like him any the less. Some faults are very charming.

REVERDY. Tell me what they are, and I ’ll try and acquire them.

MRS. C. My dear Alice, I’m startled by your sentiments. I have tried to form your taste . . .

MISS D. Yes, but you have only cultivated my dislikes. Those are a few of my preferences.

REVERDY. Tell us a few more of them — they sound awfully spicy !

MISS D. I ’m very fond of a certain indifference. I like men who are not always running after you with a campstool, and who don’t seem to care whether you like them or not.

MRS. C. If you like rude men, they are very easily found. If I did n’t know you were a very nice girl, I should take you for — I don’t know what!

REVERDY. Miss Durant’s remarks are addressed to me, and between you two ladies it’s hard to know what to do. You want me to be always at your elbow, and you make a great point of the camp-stool. Will you have it a little, for a change ? ( Getting up and offering it. Mrs. Costello refuses with a gesture.) I don’t offer it to Miss Alice ; we have heard what she thinks of it !

MISS D. I did n’t speak of that piece of furniture : I spoke of the person who carries it.

REVERDY. The person who carries the camp-stool ? Is that what I’ve come to be known by ? Look here, my dear friends, you ought to engage a courier.

MRS. C. To cheat us out of our eyes? Thank you very much !

REVERDY. A courier with a gorgeous satchel, and a feather in his hat — like those ladies from Schenectady !

MRS. C. SO that he might smoke in our faces, as he does in theirs, and have his coffee with us after dinner, as he does with them ? They 've ruined a good servant.

MISS D. They treat him as an equal; they make him their companion.

REVERDY. But they give him handsome wages — which is more than you do me !

MISS D. I 've no doubt they give him little tokens of affection, and locks of their hair. But that makes them only the more dreadful!

MRS. C. I’m glad to see, my dear, that your taste is coming back to you !

REVERDY. Oh, if taste consists in demolishing Miss Daisy Miller, she can take the prize.

MISS D. Demolishing her ? I should be sorry to take that trouble. I think her very vulgar : that’s all !

MRS. C. Miss Daisy Miller ? Is that her distinguished name ?

REVERDY, aside. Ah, we can’t all be named Costello!

MRS. C. They are the sort of Americans that one does one’s duty by not accepting.

REVERDY. Ah, you don’t accept her ?

MRS. C. I would if I could—but I can’t. One should let Europeans know —

REVERDY. One should let them know ?

MRS. C. That we are not all like that.

REVERDY. They can see it for themselves : she’s charmingly pretty.

MISS D. You are extremely impertinent.

REVERDY, aside. I put in one that time. (Aloud.) I can’t help it; she’s lovely.

MRS. C. And is the mamma lovely, too ? Has any one ever seen the mamma ?

REVERDY. She’s sick in bed — she’s always sick.

MISS D. The courier sits with her, and gives her her medicine.

REVERDY. I hope you call that devoted, then ?

MRS. C. It does n’t matter, because the head of the family is the little boy. He orders the dinner; he has the best seat in the carriage.

REVERDY. He’s the most amusing little specimen. He has the heart of a patriot in the body of a — (Hesitates for a word.)

MISS D. In the body of a grasshopper !

REVERDY. He hops a good deal, or, rather, I should say, he flies ; for there is a good deal of the spread-eagle about him.

MISS D. He leaves his toys all over the hotel ; I suppose you would say his plumes.

REVERDY. Well, he ’s a dauntless American infant; a child of nature and of freedom.

MRS. C. Oh, nature and freedom! We have heard too much of them.

REVERDY. Wait till you are stopped at the New York custom-house ! The youthful Miller and I have struck up a friendship: he introduced me to his sister.

MRS. C. You don’t mean to say you spoke to her!

REVERDY. Spoke to her? Yes, indeed — and she answered me.

MISS D. She was not like the Russian princess !

REVERDY. NO, she ’s as little as possible like the Russian princess; but she’s very charming in another style. As soon as Mr. Winterbourne arrives (and you must excuse me for saying that he takes a deuce of a time about it), I shall console myself for the loss of your society by plunging into that of the Millers.

MRS. C. You won’t lose us, Mr. Reverdy : you can console yourself with me.

REVERDY. Oh, thank you !

MRS. C. Frederick will devote himself to Alice.

MISS D. We had better wait till he comes! I have no patience with his delay.

MRS. C. Neither have I, my dear; but I may as well take the opportunity of remarking that a young lady should n’t seem too eager . . .

MISS D. Too eager ?

MRS. C. For the arrival of a gentleman.

MISS D. I see what you mean — more reserve. But simply before you . . .

REVERDY. And before me, please. Am I nobody ?

MISS D. Nobody at all !

REVERDY. Well, I don’t care, for I descry in the distance the adorable Miss Miller !

MISS D. I’m glad she’s in the distance.

REVERDY. Ah, but she’s coming this way.

MISS D., quickly. I forbid you to speak to her.

REVERDY, aside. Ah, then I am somebody ? (Aloud.) I can’t cut the poor girl, you know.

MISS D. You needn’t see her. You can look at me.

MRS. C. She ’s always wandering about the garden — the image of idleness and frivolity.

REVERDY. She’s not as serious as we, nor as well occupied, certainly ; but she’s bored to death. She has got no one to flirt with.

MISS D. She shall not flirt with you, at any rate !

REVERDY. DO you wish me to hide behind a tree?

MISS D. No, you can sit down here (indicating the bench beside her), and take my parasol — so ! — and hold it before your face, as if you were shading your eyes.

REVERDY, with the parasol. From Miss Daisy Miller ? It’s true she’s very dazzling ! (Daisy enters from the right, strolling slowly, as if she has nothing to do, and passes across the stage in front of the others, who sit silent, watching her, Reverdy peeping for a moment from behind his parasol.She was dressed in white muslin, with a hundred frills and flounces, and knots of palecolored ribbon. She was bare-headed; but she balanced in her hand a large par-asol, with a deep border of embroidery ; and she was strikingly, admirably, pretty.”1She looks at the others as she passes them, and goes out on the leftnot into the hotel, Reverdy continues.) Now, then, may I look out ?

MISSS D., taking back her parasol. She saw you, I’m happy to say.

REVERDY. Oh yes, I gave her a wink !

MRS. C. That’s the way she roams about —

MISS D. Seeking whom she may devour !

REVERDY. Poor little creature ! I ’m the only tolerably good-looking young man in the hotel.

MRS. C. Mercy on us ! I hope she won’t get hold of Frederick !

REVERDY. Not if I can help it, dear Madam. I have never seen Frederick — but I mistrust Frederick.

MRS. C. He’s not at all in your style. He ’s had a foreign education. He speaks a dozen languages.

REVERDY,aside. An awful prig,— I can see that.

MRS. C. Let us hope that, thanks to his foreign education, he will be out of danger. Such people as that can only disgust him.

REVERDY. I know the style of fellow you mean — a very high collar and a very stiff spine ! He speaks a dozen languages—but he doesn’t speak the language of Schenectady! He won’t understand an American girl — he had better leave her alone.

MISS D. I’m very much obliged to you — for me !

Enter (t waiter from the hotel.

REVERDY. Oh, you are not an American ; you ’re an angel !

THE WAITER,approaching with a bow. The breakfast that Madame ordered is served.

MRS. C., to her companions. It’s just twelve o’clock ; we certainly can’t wait any longer.

