"THE SCHOOL FOR
print from the "School for Scandal"
ADDRESSED TO MRS. CREWE, WITH THE COMEDY OF
THE SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL
BY R. B. SHERIDAN, ESQ.
Tell me, ye prim adepts in Scandal's school,
Who rail by precept, and detract by rule,
Lives there no character, so tried, so known,
So deck'd with grace, and so unlike your own,
That even you assist her fame to raise,
Approve by envy, and by silence praise!—
Attend!—a model shall attract your view—
Daughters of calumny, I summon you!
You shall decide if this a portrait prove,
Or fond creation of the Muse and Love.—
Attend, ye virgin critics, shrewd and sage,
Ye matron censors of this childish age,
Whose peering eye and wrinkled front declare
A fixt antipathy to young and fair;
By cunning, cautious; or by nature, cold,
In maiden madness, virulently bold!—
Attend! ye skilled to coin the precious tale,
Creating proof, where innuendos fail!
Whose practised memories, cruelly exact,
Omit no circumstance, except the fact!—
Attend, all ye who boast,—or old or young,—
The living libel of a slanderous tongue!
So shall my theme as far contrasted be,
As saints by fiends, or hymns by calumny.
Come, gentle Amoret (for 'neath that name,
In worthier verse is sung thy beauty's fame);
Come—for but thee who seeks the Muse? and while
Celestial blushes check thy conscious smile,
With timid grace, and hesitating eye,
The perfect model, which I boast, supply:—
Vain Muse! couldst thou the humblest sketch create
Of her, or slightest charm couldst imitate—
Could thy blest strain in kindred colours trace
The faintest wonder of her form and face—
Poets would study the immortal line,
And REYNOLDS own HIS art subdued by thine;
That art, which well might added lustre give
To Nature's best and Heaven's superlative:
On GRANBY'S cheek might bid new glories rise,
Or point a purer beam from DEVON'S eyes!
Hard is the task to shape that beauty's praise,
Whose judgment scorns the homage flattery pays!
But praising Amoret we cannot err,
No tongue o'ervalues Heaven, or flatters her!
Yet she, by Fate's perverseness—she alone
Would doubt our truth, nor deem such praise her own!
Adorning Fashion, unadorn'd by dress,
Simple from taste, and not from carelessness;
Discreet in gesture, in deportment mild,
Not stiff with prudence, nor uncouthly wild:
No state has AMORET! no studied mien;
She frowns no GODDESS, and she moves no QUEEN.
The softer charm that in her manner lies
Is framed to captivate, yet not surprise;
It justly suits th' expression of her face,—
'Tis less than dignity, and more than grace!
On her pure cheek the native hue is such,
That, form'd by Heav'n to be admired so much,
The hand divine, with a less partial care,
Might well have fix'd a fainter crimson there,
And bade the gentle inmate of her breast,—
Inshrined Modesty!—supply the rest.
But who the peril of her lips shall paint?
Strip them of smiles—still, still all words are faint!
But moving Love himself appears to teach
Their action, though denied to rule her speech;
And thou who seest her speak and dost not hear,
Mourn not her distant accents 'scape thine ear;
Viewing those lips, thou still may'st make pretence
To judge of what she says, and swear 'tis sense:
Cloth'd with such grace, with such expression fraught,
They move in meaning, and they pause in thought!
But dost thou farther watch, with charm'd surprise,
The mild irresolution of her eyes,
Curious to mark how frequent they repose,
In brief eclipse and momentary close—
Ah! seest thou not an ambush'd Cupid there,
Too tim'rous of his charge, with jealous care
Veils and unveils those beams of heav'nly light,
Too full, too fatal else, for mortal sight?
Nor yet, such pleasing vengeance fond to meet,
In pard'ning dimples hope a safe retreat.
What though her peaceful breast should ne'er allow
Subduing frowns to arm her altered brow,
By Love, I swear, and by his gentle wiles,
More fatal still the mercy of her smiles!
Thus lovely, thus adorn'd, possessing all
Of bright or fair that can to woman fall,
The height of vanity might well be thought
Prerogative in her, and Nature's fault.
Yet gentle AMORET, in mind supreme
As well as charms, rejects the vainer theme;
And, half mistrustful of her beauty's store,
She barbs with wit those darts too keen before:—
Read in all knowledge that her sex should reach,
Though GREVILLE, or the MUSE, should deign to teach,
Fond to improve, nor tim'rous to discern
How far it is a woman's grace to learn;
In MILLAR'S dialect she would not prove
Apollo's priestess, but Apollo's love,
Graced by those signs which truth delights to own,
The timid blush, and mild submitted tone:
Whate'er she says, though sense appear throughout,
Displays the tender hue of female doubt;
Deck'd with that charm, how lovely wit appears,
How graceful SCIENCE, when that robe she wears!
Such too her talents, and her bent of mind,
As speak a sprightly heart by thought refined:
A taste for mirth, by contemplation school'd,
A turn for ridicule, by candour ruled,
A scorn of folly, which she tries to hide;
An awe of talent, which she owns with pride!
Peace, idle Muse! no more thy strain prolong,
But yield a theme thy warmest praises wrong;
Just to her merit, though thou canst not raise
Thy feeble verse, behold th' acknowledged praise
Has spread conviction through the envious train,
And cast a fatal gloom o'er Scandal's reign!
And lo! each pallid hag, with blister'd tongue,
Mutters assent to all thy zeal has sung—
Owns all the colours just—the outline true;
Thee my inspirer, and my MODEL—CREWE!
SIR PETER TEAZLE Mr. King
SIR OLIVER SURFACE Mr. Yates
YOUNG SURFACE Mr. Palmer
CHARLES (his Brother) Mr. Smith
CRABTREE Mr. Parsons
SIR BENJAMIN BACKBITE Mr. Dodd
ROWLEY Mr. Aikin
CARELESS—and other companions to CHARLES
Thompson print from the "School for Scandal"
WRITTEN BY MR. GARRICK
A school for Scandal! tell me, I beseech
Needs there a school this modish art to teach you?
No need of lessons now, the knowing think;
We might as well be taught to eat and drink.
Caused by a dearth of scandal, should the vapours
Distress our fair ones—let them read the papers;
Their powerful mixtures such disorders hit;
Crave what you will—there's quantum sufficit.
"Lord!" cries my Lady Wormwood (who loves tattle,
And puts much salt and pepper in her prattle),
Just risen at noon, all night at cards when threshing
Strong tea and scandal—"Bless me, how refreshing!
Give me the papers, Lisp—how bold and free! [Sips.]
LAST NIGHT LORD L. [Sips] WAS CAUGHT WITH LADY D.
For aching heads what charming sal volatile! [Sips.]
IF MRS. B. WILL STILL CONTINUE FLIRTING,
WE HOPE SHE'LL draw, OR WE'LL undraw THE CURTAIN.
Fine satire, poz—in public all abuse it,
But, by ourselves [Sips], our praise we can't refuse it.
Now, Lisp, read you—there, at that dash and star:"
"Yes, ma'am—A CERTAIN LORD HAD BEST BEWARE,
WHO LIVES NOT TWENTY MILES FROM GROSVENOR SQUARE;
FOR, SHOULD HE LADY W. FIND WILLING,
WORMWOOD IS BITTER"——"Oh! that's me! the villain!
Throw it behind the fire, and never more
Let that vile paper come within my door."
Thus at our friends we laugh, who feel the dart;
To reach our feelings, we ourselves must smart.
Is our young bard so young, to think that he
Can stop the full spring-tide of calumny?
Knows he the world so little, and its trade?
Alas! the devil's sooner raised than laid.
So strong, so swift, the monster there's no gagging:
Cut Scandal's head off, still the tongue is wagging.
Proud of your smiles once lavishly bestow'd,
Again our young Don Quixote takes the road;
To show his gratitude he draws his pen,
And seeks his hydra, Scandal, in his den.
For your applause all perils he would through—
He'll fight—that's write—a cavalliero true,
Till every drop of blood—that's ink—is spilt for you.
Thompson print from the "School for Scandal"
LADY SNEERWELL at her dressing table
MISS VERJUICE drinking chocolate
LADY SNEERWELL. The Paragraphs you say were
VERJUICE. They were Madam—and as I copied
them myself in a feigned
Hand there can be no suspicion whence they came.
LADY SNEERWELL. Did you circulate the Report
of Lady Brittle's
Intrigue with Captain Boastall?
VERJUICE. Madam by this Time Lady Brittle is
the Talk of half the
Town—and I doubt not in a week the Men will toast her as a
LADY SNEERWELL. What have you done as to the
insinuation as to a certain Baronet's Lady and a certain
VERJUICE. That is in as fine a Train as your
Ladyship could wish. I told the story yesterday to my own
maid with directions to communicate it directly to my
Hairdresser. He I am informed has a Brother who courts a
Milliners' Prentice in Pallmall whose mistress has a first
cousin whose sister is Feme [Femme] de Chambre to Mrs.
Clackit—so that in the common course of Things it must reach
Mrs. Clackit's Ears within four-and-twenty hours and then
you know the Business is as good as done.
LADY SNEERWELL. Why truly Mrs. Clackit has a
very pretty Talent— a great deal of industry—yet—yes—been
tolerably successful in her way—To my knowledge she has been
the cause of breaking off six matches[,] of three sons being
disinherited and four Daughters being turned out of Doors.
Of three several Elopements, as many close confinements—nine
separate maintenances and two Divorces.— nay I have more
than once traced her causing a Tete-a-Tete in the Town and
Country Magazine—when the Parties perhaps had never seen
each other's Faces before in the course of their Lives.
VERJUICE. She certainly has Talents.
LADY SNEERWELL. But her manner is gross.
VERJUICE. 'Tis very true. She generally
designs well[,] has a free tongue and a bold invention—but
her colouring is too dark and her outline often
extravagant—She wants that delicacy of Tint—and mellowness
of sneer—which distinguish your Ladyship's Scandal.
LADY SNEERWELL. Ah you are Partial Verjuice.
VERJUICE. Not in the least—everybody allows
that Lady Sneerwell can do more with a word or a Look than
many can with the most laboured Detail even when they happen
to have a little truth on their side to support it.
LADY SNEERWELL. Yes my dear Verjuice. I am
no Hypocrite to deny the satisfaction I reap from the
Success of my Efforts. Wounded myself, in the early part of
my Life by the envenomed Tongue of Slander I confess I have
since known no Pleasure equal to the reducing others to the
Level of my own injured Reputation.
VERJUICE. Nothing can be more natural—But my
dear Lady Sneerwell
There is one affair in which you have lately employed me,
I confess I am at a Loss to guess your motives.
LADY SNEERWELL. I conceive you mean with
respect to my neighbour,
Sir Peter Teazle, and his Family—Lappet.—And has my conduct
in this matter really appeared to you so mysterious?
VERJUICE. Entirely so.
LADY SNEERWELL. [VERJUICE.?] An old
Batchelor as Sir Peter was[,] having taken a young wife from
out of the Country—as Lady Teazle is—are certainly fair
subjects for a little mischievous raillery— but here are two
young men—to whom Sir Peter has acted as a kind of Guardian
since their Father's death, the eldest possessing the most
amiable Character and universally well spoken of[,] the
youngest the most dissipated and extravagant young Fellow in
the Kingdom, without Friends or caracter—the former one an
avowed admirer of yours and apparently your Favourite[,] the
latter attached to Maria Sir Peter's ward—and confessedly
beloved by her. Now on the face of these circumstances it is
utterly unaccountable to me why you a young Widow with no
great jointure—should not close with the passion of a man of
such character and expectations as Mr. Surface—and more so
why you should be so uncommonly earnest to destroy the
mutual Attachment subsisting between his Brother Charles and
LADY SNEERWELL. Then at once to unravel this
mistery—I must inform you that Love has no share whatever in
the intercourse between Mr. Surface and me.
LADY SNEERWELL. His real attachment is to
Maria or her Fortune— but finding in his Brother a favoured
Rival, He has been obliged to mask his Pretensions—and
profit by my Assistance.
VERJUICE. Yet still I am more puzzled why
you should interest yourself in his success.
LADY SNEERWELL. Heavens! how dull you are!
cannot you surmise the weakness which I hitherto, thro'
shame have concealed even from you—must I confess that
Charles—that Libertine, that extravagant, that Bankrupt in
Fortune and Reputation—that He it is for whom I am thus
anxious and malicious and to gain whom I would
VERJUICE. Now indeed—your conduct appears
consistent and I no longer wonder at your enmity to Maria,
but how came you and Surface so confidential?
LADY SNEERWELL. For our mutual interest—but
I have found out him a long time since[,] altho' He has
contrived to deceive everybody beside—I know him to be
artful selfish and malicious— while with Sir Peter, and
indeed with all his acquaintance, He passes for a youthful
Miracle of Prudence—good sense and Benevolence.
VERJUICE. Yes yes—I know Sir Peter vows He
has not his equal in England; and, above all, He praises him
as a MAN OF SENTIMENT.
LADY SNEERWELL. True and with the assistance
of his sentiments and hypocrisy he has brought Sir Peter
entirely in his interests with respect to Maria and is now I
believe attempting to flatter Lady Teazle into the same good
opinion towards him—while poor Charles has no Friend in the
House—though I fear he has a powerful one in Maria's Heart,
against whom we must direct our schemes.
SERVANT. Mr. Surface.
LADY SNEERWELL. Shew him up. He generally
calls about this Time.
I don't wonder at People's giving him to me for a Lover.
SURFACE. My dear Lady Sneerwell, how do you
do to-day—your most obedient.
LADY SNEERWELL. Miss Verjuice has just been
arraigning me on our mutual attachment now; but I have
informed her of our real views and the Purposes for which
our Geniuses at present co-operate. You know how useful she
has been to us—and believe me the confidence is not
SURFACE. Madam, it is impossible for me to
suspect that a Lady of
Miss Verjuice's sensibility and discernment——
LADY SNEERWELL. Well—well—no compliments
now—but tell me when you saw your mistress or what is more
material to me your Brother.
SURFACE. I have not seen either since I saw
you—but I can inform you that they are at present at
Variance—some of your stories have taken good effect on
LADY SNEERWELL. Ah! my dear Verjuice the
merit of this belongs to you. But do your Brother's
SURFACE. Every hour. I am told He had
another execution in his house yesterday—in short his
Dissipation and extravagance exceed anything I have ever
LADY SNEERWELL. Poor Charles!
SURFACE. True Madam—notwithstanding his
Vices one can't help feeling for him—ah poor Charles! I'm
sure I wish it was in my Power to be of any essential
Service to him—for the man who does not share in the
Distresses of a Brother—even though merited by his own
LADY SNEERWELL. O Lud you are going to be
moral, and forget that you are among Friends.
SURFACE. Egad, that's true—I'll keep that
sentiment till I see
Sir Peter. However it is certainly a charity to rescue Maria
such a Libertine who—if He is to be reclaim'd, can be so
only by a
Person of your Ladyship's superior accomplishments and
VERJUICE. 'Twould be a Hazardous experiment.
SURFACE. But—Madam—let me caution you to
place no more confidence in our Friend Snake the Libeller—I
have lately detected him in frequent conference with old
Rowland [Rowley] who was formerly my Father's Steward and
has never been a friend of mine.
LADY SNEERWELL. I'm not disappointed in
Snake, I never suspected the fellow to have virtue enough to
be faithful even to his own Villany.
Maria my dear—how do you do—what's the
MARIA. O here is that disagreeable lover of
mine, Sir Benjamin
Backbite, has just call'd at my guardian's with his odious
Uncle Crabtree—so I slipt out and ran hither to avoid them.
LADY SNEERWELL. Is that all?
VERJUICE. Lady Sneerwell—I'll go and write
the Letter I mention'd to you.
SURFACE. If my Brother Charles had been of
the Party, madam, perhaps you would not have been so much
LADY SNEERWELL. Nay now—you are severe for I
dare swear the Truth of the matter is Maria heard YOU were
here—but my dear—what has Sir Benjamin done that you should
avoid him so——
MARIA. Oh He has done nothing—but his
conversation is a perpetual
Libel on all his Acquaintance.
SURFACE. Aye and the worst of it is there is
no advantage in not knowing Them, for He'll abuse a stranger
just as soon as his best Friend—and Crabtree is as bad.
LADY SNEERWELL. Nay but we should make
allowance[—]Sir Benjamin is a wit and a poet.
MARIA. For my Part—I own madam—wit loses its
respect with me, when I see it in company with malice.—What
do you think, Mr. Surface?
SURFACE. Certainly, Madam, to smile at the
jest which plants a Thorn on another's Breast is to become a
principal in the mischief.
LADY SNEERWELL. Pshaw—there's no possibility
of being witty without a little [ill] nature—the malice of a
good thing is the Barb that makes it stick.—What's your
opinion, Mr. Surface?
SURFACE. Certainly madam—that conversation
where the Spirit of
Raillery is suppressed will ever appear tedious and insipid—
MARIA. Well I'll not debate how far Scandal
may be allowable— but in a man I am sure it is always
contemtable.—We have Pride, envy, Rivalship, and a Thousand
motives to depreciate each other— but the male-slanderer
must have the cowardice of a woman before He can traduce
LADY SNEERWELL. I wish my Cousin Verjuice
hadn't left us—she should embrace you.
SURFACE. Ah! she's an old maid and is
privileged of course.
Madam Mrs. Candour is below and if your
Ladyship's at leisure will leave her carriage.
LADY SNEERWELL. Beg her to walk in. Now,
Maria[,] however here is a Character to your Taste, for tho'
Mrs. Candour is a little talkative everybody allows her to
be the best-natured and best sort of woman.
MARIA. Yes with a very gross affectation of
good Nature and Benevolence—she does more mischief than the
Direct malice of old Crabtree.
SURFACE. Efaith 'tis very true Lady
Sneerwell—Whenever I hear the current running again the
characters of my Friends, I never think them in such Danger
as when Candour undertakes their Defence.
LADY SNEERWELL. Hush here she is——
Enter MRS. CANDOUR
MRS. CANDOUR. My dear Lady Sneerwell how
have you been this Century. I have never seen you tho' I
have heard of you very often.— Mr. Surface—the World says
scandalous things of you—but indeed it is no matter what the
world says, for I think one hears nothing else but scandal.
SURFACE. Just so, indeed, Ma'am.
MRS. CANDOUR. Ah Maria Child—what[!] is the
whole affair off between you and Charles? His extravagance;
I presume—The Town talks of nothing else——
MARIA. I am very sorry, Ma'am, the Town has
so little to do.
MRS. CANDOUR. True, true, Child; but there's
no stopping people's
Tongues. I own I was hurt to hear it—as I indeed was to
from the same quarter that your guardian, Sir Peter[,] and
Teazle have not agreed lately so well as could be wish'd.
MARIA. 'Tis strangely impertinent for people
to busy themselves so.
MRS. CANDOUR. Very true, Child; but what's
to be done? People will talk—there's no preventing it.—why
it was but yesterday I was told that Miss Gadabout had
eloped with Sir Filagree Flirt. But, Lord! there is no
minding what one hears; tho' to be sure I had this from very
MARIA. Such reports are highly scandalous.
MRS. CANDOUR. So they are Child—shameful!
shameful! but the world is so censorious no character
escapes. Lord, now! who would have suspected your friend,
Miss Prim, of an indiscretion Yet such is the ill-nature of
people, that they say her unkle stopped her last week just
as she was stepping into a Postchaise with her
MARIA. I'll answer for't there are no
grounds for the Report.
MRS. CANDOUR. Oh, no foundation in the world
I dare swear[;] no more probably than for the story
circulated last month, of Mrs. Festino's affair with Colonel
Cassino—tho' to be sure that matter was never rightly
SURFACE. The license of invention some
people take is monstrous indeed.
MARIA. 'Tis so but in my opinion, those who
report such things are equally culpable.
MRS. CANDOUR. To be sure they are[;] Tale
Bearers are as bad as the Tale makers—'tis an old
observation and a very true one—but what's to be done as I
said before—how will you prevent People from talking—to-day,
Mrs. Clackitt assured me, Mr. and Mrs. Honeymoon were at
last become mere man and wife—like [the rest of their]
acquaintance—she likewise hinted that a certain widow in the
next street had got rid of her Dropsy and recovered her
shape in a most surprising manner—at the same [time] Miss
Tattle, who was by affirm'd, that Lord Boffalo had
discover'd his Lady at a house of no extraordinary Fame—and
that Sir Harry Bouquet and Tom Saunter were to measure
swords on a similar Provocation. but—Lord! do you think I
would report these Things—No, no[!] Tale Bearers as I said
before are just as bad as the talemakers.
