STEPHEN. What's the matter? LADY BRITOMART. Presently, Stephen. Stephen submissively walks to the settee and sits down. He takes up The Speaker. LADY BRITOMART. Don't begin to read, Stephen. I shall require all your attention. STEPHEN. It was only while I was waiting— LADY BRITOMART. Don't make excuses, Stephen. [He puts down The Speaker]. Now! [She finishes her writing; rises; and comes to the settee]. I have not kept you waiting very long, I think. STEPHEN. Not at all, mother. LADY BRITOMART. Bring me my cushion. [He takes the cushion from the chair at the desk and arranges it for her as she sits down on the settee]. Sit down. [He sits down and fingers his tie nervously]. Don't fiddle with your tie, Stephen: there is nothing the matter with it. STEPHEN. I beg your pardon. [He fiddles with his watch chain instead]. LADY BRITOMART. Now are you attending to me, Stephen? STEPHEN. Of course, mother. LADY BRITOMART. No: it's not of course. I want something much more than your everyday matter-of-course attention. I am going to speak to you very seriously, Stephen. I wish you would let that chain alone.