MISS D. I don’t believe he’s coming at all!

MRS. C. Ah, if I’ve only brought on a headache for nothing !

REVERDY,aside. Won’t he catch it when he arrives? (They pass into the hotel, the waiter leading the way.)

SCENE III. EUGENIO, then WINTERBOURNE and the WAITER,Eugenio comes out of the hotel, then looks about him and begins to call. He is without his hat and satchel.

EUGENIO. Meester Randolph ! Meester Randolph ! Confound that infernal child — it’s the fifth time this morning that I’ve chased him round the garden ! (Stands calling again.) Meester Randolph ! Meester Randolph! He is always there when he’s not wanted and never when he is, and when I find him I have n’t even the right to pinch his ear! He begins to kick like a little mule, and he has nails in his boots — for the mountains. Meester Randolph! Meester Randolph ! Drat the little wretch — I’m a courier, not a nurse! (Exit to the right, while Winterbourne comes down from the hotel, followed by a waiter, the same who has just appeared, carrying a little tray with a service of black coffee.)

WINTERBOURNE. I’ll have my coffee here, it’s so close in the hotel. (The waiter places the tray on a small table, which he draws up to a bench. Winterbourne takes out a card, on which, on his pocket-book, he writes a few words.) And please to take that card to the lady whose name I have written there, and ask her when it will he convenient for her to see me.

THE WAITER,looking at the card. The Russian lady who arrived three days ago? I will let you know, sir.

WINTERBOURNE,seated at the little table. Wait a moment. Do you know whether Mrs. Costello has breakfasted?

THE WAITER. Mrs. Costello? The lady with the young lady, and the gentleman also young ?

WINTERBOURNE. I know nothing about her companions. A lady with her hair very high. She is rather — rather —

THE WAITER. Yes, sir, she is rather high altogether ! When she gives an order —

WINTERBOURNE,pouring out his coffee. I don’t ask you to describe her — I ask you if she has breakfasted.

THE WAITER. The party’s at table now, sir. I conducted them myself, five minutes ago. I think they waited for you, sir; they expected you to arrive.

WINTERBOURNE. I arrived an hour ago, by the train; but I was dusty, and I had to have a bath. (Lighting a cigarette.) Then while I dressed, to save time, I had my breakfast brought to my room. Where do they usually take their coffee ?

THE WAITER. They take it in our beautiful garden, sir.

WINTERBOURNE. Very good. I will wait for them here. That’s all. {The waiter reënters the hotel. Winterbourne puffs his cigarette.) There is no use in being in a hurry. I want to be eager — but I don’t want to be too eager. That worthy man is quite right; when Aunt Louisa gives an order, it’s a military command. She has ordered me up from Geneva, and I’ve marched at the word; but I ’ll rest a little before reporting at headquarters. (Puffs his cigarette.) It coincides very happily, for I don’t know that, without this pretext, I should have ventured to come. Three days ago, the waiter said ? A week ago, at the villa, they told me she had gone. There is always a mystery in that woman’s movements. Yes, Aunt Louisa is rather high ; but it’s not of her I’m afraid! (Puffs a moment in silence.)


RANDOLPH.(He comes in from the back, approaches Winterbourne, and stops.

“ The child, who was diminutive for his years, had an aged expression of countenance, a pale complexion, and sharp little features. He was dressed in knickerbockers, with red stockings, which displayed his poor little spindleshanks ; he also wore a brilliant red cravat. He carried in his hand a long alpenstock, the sharp point of which he thrust into everything that he approached,the flowerbeds, the garden-benches. ... In front of Winterbourne he paused, looking at him with a pair of bright, penetrating little eyes.”2Winterbourne, smoking, returns his gaze.) Will you give me a lump of sugar ?

WINTERBOURNE. Yes, you may take one ; but I don’t think sugar is good for little boys.

RANDOLPH. (He steps forward and carefully possesses himself of the whole contents of the plate. From these he still more carefully selects the largest lump, depositing the others in his pocket. Biting, with a grimace.) Oh, blazes ! it’s hard !

WINTERBOURNE. Take care, young man. You ’ll hurt your teeth.

RANDOLPH. I haven’t got any teeth to hurt; they’ve all come out. I’ve only got seven teeth. Mother counted them last night, and one came out afterwards. She said she’d slap me if any more came out. I can’t help it — it’s this old Europe. It’s the climate that makes ’em come out. In America they did n’t come out; it’s these hotels !

WINTERBOURNE. If you eat all that sugar, your mother will certainly slap you.

RANDOLPH. She’s got to give me some candy, then. I can’t get any candy here—any American candy. American candy’s the best.

WINTERBOURNE. And are American boys the best little boys?

RANDOLPH. I don’t know. I ’m an American boy!

WINTERBOURNE. I see you are one of the best.

RANDOLPH. That is n’t what my mother says, you can bet your life on that!

WINTERBOURNE. Oh, your mother’s too modest!

RANDOLPH, astride his alpenstock, looking at Winterbourne. She’s sick — she’s always sick. It’s this old Europe ! Are you an American man ?

WINTERBOURNE. Oh, yes, a fellowcitizen. (Aside.) I wonder whether I was once like that!

RANDOLPH. American men are the best.

WINTERBOURNE. So they often say.

RANDOLPH, looking off to the left. Here comes my sister. She’s an American girl.

WINTERBOURNE. American girls are the best girls.

RANDOLPH. Oh, my sister ain’t the best. She’s always blowing at me !

WINTERBOURNE. I imagine that’s your fault, not hers. (Daisy comes in from the left in the same manner as on her previous entrance, and on reaching the middle of the stage stops and looks at Winterbourne and at Randolph, who has converted his alpenstock into a vaultingpole, and is springing about violently. Winterbourne continues, getting up.) By Jove, how pretty!

DAISY. Well, Randolph, what are you doing ?

RANDOLPH. I’m going up the Alps. This is the way !

WINTERBOURNE. That ’s the way they come down.

RANDOLPH. He’s all right; he’s an American man !

WINTERBOURNE, aside. It seems to me that I have been in a manner presented. (Approaches Daisy, throwing away his cigarette. Aloud, with great civility.) This little boy and I have made acquaintance.

DAISY. She looks at him a moment serenely, and then, as if she had scarcelyheard him, addresses Randolph again : I should like to know where you got that pole !

RANDOLPH. The same way as you get your things. I made Eugenio buy it.

WINTERBOURNE, aside. With a little commission !

DAISY. You don’t mean to say you ’re going to take that pole to Italy ?

WINTERBOURNE, same manner. Are you thinking of going to Italy?

DAISY, looking at him, and then looking away. Yes, sir.

WINTERBOURNE. Are you going over the Simplon ?

DAISY. I don’t know — I suppose it’s some mountain. Randolph, what mountain are we going over ?

RANDOLPH. Going where ?

DAISY. TO Italy. (Arranging her ribbons.) Don’t you know about Italy ?

RANDOLPH. NO, and I don’t want to. I want to go to America !

WINTERBOURNE. Oh, Italy’s a beautiful place.

RANDOLPH. Can you get any candy there ?

DAISY. I hope not! I guess you have had candy enough, and mother thinks so too.

RANDOLPH, still jumping about. I have n’t had any for ever so long — for a hundred weeks !

