CUTHBERTSON. Any new medical discoveries, doctor?
PARAMORE. Well, since you ask me, yes; perhaps a most important one. I have discovered something that has hitherto been overlooked; a minute duct in the liver of the guinea pig. Miss Craven will forgive my mentioning it when I say that it may throw an limportant light on her father’s case. The first thing, of course, is to find out what the duct is there for.
CUTHBERTSON [reverently, feeling that he is in the presence of Science] Indeed? How will you do that?
PARAMORE. Oh, easily enough, by simply cutting the duct, and seeing what will happen to the guinea pig. [Sylvia rises, horrified]. I shall require a knife specilly made to get at it. The man who is waiting for me downstairs has brought me a few handles to try before fitting it and sending it to the laboratory. I am afraid it would not do to bring such weapons up here.
SYLVIA. If you attempt such a thing, Dr PAramore, I will complain to the committee. A majority of the members are anti-vivisectionists. You ought to be ashamed of yourself. [She snatches up the detachable skirt, and begins buttoning it on as she flounces out at the staircase door.]
PARAMORE [with patient contempt]That’s the sort of thing we scientific men have to put up with nowadays, Mr Cuthbertson. Ignorance, superstition, sentimentality: they are all one. A guinea pig’s convenience is set above the health and lives of the entire human race.
“The Philanderer” Plays Unpleasant, by Bernard Shaw.
It was written in 1893 but the strict British Censorship laws at the time meant that it was not produced on stage until 1902.