Act III, page 40
then both feet on ground, fold hands together on kit and look perfectly unconcerned.)
GWENDOLINE. (Moving to CECILY) Their explanations appear to be quite satisfactory. Especially Mr. Worthing’s. That seems to me to have the stamp of truth upon it.
CECILY. I am more than content with what Mr. Moncrief has said. His voice alone inspires one with absolute credulity.
GWENDOLINE. Do you think we should forgive them?
CECILY and GWENDOLINE. (Together) Yes. No, I mean, no.
GWENDOLINE. True! I had forgotten. There are principles at stake that one cannot surrender. Which of us should tell them? The task is not a pleasant one.
CECILY. Could we not both speak at the same time?
GWENDOLINE. An excellent idea! I nearly always speak at the same time as other people. Will you take the time from me?
CECILY. Certainly. (Business of beating time.)
GWENDOLINE and CECILY. (Speaking together and facing their respective sweethearts) Your Christian names are still an insuperable barrier. That is all.
JACK. (To ALGY) Will you take the time from me.
JACK and ALGY. (Speaking together) Our Christian names! Is that all? But we are going to be christened this afternoon.
GWENDOLINE. For my sake you are prepared to do this terrible thing?
JACK. I am!
CECILY. To please me you are ready to face this fearful ordeal?
ALGY. I am!
GWENDOLINE. How absurd to talk of the equality of the sexes. Where questions of self-sacrifice are concerned, men are infinitely beyond us.
JACK. We are!
CECILY. (To GWENDOLINE) They have moments of physical courage of which we women know absolutely nothing.
GWENDOLINE. (To JACK) Darling! (They embrace.)
ALGY. (To CECILY) Darling! (They embrace.)
(They fall into each other's arms. Enter MERRIMAN, coughs loudly on entering, seeing the situation.)
MERRIMAN. Ahem! ahem! Lady Bracknell.
JACK. Good heavens !
(Enter LADY BRACKNELL. The couples separate. JACK and GWENDOLINE moves down. Exit MERRIMAN.)
LADY BRACKNELL. GWENDOLINE! What does this mean?
GWENDOLINE. Merely I am engaged to be married to Mr. Worthing, Mamma.
LADY BRACKNELL. Sit down! Sit down immediately. Hesitation of any kind is sign of mental decay in the young, and physical weakness in the old. (Points to her to sit on sofa; turns to JACK) Apprised, sir, of my daughter's sudden flight by her trusty maid,