Oscar Wilde
Lady Win­der­mere's Fan
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Lady Windermere's Fan

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LADY WINDERMERE. Are all men bad?
DUCHESS OF BERWICK. Oh, all of them, my dear, all of them, without any exception. And th
LORD WINDERMERE. Child, if you did such a thing, there’s not a woman in London who wouldn’t pity you.
LADY WINDERMERE. There is not a good woman in London who would not applaud me. We have been too lax. We must make an example. I propose to begin to-night. [Picking up fan.] Yes, you gave me this fan to-day; it was your birthday present. If that woman crosses my threshold, I shall strike her across the face with it.
LORD WINDERMERE. Margaret, you couldn’t do such a thing.
LADY WINDERMERE. You don’t know me! [Moves R.]
[Enter PARKER.]
Parker!
PARKER. Yes, my lady.
LADY WINDERMERE. I shall dine in my own room. I don’t want dinner, in fact. See that everything is ready by half-past ten. And, Parker, be sure you pronounce the names of the guests very distinctly to-night. Sometimes you speak so fast that I miss them. I am particularly anxious to hear the names quite clearly, so as to make no mistake. You understand, Parker?
PARKER. Yes, my lady.
LADY WINDERMERE. That will do!
[Exit PARKER C.]
[Speaking to LORD WINDERMERE] Arthur, if that woman comes here - I warn you -
LORD WINDERMERE. Margaret, you’ll ruin us!
LADY WINDERMERE. Us! From this moment my life is separate from yours. 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 WINDERMERE. I will not - I cannot - she must come!
LADY WINDERMERE. Then I shall do exactly as I have said. [Goes R.] You leave me no choice. [Exit R.]
LORD WINDERMERE. [Calling after her.] Margaret! Margaret! [A pause.] My God! What shall I do? I dare not tell her who this woman really is. The shame would kill her. [Sinks down into a chair and buries his face in his hands.]
ACT DROP
SECOND ACT
SCENE
Drawing-room in Lord Windermere’s house. Door R.U. opening into ball-room, where band is playing. Door L. through which guests are entering. Door L.U. opens on to illuminated terrace. Palms, flowers, and brilliant lights. Room crowded with guests. Lady Windermere is receiving them.

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