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Oscar Wilde (The Exile) the play Part 2
Oscar Wilde (The Exile) the play Part 2

Oscar Wilde (The Exile) the play Part 2

Franc68Lorient Montaner
1 Review

ACT IV.

SCENE I.

At a rented villa in Naples, Italy.

Oscar reunites with Lord Alfred Douglas in a secretive location, to rekindle their lost affection and time together.

OSCAR WILDE.
How picturesque is the morning, and how fain it is to awake, with the soothing rays of the sun, and the radiance of your eyes Bosie. Verily, it is a rainbow I witness.

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
You once spoke of our affection as pure and genuine. Do you still feel the same?

OSCAR WILDE.
Nothing has really changed. My feelings for you, I have not changed one bit. I know that we have had our conflict, but we have always managed to overcome their obstacles.

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
Why did you send me De Profundis?

OSCAR WILDE.
It was a mistake I admit. I should have never written that spiteful letter. Know that I was under tremendous despair and distress. I had felt abandoned by you, and I had gained spite from you unprovoked. I know that I was wrong.

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
I am glad that you have reflected and seen the error of that anger. You are extraordinarily buoyant and possess a gay temperament.

OSCAR WILDE.
And Bosie, you are the light of my passionate flame. I shall take you to the Café de la Paix in Paris, once we go there.

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
Is it better than the Café Royal and Savoy in England?

OSCAR WILDE.
Only you can answer that question. I shall take you there. Have you missed me?

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
Yes. I have.

OSCAR WILDE.
How much?

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS
Enough to come to Naples to be with you.

OSCAR WILDE.
I am glad you have forgiven me. I just wished your father; the Marquess of Queensberry would be as forgiving as yourself. I know that he has sent detectives to follow me and my contacts.

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS
I would not worry about father. No one can stop us from meeting nor spending time together.

OSCAR WILDE.
How thoughtful of you Bosie. Your nobility is as beautiful, as the touch of your manly lips.

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
I have grown wisdom from you and have learnt much in the way of knowledge.

OSCAR WILDE.
You came to me to learn the pleasure of life and the pleasure of art. Perhaps, I am chosen to teach you something much more wonderful, the meaning of sorrow, and its beauty. Perhaps, I was destined to be the one to teach you the beauty of love, and its unrestrained passion.

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
I have always felt that in you. A relationship that I could not have with anyone else, including my own mother and father.

OSCAR WILDE.
Socrates once said, "In every one of us there are two ruling and directing principles, whose guidance we follow wherever they may lead; the one being an innate desire of pleasure; the other, an acquired judgement which aspires after excellence."

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
Your eloquence in speech has always been for me, the one thing I have admired the most about you Oscar.

OSCAR WILDE.
You are my Antinous, and I am your serf.

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
I can never be you, nor reach the fame that you have reached.

OSCAR WILDE.
Why would you want to emulate me? I am no god to be venerated, though I must confess that my providence is as divine as a god.

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
Would you not want to be a god, Oscar?

OSCAR WILDE.
I could be your god, to venerate and adore, but I am afraid I am only mortal, and as a mortal I can only give you love and compassion.

SCENE II.

At Capri, Italy.

Oscar and Lord Alfred Douglas are staying at a hotel, but they are ejected from their hotel, when their English fellow guests rise in the dining room in disgust at their entrance.

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
I have never seen such rudeness before Oscar. I thought the Italians were far more different in treatment than the English.

OSCAR WILDE.
Don't worry Bosie. I would rather not be in the company of such pompous idiots of incivility. I have let them know of my thoughts. I have told them how pathetic they are.

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
Perhaps, we should leave and return to the villa.

OSCAR WILDE.
I have told the waiter that we shall leave, as soon as we finish.

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
And what did you say?

OSCAR WILDE.
He said that we were already finished.

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
But we were not. I have not even finished half of my dinner.

OSCAR WILDE.
Then you should take it with you.

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
Why should I?

OSCAR WILDE.
It would better Bosie, that I take you somewhere else, where we could not be disturbed so plainly.

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
That would be an excellent idea.

OSCAR WILDE.
There is still much of Naples, you have not seen yet.

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
I am truly troubled by the fact, wherever we are or go that we shall be confronted, by those that repudiate us. Those that....

OSCAR WILDE.
Those like us, whose love dares not speak its name.

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
How could that love survive Oscar, if it does not have any meaningful acceptance in society? Even to utter the word homosexual, is a crime by punishment.

OSCAR WILDE.
It shall Bosie, now and then. This type of love has always survived for centuries. It has lived in the sonnets of Shakespeare and Michelangelo. And it is inspired by the basis, for the teachings of Socrates and Plato. It is a love pure and natural.

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
Pure, but the more time passes, it seems to me tainted by the day.

OSCAR WILDE.
Don't be sorrowful nor upset Bosie. You have me, and that is sufficient consolation.

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
But we must be secretive about our affection.

OSCAR WILDE.
Perhaps, but know that every one of your kisses is the dew of a matutinal rain drop.

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
I wish that we could just display our affection, our friendship, without being judged.

OSCAR WILDE.
To those ignoramuses that pursue us, let them know that we shall not bow to their demands.

SCENE III.

At the chalet of Oscar Wilde in Paris, France.

Oscar returns to Paris, after a successful period of time in the company of Lord Alfred Douglas. He is visited by his good friend Robert Ross. He has come to warn him about Lord Alfred Douglas and talk to him about Constance.

OSCAR WILDE.
Robbie, I was not expecting your visit so soon. Have you come on behalf of Constance to warn me?

ROBERT ROSS.
Yes I am afraid so. Constance had instructed me to tell you that she is cutting off your allowance, if you continue your relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas.

