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Last Updated on May 8, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 302

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Sir Harry Wilding

Sir Harry Wilding, a wealthy Englishman. He is infuriated when he discovers that his son is spending his time as a useless dandy. After being tricked into signing over an annuity to the youth, he is consequently powerless to change his offspring’s rakish ways by threats of disinheritance.


Wilding, Sir Harry’s son. Supposed to be a law student in London, he is actually a gay young man-about-town. When he falls in love with Bellaria, he employs a ruse to escape potential affairs with Lady Lucy and Lady Gravely. Although he fails to marry Bellaria, he does trick his father into granting him an annuity.


Bellaria, a beautiful young heiress. Although she is loved and wanted by many men, including young Wilding and Valentine, she marries Veromil, who loves her as much as she loves him.

Sir Avarice Pedant

Sir Avarice Pedant, Bellaria’s uncle. Although he is supposed to arrange a marriage between his niece and young Wilding, he tries instead to marry her to his own son.

Young Pedant

Young Pedant, a young man so interested in his studies that he cannot become interested in women, even beautiful young heiresses.

Lady Lucy

Lady Lucy, Sir Avarice Pedant’s young wife. A coquettish woman, she flirts with young Wilding and with Valentine.

Lady Gravely

Lady Gravely, Sir Avarice Pedant’s sister. She puts on the airs of a prude but discreetly indulges herself in love affairs.


Valentine, a licentious young man who flirts with Lady Lucy. He hopes to marry Bellaria but instead helps his friend Veromil win the woman. He tricks Sir Avarice out of a large sum of money.


Veromil, a fine young man cheated of his inheritance by a dishonest brother. He marries Bellaria after regaining his inheritance.

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