An Ideal Husband
The octagon room at Sir Robert Chiltern's house in Grosvenor Square.
[The room is brilliantly lighted and full of guests. At the top of the staircase stands
LADY CHILTERN, a woman of grave Greek beauty, about twenty-seven years of
age. She receives the guests as they come up. Over the well of the staircase
hangs a great chandelier with wax lights, which illumine a large eighteenth-
century French tapestry - representing the Triumph of Love, from a design by
Boucher - that is stretched on the staircase wall. On the right is the entrance to
the music-room. The sound of a string quartette is faintly heard. The entrance on
the left leads to other reception- rooms. MRS. MARCHMONT and LADY
BASILDON, two very pretty women, are seated together on a Louis Seize sofa.
They are types of exquisite fragility. Their affectation of manner has a delicate
charm. Watteau would have loved to paint them.]
MRS. MARCHMONT. Going on to the Hartlocks' to-night, Margaret?
LADY BASILDON. I suppose so. Are you?
MRS. MARCHMONT. Yes. Horribly tedious parties they give, don't they?
LADY BASILDON. Horribly tedious! Never know why I go. Never know why I go
MRS. MARCHMONT. I come here to be educated
LADY BASILDON. Ah! I hate being educated!