OSCAR WILDE.
When people speak against me for going back to Bosie, tell them that he offered me love, and that in my loneliness and disgrace I, after three months' struggle against the hideous Philistine world, turned naturally to him, the lover that filled my ravenous thirst.

ROBERT ROSS.
As your dearest friend, I understand Oscar. Nevertheless, it is not I who you must convince. It is Constance and she worries about the image of her children. Surely, you can understand her concern. They will be forced to cope, with the realisation of your scandalous affair with Lord Alfred Douglas. Is this not enough to merit your concern?

OSCAR WILDE.
How can she really imagine that she can influence or control my life? She might just as well try to influence and control my art. I suppose she will now attempt to deprive me of my wretched three pounds a week that are paltry. Women are so petty, and Constance has no imagination. My existence is a scandal. But I do not think I should be charged with creating a scandal by continuing to live, although I am conscious that I do so. I cannot live alone, and Bosie is the only one of my friends, who is either able or willing to give me his companionship unconditionally.

ROBERT ROSS.
If you may allow me to say Oscar. That is selfish of you to say. You have known me throughout these years, and I have been there, when you needed money and above us support. I ask that you consider this petition of Constance. Stay away from the scandal with Lord Alfred Douglas.

OSCAR WILDE.
I did not think that on my release my wife, my trustees, the guardians of my children, my few friends, such as they are, and my myriad of enemies would combine to force me by starvation, to live in silence and solitude again.

ROBERT ROSS.
Constance is only thinking about the children Oscar.

OSCAR WILDE.
And about I? Who shall think on my behalf, if it is not I who must endure the toils of my misery?

ROBERT ROSS.
I realize that Oscar. You forget that I know you better than anyone else.

OSCAR WILDE.
I have not forgotten that Robbie.

ROBERT ROSS.
Perhaps, you need time to think about this Oscar. Think about what I have told you.

OSCAR WILDE.
I shall. You need not worry, for I trust you and know that you speak on behalf of Constance.

ROBERT ROSS.
She is in Switzerland, with the boys. Maybe you could visit her?

OSCAR WILDE.
I don't know, if that is a good idea.

ROBERT ROSS.
Do you not wish to see the boys?

OSCAR WILDE.
From the bottom of my heart I do. I cannot live without seeing their young faces and smiles.

ROBERT ROSS.
Go to them Oscar. You will not regret it.

OSCAR WILDE.
I shall ponder that suggestion, but for now, I need time.

ROBERT ROSS.
Just keep in mind that Constance will not wait forever, for your decision.

SCENE IV.

At the home of the renowned French actress Sarah Bernhardt. Wilde visits her, in attempt to speak about a possible publication of a new play of his, untitled and unwritten.

SARAH BERNHARDT.
Oscar Wilde. What brings you to my residence? It has been a while, since our last encounter.

OSCAR WILDE.
Sarah, it is a pleasure to see you anew. I shall not take much of your time. I only wanted to speak to you about a possible play that I have in mind.

SARAH BERNHARDT.
I hear about you in the private places of the inspiring poets of Paris. You have made a favourable impression upon them.

OSCAR WILDE.
I suppose, I am a celebrity here in France. I have been contemplating writing another play my dear, much like Salomé, or L'Etrangère to be performed at the Vaudeville Theatre in Paris, if there are any suitors for the purchase of my play.

SARAH BERNHARDT.
That sounds very interesting Oscar. I had been told you were in Paris, but I did not know, you were now living in the city. It must have been terrible to be condemned and exiled.

OSCAR WILDE.
That is not the worse part. The worse is to be ostracised by the very same society that once applauded and revered me.

SARAH BERNHARDT.
I remember our last encounter in London, when I tried to seduce you. Now at my age, I can only attempt to seduce you with my feminine persuasion.

OSCAR WILDE.
That feminine persuasion that I had adored, with such fine admiration.

SARAH BERNHARDT
People are speaking about Lord Alfred Douglas and you. Are you still involved with him?

OSCAR WILDE.
At the moment, I don't know what I want, or who I prefer to be involved with. The only thing that I know for a certainty, is the fact that I find in my solitude, his company to be the most exhilarating.

SARAH BERNHARDT.
I was always curious, if you were part of the Uranians.

OSCAR WILDE.
No–I was not.

SARAH BERNHARDT.
But you still enjoy the company of young men.

OSCAR WILDE.
I still indulge with rent boys, from time to time, if must know. As for the play. What do you propose that I should write about?

SARAH BERNHARDT.
I would suggest that you write a play about your life Oscar. The people here in Paris would be entertained.

OSCAR WILDE.
Good God Sarah, have you gone mad?

SARAH BERNHARDT.
Not one bit. I have been an actress for decades and have written many successful plays. I have travelled the world. I speak from genuine experience.

OSCAR WILDE
I shall not make a mockery of myself.

SARAH BERNHARDT.
No one is saying you would Oscar. You came here to know of my advice, and I have given it to you with a great measure of candour. In the end, you will decide.

OSCAR WILDE
So true. You have not changed one bit. I often do not enjoy the wit of others expressed, but yours is exquisitely piquant.

SARAH BERNHARDT.
Oscar Wilde my good friend, if you decide to write this play and seek to display it in Paris, then do so, but I would hope that I have a front row seat at the theatre.

OSCAR WILDE.
Guaranteed. You will be my honoured guest, Sarah.

SCENE V.

At the Bois de Boulogne in Paris, France.

Oscar is in the company of Lord Alfred Douglas. They take a carriage ride together and enjoy the view, as they speak about their time together and future.

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
How beautiful are the gardens, Oscar.

OSCAR WILDE.
Indeed! They are colourful. I enjoy the roses and hyacinths the most. I often visit the gardens, for they remind me of Ireland.

