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Scene 3.

297, 16. I wish : I hope.
24. her chair : her private sedan-chair.
298, 3. curious : inquisitive.
300, 10. faux pas : false step.

301, 1. Don't you think, etc.: Lady Teazle is disgusted with Joseph's hypocrisy.

19. Now, Mr. Logic: sarcastic can your logic get me out of this situation?" The sentence is interrupted before she can finish.

302, 4. a coxcomb in: conceited about.
303, 24. frail : wicked.
305, 13. sensibly: decidedly.
306, 10. trepan: deceive.
307, 7. tax him : accuse him.
309, 25. incog.: for incognito; i.e., in disguise, or unseen.

312, 4. Charles Surface throws down the screen: This is really the climax of the play. The whole scene affords an excellent study in dramatic methods. In no play is better use made of the elements of suspense, dramatic irony, and brilliant dialogue. See page 374.


1. This scene is generally considered the most effective in the comedy. Make an analysis of its development, indicating the various steps which lead to the climax.

2. Cite some instances of dramatic irony.

3. Comment upon Lady Teazle's speech beginning, “ No, sir; she has recovered her senses." What indication is therein afforded as to the future?

4. Set the stage, and place the characters, for the moment when Charles throws down the screen.


Scene 1.

315, 12. policy: clever scheming.

316, 10. speculative benevolence : kindness expressed only in fine words.

20. doubt: fear.
27. complaisance: smoothness, self-satisfaction.
318, 1. bullion: cash.

2. rupees : silver coins of India, worth about two shillings, or fifty cents.

pagodas: gold coins of India, stamped on the reverse side with the figure of a pagoda, or temple. Their value was about eight shillings, or two dollars.

5. avadavats: small song-birds from India, with red and black plumage.

Indian crackers: small fire-crackers, not unlike the modern “ Chinese crackers.”

319, 17. French plate : a cheap imitation of silver.


1. Sir Oliver's plan to test Joseph.

2. Summarize Joseph's conversation with the supposed Mr. Stanley.

3. What part is played by Rowley?


Scene 2.

323, 9. hartshorn: smelling-salts.

17. segoon: in fencing, a thrust delivered downward and to the left, directed toward the heart. The term is from the French Seconde, and designates the second of the four basic movements in fencing.

324, 5. Salthill, etc.: The boys of Eton, the old and famous school, used to go every third year on Whitsun-Tuesday to a place 2. Discuss the effect produced by the entrance of Sir Oliver; of Sir Peter.

called Salt-Hill, near the school. There they would levy contributions (“ salt money) on the passers-by, for the benefit of the captain of the school. The custom was known as processus ad Montem - going to the Mount.

15. double letter : a letter on which a double charge was made. Before the days of postage stamps, letters were paid for by the recipient.

28. deny him: prevent any one from seeing him. 325, 1. one of the faculty : a doctor.

327, 26. Yes, I find Joseph is indeed the man: Note the deep irony of this remark.

328, 19. vastly diverted : highly amused. 329, 25. discovering: revealing.

QUESTIONS AND TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION. 1. Separate the stories told respectively by Mrs. Candour, Sir Benjamin Backbite, and Crabtree.

3. What is revealed in the conversation between Sir Oliver and Sir Peter after the others leave?


Scene 3.

331, 21. avarice : greediness.
332, 17. diffidence of: lack of faith in, distrust of.
21. baited : scolded, chided.

334, 4. A. B. at the coffee-house : an allusion to the custom of making appointments at a coffee-house with intentional concealment of the name.

335, 25. recollect myself: "pull myself together,” make up some story.

336, 21. the ill-looking fellow over the settee : See page 292,

line 19

338, 18. Lady Teazle, licentiate, etc.: Lady Teazle says that although she has received one diploma from the “scandalous

college," she will now return it and will take no higher degree. A “ licentiate was one who had a license to practice medicine, but who had not yet been admitted to the final degree.

29. suborning : bribing.
339, 22. traduce you: take away your character.

QUESTIONS AND TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION. 1. Why does Lady Sneerwell come to see Joseph ?

2. Explain why the brothers unite in trying to get rid of “ Mr. Stanley."

3. Comment upon the behavior of Joseph and Charles, respectively, after Sir Oliver is made known to them.

4. Why does Joseph summon Lady Sneerwell? With what result?

5. The dramatic value of Snake's intervention.

6. Is the closing speech of Charles appropriate to his character ? In what respects does it form a fitting end to the play? Discuss fully.

7. Explain the devices by which all is made to end happily.

GENERAL QUESTIONS. 1. Analyze the course of the plot, noting act and scene divisions.

2. In what respects does this play show an advance over The Rivals ?

3. Write a note on the names of the characters.

4. “ The play is notable for the ease and charm of the dialogue, for the brilliancy of its sketches of character, for the truth of its observation of limited phases of life; but not for depth of treatment.” Discuss this criticism.


341, Mr. Colman: George Colman, manager of the Haymarket Theatre.

I. volatile : frivolous. 5. motley Bayes: Bayes here means “poet ”; he is termed motley ” because he writes “ crying epilogues ” and “ laughing plays.” Bayes was the character in The Rehearsal intended for a caricature of Dryden. See page 396.

342, 1. pounded : imprisoned, shut in. The village“ pound was an inclosure where strayed animals were confined.

6. loo: a popular card game.

vole: the winning of all the tricks; cf. “ grand slam," in the modern game of Bridge.

7. Seven's the main! a throw of dice. The caster called the “ main " by naming any number from five to nine, and then threw the dice. If his number turned up, he won his stake.

8. hot cockles: a parlor game played in the country. Read the ainusing account in The Vicar of Wakefield, Chapter VII.

10–20. farewell the tranquil mind, etc.: The whole passage is an amusing parody of Othello, III. 3. 347–357:

O, now for ever
Farewell the tranquil mind! farewell content !
Farewell the plumèd troop and the big wars
That made ambition virtue! O, farewell,
The spirit-stirring drum, the ear-piercing fife,
The royal banner and all quality.
Pride, pomp and circumstance of glorious war!
And, O your mortal engines, whose rude throats
The immortal Jove's dread thunders counterfeit,

Farewell ! Othello's occupation's gone!” II. plumèd head: alluding to the elaborate headdress of the day.

cushioned tête : hair fancifully built up. See Mrs. Hardcastle's remark in She Stoops to Conquer, I. 1.:

“ He said I only wanted him to throw off his wig to convert it into a tête for my own wearing!'

8. drum : fashionable card-party. 9. Spadille : the ace of spades. pam: the knave of clubs.

basto: the ace of clubs. Read Pope's description of the game of Ombre in The Rape of the Lock, Canto III.

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