DAISY. Why, Randolph, I don’t see how you can tell — (She pauses a moment.) Well I don’t care! (Looks down at her dress, and continues to smooth her ribbons.)

WINTERBOURNE, aside. Does she accept my acquaintance or not ? It’s rather sudden, and it would n't do at Geneva. But why else did she come and plant herself in front of me? She is the prettiest of the pretty, and, I declare, I ’ll risk it! (After a moment, aloud.) We are very fortunate in our weather, are we not ?

DAISY. Well, yes, we’ve got nice weather.

WINTERBOURNE. And still more fortunate in our scenery. (Indicating the view.)

DAISY. Well, yes, the scenery’s lovely. It seems very mountainous.

WINTERBOURNE. Ah, Switzerland is mountainous, you know.

DAISY. I don’t know much about it. We have only been here a week.

WINTERBOURNE, smiling. In a week one can see a good deal.

DAISY. Well, we have n’t; we have only walked round a little.

WINTERBOURNE, aside. What a remarkable type! (Aloud.) You must be rather tired: there are plenty of chairs. (Draws forward two of them.)

DAISY, looking at them a moment. You 'll be very clever if you can get Randolph to sit.

WINTERBOURNE. I don’t care a fig about Randolph. (Daisy seats herself. Aside.) Oh, Geneva, Geneva !

DAISY, smoothing her ribbons. Well, he’s only nine. We’ve sat round a good deal, too.

WINTERBOURNE, seated beside her. It’s very pleasant, these summer days.

DAISY. Well, yes, it’s very pleasant. But it’s nicer in the evening.

WINTERBOURNE. Ah, much nicer in the evening. It’s remarkably nice in the evening. (Aside.) What the deuce is she coming to ? (Aloud.) When you get to Italy you ’ll find the evenings there! . . .

DAISY. I’ve heard a good deal about the evenings there.

WINTERBOURNE. In Venice, you know — on the water — with music!

DAISY. I don’t know much about it. (With a little laugh.) I don’t know much about anything!

WINTERBOURNE, aside. Heaven forgive her, she’s charming ! I must real-

ly ascertain ... (To Randolph, who has continued to roam about, and who comes back to them with his alpenstock, catching him and drawing him between his knees.) Tell me your name, my beautiful boy!

RANDOLPH, struggling. Well, you drop me first!

DAISY. Why, Randolph, I should think you’d like it!

WINTERBOURNE, aside. Jupiter, that is a little strong!

RANDOLPH, liberating himself. Try it yourself ! My name is Randolph C. Miller.

WINTERBOURNE, aside. Alarming child! But she does n’t seem to be alarmed.

RANDOLPH, leveling his alpenstock at Daisy, who averts it with her hand. And I ’ll tell you her name.

DAISY, leaning back serenely. You had better wait till you are asked.

WINTERBOURNE. I should like very much to know your name.

RANDOLPH. Her name is Daisy Miller.

WINTERBOURNE, expressively. How very interesting!

DAISY, looking at him, aside. Well, he’s a queer specimen ! I guess he’s laughing.

RANDOLPH. That is n’t her real name — that is n’t her name on her cards.

DAISY. It’s a pity that you have n’t got one of my cards !

RANDOLPH. Her name is Annie P. Miller.

WINTERBOURNE. Oh, I see. (Aside.) That does n’t tell me much.

DAISY, indicating Winterbourne. Ask him his name.

RANDOLPH. Ask him yourself ! My father’s name is Ezra B. Miller. My father ain’t in Europe. My father’s in a better place than Europe.

WINTERBOURNE, uncertain. Ah, you have had the misfortune . . .

RANDOLPH. My father’s in Schenectady. He does a big business. He’s rich, you can bet your head !

WINTERBOURNE, aside. Oh, in Schenectady ? I thought he meant in Paradise !

DAISY, to Randolph. Well, you need n’t stick your pole into my eye !

RANDOLPH, to Winterbourne. Did n’t I tell you she was always blowing ? (Scampers away and disappears.)

DAISY, looking after him. He does n’t like Europe; he wants to go back. He has n’t got any boys here. There’s one boy here, but he’s always going round with a teacher.

WINTERBOURNE. And your brother has n’t any teacher?

DAISY. Mother thought of getting him one, to travel round with us. But Randolph said he did n’t want a teacher when school did n’t keep ; he said he would n’t have lessons when he was in the cars. And we are in the cars most of the time. There was an English lady we met in the cars ; her name was Miss Featherstone — perhaps you know her. She wanted to know why I did n't give Randolph lessons—give him instruction, she called it. I guess he could give me more instruction than I could give him! He’s very smart — he’s only nine.

WINTERBOURNE,aside. He might be ninety !

DAISY. Mother’s going to get a teacher for him as soon as we get to Italy. Can you get good teachers in Italy ?

WINTERBOURNE. Oh, it’s the land of art — of science.

DAISY. Well, I guess he does n’t want to study art ; but she’s going to find some school, if she can. (Pensively.) Randolph ought to learn some more.

WINTERBOURNE. It depends upon what it is !

DAISY,after a silence, during which her eyes have rested upon him. I presume you are a German.

WINTERBOURNE,rising quickly. Oh dear, no ! I should n’t have ventured

to speak to you, if your brother’s mention of my nationality had not seemed a guarantee . . .

DAISY, getting up. I did n’t suppose my brother knew. And you do speak queerly, any way !

WINTERBOURNE. I’m a countryman of your own. But I should tell you that I have spent many years in this old Europe, as your brother says.

DAISY. Do you live here — in the mountains ?

WINTERBOURNE,aside. Does she think I’m a goatherd ? (Aloud.) No, I live just now at Geneva.

DAISY. Well, you are peculiar, anyhow !

WINTERBOURNE,aside. So are you, if you come to that. (Aloud.) I’m afraid I have got rather out of the way — (pauses for a moment.)

DAISY. Out of the way of what ?

WINTERBOURNE. Of making myself agreeable to the young ladies.

DAISY. Have n’t they got any over here? I must say I have n't seen any ! Of course I have n’t looked out much for them.

WINTERBOURNE. You’ve looked out more for the gentlemen !

DAISY. Well, at Schenectady I did n’t have to look out.

WINTERBOURNE,aside. Queer place, Schenectady.

DAISY. I had so much society. But over here — (She hesitates.)


DAISY. Well, you’re the first gentleman that has been at all attentive.

WINTERBOURNE. Ah, you see, they ’re afraid!

DAISY, continuing. And the first I’ve cared anything about!

WINTERBOURNE,aside. And to think that, at the beginning, I was afraid ! (Aloud.) If they knew how kind you are they would be much less timid.

DAISY. I hate gentlemen to be timid. That’s only for us.

WINTERBOURNE,aside. “ For us ” is enchanting!

SCENE V. DAISY, WINTERBOURNE, EUGENIO, who comes in hastily from the right, wiping his forehead.

EUGENIO. Mademoiselle, I have been looking for an hour for Meester Randolph. He must be drowned in the lake !

DAISY. I guess he’s talking to that waiter. (Serenely.) He likes to talk to that waiter.

EUGENIO. He should n’t talk to waiters, Mademoiselle.

WINTERBOURNE,aside. Only to couriers — the hierarchy !

DAISY. I want to introduce you to a friend of mine — Mr. — Mr.— (To Winterbourne.) I declare, I don’t know your name.

WINTERBOURNE, aside. To the courier ? Excuse me !

