Mrs Marchmont Going on° to the Hartlocks tonight, Olivia?
Lady Basildon I suppose so. Are you?
Mrs Marchmont Yes. Horribly tedious parties they give, dont they?
Lady Basildon Horribly tedious! Never know why I go. Never know why I go anywhere.
Mrs Marchmont I come here to be educated.
Lady Basildon Ah! I hate being educated!
Mrs Marchmont So do I. It puts one almost on a level with the commercial classes, doesnt it? But dear Gertrude Chiltern is always telling me that I should have some serious purpose in life. So I come here to try to find one.
Lady Basildon (looking round through her lorgnette) I dont see anybody here tonight whom one could possibly call a serious purpose. The man who took me in to dinner talked to me about his wife the whole time.
Mrs Marchmont How very trivial° of him!
Lady Basildon Terribly trivial! What did your man talk about?
Mrs Marchmont About myself.
Lady Basildon (languidly) And were you interested?
Mrs Marchmont (shaking her head) Not in the smallest degree.
Lady Basildon What martyrs we are, dear Margaret!
Mrs Marchmont (rising) And how well it becomes us, Olivia!
They rise and go towards the music-room. The Vicomte De Nanjac, a young attaché known for his neckties° and his Anglomania, approaches with a low bow, and enters into conversation
Mason (announcing guests from the top of the staircase) Mr and Lady Jane Barford. Lord Caversham.
Enter Lord Caversham, an old gentleman of seventy, wearing the riband and star of the Garter.° A fine Whig type. Rather like a portrait by Lawrence
Lord Caversham Good evening, Lady Chiltern! Has my good-for-nothing young son been here?
Lady Chiltern (smiling) I dont think Lord Goring has arrived yet.
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