The Rivals

Julia Melville Character Analysis

The play’s moral core, Julia is as sensible as she is beautiful. An orphan, she is the ward of Sir Anthony, but was betrothed to Faulkland by her father before his death. Faulkland’s distrust of her love has led them to delay their marriage. She loves Faulkland and puts up with his questioning of her motives, while putting on a happy face for the world even when he has upset her. She gives practical advice to her cousin Lydia, but is not above laughing at Mrs. Malaprop’s silly use of language.

Julia Melville Quotes in The Rivals

The The Rivals quotes below are all either spoken by Julia Melville or refer to Julia Melville. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Sheridan and His World Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Publications edition of The Rivals published in 1998.
Act 3, Scene 2 Quotes

I do not mean to distress you. If I loved you less I should never give you an uneasy moment. But hear me. All my fretful doubts arise from this. Women are not used to weigh and separate the motives of their affections: the cold dictates of prudence, gratitude, or filial duty, may sometimes be mistaken for the pleadings of the heart. I would not boast—yet let me say, that I have neither age, person, nor character, to found dislike on; my fortune such as few ladies could be charged with indiscretion in the match. O Julia! when love receives such countenance from prudence, nice minds will be suspicious of its birth.

Related Characters: Faulkland (speaker), Julia Melville
Page Number: 29-30
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 5, Scene 1 Quotes

You see before you a wretch, whose life is forfeited. Nay, start not!—the infirmity of my temper has drawn all this misery on me. I left you fretful and passionate—an untoward accident drew me into a quarrel—the event is, that I must fly this kingdom instantly. O Julia, had I been so fortunate as to have called you mine entirely, before this mischance had fallen on me, I should not so deeply dread my banishment!

Related Characters: Faulkland (speaker), Julia Melville
Page Number: 52
Explanation and Analysis:

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LYDIA
Why, is it not provoking? when I thought we were coming to the prettiest distress imaginable, to find myself made a mere Smithfield bargain of at last! There, had I projected one of the most sentimental elopements!—so becoming a disguise!—so amiable a ladder of ropes!—Conscious moon—four horses—Scotch parson—with such surprise to Mrs. Malaprop—and such paragraphs in the newspapers!—Oh, I shall die with disappointment!
JULIA
I don't wonder at it!
LYDIA
Now—sad reverse!—what have I to expect, but, after a deal of flimsy preparation with a bishop's license, and my aunt's blessing, to go simpering up to the altar; or perhaps be cried three times in a country church, and have an unmannerly fat clerk ask the consent of every butcher in the parish to join John Absolute and Lydia Languish, spinster! Oh that I should live to hear myself called spinster!

Related Characters: Lydia Languish (speaker), Julia Melville (speaker), Captain Jack Absolute / Ensign Beverley, Mrs. Malaprop / Delia
Page Number: 55
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 5, Scene 3 Quotes

Then let us study to preserve it so: and while Hope pictures to us a flattering scene of future bliss, let us deny its pencil those colours which are too bright to be lasting.—When hearts deserving happiness would unite their fortunes, Virtue would crown them with an unfading garland of modest hurtless flowers; but ill-judging Passion will force the gaudier rose into the wreath, whose thorn offends them when its leaves are dropped!

Related Characters: Julia Melville (speaker)
Page Number: 66
Explanation and Analysis:

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Julia Melville Character Timeline in The Rivals