EUGENIO,very proper. I have the honor of knowing the name of Monsieur.

DAISY. Gracious, you know everything !

EUGENIO,aside. The lover of the Katkoff! (Aloud.) I found Meester Randolph, but he escaped again.

DAISY. Well, Eugenio, you ’re a splendid courier, but you can’t make much impression on Randolph.

EUGENIO. I do what I can, Mademoiselle. The lunch is waiting, and Madame is at the table. If you will excuse me, I will give up the chase. ( Glancing at Winterbourne, aside.) Is he leaving the Katkoff for the child ?

DAISY. You need n’t be so grand, need he ? (To Winterbourne.) It’s not the first time you’ve been introduced to a courier !

WINTERBOURNE,stiffly. The very first.

EUGENIO, aside. He has never kept one. (Aloud.) If Mademoiselle will pass into the hotel! (Aside again.) The child is not for every one.

DAISY. Tell mother to begin — that I’m talking to a gentleman.

WINTERBOURNE, protesting. I shall be very sorry to incommode your mother.

DAISY, smiling. I like the way you say such things. (Familiarly.) What are you going to do all day ?

WINTERBOURNE,embarrassed. I hardly know. I’ve only just arrived.

DAISY. I will come out after lunch.

WINTERBOURNE, with extreme respect. I shall be here, to take your commands.

DAISY. Well, you do say them! About two o’clock.

WINTERBOURNE. I shall not go far.

DAISY, going. And I shall learn your name from Eugenio.

EUGENIO,aside. And something else as well! He is not for the child. (Follows Daisy into the hotel.)


WINTERBOURNE. She’s simply amazing ! I have never seen them like that. I have seen them worse — oh, yes ! — and I have seen them better ; but I’ve never encountered that particular shade — that familiarity, that facility, that fragility ! She’s too audacious to be innocent, and too candid to be — the other thing. But her candor itself is a queer affair. Coming up to me and proposing acquaintance, and letting her eyes rest on mine ! Planting herself there like a flower to be gathered ! Introducing me to her courier, and offering me a rendezvous at the end of twenty minutes ! Are they all like that, the little American girls ? It’s time I should go back and see. (Seeing Madame de Katkoff.) But I can hardly go while I have this reason for staying !

MME. DE K.(She comes out of the hotel; she has still her book under her arm.) They brought me your card, but I thought it better I should come and see you here.

WINTERBOURNE. I know why you do that: you think it’s less encouraging than to receive me in-doors.

MME. DE K., smiling. Oh, if I could discourage you a little !

WINTERBOURNE, It’s not for want of trying. I bore you so much !

MME. DE K. No, you don’t bore me, but you distress me. I give you so little.

WINTERBOURNE. That’s for me to measure. I’m content for the present.

MME. DE K. If you had been content, you would n’t have followed me to this place.

WINTERBOURNE. I did n’t follow you, and, to speak perfectly frankly, it’s not for you I came.

MME. DE K. IS it for that young lady I just saw from my window ?

WINTERBOURNE. I never heard of that young lady before. I came for an aunt of mine, who is staying here.

MME. DE K., smiling again. Ah, if your family could ody take an interest in you !

WINTERBOURNE. Don’t count on them too much. I have n’t seen my aunt yet.

MME. DE K. You have asked first for me? You see, then, it was for me you came.

WINTERBOURNE. I wish I could believe it pleased you a little to think so.

MME. DE K. It does please me — a little ; I like you very much.

WINTERBOURNE. You always say that, when you are about to make some particularly disagreeable request. You like me, but you dislike my society. On that principle, I wish you hated me !

MME. DE IV. I may come to it yet.

WINTERBOURNE. Before that, then, won’t you sit down? (Indicating a bench.)

MME. DE K. Thank you; I’m not tired.

WINTERBOURNE. That would be too encouraging! I went to the villa a week ago. You had already left it.

MME. DE K. I went first to Lausanne. If I had remained there, you would n’t have found me.

WINTERBOURNE. I’m delighted you didn’t remain. But I’m sorry you are altering your house.

MME. DE K. Only two rooms. That’s why I came away : the workmen made too much noise.

WINTERBOURNE. I hope they are not the rooms I know — in which the happiest hours of my life have been passed!

MME. DE K. I see why you wished me to sit down. You want to begin a siege.

WINTERBOURNE. NO, I was only going to say that I shall always see with particular vividness your little blue parlor.

MME. DE K. They are going to change it to red. (Aside.) Perhaps that will cure him ! ( Aloud.) Apropos of your family, have they come to Europe to bring you home ?

WINTERBOURNE. As I tell you, I have n’t yet ascertained their intentions.

MME. DE K. I take a great interest in them. I feel a little responsible for you.

WINTERBOURNE. You don’t care a straw for me !

MME. DE K. Let me give you a proof. I think it would conduce to your happiness to return for a while to America.

WINTERBOURNE. TO mg happiness ? You are confounding it with your own.

MME. DE K. It is true that the two things are rather distinct. But you have been in Europe for years—for years and years.

WINTERBOURNE. Oh, I have been here too long. I know that.

MME. DE K. You ought to go over and make the acquaintance of your compatriots.

WINTERBOURNE. Going over is n’t necessary. I can do it here.

MME. DE K. You ought at least to see their institutions — their scenery.

WINTERBOURNE. Don’t talk about scenery, on the Lake of Geneva! As for American institutions, I can see them in their fruits.

MME. DE K. In their fruits ?

WINTERBOURNE. Little nectarines and plums. A very pretty bloom, but decidedly crude. What book are you reading ?

MME. DE K. I don’t know what. The last French novel.

WINTERBOURNE. Are you going to remain in the garden ?

MME. DE K., looks at him a moment. I see what you are coming to : you wish to offer to read to me.

WINTERBOURNE. AS I did in the little blue parlor !

MME. DE K. You read very well; but we are not there now.

WINTERBOURNE. A quiet corner, under the trees, will do as well.

MME. DE K. We neither of us have the time. I recommend you to your aunt. She ’ll be sure to take you in hand.

WINTERBOURNE. I have an idea I shan’t fall in love with my aunt.

MME. DE K. I’m sorry for her. I should like yon as a nephew.

WINTERBOURNE. I should like you as a serious woman !

MME. DE K. I’m intensely serious. Perhaps you will believe it when I tell you that I leave this place to-day.

WINTERBOURNE. I don’t call that serious : I call it cruel.

MME. DE K. At all events, it’s deliberate. Vevey is too hot; I shall go higher up into the mountains.

WINTERBOURNE. YOU knew it was hot when you came.

MME. DE K., after a pause, with significance. Yes, but it’s hotter than I supposed.

WINTERBOURNE. You don’t like meeting old friends.

MME. DE K., aside. No, nor old enemies ! (Aloud.) I like old friends in the autumn — the melancholy season ! I shall count on seeing you then.

WINTERBOURNE. And not before, of course. Say at once you wish to cut me.

MME. DE K., smiling. Very good : I wish to cut you !

WINTERBOURNE. You give a charm even to that! Where shall you be in the autumn ?

MME. DE K. I shall be at the villa — if the little blue parlor is altered ! In the winter I shall go to Rome.

WINTERBOURNE. A happy journey, then ! I shall go to America.

MME. DE K. That’s capital. Let me give you a word of advice.

WINTERBOURNE. Yes, that’s the finishing touch !

