Duchess of Berwick How clever you are, Mr Hopper. You have a cleverness quite of your own. Now I mustn’t keep you.

Hopper But I should like to dance with Lady Agatha, Duchess.

Duchess of Berwick Well, I hope she has a dance left. Have you a dance left, Agatha?

Lady Agatha Yes, mamma.

Duchess of Berwick The next one?

Lady Agatha Yes, mamma.

Hopper May I have the pleasure? (Lady Agatha bows)

Duchess of Berwick Mind you take great care of my little chatterbox, Mr Hopper.

Lady Agatha and Mr Hopper pass into ball-room. Enter Lord Windermere L.

Lord Windermere Margaret, I want to speak to you.

Lady windermere In a moment. (The music stops)

Parker Lord Augustus Lorton.

Enter Lord Augustus

Lord Augustus Good evening, Lady Windermere.

Duchess of Berwick Sir James, will you take me into the ball-room? Augustus has been dining with us tonight. I really have had quite enough of dear Augustus for the moment.

Sir James Royston gives the Duchess his arm and escorts her into the ball-room

Parker Mr and Mrs Arthur Bowden. Lord and Lady Paisley. Lord Darlington.

These people enter as announced

Lord Augustus (coming up to Lord Windermere) Want to speak to you particularly, dear boy. I’m worn to a shadow. Know I don’t look it. None of us men do look what we really are. Demmed° good thing, too. What I want to know is this. Who is she? Where does she come from? Why hasn’t she got any demmed relations? Demmed nuisance, relations! But they make one so demmed respectable.

Lord Windermere You are talking of Mrs Erlynne, I suppose? I only met her six months ago. Till then, I never knew of her existence.

Lord Augustus You have seen a good deal of her since then.

Lord Windermere (coldly) Yes, I have seen a good deal of her since then. I have just seen her.

Lord Augustus Egad! the women are very down on her. I have been dining with Arabella this evening! By Jove! you should have heard what she said about Mrs Erlynne. She didn’t leave a rag on her.…(Aside) Berwick and I told her that didn’t matter much, as the lady in question must have an extremely fine figure. You should have seen Arabella’s expression!…But, look here, dear boy. I don’t know what to do about Mrs Erlynne. Egad! I might be married to her; she treats me with such demmed indifference. She’s deuced clever, too! She explains everything. Egad! She explains you. She has got any amount of explanations for you—and all of them different.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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