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
It is such a tranquil place to be in and enjoy good company.

OSCAR WILDE.
My trip to Paris with my mother, I remember with a fond affection Bosie, I was barely twenty, and we stayed at the Hotel du Quai Voltaire. I had then returned to the charming hotel, with its magnificent view overlooking the Seine, the Louvre Museum and of course, the Tuileries Gardens.

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
You were a fortunate man.

OSCAR WILDE.
Was, that is the key. Now, I find myself in need of good fortunes, for my allowance has been abated, by Constance.

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
As along, as you are with me, I shall give you an allowance, and assist you in whatever endeavour you desire to partake in.

OSCAR WILDE.
That is admirable of you Bosie. What would I do without you?

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
You must not give in to the temptation of failure and lost hope Oscar.

OSCAR WILDE.
Your words are so prophetic Bosie. You are so young and handsome that you have the world before you still. I, on the other hand, am running out of time I sense, like the sand running down an hourglass.

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
What do you mean by that Oscar?

OSCAR WILDE.
I may possess the wit of Oscar Wilde, but I no longer possess the beautiful body that once had showered me, with the exotic gifts of sensual pleasures.

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
You are still young enough to change, if you so desire to. Stop with the intoxication. Intoxicate your heart and spirit with love, not ruin it with hardened alcohol. You must stop the penchant for absinthe.

OSCAR WILDE.
Oh yes, the green fairy. I don't know, if I can. For to drink excites me, and not to drink, simply bores my soul to death. Bosie, I was one who stood in symbolic relations to the art and culture of my age. There is not a single wretched man that was in that place of horror along with me that was prison, who did not stand in symbolic relation to the very secret of life and its pure essence. For the secret of life is suffering. My hardship has filled the soul with the fruit of experience, however bitter it tasted at the time.

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
The wretched man who is confined in an English prison can hardly escape becoming insane. You were a man, who had been denied the most basic of human rights–simply to pursue his emotions, without penalty and to love whom he chose to express that love openly.

OSCAR WILDE.
Bravo Bosie, you speak with such an eloquence that I have forgotten existed in you.

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
I have never given up on you. I have believed in you, despite the absence of years that separated us, during your prison term.

OSCAR WILDE.
I was enraged with you and had blamed you for my misery. I blamed your father as well, when I had only to blame myself. Your mother sent me £200 and wanted me to promise, to never see nor live with you again.

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
I know. What is important is that you have rectified your position and now, you are in a better place, I hope.

OSCAR WILDE.
I hope so too.

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
You are no longer imprisoned, behind those hideous four walls that had trapped you Oscar.

OSCAR WILDE.
I feel at times, that I am haunted by the shadow of those ineffaceable walls of my confinement.

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
Enough of bad thoughts, let us concentrate on enjoying the day, and the place of our rendezvous.

SCENE VI.

At the Le Restaurant de l'Hotel in Paris, France.

Wilde dines with publisher Leonard Smithers, to discuss the publication of his poem finished The Ballad of Reading Gaol.

OSCAR WILDE.
Leonard old friend, it is good that you accepted my cordial invitation to dinner.

LEONARD SMITHERS.
I could never turn down a wonderful invitation, such as yours Oscar.

OSCAR WILDE.
You look great.

LEONARD SMITHERS.
You too my friend.

OSCAR WILDE.
I was wondering, if you would be interested in publishing my newest poem.

LEONARD SMITHERS.
What is it called?

OSCAR WILDE.
The Ballad of Reading Gaol.

LEONARD SMITHERS.
I am assuming it is about your imprisonment?

OSCAR WILDE.
Most definitely. I wanted to express my feelings, my thoughts and ideas, in particular, share the pain and hardship that my other fellow prisoners had to endure unnecessarily.

LEONARD SMITHERS.
It is an admirable thing that you speak of, with such eloquence Oscar.

OSCAR WILDE.
Thank you Leonard, but I need to know, if you plan on publishing it. I say this with a candid admission, I shall be in debt to you, if you publish the poem.

LEONARD SMITHERS.
Do you have a copy of the poem with you?

OSCAR WILDE.
Yes. Here, take it with you and decide.

LEONARD SMITHERS.
I shall.

OSCAR WILDE.
To be honest Leonard, I don't know, if this will be the last thing I write or be published.

LEONARD SMITHERS.
I would hope for not only your sake, but for the sake of your admirers, that is not the case. The world is in debt to your art Oscar.

OSCAR WILDE.
What a remarkable thing to say. As an artist, I seek only the recognition of my art than the illusion of the artist. Somewhere between those lines of commonality, one finds the truth.

LEONARD SMITHERS.
What is that truth Oscar?

OSCAR WILDE.
That I have not yet fully discovered. All that I know, is that it is there, and few ever realise its existence.

LEONARD SMITHERS.
You seem to have experienced some much in such little time.

OSCAR WILDE.
You are correct. I have lived and seen only a fraction of what life had given to me, but I can say that I have experimented, more than the casual person. I have seen more than the casual man.

LEONARD SMITHERS.
You are the epitome of a genuine artist.

ACT V.

SCENE I.

At the home of Constance, in Switzerland.

Robert Ross visits her and the children, to inform her that Oscar has reunited with Lord Alfred Douglass, and that it should not be the reason for not allowing him to see his boys.

CONSTANCE WILDE.
Robert, I was not expecting to see you so soon. I did not receive a letter from you.

ROBERT ROSS.
Forgive me, if I did not give you any advanced notice of my visit. I stopped by to apprise you of Oscar's decision, and his demand to receive his allowance.

CONSTANCE WILDE.
How brash of him to make such demand, knowing what my conditions imposed upon him were.

ROBERT ROSS.
That is the thing, Constance. He does see, why you are imposing these conditions.