MME. DE K. The little nectarines and plums : don’t mind if they are a trifle crude! Pick out a fair one, a sweet one —

WINTERBOURNE, stopping her with a gesture. Don’t, don’t! I shall see you

before you go.

MME. DE K., aside. Not if I can help it! (Aloud.) I think this must be your family. (Goes into the hotel.)

SCENE VII. WINTERBOURNE, MRS. COSTELLO, MISS DURANT, REVERDY, who come out of the hotel as Mme. de Katkoff enters it.

REVERDY. We are always meeting the Russian princess !

MISS D. If you call that meeting her, when she never looks at you !

MRS. C. She does n’t look at you, but she sees you. Bless my soul, if here is n’t Frederick !

WINTERBOURNE. My dear aunt, I was only waiting till you had breakfasted.

MISS D., aside. He was talking with the Russian princess !

MRS. C. You might have sat down with us : we waited an hour.

WINTERBOURNE. I breakfasted in my room. I was obliged on my arrival to jump into a bath.

MISS D., aside. He’s very cold — he’s very cold !

WINTERBOURNE. They told me you were at table, and I just sat down here.

MRS. C. You were in no hurry to embrace me — after ten years ?

WINTERBOURNE. It was just because of those ten years ; they seemed to make you so venerable that I was pausing — as at the entrance of a shrine! Besides, I knew you had charming company.

MRS. C. You shall discover howcharming. This is Alice Durant, who is almost our cousin.

WINTERBOURNE,smiling. Almost? I wish it were quite.

MRS. COSTELLO. And that is Mr. Charles Reverdy.

REVERDY. Who is almost their courier !

WINTERBOURNE. I must relieve you of your duties.

REVERDY,aside. Oh, thank you, thank you! By George, if I ’m relieved I 'll look out for Miss Miller.

(Looks about him, and finally steals away.)

MRS. C. My dear Frederick, in all this time you've not changed for the worse.

WINTERBOURNE. HOW can you tell that — in three minutes ?

MISS D., aside. Decidedly good-looking, but fearfully distant!

MRS. C. Oh, if you are not agreeable, we shall be particularly disappointed. We count on you immensely.

WINTERBOURNE. I shall do my best, dear aunt.

MRS. C. Especially for our sweet Alice.

MISS D. Oh, Cousin Louisa, how can you ?

MRS. C. I thought of you when I invited her to come to Europe.

WINTERBOURNE. It was a very happy thought. I don’t mean thinking of me, but inviting Miss Durant.

MISS D., to Winterbourne. I can’t say it was of you I thought when I accepted.

WINTERBOURNE. I should never flatter myself : there are too many other objects of interest.

MRS. C. That’s precisely what we have been talking of. We are surrounded by objects of interest, and we depend upon you to be our guide.

WINTERBOURNE. My dear aunt, I ’m afraid I don’t know much about them.

MRS. C. You ’ll have a motive today for learning. I have an idea that you have always wanted a motive. In that stupid old Geneva there can’t be many.

WINTERBOURNE. Ah, if there’s one, it’s enough !

MISS D., aside. If there ’s one? He’s in love with some dreadful Genevese !

MRS. C. My young companion has a great desire to ascend a mountain — to examine a glacier.

MISS D. Cousin Louisa, you make me out too bold !

WINTERBOURNE,aside. She ’s not bold, then, this one, like the other ? I think I prefer the other. (Aloud.) You should go to Zermatt. You ’re in the midst of the glaciers there.

MRS. C. We shall be delighted to go — under your escort. Mr. Reverdy will look after me !

MISS D., glancing about for him. When he has done with Miss Daisy Miller !

WINTERBOURNE,smiling. Even among the glaciers, I flatter myself I can take care of both of you.

MISS D. It will be all the easier, as I never leave your aunt.

MRS. C. She does n’t rush about the world alone, like so many American girls. She has been brought up like the young ladies in Geneva. Her education was surrounded with every precaution.

WINTERBOURNE,smiling. With too many, perhaps ! The best education is seeing the world a little.

MRS. C. That’s precisely what I wish her to do. When we have finished Zermatt, we wish to come back to Interlaken, and from Interlaken you shall take us to Lucerne.

WINTERBOURNE, gravely. Perhaps you ’ll draw up a little list.

MISS D., aside. Perfectly polite, but no enthusiasm! (Aloud.) I’m afraid Mr. Winterbourne is n’t at liberty ; he has other friends.

MRS. C. He has n’t another aunt, I imagine!

WINTERBOURNE,aside. Fortunately not! ( Aloud to Miss Durant.) It ’s

very charming of you to think of that.

MISS D. Possibly we are indiscreet, as we just saw you talking to a lady.

WINTERBOURNE. Madame de Katkoff ? She leaves this place to-day.

MRS. C. You don’t mean to follow her, I hope ? (Aside.) It’s best to be firm with him at the start.

WINTERBOURNE. My dear aunt, I don’t follow every woman I speak to.

MISS D., aside. Ah, that’s meant for us! Mr. Reverdy is never so rude. I’d thank him to come back.

MRS. C. On the 1st of October, you know, you shall take us to Italy.

WINTERBOURNE. Ah ! every one is going to Italy.

MISS D. Every one? Madame de Katkoff, perhaps.

WINTERBOURNE. Madame de Katkoff, precisely; and Mr. Randolph C. Miller and his sister Daisy.

MRS. C. Bless my soul ! What do you know about that?

WINTERBOURNE. I know what they have told me.

MRS. C. Mercy on us! What opportunity ? —

WINTERBOURNE. Just now, while I had my coffee.

MISS D. As I say, Mr. Winterbourne has a great many friends.

WINTERBOURNE. He only asks to add you to the number.

MISS D. Side by side with Miss Daisy Miller ? Thank you very much.

MRS. C. Come, my dear Frederick, that girl is not your friend.

WINTERBOURNE. Upon my word, I don’t know what she is, and I should be very glad if you could tell me.

MRS. C. That’s very easily done: she’s a little American flirt.

WINTERBOURNE. Ah! she’s a little American flirt!

MISS D. She’s a vulgar little chatterbox !

WINTERBOURNE. Ah! she’s a vulgar little chatterbox !

MRS. C. She’s in no sort of society.

WINTERBOURNE. Ah ! she’s in no sort of society !

MISS D. You would never know her in America.

WINTERBOURNE. If I should never know her in America, it seems to me a reason for seizing the opportunity here.

MRS. C. The opportunity appears to have come to you very easily.

WINTERBOURNE. I confess it did, rather. We fell into conversation while I sat there on the bench.

MRS. C. Perhaps she sat down beside you ?

WINTERBOURNE. I won’t deny that she did; she is wonderfully charming.

MISS D. Oh! if that’s all that’s necessary to be charming —

MRS. C. You must give up the attempt — must n’t you, my dear ? My poor Frederick, this is very dreadful!

WINTERBOURNE. SO it seems; but I don’t understand.

MRS. C. What should you say at Geneva of a young woman who made such advances?

WINTERBOURNE. Such advances ? I don’t know that they were advances.

MRS. C. Ah ! if you wish to wait till she invites you to her room !

WINTERBOURNE,laughing. I sha’n’t have to wait very long.

MISS D., shocked. Had n’t I better leave you ?

MRS. C. Poor child, I understand that you shrink . . . But we must make it clear.

