Second Act

Scene: Drawing-room in Lord Windermere’s house. Door R.U. opening into ball-room, where band is playing. Door L. through which guests are entering. Door L.U. opens on to illuminated terrace. Palms, flowers, and brilliant lights. Room crowded with guests. Lady Windermere is receiving them. [Parker stands by door L. Duchess of Berwick and Lady Agatha are on stage. A sofa, L., and bureau, R.]

Duchess of Berwick (up C.) So strange Lord Windermere isn’t here. Mr Hopper is very late, too. You have kept those five dances for him, Agatha? (Comes down)

Lady Agatha Yes, mamma.

Duchess of Berwick (sitting on sofa) Just let me see your card.° I’m so glad Lady Windermere has revived cards.—They’re a mother’s only safeguard. You dear simple little thing! (Scratches out two names.) No nice girl should ever waltz with such particularly younger sons!° It looks so fast! The last two dances you might pass on the terrace with Mr Hopper.

Enter Mr Dumby and Lady Plymdale° from the ball-room

Lady Agatha Yes, mamma.

Duchess of Berwick (fanning herself) The air is so pleasant there.

Parker mrs cowper-cowper. Lady Stutfield. Sir James Royston. Mr Guy Berkeley.

These people enter as announced

Dumby Good evening, Lady Stutfield. I suppose this will be the last ball of the season?

Lady Stutfield I suppose so, Mr Dumby. It’s been a delightful season, hasn’t it?

Dumby Quite delightful! Good evening, Duchess. I suppose this will be the last ball of the season?

Duchess of Berwick I suppose so, Mr Dumby. It has been a very dull season, hasn’t it?

Dumby Dreadfully dull! Dreadfully dull!

Mrs Cowper-Cowper Good evening, Mr Dumby. I suppose this will be the last ball of the season?

Dumby Oh, I think not. There’ll probably be two more. (Wanders back to Lady Plymdale)

Parker Mr Rufford. Lady Jedburgh and Miss Graham. Mr Hopper.

These people enter as announced

Hopper How do you do, Lady Windermere? How do you do, Duchess? (Bows to Lady Agatha)

Duchess of Berwick Dear Mr Hopper, how nice of you to come so early. We all know how you are run after in London.

Hopper Capital place, London! They are not nearly so exclusive in London as they are in Sydney.

Duchess of Berwick Ah! we know your value, Mr Hopper. We wish there were more like you. It would make life so much easier. Do you know, Mr Hopper, dear Agatha and I are so much interested in Australia. It must be so pretty with all the dear little kangaroos flying about. Agatha has found it on the map.° What a curious shape it is! Just like a large packing case. However, it is a very young country, isn’t it?

Hopper Wasn’t it made at the same time as the others, Duchess?

  By PanEris using Melati.

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