"as your excellent Sheridan said, I go - and leave my character behind me"

Richard Sheridan
Public DomainRichard Sheridan - Credit: Sir Joshua Reynolds
Richard Brinsley Butler Sheridan (1751 - 1816) was an Irish playwright and poet, and a long-time owner of London’s Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.  For 32 years he was also a Whig Member of the House of Commons. 

His most famous play, The School for Scandal, is considered one of the greatest comedies of manners in English. Other big hits include The Rivals and A Trip to Scarborough. 

The quote above is from The School for Scandal – the line is said by Sir Peter in the Second Act, Scene 2.