MISS D. Oh yes, we must make it clear!

WINTERBOURNE. Do make it clear ; I want it to be clear.

MRS. C. Ask yourself, then, what they would say at Geneva.

WINTERBOURNE. They would say she was rather far gone. But we are not at Geneva.

MRS. C. We are only a few miles off. Miss Daisy Miller is very far gone indeed.

WINTERBOURNE. Ah ! what a pity ! But I thought, now, in New York —

MRS. C., sternly. Frederick, don’t lift your hand against your mother country!

WINTERBOURNE. Never in the world. I only repeat what I hear — that over there all this sort of thing — the manners of young persons, the standard of propriety — is quite different.

MISS D. I only know how I was brought up !

WINTERBOURNE,slightly ironical. Ah, that settles it.

MRS. C. We must take him back with us, to see.

WINTERBOURNE. Not to see, you mean — not to see my dear little friend !

MRS. C. In the best society — never.

WINTERBOURNE. Oh, hang the best society, then !

MRS. C., with majesty. I ’m exceedingly obliged to you.

WINTERBOURNE. Oh, you are the best society ! And the little girl with the naughty brother is the worst ?

MRS. C. The worst I’ve ever seen.

WINTERBOURNE,rather gravely, laying his hand on her arm. My dear aunt, the best, then, ought to be awfully good !

MISS D., aside. He means that for an epigram ! I 'll make him go and look for Mr. Reverdy. (Aloud.) I wonder what has become of Mr. Reverdy.

MRS. C., sharply. Never mind Mr. Reverdy; I’ll look after him. (To Winterbourne.) If you should see a little more of those vulgar people, you would find that they don’t stand the test.

WINTERBOURNE. Oh, I shall see a little more of them — in a quarter of an hour. (Looking at his watch.) The young lady is coming back at two o’clock.

MRS. C. Gracious goodness ! Have you made an appointment?

WINTERBOURNE. I don’t know whether it’s an appointment, but she said she would come back again.

MRS. C., to Miss Durant. My precious darling, we must go in. We can hardly be expected to assist at such a scene.

WINTERBOURNE. My dear aunt, there is plenty of time yet.

MISS D. Ah, no; she’ll be before! Would you kindly look for Mr. Reverdy ?

WINTERBOURNE,extremely polite. With the greatest of pleasure.

MRS. C. Later in the afternoon, if this extraordinary interview is over, we should like you to go with us into the town.

WINTERBOURNE,in the same tone. With the greatest of pleasure. (Aside.) They hate her ferociously, and it makes me feel sorry for her.

MRS. C., to Miss Durant. Quickly, my dear! We must get out of the way.

WINTERBOURNE. Let me at least see you into the house. (Accompanies them into the hotel.)


REVERDY,coming in from behind with the child on his back. The horrid little wretch ! I’m like Sinbad the Sailor with the Old Man of the Sea ! Don’t you think you’ve had about enough ?

RANDOLPH,snapping a little whip. Oh, no ; I have n’t had enough. I ’ll tell you when I’ve had enough.

REVERDY. Oh, come ! I’ve galloped twenty miles ; I’ve been through all my paces. You must sit still in the saddle a while. (Pauses in front while Randolph bounces up and down.) I ’m playing horse with the brother to he agreeable to the sister ; but he’s riding me to death!

RANDOLPH,still brandishing his whip.

I want you to prance about and to kick. Get up, sir ; get up !

REVERDY,aside. It’s the devil’s own game — here at the door of the hotel! (Aloud.) I ’ll prance about so that you’ll come off.

RANDOLPH,firm in his place. If you throw me off, I ’ll give you a licking! Get up, sir, get up!

REVERDY,aside. Damn the little demon ! It was a happy thought of mine.

RANDOLPH,kicking. These are my spurs. I ’ll drive in my spurs ! Get up, sir, get up!

REVERDY. Oh misery, here goes! (He begins to imitate the curveting of a horse, in the hope of throwing Randolph off, but, seeing Daisy issue from the hotel, suddenly stops.)

DAISY,staring. Well, Randolph, what are you doing up there ?

RANDOLPH. I ’m riding on a mule !

REVERDY,with a groan. A mule ? Not even the nobler animal! My dear young lady, could n’t you persuade him to dismount ?

DAISY,laughing. You look so funny when you say that ! I’m sure I never persuaded Randolph.

RANDOLPH. He said if I would tell him where you were, he would give me a ride.

REVERDY. And then, when he was up, he refused to tell me !

RANDOLPH. I told you mother would n’t like it. She wants Daisy and me to be proper.

REVERDY,aside. “ Me to be proper ! ” He’s really sublime, the little fiend !

DAISY. Well, she does want you to be proper. She’s waiting for you at lunch.

RANDOLPH. I don’t want any lunch : there’s nothing fit to eat.

DAISY. Well, I guess there is, if you ’ll go and see.

REVERDY,aside. It’s uncommonly nice for me, while they argue the question !

DAISY. There’s a man with candy in the hall; that’s where mother wants you to be proper !

RANDOLPH,jumping down. A man with candy. Oh, blazes !

REVERDY,aside. Adorable creature! She has broken the spell.

RANDOLPH,scampering into the hotel.

I say, old mule, you can go to grass!

REVERDY. Delightful little nature, your brother.

DAISY. Well, he used to have a pony at home. I guess he misses that pony. Is it true that you asked him that ?

REVERDY. TO tell me where you were? I confess I wanted very much to know.

DAISY. Well, Randolph couldn’t tell you. I was having lunch with mother.

I thought you were with those ladies.

REVERDY. Whom you saw me with this morning? Oh, no; they’ve got another cavalier, just arrived, on purpose.

DAISY,attentive. Another cavalier — just arrived? Do you mean that gentleman that speaks so beautifully?

REVERDY. A dozen languages ? His English isn’t bad — compared with my French !

DAISY,thoughtful. Well, he looks like a cavalier. Did he come on purpose for them ?

REVERDY,aside. What does she know about him ? Oh, yes ; they sent for him to Geneva.

DAISY. TO Geneva ? That’s the one !

REVERDY. YOU see, they want him to be always with them ; he’s for their own particular consumption.

DAISY,disappointed, but very simply. Ah, then he won’t come out at two o’clock!

REVERDY. I’m sure I don’t know. ( The bell of the hotel strikes two.) There it is. You ’ll have a chance to see. ( Winterbourne, on the stroke of the hour, comes out of the hotel.)

DAISY, joyfully. Here he comes! He’s too sweet!

REVERDY, aside. Oh, I say, she had made an appointment with him while I was doing the mule !


WINTERBOURNE, to Reverdy. I ’m glad to find you : Miss Durant has a particular desire to see you.

REVERDY. It ’s very good of you to be her messenger. (Aside.) That’s what he calls relieving me !

WINTERBOURNE. You’ll find those ladies in their own sitting-room, on the second floor.

REVERDY. Oh, I know where it is. (To Daisy.) I shall be back in five minutes.

DAISY. I’m sure you need n’t hurry.

WINTERBOURNE. I have an idea they have a good deal to say to you.

REVERDY. I hope it is n’t to complain of you ! ( Goes into the hotel.)

DAISY, looking at Winterbourne a moment. I was afraid you would n’t come.

WINTERBOURNE, aside. She has a way of looking at you ! (Aloud.) I don’t know what can have given you such an impression.

