(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Monologues"




HiilliiiiliiiiiliililliiiiilitllHIiiilW 






,< 9 



REFERENCE 

\ 














WE CENTRAL CHILDREN'S ROOM 
DONNSLL LIBRARY CENTER 
20 WEST S3 STREET 
NEW YORK, N.Y. 10019 



WERNER'S 
READINGS AND RECITATIONS 

No. 32 



fIDonologues 



COMPILED AND ARRANGED BY 

STANLEY 




EDGAR S. WERNER & CO. 



Copyright. 1904. by Edgar S. Werner. All rights reserved 



WHAT MONOLOGUE !S. 



'CHARLES BARNARD. 



Written expressly for this book. 



A great variety of meanings appear to be given to the word 
"monologue." 

1. Any long speech or soliloquy given by one character in a story 

or play. 

2. A story related by one person and to certain forms of recita- 

tions. 

3. A performance by one person of any scene or selection from a 

play in which the performer assumes one or more characters. 

4. A "variety sketch" or a confused collection of smart or amus- 

ing sayings. 

To-day, the term monologue is applied to a comparatively new 
form of literary art. The correct definition of this use of the term 
is a story told in the first person by one character, who assumes 
that other and invisible characters are present, addressing them, 
and by appropriate words and actions making all they say and do 
clear to the audience. This form of monologue differs from the 
recitation in several particulars. A recitation may tell of past 
events. A monologue is a complete story of one or more events 
that take place during th< time of the perfortr.r.nce. It may only 
indirectly refer to anything that haopened before the story begins. 
It is a complete fiction of a,sir-gl^ transaction or of a connected 
series of transactions beginning, and ending with the performance. 
It employs only one visible'cHdracter;:a;nd al- the other characters 
of the story are assumed to be present, though unseen. The per- 
former does not introduce himself or herself or give any previous 
explanations, but appears as the character, and at the end leaves 



AfTO* IKNOX ANB 
T1LDEN FOUNDATIONS 

o u 



WERNER'S READINGS AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 3 

the stage platform without acknowledging the presence of the 
audience. 

In many respects a monologue thus resembles a play. Scenery, 
costume, properties, and action are used to enhance the effect of 
the performance. The stage may be set as for a regular play and 
the curtain may "discern" the performer in the character of the 
story and may fall at the end on a "picture." It can also be given 
without a curtain and without scenery, employing only costume, 
furniture, properties and action. In this case, the performer en- 
ters and leaves the platform at the beginning and end of the per- 
formance. 

All dramatic art is founded on a convention or unspoken but 
real agreement between the performers and the audience. The 
audience in a theatre agree to accept the actor as the imaginary 
character in the play. He may appear as a wholly impossible ' 
character, as the Invisible Prince in a fairy story. He is not in- 
visible, but the audience accept the convention. In an opera house 
the audience accept the convention that the expiring tenor may die 
singing at the top of his voice. It is a convention that a painted 
ship is a real ship and that Macbeth's dagger is real to Macbeth. 
In like manner, it is a convention that the single character in a 
monologue should address wholly invisible characters that he as- 
sumes are present, though unseen by the audience. In effect, it 
is an appeal to the imagination of the listener, a suggestive pictur- 
ing of the invisible before the minds of the audience. 

Once accept the convention and the monologue becomes one of 
the highest and most artistic forms of entertainment. It is like an 
impressionist pictu-re. The cmt character that is seen is clearly 
defined, the imaginary caaiacters tli?t appear to him are suggested 
or sketched lightly, as if i'ley; stood in a half light while the cen- 
tral figure of the picture .Svood in the full sunlight. This method 
of telling a story is highly; imagi^citKe, subtle, delicate and inter- 
esting. The listener hears the echo "of many voices in one voice. 
He sees the effect of circumstances and events concentrated upon a 
single character. The interest is centered on the one mind and 
heart that is laid bare unconsciously, as it were, before the spec- 



4 WERNER'S READINGS AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 

tator. The story is of necessity intensely personal. The experi- 
ence of the hero or the heroine is vividly portrayed, because there 
is no other visible character to distract the attention or divide the 
interest. 

Naturally enough, the giving of this form of platform story 
or monologue is far more difficult than any reading or recitation. 
It is not read or told. It is lived and acted, precisely as a play. It 
is an impressionist play and yet free from the cost and trouble of 
a dramatic performance. It is a ^tory acted by one performer, a 
realistic experience of a hurnin Ii??.rt made visible and enhanced 
by all the art of modern d r a2ratic literature, 



; 
I t I . 






. . 
. . . 



< 

' 



CONTENTS 



PAGE 

At the Box-Office. Elsie Livermore . . . . 139 

Abbie's Accounts. Tudor Jenks no 

After the Ball : Her Reflections. Mel. B. Spurr 126 

After the Ball : His Reflections. Mel. B. Spurr 130 

Aunt Sophronia Tabor at the Opera. Ar. by Elise West. . . 42 

Betsey. Ar. by Lucy Hayes MacQueen 54 

Betty Better's Batter 85 

"Bill Thay." Mary Tucker Magill 147 

Billy the Hermit. Ruth Edwards 44 

Christmas Greens 35 

Christopher Columbus. Gazzoletti 22 

Comfortable Corner. Ar. by Lucy Hayes MacQueen 103 

Crushed Tragedian. Ed. L. McDowell 39 

Dawson's Woman. W. Miller 93 

Deceitfulness of Man 98 

Deposed 68 

Florentine Juliet. Susan Coolidge 75 

Her First Recital. Anna M. Philley 17 

How Uncle Mose Counts. Ar. by Stanley Schell 107 

I and My Father-In-Law. Harriet L. Pemberton 64 

If I Can Be By Her. Ben. King 138 

I'm Little, But I'm Spunky 125 

Introduction. Anna Warren Story 134 

Jack's Second Trial. Roy Farrell Green 63 

Jimmy Brown's Prompt Obedience. W. L. Alden 28 

Keep A-Goin'. Frank L. Stanton 115 

Laughing and Crying. G. A. Landrum. . . ., 73 



6 CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

Little Friend In the Mirror. Anna M. Philley 90 

Little Mother's Trials. Bessie B. McClure 27 

Long Ago 150 

Lost and Found 1 6 

Love In Lent 109 

Mean Little Torment. Charles E. Baer 144 

'Member 30 

Minister Comes to Tea 143 

My Lover Who Loved Me Last Spring. Dollie Denton. ... 119 

Perplexed 102 

Piano-Tuner. Ar. by Lucy Hayes MacQueen I T 6 

Pleasure Exertion. Marietta Holley 155 

Postponed. Charles E. Baer 153 

Pressed For Time. Charles De Sivry 82 

Ready For a Kiss 89 

"Studying German." Sarah E. Pittman 145 

Stuttering Lover. Fred Emerson Brooks 34 

Taken by Surprise. Metta Victoria Victor . 86 

Taking an Elevator 123 

Tom Fay's Soliloquy. Fanny Fern 61 

Waiter. Gertrude F. Lynch 1 1 

Welcome 149 

What Monologue Is. Charles Barnard ^ 

When Dad Enjoyed Himself 69 

When Greek Meets Greek 132 

When Pa Gets Sick 137 

When Pa Was a Boy. S. E. Kiser 152 

When Papa's Sick. Joe Lincoln 136 

When the Minister Came to Tea. Juliet Wilbor Tompkins. . 141 

Why the Dog's Tail Was Skinned. Ar. by Stanley Schell. . 31 

Woman's Vengeance. Thomas F. Wilford 49 



INDEX TO AUTHORS 



PAGE 

Alden, W. L 28 

Baer, Charles E 144, 1 53 

Barnard, Charles 2 

Brooks, Fred Emerson 34 

Coolidge, Susan 75 

De Sivry, Charles 82 

Denton, Dollie 119 

Edwards, Ruth 44 

Fern, Fanny 61 

Gazzoletti , 22 

Green, Roy Farrell 63 

Holley, Marietta 155 

Jenks, Tudor no 

King, Ben 138 

Kiser, S. E 152 

Landrum, G. A 73 

Lincoln, Joe 136 

Livermore, Elsie , 139 

Lynch, Gertrude F 1 1 

McClure, Bessie B. . .; 27 

McDowell, Ed. L 39 

Magill, Mary Tucker 147 

Miller, W 93 

Pemberton, Harriet L 64 

Philley, Anna M 17, 90 

Pittman, Sarah E 145 

Spurr, Mel B 126, 130 

Stanton, Frank L 115 

Story, Anna Warren 134 

Tompkins, Juliet Wilbor 141 

Victor, Metta Victoria 86 

Wilford, Thomas F 



MONOLOGUES FO*R 



PAGE. 

After the Ball : His Reflections. Acting musical comedy 130 

"Bill Thay." Boy comedy lisping dialect recital 147 

Billy the Hermit. Pathos Yankee dialect recital 44 

Christopher Columbus. Dramatic verse 22 

Comfortable Corner. Comedy recital 103 

Crushed Tragedian. Comedy verse 39 

Dawson's Woman. Dramatic pathos western dialect verse recital 93 

How Uncle Mose Counts. Acting comedy negro dialect 107 

If I Can Be by Her. Serio-comic romantic stammering dialect 

encore verse I 3^> 

Jimmy Brown's Prompt Obedience. Boy comedy 28 

Laughing and Crying. Acting serio-comic recital 73 

Long Ago. Acting comedy 15 

Lost and Found. Comedy encore 16 

Mean Little Torment. Boy comedy recital 144 

'Member. Boy serio-comic child-dialect verse recital 30 

Minister Comes to Tea. Boy comedy encore verse recital 143 

Perplexed. Comedy romantic encore verse recital 102 

Piano-Tuner. Acting musical comedy 116 

Postponed. Acting pathos country dialect verse 153 

Pressed for Time. Acting serio-comic 82 

Ready for a Kiss. Boy serio-comic child dialect encore verse recital. . 89 

Stuttering Lover. Serio-comic romantic stuttering dialect verse 34 

Tom Fay's Soliloquy. Acting comedy romantic 61 

Waiter. Pathetic French dialect 1 1 

Welcome. Boy serio-comic address 149 

When Dad Enjoyed Himself. Boy comedy recital ._^. . 69 

When Greek Meets Greek. Acting comedy Yankee dialect encore verse. 133 

When Pa Gets Sick. Boy comedy child dialect encore verse recital. .. 137 

When Pa Was a Boy. Boy comedy child dialect encore 152 

When Papa's Sick. Boy comedy encore verse recital 136 

Why the Dog's Tail Was Skinned. Comedy French-Canadian dialect. 31 



MONOLOGUES FO*R 



PAGE. 

Abbie's Accounts. Acting comedy no 

After the Ball: Her Reflections. Acting musical comedy 126 

At the Box-Office. Acting comedy 139 

Aunt Sophronia Tabor at the Opera. Yankee dialect comedy encore. 42 

Betsey. Acting comedy 54 

X Christmas Greens. Acting romantic 35 

Deceitf illness of Man. Comedy New England dialect recital 98 

Deposed. Girl serio-comic child dialect encore verse recital 68 

Florentine Juliet. Pathos romantic verse recital 75 

Her First Recital. Acting comedy romantic 17 

I and My Father-in-Law. Acting comedy 64 

Introduction. Acting comedy 134 

Jack's Second Trial. Romantic encore verse recital 63 

Laughing and Crying. Acting comedy recital 73 

J Little Friend in the Mirror. Girl acting comedy 90 

Little Mother's Trials. Girl serio-comic recital 27 

My Lover Who Loved Me Last Spring. Girl acting romantic pathos. 119 

Pleasure Exertion. Comedy Yankee dialect recital 155 

/ "Studying German." Girl acting comedy German phrases 145 

Taken by Surprise. Dramatic acting comedy 86 

Taking an Elevator. Comedy Yankee dialect recital 123 

When the Minister Came to Tea. Girl serio-comic verse recital.... 141 

Woman's Vengeance. Dramatic tragic verse,..,, ,,,.. 49 



Werners 
Readings and Recitations 



No. 32. 



THE WAITER. 



Romantic, Pathetic French Dialect Monologue for a Man. 



GERTRUDE F. LYNCH. 



CHARACTER: French Waiter. 

COSTUME: Waiter Costume, with apron and towel. 

STAGE-SETTING: Dining-room interior with tables, buffet, etc.; 
palms for decoration stand about the room. 

SCENE: At rise of curtain waiter is discovered busy setting and 
arranging table. After a second of work he turns to audience 
and begins to talk. Throughout his monologue he talks and 
works and gestures. 

ZEY say zat we have no heart an' zat all we care for ees ze tip, 
always ze tip. Eet ees not true. Listen ! 

You see zose table zere by ze buffet ? Eet ees fine lok you get 
from zere to ze rivair w'ere ze boat go up an' down. Over zere 
ees ze hill of ze Jersey, an' outside ees ze fountain stock' wiz trout, 
big ones from ze what you call ze mountain ? Oh. yes, merci, ze 
Addyrohndak. 

Zose are my table an' I have zem now long time. 
Eet was monz's ago zey came for firs' time. She step out of ze 
carriage onto ze stone an' shake her dress wiz all ze littl' frills, 

ii 



12 WERNER'S READINGS 

and zen she turn an' look at heem, oh, wiz such a smile ; zen she 
lok 'round wiz such a smile, an' he, he lok so prou' an' pleas' like 
at her. I zought at ze commence zey were ze bride and groom, 
but I know after zey were not. How did I tell? Oh, but you 
know ze waiter can always tell, an' he don' know how eizer. Zere 
ees a somezing, a somezing quite different, oh, quite. No, zey 
were not ze man an' wife at all, zey were jus' frens, w'at you call, 
ze sweet heart, nest-ce-pas? 

She walk so light an' quick, like a bird, to ze balcon', an' she 
lok about an' aroun', and zen she clap her littl' hands an' she say, 
wiz her pret' smile, "Let us sit right here," an' she point out zis 
place an' zat, an' zen she sees the fountain an' she want to run 
right out an' catch her trout for dinner, an' he let her. She lok 
so like the pret' girl in my own countree zat my heart warm to her 
an' I come forward wiz my bes' manner. He say, "How's zis 
table, Georg'?" He call me Georg', but zat ees not my name. 
"Ees zis table w'at you call engage'?" and I say, "No," an' pull 
out ze chairs, an' zen he hurr' roun' ze table to help her take off 
her coat for fear I might do eet firs'. An' of course I stan' back 
until he han' it to me ; zen I brush eet ver' careful, put eet across 
ze back of ze chair an' pull up ze sleeve. She smile at me sweet- 
like w'en I do zat, and zen she smile at heem an' zen she smile 
all aroun'. He give her ze carte, ze menu, you know, an' she order 
ze dinner, but he keep order'n more zings an' more zings, an* 
she try to stop heem, but he won' be stop, an' she laugh an' call 
heem names in fun like, you know. No, zey were not ze man an' 
wife, you see. 

He was so big, an' dark an' handsome, an' wiz such a gentle 
lok w'en hees eye res' on her. Did he give me big tip? Yes, he 
give me ver' big tip, c'est vrai, but eet ees not always ze tip, I 'sure 
you. I like heem ; he so magnifique, you call eet, an' a perfec' 
gen'leman, an' he zink so much of her. 

