ch as the blending of the parts of Miss Verjuice and Snake, are doubtless effective for reasons of dramatic economy, but many of the "cuts" are to be regretted from the reader's standpoint. The student of English drama will prefer Sheridan's own text to editorial emendations, however clever or effective for dramatic ends.
THE SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL
ADDRESSED TO MRS. CREWE,
WITH THE COMEDY OF THE SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL
BY R. B. SHERIDAN, ESQ.
Tell me, ye prim adepts in Scandal's school,
Who rail by precept, and detract by rule,
Lives there no character, so tried, so known,
So deck'd 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--
Daughters of calumny, I summon you!
You shall decide if this a portrait prove,
Or fond creation of the Muse and Love.--
Attend, ye virgin critics, shrewd and sage,
Ye matron censors of this childish age,
Whose peering eye and wrinkled front declare
A fixt antipathy to young and fair;
By cunning, cautious; or by nature, cold,
In maiden madness, virulently bold!--
Attend! ye skilled to coin the precious tale,
Creating proof, where innuendos fail!
Whose practised memories, cruelly exact,
Omit no circumstance, except the fact!--
Attend, all ye who boast,--or old or young,--
The living libel of a slanderous tongue!
So shall my theme as far contrasted be,
As saints by fiends, or hymns by calumny.
Come, gentle Amoret (for 'neath that name,
In worthier verse is sung thy beauty's fame);
Come--for but thee who seeks the Muse? and while
Celestial blushes check thy conscious smile,
With timid grace, and hesitating eye,
The perfect model, which I boast, supply:--
Vain Muse! couldst t
Sheridan has done a commendable job in portraying th characters of the scandalmongers and his humor is ca satire upon the society.
One of my favorite plays! I first read it about thirty-five years ago in a drama class at university, and loved it then. It is delightful and Sheridan is a master of comedy.