Witwoud, Petulant, and Marwood remain behind, and spot Sir Wilfull Witwoud being led to the house by a footman. At first, Witwoud pretends not to recognize his half-brother Willful. Marwood, who has never seen Sir Wilfull before, correctly identifies him to Witwoud. Only then does Witwoud pretend to remember Wilfull, who he hasn’t seen since the revolution.
Witwoud snubs his relation because he is embarrassed by Sir Wilfull’s unfashionable dress and demeanor. This is another example of a character thinking that cruelty to another can make one seem powerful or protect one’s reputation. Of course, such behavior only makes the person engaging in it seem cruel.
The footman delivers Wilfull to the company of friends and tells him that Wishfort is dressing. When Wilfull asks the footman whether his aunt has eaten dinner, the footman admits that he has only worked in the house for a week and can’t actually recognize Wishfort until she is dressed. Wilfull asks the footman to tell Wishfort that he has arrived and also asks the names of the men standing with Marwood. Again, the footman says he cannot help because he doesn’t know who they are, so many men come to the house.
Willfull’s introduction to the house portrays it as hectic and poorly run. That the footman can only recognize Wishfort when she is dressed suggests how money is only expressed through outer attributes, like clothes. In normal clothes, Wishfort would just be another person. The constant parade of men is humorous for a household run by the supposedly man-hating Wishfort.
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