Well, zey come again an' again; sometime' he telephone me: 
"Georg', " he say he call me Georg', but zat ees not my name 
"have ze table ready at such time," an' zey always come ze same 
way, she so smilin' an* he so happy. 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 13 

Well, one night I rush t'rough ze room zere, an' I see a carriage 
at ze stone an' she gettin' out from eet. Eet ees not ze usual night 
zey come, an' he have not telephone me ; an' zere ees someone else 
at zeir table, an' I don' know w'at ees to do. I lok again an' she 
ees smilin' at ze someone, but eet ees not ze same one ; eet ees 
anozer man, an' zis one ees light an' has ze curl' hair all ovair ze 
head. She lok at me as zough she nevair see me again ; you know 
ze way a woman lok w'en she come to ze restauran' wiz anozer 
man an' has ze same waiter. I don't seem to see her eizer, but I 
have a sort of queer feelin' about my hear', yes, I do ; I tol you, 
eet ees not always ze tip. 

Well, she come right up to her ol' table, wiz all her littl' ruffles 
flyin' an' she say to heem, "I like zis table bes'; let us sit right 
here, ze view ees so much ze bettair," an' she point eet out to 
heem jus' as she pointed out to ze ozer man; an' she laugh an' 
laugh, but some way ze laugh don't seem to come from ze same 
place as eet did before. An' he mor' serious zan ze ozer man, an' 
his smile don' seem to come from ze heart eizer ; an' he lok 'roun' 
at ze ozer women, w'ich the big, dark man nevair did. 

Well, ze people who sit at ze table, after she smile at zem, zey 
say, "We mos' t'rough ; jus' a minit ;" an' w'ile zey wait she go 
out to ze fountain an' catch ze trout. You know we keep eet 
stock so full all you have to do ees jus' to run a line t'rough an' a 
fly, an' ze fish are so anxious to be caught zat zey jus' jump to 
ze line, you know. After zey catch ze fish, zey come back an' he 
order ze dinner; he don' ask her to do eet, but she smile jus' ze 
same. Did he give me tip, too ? Oh, yes, he give me tip, too. No, 
eet was not quite so big, but I don't like heem anyway. I tol' you 
eet ees not always ze tip, an' I have to take eet anyway. W'at 
could I do? a poor waiter. He call me Georg', too. Strange 
how all ze Americains call ze waiter Georg' ! 

Well, zey come again, an' again, an' again, never have any ozer 
table; an' she always smilin', jus' as eef she hadn't been zere ze 
night before perhaps, wiz ze big, dark, handsome man. 

You believe in w'at you call ze fate ? I do. Eet got so after ze 
w'ile zat ze secon' man wiz ze curl' hair, you comprenez, would 



14 WERNER'S READINGS 

tol' me to keep ze table for ze next week ze same night, always 
ze same, ze Wednesday. So, w'en ze day come, I turn back ze 
chair. Zen one Wednesday zis ees w'at happen. I was down ze 
town, way down on an erran' you call eet. I was walkin' long 
brisk-like w'en I see heem, my tall, fine, handsome fren', ze one 
she come wiz firs', you recallez? 

I bows mos' perlite, but he don' recognize me at firs', wiz my 
hat on an' my apron off, an' he stop an' say, in zat gentle manner 
of his, "I don' seem to place you, my man. Were have I seen 
you ?" An' I says to heem, "W'y, I'm Georg'. Don' you remem- 
ber your waiter?" My name isn't Georg', but I call mysel' so 
to recall me to hees remember. He laughs an' loks happy-like, 
jus' as eef seem' me had made heem zink of her, you know. He 
lok jus' like he lok w'en he lok at her. It is Wednesday, I tol' you 
zat, you remember? All of a sudden somezing wizin me makes 
me say to him : "Eef you should come to-night zere are some 
fresh trout, an' I would lok out for you specially." He stop an' 
zink an' he say, part to heemself, part to me, "Eet ees too late an' 
besides she always go to her aunt to-night, ze Wednesdays." Zen 
he zink again quick an' he speak up: "I'll come, an* be sure to 
catch me a nice, big fish yourself." Zen he say "Good-bye." Re- 
tainin' fee? W'at you call zat? Oh, a tip? Yes, he give me a 
tip, but you zink I keep zat tip. I tol' you, no. I give eet all to a 
beggar on ze nex' corner. I tol 5 you he ees a fine man, too fine to 
be well, he go along, an' I feel like, like Pontius Pilate, was it, 
who betrayed hees Master? Well, some one of zose ol' Bible 
characters, anyway. 

He came in an' he walk right to his ordinaire table an* see ze 
chair turn back. An' he stop an' say, disappoint' like, "Engage', 
Georg'?" I says, an' I can feel myself grow w'ite, "Yes, sir, eet 
ees engage' evry Wednesday." An' he say quick-like, "W'at! 
Ev'ry Wednesday, Georg', ze same ones?" An' I say, again, 
slowly, "Yes, sir, ze same ones, for long time now, sir." 

He don' suspect an' he take ze table facin' ze chair she always 
sit in ; an' I know from his face zat he's zinkin' of her an' zat eet 
ees jus' a gladness to lok at ze place an' zink he see her zere, like 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 15 

ze nights she come to dine wiz heem. I feel so bad, but w'at could 
I do? He couldn't go on an' marry girl like zat who smile an' 
smile an' smile at all alike. He couldn't, could he? a fine man, 
like zat. 

I hurried, for I did want to have heem have ze big trout befor' 
zey came, for I felt sure he wouldn't eat anyzin' afterwar'. He 
was jus' finishin' w'en zey came in, she leadin', wiz her pret' littl' 
ruffles flyin' in ze breeze, an' ze fluf zing roun' her neck an' all 
her littl' gold curl' flyin', too. She has pink cheeks, like ze apple 
bloss'm in ze springtime, an' littl' tiny hands all cover' wiz 
sparkles ; she nevair wear ze glove, but her sleeve lace come down 



an' near cover' zem. 



She don' see him for w'ile; she lok out at ze rivair an' she 
poin' to ze sun w'ich sets ovair ze Jersey shore, an' she laugh right 
out loud at a littl' tug comin' up ze Hudsohn wiz a great big tow ; 
she laughs at eet again an' again, an' tell heem it lok like someone 
zey bot' know I did not catch ze name but ees no matter. Zen 
she sit down an' unwrap ze fluf zin from her t'roat, an' she smile 
at ze man wiz ze curl' hair, an' zen at me, an' zen 'roun' every- 
w'ere, an' zen she see heem. 

She went w'ite all once. I t'ought at ze firs' she was goin' to 
faint, but she pluck' game zat littl' miss. She rally an' she lok 
at heem an' bow gravely as eef to some ordinaire acquaintance, 
an* zen she talk an* laugh wiz ze man wiz ze curl' hair. An' all 
at once I know zat she don' care a littl' beet for heem, but zat she 
do care, oh, lots, for ze big, fine man my fren f . How I know ? 
Oh, you can't tell how you know zose zing, you jus' know, zat ees 
all. 

How he take eet? Oh, he only give zat one long lok, an' zen 
he turn his face away a littl' an' he lok out on ze rivair for con- 
sider'bl' minute. Zen he beckon me an' say, "Georg', get me a 
bottl' of wine," an' I run to get eet ; an' he sit an' drink one glass 
after ze ozer, you know ze way a man does w'en he's makin' hees 
min' up to somezing zat hurts an' he ain't quite strong enough to 
do eet wizout some, w'at you call ze Dutch courage. He drink 
ze bottleful, an' she watch heem out of ze cornair of her littl' eye. 



16 WERNER'S READINGS 

She don' eat only preten' to ; an' her face don' get back ze color, 
no, not at all; eet ees jus' pale an' peak like a sick chil'. 

But ze ozer man, ze man with the curl' hair, he don' notice any- 
zing but hees dinner. He eat, eat, an' don' see zat she don' hardly 
touch hers. An' my fren' he don' lok at her again after zat firs' 
glance, but he lok on ze rivair an' ze Jersey way till ze sun set an' 
ze hill begin to grow big an' gray an' ze twilight creep ovair to 
our side of ze Hudsohn and zey turn on ze electric. Zen he get 
up slow', like an ol' man I tol' you how quick he used to move- 
an' he take up his hat, an' he beckon me an' say, "Good-bye, 
Georg'," an' shake hands wiz me. Zen he go wizout one glance 
back, proud like, an' eet ees ze las' time. 

Did he give me tip ? Yes, he give me big tip, a five-dol'r, but do 
you zink I spen' eet? No, sir, I give eet to my church the nex' 
Sunday. 

Oh, she? Yes, zey come a few time more, zen zey marry an' I 
don' see zem for long time ; zen he come once in w'ile alon', an' 
once she come wiz heem, but she don' smile no more an' he quite 
cross to her 'cause she don' care for ze ver' expensive dinner he 
give her. 



LOST AND FOUND. 



CHARACTERS : MR. SMITH, Speaker, present ; MR. JONES sup- 
posed to be present. 

SCENE: On the street. Enter MR. SMITH and MR. JONES, 
SMITH apparently in earnest conversation with MR. JONES. 
Stops at stage c. and begins his real conversation. 

YOU remember that very handsome watch I lost five or six 
years ago ? You do ? You remember how I looked high and 
low for it, and could not find it anywhere ? Was my search diligent 
exhaustive? I should say it was. Well, yesterday, I put on an 
old waistcoat that I hadn't worn for years, and what do you think 
I found in the pocket? My watch? I thought you'd say that. 
I found the hole that I must have lost it through. 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 17 

HER FIRST RECITAL. 

Humorous and Romantic Monologue for a Woman. 



ANNA M. PHILLEY. 



t Written expressly for this book. 



CHARACTERS : DOROTHY, Speaker present ; MR. ROSE, MR. HARRY 
ROSE and Miss PHELPS, supposed to be present. 

COSTUME : Outdoor costume. 

SCENE : Music room, interior. Enter DOROTHY,, looking all 
fagged out. 

OH, dear me, I never was so tired in all my life ! I'm just dead 
tired, as papa says, and as hungry as a bear ! I'm going to 
get off my things and make a bee line for the pantry. Why, what 
is this ? A note addressed to me ! Why, that looks like Miss 
Phelps's writing. Oh ! I wonder if she has gotten me that ap- 
pointment to give a recital ! I'm so excited and nervous I can 
hardly get the thing open. [Reads.] 

"My Dear Dorothy:'" [Looking at signature.] Yes, Mary B. 
Phelps, that's she. "I have succeeded in our little scheme. You 
are to give a recital all by yourself at Highland Park, next Fri- 
day evening, June 2Oth, at Music Hall, under the auspices of the 
High School Club. Mr. Harry Rose, who has come here recently 
from three years' study abroad, a violinist, will furnish two 
violin solos to relieve you. Aside from this, you will be responsi- 
ble for the entire program. They have agreed to pay you five 
dollars and expenses. Come to my studio this evening at 7 130, 
and I will tell you more about it. In the meantime practice your 
strong selection, 'As the Moon Rose,' and the pantomime, 'Comin' 
thro' the Rye.' In haste yours, 

"MARY B. PHELPS/' 

[Dances about room.] Oh! isn't this glorious! Miss Dorothy 
Dunlap will give a recital. Ahem ! and I'm going to get five dol- 



i8 WERNER'S READINGS 

lars. Well, five dollars is not to be sneezed at. I can get a good 
many things with five dollars. [Refers to note again.] Oh ! Miss 
Phelps, you're an old darling! Let me see what she says about 
that young man. [Reads.] "Mr. Harry Rose, violinist, will fur- 
nish" Harry Rose Harry is rather a common name wonder 
why he don't have people call him Henry ; that's more dignified, 
and I like the name better, too ; and "Rose" sounds girlish. Let's 
see what was it Shakespeare said about a name? [Knocks on 
forehead.] Oh, yes, "What's in a name, a rose by any other name 
would smell as sweet/' Well, I hope he's a genius and not a 
dandy dude. Now, what was I to practice? [Reads again.] 
"Practice your strong selection, 'As the Moon Rose,' and your 
pantomime, 'Comin' thro' the Rye.' But I must tell mamma 
about the good news first. [Calling up stairs.] Mamma! 
Mamma ! I've got my engagement ! Why, over to Highland 
Park. Yes, I'm to receive five dollars. Next Friday evening. 
Yes, I'm going to practice right away. No, I'll practice right 
here in the library. [To herself.] Well, I must get off my things 
and work hard now for an hour at least. [Takes off wraps while 
talking.] My! won't Barbara Burris be jealous? She's been tak- 
ing lessons of Miss Phelps longer than I have. She'll be as 
"jealous as a barbary cock pigeon over his hen," as Rosalind said. 
[Picks up note again mumbling.] Harry Rose Harry Rose 
I can't help wondering what sort of a fellow you are, Mr. Harry. 
I'd give a good deal to know whether you are married or single ! 
Well, I must settle down to biz ! I wonder how Dorothy Dunlap 
looks, now she's booked for a recital. [Looks in hand-mirror.] 
Hello ! Miss Dorothy ! same old girl, aren't you ? You must primp 
up a little, now that you've an engagement as a reader. You're 
not what folks call pretty, but you have brains, and brains count 
for more than beauty any day, but I wish I were beautiful, just 
the same. I think a little dash of Mennen's might help you out 
somewhat. You must make a good impression on young Harry, 
or maybe he's old Harry how do I know ? Anyway, first impres- 
sions are the most enduring, so we'll do our best, won't we, "Dear 
Daughter Dorothy," as mamma says? 



AND RECITATIONS NO: 32. 19 

Now for "As the Moon Rose." [Practices a couple of lines;* 
then suddenly stops and says-'] I wonder how I look when I'm 
speaking there's a whole lot in the way one looks. [Thinking.] 
I have it There ! [Places mirror on chair in front of her, then 
makes an elaborate bow.} Oh! I've got a stitch in my side, em! 
how it hurts ! Dear me ! but wouldn't it be awful to get a pain like 
that right on the stage before a crowd of people? I guess I'll 
make a more modest bow. I think it looks better, anyway. Let's 
see, where was I ? Oh, yes. [Goes on with selection. Then stops 
suddenly.} I don't believe I need as much practice on that as I 
do on the pantomime. I'm going to practice that awhile. Dear 
me ! but I'm hungry ; but I haven't time to eat ; I can chew gum, 
though, and pantomime at the same time. "Kill two birds with 
one stone." What did I do with my gum last night? [Hunts 
around edge of table and finally finds gum in handkerchief ; makes 
great ado getting it limbered up; then hums melody of "Cowiin 
thro' the Rye," pantomiming as she hums, and chewing gum rap- 
idly and audibly. Just as she finishes the chorus the telephone 
bell rings.] 

There goes the telephone ! I wonder what's wanted ? [Answers 
'phone.] Hello! Yes, oh, yes; oh, Miss Phelps, you're a darling! 
Oh, I thought you wanted me to come to your studio. You've 
decided 'twould be better to come here instead? All right. Beg 
pardon. Oh, are you? And you're going to bring the violinist 
with you? When will you come? Oh, right away; dear me! 
Oh, yes, yes, it's all right, certainly, only I'm just a little excited, 
that's all. Sure, it's all right. Good bye ! Good bye ! 

[Picks up mirror and talks to herself.] Now, Miss Dorothy, 
do your best, your level best to make a good impression. [Fixes 
hair, pozvders face.] You're going to meet a man, an artist, a 
genius, maybe your fate, so beware ! 

[Sadly.] But I don't believe I'll ever love any one as I did 
my ! I thought I heard some one coming. I s'pose I may ex- 
pect them now any minute. Bother ! if I could just make my heart 
stop thumping so loudly. I wonder if I've got heart disease. I 

See bottom of pag 3' fo lines from ' A. the Moor Rose.' 



