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1. FIRST ACT (continued)
[Enter GERALD ARBUTHNOT.]
GERALD. Lady Hunstanton, I have such good news to tell you. Lord Illingworth has just offered to make me his secretary.
LADY HUNSTANTON. His secretary? That is good news indeed, Gerald. It means a very brilliant future in store for you. Your dear mother will be delighted. I really must try and induce her to come up here to-night. Do you think she would, Gerald? I know how difficult it is to get her to go anywhere.
GERALD. Oh! I am sure she would, Lady Hunstanton, if she knew Lord Illingworth had made me such an offer.
[Enter Footman with shawl.]
LADY HUNSTANTON. I will write and tell her about it, and ask her to come up and meet him. [To Footman.] Just wait, Francis. [Writes letter.]
LADY CAROLINE. That is a very wonderful opening for so young a man as you are, Mr. Arbuthnot.
GERALD. It is indeed, Lady Caroline. I trust I shall be able to show myself worthy of it.
LADY CAROLINE. I trust so.
GERALD. [To HESTER.] YOU have not congratulated me yet, Miss Worsley.
HESTER. Are you very pleased about it?
GERALD. Of course I am. It means everything to me - things that were out of the reach of hope before may be within hope's reach now.
HESTER. Nothing should be out of the reach of hope. Life is a hope.
LADY HUNSTANTON. I fancy, Caroline, that Diplomacy is what Lord Illingworth is aiming at. I heard that he was offered Vienna. But that may not be true.
LADY CAROLINE. I don't think that England should be represented abroad by an unmarried man, Jane. It might lead to complications.
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