Mrs. Warren’s Profession

by

George Bernard Shaw

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A self-professed artist, the middle-aged Praed is an old friend of Mrs. Warren’s who claims to know nothing about her business. He believes that art and romance are the most important values in the world and urges Vivie to explore what art can do for her instead of focusing only on the practical elements of life. While he is a well-mannered, good-natured man, his claims to be innocent of his friend’s business and other facts of life seem disingenuous.

Praed Quotes in Mrs. Warren’s Profession

The Mrs. Warren’s Profession quotes below are all either spoken by Praed or refer to Praed. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Exploitation of Women Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Grindl Press edition of Mrs. Warren’s Profession published in 2016.
The Author's Apology Quotes

The most vicious man in the play is not in the least a stage villain; indeed, he regards his own moral character with the sincere complacency of a hero of melodrama. The amiable devotee of romance and beauty is shewn at an age which brings out the futilization which these worships are apt to produce if they are made the staple of life instead of the sauce. The attitude of the clever young people to their elders is faithfully represented as one of pitiless ridicule and unsympathetic criticism, and forms a spectacle incredible to those who, when young, were not cleverer than their nearest elders, and painful to those sentimental parents who shrink from the cruelty of youth, which pardons nothing because it knows nothing. In short, the characters and their relations are of a kind that the routineer critic has not yet learned to place; so that their misunderstanding was a foregone conclusion.

Page Number: 34
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 1 Quotes

VIVIE. No: she won't talk about it either. [Rising] However, I daresay you have good reasons for telling me nothing. Only, mind this, Mr Praed, I expect there will be a battle royal when my mother hears of my Chancery Lane project.
PRAED [ruefully] I'm afraid there will.
VIVIE. Well, I shall win because I want nothing but my fare to London to start there to-morrow earning my own living by devilling for Honoria. Besides, I have no mysteries to keep up; and it seems she has. I shall use that advantage over her if necessary.
PRAED [greatly shocked] Oh no! No, pray. Youd not do such a thing.
VIVIE. Then tell me why not.
PRAED. I really cannot. I appeal to your good feeling. [She smiles at his sentimentality]. Besides, you may be too bold. Your mother is not to be trifled with when she's angry.
VIVIE. You can't frighten me, Mr Praed. In that month at Chancery Lane I had opportunities of taking the measure of one or two women very like my mother. You may back me to win. But if I hit harder in my ignorance than I need, remember it is you who refuse to enlighten me. Now, let us drop the subject. [She takes her chair and replaces it near the hammock with the same vigorous swing as before].
PRAED [taking a desperate resolution] One word, Miss Warren. I had better tell you. It's very difficult; but—

Related Characters: Vivie Warren (speaker), Praed (speaker), Kitty Warren (Mrs. Warren), Honoria Fraser
Page Number: 46
Explanation and Analysis:

CROFTS. As to that, theres no resemblance between her and her mother that I can see. I suppose she's not your daughter, is she?
PRAED [rising indignantly] Really, Crofts—!
CROFTS. No offence, Praed. Quite allowable as between two men of the world.
PRAED [recovering himself with an effort and speaking gently and gravely] Now listen to me, my dear Crofts. [He sits down again]. I have nothing to do with that side of Mrs Warren's life, and never had. She has never spoken to me about it; and of course I have never spoken to her about it. Your delicacy will tell you that a handsome woman needs some friends who are not—well, not on that footing with her. The effect of her own beauty would become a torment to her if she could not escape from it occasionally. You are probably on much more confidential terms with Kitty than I am. Surely you can ask her the question yourself.
CROFTS. I have asked her, often enough. But she's so determined to keep the child all to herself that she would deny that it ever had a father if she could. [Rising] I'm thoroughly uncomfortable about it, Praed.
PRAED [rising also] Well, as you are, at all events, old enough to be her father, I don't mind agreeing that we both regard Miss Vivie in a parental way, as a young girl who we are bound to protect and help. What do you say?
CROFTS [aggressively] I'm no older than you, if you come to that.
PRAED. Yes you are, my dear fellow: you were born old. I was born a boy: Ive never been able to feel the assurance of a grownup man in my life. [He folds his chair and carries it to the porch].

