“I don’t play accurately—any one can play accurately—but I play with wonderful expression”

Frédéric Bazille, Bazille’s Studio (Detail)

ACT I

SCENE I

[Morning-room in Algernon’s flat in Half-Moon Street. The room is luxuriously and artistically furnished. The sound of a piano is heard in the adjoining room.]

[Lane is arranging afternoon tea on the table, and after the music has ceased, Algernon enters.]

Algernon: Did you hear what I was playing, Lane?

Lane: I didn’t think it polite to listen, sir.

Algernon: I’m sorry for that, for your sake. I don’t play accurately—any one can play accurately—but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life.

Lane: Yes, sir.

–Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

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