20 WERNER'S READINGS 

know it isn't sentiment or fear I'm just a little nervous, that's 
all. I'm going to turn down the gas real low and sit here in this 
window and watch. I'll have the advantage of them then ; I can 
see them but they can't see me. Ah, ha, Master Harry, I'll catch 
the first glimpse. 

[Sits near window straining eyes, still chewing gum.] Dear 
me ! I must hide this gum, or Miss Phelps will be shocked ; she 
thinks it unladylike to chew gum. I believe they are now coming 
down the walk. Yes, that's Miss Phelps ; I know her gait. My, 
but he's tall and handsome ! Oh, they're going on. Oh, now I see ; 
it's Dr. Mayfair and his mother. I never thought she and Miss 
Phelps were a bit alike before. Well, if I've got to wait I'll im- 
prove the time. [Chews gum nervously; then calls up stairs.] 
Yes, mother, I'm practicing. [Aside.] Practicing chewing. 
[Looks out again.] 

There ! that is surely Miss Phelps. Yes, it is, and they're com- 
ing right up the steps. Why, he walks a little lame. Oh, dear, 
I must get rid of this gum. [Dashes round room, turns on gas } 
and stands in front of door.} Now, ring the bell. Why don't 
you ring? I'll peep through the key-hole. [Just as she does this 
the bell rings.] Wheel but that's hard on ear-drums. [Opens 
door.] Good morning, Miss Phelps, and this is Mr. Rose? 
[Aside.] My! what an old duffer! Old enough to be my grand- 
father. I'm delighted to meet you, Mr. Rose. [Aside.] But 
would have been more delighted were you forty years younger. 
Here, have this chair, Mr. Rose; and Miss Phelps, please make 
yourself at home. Where is your violin, Mr. Rose ? Oh ! I sup- 
posed you were the gentleman who was to play for me. Indeed ! 

Your son Oh, I'm so glad I mean or a Beg pardon? 

No, Miss Phelps, my mother is not well ; she is suffering with 
a sprained ankle. Oh, certainly you may see her if you like ; she 
is up stairs in the sitting-room. Oh, Mr. Rose desires to see 
her ? You and my mother old school-mates ? Is it possible ? Why, 
how very funny. 

[Calling up stairs.] Mamma! an old friend of yours is coming 
up to see you an old school-mate. He knew you in England. 



'AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 21 

Wait til) he comes, and see if you know him. Go -right up, Mr. 
Rose; it will be all right. [Pantomime watching Mr. Rose de- 
part.] 

Say, Miss Phelps, when is the young man coming? Why, that 
must be he now. You answer the bell ; I'm so excited and ner- 
vous. I'll slip into the back parlor until I get my breath. [Picks 
up mirror and powder as she goes.] Now, Dorothy Dunlap, be- 
have yourself. You are acting like a great simpleton, and here 
you are a young woman almost nineteen, and booked for a re- 
cital ! I'm ashamed of you. There he comes, now. Why, how 
familiar his step sounds. I could almost swear it was Henry 
St. Glair's step. I'll just peep through these curtains and see what 
sort of a looking fellow he is. 

[Dashing out in great surprise.] Why, Henry St. Clair! What 
are you doing here ? I thought you were in Europe ! Let me go, 
sir; don't you remember how we parted just three years ago? I 
said then I'd never speak to you again, and I wouldn't if well, 
if I had not been so excited. Besides, I'm expecting a Mr. Harry 
Rose here any minute to You are Harry Rose? I don't be- 
lieve it. Well, explain yourself, if you can. Oh, I see ; how sad, 
how very sad ; and your parents both died within a month, and 
this Mr. Rose adopted you, and educated you in music? And 
what brought you here ? A visit to the homeland, and with me? 
Can we be friends again ? Well, Henry, since you've come so far, 
and confessed so much, we will be friends until, well, until after 
the recital, at any rate. Miss Phelps! [Calling.} Why, where 
has she gone ? I presume she thought war was declared and she'd 
better get out of the way of the shots. Oh, Miss Phelps ! come 
back ! The war is over and the coast is clear. Yes, we've made 
up and it's time for our rehearsal now. Come on.* 

*"Now upon this June day in the year of our Lord 1780, the patriots 
were gathered outside the tavern door the witch-girl Judith apart from 
the rest, her black horse 'Fonso tugging impatiently at her arm and 
Grandame Pettibone's voice rose shrilly above the babble. 'Hiram won't 
be back to-night, I guess, and he's already three days overdue. It's pretty 
dangerous work, carrying Washington's messages, but he's bound to get 
along in the world, Hiram is; and that witch-girl Judith fools herself ID 
thinking the lad cares for her. Why, I know he's another sweetheart in 
Boston town/ The girl took a step forward to answer back hotly, then* 



22 WERNER'S READINGS 



CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS. 



Dramatic Monologue in Verse for a Man. 



TRANSLATED FROM THE ITALIAN OF GAZZOLETTI BY ADAM RONDEL. 



[The original of the following poem was recited before crowded audi- 
ences by the elder Salvini on several occasions during his American tour. 
Attired in the costume of this "hero of two worlds," his powerful form 
bent as though with the weight of years and of the heavy chains that 
bound his feet and hands, the great tragedian moved his hearers to the 
highest pitch of enthusiasm. The poem was given to the translator by 
Salvini's private secretary and prompter, who venerates the worn little 
pamphlet for the many associations it enfolds of this great master of "the 
greatest of all arts."- -A. R.] 



CHARACTER : COLUMBUS. 

COSTUME: Half-worn costume following style pictured in all 
illustrations of Columbus. 

SCENE: Interior of a cell. COLUMBUS standing weighted with 
chains. 



FORLORN, alone and old I die. Alas ! 
My life, in hardships passed, in sorrow ends. 
But heaven vouchsafed to me 'midst all my woes 
One joy so great, that every grief because 
Of it seemed a delight ; for sending forth 
A ray of His eternal light upon 
The world, God turned to Italy and spoke 
In graciousness to me : "O fearless one, 
Go find a pathway toward the setting sun." 

And opening my eyes upon the West, 

I saw what seemed a new world rising up 

From out the waves. Wide-reaching forest lands 

Of trees unknown ; great rivers ; plains immense ; 

And various beasts ; and birds of plumage rare ; 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 23 

i 

And all the luscious fruits that India yields, 
The envy and desire of Northern lands; 
The seas were rich with pearl, the hills with gold. 
"Go forth, return and tell what thou hast seen," 
I heard the voice speak in my ear. Alas ! 
I have no wealth ; no sail spreads out at my 
Command and nothing have I but a thought. 

I brought my heavenly inspiration to 

The crowned ones of the earth and asked of them 

A little of their wealth. Alas ! alas ! 

Through long and weary years I plead with them, 

But they derided me, misunderstood. 

I hardly understood myself- -I saw. 

Pray bring me closer to the casement there. 

Take not from my unhappy, hung'ring eyes 

The sight of the bright sea the sea, a short 

While since, so infinite; no longer so, 

Since I with new-found shores have shut it in. 

The sea, the sea, my kingdom and my friend, 

My glory and the hope of my best years ! 

Once more let me salute it, then unfurl 

The sails : I'll voyage on to find that shore 

Uncertain and unknown, more distant far, 

Of which no tidings may I bring to you. 

So smooth it was, so joyous and so blue, 
When fearless first I cast myself upon 
Its open, sunlit, pulsing breast, and saw 
What eye of man had never seen. With dire 
And fearful terrors and with monsters dread 
Man's superstition filled it. / feared not 
Nor hesitated long. Fly on, my bark ! 
And if my heart beat high, it was with dread 
Lest they, my tim'rous men should courage lack 
To bear our purpose to its perfecting. 



24 WERNER'S READINGS 

Fly on, my bark ! No hostile omens shall 
Thy winged course arrest : land lies beyond 
1 see it in my swift, out-running thought. 
Faint-hearted ones, take courage! Land is near! 
And soon our bark will touch the beauteous shore. 
Heaven aids our daring enterprise with winds 
Propitious and with soft, caressing waves. 

Day follows weary day till months are gone 

And still no trace of land is visible; 

But sky and sea around us and above, 

While pallid faces tell all hope is lost. 

And I, what can I do ? Must I with my 

Sparse gold their dull souls bribe? They'll heed naught else, 

New stars are leading me on unknown seas. 

"Give me but three days more, and then, if still 

'Tis vain we hope I'll yield me up to you." 



Behold from out the west great clouds of birds 

In rapid flight. 

Sea-weed and curious leaves and plants adrift 

From stranger shores. 

Breaks through the eternal silence of the sky 

A fervent cry : 

"The land! the land!" Oh, who can tell my joy? 

The land at last ! 

A light descried across the misty night 

Confirms our hope : 

And hands are strong and hearts are light once more 

As on we go. 

The bright day comes and crimson is the sea. 

Was it a dream ? 

Ah, no, it lies within our sight at last 

The longed-for land ! 

A beauteous maid bedecked in green and gold 

On billowy couch, 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 33. 25 

Sparkling and fair to see, a guerdon paid 

To valorous knight; 

A bride as fair as hope more fair than I 

Had dared conceive. 

The sun creeps up the lurking shadows flee 

And lo ! she laughs 

From very joy of life. 

Now furl the sail let down the boats, O land! 

At length I kiss thy longed-for shores; at last, 

O heavenly inspiration not in vain 

Believed in, I my greeting bring to thee ! 



The great work is completed. Am not I 
Lord of my lands and of the sea ? But where 
My subjects and my palaces, my gems, 
My laurels, and, O king, thy promises? 

Within thy palace, the Alhambra, throned* 

Granada, vanquished, lying at thy feet 

A wandering Italian came to thee, 

A man oppressed beneath the burden of 

His thoughts and gray before his time. A tired 

And sickly child clung to his hand. Grandees 

And princes high in rank and captains brave 

Stood there 'mid all the splendor ancient Spain 

Could boast. What said to thee, O Ferdinand, 

The unknown Genoese? "O Sire," he said, 

Nor was there quiver of his lip "O Sire, 

Fate gave thee Aragon and love Castile, 

And war the kingdom of the Moors. But I 

Would give thee more than fate, or love, or war, 

Than Aragon, Granada or Castile 

Far more a world ! I went and I returned. 

Unlocked for I returned, O king, with gems 

And gold from thy new kingdom, won without 



26 WERNER'S READINGS 

The shedding of a drop of blood or sound 
Of battle cry. And when I proudly showed 
The proofs of my discovery to thee, 
Thy haughty councillors and learned men, 
Thou saidst to these, thy courtiers : "Genius is 
A spark of the Divine above all kings ! 
Uncover in its presence, O Grandees 
Of Spain !" 

Can I this same Columbus be, 

Forgotten, poor, and driven from place to place? 

Without a home, where he may even die, 

Is he discov'rer of the world, while all 

Of Europe feasts and revels in the gold 

Whose sources he made known? 

Oh, do not tell 

Posterity this infamy, nor say 

That these old arms the impress bear of chains, 

Nor that I lived imprisoned where I once 

Had walked a conqueror. O cruel Fate, 

If it was written in thy book that such 

A service should be paid in coin so poor, 

Then God be thanked that such reward came not 

From Italy. Ah, well ! 'tis done, 'tis done ! 

Behold the fair land reeks and smokes with blood ! 

Oh, horrid crimes ! Lo ! swords are buried deep 

In brothers' hearts defenceless. . . . Such was not 

Columbus' thought when he became your guide, 

Beneath the banner of the Holy Cross 

Which ye have so defiled with massacres 

And made the very pretext for your sin. 

What passion moves you, men, that gold does not 

Suffice that ye must have the warm life-blood 

Of brother men? If this be valor, what 



AND RECITATIONS NO, 32. 2% 

Is cowardice ? Oh, hide the vision dread 
The pain that all unwittingly I've caused. 

* * 8 

I am resigned. O sea ! the sight of thee 

Brings to my heart remorse : both innocent, 

And yet accomplices in all these great 

Misfortunes. Time will come when all the crime 

Beneath the dust of centuries will rest, 

And from this new-found world will come at last 

As much of good as evil came at first. 

And then my name by unborn races will 

Be blest the praise more glorious because 

So late. I die content. Columbus will 

Be known in every clime and men rise up 

To do him reverence. 



A LITTLE MOTHER'S TRIALS, 



BESSIE B. McCLURE. 



[A little girl with infant doll in her lap, one in a cradle and others 
seated on chairs or couch.} 

OH, dear ! I'm in such trouble 
Sophia's sick abed, 
And Rosalind is dreadful cross 

Because she bumped her head; 
Belle's torn her nice new apron, 

The naughty, careless child ! 
And Rob is so mischievous 

He nearly sets me wild : 
The baby, too, is teething, 

And so, of course, he cries ; 
Dear me ! It's hard to manage 

A family of this size. 



28 WERNER'S READINGS 



JIMMY BROWN'S PROMPT OBEDIENCE. 



Comedy Monologue for a Small Boy. 



W. L. ALDEN. 



[Enter JIMMY BROWN in hesitating fashion, shuffles along, 
stops and looks at fingers, then talks direct to audience.} 

I HAVEN'T been able to write anything for some time. I don't 
mean that there has been anything the matter with my fingers 
so that I couldn't hold a pen ; but I haven't had the heart to write 
of my troubles. Besides, I have been locked up for a whole week 
in the spare bedroom on bread and water, and just a little hash 
or something like that, except when Sue used to smuggle in cake 
and pie and such things, and I haven't had any penanink. I was 
going to write a novel while I was locked up by pricking my 
finger and writing in blood with a pin on my shirt ; but you can't 
write hardly anything that way, and I don't believe all those 
stories of conspirators who wrote dreadful promises to do all 
sorts of things in their blood. Before I could write two little 
words my finger stopped bleeding, and I wasn't going to keep 
on pricking myself every few minutes ; besides, it won't do to use 
all your blood up that way. There was once a boy who cut him- 
self awful in the leg with a knife, and he bled to death for five or 
six hours, and when he got through he wasn't any thicker than 
a newspaper, and rattled when his friends picked him up just like 
the morning newspaper does when father turns it inside out. Mr. 
Travers told me about him, and said this was a warning against 
bleeding to death. 

Of course you'll say I must have been doing something dread- 
fully wrong, but I don't think I have ; and even if I had, I'll leave 
it to anybody if Aunt Eliza isn't enough to provoke a whole com- 
pany of saints. The truth is, I got into trouble this time just 
through obeying promptly as soon as I was spoken to. I'd like 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 29 

to know if that was anything wrong. Oh, I'm not a bit sulky, 
and I am always ready to admit I've done wrong when I really 
have ; but this time I tried to do my very best and obey my dear 
mother promptly, and the consequence was that I was shut up for 
a week, besides other things too painful to mention. This world 
is a fleeting show, as our minister says, and I sometimes feel that 
it isn't worth the price of admission. 

Aunt Eliza is one of those women that always know everything, 
and know that nobody else knows anything, particularly us men. 
She was visiting us, and rinding fault with everybody, and con- 
stantly saying that men were a nuisance in a house and why didn't 
mother make father mend chairs and whitewash the ceiling and 
what do you let that great lazy boy waste all his time for ? There 
was a little spot in the roof where it leaked when it rained, and 
Aunt Eliza said to father, "Why don't you have energy enough 
to get up on the roof and see where that leak is? I would if I 
was a man thank goodness I ain't." So father said, "You'd 
better do it yourself, Eliza." And she said, "I will this very 
day." 

