Photo: Richard Termine
And then Muriel's husband Wallace shows up, demanding that Betty apologize.
Chapin uses this thin plot as a skeleton for discussions of sexual politics, society, and the meaning of fidelity. He fleshes it out with scores of very funny lines. His take on sexual politics is fascinating, since it exists in a world that probably never was: the gorgeous homes of independently wealthy people, taken care of by servants, where women rule the roost and men fecklessly try to figure them out. Chapin ignores the true power that men have and had, particularly 100 years ago, yet there is a level on which his sense of sexual politics is advanced and even vaguely feminist. (Chapin was killed in World War I, one of the millions of tragic casualties of that stupid and useless war, so there's no way of knowing how his work would have developed.)