SURFACE. Ah! Mrs. Candour, if everybody had
your Forbearance and good nature—
MRS. CANDOUR. I confess Mr. Surface I cannot
bear to hear People traduced behind their Backs[;] and when
ugly circumstances come out against our acquaintances I own
I always love to think the best—by the bye I hope 'tis not
true that your Brother is absolutely ruin'd—
SURFACE. I am afraid his circumstances are
very bad indeed, Ma'am—
MRS. CANDOUR. Ah! I heard so—but you must
tell him to keep up his Spirits—everybody almost is in the
same way—Lord Spindle, Sir Thomas Splint, Captain Quinze,
and Mr. Nickit—all up, I hear, within this week; so, if
Charles is undone, He'll find half his Acquaintance ruin'd
too, and that, you know, is a consolation—
SURFACE. Doubtless, Ma'am—a very great one.
SERVANT. Mr. Crabtree and Sir Benjamin
LADY SNEERWELL. Soh! Maria, you see your
lover pursues you—
Positively you shan't escape.
Enter CRABTREE and SIR BENJAMIN BACKBITE
CRABTREE. Lady Sneerwell, I kiss your hand.
Mrs. Candour I don't
believe you are acquainted with my Nephew Sir Benjamin
Egad, Ma'am, He has a pretty wit—and is a pretty Poet too
SIR BENJAMIN. O fie, Uncle!
CRABTREE. Nay egad it's true—I back him at a
Rebus or a Charade against the best Rhymer in the
Kingdom—has your Ladyship heard the Epigram he wrote last
week on Lady Frizzle's Feather catching Fire—Do Benjamin
repeat it—or the Charade you made last Night extempore at
Mrs. Drowzie's conversazione—Come now your first is the Name
of a Fish, your second a great naval commander—and
SIR BENJAMIN. Dear Uncle—now—prithee——
CRABTREE. Efaith, Ma'am—'twould surprise you
to hear how ready he is at all these Things.
LADY SNEERWELL. I wonder Sir Benjamin you
never publish anything.
SIR BENJAMIN. To say truth, Ma'am, 'tis very
vulgar to Print and as my little Productions are mostly
Satires and Lampoons I find they circulate more by giving
copies in confidence to the Friends of the Parties—however I
have some love-Elegies, which, when favoured with this
lady's smile I mean to give to the Public. [Pointing to
CRABTREE. 'Fore Heaven, ma'am, they'll
immortalize you—you'll be handed down to Posterity, like
Petrarch's Laura, or Waller's Sacharissa.
SIR BENJAMIN. Yes Madam I think you will
like them—when you shall see in a beautiful Quarto Page how
a neat rivulet of Text shall meander thro' a meadow of
margin—'fore Gad, they will be the most elegant Things of
CRABTREE. But Ladies, have you heard the
MRS. CANDOUR. What, Sir, do you mean the
CRABTREE. No ma'am that's not it.—Miss
Nicely is going to be married to her own Footman.
MRS. CANDOUR. Impossible!
CRABTREE. Ask Sir Benjamin.
SIR BENJAMIN. 'Tis very true,
Ma'am—everything is fixed and the wedding Livery bespoke.
CRABTREE. Yes and they say there were
pressing reasons for't.
MRS. CANDOUR. It cannot be—and I wonder any
one should believe such a story of so prudent a Lady as Miss
SIR BENJAMIN. O Lud! ma'am, that's the very
reason 'twas believed at once. She has always been so
cautious and so reserved, that everybody was sure there was
some reason for it at bottom.
LADY SNEERWELL. Yes a Tale of Scandal is as
fatal to the Reputation of a prudent Lady of her stamp as a
Fever is generally to those of the strongest Constitutions,
but there is a sort of puny sickly Reputation, that is
always ailing yet will outlive the robuster characters of a
SIR BENJAMIN. True Madam there are
Valetudinarians in Reputation as well as constitution—who
being conscious of their weak Part, avoid the least breath
of air, and supply their want of Stamina by care and
MRS. CANDOUR. Well but this may be all
mistake—You know, Sir Benjamin very trifling circumstances
often give rise to the most injurious Tales.
CRABTREE. That they do I'll be sworn
Ma'am—did you ever hear how Miss Shepherd came to lose her
Lover and her Character last summer at Tunbridge—Sir
Benjamin you remember it—
SIR BENJAMIN. O to be sure the most
LADY SNEERWELL. How was it Pray—
CRABTREE. Why one evening at Mrs. Ponto's
Assembly—the conversation happened to turn on the difficulty
of breeding Nova-Scotia Sheep in this country—says a young
Lady in company[, "]I have known instances of it[—]for Miss
Letitia Shepherd, a first cousin of mine, had a Nova-Scotia
Sheep that produced her Twins.["—"]What!["] cries the old
Dowager Lady Dundizzy (who you know is as deaf as a Post),
["]has Miss Letitia Shepherd had twins["]—This Mistake—as
you may imagine, threw the whole company into a fit of
Laughing—However 'twas the next morning everywhere reported
and in a few Days believed by the whole Town, that Miss
Letitia Shepherd had actually been brought to Bed of a fine
Boy and Girl—and in less than a week there were People who
could name the Father, and the Farm House where the Babies
were put out to Nurse.
LADY SNEERWELL. Strange indeed!
CRABTREE. Matter of Fact, I assure you—O
Lud! Mr. Surface pray is it true that your uncle Sir Oliver
is coming home—
SURFACE. Not that I know of indeed Sir.
CRABTREE. He has been in the East Indies a
long time—you can scarcely remember him—I believe—sad
comfort on his arrival to hear how your Brother has gone on!
SURFACE. Charles has been imprudent Sir to
be sure[;] but I hope no Busy people have already prejudiced
Sir Oliver against him— He may reform—
SIR BENJAMIN. To be sure He may—for my Part
I never believed him to be so utterly void of Principle as
People say—and tho' he has lost all his Friends I am told
nobody is better spoken of— by the Jews.
CRABTREE. That's true egad nephew—if the Old
Jewry was a Ward I believe Charles would be an alderman—no
man more popular there, 'fore Gad I hear He pays as many
annuities as the Irish Tontine and that whenever He's sick
they have Prayers for the recovery of his Health in the
SIR BENJAMIN. Yet no man lives in greater
Splendour:—they tell me when He entertains his Friends—He
can sit down to dinner with a dozen of his own Securities,
have a score Tradesmen waiting in the Anti-Chamber, and an
officer behind every guest's Chair.
SURFACE. This may be entertainment to you
Gentlemen but you pay very little regard to the Feelings of
MARIA. Their malice is intolerable—Lady
Sneerwell I must wish you a good morning—I'm not very well.
MRS. CANDOUR. O dear she chang'd colour very
LADY SNEERWELL. Do Mrs. Candour follow
her—she may want assistance.
MRS. CANDOUR. That I will with all my soul
ma'am.—Poor dear Girl— who knows—what her situation may be!
[Exit MRS. CANDOUR.]
LADY SNEERWELL. 'Twas nothing but that she
could not bear to hear
Charles reflected on notwithstanding their difference.
SIR BENJAMIN. The young Lady's Penchant is
CRABTREE. But Benjamin—you mustn't give up
the Pursuit for that— follow her and put her into good
humour—repeat her some of your verses—come, I'll assist you—
SIR BENJAMIN. Mr. Surface I did not mean to
hurt you—but depend on't your Brother is utterly undone—
CRABTREE. O Lud! aye—undone—as ever man
was—can't raise a guinea.
SIR BENJAMIN. And everything sold—I'm
told—that was movable—
CRABTREE. I was at his house—not a thing
left but some empty
Bottles that were overlooked and the Family Pictures, which
I believe are framed in the Wainscot.
SIR BENJAMIN. And I'm very sorry to hear
also some bad stories
CRABTREE. O He has done many mean
SIR BENJAMIN. But however as He is your
CRABTREE. We'll tell you all another
LADY SNEERWELL. Ha! ha! ha! 'tis very hard
for them to leave a subject they have not quite run down.
SURFACE. And I believe the Abuse was no more
acceptable to your
Ladyship than Maria.
LADY SNEERWELL. I doubt her Affections are
farther engaged than we imagin'd but the Family are to be
here this Evening so you may as well dine where you are and
we shall have an opportunity of observing farther—in the
meantime, I'll go and plot Mischief and you shall study
Thompson print from the "School for Scandal"
Enter SIR PETER
SIR PETER. When an old Bachelor takes a
young Wife—what is He to expect—'Tis now six months since
Lady Teazle made me the happiest of men—and I have been the
most miserable Dog ever since that ever committed wedlock.
We tift a little going to church—and came to a Quarrel
before the Bells had done ringing—I was more than once
nearly chok'd with gall during the Honeymoon—and had lost
all comfort in Life before my Friends had done wishing me
Joy—yet I chose with caution—a girl bred wholly in the
country—who never knew luxury beyond one silk gown—nor
dissipation above the annual Gala of a Race-Ball—Yet she now
plays her Part in all the extravagant Fopperies of the
Fashion and the Town, with as ready a Grace as if she had
never seen a Bush nor a grass Plot out of Grosvenor-Square!
I am sneered at by my old acquaintance—paragraphed—in the
news Papers— She dissipates my Fortune, and contradicts all
my Humours— yet the worst of it is I doubt I love her or I
should never bear all this. However I'll never be weak
enough to own it.
ROWLEY. Sir Peter, your servant:—how is 't
with you Sir—
SIR PETER. Very bad—Master Rowley—very
bad[.] I meet with nothing but crosses and vexations—
ROWLEY. What can have happened to trouble
you since yesterday?
SIR PETER. A good—question to a married man—
ROWLEY. Nay I'm sure your Lady Sir Peter
can't be the cause of your uneasiness.
SIR PETER. Why has anybody told you she was
ROWLEY. Come, come, Sir Peter, you love her,
notwithstanding your tempers do not exactly agree.
SIR PETER. But the Fault is entirely hers,
Master Rowley—I am myself, the sweetest temper'd man alive,
and hate a teasing temper; and so I tell her a hundred Times
SIR PETER. Aye and what is very
extraordinary in all our disputes she is always in the
wrong! But Lady Sneerwell, and the Set she meets at her
House, encourage the perverseness of her Disposition—then to
complete my vexations—Maria—my Ward—whom I ought to have the
Power of a Father over, is determined to turn Rebel too and
absolutely refuses the man whom I have long resolved on for
her husband—meaning I suppose, to bestow herself on his
ROWLEY. You know Sir Peter I have always
taken the Liberty to differ with you on the subject of these
two young Gentlemen—I only wish you may not be deceived in
your opinion of the elder. For Charles, my life on't! He
will retrieve his errors yet—their worthy Father, once my
honour'd master, was at his years nearly as wild a spark.
SIR PETER. You are wrong, Master Rowley—on
their Father's Death you know I acted as a kind of Guardian
to them both—till their uncle Sir Oliver's Eastern Bounty
gave them an early independence. Of course no person could
have more opportunities of judging of their Hearts—and I was
never mistaken in my life. Joseph is indeed a model for the
young men of the Age—He is a man of Sentiment—and acts up to
the Sentiments he professes—but for the other[,] take my
word for't [if] he had any grain of Virtue by descent—he has
dissipated it with the rest of his inheritance. Ah! my old
Friend, Sir Oliver will be deeply mortified when he finds
how Part of his Bounty has been misapplied.
ROWLEY. I am sorry to find you so violent
against the young man because this may be the most critical
Period of his Fortune. I came hither with news that will
SIR PETER. What! let me hear—
ROWLEY. Sir Oliver is arrived and at this
moment in Town.
SIR PETER. How!—you astonish me—I thought
you did not expect him this month!—
ROWLEY. I did not—but his Passage has been
SIR PETER. Egad I shall rejoice to see my
old Friend—'Tis sixteen years since we met—We have had many
a Day together—but does he still enjoin us not to inform his
Nephews of his Arrival?
ROWLEY. Most strictly—He means, before He
makes it known to make some trial of their Dispositions and
we have already planned something for the purpose.
SIR PETER. Ah there needs no art to discover
their merits—however he shall have his way—but pray does he
know I am married!
ROWLEY. Yes and will soon wish you joy.
SIR PETER. You may tell him 'tis too late—ah
Oliver will laugh at me—we used to rail at matrimony
together—but He has been steady to his Text—well He must be
at my house tho'—I'll instantly give orders for his
Reception—but Master Rowley—don't drop a word that Lady
Teazle and I ever disagree.
ROWLEY. By no means.
SIR PETER. For I should never be able to
stand Noll's jokes; so I'd have him think that we are a very
ROWLEY. I understand you—but then you must
be very careful not to differ while He's in the House with
SIR PETER. Egad—and so we must—that's
impossible. Ah! Master
Rowley when an old Batchelor marries a young wife—He
no the crime carries the Punishment along with it.
END OF THE FIRST ACT
Thompson print from the "School for Scandal"
SCENE I.—SIR PETER
and LADY TEAZLE
SIR PETER. Lady Teazle—Lady Teazle I'll not
LADY TEAZLE. Sir Peter—Sir Peter you—may
scold or smile, according to your Humour[,] but I ought to
have my own way in everything, and what's more I will
too—what! tho' I was educated in the country I know very
well that women of Fashion in London are accountable to
nobody after they are married.
SIR PETER. Very well! ma'am very well! so a
husband is to have no influence, no authority?
LADY TEAZLE. Authority! no, to be sure—if
you wanted authority over me, you should have adopted me and
not married me[:] I am sure you were old enough.
SIR PETER. Old enough—aye there it
is—well—well—Lady Teazle, tho' my life may be made unhappy
by your Temper—I'll not be ruined by your extravagance—
LADY TEAZLE. My extravagance! I'm sure I'm
not more extravagant than a woman of Fashion ought to be.
SIR PETER. No no Madam, you shall throw away
no more sums on such unmeaning Luxury—'Slife to spend as
much to furnish your Dressing Room with Flowers in winter as
would suffice to turn the Pantheon into a Greenhouse, and
give a Fete Champetre at Christmas.
LADY TEAZLE. Lord! Sir Peter am I to blame
because Flowers are dear in cold weather? You should find
fault with the Climate, and not with me. For my Part I'm
sure I wish it was spring all the year round—and that Roses
grew under one's Feet!
SIR PETER. Oons! Madam—if you had been born
to those Fopperies I shouldn't wonder at your talking
thus;—but you forget what your situation was when I married
LADY TEAZLE. No, no, I don't—'twas a very
disagreeable one or
I should never nave married you.
SIR PETER. Yes, yes, madam, you were then in
somewhat a humbler Style—the daughter of a plain country
Squire. Recollect Lady Teazle when I saw you first—sitting
at your tambour in a pretty figured linen gown—with a Bunch
of Keys at your side, and your apartment hung round with
Fruits in worsted, of your own working—
LADY TEAZLE. O horrible!—horrible!—don't put
me in mind of it!
SIR PETER. Yes, yes Madam and your daily
occupation to inspect the Dairy, superintend the Poultry,
make extracts from the Family Receipt-book, and comb your
aunt Deborah's Lap Dog.
LADY TEAZLE. Abominable!
SIR PETER. Yes Madam—and what were your
evening amusements? to draw Patterns for Ruffles, which you
hadn't the materials to make— play Pope Joan with the
Curate—to read a sermon to your Aunt— or be stuck down to an
old Spinet to strum your father to sleep after a Fox Chase.
LADY TEAZLE. Scandalous—Sir Peter not a word
of it true—
SIR PETER. Yes, Madam—These were the
recreations I took you from— and now—no one more
extravagantly in the Fashion—Every Fopery adopted—a
head-dress to o'er top Lady Pagoda with feathers pendant
horizontal and perpendicular—you forget[,] Lady Teazle—when
a little wired gauze with a few Beads made you a fly Cap not
much bigger than a blew-bottle, and your Hair was comb'd
smooth over a Roll—
LADY TEAZLE. Shocking! horrible Roll!!
SIR PETER. But now—you must have your
coach—Vis-a-vis, and three powder'd Footmen before your
Chair—and in the summer a pair of white cobs to draw you to
Kensington Gardens—no recollection when y ou were content to
ride double, behind the Butler, on a docked Coach-Horse?
LADY TEAZLE. Horrid!—I swear I never did.
SIR PETER. This, madam, was your
situation—and what have I not done for you? I have made you
woman of Fashion of Fortune of Rank— in short I have made
you my wife.
LADY TEAZLE. Well then and there is but one
thing more you can make me to add to the obligation.
SIR PETER. What's that pray?
LADY TEAZLE. Your widow.—
SIR PETER. Thank you Madam—but don't flatter
yourself for though your ill-conduct may disturb my Peace it
shall never break my Heart I promise you—however I am
equally obliged to you for the Hint.
LADY TEAZLE. Then why will you endeavour to
make yourself so disagreeable to me—and thwart me in every
little elegant expense.
SIR PETER. 'Slife—Madam I pray, had you any
of these elegant expenses when you married me?
LADY TEAZLE. Lud Sir Peter would you have me
be out of the Fashion?
SIR PETER. The Fashion indeed!—what had you
to do with the Fashion before you married me?
LADY TEAZLE. For my Part—I should think you
would like to have your wife thought a woman of Taste—
SIR PETER. Aye there again—Taste! Zounds
Madam you had no Taste when you married me—
LADY TEAZLE. That's very true indeed Sir
Peter! after having married you I should never pretend to
Taste again I allow.
SIR PETER. So—so then—Madam—if these are
your Sentiments pray how came I to be honour'd with your
LADY TEAZLE. Shall I tell you the Truth?
SIR PETER. If it's not too great a Favour.
LADY TEAZLE. Why the Fact is I was tired of
all those agreeable Recreations which you have so good
naturally [naturedly] Described— and having a Spirit to
spend and enjoy a Fortune—I determined to marry the first
rich man that would have me.
SIR PETER. A very honest
confession—truly—but pray madam was there no one else you
might have tried to ensnare but me.
LADY TEAZLE. O lud—I drew my net at several
but you were the only one I could catch.
SIR PETER. This is plain dealing indeed—
LADY TEAZLE. But now Sir Peter if we have
finish'd our daily Jangle
I presume I may go to my engagement at Lady Sneerwell's?
SIR PETER. Aye—there's another Precious
circumstance—a charming set of acquaintance—you have made
LADY TEAZLE. Nay Sir Peter they are People
of Rank and Fortune— and remarkably tenacious of reputation.
SIR PETER. Yes egad they are tenacious of
Reputation with a vengeance, for they don't chuse anybody
should have a Character but themselves! Such a crew! Ah!
many a wretch has rid on hurdles who has done less mischief
than these utterers of forged Tales, coiners of Scandal, and
clippers of Reputation.
LADY TEAZLE. What would you restrain the
freedom of speech?
SIR PETER. Aye they have made you just as
bad [as] any one of the Society.
LADY TEAZLE. Why—I believe I do bear a Part
with a tolerable Grace— But I vow I bear no malice against
the People I abuse, when I say an ill-natured thing, 'tis
out of pure Good Humour—and I take it for granted they deal
exactly in the same manner with me, but Sir Peter you know
you promised to come to Lady Sneerwell's too.
SIR PETER. Well well I'll call in, just to
look after my own character.
LADY TEAZLE. Then, indeed, you must make
Haste after me, or you'll be too late—so good bye to ye.
SIR PETER. So—I have gain'd much by my
intended expostulation— yet with what a charming air she
contradicts every thing I say— and how pleasingly she shows
her contempt of my authority—Well tho' I can't make her love
me, there is certainly a great satisfaction in quarrelling
with her; and I think she never appears to such advantage as
when she is doing everything in her Power to plague me.
Thompson print from the "School for Scandal"
SCENE II.—At LADY
LADY SNEERWELL, MRS. CANDOUR, CRABTREE, SIR BENJAMIN
BACKBITE, and SURFACE
LADY SNEERWELL. Nay, positively, we will
SURFACE. Yes—yes the Epigram by all means.