CONSTANCE WILDE.
I do all of this for not my sake only, but for the sake of the children and his own also Robert.

ROBERT ROSS.
I believe you. I just had to inform you of Oscar's decision.

CONSTANCE WILDE.
So, he prefers to continue his scandalous and lewd relationship, with Lord Alfred Douglass?

ROBERT ROSS.
Yes, for now.

CONSTANCE WILDE.
Does he not think about all the harm that he has caused the children and I?

ROBERT ROSS.
Believe me, when I say that he does care Constance.

CONSTANCE WILDE.
His actions speak loudly of his choice.

ROBERT ROSS.
I tried to convince him of the peril and scandal that is being created, with his continuation to see Lord Alfred Douglass.

CONSTANCE WILDE.
You realise that I have had to move to another country and change my name to Constance Lloyd?

ROBERT ROSS.
Yes, I am aware of that fact.

CONSTANCE WILDE.
I don't know, what else to do to convince him to leave him.

ROBERT ROSS.
I myself will continue to make him see the error of his judgement.

CONSTANCE WILDE.
How Robert? How can you make a man see what his eyes blind him to see?

ROBERT ROSS.
But you must know, he speaks often to me through letters and in person, when I have visited him about the children.

CONSTANCE WILDE.
They are too young to understand the dilemma of their absent father.

ROBERT ROSS.
We both know that he loves them.

CONSTANCE WILDE.
I am beginning to doubt how much Robert. He prefers to spend his time with rent boys than his own.

ROBERT ROSS.
I had tried to make him see how dangerous it is for him to stir another maelstrom of scandals.

CONSTANCE WILDE.
I have never understood, his preference in them. Forgive me if I ask you Robert. You as a homosexual man, what does he see in men that he does not see in me?

ROBERT ROSS.
I cannot speak on behalf of Oscar, but I can tell you that there is nothing unnatural, about a man loving another man.

CONSTANCE WILDE.
Do you call this thing he shares with other men love or lust?

ROBERT ROSS.
It all depends I suppose.

CONSTANCE WILDE.
Well, let me ask you then, what is this thing that he shares with Lord Alfred Douglass. It is love or lust?

ROBERT ROSS.
I would say both.

SCENE II.

At the Saint-Germain-des-Prés Café in Paris, France.

Oscar meets Reginald Turner and Ernest La Jeunesse, to speak about funding and patronage for a possible play that he has been aspiring to write.

OSCAR WILDE.
Gentlemen, I am glad you were both able to come today.

REGINALD TURNER.
I hope that it is nothing serious. You seem concerned. It is reflected in your gestures Oscar.

ERNEST LA JEUNESSE.
Are you ill or what other thing can be concerning you?

OSCAR WILDE.
I am worried about my finances. I seem to be spending too much on so little of paltry allowance that I have. I need to make more money, and that is the reason, why I have requested your presence both.

REGINALD TURNER.
What can we do to assist you in this endeavour Oscar?

OSCAR WILDE.
I am in the process of writing a play that I have written only a small fragment of it already.

ERNEST LA JEUNESSE.
A play. What is called? I am intrigued in knowing.

OSCAR WILDE.
I need to find someone major to finance the play at the theatre.

ERNEST LA JEUNESSE.
At what theatre?

OSCAR WILDE.
At the Theatre Comédie-Parisienne in Paris, where my play Salomé was presented.

ERNEST LA JEUNESSE.
That would be marvellous Oscar.

REGINALD TURNER.
That is asking a lot, but it can be done.

OSCAR WILDE.
I assure you both that it will be successful.

REGINALD TURNER.
I cannot guarantee success Oscar.

OSCAR WILDE.
I am aware of that possibility. Trust me Reggie, I shall make the audience adore me once more.

ERNEST LA JEUNESSE.
When do you expect to finish the play?

OSCAR WILDE.
Soon, if I can muster the financial backing.

ERNEST LA JEUNESSE.
That could take time Oscar. Are you aware of that delay?

OSCAR WILDE.
Yes, I am fully aware my dear Ernie, but I must insist. I am gradually learning that freedom is a worthless and overrated thing, when there is the cruel world to confront, with a small measure of hope.

REGINALD TURNER.
Why so gloomy Oscar? You must have faith in yourself.

OSCAR WILDE.
Faith or fate? The first is a thing that cannot be measured and the second, is a thing that cannot be known. If I knew of what they really meant to me, I would be a god by now, not a meagre man.

REGINALD TURNER.
You must have faith. Are you not a spiritual man?

OSCAR WILDE.
Know that after my release from prison, I had a note sent to the Jesuits in Farm Street in London, asking for a Catholic priest to come so that I could receive spiritual guidance. The Jesuits rejected my request.

SCENE III.

At the Café de Flore in Paris, France.

Oscar invites Frank Harris to lunch, so that he could speak to him, about his economical situation that is worsening, by his continuous debts.

OSCAR WILDE.
My dear Frank. How good of you to come, when I asked you to.

FRANK HARRIS.
Your aspect has changed Oscar. You do not look well. Are you intoxicated?

OSCAR WILDE.
I am, but it is because I wish to be intoxicated with life and with the zest that I have lost it seems.

FRANK HARRIS.
What has caused this rapid change in your appearance?

OSCAR WILDE.
I suppose, it is bad food that I have been forced to consume. A bad diet would explain it all, but I need to make money.

FRANK HARRIS.
And your allowance?

OSCAR WILDE.
Constance had taken that away, and I cannot ask for more from Lord Alfred Douglas.

FRANK HARRIS.
You must stop wasting your money on expensive trips, dinners, clothing etc.

OSCAR WILDE.
I wish I could stop Frank, but I can't seem to.

