The School for Scandal

Lady Teazle Character Analysis

Young, pretty, headstrong and intelligent, Lady Teazle is the young wife of Sir Peter Teazle. Although she was raised in the countryside, she has quickly adopted city manners, learning how the gossip mill operates from a group of high-society gossips led by Lady Sneerwell. She and Sir Peter argue all the time, often over how much money he allows her, as Lady Teazle wishes to spend huge sums on flowers, carriages, and other luxuries. Lady Teazle is considering taking Joseph Surface on as a “lover” (primarily for fashion’s sake), but has not yet decided whether she wants to keep their relationship platonic.

Lady Teazle Quotes in The School for Scandal

The The School for Scandal quotes below are all either spoken by Lady Teazle or refer to Lady Teazle. 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:
Concealment and Exposure Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Publications edition of The School for Scandal published in 1991.
Act 1, Scene 2 Quotes

SIR PETER. When an old bachelor marries a young wife, what is he to expect? ‘Tis now six months since Lady Teazle made me the happiest of men—and I have been the most miserable dog ever since! We tifted a little going to church, and fairly quarrelled before the bells had done ringing. I was more than once nearly choked with gall during the honeymoon, and had lost all comfort in life before my friends had done wishing me joy. Yet I chose with caution—a girl bred wholly in the country, who never knew luxury beyond one silk gown, nor dissipation above the annual gala of a race ball. Yet now she plays her part in all the extravagant fopperies of the fashion and the town, with as ready a grace as if she had never seen a bush or a grass-plot out of Grosvenor Square! I am sneered at by all my acquaintance, and paragraphed in the newspapers. She dissipates my fortune, and contradicts all my humours; yet, the worst of it is, I doubt I love her, or I should never bear all this. However, I'll never be weak enough to own it.

Related Characters: Sir Peter Teazle (speaker), Lady Teazle
Page Number: 10-11
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 2, Scene 1 Quotes

LADY TEAZLE. My extravagance! I'm sure I'm not more extravagant than a woman of fashion ought to be.

SIR PETER. No, no, madam, you shall throw away no more sums on such unmeaning luxury. 'Slife! to spend as much to furnish your dressingroom with flowers in winter as would suffice to turn the Pantheon into a greenhouse, and give a fête champêtre at Christmas.

LADY TEAZLE. And am I to blame, Sir Peter, because flowers are dear in cold weather? You should find fault with the climate, and not with me. For my part, I'm sure, I wish it was spring all the year round, and that roses grew under our feet!

Related Characters: Lady Teazle (speaker), Sir Peter Teazle (speaker)
Page Number: 13
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 2, Scene 2 Quotes

MRS. CANDOUR. Now, I'll die, but you are so scandalous, I'll forswear your society.

LADY TEAZLE. What's the matter, Mrs. Candour?

MRS. CANDOUR. They'll not allow our friend Miss Vermillion to be handsome.

LADY SNEERWELL. O surely she is a pretty woman.

CRABTREE. I am very glad you think so, ma’am.

MRS. CANDOUR. She has a charming fresh colour.

LADY TEAZLE. Yes, when it is fresh put on.

MRS. CANDOUR. O fie! I'll swear her colour is natural: I have seen it come and go.

LADY TEAZLE. I dare swear you have, ma'am: it goes off at night, and comes again in the morning.

SIR BENJAMIN. True, ma'am, it not only comes and goes, but, what's more—egad, her maid can fetch and carry it!

MRS. CANDOUR. Ha! ha! ha! how I hate to hear you talk so! But surely now, her sister is, or was, very handsome.

Related Characters: Lady Teazle (speaker), Lady Sneerwell (speaker), Mrs. Candour (speaker), Sir Benjamin Backbite (speaker), Mr. Crabtree (speaker), Miss Vermillion
Page Number: 16-17
Explanation and Analysis:
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SIR PETER. Madam, madam, I beg your pardon—there’s no stopping these good gentlemen's tongues. —But when I tell you, Mrs. Candour, that the lady they are abusing is a particular friend of mine, I hope you'll not take her part.

