“An Ideal Husband”

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					                        “An Ideal Husband”

                                Act I

Active Vocabulary
    - to take to politics (12)
    - to make smth out
    - a swindle (29)
    - to inquire about smb/smth
    - to do smb justice (30)
    - to withdraw a report (31)
    - to be prejudiced (31)
    - to lay a foundation of smth (33)
    - to make terms (34)
    - to suppress smth (35)
    - to sacrifice smth (35)
    - to be susceptible to reason (39)
    - to uphold
    - fraudulent (43)
    - fraud (n)
    - to decline smth
    - to despise smb/smth (44)
    - to drift apart (48)
 a) Find the sentences with these words and reproduce the situations.

II. Paraphrase
 1. …Lord Cavershan, an old gentleman of seventy. A fine Whig
    type. (9)
 2. Has my good-for-nothing son been here?
 3. Shouldn’t mind being introduced to my own tailor, he always
    votes on the right side (7, 8).
 4. There is nothing like race, is there? (9)
 5. Sir Robert Chiltern enters … A personality of mark. (11)
 6. I don’t care about the London season. (16)
 7. You are not going to plunge us into a European war. (19)
 8. Then, my dear Nanjac, you must certainly read between the lines.
 9. The thing has gone to the dogs… (21)
10. … London Society was entirely made up of dowdies and dandies.
11. And then the family skeleton is always reading family prayers.
12. My dear Sir Robert, you are a man of the world. (32)
13. The House of Commons had not yet passed the bill. (35)
14. You all go over like ninepins one after the other. (34)
15. I should fancy she came to grief if she tried to get Robert into her
    toils. (43)

III. Who said it and in what context. Explain the meaning of the
     sentence and comment on it.
 1. It (education) puts one almost on a level with the commercial
     classes, doesn’t it? (5)
 2. It is entirely composed now of beautiful idiots and brilliant
     lunatics. Just what society should be. (8)
 3. They actually succeeded in spelling his name right in the
     newspapers. That in itself is fame, on the continent. (10)
 4. Optimism begins in a broad grin, and pessimism ends with blue
     spectacles. Besides, they are both of them merely poses. (14)
 5. The strength of women comes from the fact that psychology
     cannot explain us. Men can be analysed, women … merely
     adored. (15)
 6. Nowadays, with our modern mania for morality, everyone has to
     pose as a paragon of purity, incorruptibility, and all the other
     seven deadly virtues… (34)
 7. You have a splendid position, but it is your splendid position that
     makes you so vulnerable. (35)
 8. One should always play fairly … when one has the winning
     cards. (37)
 9. Truth is a very complex thing, and politics is a very complex
     business. There are wheels within wheels. (46)
10. But power is nothing in itself. It is power to do good that is
     fine… (47)
11. That great inheritance throw not away – that tower of ivory do
     not destroy. (47)

IV. Fill in the blanks with prepositions.
 1. A man who took me … … dinner talked … me … his wife the
    whole time.
 2. I have been obliged … the present to put Lord Goring … a class
    quite … himself.
 3. I hardly think there will be much … common … you and my
 4. One feels that he is conscious … the success he has made in life.
 5. … any rate we do our best to waste the public time.
 6. An acquaintance that begins … a compliment is sure to develop
    … a real friendship.
 7. … least that it the only way I can account … the terrible haggard
    look … most … your pretty women … London.
 8. We poor women who are … thirty have nothing open … us but
    politics and philanthropy.
 9. He plays … life, and he is … perfectly good terms … the world.
10. I delight … your bad qualities.
11. You seem to be living entirely … pleasure.
12. Let us call things … their proper names.
13. I sent … a special Commission to enquire … the matter privately.
14. I hope you have not invested … it.
15. I remember hearing … the time … his death that he had been
    mixed … the whole affair.
16. I hope you will be more reasonable … your terms.
17. It is … my possession.
18. You owe … it your fortune and position.
19. You do it … the terms I wish, I shall hand you back your letter
    … the prettiest thanks.
20. I always pass .. good advice. It is never … any use … oneself.

V. Questions.
1. What is the time period of the play?
2. Where is the scene laid? What is the occasion for the gathering?
   Who receives the guests? Describe Lady Chiltern.

