The Way of the World By William Congreve Act III


[To them] MRS MARWOOD.

MRS. MAR. I'm surprised to find your ladyship in DESHABILLE at this time of day.

LADY. Foible's a lost thing; has been abroad since morning, and never heard of since.

MRS. MAR. I saw her but now, as I came masked through the park, in conference with Mirabell.

LADY. With Mirabell? You call my blood into my face with mentioning that traitor. She durst not have the confidence. I sent her to negotiate an affair, in which if I'm detected I'm undone. If that wheedling villain has wrought upon Foible to detect me, I'm ruined. O my dear friend, I'm a wretch of wretches if I'm detected.

MRS. MAR. O madam, you cannot suspect Mrs. Foible's integrity.

LADY. Oh, he carries poison in his tongue that would corrupt integrity itself. If she has given him an opportunity, she has as good as put her integrity into his hands. Ah, dear Marwood, what's integrity to an opportunity? Hark! I hear her. Dear friend, retire into my closet, that I may examine her with more freedom — you'll pardon me, dear friend, I can make bold with you — there are books over the chimney — Quarles and Pryn, and the SHORT VIEW OF THE STAGE, with Bunyan's works to entertain you. — Go, you thing, and send her in. [To PEG.]

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