The strained Kirbridge marriage has yet to be consummated, causing Elizabeth great unhappiness in her quest to make a happy life with Lawrence and her great desire to start a family. As it happens, Lawrence's interests lie elsewhere.
The Kirbridges marriage, such as it is, is on the decline. Elizabeth is frustrated at not yet having consummated their marriage while Lawrence expresses the view that sexual relations are not necessary for a couple to love one another. Lawrence confides in his publisher Sir Edwin Partridge who offers to seduce Elizabeth and thus deal with the new bride's sexual frustrations on Lawrence's behalf. At a soirée organized by Lawrence for some of his literary friends, the champagne is flowing freely, Partridge is at his best in the role of seducer and soon finds his way into Elizabeth's bed. Below stairs meanwhile, Thomas has been planting the idea that the Kirbridges need a motorcar, though Lawrence quickly realizes that it is Thomas who seems to want one. Elizabeth is firmly in favor of the idea and Lawrence agrees. Written by
Sir Edwin Partridge:
As a performance I've acquired to compensate for a hideous bashfulness... beneath the peacock is a partridge, and a very humble one. If I let him out too often, he'll be shot. Try to understand.
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The Merry Widow
Composed by Franz Lehár (1905)
Played on piano at the poetry soiree. See more »