3. Who are the guest of the Chilterns? Reproduce the conversation
    between Mrs. Marchmont and Lady Basildon. How does it
    characterize the ladies?
4. What do you come to know about Lord Caversham and Lord
5. Who is Mabel Chiltern to Lady Chiltern and her husband? How
    does she portray the London society?
6. What do you learn about Sir Robert Chiltern? What is his
    position in the society? Speak about Lady Chiltern’s opinion of
    her husband.
7. Who brings Mrs. Cheveley to the party? What is her
    background? In what way does she differ from other ladies at the
    party? How does Lady Chiltern happen to know Mrs. Cheveley?
    What are Lady Chiltern’s schoolday recollections?
8. What does Mrs. Cheveley want to meet Sir Robert for? How does
    she approach the subject of her interest? Why has she invested
    largely in the Argentine Canal Scheme?
9. Speak about Sir Robert’s opinion of the Suez Canal Scheme and
    the Argentine Canal Scheme. Why does he qualify the Argentine
    Canal as “a second Panama”? What did the commission sent out
    to Argentina report? What is Sir Robert going to do with the
    report of the Commission?
10. What reasons does Mrs. Cheveley give suggesting that Sir Robert
    should withdraw or suppress the report? What are her terms?
    What does she threaten to do in case he refuses to uphold the
11. How did Mrs. Cheveley manage to reveal the origin of Sir
    Robert’s wealth and career? How did she get hold of his letter to
    Baron Arnheim?
 12. What does Mrs. Cheveley preach? What is her philosophy in
 13. What makes Sir Robert accept Mrs. Cheveley’s terms?
 14. Why does Mrs. Cheveley drop a hint to Lady Chiltern that her
      husband is going to lend his support to the enterprise she is
      interested in? What is Lady Chiltern’s reaction to the news?
 15. How does Sir Robert account for the change in his attitude to
      the Argentine Canal Scheme? How does he try to whitewash

     Mrs. Cheveley? Why does he call politics a complex business?
     What does he mean saying that public and private life are
     different things?
 16. How does Lady Chiltern manage to talk her husband into
     writing Mrs. Cheveley a letter declining his support?
 17. Speak on the incident with the brooch. What is Lord Goring’s
     reaction when he catches sight of the brooch?

                                Act II

I.  Active Vocabulary
    - to turn from smb in contempt (52)
    - to alter one’s views (52)
    - to distract public attention (53)
    - at all costs (54)
    - to act on smth (54)
    - to underrate oneself (54)
    - to judge by smth (57)
    - to yield to temptation (58)
    - to suffer remorse (59)
    - to be in store (62)
    - to have the scruple in doing smth (63)
    - to be above reproach (68)
    - to conceal smth (69)
    - to make allowances (70)
    - to detest smb/smth (88)
    - to be tempted (91)
    - to be bewildered (93)
 a) Find the sentences with these words and reproduce the situations.

II. Paraphrase
 1. …the sin of one’s youth … should wreck a life of mine, should
    place me in the pillory. (54)
 2. I am hounded from public life. (55)
 3. I have paid conscience money many times. I had a wild hope that
    I might disarm destiny. (60)
 4. Besides, if you make a clean breast of the whole affair… (60)

 5. Have you tried her with money. (62)
 6. But everyone has some weak point. There is some flaw in each
    one of us. (62)
 7. I shall send a cipher telegram. (63)
 8. She must have had a curious hold over Baron Arnheim. (64)
 9. Once a man has set his heart and soul on getting to a certain
    point… (69)
10. Robert is a great champion of the Higher Education of Women.
11. Sir John has taken to attending the debates regularly… (82)
12. In this world like meets with like. (89)

III. Who said it and in what context. Explain the meaning of the
     sentence and comment on it.
 1. I had the double misfortune of being well-born and poor, two
     unforgivable things nowadays. (54)
 2. Every man of ambition has to fight his century with its own
     weapons. (54)
 3. … he expounded to us the most terrible of all philosophies, the
     philosophy of power; preached to us the most marvelous of all
     gospels, the gospel of gold. (56)
 4. … power over other men, power over the world, was the one
     thing worth having… (57)
 5. I tell you that there are terrible temptations that it requires
     strength and courage to yield to. (58)
 6. And in England a man who can’t talk morality twice a week to a
     large, popular, immoral audience is quite over as a serious
     politician. (61)
 7. Then the marvelous gospel of gold breaks down sometimes. The
     rich can’t do everything, after all. (62)
 8. Your husband is an exception, mine is the general rule, and
     nothing ages a woman so rapidly as having married the general
     rule. (87)
 9. I don’t mind your talking morality. Morality is simply the
     attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike.