LADY SNEERWELL. Ha! ha! ha! Well said, Sir Peter! but you are a cruel creature, —too phlegmatic yourself for a jest, and too peevish to allow wit in others.

SIR PETER. Ah! madam, true wit is more nearly allied to good-nature than your ladyship is aware of.

LADY TEAZLE. True, Sir Peter: I believe they are so near akin that they can never be united.

SIR BENJAMIN. Or rather, madam, suppose them to be man and wife, because one seldom sees them together.

Related Characters: Lady Teazle (speaker), Sir Peter Teazle (speaker), Lady Sneerwell (speaker), Sir Benjamin Backbite (speaker)
Page Number: 19
Explanation and Analysis:
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JOSEPH. A curious dilemma my politics have run me into! I wanted, at first, only to ingratiate myself with Lady Teazle, that she might not be my enemy with Maria; and I have, I don't know how, become her serious lover. Sincerely I begin to wish I had never made such a point of gaining so very good a character, for it has led me into so many cursed rogueries that I doubt I shall be exposed at last.

Related Characters: Joseph Surface / Mr. Surface (speaker), Lady Teazle, Maria
Page Number: 22
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 4, Scene 3 Quotes

JOSEPH. Ah! my dear madam, there is the great mistake: 'tis this very conscious innocence that is of the greatest prejudice to you. What is it makes you negligent of forms, and careless of the world's opinion? why, the consciousness of your own innocence. What makes you thoughtless in your conduct, and apt to run into a thousand little imprudences? —why, the consciousness of your own innocence. What makes you impatient of Sir Peter's temper, and outrageous at his suspicions? —why, the consciousness of your innocence.

LADY TEAZLE. 'Tis very true!

JOSEPH. Now, my dear Lady Teazle, if you would but once make a trifling faux pas, you can't conceive how cautious you would grow, and how ready to humour and agree with your husband.

LADY TEAZLE. Do you think so?

JOSEPH. Oh! I am sure on't; and then you would find all scandal would cease at once, for, in short, your character at present is like a person in a plethora, absolutely dying from too much health.

Related Characters: Lady Teazle (speaker), Joseph Surface / Mr. Surface (speaker), Lady Teazle, Sir Peter Teazle
Page Number: 48
Explanation and Analysis:
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No, sir, —she has recovered her senses, and your own arts have furnished her with the means. —Sir Peter, I do not expect you to credit me—but the tenderness you expressed for me, when I am sure you could not think I was a witness to it, has penetrated so to my heart, that had I left the place without the shame of this discovery, my future life should have spoken the sincerity of my gratitude. As for that smooth-tongued hypocrite, who would have seduced the wife of his too credulous friend, while he affected honourable addresses to his ward—I behold him now in a light so truly despicable, that I shall never again respect myself for having listened to him.

Page Number: 56-57
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 5, Scene 2 Quotes

SIR BENJAMIN. Aye, there; I told you Mr. Surface was the man.

MRS. CANDOUR. No, no, indeed; the assignation was with Charles.

LADY SNEERWELL. With Charles! You alarm me, Mrs. Candour!

MRS. CANDOUR. Yes, yes, he was the lover. Mr. Surface, to do him justice, was only the informer.

SIR BENJAMIN. Well, I’ll not dispute with you, Mrs. Candour; but, be it which it may, I hope that Sir Peter’s wound will not—

MRS. CANDOUR. Sir Peter’s wound! Oh, mercy! I didn’t hear a word of their fighting.

LADY SNEERWELL. Nor I, a syllable.

SIR BENJAMIN. No! what, no mention of the duel?

MRS. CANDOUR. Not a word.

SIR BENJAMIN. O Lord, yes, yes: they fought before they left the room.

LADY SNEERWELL. Pray, let us hear.

MRS. CANDOUR. Aye, do oblige us with the duel.

Page Number: 63-64
Explanation and Analysis:
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SIR PETER. Though, when it is known that we are reconciled, people will laugh at me ten times more.

