Compulsory Appendix
[To be inserted at random somewhere in the play.]
A small untidy garret, in almost complete darkness. Wishbone is seated at a desk.
My mem'ry falters. I summon not the fullness
Of passing succulence; no, neither wish
To do so any longer. But unless
The flame of aspiration dim my gaze
Until yon single ray of light expire
Which, I predict, in minutes two shall be.
For, were it longer, then the art of youth
Should to the sere and yellow changèd be.
Flicking through a book
The hist'ry of the world is herein housed
And, should the light of life more sooner gutter
Than does my simple wick, then all is lost.
He gets up and paces about
O, if I could but escape from this dark cell
To clothe the world with my great thoughts and deeds
Then would the strife that now doth rack the globe
Be eightyfold increased in one swift stroke,
I'd set on fire the sea to flood the land
And raise up mighty mountains on the plains
I'd crush the mighty Himalay betimes
Between some bread for speedy lunchtime snack,
The which I'd season with Sahara's sands;
The world shall be my larder. I'll pickle the sky
With winy geysers; then I'd fry the steppes
(suddenly pp) But no! 'Tis folly! I am trapped and dying.
I must not dream my final hours away
I must write my will and leave to those
I love, my treasure; to those I hate, my horse;
And those to whom I am indifferent
Shall each receive a piece of rancid beef.
And, now my problem's solved, my life shall end.
Yet, no! One more thing must I do before
I muffle off this short-lived coil: I must
Feed the cat. Come, pussy, pussy ho!
A fest'ring halibut upon the plate
I'll garnish with asparagus and sage
And poisoned lettuce: when I'm dead you'll die
And they who haunt the towers then shall fly!
The light gutters and dies