So after breakfast Aunt Eliza asked me to show her where the 
scuttle was. We always kept it open for fresh air, except when 
it rained, and she crawled up through it and got on the roof. Just 
then mother called me, and said it was going to rain, and I must 
close the scuttle. I began to tell her that Aunt Eliza was on the 
roof, but she wouldn't listen, and said, "Do as I tell you this in- 
stant, without any words; why can't you obey promptly?" So I 
obeyed as prompt as I could, and shut the scuttle and fastened it, 
and then went down-stairs, and looked out to see the shower come 
up. 

It was a tremendous shower, and it struck us in about ten 
minutes ; and didn't it pour ! The wind blew, and it lightened and 
thundered every minute, and the street looked just like a river. 
I got tired of looking at it after a while, and sat down to read, and 
in about an hour, when it was beginning to rain a little easier, 
mother came where I was, and said, "I wonder where sister Eliza 
is ; do you know, Jimmy ?" And I said I supposed she was on the 



30 WERNER'S READINGS 

roof, for I left her there when I fastened the scuttle just before 
it began to rain. 

Nothing was done to me until after they had got two men to 
bring Aunt Eliza down and wring the water out of her, and the 
doctor had come, and she had been put to bed, and the house was 
quiet again. By that time father had come home, and when he 
heard what had happened- But, there ! it is over now, and 

let us say no more about it. Aunt Eliza is as well as ever, but 
nobody has said a word to me about prompt obedience since the 
thunder-shower. 



'MEMBER. 




EMBER, awful long ago 

'Most a million weeks or so 
How we tried to run away. 
An' was gone for 'most a day? 
Your Pa found us bofe an' nen 
Asked if we'd be bad again 
An' we promised, by-um-by, 
Do you 'member? So d' I. 

'Member^ when I tried to crawl ~- 
Frough \at hgje<beneaf your wjall, - 
An' I stuckjcbecuz my head 
Was too~rjig ? Your. Muvver said, 
When she came to j^ull me frough, 
S'prised. you didn't try it, too. 
An you jig it, by-um-by. v 
'Member ? " Do yuh ? So d' JL 

*M>mber_when your Muvver said 
'At she wight. I'd run an' do 
^11 ve mischief in my bead 
All at cincjj^n' get it fijLigh? 
S'pose we ^Udr>why, maybe yen 
We could So it all again ! 

AW <J 

Guess we could if .we should try 
sometime? So'lML 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 31 



WHY THE DOG'S TAIL WAS SKINNED. 



French Canadian Dialect Comedy Monologue for a Man. 



Arranged as a monologue expressly for this book by Stanley Schell. 



CHARACTERS REPRESENTED : THE FRENCH CANADIAN, owner of 
the dog, Speaker, present; CAMPERS, supposed to be present. 

COSTUME: Rough camper's costume. 
STAGE-SETTING : Camp fire scene. 

SCENE : Campers supposed to be lying about camp fire near stage 
center. 

[Enter THE FRENCH CANADIAN with a supposed dog follow- 
ing at his heels. He occasionally glances at the dog as he slowly 
crosses stage from R. rear to front center, apparently moving 
around several men. He sits quietly, lights his old pipe, smiles 
a little as he seems to be listening to what they are talking about, 
nods head and smiles again, takes a long puff as if deeply think- 
ing; then, as if satisfied zvith the result of his reflections, settles 
back comfortably, motioning to his dog to lie at his feet. Then 
takes another long puff at pipe and watches the smoke go off as 
he slowly begins to talk.] 

YOU men's bin ask me w'at for ah'm skeen ze dog's tail. Ah'm 
tell you. [Another long puff at pipe and the same slow 
process of watching the smoke curl away.] Ah'm skeen heem for 
money, skeen heem fer cinque dollar, fer ev'ry hair een heem tail, 
an' more, too. Let me tell. 

Ze dog heem bin no good, jes' lay 'roun' camp in ze sun an' bite, 
bite, bite fer ze flea. Heem geet dir-ty, an' heem eye bin geet 
red, lak heem bin on beeg, long, booze. Ze boss heem com' 'long 
one day an' heem say : "Eh, Eli, you lazy Frenchman, you tak' 
Carlo down stream behin' ze bateau an' w'en you bin geet heem 
clean you tak' heem ashore an' keel heem dead, an' deeg hoi' an' 



32 WERNER'S READINGS 

hide heem from ze eyes of me. Eef you don't do eet, Ah'm keek 
you out ze place." 

'Fraid? Yes, he one, big, strong man. So, Ah kem down. 
Carlo heem com' 'long 'hind ze bateau an' splash, splash, like zis 
[makes movements with his hands to sJwiv how Carlo did] in ze 
water, lak heem bin tickle 'most 'ter bin die. [From now on he 
grozvs more and more earnest, gesticulating frequently, occasion- 
ally looking closely into the men's faces.} 

Yas, heem stay in 'long time. Heem hav' fin' bully time. An' 
Ah'm say to heem : "Carlo, you bin goin' geet yourself keeled 
pretty kveek. Look lak you was sad, Carlo; eet was you' las' 
chance, sure." An' ze dog wag heem tail more fas' an' laugh out 
heem eyes an' say ha-ha in heem t'roat, jes' sam' heem go on ze 
peekneck w'at ze Yankee folks tak' w'en zey want geet drunk. 

Understand? Heem un'stand ev'ry zing. 

Bimeby, w'en Ah'm bin tow heem two mile, an' t'ink heem geet 
sam' ez clean, Ah tak' heem ashor' an' geet ready fer keel 
heem. 

Dog look ? Heem look sad al' time. Heem seemed to know. 

Soon we go by ze shore. Ze sun bin shin' in ze sky lak' heem 
hav' good tarn', ze water seeng on ze rocks, lak' heem glad, Carlo 
wag heem tail weef, weef, weef sam' heem bin leef mos' all 
ze tarn'. 

Some'ow, Ah hear ze noise on ze racks an' bin theenk w'at mak' 
ze chunk-chunk. Ah look, an' sure ez you leef, sure ez Ah'm 
tell you, Carlo, heem tail bin all boonched an' broke een ze clam 
shells, w'at grab on ze hair heem tail w'en Ah tow heem enn 
Ripogenus Rips twenty, t'irty, er hun'er' clams all grab fas' ter 
Carlo heem tail an' all hoi' on lak they bin goin' tak er ride. 

Preety beeg clam story ? Een coorse eet is. W'at you t'ink ? 

W'at Ah'm do now, you bin t'ink ? W'at you do, you bin in ze 
place Ah vas bin? You don't know? 

Carlo heem bin good dog, lazy, lak any dog, lak you an' Ah'm 
bin eef you an' Ah'm bin dog. But heem no bad dog 'nuf make 
heem die 'long ze clams. So Ah'm bin t'ink, an Ah tak' ze knif 
an' Ah'm bin whe-e-tle ze clams away, takin' some ze hair erlong 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 33 

ze clams, but hav' ze tail all sleek, lak eet bin new. Carlo heem 
stan' steel an' wait fer ze clams fall off, lak er horse w'en you bin 
tak' off ze mud. Kveek ez Ah'm bin done Carlo heem joomp all 
over mah he'd an' leek mah face, sam' heem bin tickled mos' ready 
ter die. 

Ah do? Ah'm hav' spell ter t'ink right now. Eef Ah keel 
Carlo, heem bin dead all tarn. No more chase ze rabbit, no more 
tree ze 'coon. Ez Ah'm bin theenk Ah open ze clams cut, cut 
ev'ry tarn lak eet cut ze heart. 

Ze firs' clam heem bin beeg heem shell ho' seex fingers ze 
wheesky, an' w'en Ah'm bin cut heem two doors open, Ah fin' ze 
leetle shine gravel een heem. Eet bin sam' size ze bean w'at ze 
cook geev ze mans in ze camp, an' eet bin hard an' shine lak ze 
oil lamp, w'en Ah'm bin touch ze match ter heem. Ah see w'at 
heem vas ze firs' tam Ah look. 

Vat eet vas ? Heem bin ze beeg pearl w'at ze Yankeemans buy, 
an' Ah say eef Ah'm bin fin' more pearl, Ah'm buy Carlo an' keep 
heem sam's heem bin mv doer. 

s C3 

Did Ah fin' any? Nex' shell hoi' no pearl jes' lak clam, no 
more. W'en Ah'm open seex clam Ah'm bin fin' two more pearl, 
an' keep on, so w'en Ah'm bin done Ah hav' ze wheesky glass 
full ze pearl. 

Pearl story all right ? You no b'live ? 

Go on ? Yas, zat's w'at Ah deed. Ah runned back ze camp 
an' say ze boss: 'Wat heem tak' for Carlo heem skeen?" An* 
ze boss say : 

"Skeen heem eef you want to, an' hurry back to work eef you 
don' want to lose you' own skeen." 

Nex' day w'en Ah see ze boss, heem say : "Eli, you black Can- 
nucker, w'at for you no keel ze dog?" 

An' Ah say : "Ah'm bin buy ze skeen w'at Carlo wear. You 
sell heem?" 

"Oui, you may hav' heem now tak' heem," ze boss say, but ze 
skeen is no good till you bin tak' heem off. 

"Ah'm bin lak' Carlo bes' w'en heem skeen iss on heem," say 
me. An' Ah zen show ze boss ze pearl an' bin tell heem ze story, 



34 WERNER'S READINGS 

an' ze boss heem laugh an' say Ah'm bin ze mos' rascalous scoun- 
derl heem bin see een seex year. 

Na, heem keep his bargain. He no tak Carlo. He mine. 

So Ah, Carlo an' Ah go to ze river an' geet ze pearls beeg, 
beeg, beeg ones. He do better ev'ry day an' zat ees why Ah skeen 
hees tail. [Rises and starts toward exit. Stops.] 

How much I mak' ? No, Ah canno' say dat. An' Ah see Carlo 
now an' so Ah mus' go fin' ze pearls an' mak' my Carlo sinks 
he's gettin' cleaned once more. [Exits, waving hand.} 



THE STUTTERING LOVER. 



FRED EMERSON BROOKS. 



Ilu-love you very well, 
Much mu-more than I can tell, 
With a lu-lu-lu-lu-love I cannot utter; 
I kn-know just what to say 
But my tongue gets in the way, 
And af-fe-fe-fe-fe-fection's bound to stutter! 

When a wooer wu-wu-woos, 

And a cooer cu-cu-coos, 
Till his face is re-re-red as a tomato, 

Take his heart in bi-bi-bits, 

Every portion fi-fi-fits, 
Thoueh his love sons: su-su-seem somewhat staccato! 

o *-> 

I'll wu-worship you, of course, 

And mi-never get divorce, 
Though you stu-stu-stu-stu-storm in angry weather; 

For whu-when you're in a pique, 

So mu-mad you cannot speak, 
We'll be du-du-du-du-dumb then both together. 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 35 

CHRISTMAS GREENS. 



Romantic Monologue for a Woman. 



CHARACTER: Miss NELL HETHERTON, Leading Woman of the 
Comedy Theatre, New York, and the idol of the town. 

SCENE: The drawing-room of Miss HETHERTON'S pretty apart- 
ment in Gramercy Park. A fire burns in the grate, and a lux- 
urious neglige gown and slippers are over a chair before it. 
Table, with shaded lamp, boxes, letters, flowers. 

TIME : Near midnight on Christmas Eve. 

[There is the sound of a cab-door slammed, the rumble of 
wheels, and in another moment Miss HETHERTON enters with her 
arms full of red roses. She wears an opera cloak over her even- 
ing dress, and she tosses the roses on a couch, turns up the light, 
walks back to the door, and speaks:] 

THAT will do, Celeste; take all those other flowers and put 
them where they will keep cool and fresh till morning. To- 
morrow you and I will arrange them in the vases. Yes, I'll keep 
these here with me. [Takes up one of the roses and touches it to 
her lips and whispers.] They remind me of home and here, 
Celeste, you may take my cloak [drops it off shoulders, as though 
giving it to maid], and good-night and a Merry Christmas to 
you ! and oh ! Celeste [takes up a parcel from the corner}, here's 
something for you a new silk gown, Celeste and I bought it 
for you myself! [Laughs.] Yes thank you, Celeste you spoil 

me [laughingly]. "Oui oui mademoiselle merci merci !" 

[Bows the maid out laughingly, then throws herself in the chair 
before the fire and clasps her hands above her head] 

Well, there is no place like my own little snuggery, and yet I 
am here like a veritable old maid, alone on Christmas Eve [looks 
around] , and not a bit of Christmas green ; but the roses will do. 
What a delightful little supper that was they gave me to-night on 
the stage after the play and such a lot of notables ! Dear me ! 
And all presented to poor little Nell Hetherton, two years ago a 
prim schoolma'am in a Western mining town ! Ah, me ! [Looks 



3 6 WERNER'S READINGS 

at bracelet on her arm.} That was nice of them to give me this 
bracelet. I value it more than alFlhe rest. [Takes it from her 
arm and reads inscription.} 'To Miss Nell Hetherton, from the 
Company." 

Well, I wonder now, if I had never been seized with that wild 
desire for the stage, and if I had not worked and saved and strug- 
gled to get to New York and if I had married Jack where I 
should be to-night. [Leans her head on her hand and looks in the 
fire.] I can see a little Western home, the logs blazing on the 
hearth, the table spread for supper, the Christmas greens upon 
the wall and Jack and I heigh-ho ! I in a gingham apron, 
I suppose, mixiag biscuit instead of being Miss Nell Hetherton, 
whose name is all over the town in letters as big as I am, and all 
the men running after me, and the women copying my bonnets, 
and a real live prince at my feet. [Laughs.] 

I know he will ask me to marry him ! Since he came to the city 
fresh from his Newport adulation and attention, he has been my 
most devoted admirer. And no diamond bracelets or supper invi- 
tations or coroneted cabs, but only the most kind and courteous 
attentions : his morning call and bunch of roses, as though I were 
a debutante in my first season ! It makes me almost love him. 
And yet he hasn't spoken ; but if he does well, he is not so 
bad. Qld, of course, but distingue, unassuming, with Old- World 
manners and a great old name, and an estate that half the mothers 
in New York have been angling for. Princess ! Princess ! How 
fine it sounds. [Muses.] 

And Jack has not sent me even a word for Christmas. An- 
other sweetheart, I suppose. [Hums.] 

"Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more, 
Men were deceivers ever." 

[Talks to the rose.] Would he be even a little bit jealous, do 
you think, if he knew I had all of you beautiful roses sent me by 
the Prince American Beauties instead of the wild roses he used 
to gather for me on the mountain? [Takes photograph from 
mantel and gazes at it.] What did I ever see in dear old Jack to 
make me love him as I used to? square chin [squares her chin}, 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 37 

mouth with just a little sarcastic laugh always at the corners of it, 
straight nose, mine turned up, he always said. He doesn't know 
what a howling beauty I have become and eyes well, his eyes 
are good yes it must have been the eyes ! [Throws the picture 
suddenly from her.] 

And Jack has never sent me even one little word. What will 
he say, I wonder, when he hears that I am a princess ? And, of 
course, I'll have a coronet yes, indeed, the very latest kind. How 
shall I look in a coronet, I wonder? [Playfully unfastens her 
necklace and places it about her hair, looks in the mirror, rises 
from her chair and curtseys as though receiving someone.} 

He will be introduced, of course, and I shall put up my lorgn- 
ette so, and turning the full light of my coronet upon him so 
I'll say : "Ah, quite so. I remember you so well, Lord Ran- 
dolph. At Baden it was we met, was it not? And how is dear 
Lady Randolph?" [Suddenly sinks into chair, as though tired 
of the jesting mood.] 