SiR BENJAMIN. O plague on't unkle—'tis mere
CRABTREE. No no; 'fore gad very clever for
SIR BENJAMIN. But ladies you should be
acquainted with the circumstances. You must know that one
day last week as Lady Betty Curricle was taking the Dust in
High Park, in a sort of duodecimo Phaeton—she desired me to
write some verses on her Ponies—upon which I took out my
Pocket-Book— and in one moment produced—the following:—
'Sure never were seen two such beautiful
Other Horses are Clowns—and these macaronies,
Nay to give 'em this Title, I'm sure isn't wrong,
Their Legs are so slim—and their Tails are so long.
CRABTREE. There Ladies—done in the smack of
a whip and on Horseback too.
SURFACE. A very Phoebus, mounted—indeed Sir
SIR BENJAMIN. Oh dear Sir—Trifles—Trifles.
Enter LADY TEAZLE and MARIA
MRS. CANDOUR. I must have a Copy—
LADY SNEERWELL. Lady Teazle—I hope we shall
see Sir Peter?
LADY TEAZLE. I believe He'll wait on your
LADY SNEERWELL. Maria my love you look
grave. Come, you sit down to Piquet with Mr. Surface.
MARIA. I take very little Pleasure in
cards—however, I'll do as you Please.
LADY TEAZLE. I am surprised Mr. Surface
should sit down her— I thought He would have embraced this
opportunity of speaking to me before Sir Peter came—[Aside.]
MRS. CANDOUR. Now, I'll die but you are so
scandalous I'll forswear your society.
LADY TEAZLE. What's the matter, Mrs.
MRS. CANDOUR. They'll not allow our friend
Miss Vermillion to be handsome.
LADY SNEERWELL. Oh, surely she is a pretty
woman. . . .
[CRABTREE.] I am very glad you think so
MRS. CANDOUR. She has a charming fresh
CRABTREE. Yes when it is fresh put on—
LADY TEAZLE. O fie! I'll swear her colour is
natural—I have seen it come and go—
CRABTREE. I dare swear you have, ma'am: it
goes of a Night, and comes again in the morning.
SIR BENJAMIN. True, uncle, it not only comes
and goes but what's more egad her maid can fetch and carry
MRS. CANDOUR. Ha! ha! ha! how I hate to hear
you talk so!
But surely, now, her Sister, is or was very handsome.
CRABTREE. Who? Mrs. Stucco? O lud! she's
six-and-fifty if she's an hour!
MRS. CANDOUR. Now positively you wrong
her[;] fifty-two, or fifty-three is the utmost—and I don't
think she looks more.
SIR BENJAMIN. Ah! there's no judging by her
looks, unless one was to see her Face.
LADY SNEERWELL. Well—well—if she does take
some pains to repair the ravages of Time—you must allow she
effects it with great ingenuity—and surely that's better
than the careless manner in which the widow Ocre chaulks her
SIR BENJAMIN. Nay now—you are severe upon
the widow—come—come, it isn't that she paints so ill—but
when she has finished her Face she joins it on so badly to
her Neck, that she looks like a mended Statue, in which the
Connoisseur sees at once that the Head's modern tho' the
CRABTREE. Ha! ha! ha! well said, Nephew!
MRS. CANDOUR. Ha! ha! ha! Well, you make me
laugh but I vow I hate you for it—what do you think of Miss
SIR BENJAMIN. Why, she has very pretty
LADY TEAZLE. Yes and on that account, when
she is neither speaking nor laughing (which very seldom
happens)—she never absolutely shuts her mouth, but leaves it
always on a-Jar, as it were——
MRS. CANDOUR. How can you be so ill-natured!
LADY TEAZLE. Nay, I allow even that's better
than the Pains Mrs. Prim takes to conceal her losses in
Front—she draws her mouth till it resembles the aperture of
a Poor's-Box, and all her words appear to slide out
LADY SNEERWELL. Very well Lady Teazle I see
you can be a little severe.
LADY TEAZLE. In defence of a Friend it is
but justice, but here comes
Sir Peter to spoil our Pleasantry.
Enter SIR PETER
SIR PETER. Ladies, your obedient—Mercy on
me—here is the whole set! a character's dead at every word,
MRS. CANDOUR. I am rejoiced you are come,
Sir Peter—they have been so censorious and Lady Teazle as
bad as any one.
SIR PETER. That must be very distressing to
you, Mrs. Candour I dare swear.
MRS. CANDOUR. O they will allow good
Qualities to nobody—not even good nature to our Friend Mrs.
LADY TEAZLE. What, the fat dowager who was
at Mrs. Codrille's
[Quadrille's] last Night?
LADY SNEERWELL. Nay—her bulk is her
misfortune and when she takes such Pains to get rid of it
you ought not to reflect on her.
MRS. CANDOUR. 'Tis very true, indeed.
LADY TEAZLE. Yes, I know she almost lives on
acids and small whey— laces herself by pulleys and often in
the hottest noon of summer you may see her on a little squat
Pony, with her hair plaited up behind like a Drummer's and
puffing round the Ring on a full trot.
MRS. CANDOUR. I thank you Lady Teazle for
SIR PETER. Yes, a good Defence, truly!
MRS. CANDOUR. But for Sir Benjamin, He is as
CRABTREE. Yes and she is a curious Being to
pretend to be censorious—an awkward Gawky, without any one
good Point under Heaven!
LADY SNEERWELL. Positively you shall not be
so very severe. Miss Sallow is a Relation of mine by
marriage, and, as for her Person great allowance is to be
made—for, let me tell you a woman labours under many
disadvantages who tries to pass for a girl at
MRS. CANDOUR. Tho', surely she is handsome
still—and for the weakness in her eyes considering how much
she reads by candle-light it is not to be wonder'd at.
LADY SNEERWELL. True and then as to her
manner—upon my word I think it is particularly graceful
considering she never had the least Education[:] for you
know her Mother was a Welch milliner, and her Father a
sugar-Baker at Bristow.—
SIR BENJAMIN. Ah! you are both of you too
SIR PETER. Yes, damned good-natured! Her own
relation! mercy on me! [Aside.]
MRS. CANDOUR. For my Part I own I cannot
bear to hear a friend ill-spoken of?
SIR PETER. No, to be sure!
SIR BENJAMIN. Ah you are of a moral turn
Mrs. Candour and can sit for an hour to hear Lady Stucco
LADY SNEERWELL. Nay I vow Lady Stucco is
very well with the Dessert after Dinner for she's just like
the Spanish Fruit one cracks for mottoes—made up of Paint
MRS. CANDOUR. Well, I never will join in
ridiculing a Friend— and so I constantly tell my cousin
Ogle—and you all know what pretensions she has to be
critical in Beauty.
LADY TEAZLE. O to be sure she has herself
the oddest countenance that ever was seen—'tis a collection
of Features from all the different Countries of the globe.
SIR BENJAMIN. So she has indeed—an Irish
CRABTREE. Caledonian Locks——
SIR BENJAMIN. Dutch Nose——
CRABTREE. Austrian Lips——
SIR BENJAMIN. Complexion of a Spaniard——
CRABTREE. And Teeth a la Chinoise——
SIR BENJAMIN. In short, her Face resembles a
table d'hote at Spa— where no two guests are of a nation——
CRABTREE. Or a Congress at the close of a
general War—wherein all the members even to her eyes appear
to have a different interest and her Nose and Chin are the
only Parties likely to join issue.
MRS. CANDOUR. Ha! ha! ha!
SIR PETER. Mercy on my Life[!] a Person they
dine with twice a week!
LADY SNEERWELL. Go—go—you are a couple of
MRS. CANDOUR. Nay but I vow you shall not
carry the Laugh off so— for give me leave to say, that Mrs.
SIR PETER. Madam—madam—I beg your
Pardon—there's no stopping these good Gentlemen's
Tongues—but when I tell you Mrs. Candour that the Lady they
are abusing is a particular Friend of mine, I hope you'll
not take her Part.
LADY SNEERWELL. Ha! ha! ha! well said, Sir
Peter—but you are a cruel creature—too Phlegmatic yourself
for a jest and too peevish to allow wit in others.
SIR PETER. Ah Madam true wit is more nearly
allow'd [allied?] to good Nature than your Ladyship is aware
LADY SNEERWELL. True Sir Peter—I believe
they are so near akin that they can never be united.
SIR BENJAMIN. O rather Madam suppose them
man and wife because one seldom sees them together.
LADY TEAZLE. But Sir Peter is such an Enemy
to Scandal I believe
He would have it put down by Parliament.
SIR PETER. 'Fore heaven! Madam, if they were
to consider the Sporting with Reputation of as much
importance as poaching on manors— and pass an Act for the
Preservation of Fame—there are many would thank them for the
LADY SNEERWELL. O Lud! Sir Peter would you
deprive us of our
SIR PETER. Aye Madam—and then no person
should be permitted to kill characters or run down
reputations, but qualified old Maids and disappointed
LADY SNEERWELL. Go, you monster—
MRS. CANDOUR. But sure you would not be
quite so severe on those who only report what they hear?
SIR PETER. Yes Madam, I would have Law
Merchant for that too— and in all cases of slander currency,
whenever the Drawer of the Lie was not to be found, the
injured Party should have a right to come on any of the
CRABTREE. Well for my Part I believe there
never was a Scandalous
Tale without some foundation.<3>
LADY SNEERWELL. Come Ladies shall we sit
down to Cards in the next
Enter SERVANT, whispers SIR PETER
SIR PETER. I'll be with them directly.—
I'll get away unperceived.
LADY SNEERWELL. Sir Peter you are not
SIR PETER. Your Ladyship must excuse me—I'm
called away by particular Business—but I leave my Character
behind me— [Exit.]
SIR BENJAMIN. Well certainly Lady Teazle
that lord of yours is a strange being—I could tell you some
stories of him would make you laugh heartily if He wern't
LADY TEAZLE. O pray don't mind that—come do let's hear 'em.
[join the rest of the Company going into the Next Room.]
SURFACE. Maria I see you have no
satisfaction in this society.
MARIA. How is it possible I should? If to
raise malicious smiles at the infirmities or misfortunes of
those who have never injured us be the province of wit or
Humour, Heaven grant me a double Portion of Dullness—
SURFACE. Yet they appear more ill-natured
than they are—they have no malice at heart—
MARIA. Then is their conduct still more
contemptible[;] for in my opinion—nothing could excuse the
intemperance of their tongues but a natural and ungovernable
bitterness of Mind.
SURFACE. Undoubtedly Madam—and it has always
been a sentiment of mine—that to propagate a malicious Truth
wantonly—is more despicable than to falsify from Revenge,
but can you Maria feel thus [f]or others and be unkind to me
alone—nay is hope to be denied the tenderest Passion.—
MARIA. Why will you distress me by renewing
SURFACE. Ah! Maria! you would not treat me
thus and oppose your guardian's Sir Peter's wishes—but that
I see that my Profligate Brother is still a favour'd Rival.
MARIA. Ungenerously urged—but whatever my
sentiments of that unfortunate young man are, be assured I
shall not feel more bound to give him up because his
Distresses have sunk him so low as to deprive him of the
regard even of a Brother.
SURFACE. Nay but Maria do not leave me with
a Frown—by all that's honest, I swear——Gad's Life here's
Lady Teazle—you must not— no you shall—for tho' I have the
greatest Regard for Lady Teazle——
MARIA. Lady Teazle!
SURFACE. Yet were Sir Peter to suspect——
[Enter LADY TEAZLE, and comes forward]
LADY TEAZLE. What's this, Pray—do you take
her for me!—Child you are wanted in the next Room.—What's
all this, pray—
SURFACE. O the most unlucky circumstance in
Nature. Maria has somehow suspected the tender concern I
have for your happiness, and threaten'd to acquaint Sir
Peter with her suspicions—and I was just endeavouring to
reason with her when you came.
LADY TEAZLE. Indeed but you seem'd to
adopt—a very tender mode of reasoning—do you usually argue
on your knees?
SURFACE. O she's a Child—and I thought a
little Bombast—— but Lady Teazle when are you to give me
your judgment on my Library as you promised——
LADY TEAZLE. No—no I begin to think it would
be imprudent— and you know I admit you as a Lover no farther
than Fashion requires.
SURFACE. True—a mere Platonic Cicisbeo, what
every London wife is entitled to.
LADY TEAZLE. Certainly one must not be out
of the Fashion—however, I have so much of my country
Prejudices left—that—though Sir Peter's ill humour may vex
me ever so, it never shall provoke me to——
SURFACE. The only revenge in your Power—well
I applaud your moderation.
LADY TEAZLE. Go—you are an insinuating
Hypocrite—but we shall be miss'd—let us join the company.
SURFACE. True, but we had best not return
LADY TEAZLE. Well don't stay—for Maria
shan't come to hear any more of your Reasoning, I promise
SURFACE. A curious Dilemma truly my Politics
have run me into. I wanted at first only to ingratiate
myself with Lady Teazle that she might not be my enemy with
Maria—and I have I don't know how— become her serious Lover,
so that I stand a chance of Committing a Crime I never
meditated—and probably of losing Maria by the
Pursuit!—Sincerely I begin to wish I had never made such a
Point of gaining so very good a character, for it has led me
into so many curst Rogueries that I doubt I shall be exposed
at last. [Exit.]
Thompson print from the "School for Scandal"
SCENE III.—At SIR
—ROWLEY and SIR OLIVER—
SIR OLIVER. Ha! ha! ha! and so my old Friend
is married, hey?— a young wife out of the country!—ha! ha!
that he should have stood Bluff to old Bachelor so long and
sink into a Husband at last!
ROWLEY. But you must not rally him on the
subject Sir Oliver—'tis a tender Point I assure you though
He has been married only seven months.
SIR OLIVER. Ah then he has been just half a
year on the stool of Repentance—Poor Peter! But you say he
has entirely given up Charles—never sees him, hey?
ROWLEY. His Prejudice against him is
astonishing—and I am sure greatly increased by a jealousy of
him with Lady Teazle—which he has been industriously led
into by a scandalous Society— in the neighbourhood—who have
contributed not a little to Charles's ill name. Whereas the
truth is[,] I believe[,] if the lady is partial to either of
them his Brother is the Favourite.
SIR OLIVER. Aye—I know—there are a set of
malicious prating prudent Gossips both male and Female, who
murder characters to kill time, and will rob a young Fellow
of his good name before He has years to know the value of
it. . . but I am not to be prejudiced against my nephew by
such I promise you! No! no—if Charles has done nothing false
or mean, I shall compound for his extravagance.
ROWLEY. Then my life on't, you will reclaim
him. Ah, Sir, it gives me new vigour to find that your heart
is not turned against him— and that the son of my good old
master has one friend however left—
SIR OLIVER. What! shall I forget Master
Rowley—when I was at his house myself—egad my Brother and I
were neither of us very prudent youths—and yet I believe you
have not seen many better men than your old master was[.]
ROWLEY. 'Tis this Reflection gives me
assurance that Charles may yet be a credit to his Family—but
here comes Sir Peter——
SIR OLIVER. Egad so He does—mercy on me—He's
greatly altered— and seems to have a settled married
look—one may read Husband in his Face at this Distance.—
Enter SIR PETER
SIR PETER. Ha! Sir Oliver—my old
Friend—welcome to England— a thousand Times!
SIR OLIVER. Thank you—thank you—Sir
Peter—and Efaith I am as glad to find you well[,] believe
SIR PETER. Ah! 'tis a long time since we
met—sixteen year I doubt
Sir Oliver—and many a cross accident in the Time—
SIR OLIVER. Aye I have had my share—but,
what[!] I find you are married—hey my old Boy—well—well it
can't be help'd—and so I wish you joy with all my heart—
SIR PETER. Thank you—thanks Sir Oliver.—Yes,
I have entered into the happy state but we'll not talk of
SIR OLIVER. True true Sir Peter old Friends
shouldn't begin on grievances at first meeting. No, no—
ROWLEY. Take care pray Sir——
SIR OLIVER. Well—so one of my nephews I find
is a wild Rogue—hey?
SIR PETER. Wild!—oh! my old Friend—I grieve
for your disappointment there—He's a lost young man
indeed—however his Brother will make you amends; Joseph is
indeed what a youth should be—everybody in the world speaks
well of him—
SIR OLIVER. I am sorry to hear it—he has too
good a character to be an honest Fellow. Everybody speaks
well of him! Psha! then He has bow'd as low to Knaves and
Fools as to the honest dignity of Virtue.
SIR PETER. What Sir Oliver do you blame him
for not making Enemies?
SIR OLIVER. Yes—if He has merit enough to
SIR PETER. Well—well—you'll be convinced
when you know him—'tis edification to hear him converse—he
professes the noblest Sentiments.
SIR OLIVER. Ah plague on his Sentiments—if
he salutes me with a scrap sentence of morality in his mouth
I shall be sick directly— but however don't mistake me Sir
Peter I don't mean to defend Charles's Errors—but before I
form my judgment of either of them, I intend to make a trial
of their Hearts—and my Friend Rowley and I have planned
something for the Purpose.
ROWLEY. And Sir Peter shall own he has been
for once mistaken.
SIR PETER. My life on Joseph's Honour——
SIR OLIVER. Well come give us a bottle of
good wine—and we'll drink the Lads' Healths and tell you our
SIR PETER. Alons [Allons], then——
SIR OLIVER. But don't Sir Peter be so severe
against your old
SIR PETER. 'Tis his Vices and Follies have
made me his Enemy.—
ROWLEY. Come—come—Sir Peter consider how
early He was left to his own guidance.
SIR OLIVER. Odds my Life—I am not sorry that
He has run out of the course a little—for my Part, I hate to
see dry Prudence clinging to the green juices of youth—'tis
like ivy round a sapling and spoils the growth of the Tree.
END OF THE SECOND ACT
Thompson print from the "School for Scandal"
SCENE I.—At SIR
SIR PETER, SIR OLIVER, and ROWLEY
SIR PETER. Well, then, we will see the
Fellows first and have our wine afterwards.—but how is this,
Master Rowley—I don't see the Jet of your scheme.
ROWLEY. Why Sir—this Mr. Stanley whom I was
speaking of, is nearly related to them by their mother. He
was once a merchant in Dublin— but has been ruined by a
series of undeserved misfortunes—and now lately coming over
to solicit the assistance of his friends here— has been
flyng [flung] into prison by some of his Creditors— where he
is now with two helpless Boys.—
SIR OLIVER. Aye and a worthy Fellow too I
remember him. But what is this to lead to—?
ROWLEY. You shall hear—He has applied by
letter both to Mr. Surface and Charles—from the former he
has received nothing but evasive promises of future service,
while Charles has done all that his extravagance has left
him power to do—and He is at this time endeavouring to raise
a sum of money—part of which, in the midst of his own
distresses, I know He intends for the service of poor
SIR OLIVER. Ah! he is my Brother's Son.
SIR PETER. Well, but how is Sir Oliver
ROWLEY. Why Sir I will inform Charles and
his Brother that Stanley has obtain'd permission to apply in
person to his Friends—and as they have neither of them ever
seen him[,] let Sir Oliver assume his character—and he will
have a fair opportunity of judging at least of the
Benevolence of their Dispositions.
SIR PETER. Pshaw! this will prove nothing—I
make no doubt Charles is Coxcomb and thoughtless enough to
give money to poor relations if he had it—
SIR OLIVER. Then He shall never want it—. I
have brought a few Rupees home with me Sir Peter—and I only
want to be sure of bestowing them rightly.—
ROWLEY. Then Sir believe me you will find in
the youngest Brother one who in the midst of Folly and
dissipation—has still, as our immortal Bard expresses it,—
"a Tear for Pity and a Hand open as the day
for melting Charity."
SIR PETER. Pish! What signifies his having
an open Hand or Purse either when He has nothing left to
give!—but if you talk of humane Sentiments—Joseph is the
man—Well, well, make the trial, if you please. But where is
the fellow whom you brought for Sir Oliver to examine,
relative to Charles's affairs?
ROWLEY. Below waiting his commands, and no
one can give him better intelligence—This, Sir Oliver, is a
friendly Jew, who to do him justice, has done everything in
his power to bring your nephew to a proper sense of his
SIR PETER. Pray let us have him in.
