British Dramatists from Dryden to Sheridan

By George Henry Nettleton; Arthur Eillicot Case | Go to book overview
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MOS. No, 'twouldn't do.

TRIP. A small sum -- but twenty pounds. Hark'ee, Moses, do you think you couldn't get it my by way of annuity?

SIR OLIV. [aside]. An annuity! ha! ha! ha! a 50
footman raise money by way of annuity! Well done, luxury, egad1

MOS. But you must insure your place.

TRIP. Oh, with all must insure your place.

TRIP. Oh, with all my heart! I'll insure my place,

and my life too, if you please. 55

SIR OLIV. [aside]. It's more than I would your neck.

TRIP. But then, Moses, it must be done before this d--d register1 takes place -- one wouldn't like to have one's name made public, you know.

MOS. No, certainly. But is there nothing 60
you could deposit?

TRIP. Why, nothing capital of my master's wardrobe has dropped lately; but I could give you a mortgage on some of his winter clothes, with

equity of redemption before November -- or you 65
shall have the reversion of the French velvet, or a post-obit2 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?

MOS. Well, well. (Bell rings.)*70

TRIP. Gad, I heard the bell! I believe, gentlemen, I can now introduce you. Don't forget the annuity, little Moses! This way, gentleman, insure my place, you know.

SIR OLIV. [aside]. If the man be a shadow of 75
his master, this is the temple of dissipation indeed1



at a table with wine, &c.

CHAS. SURF. 'Fore heaven, 'tis true! -- there's the great degeneracy of the age. Many of our acquaintance have taste, spirit and politeness; but, plaque on't, they won't drink.

CARE. It is so, indeed, Charles! they give in 5
to all the substantial luxuries of the table, and abstain from nothing but wine and wit.

CHAS. SURF. 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 10
Burgundy, their conversation is become just like the Spa-water they drink, which has all the pertness and flatulence of champagne, without its spirit or flavor.

1 GENT. But what are they to do who love play

better than wine? 15

CARE. True! there's Harry diets himself for gaming, and is now under a hazard regimen.3

CHAS. SURF. 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 20
am now never so successful as when I am a little merry -- let me throw on a bottle of champagne, and I never lose -- at least I never fell my losses, which is exactly the same thing.

2 GENT. Aye, that I believe. 25

CHAS. SURF. And, the, what man can pretend to be a believer in love, who is an abjurer of wine? 'Tis the test by which the lover knows his own heart. Fill a dozen bumpers to a dozen beauties, and she that

floats at top is the maid that has bewitched you. 30

CARE. Now then, Charles, be honest, and give us your real favorite.

CHAS. SURF. Why, I have withheld her only in compassion to you. If I toast her, you must give a

round of her peers -- which is impossible -- on 35

CARE. Oh, then we'll find some canonised vestals or heathen goddesses that will do, I warrant!

CHAS. SURF. Here then, bumpers, you rogues! bumpers! Maria! Maria -- (Drink.)*


1 GENT. Maria who?

CHAS. SURF. O, damn the surname! -- 'tis too formal to be registered in Love's calendar -- but now, Sir Toby Bumper, beware -- we must have

beauty superlative. 45

CARE. Nay, never study, Sir Toby: we'll stand to the toast, though your mistress should want an eye -- and you know you have a song will excuse you.

SIR TOBY. Egad, so I have! and I'll give him the

song instead of the lady. [Sings.] 50


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 -- 55
Drink to the lass --

I'll warrant she'll prove an excuse for the glass.

70] Sheridan adds s.d.
SCENE III. 8-13] This speech, in Sheridan's early (Rae) text a continuation of Careless's speech (ll. 5-7) was definitely transferred in C to Charles Surface. M, nevertheless, assigns it to Careless.
16] M Sir Harry for Harry, evidently in anticipation of M's later textual changes (ll. 44, 46, 49 ff.) whereby Sir Toby Bumper is transformed into Sir Harry Bumper.
40] Sheridan adds s.d.
41] M transfers this speech to Sir Harry B [umper].
49-50] M allocates this speech to Sir Harry B[umper], and has Harry for Toby in lines 44 and 46. CSD unite in calling the character Sir Toby (not Harry) Bumper.
Another reference to the Annuity Bill of 1777, proposed on April 29, and passed in May. It provided 'for registering the Grants of Life Annuities.' (See N, p. 293.)
Future claim.
'Keeps in strict training for gambling.'


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