After all, the prince has not asked me yet ; but I know what his 
eyes said to-night when he kissed my hand at the carriage-door. 
"And to-morrow, mademoiselle," he said, "may I send you a 
white rose?" 

That is so like a Frenchman he had just sent me all these 
beautiful red ones. [Rises.] Perhaps Jack has written. [Looks 
through notes and boxes on table; tosses them aside without open- 
ing.] Dear me, what a time I shall have writing acknowledgments 
of all these pretty things. What beautiful perfume is that? 
[Sniffs.] Why why it's like PINE from the old tree near 

the school-house where Jack and I [Catches sight of the 

large bo.v, which she lifts on chair, cuts string, and removes 
cover.] Oh! how beautiful! [Lifts a mass of the green, sweet- 
smelling pine branches to her bosom, with her arms clasped about 
them and face upraised, pale and smiling.] Why it must be 
from Jack ! Thank God !* [Picks letter from among the 
branches in box, opens, and reads:] 



* The monologue can be ended here if desired. 



38 WERNER'S READINGS' 

"NELL DEAR: Of course, I have heard of all your social triumphs of the 
last few months, and your final coup, the capture of the Prince Ver- 
ronneiux. Every New York paper that has reached here contains accounts 
of your engagement to him. I do not believe them, but I am forced to 
think that even your true heart must be turned with all this adulation. 
1 do not care to hear this from you, but I send you word that 1 prefer to 
have our promise as though it had never been made. This for your sake. 
You know how much I love you. But I know that 1 will have to give 
more than another year before I can realize the success which my work 
here is sure to bring. I hope to have wealth in a few years sufficient to 
take care of you, Nell, and make a home for you ; but until then can I ask 
you to give up such brilliant chances as are offered to you ? It would be 
selfish and ungenerous of me to expect anything of the kind. Let your 
own heart tell you what to do, not any fancied duty to a promise that 
I shall never hold you to unless you choose to have it so. God bless you, 
Nell. I send you a box of pine from the old tree, which you may like 
to have for Christmas greens just as you used at home you remember, 
Nell" 

[She drops her head upon her hands for a moment, as though 
weeping silently. A knock at the door. Hastily takes the neck- 
lace from her head, turns doivn the light.] 

Well! Ah, Celeste! Well, Celeste? [Goes to the door.] Ah, 
it is Christmas morning impossible! I must have been dream- 
ing by the fire, and these beautiful white roses ! For me ! and 
a letter! 

[Comes back with large basket of white roses, tied with zvhite 
satin ribbon; places them on floor. Christmas chimes sound 
faintly from without. She opens large white envelope, takes out 
letter, and reads.] 

"MADEMOISELLE: 

"You know you have my heart. I lay it at your feet with these blos- 
soms. I ask you, mademoiselle, if you will be my wife? I will not say 
more. Yesterday I sent you red roses, which spoke of my love. This 
Christmas morning, I send you bride roses, for my princess that is to be, 
I fondly hope. I shall be proud, mademoiselle, if you will but send me 
one little rose by my messenger, who will wait. Send me no cruel letter, 
but the rose or nothing. 

"Allow me, mademoiselle, to sign myself 

"Your most devoted admirer, rt ,_ 

VERRONNEIUX. 

[The letter flutters from her hands to the ground. She stands 
as though frightened for a moment. Falls dazed into the chair. 
Then she takes a spray of pine from the bo.r, places it upon her 
hair where the crown has been, rises to her feet, and looks in the 
mirror over the mantel with a smile, then she turns to the door.] 

Celeste, tell him there is no answer ! 



AND RECITATIONS NO, 32. 39 



A CRUSHED TRAGEDIAN, 



Comedy Monologue in Verse for a Man. 



ED. L. MCDOWELL. 



Written expressly for this book. 



CHARACTER : ACTOR, Speaker present. 

COSTUME : Shabby, genteel suit. 

SCENE: Enter ACTOR, gazes about and then addresses audience. 

OH, why do the critics insist that I 
Am not an actor born? 
Why do the "gallery gods/' forsooth, 

Laugh all my powers to scorn? 
I feel great fires within my frame 

Which high should mount 

From my soul's fount 
And set the world aflame. 
Then why am I here in this No Man's Land, 

So far from the marts of trade? 
Collect thyself, mind ah, yes, last week 

I enacted the great Jack Cade. 
Yes, I lived Cade's life through every scene 

And showed Jack's hopes and fears ; 
Next morn the New York critics proved 

That I played a Jack with ears ! 

[Illustrating a donkey's ear-flaps, etc.] 

The theatre was crowded from pit to dome 

To see me enact the hero of Rome. 

Forth I rushed on the stage midst the wildest applause, 

And my very first speech won a storm of huzzas 

Too stormy methought. Yet it flattered my pride, 
And resolved me the more. So with grand tragic stride 



40 WERNER'S READINGS 

And Delsartian sweep of my eloquent arms, 

I proceeded to paralyze the house with my charms 

When something hit me in the neck 
Which aroused my dramatic ire, 

'The man that threw that egg," says I, 
"Is a a parabolical, diabolical liar." 

He apologized and said that far 

From theatrical infracting, 
That he'd paid his money to see me act 

And intended to be exacting. [Egsacting.] 

Oh, then awoke the hopes that slept within my manly breast, 
An exacting audience now must needs to see me act my best. 

But alas ! the perfume of that venerable egg 

Had my memory so unfixed 
That the lines of every play I knew 

Got most confoundedly mixed. 



: 'To be or not to be," I shrieked 

The audience thought I'd better not; 
Advised me to go and soak my head, 

Or seek some breezy spot, 

Where the wind might through my whiskers blow, 

Ere I turned up my toes to the daisies. "Oh, 

Cruel critics," I cried, "you shall hear me yet; 

Richard's himself again, you bet." 

They applauded, then hooted, then crushed my hopes 

With bouquets tied to the ends of ropes. 

They guyed me, yes and they bouquets plied 

Of a vegetable kind till I could have died. 

Yet, "On with the play though it rain cats and dogs," 
I yelled, while showers of eggs bespattered my "togs." 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 41 

Fiercely I acted till a big potato caught me 
Somewhere in the ribs, and suddenly brought me 
Well, nearer to death than I care to be brought. 

But ha ha ! my second wind came, I called for my "cue." 
Zounds ! the prompter had skipped with my cue and watch, too. 
Yes, manager, scene-shifters, dizzy actors all gone 
Had left me to play out Jack Cade all alone. 

Still my soul was resolved that my genius should win, 
So, grandly in monologue I again did begin, 
When a twenty-pound cabbage found its way to my head, 
And all my ambition immediately fled. 

That's why I am here in this No Man's Land, 

Far away from the marts of trade, 
And here I'll abide, for I understand 

That a "return engagement" would occasion a raid. 

Thank heaven! I still live! Alack, my poor poll, 
Thou hast brought naught but shame to my ambitious soul. 
Alack, poor Yorick ! Great Kraut ! when that huge cabbage fell, 
Methought 'twere a summons to heaven or to sheol ! 

No more will the hair on my dizzy skull grow 

'Tis cabbaged for good ; well, well, let it go, heigh-ho, heigh-ho ! 

No more on the stage as a target I'll stand ; 

Henceforth I'll scratch gravel in No Man's Land. 

Perhaps as a farmer kind nature may find 

Some chance for the genius which cankers my mind. 

So farewell to tragedy ; welcome, thrice welcome the plow. 
Come farm-fruit, come hen-fruit, I'll cabbage you now. 

But Fd let a wilderness of monkeys all my farm prospects ravage 
Just to "plug" the propeller of that twenty-pound cabbage. 



42 WERNER'S READINGS' 



AUNT SOPHRONIA TABOR AT THE OPERA. 



Yankee Dialect Comedy Monologue for a Woman. 



Arranged as monologue expressly for this book by Elise West. 

CHARACTERS REPRESENTED: AUNT SOPHRONIA, Speaker, pres- 
ent; LOUISA, her niece, supposed to be present. 

COSTUME : Old-fashioned black alpaca or black silk costume, etc. 

[Enter AUNT SOPHRONIA looking at orchestra as she moves 
along, and talks then at audience and whole building.] 

SO this is the uproar? Well, isn't this a monster big building? 
And that Chanticleer ! It's got a thousand candles, if it has 
one. I wish that your Uncle Peleg was here. You're sure, 
Louisa, that this is a perfectly proper place ? Somehow, you city 
folks look upon such things differently than we do who live in the 
country. Dear suz! Louisa, do look way up there in the tiptop 
of the house ! Did you ever see such a sight of people ! Why, 
excursion trains must have run from all over the State. Massy, 
child! There's a woman forgot her bonnet! My Eliza Ann cut 
just such a caper as that one Sunday last summer, got clean into 
the meeting house, and half way down the middle aisle, before she 
discovered it, and the whole congregation a-giggling and a-titter- 
ing. Your cousin Woodman Harrison shook the whole pew. 
Just speak to that poor creature, Louisa. She'll feel awfully cut 
up when she finds it out. Come bareheaded a-purpose ! Well, I 
do declare! But, Louisa, where's the horse-chestnut? You said 
something or other about a horse-chestnut playing a voluntary. 

Them men with the fiddles and the bass-viols ? I want to know ! 
Belong to the first families, I suppose. They are an uncommon 
good-looking set of men. Is Mrs. Patte a furrener? There goes 
the curtain. Louisa, oughtn't we to stand up during prayer-time ? 
Dear suz ! I wish your Uncle Peleg was here. Somehow, it seems 
kinder un-Christian to be play-acting worship. La sakes, child, 
what is the matter ? Is the theatre on fire ? It's only the people 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 43 

applauding because Patte is on the stage ? Sakes alive ! Is that 
it? I thought we was all afire, or Wiggin's flood had come. So 
that is Mrs. Patte. Well, I declare for it! she's as spry as a 
cricket, and no mistake. Why, she looks scarcely out of her 
teens. How old is she, Louisa? Over forty? Is it possible? 
There, they're at it again. 

What is the matter now? What, that dapper little fellow 
a-bowing and a-scraping and a-smirking ! Is that Mr. Scalchi ? 
Madame Scalchi? Louisa, are you sure that this is a perfectly 
proper place? I only wish Peleg was here, for then I shouldn't 
feel so sort a-skerry like and guilty. Listen to that music, listen, 
Louisa. Hip, hip, hooray ! Well, I never ! The sweat's just 
a-rolling off me, and I am as weak as a rag-baby. I wish I had 
my turkey-tail. This mite of a fan of yours don't give wind 
enough to cool a mouse. Didn't that sound like an angel choir? 
I'm so glad I came; and if Peleg was only along! But, there, I 
hain't going to speak again till the uproar is over. 

Louisa Allen, what are them half-nude statutes a-standing up 
in the back there ? Don't they realize that the whole congregation 
can see them ? and haven't they any modesty ? The bally ? Louisa 
Sophronia Tabor Allen, just you pick up your regimentals, and 
follow me ; and that quick, too. You needn't auntie me. Just get 
your duds together, and we'll travel. Thank goodness your 
Uncle Peleg Josiah Tabor is not here ! Don't let me see you give 
as much as a glance to where those graceless nudities are, or, big 
as you are, I'll box your ears. Louisa, I only wish I had my thick- 
est veil, for I am positively ashamed to be caught in this un-Chris- 
tian scrape. Come, and don't raise your eyes. There, thank good- 
ness, we're in pure air at last! I have nothing to say agin th? 
uproar. Them voices would grace a celestial choir. This I say 
with all reverence. But that side show ! I wouldn't have had 
my Eliza Ann nor my Woodman Harrison a-witnessed what 
we've come near a-witnessing for a thousand-dollar bill. No, not 
for a ten-thousand-dollar bill. And I am so thankful that your 
Uncle Peleg was not here ! Somehow, Louisa, I feel as if I'd 
fallen like the blessed Lucifer out of the moon. 



44 WERNER'S READINGS 



BILLY THE HERMIT. 



Pathetic Yankee Dialect Monologue for a Man. 



RUTH EDWARDS. 



Arranged as monologue expressly for this book by Grace B. Faxon. 



[Suitable for any occasion, but especially suitable for Hunting, 
or Camp, Bird-Day, Children of Mercy Day, Sunday Schools.] 

CHARACTERS REPRESENTED: BILLY THE HERMIT, Speaker, pres- 
ent ; SONNY, a small favorite of the HERMIT, and several chil- 
dren, all supposed to be present. 

COSTUMES: BILLY THE HERMIT wears an old-fashioned brown 
cloth suit, large-rimmed soft felt hat, heavy looking boots. He 
should be made up as an old and wrinkled man. 

STAGE-SETTING : Outdoor scene, trees, grass, etc. Near stage 
front R. should stand a part of an old trunk of a tree (about 
two feet high), and near it lying down the trunk of another 
tree. 

SCENE : Enter from L. C. side entrance and walk slowly across 
stage, acting as if interested and looking at the small people 
walking with you. Talk as you cross stage and finish first para- 
graph of monologue by the time you have reached the tree- 
trunk. After all are seated, seat yourself, cross your legs, set- 
tle down with thoughtful attitude and go on with the mono- 
logue. 

DID I ever shoot anything? Wai, yes, sonny, I did once. I 
dunno why I done it nor never did. But I know this 
much I hain't never touched a gun since and don't never want 
to! Tell you about it? Wai, 'tain't much of a story. Dunno as 
you 'd be much int'rested in it. But seein' as you asked, I guess 
I may as well tell you. But fust, all set down on thet are log. 
Thet's right. Naow I'll set down. Be you all comfortable? You 
be? Thet's right. 



'AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 45 

You see it was like this happened a long time ago when I was 
a boy. Seems kinder cur'ous sometimes when I think I was ever a 
little boy, young as you be, sonny. Dunno as you'd care to hear 
about my mother, but she somehow comes into the story. Hain't 
talked about her to any one for years. She warn't never very 
strong and she used to have to work too hard cookin' and sewin' 
and washin, and ironin'. Terrible pretty she was, too ! What 
was she like ? Wai, she was kinder little and slender and her hair 
was all waves and crinkles and just the color of the inside of a 
chestnut burr and nigh about as soft and silky ; and her eyes were 
jest like them little still dark places in the brook where the grass 
grows right down to the water and every once in a while the sun 
shines down and makes a sparkle. You know them places jest 
the places to catch penny fish, you know. 

Wai, mother was awful good to me. She used to take me 
walkin' in the woods Sunday afternoons and tell me 'bout the 
birds and the flowers and a whole lot of things that she seemed 
to know more about than anybody did. Dunno how she ever 
learned it all, but somehow she'd found out. Guess 'twas 'cause 
she loved all them outdoor things so. 

"Don't you ever hurt anything, Billy," she used to say to me, 
"leastwise don't you never hurt anything littler than you be. Ain't 
nuthin' in the world so bad as bein' cruel. And don't you never 
think jest because you're a man that God made this world jest 
so you could have a good time, and that nuthin' ain't got no rights 
except you. Everything on the face of this earth's got jest as 
much right to be happy as you have and jest as much right to 
live." 

She set more store by the Spring than any other time of year. 
You ought to have seen her when the first dandelions came out ! 
She was jest like a little girl making curls out of their stems and 
stickin' them behind her ears, and holdin' the blossoms under my 
chin to see if I liked butter. You know them little furry blue flow- 
ers that come the earliest of anything 'cept chickweed ? how she 
jest used to love 'em ! She used to say that the little Quaker ladies 
was noddin' and sayin', "How do you do ?" to each other, and that 



46 WERNER'S READINGS 

it had been snowin' violets when the meadows were all purple with 
'em. And you know them little maple trees that come up every 
year and never seem to amount to nothin', jest pokin' their heads 
through the ground under the big trees she thought it was right 
cute the way they kept that old brown seed-wing on their heads 
for the time bein' before they shook it off and went bare- 
headed. 