ROWLEY. Desire Mr. Moses to walk upstairs.
[Calls to SERVANT.]
SIR PETER. But Pray why should you suppose
he will speak the truth?
ROWLEY. Oh, I have convinced him that he has
no chance of recovering certain Sums advanced to Charles but
through the bounty of Sir Oliver, who He knows is arrived;
so that you may depend on his Fidelity to his interest. I
have also another evidence in my Power, one Snake, whom I
shall shortly produce to remove some of YOUR Prejudices[,]
Sir Peter[,] relative to Charles and Lady Teazle.
SIR PETER. I have heard too much on that
ROWLEY. Here comes the honest Israelite.
—This is Sir Oliver.
SIR OLIVER. Sir—I understand you have lately
had great dealings with my Nephew Charles.
MOSES. Yes Sir Oliver—I have done all I
could for him, but He was ruined before He came to me for
SIR OLIVER. That was unlucky truly—for you
have had no opportunity of showing your Talents.
MOSES. None at all—I hadn't the Pleasure of
knowing his Distresses till he was some thousands worse than
nothing, till it was impossible to add to them.
SIR OLIVER. Unfortunate indeed! but I
suppose you have done all in your Power for him honest
MOSES. Yes he knows that—This very evening I
was to have brought him a gentleman from the city who does
not know him and will I believe advance some money.
SIR PETER. What[!] one Charles has never had
money from before?
MOSES. Yes[—]Mr. Premium, of Crutched
SIR PETER. Egad, Sir Oliver a Thought
strikes me!—Charles you say does'nt know Mr. Premium?
MOSES. Not at all.
SIR PETER. Now then Sir Oliver you may have
a better opportunity of satisfying yourself than by an old
romancing tale of a poor Relation— go with my friend Moses
and represent Mr. Premium and then I'll answer for't you'll
see your Nephew in all his glory.
SIR OLIVER. Egad I like this Idea better
than the other, and I may visit Joseph afterwards as old
SIR PETER. True so you may.
ROWLEY. Well this is taking Charles rather
at a disadvantage, to be sure—however Moses—you understand
Sir Peter and will be faithful——
MOSES. You may depend upon me—and this is
near the Time I was to have gone.
SIR OLIVER. I'll accompany you as soon as
you please, Moses—— but hold—I have forgot one thing—how the
plague shall I be able to pass for a Jew?
MOSES. There's no need—the Principal is
SIR OLIVER. Is He—I'm very sorry to hear
it—but then again— an't I rather too smartly dressed to look
like a money-Lender?
SIR PETER. Not at all; 'twould not be out of
character, if you went in your own carriage—would it, Moses!
MOSES. Not in the least.
SIR OLIVER. Well—but—how must I talk[?]
there's certainly some cant of usury and mode of treating
that I ought to know.
SIR PETER. Oh, there's not much to learn—the
great point as I take it is to be exorbitant enough in your
Demands hey Moses?
MOSES. Yes that's very great Point.
SIR OLIVER. I'll answer for't I'll not be
wanting in that—I'll ask him eight or ten per cent. on the
MOSES. You'll be found out directly—if you
ask him no more than that, you'll be discovered immediately.
SIR OLIVER. Hey!—what the Plague!—how much
MOSES. That depends upon the
Circumstances—if he appears not very anxious for the supply,
you should require only forty or fifty per cent.—but if you
find him in great Distress, and want the monies very bad—you
may ask double.
SIR PETER. A good—[h]onest Trade you're
learning, Sir Oliver—
SIR OLIVER. Truly, I think so—and not
MOSES. Then you know—you haven't the monies
yourself, but are forced to borrow them for him of a Friend.
SIR OLIVER. O I borrow it of a Friend do I?
MOSES. And your friend is an unconscion'd
Dog—but you can't help it.
SIR OLIVER. My Friend's an unconscionable
Dog, is he?
MOSES. Yes—and He himself hasn't the monies
by him—but is forced to sell stock—at a great loss—
SIR OLIVER. He is forced to sell stock is
he—at a great loss, is he—well that's very kind of him—
SIR PETER. Efaith, Sir Oliver—Mr. Premium I
mean—you'll soon be master of the Trade—but, Moses would
have him inquire if the borrower is a minor—
MOSES. O yes—
SIR PETER. And in that case his Conscience
will direct him—
MOSES. To have the Bond in another Name to
SIR OLIVER. Well—well I shall be perfect—
SIR PETER. But hearkee wouldn't you have him
also run out a little against the annuity Bill—that would be
in character I should think—
MOSES. Very much—
ROWLEY. And lament that a young man now must
be at years of discretion before He is suffered to ruin
MOSES. Aye, great Pity!
SIR PETER. And abuse the Public for allowing
merit to an act whose only object is to snatch misfortune
and imprudence from the rapacious Relief of usury! and give
the minor a chance of inheriting his estate without being
undone by coming into Possession.
SIR OLIVER. So—so—Moses shall give me
further instructions as we go together.
SIR PETER. You will not have much time[,]
for your Nephew lives hard bye—
SIR OLIVER. Oh Never—fear[:] my Tutor
appears so able that tho'
Charles lived in the next street it must be my own Fault if
not a compleat Rogue before I turn the Corner—
[Exeunt SIR OLIVER and MOSES.]
SIR PETER. So—now I think Sir Oliver will be
convinced—you shan't follow them Rowley. You are partial and
would have prepared Charles for 'tother plot.
ROWLEY. No upon my word Sir Peter—
SIR PETER. Well, go bring me this Snake, and
I'll hear what he has to say presently. I see Maria, and
want to speak with her.— [Exit ROWLEY.] I should be glad to
be convinced my suspicions of Lady Teazle and Charles were
unjust—I have never yet opened my mind on this subject to my
Friend Joseph. . . . I am determined. I will do it—He will
give me his opinion sincerely.—
So Child—has Mr. Surface returned with you—
MARIA. No Sir—He was engaged.
SIR PETER. Well—Maria—do you not reflect[,]
the more you converse with that amiable young man[,] what
return his Partiality for you deserves?
MARIA. Indeed Sir Peter—your frequent
importunity on this subject distresses me extremely—you
compell me to Declare that I know no man who has ever paid
me a particular Attention whom I would not prefer to Mr.
SIR PETER. Soh! Here's
Perverseness—no—no—Maria, 'tis Charles only whom you would
prefer—'tis evident his Vices and Follies have won your
MARIA. This is unkind Sir—You know I have
obey'd you in neither seeing nor corresponding with him—I
have heard enough to convince me that He is unworthy my
regard—Yet I cannot think it culpable— if while my
understanding severely condemns his Vices, my Heart suggests
some Pity for his Distresses.
SIR PETER. Well well pity him as much as you
please, but give your
Heart and Hand to a worthier object.
MARIA. Never to his Brother!
SIR PETER. Go—perverse and obstinate! but
take care, Madam— you have never yet known what the
authority of a Guardian is— don't compel me to inform you of
MARIA. I can only say, you shall not have
just Reason—'tis true, by my Father's will I am for a short
period bound to regard you as his substitute, but I must
cease to think you so when you would compel me to be
SIR PETER. Was ever man so crossed as I
am[?] everything conspiring to fret me! I had not been
involved in matrimony a fortnight[,] before her Father—a
hale and hearty man, died on purpose, I believe— for the
Pleasure of plaguing me with the care of his Daughter . . .
but here comes my Helpmate!—She appears in great good
humour—— how happy I should be if I could teaze her into
loving me tho' but a little——
Enter LADY TEAZLE
LADY TEAZLE. Lud! Sir Peter I hope you
haven't been quarrelling with
Maria? It isn't using me well to be ill humour'd when I am
SIR PETER. Ah! Lady Teazle you might have
the Power to make me good humour'd at all times—
LADY TEAZLE. I am sure—I wish I had—for I
want you to be in a charming sweet temper at this moment—do
be good humour'd now— and let me have two hundred Pounds
SIR PETER. Two hundred Pounds! what an't I
to be in a good humour without paying for it—but speak to me
thus—and Efaith there's nothing I could refuse you. You
shall have it—but seal me a bond for the repayment.
LADY TEAZLE. O no—there—my Note of Hand will
do as well—
SIR PETER. And you shall no longer reproach
me with not giving you an independent settlement—I shall
shortly surprise you—and you'll not call me ungenerous—but
shall we always live thus—hey?
LADY TEAZLE. If you—please—I'm sure I don't
care how soon we leave off quarrelling provided you'll own
you were tired first—
SIR PETER. Well—then let our future contest
be who shall be most obliging.
LADY TEAZLE. I assure you Sir Peter Good
Nature becomes you— you look now as you did before we were
married—when you used to walk with me under the Elms, and
tell me stories of what a Gallant you were in your youth—and
chuck me under the chin you would—and ask me if I thought I
could love an old Fellow who would deny me nothing—didn't
SIR PETER. Yes—yes—and you were as kind and
LADY TEAZLE. Aye so I was—and would always
take your Part, when my acquaintance used to abuse you and
turn you into ridicule—
SIR PETER. Indeed!
LADY TEAZLE. Aye—and when my cousin Sophy
has called you a stiff peevish old batchelor and laugh'd at
me for thinking of marrying one who might be my Father—I
have always defended you—and said I didn't think you so ugly
by any means, and that you'd make a very good sort of a
SIR PETER. And you prophesied right—and we
shall certainly now be the happiest couple——
LADY TEAZLE. And never differ again.
SIR PETER. No never—tho' at the same time
indeed—my dear Lady Teazle—you must watch your Temper very
narrowly—for in all our little Quarrels—my dear—if you
recollect my Love you always began first—
LADY TEAZLE. I beg your Pardon—my dear Sir
Peter—indeed— you always gave the provocation.
SIR PETER. Now—see, my Love take
care—contradicting isn't the way to keep Friends.
LADY TEAZLE. Then don't you begin it my
SIR PETER. There now—you are going on—you
don't perceive[,] my Life, that you are just doing the very
thing my Love which you know always makes me angry.
LADY TEAZLE. Nay—you know if you will be
angry without any reason— my Dear——
SIR PETER. There now you want to quarrel
LADY TEAZLE. No—I am sure I don't—but if you
will be so peevish——
SIR PETER. There—now who begins first?
LADY TEAZLE. Why you to be sure—I said
nothing[—]but there's no bearing your Temper.
SIR PETER. No—no—my dear—the fault's in your
LADY TEAZLE. Aye you are just what my Cousin
Sophy said you would be—
SIR PETER. Your Cousin Sophy—is a forward
LADY TEAZLE. Go you great Bear—how dare you
abuse my Relations—
SIR PETER. Now may all the Plagues of
marriage be doubled on me, if ever I try to be Friends with
you any more——
LADY TEAZLE. So much the Better.
SIR PETER. No—no Madam 'tis evident you
never cared a pin for me—
I was a madman to marry you—
LADY TEAZLE. And I am sure I was a Fooll to
marry you—an old dangling Batchelor, who was single of [at]
fifty—only because He never could meet with any one who
would have him.
SIR PETER. Aye—aye—Madam—but you were
pleased enough to listen to me—you never had such an offer
LADY TEAZLE. No—didn't I refuse Sir Jeremy
Terrier—who everybody said would have been a better
Match—for his estate is just as good as yours—and he has
broke his Neck since we have been married!
SIR PETER. I have done with you Madam! You
are an unfeeling— ungrateful—but there's an end of
everything—I believe you capable of anything that's bad—Yes,
Madam—I now believe the Reports relative to you and
Charles—Madam—yes—Madam—you and Charles are— not without
LADY TEAZLE. Take—care Sir Peter—you had
better not insinuate any such thing! I'll not be suspected
without cause I promise you——
SIR PETER. Very—well—Madam—very well! a
separate maintenance— as soon as you Please. Yes Madam or a
Divorce—I'll make an example of myself for the Benefit of
all old Batchelors—Let us separate, Madam.
LADY TEAZLE. Agreed—agreed—and now—my dear
Sir Peter we are of a mind again, we may be the happiest
couple—and never differ again, you know—ha! ha!—Well you are
going to be in a Passion I see—and I shall only interrupt
you—so, bye! bye! hey— young Jockey try'd and countered.
SIR PETER. Plagues and tortures! She
pretends to keep her temper, can't I make her angry neither!
O! I am the miserable fellow! But I'll not bear her
presuming to keep her Temper—No she may break my Heart—but
she shan't keep her Temper. [Exit.]
Thompson print from the "School for Scandal"
Enter TRIP, MOSES, and SIR OLIVER
TRIP. Here Master Moses—if you'll stay a
moment—I'll try whether
Mr.——what's the Gentleman's Name?
SIR OLIVER. Mr.——Moses—what IS my name——
MOSES. Mr. Premium——
TRIP. Premium—very well.
[Exit TRIP—taking snuff.]
SIR OLIVER. To judge by the Servants—one
wouldn't believe the master was ruin'd—but what—sure this
was my Brother's House——
MOSES. Yes Sir Mr. Charles bought it of Mr.
Joseph with the
Furniture, Pictures, &c.—just as the old Gentleman left it—
Sir Peter thought it a great peice of extravagance in him.
SIR OLIVER. In my mind the other's economy
in selling it to him was more reprehensible by half.——
TRIP. My Master[,] Gentlemen[,] says you
must wait, he has company, and can't speak with you yet.
SIR OLIVER. If he knew who it was wanted to
see him, perhaps he wouldn't have sent such a Message.
TRIP. Yes—yes—Sir—He knows you are here—I
didn't forget little Premium—no—no——
SIR OLIVER. Very well—and pray Sir what may
be your Name?
TRIP. Trip Sir—my Name is Trip, at your
SIR OLIVER. Well then Mr. Trip—I presume
your master is seldom without company——
TRIP. Very seldom Sir—the world says
ill-natured things of him but 'tis all malice—no man was
ever better beloved—Sir he seldom sits down to dinner
without a dozen particular Friends——
SIR OLIVER. He's very happy indeed—you have
a pleasant sort of Place here I guess?
TRIP. Why yes—here are three or four of us
pass our time agreeably enough—but then our wages are
sometimes a little in arrear—and not very great either—but
fifty Pounds a year and find our own Bags and Bouquets——
SIR OLIVER. Bags and Bouquets!—Halters and
TRIP. But a propos Moses—have you been able
to get me that little
SIR OLIVER. Wants to raise money too!—mercy
on me! has his distresses, I warrant[,] like a Lord—and
affects Creditors and Duns! [Aside.]
MOSES. 'Twas not be done, indeed——
TRIP. Good lack—you surprise me—My Friend
Brush has indorsed it and I thought when he put his name at
the Back of a Bill 'twas as good as cash.
MOSES. No 'twouldn't do.
TRIP. A small sum—but twenty Pound—harkee,
Moses do you think you could get it me by way of annuity?
SIR OLIVER. An annuity! ha! ha! a Footman
raise money by annuity—
Well done Luxury egad! [Aside.]
MOSES. Who would you get to join with you?
TRIP. You know my Lord Applice—you have seen
TRIP. You must have observed what an
appearance he makes—nobody dresses better, nobody throws off
faster—very well this Gentleman will stand my security.
MOSES. Well—but you must insure your Place.
TRIP. O with all my Heart—I'll insure my
Place, and my Life too, if you please.
SIR OLIVER. It's more than I would your
MOSES. But is there nothing you could
TRIP. Why nothing capital of my master's
wardrobe has drop'd lately—but I could give you a mortgage
on some of his winter Cloaths with equity of redemption
before November or—you shall have the reversion—of the
French velvet, or a post obit on the Blue and Silver—these I
should think Moses—with a few Pair of Point Ruffles as a
collateral security—hey, my little Fellow?
MOSES. Well well—we'll talk presently—we
detain the Gentlemen——
SIR OLIVER. O pray don't let me interrupt
Mr. Trip's Negotiation.
TRIP. Harkee—I heard the Bell—I believe,
Gentlemen I can now introduce you—don't forget the annuity
SIR OLIVER. If the man be a shadow of his
Master this is the Temple
of Dissipation indeed!
Thompson print from the "School for Scandal"
CARELESS, etc., etc.
At Table with Wine
CHARLES. 'Fore Heaven, 'tis true!—there is
the great Degeneracy of the age—many of our acquaintance
have Taste—Spirit, and Politeness—but plague on't they won't
CARELESS. It is so indeed—Charles—they give
into all the substantial Luxuries of the Table—and abstain
from nothing but wine and wit—Oh, certainly society suffers
by it intolerably— for now instead of the social spirit of
Raillery that used to mantle over a glass of bright Burgundy
their conversation is become just like the Spa water they
drink which has all the Pertness and flatulence of champaine
without its spirit or Flavour.
FIRST GENTLEMAN. But what are they to do who
love Play better than wine——
CARELESS. True—there's Harry diets
himself—for gaming and is now under a hazard Regimen.
CHARLES. Then He'll have the worst of
it—what you wouldn't train a horse for the course by keeping
him from corn—For my Part egad I am never so successful as
when I'm a little—merry—let me throw on a Bottle of
Champaine and I never lose—at least I never feel my losses
which is exactly the same thing.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. Aye that may be—but it is
as impossible to follow wine and play as to unite Love and
CHARLES. Pshaw—you may do both—Caesar made
Love and Laws in a Breath—and was liked by the Senate as
well as the Ladies— but no man can pretend to be a Believer
in Love, who is an abjurer of wine—'tis the Test by which a
Lover knows his own Heart— fill a dozen Bumpers to a dozen
Beauties, and she that floats atop is the maid that has
CARELESS. Now then Charles—be honest and
give us yours——
CHARLES. Why I have withheld her only in
compassion to you— if I toast her you should give a round of
her Peers, which is impossible! on earth!
CARELESS. O, then we'll find some canonized
Vestals or heathen
Goddesses that will do I warrant——
CHARLES. Here then—Bumpers—you
FIRST GENTLEMAN. Maria who?
CHARLES. Oh, damn the Surname 'tis too
formal to be register'd in Love's calendar—but now Careless
beware—beware—we must have Beauty's superlative.
FIRST GENTLEMAN. Nay Never study[,]
Careless—we'll stand to the Toast—tho' your mistress should
want an eye—and you know you have a song will excuse you——
CARELESS. Egad so I have—and I'll give him
the song instead of the Lady.——
Here's to the maiden of bashful fifteen;
Here's to the widow of fifty;
Here's to the flaunting extravagant quean,
And here's to the housewife that's thrifty.
Chorus. Let the toast pass,—
Drink to the lass,
I'll warrant she'll prove an excuse for a glass.
Here's to the charmer whose dimples we
Now to the maid who has none, sir;
Here's to the girl with a pair of blue eyes,
And here's to the nymph with but one, sir.
Chorus. Let the toast pass, &c.
Here's to the maid with a bosom of snow:
Now to her that's as brown as a berry:
Here's to the wife with a face full of woe,
And now to the damsel that's merry.
Chorus. Let the toast pass, &c.
For let 'em be clumsy, or let 'em be slim,
Young or ancient, I care not a feather;
So fill a pint bumper quite up to the brim,
So fill up your glasses, nay, fill to the brim,
And let us e'en toast them together.
Chorus. Let the toast pass, &c.
[Enter TRIP whispers CHARLES]
SECOND GENTLEMAN. Bravo Careless—Ther's
Toast and Sentiment too.
FIRST GENTLEMAN. E' faith there's infinite
charity in that song.——
CHARLES. Gentlemen, you must excuse me a
little.—Careless, take the Chair, will you?
CARELESS. Nay prithee, Charles—what now—this
is one of your
Peerless Beauties I suppose—has dropped in by chance?
CHARLES. No—Faith—to tell you the Truth 'tis
a Jew and a Broker who are come by appointment.
CARELESS. O dam it let's have the Jew in.
FIRST GENTLEMAN. Aye and the Broker too by
SECOND GENTLEMAN. Yes yes the Jew and the
CHARLES. Egad with all my Heart—Trip—bid the
Gentlemen walk in— tho' there's one of them a Stranger I can
TRIP. What Sir—would you chuse Mr. Premium
to come up with——
FIRST GENTLEMAN. Yes—yes Mr. Premium
CARELESS. To be sure—Mr. Premium—by all
means Charles, let us give them some generous Burgundy, and
perhaps they'll grow conscientious——
CHARLES. O, Hang 'em—no—wine does but draw
forth a man's natural qualities; and to make them drink
would only be to whet their Knavery.