FRANK HARRIS.
If you don't Oscar, then you will bring upon yourself, your absolute ruination sooner than you think. You are drunk.

OSCAR WILDE
How do I stop this?

FRANK HARRIS.
By not overindulging with expensive alcohol.

OSCAR WILDE.
I need to find a way to pay off my debts. I don't want to see the faces of my creditors.

FRANK HARRIS.
Then you will have to leave Paris.

OSCAR WILDE.
I don't want to. Where would I go?

FRANK HARRIS.
Have you not thought about this before?

OSCAR WILDE.
Not really!

FRANK HARRIS.
I hope that it does not reach to the point that you will have to unwillingly. I have a sum of money I can give you now.

OSCAR WILDE.
Thank you Frank. I know that I can count on you. I am in debt to your kindness towards me.

FRANK HARRIS.
I hope the next time, we see each other, you are not intoxicated and are in fine fettle.

SCENE IV.

At the chalet in Paris, France.

Oscar is visited once more, by his close friend Ada Leverson. It will be the last time that they see other in person.

OSCAR WILDE.
Sphinx, ever so beautiful and radiant as ever my dear. How glad I am to see you. You must come more often, for I grow weary of the solitude at times.

ADA LEVERSON.
I came when I was able to come. I came alone this time, but my husband will join me in a week from now.

OSCAR WILDE.
Tell me, how is London?

ADA LEVERSON.
London is the same as before, bustling and hectic.

OSCAR WILDE.
Do they still despise me there?

ADA LEVERSON.
I would be lying, if I told you that they have not forsaken your accomplishments.

OSCAR WILDE.
How quickly I am forgotten, like Judas and his infamous betrayal of Jesus.

ADA LEVERSON.
England is not ready to forgive you Oscar. It would better, if you do not think about returning.

OSCAR WILDE.
I pity more, my plays than myself. It is my work that most troubles me of being lost and forgotten. Will I too here in Paris, meet the same fate?

ADA LEVERSON.
They say in London that you are a provocative dandy with extravagant costumes, affirming your taste for a decadent aesthetic form that has slowly faded in England.

OSCAR WILDE.
Do you know that I mischievously wait in the narrow aisles of my favourite bookstores and engage in subversive conversations, with anyone that is interested in my work. Fans rave over the literary talent that was Oscar Wilde, without knowing that it was me, they were conversing with.

ADA LEVERSON.
Why don't you join me for a stroll in the streets of Paris.

OSCAR WILDE.
That would be a good idea. Let us go then.

SCENE V.

At the Café de la Paix in Paris, France.

Oscar and Lord Douglas have an argument that leads to Lord Douglas's immediate departure from Paris. Oscar was treated to a dinner by Lord Alfred Douglas.

OSCAR WILDE.
It's a beautiful day, is it not Bosie? This place overlooks the Opera House that is only a minute’s walk, from the street where I had written Salomé years ago.

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
That must bring you joy and immense satisfaction.

OSCAR WILDE.
It does, but I must impose upon you a small allowance, from the immense inheritance you have received upon your father’s death.

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
Are you serious?

OSCAR WILDE.
In spite of the fact that I never liked the man, I would never have asked for his death.

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
I cannot believe what you are saying. Your words stir contempt in me. You disgust me when you beg. And you're getting fat and bloated. You are always demanding money, money, money. You could earn all the money you want, if you would only write anon. But you won’t do anything–you're like an old prostitute, just waiting to be rewarded!

OSCAR WILDE.
Certainly, you don't mean that Bosie?

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
By all means, I am serious. How could you dare to be so cruel and indifferent?

OSCAR WILDE.
I don't want to be cruel and indifferent, but your father was cruel and indifferent to me. Besides, who better than to share your inheritance than with me?

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
Why do you just overdrink and overeat? You are so excessive at that. Where is the Oscar Wilde that I once knew and had genuine affection for?

OSCAR WILDE.
That I don't know. I have lost that essence it seems.

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
You are to be blamed for that, for you could rise from the ashes of the Phoenix, if you desired.

OSCAR WILDE.
Desire is such a longing that I have not yet reached, when referring to writing.

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
But you must write again Oscar.

OSCAR WRITE.
I have found that is much easier to beg than to create something tangible of noteworthy praise.

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
I cannot stay here any longer and watch you waste away, in alcohol and rent boys.

OSCAR WILDE.
I detest when you throw such ostensible fits in public. It makes you seem childish in your comportment. It is your weakness. I don't like seeing you in this gullible form.

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
Call it whatever you want. I shall not subject myself to this aspersion.

OSCAR WRITE.
What are you saying Bosie?

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
I am leaving Paris and returning to England.

OSCAR WILDE.
And of I? Do you plan on returning?

LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS.
I doubt that–or I cannot stand seeing you in such abhorrent manner. It sickens me. Goodbye Oscar.

OSCAR WILDE.
Bosie, wait!

ACT VI.

SCENE I.

At the home of Constance in Switzerland.

Robert Ross visits Constance for the last time, to inform her that Oscar and Lord Alfred Douglas are no longer a couple.

CONSTANCE WILDE.
Robert, I read your letter, but I could not believe it. Is it true?

ROBERT ROSS.
It is true Constance.

CONSTANCE WILDE.
How did this occur? I never thought that Lord Alfred Douglass would tire of Oscar's antics.

ROBERT ROSS.
I don't know the entirety of the story, but I was told by Oscar that Lord Alfred Douglas had left Paris and returned to England.

CONSTANCE WILDE.
But I wonder, if it is for good that he has left, or will he return to Oscar's side, once the storm has subsided?

ROBERT ROSS.
Only time will tell. Time will bear reflection on what occurs between them.