'The weather ain't quite warm enough yet, Billy," she used to 
say. 'They're afraid of ketchin' cold." And I don't never see 
them baby fern leaves all curled up and sleepy-lookin* that I don't 
think how she used to say, "See 'em, Billy, see 'em stretchin' their 
necks and bendin' backwards to see if there ain't no chance of 
their gettin' to be as tall as the trees some day ! Better take care 
you don't get a crick in those backs of yours, little babies," she 
used to say, strokin' 'em as tender as though they could feel it! 
And the way she'd stand and listen to them song-birds! jest as 
still with her hand sorter raised and her lips all a-tremblin' and 
a-smilin'. "Ain't goin' to be no sweeter sounds than that in 
heaven, Billy," she'd say to me. I can see them brown eyes of 
hern with the little sparkle in 'em this minute. 

Any of you know what a flicker is? 'Bout as han'some a bird 
as they is, to my thinkin'. Some folks calls 'em golden-winged 
woodpeckers, and they've got a lot of other names, too ; but 
mother always called 'em flickers somethin' 'bout the name 
seems to make me see the way their wings sorter flash and turn all 
goldie when you see 'em flyin'. They've got mighty strong-lookin' 
bodies, and long bills, and big, bright eyes, and right on top of 
their heads is jest the prettiest red batch of feathers you ever see, 
kinder in the shape of a new moon. 

Wai, a pair of them flickers made a nest in an old elm tree right 
by our kitchen door. Mother most went wild over it. She loved 
to hear them tap-tap-tappin' at the tree trunks, a-borin' and 
a-borin' and jest makin' the sawdust fly, I can tell you. Wai, we 
watched 'em every day and they got to be jest like friends and 
didn't 'pear to be much frightened at anything mother nor me 
done. Makes me 'shamed now to think how trustin' and unsus- 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 47 

pectin' they was. Kinder hate to tell you children how mean I 
was, but sorter serve me right to let you know, p'rhaps. You see 
it was like this : 'Twas one of them cold, cloudy days that come 
along in the Springtime. Kind of a day that jest chills you to the 
bone more than Winter will, p'rhaps, and the trees jest creak 
and kinder scold on account of the weather puttin' back their 
leaves from unfoldin'. Jest the kind of a day when a boy feels 
all upset and nuthin' seems to go right. 

'Bout noontime, when mother was busy gettin' dinner, a man 
with a gun comes up to the kitchen door and asks if we'll let him 
stay an' eat with us. Said he hadn't brought no provisions with 
him and was mighty hungry. He was a good-lookin', city kind 
of chap, and he took off his hat to mother, polite as you please, as 
he stood lookin' in at her. 

"Sure, you're welcome, sir, to anything we've got," mother 
said. 'You'd be more welcome, though, without that gun of 
yourn. Hope you ain't shot anything to-day." 

"No, I ain't," said he, kinder sheepish. "Guess I ain't a very 
good shot." 

"Oughter be ashamed of yourself to try," said mother, her 
cheeks all reddenin' up. "Don't s'pose you have to go huntin' to 
make your livin'. You don't looks though you did." 

"No," seys he, "I don't have to do it." 

"Do it jest for fun, I s'pose?" seys mother. 

'Wai, yes, sport, you know," seys he. 

"Sport !" seys mother with the sparkle in them brown eyes of 
hern flashin' out at him. "Wonder what right you think you got 
to git sport from takin' what you can't never give again the life 
of them poor little birds and squirrels ! Think the Lord made 'em 
so you could enjoy yourself murderin' of 'em? Must think the 
Lord sets a powerful lot of store by you, givin' you live things 
to play with and break jest for the fun of it! I ain't got no pa- 
tience with such ideas. Them birds and squirrels are my friends 
and it hurts me worse than anything to have 'em killed jest for 
sport !" 

The city chap looked at her kinder wonderin' like, and seys he : 



48 WERNER'S READINGS 

"Wai, if you'll let me have something to eat, I promise you I 
won't do no more shootin' to-day. Come, is it a bargain ?" 

Mother was mighty tickled. I could see that she'd got this 
much out of him, and she flew 'round right lively gettin' dinner 
for him, I can tell you. He kep' a-gazin' at her as though he liked 
her looks. Mother was terrible pretty ! 

Wai, when he went in to dinner he stood his gun up beside the 
door, and seys he, "Don't you touch it, boy, 'cause it's loaded and 
you might hurt yourself." 

Hadn't thought of touchin' it before, but when he said that so 
high and mighty, I jest made up my mind I would anyway. So 
when he'd gone in, I up and took his gun and made believe I was 
aimin' at something jest as I'd seen men do before. 

Wai, while I was a-aimin', one of those flickers that mother 
thought such a heap of flew down from that old elm tree and set 
facin' me on a stump with his big black eyes a-shinin' and the red 
feathers on his head lookin' mighty pert and cheerful. Dunno why 
I done it, dunno whether I really meant to do it might have been 
an accident, might not all happened so quick I can't say. But 
first I knew there was a bang, and then I see that flicker tumble 
off the stump, and the red feathers on his head warn't half so 
bright as the blood that kinder trickled down his breast. 

Yes, I killed him. I ran and picked him up all warm and 
bleedin' and flutterin' and the white film comin' over his eyes. 
Then he gave one little flutter, as though he wanted to git away 
from me, and then he didn't flutter no more, jest lay still in my 
hand. 

Mother came runnin' out and the city chap with her, all scared 
and tremblin', 'spectin' to see me dead, I s'pose. But when mother 
saw how 'twas she took that flicker out of my hand and gave me 
such a look as I never had seen before. She didn't say a word to 
me, but smoothed his feathers, and kinder cuddled him up against 
her cheek and kep' a-sayin', "Oh. you poor little birdie." And 
that city chap stood and looked at her and couldn't say a word. 

Wai, I ain't never touched a gun since that day, children, and 
T don't never want to. 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 49 



A WOMAN'S VENGEANCE. 



Dramatic and Tragic Monologue in Verse for a Woman. 



THOMAS F. WILFORD. 



Written expressly for this book. 



CHARACTER: WRONGED WIFE, Speaker, present. Directs her 
conversation to the audience. 

SCENE : Cell interior. 

I THANK you for your sympathy, 
But help ! No, there is none for me, 
For what I've done I feel no sting 
Of penitence, nor can time bring 
One pang of sorrow. Penalty ! 
For what they now may do with me 
I care but little. He is dead 
And that ends all. 

V/hat made me do the deed ? The old, 
Old, time-worn story of man's cold 
And heartless cruelty; of wrongs 
Heaped on her head, to whom belongs 
At least respect, if nothing more ; 
A husband's deviltry, a sore 
Heart for a patient, sufFring wife; 
A blasted, hopeless, wretched life; 
My sweet child's death ; a constant hell 
On earth for me for these he fell. 

f 

I met him him, my husband, just 
Five years ago. My God ! what trust 
I placed in his fair words, so soft,. 
So sweet, so full of love, that oft 
I thought more of his trait'rous smile, 



50 WERNER'S READINGS 

That had such magic to beguile, 

Than Heaven's pure and bless'd decree, 

Than e'en th' Eternal Deity. 

I thought him all that woman's mind 

Had e'er conceived. But love is blind. 

The first two years 
Were full of joy joy without tears. 
The skies were bright ; no clouds above ; 
My life was one of peaceful love. 
But ah ! the change came sudden, fast ; 
My summer sun was overcast ; 
The gloom of death fell on my heart: 
I saw the light for'er depart; 
The godlike being that I thought 
Of all mankind most perfect wrought 
Tore off the mask that hid his face, 
And to my horror, in his place, * 

Revealed a demon blackest-hued, 
Remorseless, pitiless, imbued 
With all the wickedness the heart 
Can hold, or shameless sin impart. 

I kissed our child with sobs and tears, 
And murmured still, though full of fears, 
"He yet will change, he cannot be 
So cruel, child, to me and thee." 
Alas ! my hopes were all in vain ; 
The old days ne'er would come again. 
The loving words to curses turned; 
My fond advances all were spurned; 
The embrace became a stinging blow ; 
And eyes that once were all aglow 
With tenderest fire, with hate's fierce blaze 
Now shone on me with scorching rays. 
Thus was my every sad day's flight, 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 

A curse at morn, a blow at night. 
I soon become for him a thing 
To tread upon, a clod to fling 
From out his path. I took my child, 
And fled one night, half-maddened, wild, 
Far from his sight I cared not where 
So I again his face might ne'er 
Behold. But soon once more with words 
That seemed to me like song of birds 
He sought me out, and with his eyes 
Filled with repentant tears, and sighs 
That spoke of sincere love, implored 
Forgiveness; and I fool! ignored 
The past, forgot my woes, and went 
Back to his home with heart content. 

Once more his solemn vows were cast 
Aside as idle words, and worse 
Than e'en before a daily curse 
My life became. I tried to bear 
My heavy cross ; my fervent prayer 
Was still for strength from Him above, 
Who lightens labors with His love. 
And so my load of cruelty 
I bore unheeding, patiently. 

Then came at last the final blow 
The worst that love can contemplate 
And which can turn that love to hate. 
One night when he had gone from me, 
I found a letter which he carelessly 
Had overlooked. The script was small 
And neat a woman's hand ! A wall 
Of fire outstretched before my eyes ; 
A nameless horror seemed to rise. 
No, no ! this could not be. He might 



WERNER'S READINGS 

Be bad, be dead to sense of right, 

But false ! O heaven ! the dreadful thought 

Surged in my brain. I crushed it, fought 

It down with frenzied eagerness. 

The note was open ; chilled, nerveless, 

I drew it from its fold and read. 

Not long I had to wait in dread ; 

Twas true all true! I reel'd and fell. 

How long I lay I could not tell, 

But I awoke heartsick and dazed, 

The letter in my grasp. Half crazed 

I smoothed it out and read again, 

Though every word was growing pain : 

"This night to meet him," so it said. 

My child from off the floor I clasped, 

And from the bureau drawer I grasped 

A loaded pistol that would right 

My wrong. So out into the night, 

Into the raging storm I fled, 

My babe clasped in my arms. No dread 

Had I of wind or rain that beat 

Upon me ; I could but repeat, 

"False ! false ! I'll be revenged !" My soul, 

Now stirr'd and rous'd beyond control, 

Was filled with one desire alone. 

And that was that he should atone 

For this to woman foulest wrong. 

So through the night I sped along 
Until I reached her house, and worn 
And faint, with clothing rent and torn, 
I leaned against the casement and 
My moaning babe with soft command 
Caressed and soothed. And then I heard 
A voice within his voice! each word 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 55 

policemen, car horses, and maids of all work lead a dog's life. 
[Takes from basket vegetables, meat, eggs, fruit, etc.} 

But what do I care for policemen ? They are a faithless set ! 
A decent girl should feel no pity for them even if they had to stay 
on duty four hours. When I think of Miller, who gave me up 
for that yellow-haired Matilda six hours wouldn't hurt Miller. 
Oh, six hours of such cold that's too much to wish any 
one. 

[Takes up meat.} Gracious, there's another big bone. I never 
noticed it. The butcher was telling me all about his sister's little 
boy that tumbled down stairs, and all the time the good-for-noth- 
ing fellow was putting in that bone ! Well, Mistress will give me 
another scolding. [Puts meat into pot.] I can hear her now: 
"You let them put you off with anything! You take whatever 
rubbish they choose to give you !" Well, a little more or a little 
less, it is all the same. I'm sure to get scolded anyhow. [Puts on 
apron, takes vegetables and begins to clean them.] Bones make 
good soup, and she must have good soup. Good soup ! Tender 
meat ! Where does she think they are to come from ? Gracious, 
how much is expected from one animal! [Bell rings.] 

There she is ringing again ! I never have a moment's peace, 
[Opens door.] Yes, ma'am! [Listens.] How much did the 
butter cost ? Thirty cents. What ? Too dear ? Dear me, ma'am, 
I only wonder that there is any butter. The poor cows have noth- 
ing to eat. The butter-woman doesn't know how the cows are 
going to get through the winter. [Goes back to vegetables.] 
That's the old story ; we servants always pay too much. The mis- 
tresses can always buy things cheaper. Well, sometimes that's 
true. There's Mrs. Smith can bargain. She'll beat a poor man, 
who looks as if he were starving, down to almost nothing, and 
haggle over a cent with him. Of course I don't always give peo- 
ple as much as they ask in the first place, but it's no use to be 
so stingy. You don't want to skin folks alive ! And Mrs. Peters 
is another! She has prayer meetings at her house and she's al- 
ways taking up collections for the poor, but she'll keep Sarah 
Sempstress waiting a month for the few dollars she owes her. 



56 WERNER'S READINGS 

There, that will do! Master never eats any fresh vegetables 
but macaroni, so there'll be plenty left for me. [Organ heard 
outside.] There is time enough for the pigeon, but I must mix 
the pudding. [Prepares pudding in a mold.] Dear me, that's the 
very same polka he played two weeks ago when the policeman in- 
sisted upon dancing with me, and John wouldn't let him. Now, 
it's a stupid idea to think that .you must dance a whole evening 
with one person a little change is always agreeable and the 
policeman was a "perfect picture of a man," as mistress would 
say; but -then John is jealous. We poor girls have a hard time of 
it, sticking in the kitchen all day long. Our lovers needn't be 
afraid we shall deceive them ; but men, men, they are moving 
about all day, here, there, and everywhere, and who knows all 
they do ? They must think we're blind when they tell us they are 
true to us. To be sure, I can trust John. He is faithful, but car- 
penters are not so flighty as other trades. I never could put any 
faith in a tailor ; no, no, carpenters are the best ; there's something 
so solid and substantial about their work. And then John ! Well, 
he's not so handsome as the policeman, but still he's a fine-looking 
fellow. That stupid Nora says he has a crooked nose. To be sure, 
it does turn a little to the left, but what difference does that make ? 
Suppose his nose is a little bit crooked we all have crooked noses, 
and he's got a good pair of eyes to make up for it. Oh, my, when 
he looks at me and says, "Betsey," I declare I can't say a word. 

I wonder why I am so afraid of him ? Why, really, the man 
ought to be the one to obey. My last lover, the gardener, and my 
first one, the policeman, didn't dare to wink if I said the word ; 
but I don't know how it is, I can't call my soul my own when 
John's here. After all, he's a good fellow and he'll never desert 
me. The others were good talkers, but they only wanted their 
. fun, and so I had to get rid of them. Oh, well, it's not too late 
for me yet ; to be sure, John is thirty-six dear me, how short 
youth is when we think how long we've got to live. Other girls 
get married at twenty-five, while I oh, well, it's no disgrace. 
Now I can be proud of John and he shall have a good home when 
I am his wife only he must give up being jealous. When a girl 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 57 

does nothing wrong it makes her sad to have a body jealous, and 
yet I do like to see him look miserable ! I would never have smiled 
at the policeman if I hadn't wanted to tease John a little. It really 
wasn't right, but then, why is he so jealous? [Bell rings.] 

Well, what is that now? [In doorway.] Yes, ma'am. What, 
put vermicelli in the soup? I can't. Why not? Because there 
isn't any in the house. I can go out and buy some? No, that 
won't do. I can't leave the fire now, for it will go out. I will 
take rice instead. What? Oh, master will eat it fast enough, or 
if he don't like it he can just leave it on his plate! [Comes in.] 