 10. It is when we are wounded … that love should come to cure

IV. Fill in the blanks with prepositions.
 1. He paces … and … the room.
 2. Under-Secretary … Foreign affairs … the age … forty – that’s
    good enough … any one.
 3. … the worst it would be a psychological experiment.
 4. Is it fair that a man’s whole career should be ruined … a fault
    done … one’s boyhood?
 5. I bought success … a great price.
 6. I was dazed … the prospect he held … … me, and my desire …
    pave … that time was boundless.
 7. He made three-quarters … a million … the transaction.
 8. The Baron advised me … finance … time to time.
 9. The English can’t stand a man who is always saying he is … the
    right, but they are fond of a man who admits that he has been …
    the wrong.
10. How can I defend myself … her?
11. I will fight her … her weapons.
12. I live … hopes now. I clutch … every chance.
13. Of which I know nothing … experience, though I know
    something by observation.
14. I have a particular reason … asking you.
15. Robert think very highly … him.
16. I wouldn’t marry a man … a future … him for anything … the
17. With regard … women you belong … the younger generation
    and I am sure it is all right if you approve … it.
18. A house, everything … which has been paid … … fraud.

V. Questions.
1. Why is Sir Robert in a state of mental excitement? What makes
   him disclose the truth about his past to Lord Goring? Why can’t
   he bring himself to make a confession to his wife? How does
   Lord Goring qualify the whole affair?

2. In what way does Sir Robert try to justify his dishonourable past?
   What does he say of the importance of wealth? What did he
   achieve thanks to the wealth he had got then? Did he ever suffer
3. Under what circumstances did Baron Arnheim come into Sir
   Robert’s life? What impression did the luxury of the Baron’s
   house make on Sir Robert? Speak on the philosophy the Baron
   preached? Why was Sir Robert ready to yield to temptation? Did
   he wrong anybody by what he had done?
4. Why does Lord Goring say that in Sir Robert’s case “confession
   won’t do”? How does Sir Robert plan to fight Mrs. Cheveley?
5. Reproduce the conversation between Lord Goring and Lady
   Chiltern. Why does he try to convince her to make allowances to
   other people? What surprises Lady Chiltern about Lord Goring?
   Why does he ask for the list of guests?
6. What do Mrs. Cheveley and Lady Markby come to the Chilterns’
   for? Speak on Lady Markby’s views on marriages, fathers- and
   sons- problems, politics, women’s education.
7. What is the main reason for Mrs. Cheveley’s visit to Lady
   Chiltern? What does she mean saying that she and Sir Robert pair
   so well together? Why is she sorry for Lady Chiltern?
8. Speak on Lady Chiltern’s reaction to the news that her husband
   built up his career on dishonour? What does Sir Robert think of
   love and women who make ideals of men?

                               Act III

I. Active Vocabulary
    - to stand by smb (97)
    - on smb’s account (100)
    - to give precise directions (103)
    - to alter smth (104)
    - to detest smb (105)
    - to be at stake (106)
    - to tempt smb (108)
    - to entrust smth to smb (108)
    - to do indiscretion (110)

    - from one’s standpoint (111)
    - to put smth down by law (120)
    - to stand up for smb (120)
    - to taunt (122)
    - to do smth out of malice (123)
    - to pin smth in (123)
    - to (un)clasp (125)
    - to prosecute (125)
    - to render smb a service (127)
 a) Find the sentences with these words and reproduce the situations.