CONSTANCE WILDE.
How is it Robert? How does he look? Is he that bad as you describe in your letters?

ROBERT ROSS.
I am afraid for his health. He seems to have a strong liking for alcohol that it is slowly destroying, whatever shape of the man that he is.

CONSTANCE WILDE.
Is it that bad? I have not seen him for a long time now.

ROBERT ROSS.
Why, do you not go to him Constance? He is in need of your support.

CONSTANCE WILDE.
I can't Robert and you know that. He can come to me here in Switzerland. I know that he has travelled here.

ROBERT ROSSS.
What is preventing you from going to Paris?

CONSTANCE WILDE.
The children.

ROBERT ROSS.
Why do you hold hostage the children to punish Oscar? They have every right to see their father.

CONSTANCE WILDE.
I do not hold them hostage Robert. It is Oscar that had not come to see them.

ROBERT ROSS.
But under your conditions.

CONSTANCE WILDE.
Do not blame me Robert for what had happened to Oscar. He alone has himself to blame for causing his demise.

ROBERT ROSS.
Do you not still love him?

CONSTANCE WILDE.
Love him? What good is to love him, when he loves more his vices, other men, himself, and his prestige?

ROBERT ROSS.
I will repeat to you. Go to him Constance, before it is too late and he succumbs to his death.

CONSTANCE WILDE.
However much it pains me for the sake of the children and I, I shall not go. It is he that must come to us.

SCENE II.

At Café de la Paix in Paris, France.

Wilde meets the Parnassian writer and dandy, Jean Lorrain.

JEAN LORRAIN.
It is a pleasure to meet you Oscar and to finally have a good conversation.

OSCAR WILDE.
The pleasure is mine, Jean. I would be a fool to have not come.

JEAN LORRAIN.
You look tired and dejected Oscar.

OSCAR WILDE.
Is it that noticeable in my facial expressions?

JEAN LORRAIN.
I regret to say that it is quite noticeable.

OSCAR WILDE.
I Oscar Wilde, was once a bohemian to the French, but I am now, a shadow of a man.

JEAN LORRAIN.
What has become of you Oscar?

OSCAR WILDE.
I suppose that I have lost that natural flair of mine. Have I lost my wit? My charm? Because the day that I do, I shall be lost forever.

JEAN LORRAIN.
The Oscar Wilde that I see before me, is not the Oscar that is flamboyant, a dandy and witty. You are a shell of yourself.

OSCAR WILDE.
I shall take that as a compliment, not an insult, mon ami. I admit that I am a nonpareil, and perhaps I need to be mangonised.

JEAN LORRAIN.
Where are you staying at Oscar?

OSCAR WILDE.
At the Hotel Louvre Marsollier.

JEAN LORRAIN.
How is the hotel treating you there?

OSCAR WILDE.
It is bad, horribly bad. Since I left the chalet, I have bounced from one hotel to another, with my meagre allowance.

JEAN LORRAIN.
Why don't you write again Oscar? You know that the Parisians are yearning to see you write again.

OSCAR WILDE.
I have asked that myself, and have tried to finish a play that I have started.

JEAN LORRAIN.
You once filled the theatres of London and Paris. You once thrilled audiences.

OSCAR WILDE.
Indeed! It haunts me to think that I once was a genius of my own creation. I cannot bear the thought of absolute failure and ruination.

JEAN LORRAIN
Then write Oscar write! Listen to the public!

OSCAR WILDE.
I shall contemplate that notion with the utmost regard to my public.

SCENE III.

At the Hotel d'Alsace in Paris, France.

Robert Ross visits Oscar for the final time. He bring sad tidings about the passing of Constance his former love and wife.

OSCAR WILDE.
Robbie. How are you old boy?

ROBERT ROSS.
Fine Oscar.

OSCAR WILDE.
I apologise if this is a shabby fourth-class hotel. Unfortunately, this is all I can afford myself to live in. I know you make think that I have fallen to the lowest that any man could fall. What has brought you to see me?

ROBERT ROSS.
I don't know if you have received my letter?

OSCAR WILDE.
Which letter?

ROBERT ROSS.
The letter informing you, about the death of Constance.

OSCAR WILDE.
I must sit down for a moment. I did not receive your letter. I am struck with the horror of her death Robbie. I have been moving from one hotel to another.

ROBERT ROSS.
I was not aware that you did not receive my letter.

OSCAR WILDE.
My heart has been broken. If only I had met her again and we kissed each other! It is too late. How awful life is!

ROBERT ROSS.
I must confess to you that I had told her to come and visit you.

OSCAR WILDE.
And why didn't she Robbie?

ROBERT ROSS.
I don't know Oscar.

OSCAR WILDE.
What did she die of?

ROBERT ROSS.
I only know so far; it was the cause of a bad surgery.

OSCAR WILDE
I have lost my wife, my children, fame, honour, position and wealth. Now I have nothing. I have been reduced to being a man, whose reputation is tarnished and whose name has been erased. I have lost my mother, Bosie and Constance all at once. What more have I to lose? Who else must perish before I finally do?

ROBERT ROSS.
Let this inspire you to write again Oscar, for life is still worth living, and you who have experienced and seen the world could write about it.

OSCAR WILDE.
Oh Robbie, I have seen everything that I have no more to write.

ROBERT ROSS.
What do you mean by that?

OSCAR WILDE.
I wrote when I did not know life, but now that I do know the meaning of life, I have no more to write. Life cannot be written, for it can only be lived. Life is never fair, and perhaps it is a good thing for most of us that it be that way. If not, we would all go insane.

ROBERT ROSS.
Then what will become of you? Will you allow yourself to drift off into the pages of oblivion? Do you not think about your children and your friends? Think about me.