The idea of me going out again in this weather ! What does it 
matter to master whether it's vermicelli or rice? Go out in this 
wind, indeed ! I should like to see myself ! My hair's all blown 
about my face now. [Takes looking-glass and comb.] Really, 
if any one should happen in I should look like a fright. John 
says I have lovely hair, so I must take care of it. 

[Bell rings.] I should think she had gone crazy to-day! [In 
doorway.] Yes, ma'am! You want me to come and lace up your 
dress ? I can't leave the kitchen now. What did you say ? You 
know I am combing my hair ? Oh, ma'am, how can you think of 
such a thing? You have always told me that a decent girl would 
never comb her hair in the kitchen for fear of getting a hair in 
the food oh, who would do such a thing? I would be glad to 
come, but I have just been making the pudding my hands are all 
over flour and I would spoil your gown. You'd better call Miss 
Lucy; she can lace you up. [Comes back and finishes arranging 
hair. ] 

How suspicious some people are. Miss Lucy might as well wait 
on her mother a little. She does nothing all day long but read 
and play on the piano. I'm called out of the kitchen every min- 
ute, and then if anything is wrong with the dinner I get scolded 
for it. [Pokes fire.] I only wish mistress could be in my place 
for a few days, then she'd see what it is to be ordered about. 
[Goes to table and takes up account book] But I must add up 
my accounts or else I shall forget something: Spinach, fifteen 
cents ; eggs, thirty cents ; h'm, day before yesterday eggs were 



58 WERNER'S READINGS 

thirty-two cents; I may just as well call them thirty-two now. 
No, no, I wouldn't do it ! To be sure, it would be only two cents 
more; mistress would never notice it and it would be a help to 
me. Other girls always take a little commission and they laugh 
at me because I don't do the same. It would serve mistress right, 
for she never trusts me, and is always suspecting something 
wrong but no, no, it's not right and I won't do it. John says, 
"Ill-gotten gains never prospered any one." He would find me 
out in a minute if no, no, if he knew it and were my husband 
afterward, he would never trust me no, no, eggs, thirty cents 
I must make the thirty very plain ; onions, five cents ; lettuce, ten 
cents ; pigeons, seventy-five cents ; butter, thirty cents ; this makes 
in all [counting slozvly] five and five make ten, and five are fif- 
teen [bell rings] there's the bell again and three and one are 
four I'm coming! and seven are nine, no, eleven gracious, 
I should think the house was on fire! [Goes to door.] 

Yes, ma'am ! Why didn't I come before ? Well, I had to put 
down what I had in my hand. You want a cup of soup? Then 
you'll have to wait half an hour; it's not ready yet. What? I 
ought to have put it on sooner ? Well, how could I when I've only 
just got back from market? What? Impudent? How am I im- 
pudent? I was only defending myself! [Comes back.] 

And now she has slammed the door. She says I can go if I am 
not satisfied. She says that every day. [Sits down.~\ Now, I 
shall have to begin all over again. Five and five are ten, and five 
are fifteen oh, dear me, how cross she does make me and three 
and one are four to have to hear that every day and seven are 
eleven it seems as if I couldn't stand it eleven, eleven I often 
have it on the tip of my tongue to say, "Yes, ma'am, I will go,'* 
but then she wouldn't give me a recommendation eleven, eleven 
and I couldn't get another place eleven, eleven ladies all 
stand by each other so eleven, eleven and we poor servants are 
always in the wrong eleven, eleven how can I add when I'm 
so put out ? and one is twelve really, if it wasn't for John ! and 
three are fifteen for he says that in two years he will be able to 
set up for himself and one is sixteen I must put up with it a 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 59 

little longer and one is sixteen oh, dear, two years more ; how 
long they will seem and one is sixteen [mutters} and eight 
makes makes oh, now it's all wrong; I don't know what I'm 
about. Now I shall have to begin all over. Five and five are ten 
hark, didn't I hear the front door bell? [Goes to door.] Miss 
Lucy went the postman ! What ? For me ? A letter for me ? Five 
cents extra postage? [Greatly excited.] Now, where is my 
money ? A letter ! To be sure ! Now, where is there, there are 
five cents. Good morning, good morning. [Comes back with 
letter.] 

Good gracious, a letter for me that is too queer. Who can 
have written to me? John would never spend his money on 
stamps no, no, he would look in for a moment after supper. 
Whoever can have written to me? It is all right- "Miss Betsey 
Brown" that's my name. I wonder what is in the letter. I de- 
clare I'm curious to know heavens, the policeman never can 
have well, I don't know what to think. How silly I am ! I might 
as well open the letter and then I shall find out what it's all about. 
There but what a pretty seal it seems a pity to spoil it and 
yet I must open the letter. I must know who has written to me. 
Oh, bosh, when other people get letters they don't make such a 
fuss over them. [Opens letter and reads laboriously.] 

"To Miss Betsey Brown" there it is again "On the twenty- 
fifth day of the present month Miss Betsey Andrews departed this 
life, greatly respected by all who knew her, and left you in her 
will the sum of five hundred dollars, as being her namesake." 
[Drops letter in surprise.] Good heavens, it never can be true. 
Old Miss Andrews ! Why, I thought she was dead long ago. No, 
it's not possible. Where is the letter? [Picks it up and reads 
address.] "Miss Betsey Brown," yes, that's all right. [Turns 
letter upside down.] What does it say? The letters dance be- 
fore my eyes oh, I see, I've got it upside down [reads] "left 
you five hundred dollars as being her namesake." [Bell rings.] 

Yes, it is really true. [Weeps.] Five hundred dollars. I have 
five hundred dollars ! Old Miss Andrews ! I had quite forgotten 
her. It must be twenty years since I saw her. Oh, she was a 



60 WERNER'S READINGS 

good woman ; she used to grumble and scold all day long ; her lit- 
tle poodle dog was always barking at me, and then she would say 
that I must have looked cross at him and she'd give me a scold- 
ing, good old woman ! [Bell rings.] Five hundred dollars ! But 
what am I crying about ? I ought to laugh. [More and more ex- 
cited and confused.} Why, what was I doing? To be sure, the 
soup! [Takes spinach and throws it into pot.} Five hundred 
dollars! The fire doesn't burn bright. [Puts pigeons into fire.] 

Five hundred dollars ! What will John say ? What was I look- 
ing for? Oh, yes, I must clean the pigeons. [Looks around.] 
Where did I put the pigeons? Oh, what will John say? He told 
me once that if he had five hundred dollars he could set up for 
himself where are those pigeons? and I shall be a master car- 
penter's wife. [Bell rings.] John, oh dear, good John but he 
shall make a nice cross for poor Miss Andrews's grave. If I only 
knew where I put the pigeons ! John ! I must tell him at once ! 
But, there's the dinner; no, I can't go now; I must cook the 
spinach. Where is the spinach? [Bell rings.] I think the bell 
rang ! Well, she may bother me as much as she likes to-day, noth- 
ing can make me angry now. [Bell rings.] Yes, yes. [Goes to 
door.] 

Yes, ma'am ! Why don't I answer ? Well, here I am ! What ? 
Impudent? I didn't say anything, I'm sure. Go about my busi- 
ness? [Aside.] If I wasn't afraid but why should I care now? 
Haven't I got five hundred dollars? Very well, ma'am, I will. 
What ? Do I mean to leave you ? I can go at once ? Very well, 
I will go. As soon as dinner is done, I will pack up my things. 
[Slams the door.] There, ma'am, if you can play a trump, so can 
I. But the dinner. Where on earth are the pigeons and the 
spinach ? Oh, I am free and I must tell John ! I can't wait until 
evening! [Takes off apron hastily.] I shall be back before the 
soup is ready. John! How pleased he will be! [Runs out, but 
turns back.] The letter ! I must show it to him ! Oh, where is the 
letter ? Here it is ! John, John, how happy we shall be ! [Runs 
off.] 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 61 



TOM FAY'S SOLILOQUY. 



Comedy Romantic Monologue for a Man. 



FANNY FERN. 



Arranged as a monologue expressly for this book. 



CHARACTER REPRESENTED: TOM FAY, Speaker. 
COSTUME : Home costume. 

STAGE SETTING: Handsomely furnished room, doors R. and L. 
Large easy chair C. 

SCENE: Enter TOM FAY, smoking cigar. Takes several puffs 
as he crosses room and flings himself into chair. Puffs a while 
in silence, listens, then repeats what he seems to have heard. 

"Most any female lodger up a stair 
Occasions thought in him who lodges under." 

DON'T they, though? Not a deuced thing have I been able 
to do since that little Gipsy took the room overhead, about 
a week ago ! Pat pat pat, go those little feet over the floor, 
till I am as nervous as a cat in a china closet. Confounded pretty 
they are, too, for I caught sight of 'em going upstairs. Then I 
can hear her little rocking-chair creak, as she sits there sewing, 
and she keeps singing, "Love not love not !" Just as if a fellow 
could help it. [Sits in chair.] 

Wish she wasn't quite so pretty ; it makes me decidedly uncom- 
fortable. Wonder if she has any great six-footer of a brother, 
or a cousin with a sledge-hammer fist. Wish I was her washer- 
woman, or the nigger who brings her breakfast ; wish she'd faint 
away on the stairs ; wish the house would catch fire to-night ! 
Here I am, in this great barn of a room, all alone; chairs and 
things set up square against the wall ; no little feminine fixings 
'round ; I shall have to buy a second-hand bonnet, or a pair of little 
gaiter-boots, to cheat myself into the delusion that there's two 



62 WERNER'S READINGS 

of us ! Wish that little Gipsy wasn't as shy as a rabbit. I can't 
meet her on the stairs if I die for it ; I've upset my inkstand a 
dozen times, hopping up, when I thought I heard her coming. 

Wonder if she knows, when she sits vegetating there, that 
Shakespeare, or Sam Slick, or somebody, says, that ''happiness 
is born a twin" ? 'Cause if she doesn't, I'm the missionary that will 
enlighten her. Wonder if she earns her living, poor little soul ! 
It's time I had a wife, by Christopher! Sitting there pricking her 
pretty little fingers with that murderous needle ! If she were sewing 
on my dickeys it would be worth while now ! [Jumps up.] That's 
it by Jove ! I'll get her to make me some dickeys don't want 
'em any more than Satan wants holy water, but that's neither here 
nor there. 

I shall insist upon her taking the measure of my throat 
[laugh]. Bachelors have a right to be fussy. There's a pretty 
kettle of fish, now ; either she'll have to stand on a stool or I shall 
have to get on my knees to her! [Laugh.] Solomon himself 
couldn't fix anything better ; deuce take me, if I couldn't say the 
right thing then ! This fitting dickeys is a work of time, too. 
Dickeys aren't to be gotten up in a hurry. [Bell rings.] Hello! 
there's the door-bell ! [Noise outside of trunk being thrown from 
^vagon to sidewalk. Tom goes to window, looks out.] There's a 
great big trunk dumped down in the entry! [Voice outside: "Is 
Mrs. Legare at home?"] 

Is Mrs. Legare at home? M-r-s. Legare? I like that, 
now ! Have I been in love a whole week with M-r-s. Legare ? 
Never mind, maybe she's a widow ! [Noise outside of some one 
walking.] Tramp, tramp, come those masculine feet; [looks out 
of windozv] handsome fellow, too! [Opens door R. and listens.] 
Ne-b-u-c-h-a-d-n-ezzar ! If I ever heard a kiss in my life, I heard 
one then ! I won't stand it ! it's an invasion of my rights. Guess 
I'll listen again [same business]. My dear husband! p-h-e-w ! 
As I'm a sinner! [Listens again.] 

What right have sea-captains on shore, I'd like to know ? Con- 
found it all ! Well, I always knew women weren't worth thinking 
of; [sits in chair C.] a set of deceitful little monkeys; changeable 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 63 

as a rainbow, superficial as parrots, as full of tricks as a conjurer, 
stubborn as mules, vain as peacocks, noisy as magpies, and full of 
the "old Harry" all the time! There's "Delilah," now; didn't she 
take the "strength" out of "Samson?" -and wasn't "Sisera" and 
"Judith" born fiends? And didn't the little minx of a "Herodias" 
dance "John the Baptist's" head off? Didn't "Sarah" raise "Cain" 
with "Abraham/" till he packed "Hagar" off? Then there was- 
well, the least said about her the better, but didn't "Eve," the fore- 
mother of the whole concern, have one talk too many with the 
old serpent ? Of course ; she didn't do anything else ! Glad I 
never set my young affections on any of 'em ! 

Where's my cigar-case ? How tormented hot this room is ! 
[Business of lighting cigar as curtain falls.] 



JACK'S SECOND TRIAL. 



ROY FARRELL GREEN. 



THE second time that Jack proposed 
'Twas really a surprise, 
Though still I gossips so supposed 

Found favor in his eyes. 
His first avowal, months before, 

I'd treated with disdain, 
And laughed at him the while he swore 
He'd surely try again. 

The second time that Jack proposed 

I never said a word, 
Though to assent I'd grown disposed 

I simply overheard 
By accident his earnest plea 

While in the waltz's whirl ; 
The second time 'twas not to me, 

But to another girl ! 



64 WERNER'S READINGS 



I AND MY FATHER-IN-LAW. 



Comedy Monologue for a Woman. 



HARRIET L. PEMBERTON. 



CHARACTER: THE WIFE, Speaker, present; SERVANT, supposed 
to be within hearing later on. 

COSTUME : House dress. 

PROPERTIES : Letter ; call-bell. 

SCENE : Comfortably furnished room. Wife pacing the room. 

I KNEW it must come to this at last ! Jack and I have had a 
row, and with all the meanness of a man he has managed to 
get the last word by bouncing out of the room and banging tke 
door. And all for what, if you please? All for just nothing at 
all. But that's always the way. Everything is always about 
nothing. Just because what do you think simply because 
merely because I've overdrawn my account for the third time 
in the last twelve-month ! The first time it occurred he paid up 
like a man and placed a fresh sum to my credit. The next time 
he grumbled like a man ; but when I said : "Jack, dear, do it the 
second time," he did it the second time. And now that it has oc- 
curred again he has been swearing like a man ; oh, very like a 
man ! and when I began : "Jack, darling, do it the third time," he 
replied he'd be hanged if he would ! It was in vain I argued that 
I must dress, must give to charities, must have everything I want. 
He answered that I must cut my coat according to my cloth, and 
that charity ought to begin at home, and all those ridiculous old 
platitudes which people always fall back upon when they're angry. 
And then he bounced out of the room and his last words were: 
"It's no use my talking. I shall send my father to you and perhaps 
he'll be able to make you listen to reason." 

[Flings herself into a chair.] Oh! I'm the most miserable 
of women ! I've quarreled with Jack ; I've not got a sixpence ; 



'AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 65 

and Sir John is coming to make me listen to reason ! I don't 
want to listen to reason, I don't want to see Sir John ! I can 
manage Jack all right by myself, but Sir John terrifies me out of 
my senses. The first time he came to see us after we were mar- 
ried, he asked me if I kept a meat-book; and he hoped I should 
always be content with a low rate of interest for my money. I 
said : "Dear Sir John, I will never condescend to anything low, 
I like all things high high game, high steppers, high rate of in- 
terest." I believe he observed after that he was afraid I was 
flippant, and he trusted Jack wouldn't find out that he had made 
a very poor bargain. And this is the man who is coming to make 
me listen to reason ! 

