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4. FOURTH ACT (continued)
MRS. ALLONBY. I should like to see Lord Illingworth in a happy English home.
LADY HUNSTANTON. It would do him a great deal of good, dear. Most women in London, nowadays, seem to furnish their rooms with nothing but orchids, foreigners, and French novels. But here we have the room of a sweet saint. Fresh natural flowers, books that don't shock one, pictures that one can look at without blushing.
MRS. ALLONBY. But I like blushing.
LADY HUNSTANTON. Well, there IS a good deal to be said for blushing, if one can do it at the proper moment. Poor dear Hunstanton used to tell me I didn't blush nearly often enough. But then he was so very particular. He wouldn't let me know any of his men friends, except those who were over seventy, like poor Lord Ashton: who afterwards, by the way, was brought into the Divorce Court. A most unfortunate case.
MRS. ALLONBY. I delight in men over seventy. They always offer one the devotion of a lifetime. I think seventy an ideal age for a man.
LADY HUNSTANTON. She is quite incorrigible, Gerald, isn't she? By-the-by, Gerald, I hope your dear mother will come and see me more often now. You and Lord Illingworth start almost immediately, don't you?
GERALD. I have given up my intention of being Lord Illingworth's secretary.
LADY HUNSTANTON. Surely not, Gerald! It would be most unwise of you. What reason can you have?
GERALD. I don't think I should be suitable for the post.
MRS. ALLONBY. I wish Lord Illingworth would ask me to be his secretary. But he says I am not serious enough.
LADY HUNSTANTON. My dear, you really mustn't talk like that in this house. Mrs. Arbuthnot doesn't know anything about the wicked society in which we all live. She won't go into it. She is far too good. I consider it was a great honour her coming to me last night. It gave quite an atmosphere of respectability to the party.
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