OSCAR WILDE.
Robbie, you are ever so wise in words. What would I do without your friendship?

ROBERT ROSS.
Why don't you go to Switzerland and at least, see her grave? I can travel with you. Perhaps, you can see the boys again.

OSCAR WILDE.
Oh my beloved children. How I have missed them so.

ROBERT ROSS.
Then will you go to Switzerland.

OSCAR WILDE.
Yes, but alone Robbie. I need to find solace and closure alone.

SCENE IV.

At the cemetery in Switzerland, where Constance is buried.

Wilde visits the grave of his beloved Constance. There he is accompanied by Harold Mellor, an acquaintance of his.

OSCAR WILDE.
How sad it is Harold to see the grave of my dearest Constance.

HAROLD MELLOR.
I grieve for you Oscar, as your friend.

OSCAR WILDE.
How fain is to see the marble cross with dark ivy leaves inlaid in such a good pattern that makes me envious. But it is tragic to see the name of Constance carved on a tomb, with the name of Lloyd and not Wilde. Thus, I am filled with rage and blame. It is my ineptitude that could not have prevented her death, and the shame that I caused that sent her to her grave.

HAROLD MELLOR.
I understand that Oscar, but there is little that you can do now to change the course of destiny.

OSCAR WILDE.
Why–why, was I not brave to confront our love? Why was I a coward for turning my cheek the other way. I know now that how much she really meant to me, after losing her. There is nothing in the world like the devotion of a married woman. It is a thing that no married man knows anything about in earnest.

HAROLD MELLOR.
She is in the heavens with the orchestra of cherubs Oscar. Let her rest, and let your guilt rest as well, here before her tombstone.

OSCAR WILDE.
I am a blatant fool. I have done nothing in this world, but cause harm on to others. Whatever I have gained, I have not earned. All that I have sowed, I have not reaped. I have committed the worse of all abominable sins, selfishness.

HAROLD MELLOR.
It does you no service to blame yourself, for her death.

OSCAR WILDE.
Who else am I to blame Harold?

HAROLD MELLOR.
No one. If you have to blame someone, then blame that bloody surgeon, who killed her.

OSCAR WILDE.
That poor devil, has his lingering guilt like I have mine to bear, for his responsibility. You see that when men love women, they give them but a little of their lives, but women that love give everything. Women are made to be loved, not merely understood.

HAROLD MELLOR
The world is never how we want it to be Oscar.

OSCAR WILDE.
I suppose, it is only the illusion of the truth. For so many years I have put ahead aesthetic wonders, instead of those that we create from our natural world. Men always want to be a woman's first love, but for a woman they prefer to be a man's last romance.

HAROLD MELLOR.
Death is no illusion my friend and romance is alive.

OSCAR WILDE.
Indeed. As Dante once portrayed it with his inferno, it is daunting in its manifestation. As for romance, I have sipped from its glass, once too often.

HAROLD MELLOR.
Perhaps one day, we will be able to understand death Oscar.

OSCAR WILDE.
I don't think I shall live that long. It frightens me to think that I shall understand it. There are moments when one has to choose between living one's own life, fully, entirely, completely, or live a shallow degrading existence that the world in its hypocrisy demands.

HAROLD MELLOR.
Do you want me to live you alone for a bit, and permit you to be with Constance?

OSCAR WILDE.
Yes, that would be good of you Harold.

HAROLD MELLOR.
I shall be waiting then for you at the hotel.

SCENE V.

At Café de la Paix in Paris, France.

Wilde is invited by his old friend Reginald Turner to the café. Wilde is sober and very worried, when he meets with Turner.

REGINALD TURNER.
You seem sober today, Oscar. What is the occasion for that?

OSCAR WILDE.
I plan on holding a party Reggie, a festive one indeed, at the hotel where I am staying currently.

REGINALD TURNER.
What for?

OSCAR WILDE.
I want to invite all my good friends in Paris for a magical night.

REGINALD TURNER.
Is it something special that you are commemorating?

OSCAR WILDE.
Is it not enough that I am the main attraction at the party?

REGINALD TURNER.
It is good to see you at least in good spirits. I have heard so much about your terrible lapses, with alcohol and depression.

OSCAR WILDE.
I don't want to talk about that Reggie, for it bores me to death to remember that. I have experienced sufficient hardship, degradation and poverty to want to have to speak about it to anyone in privacy or in public.

REGINALD TURNER.
How many guests will you have at the party?

OSCAR WILDE.
That I do not quite know yet. I would hope that everyone that receives an invitation comes and brings some wit too, because I need to regain mine.

REGINALD TURNER.
I would hope this turns the page of your life and allows you to move on Oscar to finer and greener pastures of life.

OSCAR WILDE.
I doubt that I shall ever find those finer and greener pastures, but I shall endeavour myself to dream a little more than before.

REGINALD TURNER.
I still have fate that you will. When you do, I hope that you do not forget, your old friend Reggie.

OSCAR WILDE.
I couldn't imagine myself doing so.

REGINALD TURNER.
There is still time Oscar. There is still time left.

OSCAR WILDE.
I sure hope that I can at least see my plays performed once more in London, one day.

REGINALD TURNER.
I have not seen this suit before that you are wearing Oscar.

OSCAR WILDE.
It is not the best, but it must do for now. For the wretched innkeeper I had before demanded the rent, and I was forced to sell some of my valuable items that were fine made tailored suits.

REGINALD TURNER.
I shall attempt to come.

OSCAR WILDE.
Thanks Reggie. I knew that I could count on you.

SCENE VI

At the Hotel d'Alsace, in Paris, France.

Wilde has a party that night, with his close friends of the city. Little would he know that it would be the last time, he would be the main attraction and alive.

