Hobson
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Hobson's Choice

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**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts**
**eBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971**
*****These eBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers!*****
Title: Hobson's Choice
Author: Harold Brighouse
Release Date: August, 2004 [EBook #6347] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first
posted on November 29, 2002]
Edition: 10
Language: English
*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK HOBSON'S CHOICE ***
Produced by Delphine Lettau, Charles Franks and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team. HOBSON'S CHOICE
A Lancashire Comedy in Four Acts
BY
HAROLD BRIGHOUSE
Hobson's Choice was originally produced in America. Its first English production took place on June 22, 1916, ...

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Hobson's Choice,by Harold BrighouseCopyright laws are changing all over the world. Besure to check the copyright laws for your countrybefore downloading or redistributing this or anyother Project Gutenberg eBook.This header should be the first thing seen whenviewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do notremove it. Do not change or edit the headerwithout written permission.Please read the "legal small print," and otherinformation about the eBook and ProjectGutenberg at the bottom of this file. Included isimportant information about your specific rights andrestrictions in how the file may be used. You canalso find out about how to make a donation toProject Gutenberg, and how to get involved.**Welcome To The World of Free Plain VanillaElectronic Texts****eBooks Readable By Both Humans and ByComputers, Since 1971*******These eBooks Were Prepared By Thousandsof Volunteers!*****Title: Hobson's Choice
Author: Harold BrighouseRelease Date: August, 2004 [EBook #6347] [Yes,we are more than one year ahead of schedule][This file was first posted on November 29, 2002]Edition: 10Language: English** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG*EBOOK HOBSON'S CHOICE ***Produced by Delphine Lettau, Charles Franks andthe Online Distributed Proofreading Team.
HOBSON'S CHOICEA Lancashire Comedy in Four ActsBYHAROLD BRIGHOUSEHobson's Choice was originally produced inAmerica. Its first English production took place onJune 22, 1916, at the Apollo Theatre, London, withthe following cast: ALICE HOBSON . . . . . . . . Miss Lydia Bilbrooke. MAGGIE HOBSON . . . . . . . . Miss EdythGoodall. VICKEY HOBSON . . . . . . . . Miss Hilda Davies. ALBERT PROSSER . . . . . . . . Mr. Reginald Fry. HENRY HORATIO HOBSON . . . . . . Mr. NormanMcKinnel. MRS. HEPWORTH . . . . . . . . Miss Dora Gregory. TIMOTHY WADLOW (TUBBY). . . . . . Mr. SydneyPaxton. WILLIAM MOSSOP . . . . . . . . Mr. JoeNightingale. JIM HEELER . . . . . . . . . Mr. J. Cooke Beresford. ADA FIGGINS . . . . . . . . . Miss Mary Byron. FRED BEENSTOCK . . . . . . . . Mr. JeffersonGore. DR. MACFARLANE . . . . . . . . Mr. J. Fisher
White.The play produced by MR. NORMAN McKINNEL.The SCENE is Salford, Lancashire, and the periodis 1880.ACT I. Interior of HOBSON'S Shop in ChapelStreet.ACT II. The same scene.ACT III. WILL MOSSOP'S Shop.ACT IV. Living-room of HOBSON'S Shop.PUBLISHER'S NOTE.Acknowledgements are made to Mr. WilliamArmstrong, Director of the Liverpool RepertoryCompany, for allowing his prompt copy to be usedin preparing this acting edition.[Illustration] Red Walls, Brown oaken dado. T. gasbracket over counter. Turkey red curtains half upwindow. No carpet. Small rug at door R. Shoes oncounter and showcases. Hanging laces.Advertisements. Boot polishes. Brushes. Brownpaper on counter. Clogs in rows under shelves R.C. Black cane furniture and rush- bottomed. Heavy
leather armchair. Piece of rough leather onshelves.The trap is eminently desirable. However, shouldthe stage used have no trap, the work-room maybe supposed to be off-stage, with a door up Right.
