A monologue from Act IV

by: William Congreve

NOTE: The Way of the World was first published in 1700. It is now a public domain work and may be performed without royalties.

LADY WISHFORT: Well, how shall I receive him? In what figure shall I give his heart the first impression? There is a great deal in the first impression. Shall I sit? --No, I won't sit -- I'll walk -- aye, I'll walk from the door upon his entrance; and then turn full upon him. --No, that will be too sudden. I'll lie -- aye, I'll lie down -- I'll receive him in my little dressing-room; there's a couch -- yes, yes, I'll give the first impression on a couch. --I won't lie neither, but loll and lean upon one elbow, with one foot a little dangling off, jogging in a thoughtful way -- yes -- and then as soon as he appears, start, aye, start and be surprised, and rise to meet him in a pretty disorder -- yes -- oh, nothing is more alluring than a levee from a couch in some confusion. --It shows the foot to advantage, and furnishes with blushes, and recomposing airs beyond comparison. Hark! There's a coach.