The Sinister School of
Play opens with a scene in the salon of the high-society intriguer Lady Snieruel, who discusses with her confidant Snake the latest achievements in aristocratic ways. These achievements are measured by the number of ruined reputations, upset weddings, outstanding rumors, and so on. The Lady Scriel’s salon is the holy of holies in the school of slander, and only the elite are admitted there. Itself, “wounded in early youth by the poisonous sting of slander,” the landlady now does not know “more pleasure” than to defame others.
This time the interlocutors chose one very respectable family as a victim. Sir Peter Thiesl was the guardian of the two brothers, Sirfes, and at the same time brought up his adopted daughter Maria. The younger brother, Charles Serfes, and Maria fell in love with each other. This alliance also conceived the idea of destroying Lady Sniruel, without letting the matter go to the wedding. When asked by Snake, she explains the reason behind the case: Mary – or her dowry – is in love with the older Sirfes, Joseph, who resorted to the help of an experienced slanderer, having met a happy rival in his brother. She herself, Lady Sniruel, has a heartfelt weakness for Charles and is ready to sacrifice much to win him. It gives both brothers sober characteristics. Charles – “reveler” and “waster.” Joseph is a “cunning, selfish, insidious
Soon, in the living room appears himself “a silly rogue” Joseph Serfes, followed by Maria. Unlike the hostess, Maria does not tolerate gossip. Therefore, she hardly endures the society of recognized masters of slander, who come to visit. This is Mrs. Candare, Sir Bekbayt and Mr. Crabtree. Undoubtedly, the main occupation of these characters is the washing of the bones of the neighbors, and they own both the practice and the theory of this art, which they immediately demonstrate in their chatter. Naturally, Charles Serfes, whose financial position, according to general opinion, is absolutely deplorable also gets.
Sir Peter Teesle, meanwhile, learns from his friend, the former butler of the father of Sirfes Rauly, that Joseph-Charles’s uncle, Sir Oliver, a wealthy bachelor, who both brothers are hoping to inherit, came from the East Indies.
Sir Peter Thiesl himself married only six months before the events described on the young lady from the province. He suits her fathers. Having moved to London, the newly-made Lady Thiesl immediately began to study secular art, including regularly visiting Lady Sziruel’s salon. Joseph Sirfes lent her a lot of compliments, seeking to enlist her support in her marriage to Maria. However, Lady Thiesl took a young man for his ardent admirer. Finding Joseph on his knees before Maria, Lady Theisle does not hide her surprise. To rectify the oversight, Joseph assures Lady Teasl that he is in love with her and only fears the suspicions of Sir Peter, and on top of the conversation invites Lady Teasle to her home – “look at the library.” To himself, Joseph is annoyed that he was “in a precarious position.”
Sir Peter is really jealous of his wife – but not to Joseph, of whom he is most flattered, but to Charles. The slanderer company tried to ruin the reputation of the young man, so Sir Peter does not even want to see Charles and forbids Mary to meet with him. Having married, he lost his peace. Lady Thiesl shows complete independence and does not spare her husband’s purse. The circle of her acquaintances is also very distressing to him. “Dear company!” He observes about Lady Scruel’s salon, “another poor fellow who was hanged to the gallows has not done so much evil in his whole life as these messengers of lies, masters of slander and destroyers of good names.”
So, the venerable gentleman is in a hefty confusion of feelings, when Sir Oliver Sirfes comes to him accompanied by Raouli. He had not yet told anyone about his arrival in London after a fifteen-year absence, except for Raouli and Thiesl, old friends, and now he hurried to check with them about the two nephews who had previously been helped from afar.
The opinion of Sir Peter Thiesle is firm: for Joseph, he “vouches his head,” as for Charles – it’s a “dissolute fellow.” Raouli, however, does not agree with this assessment. He urges Sir Oliver to draw up his own judgment about the brothers Serfes and “test their hearts.” And to do this, resort to a little trick…
So, Raouli conceived a hoax, in the course of which he introduces Sir Peter and Sir Oliver. The brothers Sirfes have a distant relative, Mr. Stanley, who is in great need now. When he turned to Charles and Joseph with letters of help, the first, although almost ruined, did everything he could for him, while the latter got off with an evasive reply. Now Raouli suggests that Sir Oliver personally come to Joseph under the guise of Mr. Stanley – the good that no one knows him in person. But that is not all. Raouli introduces Sir Oliver to the pawnbroker, who lends Charles money with interest, and advises him to come to the younger nephew with this usurer, pretending that he is ready to act as lender at his request. The plan was adopted. True, Sir Peter is convinced that nothing new will give this experience, “Sir Oliver will only receive confirmation of Joseph’s virtue and Charles’s frivolity.” The first visit – to the father of the pseudo-mediator of Mr. Primemem – Sir Oliver deals to Charles. He immediately expects a surprise – it turns out, Charles lives in the old father’s house, which he… bought from Joseph, not allowing his native home to go under the hammer. Hence his troubles began. Now the house is almost nothing left, except for family portraits. It is them that he proposes to sell through a usurer. Now the house is almost nothing left, except for family portraits. It is them that he proposes to sell through a usurer. Now the house is almost nothing left, except for family portraits. It is them that he proposes to sell through a usurer.