Enter TRIP, SIR OLIVER, and MOSES
CHARLES. So—honest Moses—walk in—walk in
pray Mr. Premium— that's the Gentleman's name isn't it
MOSES. Yes Sir.
CHARLES. Set chairs—Trim.—Sit down, Mr
Premium.—Glasses Trim.— sit down Moses.—Come, Mr. Premium
I'll give you a sentiment— Here's Success to Usury—Moses
fill the Gentleman a bumper.
MOSES. Success to Usury!
CARELESS. Right Moses—Usury is Prudence and
industry and deserves to succeed——
SIR OLIVER. Then Here is—all the success it
CHARLES. Mr. Premium you and I are but
strangers yet—but I hope we shall be better acquainted by
SIR OLIVER. Yes Sir hope we shall—more
intimately perhaps than you'll wish. [Aside.<5>]
CARELESS. No, no, that won't do! Mr.
Premium, you have demurred at the toast, and must drink it
in a pint bumper.
FIRST GENTLEMAN. A pint bumper, at least.
MOSES. Oh, pray, sir, consider—Mr. Premium's
CARELESS. And therefore loves good wine.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. Give Moses a quart
glass—this is mutiny, and a high contempt for the chair.
CARELESS. Here, now for't! I'll see justice
done, to the last drop of my bottle.
SIR OLIVER. Nay, pray, gentlemen—I did not
expect this usage.
CHARLES. No, hang it, you shan't; Mr.
Premium's a stranger.
SIR OLIVER. Odd! I wish I was well out of
their company. [Aside.]
CARELESS. Plague on 'em then! if they won't
drink, we'll not sit down with them. Come, Harry, the dice
are in the next room.—Charles, you'll join us when you have
finished your business with the gentlemen?
CHARLES. I will! I will!—
[Exeunt SIR HARRY BUMPER and GENTLEMEN; CARELESS
CARELESS. [Returning.] Well!
CHARLES. Perhaps I may want you.
CARELESS. Oh, you know I am always ready:
word, note, or bond, 'tis all the same to me. [Exit.]
MOSES. Sir, this is Mr. Premium, a gentleman
of the strictest honour and secrecy; and always performs
what he undertakes. Mr. Premium, this is——
CHARLES. Psha! have done. Sir, my friend
Moses is a very honest fellow, but a little slow at
expression: he'll be an hour giving us our titles. Mr.
Premium, the plain state of the matter is this: I am an
extravagant young fellow who wants to borrow money; you I
take to be a prudent old fellow, who have got money to lend.
I am blockhead enough to give fifty per cent. sooner than
not have it! and you, I presume, are rogue enough to take a
hundred if you can get it. Now, sir, you see we are
acquainted at once, and may proceed to business without
SIR OLIVER. Exceeding frank, upon my word. I
see, sir, you are not a man of many compliments.
CHARLES. Oh, no, sir! plain dealing in
business I always think best.
SIR OLIVER. Sir, I like you the better for
it. However, You are
mistaken in one thing; I have no money to lend, but I
I could procure some of a friend; but then he's an
Isn't he, Moses? And must sell stock to accommodate you.
MOSES. Yes, indeed! You know I always speak
the truth, and scorn to tell a lie!
CHARLES. Right. People that speak truth
generally do. But these are trifles, Mr. Premium. What! I
know money isn't to be bought without paying for't!
SIR OLIVER. Well, but what security could
you give? You have no land, I suppose?
CHARLES. Not a mole-hill, nor a twig, but
what's in the bough pots out of the window!
SIR OLIVER. Nor any stock, I presume?
CHARLES. Nothing but live stock—and that's
only a few pointers and ponies. But pray, Mr. Premium, are
you acquainted at all with any of my connections?
SIR OLIVER. Why, to say the truth, I am.
CHARLES. Then you must know that I have a
devilish rich uncle in the East Indies, Sir Oliver Surface,
from whom I have the greatest expectations?
SIR OLIVER. That you have a wealthy uncle, I
have heard; but how your expectations will turn out is more,
I believe, than you can tell.
CHARLES. Oh, no!—there can be no doubt. They
tell me I'm a prodigious favourite, and that he talks of
leaving me everything.
SIR OLIVER. Indeed! this is the first I've
heard of it.
CHARLES. Yes, yes, 'tis just so. Moses knows
'tis true; don't you,
MOSES. Oh, yes! I'll swear to't.
SIR OLIVER. Egad, they'll persuade me
presently I'm at Bengal.
CHARLES. Now I propose, Mr. Premium, if it's
agreeable to you, a post-obit on Sir Oliver's life: though
at the same time the old fellow has been so liberal to me,
that I give you my word, I should be very sorry to hear that
anything had happened to him.
SIR OLIVER. Not more than I should, I assure
you. But the bond you mention happens to be just the worst
security you could offer me— for I might live to a hundred
and never see the principal.
CHARLES. Oh, yes, you would! the moment Sir
Oliver dies, you know, you would come on me for the money.
SIR OLIVER. Then I believe I should be the
most unwelcome dun you ever had in your life.
CHARLES. What! I suppose you're afraid that
Sir Oliver is too good a life?
SIR OLIVER. No, indeed I am not; though I
have heard he is as hale and healthy as any man of his years
CHARLES. There again, now, you are
misinformed. No, no, the climate has hurt him considerably,
poor uncle Oliver. Yes, yes, he breaks apace, I'm told—and
is so much altered lately that his nearest relations would
not know him.
SIR OLIVER. No! Ha! ha! ha! so much altered
lately that his nearest relations would not know him! Ha!
ha! ha! egad—ha! ha! ha!
CHARLES. Ha! ha!—you're glad to hear that,
SIR OLIVER. No, no, I'm not.
CHARLES. Yes, yes, you are—ha! ha! ha!—you
know that mends your chance.
SIR OLIVER. But I'm told Sir Oliver is
coming over; nay, some say he is actually arrived.
CHARLES. Psha! sure I must know better than
you whether he's come or not. No, no, rely on't he's at this
moment at Calcutta. Isn't he, Moses?
MOSES. Oh, yes, certainly.
SIR OLIVER. Very true, as you say, you must
know better than I, though I have it from pretty good
authority. Haven't I, Moses?
MOSES. Yes, most undoubted!
SIR OLIVER. But, Sir, as I understand you
want a few hundreds immediately, is there nothing you could
CHARLES. How do you mean?
SIR OLIVER. For instance, now, I have heard
that your father left behind him a great quantity of massy
CHARLES. O Lud! that's gone long ago. Moses
can tell you how better than I can.
SIR OLIVER. [Aside.] Good lack! all the
family race-cups and corporation-bowls!—[Aloud.] Then it was
also supposed that his library was one of the most valuable
CHARLES. Yes, yes, so it was—vastly too much
so for a private gentleman. For my part, I was always of a
communicative disposition, so I thought it a shame to keep
so much knowledge to myself.
SIR OLIVER. [Aside.] Mercy upon me! learning
that had run in the family like an heir-loom!—[Aloud.] Pray,
what has become of the books?
CHARLES. You must inquire of the auctioneer,
Master Premium, for
I don't believe even Moses can direct you.
MOSES. I know nothing of books.
SIR OLIVER. So, so, nothing of the family
property left, I suppose?
CHARLES. Not much, indeed; unless you have a
mind to the family pictures. I have got a room full of
ancestors above: and if you have a taste for old paintings,
egad, you shall have 'em a bargain!
SIR OLIVER. Hey! what the devil! sure, you
wouldn't sell your forefathers, would you?
CHARLES. Every man of them, to the best
SIR OLIVER. What! your great-uncles and
CHARLES. Ay, and my great-grandfathers and
SIR OLIVER. [Aside.] Now I give him
up!—[Aloud.] What the plague, have you no bowels for your
own kindred? Odd's life! do you take me for Shylock in the
play, that you would raise money of me on your own flesh and
CHARLES. Nay, my little broker, don't be
angry: what need you care, if you have your money's worth?
SIR OLIVER. Well, I'll be the purchaser: I
think I can dispose of the family canvas.—[Aside.] Oh, I'll
never forgive him this! never!
CARELESS. Come, Charles, what keeps you?
CHARLES. I can't come yet. I'faith, we are
going to have a sale above stairs; here's little Premium
will buy all my ancestors!
CARELESS. Oh, burn your ancestors!
CHARLES. No, he may do that afterwards, if
he pleases. Stay, Careless, we want you: egad, you shall be
auctioneer—so come along with us.
CARELESS. Oh, have with you, if that's the
case. I can handle a hammer as well as a dice box! Going!
SIR OLIVER. Oh, the profligates! [Aside.]
CHARLES. Come, Moses, you shall be
appraiser, if we want one.
Gad's life, little Premium, you don't seem to like the
SIR OLIVER. Oh, yes, I do, vastly! Ha! ha!
ha! yes, yes, I think it a rare joke to sell one's family by
auction—ha! ha!—[Aside.] Oh, the prodigal!
CHARLES. To be sure! when a man wants money,
where the plague should he get assistance, if he can't make
free with his own relations? [Exeunt.]
SIR OLIVER. I'll never forgive him; never!
END OF THE THIRD ACT
Thompson print from the "School for Scandal"
SCENE I.—A Picture
Room in CHARLES SURFACE'S House
Enter CHARLES, SIR OLIVER, MOSES, and
CHARLES. Walk in, gentlemen, pray walk
in;—here they are, the family of the Surfaces, up to the
SIR OLIVER. And, in my opinion, a goodly
CHARLES. Ay, ay, these are done in the true
spirit of portrait- painting; no volontiere grace or
expression. Not like the works of your modern Raphaels, who
give you the strongest resemblance, yet contrive to make
your portrait independent of you; so that you may sink the
original and not hurt the picture. No, no; the merit of
these is the inveterate likeness—all stiff and awkward as
the originals, and like nothing in human nature besides.
SIR OLIVER. Ah! we shall never see such
figures of men again.
CHARLES. I hope not. Well, you see, Master
Premium, what a domestic character I am; here I sit of an
evening surrounded by my family. But come, get to your
pulpit, Mr. Auctioneer; here's an old gouty chair of my
grandfather's will answer the purpose.
CARELESS. Ay, ay, this will do. But,
Charles, I haven't a hammer; and what's an auctioneer
without his hammer?
CHARLES. Egad, that's true. What parchment
have we here? Oh, our genealogy in full. [Taking pedigree
down.] Here, Careless, you shall have no common bit of
mahogany, here's the family tree for you, you rogue! This
shall be your hammer, and now you may knock down my
ancestors with their own pedigree.
SIR OLIVER. What an unnatural rogue!—an ex
post facto parricide!
CARELESS. Yes, yes, here's a list of your
generation indeed;— faith, Charles, this is the most
convenient thing you could have found for the business, for
'twill not only serve as a hammer, but a catalogue into the
bargain. Come, begin—A-going, a-going, a-going!
CHARLES. Bravo, Careless! Well, here's my
great uncle, Sir Richard Ravelin, a marvellous good general
in his day, I assure you. He served in all the Duke of
Marlborough's wars, and got that cut over his eye at the
battle of Malplaquet. What say you, Mr. Premium? look at
him—there's a hero! not cut out of his feathers, as your
modern clipped captains are, but enveloped in wig and
regimentals, as a general should be. What do you bid?
SIR OLIVER. [Aside to Moses.] Bid him speak.
MOSES. Mr. Premium would have you speak.
CHARLES. Why, then, he shall have him for
ten pounds, and I'm sure that's not dear for a
SIR OLIVER. [Aside.] Heaven deliver me! his
famous uncle Richard for ten pounds!—[Aloud.] Very well,
sir, I take him at that.
CHARLES. Careless, knock down my uncle
Richard.—Here, now, is a maiden sister of his, my great-aunt
Deborah, done by Kneller, in his best manner, and esteemed a
very formidable likeness. There she is, you see, a
shepherdess feeding her flock. You shall have her for five
pounds ten—the sheep are worth the money.
SIR OLIVER. [Aside.] Ah! poor Deborah! a
woman who set such a value on herself!—[Aloud.] Five pounds
CHARLES. Knock down my aunt Deborah! Here,
now, are two that were a sort of cousins of theirs.—You see,
Moses, these pictures were done some time ago, when beaux
wore wigs, and the ladies their own hair.
SIR OLIVER. Yes, truly, head-dresses appear
to have been a little lower in those days.
CHARLES. Well, take that couple for the
MOSES. 'Tis a good bargain.
CHARLES. Careless!—This, now, is a
grandfather of my mother's, a learned judge, well known on
the western circuit,—What do you rate him at, Moses?
MOSES. Four guineas.
CHARLES. Four guineas! Gad's life, you don't
bid me the price of his wig.—Mr. Premium, you have more
respect for the woolsack; do let us knock his lordship down
SIR OLIVER. By all means.
CHARLES. And there are two brothers of his,
William and Walter Blunt, Esquires, both members of
Parliament, and noted speakers; and, what's very
extraordinary, I believe, this is the first time they were
ever bought or sold.
SIR OLIVER. That is very extraordinary,
indeed! I'll take them at your own price, for the honour of
CARELESS. Well said, little Premium! I'll
knock them down at forty.
CHARLES. Here's a jolly fellow—I don't know
what relation, but he was mayor of Norwich: take him at
SIR OLIVER. No, no; six will do for the
CHARLES. Come, make it guineas, and I'll
throw you the two aldermen here into the bargain.
SIR OLIVER. They're mine.
CHARLES. Careless, knock down the mayor and
aldermen. But, plague on't! we shall be all day retailing in
this manner; do let us deal wholesale: what say you, little
Premium? Give me three hundred pounds for the rest of the
family in the lump.
CARELESS. Ay, ay, that will be the best way.
SIR OLIVER. Well, well, anything to
accommodate you; they are mine.
But there is one portrait which you have always passed over.
CARELESS. What, that ill-looking little
fellow over the settee?
SIR OLIVER. Yes, sir, I mean that; though I
don't think him so ill-looking a little fellow, by any
CHARLES. What, that? Oh; that's my uncle
Oliver! 'Twas done before he went to India.
CARELESS. Your uncle Oliver! Gad, then
you'll never be friends,
Charles. That, now, to me, is as stern a looking rogue as
I saw; an unforgiving eye, and a damned disinheriting
an inveterate knave, depend on't. Don't you think so, little
SIR OLIVER. Upon my soul, Sir, I do not; I
think it is as honest a looking face as any in the room,
dead or alive. But I suppose uncle Oliver goes with the rest
of the lumber?
CHARLES. No, hang it! I'll not part with
poor Noll. The old fellow has been very good to me, and,
egad, I'll keep his picture while I've a room to put it in.
SIR OLIVER. [Aside.] The rogue's my nephew
But, sir, I have somehow taken a fancy to that picture.
CHARLES. I'm sorry for't, for you certainly
will not have it.
Oons, haven't you got enough of them?
SIR OLIVER. [Aside.] I forgive him
everything!—[Aloud.] But, Sir, when I take a whim in my
head, I don't value money. I'll give you as much for that as
for all the rest.
CHARLES. Don't tease me, master broker; I
tell you I'll not part with it, and there's an end of it.
SIR OLIVER. [Aside.] How like his father the
dog is.— [Aloud.]
Well, well, I have done.— [Aside.] I did not perceive it
but I think I never saw such a striking resemblance.—
Here is a draught for your sum.
CHARLES. Why, 'tis for eight hundred pounds!
SIR OLIVER. You will not let Sir Oliver go?
CHARLES. Zounds! no! I tell you, once more.
SIR OLIVER. Then never mind the difference,
we'll balance that another time. But give me your hand on
the bargain; you are an honest fellow, Charles—I beg pardon,
sir, for being so free.— Come, Moses.
CHARLES. Egad, this is a whimsical old
Premium, you'll prepare lodgings for these gentlemen.
SIR OLIVER. Yes, yes, I'll send for them in
a day or two.
CHARLES. But, hold; do now send a genteel
conveyance for them, for, I assure you, they were most of
them used to ride in their own carriages.
SIR OLIVER. I will, I will—for all but
CHARLES. Ay, all but the little nabob.
SIR OLIVER. You're fixed on that?
SIR OLIVER. [Aside.] A dear extravagant
rogue!—[Aloud.] Good day!
Come, Moses.—[Aside.] Let me hear now who dares call him
[Exit with MOSES.]
CARELESS. Why, this is the oddest genius of
the sort I ever met with!
CHARLES. Egad, he's the prince of brokers, I
think. I wonder how the devil Moses got acquainted with so
honest a fellow.—Ha! here's Rowley.—Do, Careless, say I'll
join the company in a few moments.
CARELESS. I will—but don't let that old
blockhead persuade you to squander any of that money on old
musty debts, or any such nonsense; for tradesmen, Charles,
are the most exorbitant fellows.
CHARLES. Very true, and paying them is only
CARELESS. Nothing else.
CHARLES. Ay, ay, never fear.— [Exit
CARELESS.] So! this was an odd old fellow, indeed. Let me
see, two-thirds of these five hundred and thirty odd pounds
are mine by right. Fore Heaven! I find one's ancestors are
more valuable relations than I took them for!—Ladies and
gentlemen, your most obedient and very grateful servant.
[Bows ceremoniously to the pictures.]
Ha! old Rowley! egad, you are just come in
time to take leave of your old acquaintance.
ROWLEY. Yes, I heard they were a-going. But
I wonder you can have such spirits under so many distresses.
CHARLES. Why, there's the point! my
distresses are so many, that I can't affort to part with my
spirits; but I shall be rich and splenetic, all in good
time. However, I suppose you are surprised that I am not
more sorrowful at parting with so many near relations; to be
sure, 'tis very affecting; but you see they never move a
muscle, so why should I?
ROWLEY. There's no making you serious a
CHARLES. Yes, faith, I am so now. Here, my
honest Rowley, here, get me this changed directly, and take
a hundred pounds of it immediately to old Stanley.
ROWLEY. A hundred pounds! Consider only——
CHARLES. Gad's life, don't talk about it!
poor Stanley's wants are pressing, and, if you don't make
haste, we shall have some one call that has a better right
to the money.
ROWLEY. Ah! there's the point! I never will
cease dunning you with the old proverb——
CHARLES. BE JUST BEFORE YOU'RE
GENEROUS.—Why, so I would if I could; but Justice is an old
hobbling beldame, and I can't get her to keep pace with
Generosity, for the soul of me.
ROWLEY. Yet, Charles, believe me, one hour's
CHARLES. Ay, ay, it's very true; but,
hark'ee, Rowley, while I have, by Heaven I'll give; so, damn
your economy! and now for hazard. [Exeunt.]
Thompson print from the "School for Scandal"
Enter SIR OLIVER and MOSES
MOSES. Well sir, I think as Sir Peter said
you have seen Mr. Charles in high Glory—'tis great Pity He's
SIR OLIVER. True—but he would not sell my
MOSES. And loves wine and women so much—
SIR OLIVER. But He wouldn't sell my Picture.
MOSES. And game so deep—
SIR OLIVER. But He wouldn't sell my Picture.
ROWLEY. So—Sir Oliver—I find you have made a
SIR OLIVER. Yes—yes—our young Rake has
parted with his Ancestors like old Tapestry—sold Judges and
Generals by the foot—and maiden Aunts as cheap as broken
ROWLEY. And here has he commissioned me to
re-deliver you Part of the purchase-money—I mean tho' in
your necessitous character of old Stanley——
MOSES. Ah! there is the Pity of all! He is
so damned charitable.
ROWLEY. And I left a Hosier and two Tailors
in the Hall—who
I'm sure won't be paid, and this hundred would satisfy 'em.
SIR OLIVER. Well—well—I'll pay his debts and
his Benevolences too—I'll take care of old Stanley—myself—
But now I am no more a Broker, and you shall introduce me to
the elder Brother as Stanley——
ROWLEY. Not yet a while—Sir Peter I know
means to call there about this time.
TRIP. O Gentlemen—I beg Pardon for not
showing you out—this way—
Moses, a word.
[Exit TRIP with MOSES.]
