The Rivals
Free

The Rivals

By Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Free
Book Description

...A preface to a play seems generally to be considered as a kind of closet-prologue, in which--if his piece has been successful--the author solicits that indulgence from the reader which he had before experienced from the audience: but as the scope and immediate object of a play is to please a mixed assembly in representation (whose judgment in the theatre at least is decisive,) its degree of reputation is usually as determined as public, before it can be prepared for the cooler tribunal of the study. Thus any farther solicitude on the part of the writer becomes unnecessary at least, if not an intrusion: and if the piece has been condemned in the performance, I fear an address to the closet, like an appeal to posterity, is constantly regarded as the procrastination of a suit, from a consciousness of the weakness of the cause. From these considerations, the following comedy would certainly have been submitted to the reader, without any farther introduction than what it had in the representation, but that its success has probably been founded on a circumstance which the author is informed has not before attended a theatrical trial, and which consequently ought not to pass unnoticed...

Table of Contents
  • ACT I
  • Scene I.—A street. [Enter THOMAS; he crosses the stage; FAG follows, looking after him.]
    • Scene II.—A Dressing-room in Mrs. MALAPROP's Lodgings. [LYDIA sitting on a sofa, with a book in her hand. Lucy, as just returned from a message.]
      • ACT II
      • Scene I.—CAPTAIN ABSOLUTE's Lodgings. [CAPTAIN ABSOLUTE and FAG.]
      • Scene II.—The North Parade. [Enter LUCY.]
      • ACT III
      • Scene I—The North Parade. [Enter CAPTAIN ABSOLUTE.]
      • Scene II—JULIA's Dressing-room. [FAULKLAND discovered alone.]
      • Scene III—Mrs. MALAPROP's Lodgings. [Mrs. MALAPROP, with a letter in her hand, and CAPTAIN ABSOLUTE.]
      • Scene IV—ACRES' Lodgings. [ACRES, as just dressed, and DAVID.]
      • ACT IV
      • Scene I—ACRES' Lodgings. [ACRES and DAVID.]
      • Scene II—Mrs. MALAPROP's Lodgings. [Mrs. MALAPROP and LYDIA.]
      • Scene III—The North Parade. [Enter Sir LUCIUS O'TRIGGER.]
      • ACT V
      • Scene I—JULIA's Dressing-Room. [JULIA discovered alone.]
      • Scene II—The South Parade. [Enter CAPTAIN ABSOLUTE, putting his sword under his great coat.]
      • Scene III—King's-Mead-Fields. [Enter Sir LUCIUS O'TRIGGER and ACRES, with pistols.]
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