Charles Cerfes for the first time appears to us in a cheerful company of friends who take time for a bottle of wine and dice. The first irony of his remark is a man who is ironic and dashing: “… We live in an era of degeneration, many of our acquaintances are witty, secular people, but, damn it, they do not drink!” Friends readily pick up this topic. At this time, and a usurer comes with “Mr. Primem”. Charles descends to them and begins to convince in his creditworthiness, referring to the rich East India uncle. When he persuades visitors that the health of his uncle has completely weakened “from the climate there,” Sir Oliver comes to a quiet rage. The nephew’s readiness to part with his family portraits makes him even more furious. “Oh, the waster!” he whispers to the side. Charles just chuckles at the situation: “
Charles and a friend play a comic auction before the “buyers”, stuffing the price to deceased and helpless relatives whose portraits quickly go under the hammer. However, when it comes to the old portrait of Sir Oliver himself, Charles categorically refuses to sell it. “No, the pipes!” The old man was very nice to me, and I will keep his portrait, as long as I have a room to shelter him. ” This stubbornness touches the heart of Sir Oliver. He increasingly learns in the nephew of the features of his father, his late brother. He is convinced that Charles is windy, but kind and honest by nature. Charles himself, having barely received the money, hastens to give an order to send a hundred pounds to Mr. Stanley. With the ease of doing this good deed, the young burner of life again sits down for the bones.
In the living room, Joseph Serfes is developing a piquant situation. To him comes Sir Peter, to complain about his wife and Charles, whom he suspects in the novel. In itself, it would be intrepid, if Lady Thiesl was not hiding behind the screen behind the screen, which came even earlier and did not have time to leave. Joseph tried in every possible way to persuade her “to neglect the conditionalities and the opinion of the world,” but Lady Tizl guessed his cunning. In the midst of a conversation with Sir Peter, the servant reported on a new visit – Charles Serfes. Now it’s time to hide behind Sir Peter. He threw himself behind the screen, but Joseph hurriedly offered him a closet, reluctantly explaining that behind the screen already a place is occupied by a certain miller. The conversation of the brothers in this way takes place in the presence of the spouses Tizl, hidden in different corners, why each line is painted with additional comic shades. As a result of the overheard conversation, Sir Peter completely abandons his suspicions about Charles and is convinced, on the contrary, of his sincere love for Mary. Imagine his astonishment when, in the end, in search of a “milliner” Charles overturns the screen, and behind her – oh curse! – reveals Lady Thiesl. After a silent scene, she courageously tells her husband that she came here, yielding to the “insidious admonitions” of the master. Itself to Joseph it remains only to babble something in the justification, calling all art of hypocrisy accessible to it. when in the end, in search of a “milliner” Charles overturns the screen, and behind it – oh curse! – reveals Lady Thiesl. After a silent scene, she courageously tells her husband that she came here, yielding to the “insidious admonitions” of the master. Itself to Joseph it remains only to babble something in the justification, calling all art of hypocrisy accessible to it. when in the end, in search of a “milliner” Charles overturns the screen, and behind it – oh curse! – reveals Lady Thiesl. After a silent scene, she courageously tells her husband that she came here, yielding to the “insidious admonitions” of the master. Itself to Joseph it remains only to babble something in the justification, calling all art of hypocrisy accessible to it.
Soon intriguing waiting for a new blow – in upset he brazenly pack off from the house of the poor supplicant Mr. Stanley, and after a while it turns out that under this mask hiding himself Sir Oliver! Now he was convinced that in Joseph there is “no honesty, no kindness, no thanks.” Sir Peter complements his description, calling Joseph low, treacherous and hypocritical. The last hope of Joseph is Snake, who promised to testify that Charles swore in love Lady Sniruel. However, at a decisive moment, this intrigue also bursts. Snake shyly informs at all that Joseph and Lady Sniruel “paid extremely generously for this lie, but, unfortunately,” he was then “offered twice as much for telling the truth.” This “irreproachable swindler” disappears,
Charles becomes the sole heir to Sir Oliver and receives the hand of Mary, cheerfully promising that he will not get off the right track again. Lady Teesle and Sir Peter are reconciled and understand that they are quite happy in marriage. Lady Sniruel and Joseph can only bicker with each other, figuring out which of them showed a great “greed for villainy”, why all the well-conceived business lost. They retire under Sir Oliver’s derisive advice to marry: “Lean oil and vinegar – by God, would work out perfectly.”
As for the other “gossip college” in the person of Mr. Bekbayt, Lady Kandar and Mr. Crabtree, they are undoubtedly consoled by the rich food for gossip that has been learned as a result of the whole story. Already in their retelling, Sir Peter, it turns out, found Charles with Lady Thiesl, grabbed the gun – “and they shot each other… almost simultaneously.” Now Sir Peter is lying with a bullet in his chest and also pierced with a sword. “But surprisingly, the bullet struck a small bronze Shakespeare on the fireplace, bounced off at a right angle, broke through the window and wounded the postman who was just coming to the door with a registered letter from Northamptonshire”! And it does not matter that Sir Peter himself, alive and well, calls the gossipers furies and vipers. They chirp, expressing to him their deepest sympathy, and bowing with dignity, knowing,