II. Paraphrase
 1. I am the only person of the smallest importance in London at
    present who wears a buttonhole. (95)
 2. Makes me look a little too old almost in the prim of time. (96)
 3. The ten commandments in every stroke of the pen, and the moral
    law all over the page.
 4. Of course I only speak from hearsay. (107)
 5. …that I sold, like a common huckster, the secret that had been
    entrusted to me as a man of honour. (108)
 6. What a mess I am in. I think I’ll get through it. I’ll give her a
    lecture through the door. (110)
 7. Doesn’t that sound rather like temptating Providence. (115)
 8. Don’t use big words. It is a commercial transaction. (121)
 9. A woman whose size in gloves is seven and three-quarters never
    knows much about anything. (121)
10. …one of the most noble and gentle women in the world to
    degrade her husband in her eyes, …to put poison in her heart, to
    break her idol. (122)

III. Who said it and in what context. Explain the meaning of the
     sentence and comment on it.
 1. Fashion is what one wears oneself. What is unfashionable is what
     other people wear. (95)
 2. It is the growth of the moral sense in women that makes marriage
     such a hopeless, one-sided institution. (97)

 3. If there was less sympathy in the world there would be less
    trouble in the world.
 4. Romance should begin with science and end with a settlement.
 5. Spies are of no use nowadays. Their profession is over. The
    newspapers do their work instead. (109)
 6. The English think that a check-book can solve every problem in
    life. (116)
 7. I suppose that when a man has once loved a woman, he will do
    anything for her, except continue to love her. (118)
 8. And self-sacrifice is a thing that should be put down by law. It is
    so demoralizing to the people for one sacrifices oneself. (120)
 9. There is only one real tragedy in a woman’s life. The fact that her
    past is always her lover, and her future invariably her husband.

IV.   Fill in the blanks with prepositions.
 1.   The letter was brought … hand just after you went … the club.
 2.   It is only ten o’clock. What is your objection … the hour?
 3.   You can’t be always living … pleasure. Every man … position is
      married nowadays.
 4.   … present I make your mother’s life miserable … your account.
 5.   I have called … a definite purpose, and I am going to see it
      through … all costs … my health or yours.
 6.   Who … earth writes to him … pink paper?
 7.   I began my career … an act of dishonesty, I built up my life …
      sands of shame.
 8.   I said to her things that were hideously true, … my side … my
 9.   I swear … you … my honour that lady is stainless and guiltless
      … all offence towards you.
10.   I have come here to offer Sir Chiltern’s letters to you …
11.   I am … the impression that my lawyer settled that matter with
      you … certain terms.
12.   When I last saw you … the Chilterns’, I knew you were the only
      person I had ever cared …, if I ever have cared … anybody.

13. You went this afternoon … the husband of one of the most noble
    women … the world to degrade her house … her eyes, to try and
    kill her love … him, to put poison … her heart.
14. You stole that ornament … my cousin, and suspicion fell … a
    wretched servant, who was sent … … disgrace.
15. I will do anything .. the world you want.
16. He takes the letter, examines it and burns it … the lamp.

V. Questions.
1. Where is the setting laid? Describe Lord Goring’s buttler. What
   can be said of Lord Goring’s concern for his appearance? How
   does his witty expressions characterize him?
2. Why does he decide to stay in? Why does he look at Lady
   Chiltern’s letter with a puzzled look? What line is he going to
   take when speaking to Lady Chiltern? What instructions does he
   give to Phipps?
3. Why is Lord Goring not delighted to see his father? What is the
   purpose of Lord Caversham’s visit? What are his views on
   marriage? Why is he so eager to have his son married?
4. Who calls on Lord Goring while he is speaking to his father?
   Who does the buttler take her for? How does Mrs. Cheveley
   behave when she is left alone? What does she mean by saying:
   “I’ll have to alter all this?” What does she find among Lord
   Goring’s correspondence? Why does a look of triumph come
   over her face when she reads Lady Chiltern’s letter?
5. What brings Sir Robert to Lord Goring’s house so late at night?
   Why is Lord Goring not surprised to see him? What has Sir
   Robert found out about Mrs. Cheveley from the message
   received from Vienna? How does he speak of his wife? Explain
   his words “I am a ship without a rudder on a night without a
   star”? Why did he place his wife apart from other people?
6. Why does Sir Robert suspect that there is someone in the next
   room? What are Lord Goring’s reasons for not allowing Sir
   Robert to enter that room? Why does Lord Goring say that the
   lady is “stainless and guiltless of all offence” towards Sir Robert?
   Why does Sir Robert leave Lord Goring’s house enraged?