DAISY. Well, you know, half the time they don’t — the gentlemen.

WINTERBOURNE. That’s in America, perhaps. But over here they always come.

DAISY, simply. Well, I have n’t had much experience over here.

WINTERBOURNE. I’m glad to hear it. It was very good of your mother to let you leave her again.

DAISY, surprised. Oh, mother does n’t care ; she’s got Eugenio.

WINTERBOURNE, startled. Surely, not to sit with her ?

DAISY. Well, he does n’t sit with her always, because he likes to go out.

WINTERBOURNE. Oh, he likes to go out!

DAISY. He’s got a great many friends, Eugenio ; he’s awfully popular. And then, you know, poor mother is n’t very amusing.

WINTERBOURNE. Ah, she is n’t very amusing! (Aside). Aunt Louisa was right: it is n’t the best society !

DAISY. But Eugenio stays with her all he can: he says he did n’t expect that so much when he came.

WINTERBOURNE. I should think not! I hope at least that it is n't a monopoly, and that I may have the pleasure of making your mother’s acquaintance.

DAISY. Well, you do speak beautifully ! I told Mr. Reverdy.

WINTERBOURNE. It was very good of you to mention it. One speaks as one can.

DAISY. Mother’s awfully timid, or else I’d introduce you. She always makes a fuss if I introduce a gentleman. But I do introduce them—the ones I like.

WINTERBOURNE. If it’s a sign of your liking, I hope you ’ll introduce me. But you must know my name, which you did n’t a while ago.

DAISY. Oh, Eugenio has told me your name, and I think it’s very pretty. And he has told me something else.

WINTERBOURNE. I can’t imagine what he should tell you about me.

DAISY. About you and some one else — that Russian lady who is leaving the hotel.

WINTERBOURNE, quickly. Who is leaving the hotel! How does he know that ?

DAISY, with a little laugh. You see it is true: you are very fond of that Russian lady !

WINTERBOURNE, aside. She is leaving the hotel — but not till six o’clock. (Aloud.) I have n’t known you very long, but I should like to give you a piece of advice. Don’t gossip with your courier !

DAISY. I see you ’re offended — and it proves Eugenio was right. He said it was a secret — and you don’t like me to know it.

WINTERBOURNE, You may know everything, my dear young lady, only don’t get your information from a servant.

DAISY. DO you call Eugenio a servant ? He ’ll be amused if I tell him that!

WINTERBOURNE. He won’t be amused — he’ll be furious; but the particular emotion does n’t matter. It’s very good of you to take such an interest.

DAISY. Oh, I don’t know what I should do if I did n’t take some interest ! You do care for her, then ?

WINTERBOURNE, a little annoyed. For the Russian lady ? Oh, yes, we are old friends. (Aside.) My aunt’s right: they don’t stand the test!

DAISY. I’m very glad she is going, then. But the others mean to stay ?

WINTERBOURNE. The others ? What others ?

DAISY. The two that Mr. Reverdy told me about, and to whom he’s so very devoted.

WINTERBOURNE. It’s my aunt and a friend of hers; but you need n’t mind them.

DAISY. For all they mind me ! But they look very stylish.

WINTERBOURNE. Oh, yes, they are very stylish; you can bet your life on that, as your brother says !

DAISY, looking at him a moment. Did you come for them, or for the Russian lady ?

WINTERBOURNE, aside, more annoyed. Ah, too many questions ! (Aloud.) I came for none of them ; I came for myself.

DAISY, serenely. Yes, that’s the impression you give me : you think a great deal of yourself ! But I should like to know your aunt, all the same. She has her hair done like an old picture, and she holds herself so very well ; she speaks to no one, and she dines in private. That’s the way I should like to be!

WINTERBOURNE. Ah, you would make a bad exchange. My aunt is liable to fearful headaches.

DAISY. I think she is very elegant — headaches and all ! I want very much to know her.

WINTERBOURNE, aside. Goodness, what a happy thought! (Aloud.) She would be enchanted; only the state of her health . . .

DAISY. Oh, yes, she has an excuse ; that’s a part of the elegance ! I should like to have an excuse. Any one can see your aunt would have one.

WINTERBOURNE. Oh, she has five hundred !

DAISY. Well, we have n’t any, mother and I. I like a lady to be exclusive. I’m dying to be exclusive myself !

WINTERBOURNE. Be just as you are. You would n’t be half so charming if you were different. (Aside.) It’s odd how true that is, with all her faults !

DAISY. You don’t think me charming: you only think me queer. I can see that by your manner. I should like to know your aunt, any way.

WINTERBOURNE. It’s very good of you, I’m sure ; but I’m afraid those headaches will interfere.

DAISY. I suppose she does n’t have a headache every day, does she ?

WINTERBOURNE, aside. What the deuce is a man to say ? (Aloud.) She assures me she does.

DAISY, turns away a moment, walks to the parapet, and stands there thoughtful. She does n’t want to know me ! (Looking at Winterbourne.) Why don’t you say so ? You need n’t be afraid ; I’m not afraid. (Suddenly, with a little break in her voice.) Gracious, she is exclusive !

WINTERBOURNE. So much the worse for her !

DAISY. You see, you’ve got to own to it! Well, I don’t care. I mean to be like that — when I’m old.

WINTERBOURNE. I can’t think you’ll ever be old.

DAISY. Oh, you horrid thing ! As if I were going to perish in my flower !

WINTERBOURNE. I should be very sorry if I thought that. But you will never have any quarrel with Time: he ’ll touch you very gently.

DAISY, at the parapet, looking over the lake. I hope I shall never have any quarrel with any one. I ’m very goodnatured.

WINTERBOURNE, laughing. You certainly disarm criticism — oh, completely !

DAISY. Well, I don’t care. Have you ever been to that old castle ? (Pointing to Chillon, in the distance.)

WINTERBOURNE. The Castle of Chillon ? Yes, in former days, more than once. I suppose you have been there, too.

DAISY. Oh, no, we have n’t been there. I want to go there awfully. Of course, I mean to go there. I would n’t go away from here without having seen that old castle !

WINTERBOURNE. It’s a very pretty excursion, and very easy to make. You can drive, you know, or you can take the little steamer.

DAISY. Well, we were going last week, but mother gave out. She suffers terribly from dyspepsia. She said she could n’t go. Randolph won’t go, either : he does n’t think much of old castles.

WINTERBOURNE, smiling. Ah, your brother is n’t interested in historical monuments ?

DAISY. Well, he’s generally disappointed. He wants to stay round here. Mother’s afraid to leave him alone, and Eugenio can’t be induced to stay with him, so that we have n’t been to many places. But it will be too bad if we don’t go up to that castle.

WINTERBOURNE. I think it might be arranged. Let me see. Could n’t you get some one to remain for the afternoon with Randolph ?

DAISY, suddenly. Oh, yes ; we could get Mr. Reverdy !


DAISY. He’s awfully fond of Randolph ; they ’re always fooling round.

WINTERBOURNE, laughing. It is n’t a bad idea. Reverdy must lay in a stock of sugar.

DAISY. There’s one thing : with you, mother will he afraid to go.

WINTERBOURNE. She carries her timidity too far! We must wait till she has got used to me.

DAISY. I don’t want to wait. I want to go right off !

WINTERBOURNE. Ah, you can hardly force her to come, you know.

DAISY. I don’t want to force her: I want to leave her !