The timeline below shows where the character Julia Melville appears in The Rivals. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Prologues
Sheridan and His World Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
...to the stage, it had an entirely different prologue. In this prologue, the actress playing Julia comes onstage and comments that it is no longer necessary for the serjeant to appear,... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 2
Courtship and Generational Conflict Theme Icon
A moment later, Julia enters, much to the surprise of her cousin Lydia. They embrace and Julia explains that... (full context)
Courtship and Generational Conflict Theme Icon
Julia reassures Lydia, saying that if Beverley deserves her, he won’t give up so easily, but... (full context)
The Role of Women Theme Icon
Courtship and Generational Conflict Theme Icon
Lydia counters that Julia’s fiancé Faulkland is capricious too and always picks fights with her. Julia explains that she... (full context)
Language and Pretension Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
Courtship and Generational Conflict Theme Icon
Lucy now enters to tell Lydia that Sir Anthony has arrived. Julia departs, and Lydia and her maid hurry to hide Lydia’s books. Sir Anthony and Mrs.... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 1
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
Courtship and Generational Conflict Theme Icon
Absolute sends Fag to summon Faulkland, whom he intends to tease about Julia. Faulkland soon enters, asks about Absolute’s quarrel with Lydia, and urges him to make up... (full context)
The Role of Women Theme Icon
...does. Faulkland responds that Absolute is less invested in Lydia than he himself is in Julia; Absolute could love again if he lost Lydia, but for him there is only Julia,... (full context)
Sheridan and His World Theme Icon
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
Absolute then shocks Faulkland by telling him that Sir Anthony has brought Julia to town. Faulkland gets ready to hurry off to see her, but Absolute convinces him... (full context)
The Role of Women Theme Icon
Courtship and Generational Conflict Theme Icon
...he congratulates on being engaged to such a wonderful woman. Faulkland questions Acres about how Julia has been. Acres reports that she has been extremely healthy, merry, and has charmed all... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 2
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
Faulkland awaits Julia in her dressing room and reflects that when he first saw her after she had... (full context)
The Role of Women Theme Icon
Courtship and Generational Conflict Theme Icon
Faulkland feels better, but when Julia tells him that her heart is pledged to him he gripes at her choice of... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 3
The Role of Women Theme Icon
Courtship and Generational Conflict Theme Icon
Faulkland says he wishes the duel were at some other time, because he has treated Julia cruelly and will not feel like himself until they have reconciled. A servant then delivers... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 1
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
Courtship and Generational Conflict Theme Icon
Gentlemanly Honor and Dueling Theme Icon
Julia, in her dressing room, reflects on an alarming message she has received from Faulkland about... (full context)
The Role of Women Theme Icon
Gentlemanly Honor and Dueling Theme Icon
...Faulkland has killed a man in a duel and must now flee to escape prosecution, Julia says if the circumstances were not so serious, she would be glad to have this... (full context)
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
Gentlemanly Honor and Dueling Theme Icon
Faulkland then exclaims that he has proved Julia’s love and throws away the pretense of having fought in a duel and pledges to... (full context)
The Role of Women Theme Icon
Lydia and a maid enter looking for Julia. Lydia reflects to herself that she hasn’t gotten over Absolute, and that when Julia chides... (full context)
Sheridan and His World Theme Icon
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
Courtship and Generational Conflict Theme Icon
Lydia then says that her woes must surely surpass Julia’s: she has found out that Beverley is Absolute. Julia confesses that Faulkland had already told... (full context)
Language and Pretension Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
Gentlemanly Honor and Dueling Theme Icon
...Fag and David reveal that Captain Absolute, Acres, and Faulkland are involved in a duel. Julia says that they should hasten to the scene of the duel to stop it, but... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 3
Gentlemanly Honor and Dueling Theme Icon
Sir Anthony, David, Mrs. Malaprop, Lydia and Julia arrive, with David yelling for Sir Anthony to halt the combatants. Sir Anthony demands to... (full context)
The Role of Women Theme Icon
Courtship and Generational Conflict Theme Icon
Julia observes how dejected Faulkland seems and begins to soften towards him. Faulkland asks for her... (full context)
Sheridan and His World Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
Gentlemanly Honor and Dueling Theme Icon
...her senses and reformed her own romantic inclinations, just as he has been reformed by Julia’s love. Absolute responds that the only difference is that Faulkland always created reasons for himself... (full context)
Epilogue
Sheridan and His World Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
The actress playing Julia speaks the epilogue. It is written in rhyming couplets with ten syllables per line. The... (full context)