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If: a play in four acts
written by "Dunsany, Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, Baron, 1878-1957"
...saying "At a certain hour let it be"; the hour comes and he will go back eight, ten, even twelve years if he will, into the past, and do a thing again, or act otherwise than he did. The day passes; the ten years are accomplished once again; he is here once more; but he is what he might have become had he done that one thing otherwise. MARY John! JOHN I—I don't understand. ALI To-night you wish. All to-morrow you live the last ten years; a new way, master, a new way, how you please. To-morrow night you are here, what those years have made you. JOHN By Jove! MARY Have nothing to do with it, John. JOHN All right, Mary, I'm not going to. But, do you mean one could go back ten years? ALI Even so. JOHN Well, it seems odd, but I'll take your word for it. But look here, you can't live ten years in a day, you know. ALI My master has power over time. MARY John, don't have anything to do with him. JOHN All right, Mary. But who is your master? ALI He is carved of one piece of jade, a god in the greenest mountains. The years are his dreams. This crystal is his treasure. Guard it safely, for his power is in this more than in all the peaks of his native hills. See what I give you, master. JOHN Well, really, it's very good of you. MARY Good night, Mr. Ali. We are very much obliged for your kind offer, which we are so sorry we can't avail ourselves of. JOHN One moment, Mary. Do you mean that I can go back ten years, and live till—till now again, and only be away a day? ALI Start early and you will be here before midnight. JOHN Would eight o'clock do! ALI You could be back by eleven that evening. JOHN I don't quite see how ten years could go in a single day. ALI They will go as dreams go. JOHN Even so, it seems rather unusual, doesn't it? ...

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