This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1917 edition. Excerpt: ...by lightnin, or hear a voice sayin "Snobby Price: where will you spend eternity?" I'll ave a time of it, I tell you. Rummy. You wont be let drink, though. Price. I'll take it out in gorspellin, then. I dont want to drink if I can get fun enough any other way. Jenny Hill, a pale, overwrought, pretty Salvation lass of 18, comes in through the yard gate, leading Peter Shirley, a half hardened, half worn-out elderly man, weak with hunger. Jenny (supporting him). Come! pluck up. I'll get you something to eat. Youll be all right then. Prick (rising and hurrying officiously to take the old man off Jenny's hands). Poor old man! Cheer up, brother: youll find rest and peace and appiness ere. Hurry up with the food, miss: e's fair done. (Jenny hurries into the shelter.) Ere, buck up, daddy! shes fetchin y'a thick slice o breadn treacle, an a mug o skyblue. (He seats him at the corner of the table.) Rummy (gaily). Keep up your old art! Never say die! Shirley. I'm not an old man. I'm ony 46. I'm as good as ever I was. The grey patch come in my hair before I was thirty. All it wants is three pennorth o hair dye: am I to be turned on the streets to starve for it? Holy God! I've worked ten to twelve hours a day since I was thirteen, and paid my way all through; and now am I to be thrown into the gutter and my job given to a young man that can do it no better than me because 'Art black hair that goes white at the first change? Price (cheerfully). No good jawrin about it. Youre only a jumped-up, jerked-off, orspittle-turned-out incurable of an ole workin man: who cares about you? Eh? Make the thievin swine give you a meal: theyve stole many a one from you. Get a bit o your own back. (Jenny returns with the usual meal. There you are, brother. Awsk a blessin an tuck...
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'The greatest of our evils and the worst of our crimes is poverty ... our first duty, to which every other consideration should be sacrificed, is not to be poor'
Andrew Undershaft, a millionaire armaments dealer, loves money and despises poverty. His energetic daughter Barbara, on the other hand, shows her love for the poor by working as a Major in the Salvation Army. She sees her father as just another soul to be saved. But when the Salvation Army needs funds to keep going, it is Undershaft who saves the day. Is the Army right to accept money that has been obtained by 'Death and Destruction'? Barbara is forced to question her philanthropic motives, and what she discovers tells her something new about the world and its ways.
Full of lively comedy and sparkling debate, Major Barbara is also one of Shaw's most powerful and forward-looking plays. As Margery Morgan says, while Shaw was responding to 'a material and cultural situation that is now part of history', his work still has relevance 'in a period when new technologies drive the globalization of trade and the migration of populations ... and ancient forms of brutality and carnage have re-appeared.'
The definitive text, under the editorial supervision of Dan H. LaurenceAbout the Author:
Dublin-born George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) was an active Socialist and a brilliant platform speaker. He was strongly critical of London theatre and closely associated with the intellectual revival of British drama. Dan H. Laurence has edited Shaw's Collected Letters and Collected Plays with their Prefaces. He was Literary Advisor to the Shaw Estate until his retirement in 1990. Margery Morgan is an Emeritus Reader in English of Lancaster University.
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