ROWLEY. Let them laugh, and retort their malice only by showing them you are happy in spite of it.

SIR PETER. I’faith, so I will! and, if I’m not mistaken, we may yet be the happiest couple in the country.

ROWLEY. Nay, Sir Peter, he who once lays aside suspicion—

SIR PETER. Hold, Master Rowley! if you have any regard for me, never let me hear you utter anything like a sentiment: I have had enough of them to serve me the rest of my life.

Related Characters: Sir Peter Teazle (speaker), Mr. Rowley (speaker), Lady Teazle
Page Number: 69
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 5, Scene 3 Quotes

LADY SNEERWELL. The torments of shame and disappointment on you all.–

LADY TEAZLE. Hold, Lady Sneerwell,—before you go, let me thank you for the trouble you and that gentleman have taken, in writing letters from me to Charles, and answering them yourself; and let me also request you to make my respects to the scandalous college, of which you are president, and inform them, that Lady Teazle, licentiate, begs leave to return the diploma they gave her, as she leaves off practice, and kills characters no longer.

LADY SNEERWELL. You too, madam—provoking—insolent—May your husband live these fifty years!

Related Characters: Lady Teazle (speaker), Lady Sneerwell (speaker), Sir Peter Teazle, Charles Surface
Page Number: 74
Explanation and Analysis:
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Lady Teazle Character Timeline in The School for Scandal

