Oscar Wilde: A Woman of No Importance



Sitting-room at Mrs. Arbuthnot's. Large open French window at back, looking on to garden. Doors R.C. and L.C.

[GERALD ARBUTHNOT writing at table.]

[Enter ALICE R.C. followed by LADY HUNSTANTON and MRS. ALLONBY.]

ALICE. Lady Hunstanton and Mrs. Allonby.

[Exit L.C.]

LADY HUNSTANTON. Good morning, Gerald.

GERALD. [Rising.] Good morning, Lady Hunstanton. Good morning, Mrs. Allonby.

LADY HUNSTANTON. [Sitting down.] We came to inquire for your dear mother, Gerald. I hope she is better?

GERALD. My mother has not come down yet, Lady Hunstanton.

LADY HUNSTANTON. Ah, I am afraid the heat was too much for her last night. I think there must have been thunder in the air. Or perhaps it was the music. Music makes one feel so romantic - at least it always gets on one's nerves.

MRS. ALLONBY. It's the same thing, nowadays.

LADY HUNSTANTON. I am so glad I don't know what you mean, dear. I am afraid you mean something wrong. Ah, I see you're examining Mrs. Arbuthnot's pretty room. Isn't it nice and old-fashioned?

MRS. ALLONBY. [Surveying the room through her lorgnette.] It looks quite the happy English home.

LADY HUNSTANTON. That's just the word, dear; that just describes it. One feels your mother's good influence in everything she has about her, Gerald.

MRS. ALLONBY. Lord Illingworth says that all influence is bad, but that a good influence is the worst in the world.

LADY HUNSTANTON. When Lord Illingworth knows Mrs. Arbuthnot better he will change his mind. I must certainly bring him here.

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