SIR OLIVER. There's a Fellow for you— Would
you believe it that Puppy intercepted the Jew, on our
coming, and wanted to raise money before he got to his
SIR OLIVER. Yes—they are now planning an
annuity Business— Ah Master Rowley[,] in my Day Servants
were content with the Follies of their Masters when they
were worn a little Thread Bare but now they have their Vices
like their Birth Day cloaths with the gloss on. [Exeunt.]
Thompson print from the "School for Scandal"
SURFACE and SERVANT
SURFACE. No letter from Lady Teazle?
SERVANT. No Sir—
SURFACE. I am surprised she hasn't sent if
she is prevented from coming—! Sir Peter certainly does not
suspect me—yet I wish I may not lose the Heiress, thro' the
scrape I have drawn myself in with the wife—However,
Charles's imprudence and bad character are great Points in
SERVANT. Sir—I believe that must be Lady
SURFACE. Hold[!] see—whether it is or not
before you go to the
Door—I have a particular Message for you if it should be my
SERVANT. 'Tis her ladyship Sir—She always
leaves her Chair at the milliner's in the next Street.
SURFACE. Stay—stay—draw that Screen before
the Window—that will do—my opposite Neighbour is a maiden
Lady of so curious a temper!— [SERVANT draws the screen and
exit.] I have a difficult Hand to play in this Affair—Lady
Teazle as lately suspected my Views on Maria—but She must by
no means be let into that secret, at least till I have her
more in my Power.
Enter LADY TEAZLE
LADY TEAZLE. What[!] Sentiment in
soliloquy—have you been very impatient now?—O Lud! don't
pretend to look grave—I vow I couldn't come before——
SURFACE. O Madam[,] Punctuality is a species
of Constancy, a very unfashionable quality in a Lady.
LADY TEAZLE. Upon my word you ought to pity
me, do you now Sir Peter is grown so ill-tempered to me of
Late! and so jealous! of Charles too that's the best of the
story isn't it?
SURFACE. I am glad my scandalous Friends
keep that up. [Aside.]
LADY TEAZLE. I am sure I wish He would let
Maria marry him— and then perhaps He would be
convinced—don't you—Mr. Surface?
SURFACE. Indeed I do not.—[Aside.] O
certainly I do—for then my dear Lady Teazle would also be
convinced how wrong her suspicions were of my having any
design on the silly Girl——
LADY TEAZLE. Well—well I'm inclined to
I really never could perceive why she should have so any
SURFACE. O for her Fortune—nothing else—
LADY TEAZLE. I believe so for tho' she is
certainly very pretty— yet she has no conversation in the
world—and is so grave and reserved—that I declare I think
she'd have made an excellent wife for Sir Peter.—
SURFACE. So she would.
LADY TEAZLE. Then—one never hears her speak
ill of anybody—which you know is mighty dull—
SURFACE. Yet she doesn't want understanding—
LADY TEAZLE. No more she does—yet one is
always disapointed when one hears [her] speak—For though her
Eyes have no kind of meaning in them—she very seldom talks
SURFACE. Nay—nay surely—she has very fine
LADY TEAZLE. Why so she has—tho' sometimes
one fancies there's a little sort of a squint—
SURFACE. A squint—O fie—Lady Teazle.
LADY TEAZLE. Yes yes—I vow now—come there is
a left-handed Cupid in one eye—that's the Truth on't.
SURFACE. Well—his aim is very direct
however—but Lady Sneerwell has quite corrupted you.
LADY TEAZLE. No indeed—I have not opinion
enough of her to be taught by her, and I know that she has
lately rais'd many scandalous hints of me—which you know one
always hears from one common Friend, or other.
SURFACE. Why to say truth I believe you are
not more obliged to her than others of her acquaintance.
LADY TEAZLE. But isn't [it] provoking to
hear the most ill-natured
Things said to one and there's my friend Lady Sneerwell has
I don't know how many scandalous tales of me, and all
any foundation, too; that's what vexes me.
SURFACE. Aye Madam to be sure that is the
Provoking circumstance— without Foundation—yes yes—there's
the mortification indeed— for when a slanderous story is
believed against one—there certainly is no comfort like the
consciousness of having deserved it——
LADY TEAZLE. No to be sure—then I'd forgive
their malice— but to attack me, who am really so
innocent—and who never say an ill-natured thing of
anybody—that is, of any Friend—! and then Sir Peter too—to
have him so peevish—and so suspicious— when I know the
integrity of my own Heart—indeed 'tis monstrous.
SURFACE. But my dear Lady Teazle 'tis your
own fault if you suffer it—when a Husband entertains a
groundless suspicion of his Wife and withdraws his
confidence from her—the original compact is broke and she
owes it to the Honour of her sex to endeavour to outwit him—
LADY TEAZLE. Indeed—So that if He suspects
me without cause it follows that the best way of curing his
jealousy is to give him reason for't—
SURFACE. Undoubtedly—for your Husband
[should] never be deceived in you—and in that case it
becomes you to be frail in compliment to his discernment—
LADY TEAZLE. To be sure what you say is very
reasonable—and when the consciousness of my own Innocence——
SURFACE. Ah: my dear—Madam there is the
great mistake—'tis this very conscious Innocence that is of
the greatest Prejudice to you— what is it makes you
negligent of Forms and careless of the world's opinion—why
the consciousness of your Innocence—what makes you
thoughtless in your Conduct and apt to run into a thousand
little imprudences—why the consciousness of your
Innocence—what makes you impatient of Sir Peter's temper,
and outrageous at his suspicions— why the consciousness of
your own Innocence—
LADY TEAZLE. 'Tis very true.
SURFACE. Now my dear Lady Teazle if you but
once make a trifling Faux Pas you can't conceive how
cautious you would grow, and how ready to humour and agree
with your Husband.
LADY TEAZLE. Do you think so—
SURFACE. O I'm sure on't; and then you'd
find all scandal would cease at once—for in short your
Character at Present is like a Person in a Plethora,
absolutely dying of too much Health—
LADY TEAZLE. So—so—then I perceive your
Prescription is that I must sin in my own Defence—and part
with my virtue to preserve my Reputation.—
SURFACE. Exactly so upon my credit Ma'am[.]
LADY TEAZLE. Well certainly this is the
oddest Doctrine—and the newest Receipt for avoiding calumny.
SURFACE. An infallible one believe
me—Prudence like experience must be paid for—
LADY TEAZLE. Why if my understanding were
SURFACE. Oh, certainly Madam, your
understanding SHOULD be convinced—yes—yes—Heaven forbid I
should persuade you to do anything you THOUGHT wrong—no—no—I
have too much honor to desire it—
LADY TEAZLE. Don't—you think we may as well
leave Honor out of the Argument? [Rises.]
SURFACE. Ah—the ill effects of your country
education I see still remain with you.
LADY TEAZLE. I doubt they do indeed—and I
will fairly own to you, that If I could be persuaded to do
wrong it would be by Sir Peter's ill-usage—sooner than your
honourable Logic, after all.
SURFACE. Then by this Hand, which He is
Sdeath, you Blockhead—what do you want?
SERVANT. I beg your Pardon Sir, but I
thought you wouldn't chuse
Sir Peter to come up without announcing him?
SURFACE. Sir Peter—Oons—the Devil!
LADY TEAZLE. Sir Peter! O Lud! I'm ruined!
SERVANT. Sir, 'twasn't I let him in.
LADY TEAZLE. O I'm undone—what will become
of me now Mr. Logick.—
Oh! mercy, He's on the Stairs—I'll get behind here—and if
I'm so imprudent again——
[Goes behind the screen—]
SURFACE. Give me that—Book!——
[Sits down—SERVANT pretends to adjust his
Enter SIR PETER
SIR PETER. Aye—ever improving himself!—Mr.
SURFACE. Oh! my dear Sir Peter—I beg your
Pardon—[Gaping and throws away the Book.] I have been dosing
[dozing] over a stupid Book! well—I am much obliged to you
for this Call—You haven't been here I believe since I fitted
up this Room—Books you know are the only Things I am a
SIR PETER. 'Tis very neat indeed—well well
that's proper— and you make even your Screen a source of
knowledge—hung I perceive with Maps—
SURFACE. O yes—I find great use in that
SIR PETER. I dare say you
must—certainly—when you want to find out anything in a
SURFACE. Aye or to hide anything in a Hurry
SIR PETER. Well I have a little private
Business—if we were alone—
SURFACE. You needn't stay.
SURFACE. Here's a Chair—Sir Peter—I beg——
SIR PETER. Well—now we are alone—there IS a
Friend—on which I wish to unburthen my Mind to you—a Point
of the greatest moment to my Peace—in short, my good Friend—
Lady Teazle's conduct of late has made me very unhappy.
SURFACE. Indeed I'm very sorry to hear it—
SIR PETER. Yes 'tis but too plain she has
not the least regard for me—but what's worse, I have pretty
good Authority to suspect that she must have formed an
attachment to another.
SURFACE. Indeed! you astonish me.
SIR PETER. Yes—and between ourselves—I think
I have discover'd the Person.
SURFACE. How—you alarm me exceedingly!
SIR PETER. Ah: my dear Friend I knew you
would sympathize with me.—
SURFACE. Yes—believe me Sir Peter—such a
discovery would hurt me just as much as it would you—
SIR PETER. I am convinced of it—ah—it is a
happiness to have a Friend whom one can trust even with
one's Family secrets— but have you no guess who I mean?
SURFACE. I haven't the most distant Idea—it
Sir Benjamin Backbite.
SIR PETER. O—No. What say you to Charles?
SURFACE. My Brother—impossible!—O no Sir
Peter you mustn't credit the scandalous insinuations you
hear—no no—Charles to be sure has been charged with many
things but go I can never think He would meditate so gross
SIR PETER. Ah! my dear Friend—the goodness
of your own Heart misleads you—you judge of others by
SURFACE. Certainly Sir Peter—the Heart that
is conscious of its own integrity is ever slowest to credit
SIR PETER. True—but your Brother has no
sentiment[—]you never hear him talk so.—
SURFACE. Well there certainly is no knowing
what men are capable of— no—there is no knowing—yet I can't
but think Lady Teazle herself has too much Principle——
SIR PETER. Aye but what's Principle against
the Flattery of a handsome—lively young Fellow—
SURFACE. That's very true—
SIR PETER. And then you know the difference
of our ages makes it very improbable that she should have
any great affection for me—and if she were to be frail and I
were to make it Public—why the Town would only laugh at the
foolish old Batchelor, who had married a girl——
SURFACE. That's true—to be sure People would
SIR PETER. Laugh—aye and make Ballads—and
Paragraphs and the Devil knows what of me—
SURFACE. No—you must never make it public—
SIR PETER. But then again that the Nephew of
my old Friend, Sir Oliver[,] should be the Person to attempt
such an injury— hurts me more nearly—
SURFACE. Undoubtedly—when Ingratitude barbs
the Dart of Injury— the wound has double danger in it—
SIR PETER. Aye—I that was in a manner left
his Guardian— in his House he had been so often
entertain'd—who never in my Life denied him my advice—
SURFACE. O 'tis not to be credited—There may
be a man capable of such Baseness, to be sure—but for my
Part till you can give me positive Proofs you must excuse me
withholding my Belief. However, if this should be proved on
him He is no longer a brother of mine I disclaim kindred
with him—for the man who can break thro' the Laws of
Hospitality—and attempt the wife of his Friend deserves to
be branded as the Pest of Society.
SIR PETER. What a difference there is
between you—what noble sentiments!—
SURFACE. But I cannot suspect Lady Teazle's
SIR PETER. I'm sure I wish to think well of
her—and to remove all ground of Quarrel between us—She has
lately reproach'd me more than once with having made no
settlement on her—and, in our last Quarrel, she almost
hinted that she should not break her Heart if I was
dead.—now as we seem to differ in our Ideas of Expense I
have resolved she shall be her own Mistress in that Respect
for the future—and if I were to die—she shall find that I
have not been inattentive to her Interests while living—Here
my Friend are the Draughts of two Deeds which I wish to have
your opinion on— by one she will enjoy eight hundred a year
independent while I live— and by the other the bulk of my
Fortune after my Death.
SURFACE. This conduct Sir Peter is indeed
truly Generous! I wish it may not corrupt my pupil.—[Aside.]
SIR PETER. Yes I am determined she shall
have no cause to complain— tho' I would not have her
acquainted with the latter instance of my affection yet
SURFACE. Nor I—if I could help it.
SIR PETER. And now my dear Friend if you
please we will talk over the situation of your Hopes with
SURFACE. No—no—Sir Peter—another Time if you
SIR PETER. I am sensibly chagrined at the
little Progress you seem to make in her affection.
SURFACE. I beg you will not mention it—What
are my Disappointments when your Happiness is in Debate
[softly]. 'Sdeath I shall be ruined every way.
SIR PETER. And tho' you are so averse to my
acquainting Lady Teazle with YOUR passion, I am sure she's
not your Enemy in the Affair.
SURFACE. Pray Sir Peter, now oblige me.—I am
really too much affected by the subject we have been
speaking of to bestow a thought on my own concerns—The Man
who is entrusted with his Friend's Distresses can never——
SERVANT. Your Brother Sir, is—speaking to a
Gentleman in the Street, and says He knows you're within.
SURFACE. 'Sdeath, Blockhead—I'm NOT
within—I'm out for the Day.
SIR PETER. Stay—hold—a thought has struck
me—you shall be at home.
SURFACE. Well—well—let him up.—
He'll interrupt Sir Peter, however. [Aside.]
SIR PETER. Now, my good Friend—oblige me I
Intreat you—before Charles comes—let me conceal myself
somewhere—Then do you tax him on the Point we have been
talking on—and his answers may satisfy me at once.—
SURFACE. O Fie—Sir Peter—would you have ME
join in so mean a Trick? to trepan my Brother too?
SIR PETER. Nay you tell me you are SURE He
is innocent—if so you do him the greatest service in giving
him an opportunity to clear himself—and—you will set my
Heart at rest—come you shall not refuse me—here behind this
Screen will be—hey! what the Devil—there seems to be one
listener here already—I'll swear I saw a Petticoat.—
SURFACE. Ha! ha! ha! Well this is ridiculous
enough—I'll tell you, Sir Peter—tho' I hold a man of
Intrigue to be a most despicable Character—yet you know it
doesn't follow that a man is to be an absolute Joseph
either—hark'ee—'tis a little French Milliner— a silly Rogue
that plagues me—and having some character, on your coming
she ran behind the Screen.—
SIR PETER. Ah a Rogue—but 'egad she has
overheard all I have been saying of my Wife.
SURFACE. O 'twill never go any farther, you
may depend on't.
SIR PETER. No!—then efaith let her hear it
out.—Here's a Closet will do as well.—
SURFACE. Well, go in there.—
SIR PETER. Sly rogue—sly Rogue.—
SURFACE. Gad's my Life what an Escape—! and
a curious situation
I'm in!—to part man and wife in this manner.—
LADY TEAZLE. [peeps out.] Couldn't I steal
SURFACE. Keep close, my Angel!
SIR PETER. [Peeping out.] Joseph—tax him
SURFACE. Back—my dear Friend
LADY TEAZLE. [Peeping out.] Couldn't you
lock Sir Peter in?—
SURFACE. Be still—my Life!
SIR PETER. [Peeping.] You're sure the little
Milliner won't blab?
SURFACE. In! in! my good Sir Peter—'Fore
Gad, I wish I had a key to the Door.
CHARLES. Hollo! Brother—what has been the
matter? your Fellow wouldn't let me up at first—What[?] have
you had a Jew or a wench with you.—
SURFACE. Neither Brother I assure you.
CHARLES. But—what has made Sir Peter steal
off—I thought He had been with you—
SURFACE. He WAS Brother—but hearing you were
coming He didn't chuse to stay—
CHARLES. What[!] was the old Gentleman
afraid I wanted to borrow money of him?
SURFACE. No Sir—but I am sorry to find[,]
Charles—you have lately given that worthy man grounds for
CHARLES. Yes they tell me I do that to a
great many worthy men— but how so Pray?
SURFACE. To be plain with you Brother He
thinks you are endeavouring to gain Lady Teazle's Affections
CHARLES. Who I—O Lud! not I upon my
word.—Ha! ha! ha! so the old Fellow has found out that He
has got a young wife has He? or what's worse she has
discover'd that she has an old Husband?
SURFACE. This is no subject to jest on
Brother—He who can laugh——
CHARLES. True true as you were going to
say—then seriously I never had the least idea of what you
charge me with, upon my honour.
SURFACE. Well it will give Sir Peter great
satisfaction to hear this.
CHARLES. [Aloud.] To be sure, I once thought
the lady seemed to have taken a fancy—but upon my soul I
never gave her the least encouragement.—Beside you know my
Attachment to Maria—
SURFACE. But sure Brother even if Lady
Teazle had betray'd the fondest Partiality for you——
CHARLES. Why—look'ee Joseph—I hope I shall
never deliberately do a dishonourable Action—but if a pretty
woman was purposely to throw herself in my way—and that
pretty woman married to a man old enough to be her Father——
CHARLES. Why I believe I should be obliged
to borrow a little of your Morality, that's all.—but,
Brother do you know now that you surprize me exceedingly by
naming me with Lady Teazle—for faith I always understood YOU
were her Favourite—
SURFACE. O for shame—Charles—This retort is
CHARLES. Nay I swear I have seen you
exchange such significant
SURFACE. Nay—nay—Sir—this is no jest—
CHARLES. Egad—I'm serious—Don't you
remember—one Day, when
I called here——
CHARLES. And found you together——
SURFACE. Zounds, Sir—I insist——
CHARLES. And another time when your
SURFACE. Brother—brother a word with you—Gad
I must stop him—
CHARLES. Informed—me that——
SURFACE. Hush!—I beg your Pardon but Sir
Peter has overheard all we have been saying—I knew you would
clear yourself, or I shouldn't have consented—
CHARLES. How Sir Peter—Where is He—
SURFACE. Softly, there! [Points to the
CHARLES. [In the Closet!] O 'fore Heaven
I'll have him out—
Sir Peter come forth!
CHARLES. I say Sir Peter—come into court.—
[Pulls in SIR PETER.]
What—my old Guardian—what[!] turn inquisitor and take
SIR PETER. Give me your hand—Charles—I
believe I have suspected you wrongfully; but you mustn't be
angry with Joseph—'twas my Plan—
SIR PETER. But I acquit you—I promise you I
don't think near so ill of you as I did—what I have heard
has given me great satisfaction.
CHARLES. Egad then 'twas lucky you didn't
hear any more. Wasn't it
SIR PETER. Ah! you would have retorted on
CHARLES. Aye—aye—that was a Joke.
SIR PETER. Yes, yes, I know his honor too
CHARLES. Yet you might as well have
suspected him as me in this matter, for all that—mightn't
SIR PETER. Well well I believe you—
SURFACE. Would they were both out of the
Enter SERVANT, whispers SURFACE
SIR PETER. And in future perhaps we may not
be such Strangers.
SURFACE. Gentlemen—I beg Pardon—I must wait
on you downstairs—
Here is a Person come on particular Business——
CHARLES. Well you can see him in another
Room—Sir Peter and
I haven't met a long time and I have something to say [to]
SURFACE. They must not be left
together.—I'll send this man away
and return directly—
[SURFACE goes out.]
SIR PETER. Ah—Charles if you associated more
with your Brother, one might indeed hope for your
reformation—He is a man of Sentiment— Well! there is nothing
in the world so noble as a man of Sentiment!
CHARLES. Pshaw! He is too moral by half—and
so apprehensive of his good Name, as he calls it, that I
suppose He would as soon let a Priest in his House as a
SIR PETER. No—no—come come,—you wrong him.
No, no, Joseph is no Rake but he is no such Saint in that
respect either. I have a great mind to tell him—we should
have such a Laugh!
CHARLES. Oh, hang him? He's a very
Anchorite—a young Hermit!
SIR PETER. Harkee—you must not abuse him, he
may chance to hear of it again I promise you.
CHARLES. Why you won't tell him?
SIR PETER. No—but—this way. Egad, I'll tell
him—Harkee, have you a mind to have a good laugh against
CHARLES. I should like it of all things—
SIR PETER. Then, E'faith, we will—I'll be
quit with him for discovering me.—He had a girl with him
when I called. [Whispers.]
CHARLES. What[!] Joseph[!] you jest—
SIR PETER. Hush!—a little French
Milliner—and the best of the jest is—she's in the room now.
