My dear Margaret, you are not going to cry? LADY WINDERMERE clutches at her fan, then lets it drop on the door. How weak bad men are! I am sorry I have. But Lady Windermere has that uncommon thing called common sense. She wants you to make her apologies to them. You are not what I thought you were. What are called good women may have terrible things in them, mad moods of recklessness, assertion, jealousy, sin. I congratulate you, my dear fellow.
Erlynne appeared at the ball, Lady Windermere lost her resolution and let the fan drop to the floor. Good women bore one. Had to, my dear fellow. I find it hard enough to keep my own. I am so sorry I have been out the last three times you have called. She is the only good woman I have ever met in my life.
You must leave Mrs. You dear simple little thing! Well, what is it? And I have to write a few letters. I offer you my life — LADY WINDERMERE. I know now what you meant to-day at tea-time. I am so sorry. I never loved any one in the whole world but you.
Where does she come from? But he doesn't care. And yet, which is the worst, I wonder, to be at the mercy of a man who loves one, or the wife of a man who in one's own house dishonours one? That is a great error. Margaret, I came to ask you a great favour, and I still ask it of you, though you have discovered what I had intended you should never have known that I have given Mrs. I tell you simply this—Mrs. Between men and women there is no friendship possible. I am afraid you are going to annoy me again.
My dear Lady Windermere! Erlynne's desk, Lord Windermere gives her a cheque for £1500 for her silence. That letter that is burnt now WAS your letter. His desire to spare you--shame, yes, shame and disgrace. He doesn't know you are here--he thinks you are safe in your own house. Take it, and do with it what you will. I prefer living in the south.
Yes, we begin like that. That is why I am giving this party to-night. Do you know, Lady Windermere, I am so sorry about your fan. She is not on the guest list, but then Lord Lorton arrives, and she uses him to gain entry. I have been wildly, madly adored.
Sorry to hear it, Tuppy; whenever people agree with me, I always feel I must be wrong. Why is he not here, to wake by passionate words some fire within me? LORD WINDERMERE looks at her in contempt. If a woman wants to hold a man, she has merely to appeal to what is worst in him. She induces a reluctant Lord Windermere to formally introduce her to his wife. We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars? Erlynne to Lady Jedburgh? But there is a little thing I would like you to do for me. Here is the letter.
But if you wish to avoid a public scandal, write at once to this woman, and tell her that I forbid her to come here! Lord Darlington, my lady. I did not ask her. What do you mean? They always want one to be good. It is something very particular. The youth of the present day are quite monstrous. Margaret, I want to speak to you. Yes, here it is! You talk as if you were a man of experience.
Erlynne, she has conducted herself well. It would be terrible if there were any scene. Dumby, you are ridiculous, and Cecil, you let your tongue run away with you. I have the right to tell you never to enter this house, never to attempt to come near my wife — MRS. I am sorry you are leaving England so soon.
Why do you talk to me about this person? Oh, all my life! Why is my wife's fan here? Of course you must help me in this matter. Ah, the dear pretty baby! If he cared for me, he would have come after me, would have taken me back by force. It is his love for you that has made him submit to—oh! I may have wrecked my own life, but I will not let you wreck yours. I should like to be allowed a little time to myself now and then. There is a look of wonderful joy in her face.