WINTERBOURNE. To leave her behind? What, then, would you do for an escort?

DAISY, serenely. I would take you.

WINTERBOURNE, astounded. Me? Me alone?

DAISY, laughing. You seem about as timid as mother! Never mind, I ’ll take care of you.

WINTERBOURNE, still bewildered. Off to Chillon — with you alone — right off ?

DAISY, eagerly questioning. Right off ? Could we go now ?

WINTERBOURNE, aside. She takes away my breath! (Aloud.) There’s a boat just after three.

DAISY. We’ll go straight on board!

WINTERBOURNE, aside. She has known me for a couple of hours! (Aloud, rather formally.) The privilege for me is immense ; but I feel as if I ought to urge you to reflect a little.

DAISY. So as to show how stiff you can be ? Oh, I know all about that.

WINTERBOURNE. No, just to remind you that your mother will certainly discover . . .

DAISY, staring. Will certainly discover ?

WINTERBOURNE. Your little escapade. You can’t hide it.

DAISY, amazed, and a little touched. I don’t know what you mean. I have nothing to hide.

WINTERBOURNE, aside. Ah, I give it up ! (Seeing Eugenio, who comes out of

the hotel.) And here comes that odious creature, to spoil it!


EUGENIO. Mademoiselle, your mother requests that you will come to her.

DAISY. I don’t believe a word of it!

EUGENIO. You should not do me the injustice to doubt of my honor! Madame asked me to look for you ten minutes ago ; but I was detained by meeting in the hall a lady (speaking slowly, and looking at Winterbourne), a Russian lady, whom I once had the honor to serve, and who was leaving the hotel.

WINTERBOURNE, startled, aside. Madame de Katkoff— leaving already ?

EUGENIO, watching Winterbourne. She had so many little bags that she could hardly settle herself in the carriage, and I thought it my duty — I have had so much practice — to show her how to stow them away.

WINTERBOURNE, quickly, to Daisy. Will you kindly excuse me a moment?

EUGENIO, obsequious, interposing. If it’s to overtake the Russian lady, Madame de Katkoff is already far away. (Aside.) She had four horses: I frightened her more than a little !

WINTERBOURNE, aside. Far away — without another word ? She can be hard — when she tries. Very good. Let me see if I can be the same!

DAISY, noticing Winterbourne, aside. Poor man, he’s stiffer than ever ! But I’m glad she has gone. (Aloud.) See here, Eugenio, I’m going to that castle.

EUGENIO, with a certain impertinence. Mademoiselle has made arrangements ?

DAISY. Well, if Mr. Winterbourne does n’t back out.

WINTERBOURNE. Back out ? I sha’n’t be happy till we are off ! {Aside.) I ’ll go anywhere — with any one — now ; and if the poor girl is injured by it, it is n’t my fault!

EUGENIO. I think Mademoiselle will find that Madame is in no state —

DAISY. My dear Eugenio, Madame will stay at home with you.

WINTERBOURNE, wincing, aside. If she would only not call him her “ dear ” !

EUGENIO. I take the liberty of advising Mademoiselle not to go to the castle.

WINTERBOURNE, irritated. You had better remember that your place is not to advise, but to look after the little bags!

DAISY. Oh, I hoped you would make a fuss! But I don’t want to go now.

WINTERBOURNE, decided. I shall make a fuss if you don’t go.

DAISY, nervously, with a little laugh. That’s all I want — a little fuss !

WINTERBOURNE, aside. She ’s not so easy as she would like to appear. She knows it’s a risk — but she likes the risk.

EUGENIO. If Mademoiselle will come with me, I will undertake to organize a fuss. (A steamboat whistle is heard in the distance.)

WINTERBOURNE, to Daisy. The boat’s coming up. You have only till three o’clock.

DAISY, suddenly decided. Oh, I can be quick when I try ! (Hurries into the hotel.)

WINTERBOURNE, looking a moment at Eugenio. You had better not interfere with that young lady !

EUGENIO, insolent. I suppose you mean that I had better not interfere with you ! You had better not defy me to do so ! (Aside.) It’s a pity I sent away the Katkoff! (Follows Daisy into the hotel.)

WINTERBOURNE, alone. That’s a singularly offensive beast! And what the mischief does he mean by his having been in her service ? Thank heaven she has got rid of him! (Seeing Mrs. Costello, Miss Durant, and Charles Reverdy, who issue from the hotel, the ladies dressed for a walk.) Oh, confusion, I had forgotten them !


MRS. C. Well, Frederick, we take for granted that your little interview is over, and that you are ready to accompany us into the town.

WINTERBOURNE, Over, dear aunt? Why, it’s only just begun. We are going to the Château de Chillon.

MRS. C. You and that little girl ? You ’ll hardly get us to believe that !

REVERDY, aside, still with the campstool. Hang me, why did n’t I think of that ?

WINTERBOURNE. I’m afraid I rather incommode you ; but I shall be delighted to go into the town when we come back.

MISS D. YOU had better never come back. No one will speak to you !

MRS. C. My dear Frederick, if you are joking, your joke’s in dreadful taste.

WINTERBOURNE. I’m not joking in the least. The young lady ’s to be here at three.

MRS. C. She herself is joking, then. She won’t be so crazy as to come.

REVERDY,who has gone to the parapet and looked off to right, coming back, taking out his watch. It’s close upon three, and the boat’s at the wharf.

WINTERBOURNE, watch in hand. Not quite yet. Give her a moment’s grace.

MRS. C. It won’t be for us to give her grace : it will be for society.

WINTERBOURNE, flattering. Ah, but you are society, you know. She wants immensely to know you.

MRS. C., ironical. Is that why she is flinging herself at you ?

WINTERBOURNE,very gravely. Listen to me seriously, please. The poor little girl has given me a great mark —. a very touching mark — of confidence. I wish to present her to you, because I wish some one to answer for my honor.

MRS. C. And pray, who is to answer for hers ?

WINTERBOURNE. Oh, I say, you ’re cruel!

MRS. C. I ’m an old woman, Frederick ; but I thank my stars I’m not too old to be horrified! (The bell of the steamboat is heard to ring in the distance.)

REVERDY. There ’s your boat, sir. I’m afraid you ’ll miss it!

WINTERBOURNE,watch still in hand, aside. Three o’clock. Damn that courier !

MRS. C. If she does n’t come, you may present her.

MISS D. She won’t come. We must do her justice.

DAISY hurrying out of the hotel.I say, Mr. Winterbourne I’m as punctual as you ! (She wears a charming travellingdress, and is buttoning her glove. Eugenio appears in the porch of the hotel, and stands there, with his hands in his pockets and with a baffled but vindictive air, watching the rest of the scene.)

REVERDY. Alas, the presentation’s gone !

DAISY,half aloud. Gracious, how they glare at me!

WINTERBOURNE,hurriedly. Take my arm. The boat’s at the wharf. (She takes his arm, and they hasten away, passing through the little gate of the parapet, where they descend and disappear. The bell of the steamer continues to ring. Mrs. Costello and her companions have watched them ; as they vanish, she and Miss Durant each drop into a chair.)

MRS. C. They ’ll never come back !

MISS D., eagerly. Is n’t it your duty to go after them ?

REVERDY,between the two, as if to the public. They ’ll be lovely company for the rest of the day !

Henry James, Jr.

  1. From the story.
  2. From the story.