7. How does Lord Goring receive Mrs. Cheveley? What is the true
   reason for her visit? Why is she so eager to talk Lord Goring into
   marrying her? What is she ready to sacrifice? What does she
   threaten to do if he turns down her proposal?
8. How does Lord Goring happen to know that it is Mrs. Cheveley
   who lost the brooch at the Chilterns’? How does Lord Goring
   manage to get hold of Sir Robert’s letter? Why is Mrs.
   Cheveley’s face “illumined with evil triumph” when she leaves
   Lord Goring’s house?

                                  Act IV

I.   Active Vocabulary
     - a leading article (131)
     - to denounce smth roundly (131)
     - to have a relapse (133)
     - to consent to do smth (134)
     - to be susceptible to smth (135)
     - to be bound to do smth (136)
     - to distress smb (140)
     - to intercept smth (142)
     - to be in store for smb (144)
     - to surrender (146)
     - to lead astray (146)
     - to deserve smth (148)
     - to condemn smb (152)
     - to wreck one’s career (152)
     - to repent (152)

II. Paraphrase
 1. I am full of interesting information. I feel like the latest edition of
    something or other. (129)
 2. This speech is a turning point in his career. (131)
 3. I’m of a very nervous disposition especially in the morning.
 4. I don’t know how the betting stands today. (133)

 5. It seems to me I’m a little in the way here. (135)
 6. Mrs. Cheveley puts a certain construction on that letter. (141)
 7. Why are you playing Mrs. Cheveley’s cards? (151)
 8. If he has fallen from his alter, do not trust him into the mire.
 9. If the country doesn’t go to the dogs or the Radicals, … (158)
10. If you don’t make this young lady an ideal husband, I’ll cut you
    off with a shilling. (159)

III. Who said it and in what context. Explain the meaning of the
     sentence and comment on it.

 1. …only people who look dull ever get into the House of
    Commons, and only people who are dull ever succeed there.
 2. …if we men married the women we deserved, we should have a
    very bad time of it. (133)
 3. It is not the Prime Minister’s day for seeing the unemployed.
 4. Women are not meant to judge us, but to forgive us when we
    need forgiveness. Pardon, not punishment, is their mission. (152)
 5. A woman’s life revolves in curves of emotions. It is upon lines of
    intellect that a man’s life progresses. (152)

IV. Fill in the blanks with prepositions.
 1. Haven’t you read The Times leading article … Robert Chiltern’s
 2. I am delighted … what you tell me … Robert.
 3. I wish you would go … Parliament.
 4. I regret to say that I have no influence … my son.
 5. It is very good for you to know what people say … you … your
 6. Mrs. Cheveley puts a certain construction … that letter and
    proposes to send it … your husband.
 7. Mrs. Cheveley has handed … to Lord Goring the document that
    was … her possession.

 8. Although I am safe … detection and every proof … me is
    destroyed, I suppose I should retire … public life.
 9. Sir Robert Chiltern is … the brink … accepting the Prime
    Minister’s offer when he sees his wife looking … him.
10. I think my husband is right … his determination. I approve … it.

V. Questions.
1. What is the purpose of Lord Goring’s visit to the Chilterns’ early
   in the morning?
2. What did Sir Robert Chiltern do the previous night? Why does
   Lord Caversham call Sir Robert’s speech in the House the
   turning point in his career?
3. What news does Lord Goring have for Lady Chiltern? How does
   she take it? What does Lord Goring ask Lady Chiltern to do
   regarding her own letter which has fallen into Mrs. Cheveley’s
   hands? How does Sir Robert come to know about the truth about
   his wife’s letter?
4. What makes Sir Robert take a decision to retire from public life?
   For whose sake does he intend to do it?
5. What news does Lord Caversham bring when he calls the second
   time? How do the Chilterns take the news? How does Lord
   Goring bring Lady Chiltern to realizing that Sir Robert should
   accept the Prime-Minister’s offer?
6. What intentions does Lord Goring have concerning Mabel
   Chiltern? Does she accept his proposal?
7. What does Lady Chiltern mean by saying that for both of them a
   new life is beginning?


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