Related Characters: Praed (speaker), Sir George Crofts (speaker), Vivie Warren, Kitty Warren (Mrs. Warren)
Page Number: 50-51
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 3 Quotes

FRANK. I give him due credit for that. [Rising and flinging down his paper] But just imagine his telling Crofts to bring the Warrens over here! He must have been ever so drunk. You know, my dear Praddy, my mother wouldn't stand Mrs Warren for a moment. Vivie mustn't come here until she's gone back to town.
PRAED. But your mother doesn't know anything about Mrs Warren, does she? [He picks up the paper and sits down to read it].
FRANK. I don't know. Her journey to town looks as if she did. Not that my mother would mind in the ordinary way: she has stuck like a brick to lots of women who had got into trouble. But they were all nice women. Thats what makes the real difference. Mrs Warren, no doubt, has her merits; but she's ever so rowdy; and my mother simply wouldn't put up with her. So—hallo! [This exclamation is provoked by the reappearance of the clergyman, who comes out of the house in haste and dismay].
REV. S. Frank: Mrs Warren and her daughter are coming across the heath with Crofts: I saw them from the study windows. What am I to say about your mother?
FRANK. Stick on your hat and go out and say how delighted you are to see them; and that Frank's in the garden; and that mother and Bessie have been called to the bedside of a sick relative, and were ever so sorry they couldn't stop; and that you hope Mrs Warren slept well; and—and—say any blessed thing except the truth, and leave the rest to Providence.

Related Characters: Frank Gardner (speaker), Praed (speaker), Reverend Sam Gardner (speaker), Vivie Warren, Kitty Warren (Mrs. Warren), Mrs. Gardner
Page Number: 86
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 4 Quotes

VIVIE. I am sure that if I had the courage I should spend the rest of my life in telling everybody—stamping and branding it into them until they all felt their part in its abomination as I feel mine. There is nothing I despise more than the wicked convention that protects these things by forbidding a woman to mention them. And yet I can't tell you. The two infamous words that describe what my mother is are ringing in my ears and struggling on my tongue; but I can't utter them: the shame of them is too horrible for me. [She buries her face in her hands. The two men, astonished, stare at one another and then at her. She raises her head again desperately and snatches a sheet of paper and a pen]. Here: let me draft you a prospectus.
FRANK. Oh, she's mad. Do you hear, Viv? mad. Come! pull yourself together.
VIVIE. You shall see. [She writes]. "Paid up capital: not less than forty thousand pounds standing in the name of Sir George Crofts, Baronet, the chief shareholder. Premises at Brussels, Ostend, Vienna, and Budapest. Managing director: Mrs Warren"; and now don't let us forget her qualifications: the two words. [She writes the words and pushes the paper to them]. There! Oh no: don't read it: don't! [She snatches it back and tears it to pieces; then seizes her head in her hands and hides her face on the table].
[Frank, who has watched the writing over her shoulder, and opened his eyes very widely at it, takes a card from his pocket; scribbles the two words on it; and silently hands it to Praed, who reads it with amazement and hides it hastily in his pocket.]

Related Characters: Vivie Warren (speaker), Frank Gardner (speaker), Kitty Warren (Mrs. Warren), Praed, Sir George Crofts
Related Symbols: Brussels
Page Number: 109
Explanation and Analysis:
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Mrs. Warren’s Profession PDF

