The scene is an excerpt from the play “The Browning Version.” 

Table of Contents

Taplow: The Oppressed

Frank (a young man) and Crocker-Harris( a middle-aged man) are both teachers. Frank asked a boy about his name, and he said that his name was Taplow. Frank asked him about his results, and he denied any information.

Frank told him that the only headmaster should announce results, so that was probably why Mr. Crocker-Harris had not told him the results. Frank asked Taplow about the subject of his interest, and he replied, “Science.” 

Frank was not impressed. Taplow called the book (Agamemnon) that Frank was holding as a waste. Taplow was not impressed with how the teachers hurled Greek words at the students.

Frank asked Taplow why he was anxious, and he blamed extra work (which he has to do for being absent) for his condition. He also told Frank that he wanted to play golf. Taplow tols frank that Mr. Crocker-Harris was hardly a human. Frank advised Taplow to read his book. 

A Friendly Banter

Frank asked Taplow to take a break as Mr. Crocker-Harris was ten minutes late. He seemed very scared. Frank was astonished to see the effect of Crocker-Harris on his pupils. He asked Taplow if Crocker-Harris would beat them all or what.

Taplow replied that Mr. Crocker-Harris was not a sadist as compared to a few other teachers. Taplow told him that, indeed, few masters thought that the boys did not know anything. Taplow admitted that he liked Mr. Crocker Harris.

A Vague Joke

Frank asked Taplow if he was exaggerating, but he replied that one day, Mr. Crocker-Harrison cracked a joke that nobody understood, but still he (Taplow) laughed out of pity for Mr. Crocker-Harrison. Mr. Crocker-Harris told Taplow to explain the Latin to other students as he assumed that Taplow’s Latin was exceptional as he had understood the joke.

The Blame Game

The door opened, and Millie Crocker-Harris entered. She was a thin woman, neatly dressed. She talked to Frank normally and asked if they both were waiting for her husband (Mr. Crocker-Harris), to which they replied that they were. She told them that her husband was at Bursar’s and might be there for some time.

Millie advised Taplow to take a break, and in case Mr. Crocker-Harris showed up, she would take the blame. She asked Taplow to get the prescription made up from a chemist, Taplow followed the orders.