THE SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL
RICHARD BRINSLEY SHERIDAN
[LADY SNEERWELL'S house.]
LADY SNEERWELL at the dressing-table --
SNAKE drinking chocolate.
LADY SNEER. The paragraphs, you say, Mr. Snake,
were all inserted?
SNAKE. They were, madam, and as I copied them
myself in a feigned hand, there can be no suspicion
LADY SNEER. Did you circulate the reports of
Lady Brittle's intrigue with Captain Boastall?
SNAKE. That is in as fine a train as your ladyship
could wish, -- in the common course of things, I
four-and-twenty hours; and then, you know, the
business is as good as done.
|think it must reach Mrs. Clackit's ears within ||10|
LADY SNEER. Why, truly, Mrs. Clackit has a very
pretty talent, and a great deal of industry.
successful in her day: -- to my knowledge, she has
been the cause of six matches being broken off, and
three sons being disinherited, of four forced elopemerits, as many dose confinements, nine separate
|SNAKE. True, madam, and has been tolerably ||15|
more than once traced her causing a "Tête-à-Tête" in the Town and Country Magazine, when the parties perhaps had never seen each other's faces before in the
course of their lives.
|maintenances, and two divorces; -- nay, I have ||20|
her manner is gross.
|LADY SNEER. She certainly has talents, but ||25|
SNAKE. 'Tis very true, -- she generally designs
well, has a free tongue, and a bold invention; but her
coloring is too dark, and her outline often extrava
lowness of sneer, which distinguish your ladyship's
|gant. She wants that delicacy of hint, and mel||30|
LADY SNEER. Ah! you are partial, Snake.
SNAKE. Not in the least; everybody allows that
than many can with the most labored detail, even
when they happen to have a little truth on their side
to support it.
|Lady Sneerwell can do more with a word or a look||35|
LADY SNEER. Yes, my dear Snake; and I am no
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
|hypocrite to deny the satisfaction I reap from the ||40|
SNAKE. Nothing can be more natural. But, Lady
Sneerwell, there is one affair in which you have lately
employed me, wherein, I confess, I am at a loss to
guess your motives.
LADY SNEER. I conceive you mean with re 50
spect to my neighbor, Sir Peter Teazle, and his
SNAKE. I do; here are two young men, to whom
Sir Peter has acted as a kind of guardian since their
amiable character, and universally well spoken of;
the youngest, the most dissipated and extravagant
young fellow in the kingdom, without friends or character, -- the former an avowed admirer of your lady
|father's death; the elder possessing the most ||55|
tached 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,
the widow of a city knight, with a good jointure,
|ship, and apparently your favorite; the latter at ||60|
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 Maria.
|should not dose with the passion of a man of ||65|
mystery, I must inform you that love has no share
whatever in the intercourse between Mr. Surface
|LADY SNEER. Then, at once to unravel this ||70|
|LADY SNEER. His real attachment is to Maria, ||75|
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: British Dramatists from Dryden to Sheridan.
Contributors: George Henry Nettleton - Editor, Arthur Eillicot Case - Editor.
Publisher: Boston ; Houghton Mifflin company,..
Place of publication: Boston; New York.
Publication year: 1939.
Page number: 849.
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