Monday, November 20, 2006

They engage in the kind of gossip we call dish. It’s served in heaping portions in The School for Scandal. There’s dish about women trying to look younger—though without the services of cosmetic surgery, they’re forced to rely on makeup, which also doesn’t fool anyone. When Lady Sneerwell criticizes the heavy paint a certain widow applies on her face to obscure her wrinkles, Sir Backbite “defends” the woman by saying, “’Tis not that she paints so ill—but, when she has finished her face, she joins it so badly to her neck, that she looks like a mended statue, in which the connoisseur may see at once that the head’s modern, but the trunk’s antique!”

There’s also plenty of dish about the elderly Sir Peter Teazle and his young, beautiful “trophy” wife, Lady Teazle.


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