Act Two- A Woman Of No Importance

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It is after dinner, in the drawing room at Hunstanton, and only the ladies are there, having left the gentlemen to their port at the end of dinner. Inevitably men are the subject of discussion, with Mrs. Alonby being absurd at the expense of her husband. The discussion is frivolous, but then Lady Hunstanton remembers Hester's presence and the ladies are patronising about American society. Hester makes an impassioned speech, acussing the english upper class of being shallow, vain and uncaring, giving charity to the poor only to keep them quiet and encouraging the presence of men who ruined women and cast them out. She says that women who have sinned should be pusnihed, but so should men and they should suffer equally instead of having one law for men and a different judgement for women. Mrs. Arbuthnot arrives during this speech. She is introduced to Hester. Mrs. Allonby and Lady Stutfield go out on to the terrace and the other ladies discuss Lord Illingworth's offer to Gerald. Mrs. Arbuthnot says she has never met Lord Illingworth but eventually finds out that he was George Harford before succeesing to the title. She asks if Gerald can be sent for straight away. Sir John enters with Doctor Daubeny, they Archdeacon, who greets Mrs Arburthnot and tells


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