The School for Scandal


Richard Sheridan

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Heirlooms Symbol Icon

Family heirlooms in the play signify the importance of preserving the past, especially the family’s past. For those in the older generation, the preservation of the objects they have been able to add to the trove of family possessions is an important way to make sure that they leave a trace after their death. The sale of heirlooms to strangers suggests a lack of respect for one’s ancestors, and thus a general lack of honor or morality.

Heirlooms Quotes in The School for Scandal

The The School for Scandal quotes below all refer to the symbol of Heirlooms. 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
Act 3, Scene 3 Quotes

CHARLES. Not much, indeed; unless you have a mind to the family pictures. I have got a room full of ancestors above, and if you have a taste for paintings, egad', you shall have 'em a bargain.

SIR OLIVER. Hey! what the devil! sure, you wouldn't sell your forefathers, would you?

CHARLES. Every man of them to the best bidder.

SIR OLIVER. What! your great-uncles and aunts?

CHARLES. Ay, and my great-grandfathers and grandmothers too.

SIR OLIVER. Now I give him up. [Aside.] What the plague, have you no bowels for your own kindred? Odd's life, do you take me for Shylock in the play, that you would raise money of me on your own flesh and blood?

CHARLES. Nay, my little broker, don't be angry: what need you care if you have your money's worth?

SIR OLIVER. Well, I'll be the purchaser: I think I can dispose of the family canvas. Oh, I'll never forgive him this! never!

Related Characters: Charles Surface (speaker), Sir Oliver Surface / Mr. Premium / Mr. Stanley (speaker)
Related Symbols: Jews and Anti-Semitism, Heirlooms
Related Literary Devices:
Page Number: 39
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 4, Scene 1 Quotes

CHARLES. Bravo, Careless! —Well, here’s my great-uncle, Sir Richard Raveline, a marvelous good general in his day, I assure you. He served in all the Duke of Marlborough’s wars, and got that cut over his eye at the battle of Malplaquet. —What say you, Mr. Premium? —look at him—there’s a hero! not cut out of his feathers, as your modern clipped captains are, but enveloped in wig and regimentals, as a general should be. What do you bid?

MOSES. Mr. Premium would have you speak.

CHARLES. Why, then, he shall have him for ten pounds, and I’m sure that’s not dear for a staff officer.

SIR OLIVER. Heaven deliver me! his famous uncle Richard for ten pounds! [Aside.] —Well, sir, I take him at that.

Related Characters: Charles Surface (speaker), Sir Oliver Surface / Mr. Premium / Mr. Stanley (speaker), Moses (speaker)
Related Symbols: Heirlooms
Page Number: 41-42
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 5, Scene 3 Quotes

SIR OLIVER. Odd’s heart, no more can I; nor with gravity either. —Sir Peter, do you know the rogue bargained with me for all his ancestors; sold me judges and generals by the foot, and maiden aunts as cheap as broken china.

CHARLES. To be sure, Sir Oliver, I did make a little free with the family canvas, that’s the truth on’t. My ancestors may rise in judgment against me, there’s no denying it; but believe me sincere when I tell you—and upon my soul I would not say so if I was not—that if I do not appear mortified at the exposure of my follies, it is because I feel at this moment the warmest satisfaction in seeing you, my liberal benefactor.

Related Characters: Charles Surface (speaker), Sir Oliver Surface / Mr. Premium / Mr. Stanley (speaker), Sir Peter Teazle
Related Symbols: Heirlooms
Page Number: 73
Explanation and Analysis:
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Heirlooms Symbol Timeline in The School for Scandal

The timeline below shows where the symbol Heirlooms appears in The School for Scandal. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 1
Rumors, Wit, and Cruelty Theme Icon
Family Honor and Money Theme Icon
...that his brother is in financial ruin and has had to sell everything except the family portraits , which, he says, are probably framed in the walls. (full context)
Act 3, Scene 2
Family Honor and Money Theme Icon
...says it was more contemptible on Joseph’s part to have sold the house and other heirlooms. (full context)
Act 3, Scene 3
Concealment and Exposure Theme Icon
Family Honor and Money Theme Icon
...a sick man. Mr. Premium breaks into nervous laughter at this. He asks about other heirlooms Charles might be able to sell—silver plates, a valuable library. Charles says all of this... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 1
Family Honor and Money Theme Icon
The auction of the family portraits is conducted in the picture room in Charles’s house. Charles asks Careless to serve as... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 3
The Man of Sentiment Theme Icon
Family Honor and Money Theme Icon
...Charles says to himself that he is sure to be judged harshly for selling the family portraits , especially if his brother gets such treatment. (full context)
Concealment and Exposure Theme Icon
The Man of Sentiment Theme Icon
Family Honor and Money Theme Icon
...says he cannot be angry at Charles, and laughs at how cheaply Charles sold the heirlooms. Charles says how happy he is to see his uncle, and Sir Oliver says he... (full context)