British Dramatists from Dryden to Sheridan

By George Henry Nettleton; Arthur Eillicot Case | Go to book overview
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Row. And Sir Peter shall own for once he has been mistaken.

SIR PET. Oh, my life on Joseph's honor!

SIR OLIV. Well, come, give us a bottle of 90
good wine, and we'll drink the lad's health, and tell you our scheme.

SIR PET. Allons, then!

SIR OLIV. And don't, Sir Peter, be so severe against

your old friend's son. Odds my life! I am not 95
sorry that he has run out of the course a little; for my part, I hate to see prudence clinging to the green succors of youth; 'tis like ivy round a sapling, and spoils the growth of the tree. Exeunt.

End of Act the Second.


ACT III

SCENE I

SIR PETER'S.


SIR PETER TEAZLE, SIR OLIVER SURFACE, and
ROWLEY.

SIR PET. Well, then -- we will see this fellow first, and have our wine afterwards. But how is this, Master Rowley? I don't see the jet1 of your scheme.

ROW. Why, sir, this Mr. Stanley, whom I was

speaking of, is nearly related to them, by their 5
mother; he was once a merchant in Dublin, but has been ruined by a series of undeserved misfortunes. He has applied, by letter, since his confinement, both to Mr. Surface and Charles -- from the former he has
received nothing but evasive promises of future 10
service, while Charles has done all that his extravagance has left him power to do; and he is, at this time, endeavoring 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 Stanley. 15

SIR OLIV. Ah! he is my brother's son.

SIR PET. Well, but how is Sir Oliver personally to -----

ROW. Why, sir, I will inform Charles and his

brother that Stanley has obtained permission to 20
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 disposi
tions; and believe me, sir, you will find in the 25
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 day, for melting charity.'230

SIR PET. Psha! What signifies his having an open hand or purse either, when he has nothing left to give? Well, well, make the trial, if you please; but where is the fellow whom you brought for Sir Oliver to ex

amine, relative to Charles' s affairs? 35

ROW. 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 extravagance. 40

SIR PET. Pray let us have him in.

ROW. Desire Mr. Moses to walk upstairs.

SIR PET. But why should you suppose he will speak the truth?

ROW. Oh, I have convinced him that he has 45
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 [own] interest. I have also another evi
dence in my power, one Snake, whom I have de- 50
tected in a matter little short of forgery, and shall shortly produce to remove some of your prejudices, Sir Peter, relative to Charles and Lady Teazle.

SIR PET. I have heard too much on that subject.

ROW. Here comes the honest Israelite. 55


Enter MOSES.

-- This is Sir Oliver.

SIR OLIV. Sir, I understand you have lately had great dealings with my nephew Charles.

MOS. Yes, Sir Oliver -- I have done all I could for

him, but he was ruined before he came to me for 60
assistance.

SIR OLIV. That was unlucky, truly -- for you have had no opportunity of showing your talents.

MOS. None at all -- I hadn't the pleasure of know

ing his distresses -- till he was some thousands 65
worse than nothing.

SIR OLIV. Unfortunate, indeed! But I suppose you have done all in your power for him, honest Moses?

MOS. Yes, he knows that. This very evening 70
I was to have brought him a gentleman from the city, who doesn't know him, and will, I believe, advance him some money.

____________________
91] CS the Lad's health; D your Lady's good health; M the lads' health; R your lady's health.
98]CSM succours; Rae text juices; R suckers.
14]Sheridan corrects all his distresses (C) to his own distresses. S follows the corrected reading.
30] C read originally the day (as in Rae), but the is crossed out in correction. S follows the correction.
43] In C the word (? Pray) before why is heavily blotted out, presumably by Sheridan, to avoid repetition of pray in line 41.
49] D his own interest. In C the word (? own) before interest is heavily blotted out (? by Sheridan). S follows the corrected text of C, reading his interest.
1
Point, gist.
2
From Henry IV, Part II, IV. iv. 31-32. (Quoted correctly, but not transcribed as verse.)

-861-

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