The timeline below shows where the character Lady Teazle appears in The School for Scandal. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 1
Concealment and Exposure Theme Icon
Rumors, Wit, and Cruelty Theme Icon
...to keep people from talking, and that she has also heard that Sir Peter and Lady Teazle have not been getting along. (full context)
Act 1, Scene 2
Concealment and Exposure Theme Icon
Rumors, Wit, and Cruelty Theme Icon
Family Honor and Money Theme Icon
...avoid having to spend huge amounts of money on his wife’s fashionable purchases. But although Lady Teazle grew up in the countryside, she now acts the part of a sophisticated lady of... (full context)
Concealment and Exposure Theme Icon
...he is not well and never will be, as long as he is married to Lady Teazle. Rowley says that he knows Sir Peter loves his wife, although they do not get... (full context)
Concealment and Exposure Theme Icon
...Sir Oliver’s arrival now, but asks Rowley not to tell Sir Oliver that he and Lady Teazle ever fight. Rowley says he will not breathe a word, but Lady Teazle and Sir... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 1
Family Honor and Money Theme Icon
Sir Peter and Lady Teazle are at home, quarreling as usual. Lady Teazle says she should have her own way... (full context)
Rumors, Wit, and Cruelty Theme Icon
Family Honor and Money Theme Icon
...that to make such demands she must have forgotten the way she was brought up. Lady Teazle , however, says she remembers very well the boring things she had to do before... (full context)
Rumors, Wit, and Cruelty Theme Icon
Lady Teazle then says she is off to Lady Sneerwell’s house. Sir Peter says that he disapproves... (full context)
Rumors, Wit, and Cruelty Theme Icon
Lady Teazle departs, reminding Sir Peter that he promised to come to Lady Sneerwell’s, too. Left alone,... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 2
Rumors, Wit, and Cruelty Theme Icon
...Sir Benjamin Backbite, and Joseph Surface are drinking tea at Lady Sneerwell’s home. Maria and Lady Teazle arrive, and Lady Sneerwell tells Maria to play cards with Joseph. Maria says she does... (full context)
Concealment and Exposure Theme Icon
Rumors, Wit, and Cruelty Theme Icon
Lady Teazle joins the group’s conversation. Mrs. Candour is saying that her friend Miss Vermilion is beautiful,... (full context)
Rumors, Wit, and Cruelty Theme Icon
The Man of Sentiment Theme Icon
...good nature are like a man and wife, so one hardly ever sees them together. Lady Teazle says that Sir Peter would make the spreading of rumors illegal if it were up... (full context)
Concealment and Exposure Theme Icon
The Man of Sentiment Theme Icon
...of Maria to beg her not to leave him on such a bad note, when Lady Teazle enters. Joseph quickly changes what he is saying, confusing Maria, whom Lady Teazle sends into... (full context)
Concealment and Exposure Theme Icon
The Man of Sentiment Theme Icon
Joseph asks Lady Teazle if she will come to look at his library, as she has promised. She replies... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 3
Concealment and Exposure Theme Icon
Rumors, Wit, and Cruelty Theme Icon
Family Honor and Money Theme Icon
...Peter is prejudiced against Charles partially because of rumors spread by gossipmongers that Charles and Lady Teazle are having an affair. Rowley believes that if Lady Teazle has feelings for one of... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 1
Concealment and Exposure Theme Icon
Family Honor and Money Theme Icon
...plans to show Sir Peter that he is mistaken in his suspicions about Charles and Lady Teazle by bringing in Snake, whom he has caught forging letters. Sir Peter dismisses this. (full context)
Rumors, Wit, and Cruelty Theme Icon
The Man of Sentiment Theme Icon
...Sir Peter says to himself that he hopes there is no affair between Charles and Lady Teazle. He plans to speak to Joseph about his suspicions. Maria approaches and Sir Peter asks... (full context)
The Man of Sentiment Theme Icon
Family Honor and Money Theme Icon
Lady Teazle enters and Sir Peter says to himself that he would be happy if he “could... (full context)
Rumors, Wit, and Cruelty Theme Icon
Family Honor and Money Theme Icon
Sir Peter continues to tell Lady Teazle they will never fight again, but then adds that she always starts their fights. They... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 3
Concealment and Exposure Theme Icon
The Man of Sentiment Theme Icon
In the library at Joseph Surface’s house, Joseph is waiting for Lady Teazle , who is late. Joseph reflects to himself that Sir Peter does not suspect him... (full context)
Concealment and Exposure Theme Icon
The Man of Sentiment Theme Icon
Lady Teazle enters and sees Joseph looking serious. She complains that Sir Peter is ill natured and... (full context)
Concealment and Exposure Theme Icon
Rumors, Wit, and Cruelty Theme Icon
The Man of Sentiment Theme Icon
Lady Teazle begins to complain that her friend Lady Sneerwell spreads rumors about her, which makes Sir... (full context)
Concealment and Exposure Theme Icon
The Man of Sentiment Theme Icon
Just as Joseph reaches to take Lady Teazle ’s hand, the servant walks in to tell him that Sir Peter has arrived. Both... (full context)
Concealment and Exposure Theme Icon
Rumors, Wit, and Cruelty Theme Icon