HOBSON'S CHOICEACT 1The SCENE represents the interior of HOBSON'SBoot Shop in Chapel Street, Bedford. The shopwindows and entrance from street occupy the leftside. Facing the audience is the counter, withexhibits of boots and slippers, behind which thewall is fitted with racks containing boot boxes.Cane chairs in front of counter. There is a deskdown L. with a chair. A door R. leads up to thehouse. In the centre of the stage is a trap leadingto the cellar where work is done. There are noelaborate fittings. Gas brackets in the windows andwalls. The business is prosperous, but to prosperin Salford in 1880 you did not require the elaborateaccessories of a later day. A very importantcustomer goes for fitting into HOBSON'S _sitting-room. The rank and file use the cane chairs in theshop, which is dingy but business-like. Thewindows exhibit little stock, and amongst whatthere is clogs figure prominently. Through thewindows comes the bright light of noon._Sitting behind the counter are HOBSON'S twoyounger daughters, ALICE, R., who is twenty-three, and VICTORIA, L., who is twenty-one, andvery pretty. ALICE is knitting and VICTORIA isreading. They are in black, with neat black aprons.The door R. opens, and MAGGIE enters. She is
HOBSON'S eldest daughter, thirty.ALICE. Oh, it's you. I hoped it was father goingout.MAGGIE. It isn't. (She crosses and takes her placeat deskL.)ALICE. He is late this morning.MAGGIE. He got up late. (She busies herself withan account book.)VICKEY. (reading). Has he had breakfast yet,Maggie?MAGGIE. Breakfast! With a Masons' meeting lastnight!VICKEY. He'll need reviving.ALICE. Then I wish he'd go and do it.VICKEY. Are you expecting anyone, Alice?ALICE. Yes, I am, and you know I am, and I'llthank you both to go when he comes.VICKEY. Well, I'll oblige you, Alice, if father's goneout first, only you know I can't leave the counter tillhe goes.(ALBERT PROSSER enters from the street. He istwenty-six, nicely dressed, as the son of an
established solicitor would be. He crosses to R.and raises his hat to ALICE.)__ALBERT. Good morning, Miss Alice.ALICE. Good morning, Mr. Prosser. (She leansacross counter.) Father's not gone out yet. He'slate.ALBERT. Oh! (He turns to go, and is half-way todoor, whenMAGGIE rises.)MAGGIE (coming C.). What can we do for you,Mr. Prosser?ALBERT (stopping). Well, I can't say that I came into buy anything, Miss Hobson.MAGGIE. This is a shop, you know. We're not hereto let people go out without buying.ALBERT. Well, I'll just have a pair of bootlaces,please. (Moves slightly to R.)MAGGIE. What size do you take in boots?ALBERT. EightsI've got small feet. (He simpers,. then perceives that MAGGIE is by no meanssmiling.) Does that matter to the laces?MAGGIE (putting mat in front of arm-chair R. C.) Itmatters to the boots. (She pushes him slightly.) Sitdown, Mr. Prosser.
ALBERT (sitting in arm-chair R. C.) Yes, but—(MAGGIE is on her knees and takes off his boot.)MAGGIE. It's time you had a new pair. Theseuppers are disgraceful for a professional man towear. Number eights from the third rack, Vickey,please.ALICE (moving down a little). Mr. Prosser didn'tcome in to buy boots, Maggie.(VICKEY comes down to MAGGIE with box whichshe opens.)MAGGIE. I wonder what does bring him in here sooften!(ALICE moves back to behind counter.)ALBERT. I'm terrible hard on bootlaces, MissHobson.(MAGGIE puts a new boot on him and laces it.)MAGGIE. Do you get through a pair a day? Youmust be strong.ALBERT. I keep a little stock of them. It's as well tobe prepared for accidents.MAGGIE. And now you'll have boots to go with thelaces, Mr.Prosser. How does that feel?
ALBERT. Very comfortable.MAGGIE. Try it standing up.ALBERT (trying and walking a few steps). Yes, thatfits all right.MAGGIE. I'll put the other on.ALBERT. Oh no, I really don't want to buy them.MAGGIE (pushing him). Sit down, Mr. Prosser.You can't go through the streets in odd boots.(ALICE comes down again.)ALBERT. What's the price of these?MAGGIE. A pound.ALBERT. A pound! I say—MAGGIE. They're good boots, and you don't needto buy a pair of laces to-day, because we givethem in as discount. (VICKEY goes back tocounter.) Braid laces, that is. Of course, if youwant leather ones, you being so strong in the armand breaking so many pairs, you can have them,only it's tuppence more.ALBERT. These—these will do.MAGGIE. Very well, you'd better have the old pairmended and I'll send them home to you with thebill. (She has laced the second boot, rises, and