Praed Character Timeline in Mrs. Warren’s Profession

The timeline below shows where the character Praed appears in Mrs. Warren’s Profession. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Author's Apology
Class, Respectability, Morality, and Complicity Theme Icon
Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
...is completely indifferent to his own moral failings. The kind and romantic lover of art (Praed) is portrayed as a silly middle-aged man who has never confronted the world as it... (full context)
Act 1
Exploitation of Women Theme Icon
...She answers that she is, but says no more. Apologetically, he explains that he is Praed. Vivie jumps up and goes to greet him, giving his hand a hard shake. She... (full context)
Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
Praed asks Vivie if Mrs. Warren has arrived. Vivie says she was not expecting her mother.... (full context)
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Vivie says she hopes Praed will want to be her friend. Praed exclaims that he is very glad that her... (full context)
Exploitation of Women Theme Icon
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Praed says that he was thrilled to hear that she tied with the third wrangler in... (full context)
Exploitation of Women Theme Icon
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Praed is shocked at Vivie’s attitude. He says that he would imagine she gained a great... (full context)
Exploitation of Women Theme Icon
Class, Respectability, Morality, and Complicity Theme Icon
Praed stands up indignantly, saying that Vivie must not have yet discovered the power of art.... (full context)
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Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
Abruptly, Vivie asks Praed if he thinks she and her mother will get along. Praed is taken aback, but... (full context)
Exploitation of Women Theme Icon
Class, Respectability, Morality, and Complicity Theme Icon
Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
Praed says that Vivie and her mother will naturally get along well and changes the subject.... (full context)
Exploitation of Women Theme Icon
Class, Respectability, Morality, and Complicity Theme Icon
Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
...in stocks and enjoys going out on the town to party. Vivie approaches, saying that Praed has been waiting for them. Mrs. Warren immediately says that Vivie should put a hat... (full context)
Class, Respectability, Morality, and Complicity Theme Icon
Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
...sulkily and puts the handle of his cane in his mouth. Mrs. Warren remarks to Praed that Crofts has been pressing her to introduce him to her little girl for three... (full context)
Exploitation of Women Theme Icon
Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
Praed says he thinks that they should all stop thinking of Vivie as a little girl.... (full context)
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Mrs. Warren pretends to laugh but looks concerned, and asks Crofts why Praed is acting this way. Crofts says that Mrs. Warren is afraid of Praed. Mrs. Warren... (full context)
Sex, Money, Marriage, Prostitution, and Incest Theme Icon
Class, Respectability, Morality, and Complicity Theme Icon
Vivie calls for her mother to come inside, and Mrs. Warren leaves Praed and Crofts alone. Crofts asks Praed if he knows who Vivie’s father is. Praed says... (full context)
Class, Respectability, Morality, and Complicity Theme Icon
Mrs. Warren calls Crofts and Praed into tea. As they are going in, a clever, handsome, charming, well-dressed but audacious young... (full context)
Class, Respectability, Morality, and Complicity Theme Icon
When Mrs. Warren calls loudly to Praed to come in for tea, Frank is surprised and amused by this unladylike behavior. Praed... (full context)
Class, Respectability, Morality, and Complicity Theme Icon
Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
As Praed and Frank are going into the house, an elderly clergyman approaches. Praed goes into tea,... (full context)
Sex, Money, Marriage, Prostitution, and Incest Theme Icon
Class, Respectability, Morality, and Complicity Theme Icon
Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
As Reverend Gardner is leaving, and Frank is moving to enter the cottage, Praed and Vivie come outside. Vivie says she would like to meet Frank’s father. Frank calls... (full context)
Act 2
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Crofts and Reverend Gardner enter, talking about politics. Mrs. Warren asks them where Praed and Vivie are. Crofts says that they walked further on, while he and the Reverend... (full context)
Class, Respectability, Morality, and Complicity Theme Icon
Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
Mrs. Warren asks Crofts where he and Praed can stay that night. Crofts says he will stay with the Gardners, but is indifferent... (full context)
Sex, Money, Marriage, Prostitution, and Incest Theme Icon
Class, Respectability, Morality, and Complicity Theme Icon
Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
Mrs. Warren is impatient for Vivie and Praed’s return. Frank says they will be gone for a long time, because Praed will love... (full context)
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Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
Vivie and Praed enter the cottage. Mrs. Warren becomes ill-at-ease around Vivie and resorts to being domineering. She... (full context)
Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
...think she will spend much time with any of her mother’s old friends, except perhaps Praed. (full context)
Class, Respectability, Morality, and Complicity Theme Icon
Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
...says he and Frank should be going, because his wife doesn’t know they have guests. Praed worries that he is causing the Gardners trouble, but Frank says his mother will be... (full context)
Act 3
Class, Respectability, Morality, and Complicity Theme Icon
Frank says that, although his mother and Praed got along very well, Reverend Gardner and Crofts sat up late drinking and telling shocking... (full context)
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Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
Praed enters the garden. Reverend Gardner excuses himself to work on a sermon. After he is... (full context)
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Intergenerational Conflict Theme Icon
Frank says to Praed that they must get rid of Mrs. Warren somehow. He sees Vivie and her mother... (full context)
Class, Respectability, Morality, and Complicity Theme Icon
...is charmed. Frank says everyone should go see the church, and Crofts, Mrs. Warren, and Praed leave with Reverend Gardner to do so. Reverend Gardner insists that they go in through... (full context)
Act 4
Class, Respectability, Morality, and Complicity Theme Icon
At that moment, Praed knocks on the door. Vivie tells Frank that Praed is going to Italy and has... (full context)
Sex, Money, Marriage, Prostitution, and Incest Theme Icon
Class, Respectability, Morality, and Complicity Theme Icon
Praed says Vivie would change her mind if she went to these European cities, or experienced... (full context)
Exploitation of Women Theme Icon
Sex, Money, Marriage, Prostitution, and Incest Theme Icon
Class, Respectability, Morality, and Complicity Theme Icon
Frank says he will remain single too until Vivie changes her mind. He tells Praed to continue speaking eloquently about something else. Praed says that he can only preach the... (full context)
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...life, by moonlight. Frank cuts her off, reminding her not to say too much to Praed. (full context)
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Vivie tells Frank that she is sure that Praed knows all about her mother. Turning to him, she says he ought to have told... (full context)
Exploitation of Women Theme Icon
Class, Respectability, Morality, and Complicity Theme Icon
Frank sees the words, however, and rewrites them on a paper he shows to Praed, who looks at it with amazement. Frank says that they will remain Vivie’s friends, and... (full context)
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Class, Respectability, Morality, and Complicity Theme Icon
Praed tells Frank he is very disappointed in Crofts. Frank replies that now Crofts makes perfect... (full context)
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There is a knock at the door. Praed goes and lets in Mrs. Warren, while Frank sits down and writes a note. Mrs.... (full context)
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...says perhaps she should leave Vivie to do her work. Vivie firmly tells Frank and Praed to leave her alone with her mother. They all bid one another goodbye and the... (full context)