Fourth Act

Scene: Same as Act II. Lord Goring is standing by the fireplace with his hands in his pockets. He is looking rather bored

Lord Goring (pulls out his watch, inspects it, and rings the bell) It is a great nuisance. I can’t find anyone in this house to talk to. And I am full of interesting information. I feel like the latest edition of something or other.

Enter servant

James Sir Robert is still at the Foreign Office, my lord.

Lord Goring Lady Chiltern not down yet?

James Her ladyship has not yet left her room. Miss Chiltern has just come in from riding.

Lord Goring (to himself) Ah! that is something.

James Lord Caversham has been waiting some time in the library for Sir Robert. I told him your lordship was here.

Lord Goring Thank you. Would you kindly tell him I’ve gone?

James (bowing) I shall do so, my lord.

Exit servant

Lord Goring Really, I don’t want to meet my father three days running. It is a great deal too much excitement for any son. I hope to goodness he won’t come up. Fathers should be neither seen nor heard. That is the only proper basis for family life. Mothers are different. Mothers are darlings.

Throws himself down into a chair, picks up a paper and begins to read it. Enter Lord Caversham

Lord Caversham Well, sir, what are you doing here? Wasting your time as usual, I suppose?

Lord Goring (throws down paper and rises) My dear father, when one pays a visit it is for the purpose of wasting other people’s time, not one’s own.

Lord Caversham Have you been thinking over what I spoke to you about last night?

Lord Goring I have been thinking about nothing else.

Lord Caversham Engaged to be married yet?

Lord Goring (genially) Not yet; but I hope to be before lunch-time.

Lord Caversham (caustically) You can have till dinner-time if it would be of any convenience to you.

Lord Goring Thanks awfully, but I think I’d sooner be engaged before lunch.

Lord Caversham Humph! Never know when you are serious or not.

Lord Goring Neither do I father.

A pause

Lord Caversham I suppose you have read The Times° this morning?

  By PanEris using Melati.

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