The Man of Sentiment Theme Icon
Sir Peter tells Joseph he believes that Charles and Lady Teazle are lovers. Joseph expresses disbelief, and Sir Peter replies that Joseph’s morality may make it... (full context)
Concealment and Exposure Theme Icon
Family Honor and Money Theme Icon
Sir Peter says to Joseph that he wishes to make sure that he gives Lady Teazle no cause to be upset with him. He shows Joseph two drafts of the financial... (full context)
Concealment and Exposure Theme Icon
The Man of Sentiment Theme Icon
...stake. Sir Peter continues, though, saying that he wishes Joseph would allow him to tell Lady Teazle about Joseph’s hope to marry Maria, because he thinks she would help them to arrange... (full context)
Concealment and Exposure Theme Icon
Rumors, Wit, and Cruelty Theme Icon
The Man of Sentiment Theme Icon
...hide in the room and listen to the brothers’ conversation while Joseph asks Charles about Lady Teazle. Reluctantly, Joseph agrees. Sir Peter is about to step behind the screen when he spots... (full context)
Concealment and Exposure Theme Icon
The Man of Sentiment Theme Icon
...asks where he has gone. Joseph says Sir Peter avoided him because he believes that Lady Teazle and Charles are having an affair. Charles laughs at this idea, saying it sounds like... (full context)
Concealment and Exposure Theme Icon
Rumors, Wit, and Cruelty Theme Icon
The Man of Sentiment Theme Icon
Charles says he is surprised that Joseph would think that he and Lady Teazle are having an affair, because Charles believed that Lady Teazle prefers Joseph. Joseph tries to... (full context)
Concealment and Exposure Theme Icon
The Man of Sentiment Theme Icon
...behind the screen. Just as Joseph reenters the room, Charles pulls down the screen, revealing Lady Teazle. (full context)
Concealment and Exposure Theme Icon
The Man of Sentiment Theme Icon
Charles and Sir Peter exclaim in surprise. Charles asks Joseph, Sir Peter, and Lady Teazle what is going on, but no one answers him. Charles then leaves, first chiding Joseph... (full context)
Concealment and Exposure Theme Icon
The Man of Sentiment Theme Icon
...everything. Sir Peter tells him to do so. Joseph gives a convoluted explanation, suggesting that Lady Teazle came to his house so that he could explain to her that he wanted to... (full context)
Concealment and Exposure Theme Icon
The Man of Sentiment Theme Icon
Family Honor and Money Theme Icon
Joseph objects, but Lady Teazle goes on. She says that, although she cannot expect Sir Peter to trust her now,... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 1
Concealment and Exposure Theme Icon
The Man of Sentiment Theme Icon
Family Honor and Money Theme Icon
...he is in no mood to listen to other people’s problems after being caught with Lady Teazle by Sir Peter. He feels sure that he now has no chance of marrying Maria.... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 2
Rumors, Wit, and Cruelty Theme Icon
...at Sir Peter’s door, attempting to convince the maid to let her in to visit Lady Teazle , whom she says must be very upset and need moral support. The maid leaves... (full context)
Rumors, Wit, and Cruelty Theme Icon
...over how Sir Peter was wounded. It emerges that Crabtree, like Mrs. Candour, believes that Lady Teazle was found with Charles, not Joseph. They all argue, and Crabtree gives an extremely detailed... (full context)
Concealment and Exposure Theme Icon
Rumors, Wit, and Cruelty Theme Icon
The Man of Sentiment Theme Icon
...what happened to him and are laughing at him. Rowley says that he ran into Lady Teazle and she asked him to plead her case to Sir Peter. Sir Peter asks if... (full context)
Concealment and Exposure Theme Icon
Rumors, Wit, and Cruelty Theme Icon
The Man of Sentiment Theme Icon
...promise to meet him there. Sir Peter looks into the other room, where he sees Lady Teazle crying. Rowley urges him to go to her. Sir Peter says that people will laugh... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 3
Concealment and Exposure Theme Icon
Rumors, Wit, and Cruelty Theme Icon
...sentiment and stealing his brother’s beloved, but he crossed the line by trying to seduce Lady Teazle as well. Joseph says he is sorry, but he thinks there is still hope. He... (full context)
The Man of Sentiment Theme Icon
Family Honor and Money Theme Icon
Sir Peter, Lady Teazle , Maria, and Rowley arrive. Sir Peter says he is glad that he arrived in... (full context)
Concealment and Exposure Theme Icon
Rumors, Wit, and Cruelty Theme Icon
Lady Teazle says that she believes Charles is even more anxious to make up with Maria than... (full context)
Concealment and Exposure Theme Icon
Rumors, Wit, and Cruelty Theme Icon
...him double her price to tell the truth. As Lady Sneerwell storms from the room, Lady Teazle confronts her, saying she knows that Lady Sneerwell started the false rumor about her affair... (full context)
The Man of Sentiment Theme Icon
Family Honor and Money Theme Icon
...Peter says he hopes that Maria and Charles will live as happily as he and Lady Teazle intend to. Charles thanks Rowley for supporting him, and Rowley says that he will feel... (full context)
Epilogue
Rumors, Wit, and Cruelty Theme Icon
Lady Teazle returns to the stage to recite the epilogue. It is written in rhyming couplets, and... (full context)