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Word Count: 1,657
While Algernon Moncrieff and his manservant prepared for a visit froi-n his aunt the formidable Lady Bracknell their conversation turned to the question of marriage Observing the servants somewhat lax views on the subject Algernon declared Really if the lower orders dont set us a good example what on earth is the use of them This chat was interrupted by the unexpected arrival of Algernons friend Ernest Worthing Worthing was pleased to hear that Lady Bracknell - and her beautiful daughter Gwendolen - would be appearing for tea But Algernon warned I am afraid Aunt Augusta wont quite approve of your bein here Mildly insulted Ernest demanded to know why My dear fellow Algernon answered the way you flirt with Gwendolen is perfectly disgraceful It is almost as bad as the way Gwendolen flirts with you At this point Worthing announced that he intended to propose marriage to Gwendolen but was taken aback by Algernons response I dont give my consent Worthing would first have to explain a certain Cecily in his life As evidence of this relationship he produced a cigarette case left behind by Worthing on an earlier visit - devotedly inscribed from Cecily to her loving Uncle Jack Well admitted Worthing my name is Ernest in town and Jack in the country It happened he said that Cecily was his ward who lived in his country home under the watchful eyes of a stern governess Miss Prism But to escape the stuffy constraints of country living Jack had invented an alter ego In order to get up to town I have always pretended to have a younger brother of the name of Ernest who lives in Albany and gets into the most dreadful scrapes Thus Jack was often called away to the city to rescue irrepressible Ernest Smiling Algernon now confessed that he too was a Bunburyist a friend of the equally fictitious Bunbury a permanent invalid whom
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