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Arms and the Man

Arms and the Man

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Published by shahua

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Published by: shahua on Jun 23, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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1894ARMS AND THE MANby George Bernard Shaw{ARM_MANArms and the ManBy George Bernard Shaw{ACT1ACT I[Night. A lady's bedchamber in Bulgaria, in a small townnear theDragoman Pass, late in November in the year 1885.Through anopen window with a little balcony a peak of the Balkans,wonderfully white and beautiful in the starlit snow,seems quiteclose at hand, though it is really miles away. The interiorof the room is not like anything to be seen in the east of 
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Europe.It is half rich Bulgarian, half cheap Viennese. Above theheadof the bed, which stands against a little wall cutting off thecorner of the room diagonally, is a painted woodenshrine, blueand gold, with an ivory image of Christ, and a lighthangingbefore it in a pierced metal ball suspended by threechains.The principal seat, placed towards the other side of theroomand opposite the windows, is a Turkish ottoman. Thecounterpaneand hangings of the bed, the window curtains, the littlecarpet,and all the ornamental textile fabrics in the room areorientaland gorgeous: the paper on the walls is occidental andpaltry.The washstand, against the wall on the side nearest theottomanand window, consists of an enamelled iron basin with apailbeneath it in a painted metal frame, and a single towel ontherail at the side. A chair near it is of Austrian bent wood,withcane seat. The dressing table, between the bed and thewindow,is a common pine table, covered with a cloth of manycolors,with an expensive toilet mirror on it. The door is on thesidenearest the bed, and there is a chest of drawers between.
Thischest of drawers is also covered by a variegated nativecloth;and on it there is a pile of paper backed novels, a box of chocolate creams, and a miniature easel with a largephotographof an extremely handsome officer, whose lofty bearingandmagnetic glance can be felt even from the portrait. Theroom islighted by a candle on the chest of drawers, and anotheron thedressing table with a box of matches beside it.The window is hinged doorwise and stands wide open.Outside, apair of wooden shutters, opening outwards, also standopen. Onthe balcony a young lady, intensely conscious of theromanticbeauty of the night, and of the fact that her own youthandbeauty are part of it, is gazing at the snowy Balkans. Sheiscovered by a long mantle of furs, worth, on a moderateestimate,about three times the furniture of her room.Her reverie is interrupted by her mother, CatherinePetkoff, awoman over forty, imperiously energetic, withmagnificent black hair and eyes, who might be a very splendid specimen of the wifeof a mountain farmer, but is determined to be a Vienneselady,and to that end wears a fashionable tea gown on alloccasions.]

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