OSCAR WILDE.
Messieurs, I am happy to see that you were all able to come to my festive night and accept my invitation.

ANDRÉ GIDE.
It is a pleasure as always Oscar. I think that I speak for all the guests that have gathered tonight that we are excited to be here.

OSCAR WILDE.
And I am delighted to be your host messieurs.

ÉMILE ZOLA.
What is the occasion, Oscar?

JEAN MOREAS.
That I would like to know as well.

OSCAR WILDE.
I have none in particular, except for the grandeur of introducing myself once more, into the focus of Paris with my savoir-faire. The wallpaper and I are dueling to the death, one of us must go.

REGINALD TURNER.
Am I to assume Oscar that you are not fond of your wallpaper?

OSCAR WILDE.
I long for the peacock feather décor, I once had enjoyed in England Reggie.

ERNEST LA JEUNESSE.
I can have the hotel refurbish the wallpaper, if you like Oscar.

JEAN LORRAIN.
That should not be too difficult to ascertain.

OSCAR WILDE.
I feel a bit ashamed, since I am not wasting money here at this hotel. The persistent landlord at the Hôtel Louvre Marsollier had accepted no excuses. He confiscated my room key and had seized my property as compensation, for an unpaid bill of mine.

JEAN LORRAIN.
I would never imagine you Oscar in such a place like this, if I had not seen it with my eyes.

ANDRÉ GIDE
I shall find you another better hotel to stay at, mon ami.

OSCAR WILDE.
Parmi les poètes de France, je trouverai de véritables amis. Amongst the poets of France, I shall find my true friends. Art deals with the exception and with the individual. I much prefer extraordinary people like all of you present than ordinary people, for they are artistically uninteresting.

ÉMILE ZOLA.
You are truly the incredible cynosure of all parties or soirées Oscar in Paris. Who could walk in your shadow with your elegance?

OSCAR WILDE.
No one! I am Oscar Wilde. I love to talk about nothing. Truly, it is the only thing that I know anything about gentlemen. I may be ostracised in London, but I am revered in Paris. The only people that I would care to be with now are artists and people who have suffered. Those who know what beauty is, and those who know what sorrow is. Nobody else intrigues more than those individuals that I call friends.

ANDRÉ GIDE.
The world would be a better place, if there were more Oscar Wildes in the world.

OSCAR WILDE.
Regrettably, the world is a stage, but the play at times is badly cast.

REGINALD TURNER.
What do you mean by that Oscar?

OSCAR WILDE.
It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious in my opinion. We live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities. A person must learn to differentiate, between ignorance and stupidity. That person must learn as well, to distinguish what is reverential and what is obsessive. I detest the cynics of this world. What is a cynic? A man who proclaims to know the price of everything but has ascertained the value of nothing.

ERNEST LA JEUNESSE.
Your wisdom and charm are unmatched. There is no other Oscar Wilde.

OSCAR WILDE.
My wisdom comes from my experiences and my charm naturally, from my inherent ingenuity. Gentlemen, the answers to our questions are all out there, we just need to be adventurous to ask the right questions. There is no need to precipitate in our urgency to find the answers. There is no magical elixir that will enlighten us more than our natural wisdom. I was born with charm and because of it, I have experimented the most wonderful and wicked delights ever expressed.

ÉMILE ZOLA.
Soon, new poems and plays will be read and performed in the theatres of Paris, with your name on the placards on every boulevard.

REGINALD TURNER.
If he desires to write. That is the question that must be asked.

ANDRÉ GIDE.
I shall ask it. Oscar, will you bestow us, with your talent and gift of writing?

OSCAR WILDE.
Soon André. I shall let the world know. If a man cannot write good, he cannot think rationally. If he cannot think rationally, others will do his thinking for him and deem his creativity useless.

ÉMILE ZOLA.
Will you describe in your words Oscar, what does beauty mean to you?

OSCAR WILDE.
Beauty is the only thing that time cannot harm. It is the joy for all seasons, a possession for all eternity. The irony to that is that no one is capable of returning to his past and enjoy his former beauty. To look at a thing is very different, from appreciating it. One does not see anything truly, until one sees its pure beauty. Then, and only then, does it come into existence, as beautiful. Thus beauty, in its purest state could never be tainted, for it can only be altered at best.

ÉMILE ZOLA.
And what about platonic love Oscar?

OSCAR WILDE.
Verily, there is no such thing as that, for love and intimacy are always sensual and culminate in lust. I think Plato himself only explored the idea after experiencing lust. We cannot forget that Herodotus, Xenophon, Athaneaus and even Plato, once wrote about sexuality, including homosexuality.

ÉMILE ZOLA.
And of your art? What do you want people to remember you for?

OSCAR WILDE.
That is a good question. To that I shall respond by saying, remember me for who I was, not for who I was not. It is through art only that we realise and achieve, a semblance of aesthetic perfection. Life is too short to be forgotten so easily.

JEAN MOREAS.
I can't wait in anticipation for your new piece of art Oscar. Now, let us toast to the famous Oscar Wilde.

OSCAR WILDE.
I Oscar Wilde, offer all of you who are my guests, a splendid glass of the best champagne in Paris. Tonight, will be the night that I rise from the hoary ashes, like the renascent Phoenix. Gentlemen, I am dying beyond my means, but my superb wit will never die. I shall fade into the ripples of time, but my art will never cease to exist. Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations that will lead you to greater things. Be afraid of nothing. Be yourselves. (Applauses are heard from the guests).

On the 30th of November 1900, the great Oscar Wilde had quietly passed away in his death, at the age of 46. He was taken into the Catholic faith, and he was relocated from a pauper’s grave to the cemetery at Père Lachaise afterwards.

End of play.

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Lorient Montaner
About This Story
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5 Jul, 2023
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