CHARLES. The devil she is—
SIR PETER. Hush! I tell you. [Points.]
CHARLES. Behind the screen! Odds Life, let's
SIR PETER. No—no! He's coming—you shan't
CHARLES. Oh, egad, we'll have a peep at the
SIR PETER. Not for the world—Joseph will
never forgive me.
CHARLES. I'll stand by you——
SIR PETER. Odds Life! Here He's coming—
[SURFACE enters just as CHARLES throws down
Re-enter JOSEPH SURFACE
CHARLES. Lady Teazle! by all that's
SIR PETER. Lady Teazle! by all that's
CHARLES. Sir Peter—This is one of the
smartest French Milliners I ever saw!—Egad, you seem all to
have been diverting yourselves here at Hide and Seek—and I
don't see who is out of the Secret!— Shall I beg your
Ladyship to inform me!—Not a word!—Brother!— will you please
to explain this matter? What! is Honesty Dumb too?— Sir
Peter, though I found you in the Dark—perhaps you are not so
now—all mute! Well tho' I can make nothing of the Affair, I
make no doubt but you perfectly understand one another—so
I'll leave you to yourselves.—[Going.] Brother I'm sorry to
find you have given that worthy man grounds for so much
uneasiness!—Sir Peter—there's nothing in the world so noble
as a man of Sentiment!—
[Stand for some time looking at one another.
SURFACE. Sir Peter—notwithstanding I confess
that appearances are against me. If you will afford me your
Patience I make no doubt but I shall explain everything to
SIR PETER. If you please—Sir—
SURFACE. The Fact is Sir—that Lady Teazle
knowing my Pretensions to your ward Maria—I say Sir Lady
Teazle—being apprehensive of the Jealousy of your Temper—and
knowing my Friendship to the Family. S he Sir—I say call'd
here—in order that I might explain those Pretensions—but on
your coming being apprehensive—as I said of your
Jealousy—she withdrew—and this, you may depend on't is the
whole truth of the Matter.
SIR PETER. A very clear account upon the
[my] word and I dare swear the Lady will vouch for every
article of it.
LADY TEAZLE. For not one word of it Sir
SIR PETER. How[!] don't you think it
worthwhile to agree in the lie.
LADY TEAZLE. There is not one Syllable of
Truth in what that
Gentleman has told you.
SIR PETER. I believe you upon my soul Ma'am—
SURFACE. 'Sdeath, madam, will you betray me!
LADY TEAZLE. Good Mr. Hypocrite by your
leave I will speak for myself—
SIR PETER. Aye let her alone Sir—you'll find
she'll make out a better story than you without Prompting.
LADY TEAZLE. Hear me Sir Peter—I came hither
on no matter relating to your ward and even ignorant of this
Gentleman's pretensions to her—but I came—seduced by his
insidious arguments—and pretended Passion[—]at least to
listen to his dishonourable Love if not to sacrifice your
Honour to his Baseness.
SIR PETER. Now, I believe, the Truth is
SURFACE. The Woman's mad—
LADY TEAZLE. No Sir—she has recovered her
Senses. Your own Arts have furnished her with the means. Sir
Peter—I do not expect you to credit me—but the Tenderness
you express'd for me, when I am sure you could not think I
was a witness to it, has penetrated so to my Heart that had
I left the Place without the Shame of this discovery— my
future life should have spoken the sincerity of my
Gratitude— as for that smooth-tongued Hypocrite—who would
have seduced the wife of his too credulous Friend while he
pretended honourable addresses to his ward—I behold him now
in a light so truly despicable that I shall never again
Respect myself for having Listened to him. [Exit.]
SURFACE. Notwithstanding all this Sir
SIR PETER. That you are a Villain!—and so I
leave you to your conscience—
SURFACE. You are too Rash Sir Peter—you
SHALL hear me—The man who shuts out conviction by refusing
to—— [Exeunt, SURFACE following and speaking.]
END OF THE FOURTH
Thompson print from the "School for Scandal"
Enter SURFACE and SERVANT
SURFACE. Mr. Stanley! and why should you
think I would see him?— you must know he came to ask
SERVANT. Sir—I shouldn't have let him in but
that Mr. Rowley came to the Door with him.
SURFACE. Pshaw!—Blockhead to suppose that I
should now be in a Temper to receive visits from poor
Relations!—well why don't you show the Fellow up?
SERVANT. I will—Sir—Why, Sir—it was not my
Fault that Sir Peter discover'd my Lady——
SURFACE. Go, fool!— [Exit SERVANT.] Sure
Fortune never play'd a man of my policy such a Trick before—
my character with Sir Peter!—my Hopes with Maria!—destroy'd
in a moment!—I'm in a rare Humour to listen to other
People's Distresses!—I shan't be able to bestow even a
benevolent sentiment on Stanley—So! here—He comes and Rowley
with him—I MUST try to recover myself, and put a little
Charity into my Face however.—— [Exit.]
Enter SIR OLIVER and ROWLEY
SIR OLIVER. What! does He avoid us? that was
He—was it not?
ROWLEY. It was Sir—but I doubt you are come
a little too abruptly— his Nerves are so weak that the sight
of a poor Relation may be too much for him—I should have
gone first to break you to him.
SIR OLIVER. A Plague of his Nerves—yet this
is He whom Sir Peter extolls as a Man of the most Benevolent
way of thinking!—
ROWLEY. As to his way of thinking—I can't
pretend to decide[,] for, to do him justice He appears to
have as much speculative Benevolence as any private
Gentleman in the Kingdom—though he is seldom so sensual as
to indulge himself in the exercise of it——
SIR OLIVER. Yet [he] has a string of
charitable Sentiments I suppose at his Fingers' ends!—
ROWLEY. Or, rather at his Tongue's end Sir
Oliver; for I believe there is no sentiment he has more
faith in than that 'Charity begins at Home.'
SIR OLIVER. And his I presume is of that
domestic sort which never stirs abroad at all.
ROWLEY. I doubt you'll find it so—but He's
coming—I mustn't seem to interrupt you—and you know
immediately—as you leave him—I come in to announce—your
arrival in your real Character.
SIR OLIVER. True—and afterwards you'll meet
me at Sir Peter's——
ROWLEY. Without losing a moment.
SIR OLIVER. So—I see he has premeditated a
Denial by the
Complaisance of his Features.
SURFACE. Sir—I beg you ten thousand Pardons
for keeping— you a moment waiting—Mr. Stanley—I presume——
SIR OLIVER. At your Service.
SURFACE. Sir—I beg you will do me the honour
to sit down—
I entreat you Sir.
SIR OLIVER. Dear Sir there's no occasion—too
civil by half!
SURFACE. I have not the Pleasure of knowing
you, Mr. Stanley— but I am extremely happy to see you look
so well—you were nearly related to my mother—I think Mr.
SIR OLIVER. I was Sir—so nearly that my
present Poverty I fear may do discredit to her Wealthy
Children—else I should not have presumed to trouble you.—
SURFACE. Dear Sir—there needs no apology—He
that is in Distress tho' a stranger has a right to claim
kindred with the wealthy— I am sure I wish I was of that
class, and had it in my power to offer you even a small
SIR OLIVER. If your Unkle, Sir Oliver were
here—I should have a Friend——
SURFACE. I wish He was Sir, with all my
Heart—you should not want an advocate with him—believe me
SIR OLIVER. I should not need one—my
Distresses would recommend me.—but I imagined—his Bounty had
enabled you to become the agent of his Charity.
SURFACE. My dear Sir—you are strangely
misinformed—Sir Oliver is a worthy Man, a worthy man—a very
worthy sort of Man—but avarice Mr. Stanley is the vice of
age—I will tell you my good Sir in confidence:—what he has
done for me has been a mere—nothing[;] tho' People I know
have thought otherwise and for my Part I never chose to
contradict the Report.
SIR OLIVER. What!—has he never
SURFACE. O Dear Sir—Nothing of the
kind—no—no—a few Presents now and then—china, shawls, congo
Tea, Avadavats—and indian Crackers—little more, believe me.
SIR OLIVER. Here's Gratitude for twelve
Avadavats and indian Crackers.
SURFACE. Then my dear—Sir—you have heard, I
doubt not, of the extravagance of my Brother—Sir—there are
very few would credit what I have done for that unfortunate
SIR OLIVER. Not I for one!
SURFACE. The sums I have lent him! indeed—I
have been exceedingly to blame—it was an amiable weakness!
however I don't pretend to defend it—and now I feel it
doubly culpable—since it has deprived me of the power of
serving YOU Mr. Stanley as my Heart directs——
SIR OLIVER. Dissembler! Then Sir—you cannot
SURFACE. At Present it grieves me to say I
I have the ability, you may depend upon hearing from me.
SIR OLIVER. I am extremely sorry——
SURFACE. Not more than I am believe me—to
pity without the Power to relieve is still more painful than
to ask and be denied——
SIR OLIVER. Kind Sir—your most obedient
SURFACE. You leave me deeply affected Mr.
Stanley—William— be ready to open the door——
SIR OLIVER. O, Dear Sir, no ceremony——
SURFACE. Your very obedient——
SIR OLIVER. Your most obsequious——
SURFACE. You may depend on hearing from me
whenever I can be of service——
SIR OLIVER. Sweet Sir—you are too good——
SURFACE. In the mean time I wish you Health
SIR OLIVER. Your ever grateful and perpetual
SURFACE. Sir—yours as sincerely——
SIR OLIVER. Charles!—you are my Heir.
SURFACE, solus Soh!—This is one bad effect
of a good Character—it invites applications from the
unfortunate and there needs no small degree of address to
gain the reputation of Benevolence without incurring the
expence.—The silver ore of pure Charity is an expensive
article in the catalogue of a man's good Qualities—whereas
the sentimental French Plate I use instead of it makes just
as good a shew—and pays no tax.
ROWLEY. Mr. Surface—your Servant: I was
apprehensive of interrupting you, tho' my Business demands
immediate attention— as this Note will inform you——
SURFACE. Always Happy to see Mr.
My Unkle arrived!
ROWLEY. He is indeed—we have just
parted—quite well—after a speedy voyage—and impatient to
embrace his worthy Nephew.
SURFACE. I am astonished!—William[!] stop
Mr. Stanley, if He's not gone——
ROWLEY. O—He's out of reach—I believe.
SURFACE. Why didn't you let me know this
when you came in together.—
ROWLEY. I thought you had
particular—Business—but must be gone to inform your Brother,
and appoint him here to meet his Uncle. He will be with you
in a quarter of an hour——
SURFACE. So he says. Well—I am strangely
overjoy'd at his coming— never to be sure was anything so
ROWLEY. You will be delighted to see how
well He looks.
SURFACE. O—I'm rejoiced to hear it—just at
ROWLEY. I'll tell him how impatiently you
SURFACE. Do—do—pray—give my best duty and
I cannot express the sensations I feel at the thought of
him!—certainly his coming just at this Time is the cruellest
piece of ill Fortune——
Thompson print from the "School for Scandal"
SCENE II.—At SIR
Enter MRS. CANDOUR and SERVANT
SERVANT. Indeed Ma'am, my Lady will see
nobody at Present.
MRS. CANDOUR. Did you tell her it was her
Friend Mrs. Candour——
SERVANT. Yes Ma'am but she begs you will
MRS. CANDOUR. Do go again—I shall be glad to
see her if it be only for a moment—for I am sure she must be
in great Distress [exit MAID] —Dear Heart—how provoking!—I'm
not mistress of half the circumstances!—We shall have the
whole affair in the newspapers with the Names of the Parties
at length before I have dropt the story at a dozen houses.
Enter SIR BENJAMIN
Sir Benjamin you have heard, I suppose——
SIR BENJAMIN. Of Lady Teazle and Mr.
MRS. CANDOUR. And Sir Peter's Discovery——
SIR BENJAMIN. O the strangest Piece of
Business to be sure——
MRS. CANDOUR. Well I never was so surprised
in my life!—I am so sorry for all Parties—indeed,
SIR BENJAMIN. Now I don't Pity Sir Peter at
all—he was so extravagant—partial to Mr. Surface——
MRS. CANDOUR. Mr. Surface!—why 'twas with
Charles Lady Teazle was detected.
SIR BENJAMIN. No such thing Mr. Surface is
MRS. CANDOUR. No—no—Charles is the man—'twas
Mr. Surface brought
Sir Peter on purpose to discover them——
SIR BENJAMIN. I tell you I have it from
MRS. CANDOUR. And I have it from one——
SIR BENJAMIN. Who had it from one who had
MRS. CANDOUR. From one immediately—but here
comes Lady Sneerwell— perhaps she knows the whole affair.
Enter LADY SNEERWELL
LADY SNEERWELL. So—my dear Mrs. Candour
Here's a sad affair of our Friend Teazle——
MRS. CANDOUR. Aye my dear Friend, who could
have thought it.
LADY SNEERWELL. Well there is no trusting to
appearances[;] tho'— indeed she was always too lively for
MRS. CANDOUR. To be sure, her manners were a
little too—free— but she was very young——
LADY SNEERWELL. And had indeed some good
MRS. CANDOUR. So she had indeed—but have you
heard the Particulars?
LADY SNEERWELL. No—but everybody says that
SIR BENJAMIN. Aye there I told you—Mr.
Surface was the Man.
MRS. CANDOUR. No—no—indeed the assignation
was with Charles——
LADY SNEERWELL. With Charles!—You alarm me
MRS. CANDOUR. Yes—yes He was the Lover—Mr.
Surface—do him justice—was only the Informer.
SIR BENJAMIN. Well I'll not dispute with you
Mrs. Candour— but be it which it may—I hope that Sir Peter's
wound will not——
MRS. CANDOUR. Sir Peter's wound! O mercy! I
didn't hear a word of their Fighting——
LADY SNEERWELL. Nor I a syllable!
SIR BENJAMIN. No—what no mention of the
MRS. CANDOUR. Not a word—
SIR BENJAMIN. O, Lord—yes—yes—they fought
before they left the Room.
LADY SNEERWELL. Pray let us hear.
MRS. CANDOUR. Aye—do oblige—us with the
SIR BENJAMIN. 'Sir'—says Sir
Peter—immediately after the Discovery, 'you are a most
MRS. CANDOUR. Aye to Charles——
SIR BENJAMIN. No, no—to Mr. Surface—'a most
ungrateful Fellow; and old as I am, Sir,' says He, 'I insist
on immediate satisfaction.'
MRS. CANDOUR. Aye that must have been to
Charles for 'tis very unlikely Mr. Surface should go to
fight in his own House.
SIR BENJAMIN. Gad's Life, Ma'am, not at
all—giving me immediate satisfaction—on this, Madam—Lady
Teazle seeing Sir Peter in such Danger—ran out of the Room
in strong Hysterics—and Charles after her calling out for
Hartshorn and Water! Then Madam—they began to fight with
CRABTREE. With Pistols—Nephew—I have it from
MRS. CANDOUR. Oh, Mr. Crabtree then it is
CRABTREE. Too true indeed Ma'am, and Sir
Peter Dangerously wounded——
SIR BENJAMIN. By a thrust in second—quite
thro' his left side
CRABTREE. By a Bullet lodged in the Thorax——
MRS. CANDOUR. Mercy—on me[!] Poor Sir
CRABTREE. Yes, ma'am tho' Charles would have
avoided the matter if he could——
MRS. CANDOUR. I knew Charles was the
SIR BENJAMIN. O my Unkle I see knows nothing
of the matter——
CRABTREE. But Sir Peter tax'd him with the
SIR BENJAMIN. That I told you, you know——
CRABTREE. Do Nephew let me speak—and
insisted on immediate——
SIR BENJAMIN. Just as I said——
CRABTREE. Odds life! Nephew allow others to
know something too— A Pair of Pistols lay on the Bureau—for
Mr. Surface—it seems, had come home the Night before late
from Salt-Hill where He had been to see the Montem with a
Friend, who has a Son at Eton—so unluckily the Pistols were
SIR BENJAMIN. I heard nothing of this——
CRABTREE. Sir Peter forced Charles to take
one and they fired— it seems pretty nearly
together—Charles's shot took Place as I tell you—and Sir
Peter's miss'd—but what is very extraordinary the Ball
struck against a little Bronze Pliny that stood over the
Fire Place— grazed out of the window at a right angle—and
wounded the Postman, who was just coming to the Door with a
double letter from Northamptonshire.
SIR BENJAMIN. My Unkle's account is more
circumstantial I must confess—but I believe mine is the true
one for all that.
LADY SNEERWELL. I am more interested in this
Affair than they imagine—and must have better information.—
SIR BENJAMIN. Ah! Lady Sneerwell's alarm is
very easily accounted for.—
CRABTREE. Yes yes, they certainly DO say—but
that's neither here nor there.
MRS. CANDOUR. But pray where is Sir Peter at
CRABTREE. Oh! they—brought him home and He
is now in the House, tho' the Servants are order'd to deny
MRS. CANDOUR. I believe so—and Lady Teazle—I
suppose attending him——
CRABTREE. Yes yes—and I saw one of the
Faculty enter just before me——
SIR BENJAMIN. Hey—who comes here——
CRABTREE. Oh, this is He—the Physician
MRS. CANDOUR. O certainly it must be the
Physician and now we shall know——
Enter SIR OLIVER
CRABTREE. Well, Doctor—what Hopes?
MRS. CANDOUR. Aye Doctor how's your Patient?
SIR BENJAMIN. Now Doctor isn't it a wound
with a small sword——
CRABTREE. A bullet lodged in the Thorax—for
SIR OLIVER. Doctor!—a wound with a small
sword! and a Bullet in the Thorax!—oon's are you mad, good
SIR BENJAMIN. Perhaps, Sir, you are not a
SIR OLIVER. Truly Sir I am to thank you for
my degree If I am.
CRABTREE. Only a Friend of Sir Peter's then
I presume—but, sir, you must have heard of this accident—
SIR OLIVER. Not a word!
CRABTREE. Not of his being dangerously
SIR OLIVER. The Devil he is!
SIR BENJAMIN. Run thro' the Body——
CRABTREE. Shot in the breast——
SIR BENJAMIN. By one Mr. Surface——
CRABTREE. Aye the younger.
SIR OLIVER. Hey! what the plague! you seem
to differ strangely in your accounts—however you agree that
Sir Peter is dangerously wounded.
SIR BENJAMIN. Oh yes, we agree in that.
CRABTREE. Yes, yes, I believe there can be
no doubt in that.
SIR OLIVER. Then, upon my word, for a person
in that Situation, he is the most imprudent man alive—For
here he comes walking as if nothing at all was the matter.
Enter SIR PETER
Odd's heart, sir Peter! you are come in good
time I promise you, for we had just given you over!
SIR BENJAMIN. 'Egad, Uncle this is the most
SIR OLIVER. Why, man, what do you do out of
Bed with a Small Sword through your Body, and a Bullet
lodg'd in your Thorax?
SIR PETER. A Small Sword and a Bullet—
SIR OLIVER. Aye these Gentlemen would have
kill'd you without Law or Physic, and wanted to dub me a
Doctor to make me an accomplice.
SIR PETER. Why! what is all this?
SIR BENJAMIN. We rejoice, Sir Peter, that
the Story of the Duel is not true—and are sincerely sorry
for your other Misfortune.
SIR PETER. So—so—all over the Town already!
CRABTREE. Tho', Sir Peter, you were
certainly vastly to blame to marry at all at your years.
SIR PETER. Sir, what Business is that of
MRS. CANDOUR. Tho' Indeed, as Sir Peter made
so good a Husband, he's very much to be pitied.
SIR PETER. Plague on your pity, Ma'am, I
desire none of it.
SIR BENJAMIN. However Sir Peter, you must
not mind the Laughing and jests you will meet with on the
SIR PETER. Sir, I desire to be master in my
CRABTREE. 'Tis no Uncommon Case, that's one
SIR PETER. I insist on being left to myself,
I insist on your leaving my house directly!
MRS. CANDOUR. Well, well, we are going and
depend on't, we'll make the best report of you we can.
SIR PETER. Leave my house!
CRABTREE. And tell how hardly you have been
SIR PETER. Leave my House—
SIR BENJAMIN. And how patiently you bear it.
SIR PETER. Friends! Vipers! Furies! Oh that
their own Venom would choke them!
