The Way of the World By William Congreve Act III


A room in Lady Wishfort's house.

LADY WISHFORT at her toilet, PEG waiting.

LADY. Merciful! No news of Foible yet?

PEG. No, madam.

LADY. I have no more patience. If I have not fretted myself till I am pale again, there's no veracity in me. Fetch me the red — the red, do you hear, sweetheart? An errant ash colour, as I'm a person. Look you how this wench stirs! Why dost thou not fetch me a little red? Didst thou not hear me, Mopus?

PEG. The red ratafia, does your ladyship mean, or the cherry brandy?

LADY. Ratafia, fool? No, fool. Not the ratafia, fool — grant me patience! — I mean the Spanish paper, idiot; complexion, darling. Paint, paint, paint, dost thou understand that, changeling, dangling thy hands like bobbins before thee? Why dost thou not stir, puppet? Thou wooden thing upon wires!

PEG. Lord, madam, your ladyship is so impatient. — I cannot come at the paint, madam: Mrs. Foible has locked it up, and carried the key with her.

LADY. A pox take you both. — Fetch me the cherry brandy then.

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Lady Wishfort, who is __________ years old, is vain and susceptible to false flattery.