Prologue, A Portrait: addressed to Mrs Crewe: Tell me, ye prim adepts in Scandals school, / Who rail by precept, and detract by rule, / Lives there no character, so tried, so known, / So deckd 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 &c. / Ye matrons whose practised memories, cruelly exact, / Omit no circumstance, except the fact! [Introduced Amoret my model, CREWE].
I.1: Lady Sneer, Snake, Joseph Surface, Sir Benjamin Backbite, Mrs Candour, and Maria; She wants that delicacy of tint and mellowness of sneer which distinguishes your ladyships scandal.
O Lud! you are going to be moral, and forget that you are among friends.
That fellow hasnt virtue enough to be faithful even to his own villain.
His conversation is a perpetual slander on all his acquaintance.
[Backbite on his yet unwritten works of genius}: Yes, Madam, I think you will like them, when you shall see them on a beautiful quarto page, where a neat rivulet of text shall meander through a meadow of margin. Fore Gad, they will be the most elegant things of their kind!
There is a sort of puny, sickly reputation that is always ailing, but yet will outlive the robuster character of a hundred prudes.
I.2: Sir Peter Teazle and Rowley, discussing the return of Sir Oliver Surface from India, and his proposed testing of his sons, the profligate Charles and the hypocritical Joseph. Tis now six months since Lady Teazle made me the happiest of men and I have been the most miserable dog ever since! NOTE the witty monologue as scene opener: paragraphed in the newspapers - he means to make some trial of their dispositions.
II.1: Marital disharmony between the Teazles: wife widow
with what a charming air she contradictios everything I say though I cant make her love me, there is great satisfaction in quarreling with her
II.2: tis not that she paints so ill but when she has finished her face, she joins it so badly to her neck that she looks like a mended statue in which the connessieur sees at once that the heads modern, though the trunks antique.
a character dead at every word, I suppose. [Teazle, aside]
a woman labours under many disadvantages who tries to pass for a girl at sixandthirty.
[Exchange between Joseph S. and Maria where she argues against the malice of his set that If to raise malicious smiles at the infirmities or misfortunes of [other] be the province of wit or humour, Heaven grant me a double portion of dulness!
[Joseph rejoins:] But can you feel thus for othrs, and be unkind to me alone. Is hope to be denied the tenderest passion?
II.3[Rowley and Sir Oliver; later, Sir Peter Teazle.]
Ah sir, it gives me life to find that your heart is not turned against him
if he salutes me with a scrap of morality in his mouth, I shall be sick directly.
III.1: Sir Peter, Sir Oliver, Rowley, and a good Jew, Moses
III.2: THE TEST: Why sir, this Mr Stanley near related to them by their mother was a merchant in Dublin, but has been ruined by a series of undeserved misfortunes
an annuity, ha! ha! A footman raise money by way of an annuity! Well done, luxury, egad!
III.3: [Noll visits the younger brother masquerading as the Jew]
But the bond you mention [Sir Oliver dying and leaving his estate to Charles] happens to be just the worst security you could offer me for I might live to a hundred, and never see the principal.
sell your forefathers, would you?
Every man of them to the best bidder.
IV.1: [Set in the gallery] No hang it
Ill not part with poor Noll. The old fellow has been very good to me, and, egad, Ill keep his picture while Ive a room to put it in. The rogues my nephew after all! And later in the scene, a dear extravagant rogue.
My distresses are so many I cant afford to part with my spirits.
IV.2: He would not sell my picture. [Noll plans to visit the elder brother as old Stanley.]
IV.3: [Joseph and Lady Teazle;] consciousness of innocence is of the greatest prejudice to you. Your character at present is like a person in a plethora, absolutely dying of too much health. [Sir Peter Teazle enters. Lady Teazle goes behind screen. Joseph plays the hypocrite]
What noble sentiments!
[Charles suspected of cuckolding Teazle, who confides in Joseph:] the town would only laugh at me, the foolish old bachelor, who had married a girl.
a French milliner
He [Joseph] is a man of sentiment. There is nothing in the world so noble as a man of sentiment!
smartest French milliner I ever saw!
Lady Teazle: I came seduced by his insidious arguments, at least to listen to his pretended passion, if not to sacrific your [her husbands] honour to his baseness; smoothtongued hypocrite.
V.1: [Sir Oliver visits as old Stanley, and Joseph pretends to have received from his stingy uncle on avadavats and Indian crackers].
[Joseph reflects:] this is one bad effect of a good character; it invites application from the unfortunate The silver ore of pure charity is an expensive article whereas the sentimental French plate I use instead makes just as good a show, and pays no tax.
V.2: [Candour, Backbite, Sneerwell all foregather at Teazles to scandal over Lady Teazles fall] the ball struck a little bronze Shakespeare 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.
Fiends, vipers, furies! the closet and the screen Joseph and his sentiments hypocritical villain.
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 thm to serve me the rst of my life.
V.3: [Lady Sneer:] I hate such an avarice of crimes; tis an unfair monopoly and never prosper.
I confess I deviated from the direct road of wrong Joseph becomes at this stage an out and out villain, competing with his confederate in evil.
[Joseph reveals Lady Sneerwell, the author of the forged letter from Charles to her, hiding behind the door:] Another French milliner! Egad, he has one in every room of the house, I suppose.
Snake requests that his good deed never be known.
SONG [of Sir Harry Bumper]: Heres to the maiden of bashful fifteen; / Heres to the widow of fifty; / Heres to the flaunting extravagant quean,/ and Heres to the housewife, thats thrifty. / Chorus: Let the toast pass, / Drink to the lass, / Ill warrant shell prove an excuse for the glass. // Heres to the charmer whose dimples we prize; / Now to the maid who has none, sir: / Heres to the girl with a pair of blue eyes, / And heres to the nymph with but one, sir / [Chorus] For let em be clumsy, or let em be slim / Young or ancient, I care not a feather; / So fill a pint bumper quite to the brim, / And let us em toast them together. [Chorus]
EPILOGUE, by George Colman, spoken in the character of Lady Teazle.