SIR OLIVER. They are very provoking indeed,
ROWLEY. I heard high words: what has ruffled
you Sir Peter—
SIR PETER. Pshaw what signifies asking—do I
ever pass a Day without my Vexations?
SIR OLIVER. Well I'm not Inquisitive—I come
only to tell you, that I have seen both my Nephews in the
manner we proposed.
SIR PETER. A Precious Couple they are!
ROWLEY. Yes and Sir Oliver—is convinced that
your judgment was right
SIR OLIVER. Yes I find Joseph is Indeed the
Man after all.
ROWLEY. Aye as Sir Peter says, He's a man of
SIR OLIVER. And acts up to the Sentiments he
ROWLEY. It certainly is Edification to hear
SIR OLIVER. Oh, He's a model for the young
men of the age!
But how's this, Sir Peter? you don't Join us in your Friend
Joseph's Praise as I expected.
SIR PETER. Sir Oliver, we live in a damned
wicked world, and the fewer we praise the better.
ROWLEY. What do YOU say so, Sir Peter—who
were never mistaken in your Life?
SIR PETER. Pshaw—Plague on you both—I see by
your sneering you have heard—the whole affair—I shall go mad
ROWLEY. Then to fret you no longer Sir
Peter—we are indeed acquainted with it all—I met Lady Teazle
coming from Mr. Surface's so humbled, that she deigned to
request ME to be her advocate with you—
SIR PETER. And does Sir Oliver know all too?
SIR OLIVER. Every circumstance!
SIR PETER. What of the closet and the
SIR OLIVER. Yes yes—and the little French
I have been vastly diverted with the story! ha! ha! ha!
SIR PETER. 'Twas very pleasant!
SIR OLIVER. I never laugh'd more in my life,
I assure you: ha! ha!
SIR PETER. O vastly diverting! ha! ha!
ROWLEY. To be sure Joseph with his
Sentiments! ha! ha!
SIR PETER. Yes his sentiments! ha! ha! a
SIR OLIVER. Aye and that Rogue Charles—to
pull Sir Peter out of the closet: ha! ha!
SIR PETER. Ha! ha! 'twas devilish
entertaining to be sure—
SIR OLIVER. Ha! ha! Egad, Sir Peter I should
like to have seen your Face when the screen was thrown
SIR PETER. Yes, my face when the Screen was
thrown down: ha! ha! ha!
O I must never show my head again!
SIR OLIVER. But come—come it isn't fair to
laugh at you neither my old Friend—tho' upon my soul I can't
SIR PETER. O pray don't restrain your mirth
on my account: it does not hurt me at all—I laugh at the
whole affair myself—Yes—yes— I think being a standing Jest
for all one's acquaintance a very happy situation—O yes—and
then of a morning to read the Paragraphs about Mr. S——, Lady
T——, and Sir P——, will be so entertaining!— I shall
certainly leave town tomorrow and never look mankind in the
ROWLEY. Without affectation Sir Peter, you
may despise the ridicule of Fools—but I see Lady Teazle
going towards the next Room—I am sure you must desire a
Reconciliation as earnestly as she does.
SIR OLIVER. Perhaps MY being here prevents
her coming to you— well I'll leave honest Rowley to mediate
between you; but he must bring you all presently to Mr.
Surface's—where I am now returning— if not to reclaim a
Libertine, at least to expose Hypocrisy.
SIR PETER. Ah! I'll be present at your
discovering yourself there with all my heart; though 'tis a
vile unlucky Place for discoveries.
SIR OLIVER. However it is very convenient to
the carrying on of my Plot that you all live so near one
another! [Exit SIR OLIVER.]
ROWLEY. We'll follow—
SIR PETER. She is not coming here you see,
ROWLEY. No but she has left the Door of that
Room open you perceive.—see she is in Tears—!
SIR PETER. She seems indeed to wish I should
go to her.—how dejected she appears—
ROWLEY. And will you refrain from comforting
SIR PETER. Certainly a little mortification
appears very becoming in a wife—don't you think it will do
her good to let her Pine a little.
ROWLEY. O this is ungenerous in you—
SIR PETER. Well I know not what to think—you
remember Rowley the Letter I found of her's—evidently
intended for Charles?
ROWLEY. A mere forgery, Sir Peter—laid in
your way on Purpose— this is one of the Points which I
intend Snake shall give you conviction on—
SIR PETER. I wish I were once satisfied of
that—She looks this way——what a remarkably elegant Turn of
the Head she has! Rowley I'll go to her—
SIR PETER. Tho' when it is known that we are
reconciled, People will laugh at me ten times more!
ROWLEY. Let—them laugh—and retort their
malice only by showing them you are happy in spite of it.
SIR PETER. Efaith so I will—and, if I'm not
mistaken we may yet be the happiest couple in the country—
ROWLEY. Nay Sir Peter—He who once lays aside
SIR PETER. Hold Master Rowley—if you have
any Regard for me— never let me hear you utter anything like
a Sentiment. I have had enough of THEM to serve me the rest
of my Life. [Exeunt.]
SCENE THE LAST.—The
SURFACE and LADY SNEERWELL
LADY SNEERWELL. Impossible! will not Sir
Peter immediately be reconciled to CHARLES? and of
consequence no longer oppose his union with MARIA? the
thought is Distraction to me!
SURFACE. Can Passion—furnish a Remedy?
LADY SNEERWELL. No—nor cunning either. O I
was a Fool, an Ideot— to league with such a Blunderer!
SURFACE. Surely Lady Sneerwell I am the
greatest Sufferer—yet you see I bear the accident with
LADY SNEERWELL. Because the Disappointment
hasn't reached your HEART—your interest only attached you to
Maria—had you felt for her—what I have for that ungrateful
Libertine—neither your Temper nor Hypocrisy could prevent
your showing the sharpness of your Vexation.
SURFACE. But why should your Reproaches fall
on me for this
LADY SNEERWELL. Are not you the cause of it?
what had you to bate in your Pursuit of Maria to pervert
Lady Teazle by the way.—had you not a sufficient field for
your Roguery in blinding Sir Peter and supplanting your
Brother—I hate such an avarice of crimes—'tis an unfair
monopoly and never prospers.
SURFACE. Well I admit I have been to blame—I
confess I deviated from the direct Road of wrong but I don't
think we're so totally defeated neither.
LADY SNEERWELL. No!
SURFACE. You tell me you have made a trial
of Snake since we met— and that you still believe him
faithful to us—
LADY SNEERWELL. I do believe so.
SURFACE. And that he has undertaken should
it be necessary—to swear and prove that Charles is at this
Time contracted by vows and Honour to your Ladyship—which
some of his former letters to you will serve to support—
LADY SNEERWELL. This, indeed, might have
SURFACE. Come—come it is not too late
yet—but hark! this is probably my Unkle Sir Oliver—retire to
that Room—we'll consult further when He's gone.—
LADY SNEERWELL. Well but if HE should find
you out to—
SURFACE. O I have no fear of that—Sir Peter
will hold his tongue for his own credit sake—and you may
depend on't I shall soon Discover Sir Oliver's weak side!—
LADY SNEERWELL. I have no diffidence of your
abilities—only be constant to one roguery at a time— [Exit.]
SURFACE. I will—I will—So 'tis confounded
hard after such bad Fortune, to be baited by one's
confederate in evil—well at all events my character is so
much better than Charles's, that I certainly—hey—what!—this
is not Sir Oliver—but old Stanley again!—Plague on't that He
should return to teaze me just now— I shall have Sir Oliver
come and find him here—and——
Enter SIR OLIVER
Gad's life, Mr. Stanley—why have you come
back to plague me at this time? you must not stay now upon
SIR OLIVER. Sir—I hear your Unkle Oliver is
expected here— and tho' He has been so penurious to you,
I'll try what He'll do for me—
SURFACE. Sir! 'tis impossible for you to
stay now—so I must beg——come any other time and I promise
you you shall be assisted.
SIR OLIVER. No—Sir Oliver and I must be
SURFACE. Zounds Sir then [I] insist on your
SIR OLIVER. Nay Sir——
SURFACE. Sir—I insist on't—here William show
this Gentleman out.
Since you compel me Sir—not one moment—this is such
[Going to push him out.]
CHARLES. Heyday! what's the matter now?—what
the Devil have you got hold of my little Broker here!
Zounds—Brother, don't hurt little Premium. What's the
matter—my little Fellow?
SURFACE. So! He has been with you, too, has
CHARLES. To be sure He has! Why, 'tis as
honest a little——
But sure Joseph you have not been borrowing money too have
SURFACE. Borrowing—no!—But, Brother—you know
sure we expect
Sir Oliver every——
CHARLES. O Gad, that's true—Noll mustn't
find the little Broker here to be sure—
SURFACE. Yet Mr. Stanley insists——
CHARLES. Stanley—why his name's Premium—
SURFACE. No no Stanley.
CHARLES. No, no—Premium.
SURFACE. Well no matter which—but——
CHARLES. Aye aye Stanley or Premium, 'tis
the same thing as you say—for I suppose He goes by half a
hundred Names, besides A. B's at the Coffee-House. [Knock.]
SURFACE. 'Sdeath—here's Sir Oliver at the
Door——Now I beg—
CHARLES. Aye aye and I beg Mr. Premium——
SIR OLIVER. Gentlemen——
SURFACE. Sir, by Heaven you shall go—
CHARLES. Aye out with him certainly——
SIR OLIVER. This violence——
SURFACE. 'Tis your own Fault.
CHARLES. Out with him to be sure.
[Both forcing SIR OLIVER out.]
Enter SIR PETER TEAZLE, LADY TEAZLE, MARIA,
SIR PETER. My old Friend, Sir Oliver!—hey!
what in the name of wonder!—Here are dutiful
Nephews!—assault their Unkle at his first Visit!
LADY TEAZLE. Indeed Sir Oliver 'twas well we
came in to rescue you.
ROWLEY. Truly it was—for I perceive Sir
Oliver the character of old Stanley was no Protection to
SIR OLIVER. Nor of Premium either—the
necessities of the former could not extort a shilling from
that benevolent Gentleman; and with the other I stood a
chance of faring worse than my Ancestors, and being knocked
down without being bid for.
SURFACE. 'Tis compleat!
SIR OLIVER. Sir Peter—my Friend and Rowley
too—look on that elder Nephew of mine—You know what He has
already received from my Bounty and you know also how gladly
I would have look'd on half my Fortune as held in trust for
him—judge then my Disappointment in discovering him to be
destitute of Truth—Charity—and Gratitude—
SIR PETER. Sir Oliver—I should be more
surprized at this Declaration, if I had not myself found him
to be selfish— treacherous and Hypocritical.
LADY TEAZLE. And if the Gentleman pleads not
guilty to these pray let him call ME to his Character.
SIR PETER. Then I believe we need add no
more—if He knows himself He will consider it as the most
perfect Punishment that He is known to the world—
CHARLES. If they talk this way to
Honesty—what will they say to ME by and bye!
SIR OLIVER. As for that Prodigal—his Brother
CHARLES. Aye now comes my Turn—the damn'd
Family Pictures will ruin me—
SURFACE. Sir Oliver—Unkle—will you honour me
with a hearing—
CHARLES. I wish Joseph now would make one of
his long speeches and
I might recollect myself a little—
SIR OLIVER. And I suppose you would
undertake to vindicate yourself entirely—
SURFACE. I trust I could—
SIR OLIVER. Nay—if you desert your Roguery
in its Distress and try to be justified—you have even less
principle than I thought you had.—[To CHARLES SURFACE] Well,
Sir—and YOU could JUSTIFY yourself too I suppose—
CHARLES. Not that I know of, Sir Oliver.
SIR OLIVER. What[!] little Premium has been
let too much into the secret I presume.
CHARLES. True—Sir—but they were Family
Secrets, and should not be mentioned again you know.
ROWLEY. Come Sir Oliver I know you cannot
speak of Charles's Follies with anger.
SIR OLIVER. Odd's heart no more I can—nor
with gravity either—
Sir Peter do you know the Rogue bargain'd with me for all
Ancestors—sold me judges and Generals by the Foot, and
as cheap as broken China!
CHARLES. To be sure, Sir Oliver, I did make
a little free with the Family Canvas that's the truth
on't:—my Ancestors may certainly rise in judgment against me
there's no denying it—but believe me sincere when I tell
you, and upon my soul I would not say so if I was not—that
if I do not appear mortified at the exposure of my Follies,
it is because I feel at this moment the warmest satisfaction
in seeing you, my liberal benefactor.
SIR OLIVER. Charles—I believe you—give me
your hand again: the ill-looking little fellow over the
Couch has made your Peace.
CHARLES. Then Sir—my Gratitude to the
original is still encreased.
LADY TEAZLE. [Advancing.] Yet I believe, Sir
Oliver, here is one whom Charles is still more anxious to be
SIR OLIVER. O I have heard of his Attachment
there—and, with the young Lady's Pardon if I construe right
SIR PETER. Well—Child—speak your
sentiments—you know—we are going to be reconciled to
MARIA. Sir—I have little to say—but that I
shall rejoice to hear that He is happy—For me—whatever claim
I had to his Affection— I willing resign to one who has a
CHARLES. How Maria!
SIR PETER. Heyday—what's the mystery now?
while he appeared an incorrigible Rake, you would give your
hand to no one else and now that He's likely to reform I'll
warrant You won't have him!
MARIA. His own Heart—and Lady Sneerwell know
[CHARLES.] Lady Sneerwell!
SURFACE. Brother it is with great concern—I
am obliged to speak on this Point, but my Regard to justice
obliges me— and Lady Sneerwell's injuries can no longer—be
concealed— [Goes to the Door.]
Enter LADY SNEERWELL
SIR PETER. Soh! another French milliner
egad! He has one in every Room in the House I suppose—
LADY SNEERWELL. Ungrateful Charles! Well may
you be surprised and feel for the indelicate situation which
your Perfidy has forced me into.
CHARLES. Pray Unkle, is this another Plot of
yours? for as I have
Life I don't understand it.
SURFACE. I believe Sir there is but the
evidence of one Person more necessary to make it extremely
SIR PETER. And that Person—I imagine, is Mr.
Snake—Rowley—you were perfectly right to bring him with
us—and pray let him appear.
ROWLEY. Walk in, Mr. Snake—
I thought his Testimony might be
wanted—however it happens unluckily that He comes to
confront Lady Sneerwell and not to support her—
LADY SNEERWELL. A Villain!—Treacherous to me
at last! Speak,
Fellow, have you too conspired against me?
SNAKE. I beg your Ladyship—ten thousand
Pardons—you paid me extremely Liberally for the Lie in
question—but I unfortunately have been offer'd double to
speak the Truth.
LADY SNEERWELL. The Torments of Shame and
Disappointment on you all!
LADY TEAZLE. Hold—Lady Sneerwell—before you
go let me thank you for the trouble you and that Gentleman
have taken in writing Letters from me to Charles and
answering them yourself—and let me also request you to make
my Respects to the Scandalous College—of which you are
President—and inform them that Lady Teazle, Licentiate, begs
leave to return the diploma they granted her—as she leaves
of[f] Practice and kills Characters no longer.
LADY SNEERWELL. Provoking—insolent!—may your
Husband live these
SIR PETER. Oons what a Fury——
LADY TEAZLE. A malicious Creature indeed!
SIR PETER. Hey—not for her last wish?—
LADY TEAZLE. O No—
SIR OLIVER. Well Sir, and what have you to
SURFACE. Sir, I am so confounded, to find
that Lady Sneerwell could be guilty of suborning Mr. Snake
in this manner to impose on us all that I know not what to
say——however, lest her Revengeful Spirit should prompt her
to injure my Brother I had certainly better follow her
SIR PETER. Moral to the last drop!
SIR OLIVER. Aye and marry her Joseph if you
can.—Oil and Vinegar egad:—you'll do very well together.
ROWLEY. I believe we have no more occasion
for Mr. Snake at Present—
SNAKE. Before I go—I beg Pardon once for all
for whatever uneasiness
I have been the humble instrument of causing to the Parties
SIR PETER. Well—well you have made atonement
by a good Deed at last—
SNAKE. But I must Request of the Company
that it shall never be known—
SIR PETER. Hey!—what the Plague—are you
ashamed of having done a right thing once in your life?
SNAKE. Ah: Sir—consider I live by the
Badness of my Character!— I have nothing but my Infamy to
depend on!—and, if it were once known that I had been
betray'd into an honest Action, I should lose every Friend I
have in the world.
SIR OLIVER. Well—well we'll not traduce you
by saying anything to your Praise never fear. [Exit SNAKE.]
SIR PETER. There's a precious Rogue—Yet that
fellow is a Writer and a Critic.
LADY TEAZLE. See[,] Sir Oliver[,] there
needs no persuasion now to reconcile your Nephew and Maria—
SIR OLIVER. Aye—aye—that's as it should be
and egad we'll have the wedding to-morrow morning—
CHARLES. Thank you, dear Unkle!
SIR PETER. What! you rogue don't you ask the
Girl's consent first—
CHARLES. Oh, I have done that a long
time—above a minute ago— nd She has look'd yes—
MARIA. For Shame—Charles—I protest Sir
Peter, there has not been a word——
SIR OLIVER. Well then the fewer the
Better—may your love for each other never know—abatement.
SIR PETER. And may you live as happily
together as Lady Teazle and I—intend to do—
CHARLES. Rowley my old Friend—I am sure you
congratulate me and
I suspect too that I owe you much.
SIR OLIVER. You do, indeed, Charles—
ROWLEY. If my Efforts to serve you had not
succeeded you would have been in my debt for the attempt—but
deserve to be happy—and you over-repay me.
SIR PETER. Aye honest Rowley always said you
CHARLES. Why as to reforming Sir Peter I'll
make no promises— and that I take to be a proof that I
intend to set about it— But here shall be my Monitor—my
gentle Guide.—ah! can I leave the Virtuous path those Eyes
Tho' thou, dear Maid, should'st wave
[waive] thy Beauty's Sway,
—Thou still must Rule—because I will obey:
An humbled fugitive from Folly View,
No sanctuary near but Love and YOU:
You can indeed each anxious Fear remove,
For even Scandal dies if you approve. [To the audience.]
BY MR. COLMAN
SPOKEN BY LADY TEAZLE
I, who was late so volatile and gay,
Like a trade-wind must now blow all one way,
Bend all my cares, my studies, and my vows,
To one dull rusty weathercock—my spouse!
So wills our virtuous bard—the motley Bayes
Of crying epilogues and laughing plays!
Old bachelors, who marry smart young wives,
Learn from our play to regulate your lives:
Each bring his dear to town, all faults upon her—
London will prove the very source of honour.
Plunged fairly in, like a cold bath it serves,
When principles relax, to brace the nerves:
Such is my case; and yet I must deplore
That the gay dream of dissipation's o'er.
And say, ye fair! was ever lively wife,
Born with a genius for the highest life,
Like me untimely blasted in her bloom,
Like me condemn'd to such a dismal doom?
Save money—when I just knew how to waste it!
Leave London—just as I began to taste it!
Must I then watch the early crowing cock,
The melancholy ticking of a clock;
In a lone rustic hall for ever pounded,
With dogs, cats, rats, and squalling brats surrounded?
With humble curate can I now retire,
(While good Sir Peter boozes with the squire,)
And at backgammon mortify my soul,
That pants for loo, or flutters at a vole?
Seven's the main! Dear sound that must expire,
Lost at hot cockles round a Christmas fire;
The transient hour of fashion too soon spent,
Farewell the tranquil mind, farewell content!
Farewell the plumed head, the cushion'd tete,
That takes the cushion from its proper seat!
That spirit-stirring drum!—card drums I mean,
Spadille—odd trick—pam—basto—king and queen!
And you, ye knockers, that, with brazen throat,
The welcome visitors' approach denote;
Farewell all quality of high renown,
Pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious town!
Farewell! your revels I partake no more,
And Lady Teazle's occupation's o'er!
All this I told our bard; he smiled, and said 'twas clear,
I ought to play deep tragedy next year.
Meanwhile he drew wise morals from his play,
And in these solemn periods stalk'd away:—-
"Bless'd were the fair like you; her faults who stopp'd,
And closed her follies when the curtain dropp'd!
No more in vice or error to engage,
Or play the fool at large on life's great stage."