British Dramatists from Dryden to Sheridan

By George Henry Nettleton; Arthur Eillicot Case | Go to book overview

prehensive of interrupting you -- though my business demands immediate attention -- as this note will inform you.

JOS. SURF. Always happy to see Mr. Rowley. --

(Reads.)* How! 'Oliver -- Surface!' -- My 145
uncle arrived!

ROW. He is, indeed -- we have just parted -- quite well, after a speedy voyage, and impatient to embrace his worthy nephew.

JOS. SURF. I am astonished! -- William! 150
stop Mr. Stanley, if he's not gone.

ROW. Oh! he's out of reach, I believe.

JOS. SURF. Why didn't you let me know this when you came in together?

ROW. I thought you had particular business. 155
But I 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.

JOS. SURF. So he says. Well, I am strangely over

joyed at his coming. -- (Aside.) Never, to be 160
sure, was anything so damned unlucky!

ROW. You will be delighted to see how well he looks.

JOS. SURF. Oh! I'm rejoiced to hear it. -- (Aside.)

Just at this time! 165

ROW. I'll tell him how impatiently you expect him.

JOS. SURF. Do, do; pray give my best duty and affection. Indeed, I cannot express the sensations

I feel at the thought of seeing him. -- [Exit170
ROWLEY.] Certainly his coming just at this time is the cruellest piece of ill fortune. Exit.


SCENE II

At SIR PETER'S.

Enter MRS. CANDOURand Maid.

MAID. Indeed, ma'am, my lady will see nobody at present.

MRS. CAN. Did you tell her it was her friend Mrs. Candour?

MAID. Yes, madam; but she begs you will 5
excuse her.

MRS. CAN. 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 10 of half the circumstances! We shall have the whole affair in the newspapers, with the names of the parties at length, before I have dropped the story at a dozen houses.

Enter SIR BENJAMIN BACKBITE.

O dear Sir Benjamin! you have heard, I sup­ 15
pose -----

SIR BEN. Of Lady Teazle and Mr. Surface -----

MRS. CAN. And Sir Peter's discovery -----

SIR BEN. Oh, the strangest piece of business, to be

sure! 20

MRS. CAN. Well, I never was so surprised in my life. I am so sorry for all parties, indeed I am.

SIR BEN. Now, I don't pity Sir Peter at all -- he was so extravagantly partial to Mr. Surface.

MRS. CAN. Mr. Surface! Why, 'twas with 25
Charles Lady Teazle was detected.

SIR BEN. No such thing -- Mr. Surface is the gallant.

MRS. CAN. No, no -- Charles is the man. 'Twas

Mr. Surface brought Sir Peter on purpose to dis­ 30
cover them,

SIR BEN. I tell you I have it from one -----

MRS. CAN. And I have it from one -----

SIR BEN. Who had it from one, who had it -----

MRS. CAN. From one immediately ----- But 35
here's Lady Sneerwell; perhaps she knows the whole affair.

Enter LADY SNEERWELL.

LADY SNEER. So, my dear Mrs. Candour, here's a sad affair of our friend Lady Teazle!

MRS. CAN. Aye, my dear friend, who could 40
have thought it -----

LADY SNEER. Well, there's no trusting appearances; though, indeed, she was always too lively for me.

MRS. CAN. To be sure, her manners were a 45
little too free -- but she was very young!

LADY SNEER. And had, indeed, some good qualities.

MRS. CAN. So she had, indeed. But have you

heard the particulars? 50

LADY SNEER. No; but everybody says that Mr. Surface

SIR BEN. Aye, there, I told you -- Mr. Surface was the man.

MRS. CAN. No, no, indeed -- the assignation 55
was with Charles.

LADY SNEER. With Charles! You alarm me, Mrs. Candour.

MRS. CAN. Yes, yes, he was the lover. Mr.

Surface -- do him justice -- was only the in­ 60
former.

SIR BEN. 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. CAN. Sir Peter's wound! Oh, mercy! 65
I didn't hear a word of their fighting.

LADY SNEER. Nor I, a syllable.

SIR BEN. No! what, no mention of the duel?

MRS. CAN. Not a word.

____________________
145] Sheridan interpolates s.d.
161] The MS. adds a second (aside) after unlucky!
SCENE II. 22] Sheridan adds I am after indeed.
39] Sheridan adds Lady before Teazle.

-878-

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