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Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751–1816). The School for Scandal.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

Scene II

Act Third



Trip.Here, Master Moses! if you’ll stay a moment I’ll try whether—what’s the gentleman’s name?

Sir Oliv.Mr. Moses, what is my name?[Aside to MOSES.

Mos.Mr. Premium.

Trip.Premium—very well.[Exit taking snuff.

Sir Oliv.To judge by the servants, one wouldn’t believe the master was ruined. But what!—sure, this was my brother’s house?

Mos.Yes, sir; Mr. Charles bought it of Mr. Joseph, with the furniture, pictures, &c., just as the old gentleman left it. Sir Peter thought it a piece of extravagance in him.

Sir Oliv.In my mind, the other’s economy in selling it to him was more reprehensible by half.

Re-enter TRIP

Trip.My master says you must wait, gentlemen: he has company, and can’t speak with you yet.

Sir Oliv.If he knew who it was wanted to see him, perhaps he would not send such a message.

Trip.Yes, yes, sir; he knows you are here—I did not forget little Premium: no, no, no.

Sir Oliv.Very well; and I pray, sir, what may be your name?

Trip.Trip, sir; my name is Trip, at your service.

Sir Oliv.Well, then, Mr. Trip, you have a pleasant sort of place here, I guess?

Trip.Why, yes—here are three or four of us pass our time agreeably enough; but then our wages are sometimes a little in arrear—and not very great either—but fifty pounds a year, and find our own bags and bouquets.

Sir Oliv.Bags and bouquets! halters and bastinadoes![Aside.

Trip.And à propos, Moses, have you been able to get me that little bill discounted?

Sir Oliv.Wants to raise money too!—mercy on me! Has his distresses too, I warrant, like a lord, and affects creditors and duns.[Aside.

Mos.’Twas not to be done, indeed, Mr. Trip.

Trip.Good luck, you surprise me! My friend Brush has indorsed it, and I thought when he put his name at the back of a bill ’twas the same as cash.

Mos.No, ’twouldn’t do.

Trip.A small sum—but twenty pounds. Hark’ee, Moses, do you think you couldn’t get it me by way of annuity?

Sir Oliv.An annuity! ha! ha! a footman raise money by way of annuity. Well done, luxury, egad![Aside.

Mos.Well, but you must insure your place.

Trip.Oh, with all my heart! I’ll insure my place, and my life too, if you please.

Sir Oliv.It’s more than I would your neck.[Aside.

Mos.But is there nothing 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 shall have the reversion of the French velvet, or a post-obit 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.

Trip.Egad, I heard the bell. I believe, gentlemen, I can now introduce you. Don’t forget the annuity, little Moses! This way, gentlemen, I’ll insure my place, you know.

Sir Oliv.[Aside.] If the man be a shadow of the master, this is the temple of dissipation indeed![Exeunt.