Hush! there's the bell! [Listens.] Surely, he can't be coming 
already. No; I don't think it was the front door-bell after all. 
It was only the muffin-man. Now, how shall I take Sir John? I 
think I'll try the pathetic, on my knees so [kneels], hands 
clasped so [clasps hands]. 'Yes, I know ! I know! call me any- 
thing you please foolish, idiotic, mad as a hundred hatters I'm 
all that and worse! I've nothing to say for myself; I've nothing 
to plead as an excuse. But consider my youth, consider my in- 
experience, consider the atmosphere in which I was brought up ! 
Why, in my family we were taught to chuck away dollars as if 
they were pennies ; taught, think of that ! Oh ! instead of gazing 
at me with that stern countenance, take me and teach me to do 
better. You could teach me if you would ; and I I would learn, 
oh, so willingly !" Here I shall break down utterly, so [collapses 
on floor]. And then he will take me by the two hands so [ex- 
tends hands] and raise me up tenderly so [rises slowly to her 
feet] and kiss me kindly on both cheeks so [movement as if 
she were being kissed] and then he will say: "Bless you,- my 
dear child ;" and so the victory will remain with me. Yes ; only 
I can't quite fancy Sir John blessing me. 

Hush! there's the bell. [Listens.] It is the front door this 
time. He's really coming. [Stands waiting.] No. He doesn't 
seem to be coming after all. I wonder who it is. [Looks out of 
window:] Only old Ls% Alicia leaving her cards! Now, how 



66 WERNER'S READINGS 

shall I take Sir John? [Reflects.] I think I shall try the indig- 
nant, very upright, so [draws herself up] head well back, so 

[throws head back]. "Let me tell you, Sir John, once for all, 
that I am not accustomed to be addressed in such terms as foolish, 
idiotic, much less as mad as a hundred hatters ; and I must insist 

-yes, I must insist on your giving me the explanation I have a 
right to expect. When I no, don't interrupt me, please when 
I did your son the honor of marrying him, it was on the distinct 
understanding that I was to do as I liked. In my family we un- 
derstand the value of money every bit as well as you, only we 
understand it in a somewhat different way. But if the manner 
of my upbringing was to be flung in my teeth as a cause of com- 
plaint, you should have had it put in the settlements. As this was 
not done, neither my husband nor my father-in-law has any right 
to call my conduct in question, and that there may be no mistake, 
I take this opportunity of putting my foot down at once." Here I 
shall stamp my foot [stamps]. Sir John's breath will be quite 
taken away, he will spread out his hands in a deprecating kind of 
way, so [spreads out hands] and will murmur hurriedly: "My 
dear lady, I assure you I meant nothing of the kind." And the 
victory will remain with me. Yes ; only I can't quite fancy Sir 
John's breath being taken away. 

Hush! there's the bell. This must be he. [Listens.] He's 
had plenty of time to get Jack's message. [Stands waiting.] No; 
he doesn't seem to be coming after all. I suppose it was only the 
post. Now, how shall I take Sir John? [Reflects.] I think 
yes, I know, I'll try the familiar and the pert. Throw myself into 
a chair, so [throws herself into a chair] look at him archly, so 
[looks over shoulder]. "You know you don't mean it, really. 
You were never hard upon a woman in your life, Sir John. I'm 
sure you never were. Now look here ; it's no use pretending that 
you're not like the rest of them. You like to see a pretty woman 
well dressed. Nonsense ! don't talk to me ; of course you do ! A 
man of your taste and all. Eh ? Aha ! I've found you out r Here 
I shall shake my finger at him, so [shakes finger]. "And Tn) not 
a bit afraid of you, you know, not a bit. No ; I never was ; from 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 67 

the very first I always thought you and I would understand each 
other. And I'm sure we do, don't we, perfectly ? Now, give me a 
kiss and let's make up. That's right. I'm sure you feel better 
now, don't you?" If I had a fan I should tap him with it here. 
Then Sir John will chuck me under the chin, so [chucks herself 
under chin] and call me "a little puss!" And so the victory will 
remain with me. [Rises.] Yes; only I can't quite fancy Sir John 
chucking me under the chin, or calling me "a little puss." 

Hush ! there's somebody coming upstairs. It must be he. There 
can't be any mistake this time. I hear the tramp of feet ! [Stands 
waiting.] No; it's only the servant. [Turns as if addressing 
some one at the door.] What is it? A letter? Give it to me. 
[A letter is handed in to her; continues as if still addressing some- 
one at door.] What? I can't hear what you say. A gentleman 
wants to know if I will see him ? Didn't he give his name ? What ? 
He didn't give his name because he said I would understand? 
[Aside.] Yes, of course, I understand. Why didn't you say I 
was not at home ? What ? I hadn't given any orders. Well, say 
I'm very sorry, but I can't see any one this afternoon. What ? I 
wish you would speak a little more distinctly. Very particular? 
Yes, I know he's very particular; that's why I don't want to see 
him. Say I'm very sorry, but I can't see any one this afternoon. 
That will do. 

[To herself again.] I wonder if he'll take offence at such a 
message. It's rather a dreadful thing to say to one's father-in- 
law. Falls rather flat, too, after the way in which I meant to re- 
ceive him. [While talking she opens letter.] Hullo! why, what 
in the name of fortune is this? [Reads.] "Dear Madam, We 
have the honor to inform you that, under the will of the late Mr. 
Puffin, you are become entitled to fifteen thousand pounds, free 
of legacy duty, which will be paid into your account, so soon as 
the necessary formalities have been gone through. One of our 
firm will wait upon you with this letter to take any instructions 
you may have to make. We remain, Madam, yours obediently, 
Brown, Jones & Robinson." 

Dear old Mr. Puffin ! I lent him a hymn-book once in church, 



68 . WERNER'S READINGS 

and he always said he would remember me in his will ; but, of 
course, I never thought he would. Fifteen thousand pounds ! 
Now, let Sir John come and make me listen to reason ! I shall 
know how to take him. [Walks round triumphantly, brandishing 
letter; stops suddenly.} One of the firm would call. Then it was 
one of the firm who wanted to see me. Oh, dear ! Oh, dear ! I 
hope my message wasn't given correctly. Don't want to see him ; 
of course I want to see him most particularly. Perhaps he's not 
gone yet; I'd better go down myself and see. [Exits in a great 
hurry.] 



DEPOSED. 



I'SE a poor 'ittle sowwowful bady, 
An' B'idget's away down 'tairs! = 

De kitten have scratched my finger, 
An* my Dolly 'on't say her pwayers ! 

I'se jus' dot a 'ittle new buzzer 

Dod jus' sent him down tozzer day 
He kies and he kies so dwedful, 

I 'iss Dod 'ood take him away ! 

I ain't seen my bootiful mamma 

Since ever so Ion' adoe, 
An* I ain't her own darlin'est bady 

No lender, 'tause B'idget says so. 

O, Fse a poor 'ittle sowwowful bady- 

An' B'idget's away down 'tairs \ 
De kitten have sc'atched my finger,. 

An.' my Dolly 'on't say her pwayers ! 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 69 

WHEN DAD ENJOYED HIMSELF. 



Comedy Monologue for Small Boy. 



[BoY enters and begins to talk ^vhen he gets near stage front.} 

1WISH I had known my dad when he was a kid, instead of 
knowing him now when he's growly most of the time. He 
was the real thing. 

I know it because I heard dad's mother, that's my grand- 
mother, whisper to my mother, "Why, John was a regular little 
devil when he was a boy. He was just full of fun and I can't see 
for the life of me what makes him so glum all the time now." 

Ma said she knew it and that the old man was jolly enough 
when he was courting her. She didn't say "old man" of course, 
but that's what she meant all right, because I've heard her say 
lots of times that dad's the only man that ever courted her, and 
then dad always says that she's the only girl he ever courted. 

Then ma says : "Well, you're glad you're married ?" as if she 
kinder didn't think so, and dad always says, "Of course. Are 
you ?" And ma says, "I guess I am," with a lot of ginger in her 
voice. 

Well, when they tell each other that they're glad they're mar- 
ried anyhow, that's usually the end of the first round. I always 
know just what dad's going to say next. He says, "What we need 
is a little real fun," and ma says, "That's so. What shall we do ?" 
Ma's just dying to go to the theatre or the opera, but the old man 
can't seem to catch on. He blurts right out the first thing when ma 
says where will they go with saying that they must go somewhere 
in the country. 

The next thing dad does is to get out a lot of old maps. Maps is 
the only thing he's really stuck on. He pretends that he only uses 
'em to pick out a place to go to and I s'pose he really thinks that's 
what he's doing, but tain't so. His fun is just in looking at 'em. 
Why, dad and ma have traveled millions of miles on those maps, 
sitting on the couch, but that's the only way they get anywhere. 

He'll begin by asking ma how she'd like Nova Scotia, for in- 






70 WERNER'S READINGS 

stance. She says 'twould be lovely. Then he's just mean enough 
to pretend Nova Scotia is her idea and he'll say : "Well, if you 
are set on going there, I'll get a month's vacation and we'll try it. 
I guess 'twould do us good." 

Then dad measures off places in Nova Scotia with a pencil and 
lays the pencil down on that little line in the corner with little 
feelers on it that looks like a worm on its back, to see how many 
miles off one place is from another. If it's less than a hundred 
miles he says : "Now, it would be very interesting to walk that 
distance and see the country. How would you like to take a 
tramping trip ?" And ma says it would be lovely, if her feet didn't 
trouble her so. 

That usually makes the old man a little glummer than he was 
before. Then he starts out something about riding and begins to 
figure out the fares and the time-tables. 

Well, when dad gets to figuring ma slips into my room, and 
yawns. Then she goes back and asks him if he thinks they can 
afford it. She just does that to keep the fun going, for it starts 
him right off on another hour's figuring to see how much money 
he'll earn the next six months and how much he'll spend. 

But after dad has had the fun of figuring up what he's made 
last year and dividing that by fifty-two, he multiplies that by 
twenty-four weeks of the next six months and subtracts a lot of 
things from that. What's left is for Nova Scotia, and he gets 
real hopeful. 

But the other day dad tried to have real fun. Ma suggested 
that it might do him good to go to a real funny show without her 
or me to look after. He said kind of mournful that he was afraid 
there might be a reaction after a funny show. Ma said "Non- 
sense !" so dad went to the theatre. 

I sneaked down the fire-escape with fifty cents out of the ice 
money to follow him, for I'd risk any kind of a licking to see dad 
really cut loose and laugh. I had a quarter besides for carfare. 
First he walked up and down in front of half a dozen theatres. I 
suppose he was trying to decide which one to go to. I went on 
the other side of the street behind a lot of cabs and kept my eye 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 71 

on him. Finally he went in downstairs to a high-priced seat. 
That's just like dad, and he talks more about saving money, his 
ma says, than any man she knows. 

I went up in nigger heaven and got in the front row where I 
could look over. It took me most ten minutes to pick out the old 
man. He's getting bald, and the top of his head looks just like 
the top of any other head a mile away. It seemed like a mile up 
there, anyway. 

I kept looking from the folks on the stage to dad and back 
again, 'cause I wanted to see the show myself and see the old man 
laugh too. But he didn't move and he didn't clap, and I lost half 
the show watching him for nothing until pretty soon there was 
an awful racket and smash behind the scenes and a big dummy in 
a yellow overcoat shot head first across the back of the stage and 
landed with an awful thump on the other side. And in about 
two seconds in walked a little short fat man with a yellow coat on, 
just like the dummy's, and an automobile cap. He let on that he 
was the dummy we had just seen and said that he was full of 
gasoline after the explosion. Well, you'd thought every one in 
that theatre was going to bust laughing and in a minute after 
everybody else had got their laugh started I heard a yell down- 
stairs. There was dad with his head so far back that I could see 
his eyes and the end of his whiskers going up and down, and he 
was slapping the arms of his chair with both hands. 

Then I yelled and everybody downstairs was looking at dad 
and everybody upstairs was looking at me. You couldn't stop 
the old man after that. He let out enough laugh for a whole year, 
and I'd have swiped another fifty cents just to have had ma with 
me there to see him. 

After the show he forgot all about going to cheap restaurants 
to save money for Nova Scotia, but braced right into a swell place. 
I was hungry, too, so I sneaked into the same place so I could 
keep an eye on dad. 

First he had something yellowish to drink with a round red 
thing in it. I think he grinned again, after he put that down, but 
I ain't sure. Then he had some raw clams and pretty soon a great 



72 WERNER'S READINGS 

big platter of something with a silver cover on top and a silver 
pail with some ice and a bottle in it. He looked pleasant enough 
to have his picture taken. 

I slipped out and waited across the street for dad. It seemed 
like an hour before he came out. He took the first car that came 
along and we got on the same ferry-boat. 

Then the funniest thing happened you ever heard of. There 
weren't any wagons on that boat and nobody in the middle part 
for horses. I'll be hanged if dad didn't go in there all alone and 
begin saying over some of the funny things they had said at the 
show. Then he whistled some rag-time and kept kicking up and 
dancing back and forth across the boat like they did in the show. 

I thought I would bust then, but the best of all was when dad 
took a run and fell down head first on purpose just like a fellow 
sliding for a base. He was practising doing what the dummy 
in the yellow coat did. Then the boat bumped into the slip and 
dad went right past me. I heard him kinder talking to himself 
and saying he guessed he could be funny and cheerful 'round the 
house if he tried. 

I heard dad and ma talking in their room that night, but 
couldn't hear what they said, only I heard 'em both laugh, and was 
tickled to death. But dad's whole plan was ruined in the morning. 

Ma and me got to the table first, as usual, and waited for dad. 
We heard him whistling in the other room, trying to work up 
gradual, I suppose, to being real lively. Ma looked pleased as 
pie. In a minute dad came through the hall and just as he reached 
the dining-room he gave a yell and fell flat. 

It was the dummy trick, and I roared. Ma gave me a cuff and 
kneeled right down on the floor side of dad and said : "Oh, John, 
are you hurt ?" 

She couldn't have said a worse thing. Her game was to laugh 
when dad tried so hard as that to be funny, but he hadn't tipped 
her off, because he wanted to surprise her. So, when she asked 
if he was hurt, he just said "No," solemn as an owl and went to 
the table. 

It was the glummest breakfast we ever had. 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 73 

/ 

LAUGHING AND CRYING. 



Comedy Monologue for Man or Woman. 



G. A. LANDRUM. 



Arranged as monologue and business given expressly for this book by 

Howell L. Finer. 



LAUGHING. 

[Enter stage laughing heartily and address conversation en- 
tirely to audience.] 

I WOULD be willing to choose my friend by the quality of his 
laugh. [Give a glad, gushing laugh.} A clear, ringing note 
of soul [give it} as surely indicates a genial and genuine nature 
as the rainbow in the dewdrop heralds the beautiful day. 

A laugh is one of God's truths. [Laugh heartily.} It tolerates 
no disguises. [Laugh very cordially.} A falsehood may train the 
voice to flow in softest cadences [laugh characteristically], the 
face to wreathe into smiles of surpassing sweetness [ give broad 
smile], to put on the look we trust in, but the mockery becomes 
apparent to the careful observer. 

Who has not started and shuddered at the hollow "He ! he ! he !" 
of some velvet-voiced Mephistopheles ? Leave nature alone. 
[Laugh very heartily, giving some variations from preceding 
laughs.] If she is noble, her broadest expression will soon tone 
itself down to fine accordance with life's real earnestness. If she 
is base, no silken interweaving can keep out of sight her ugly head 
of discord. 

Laugh if you want to live well. [Laugh heartily.] He only 
exists who drags his days after him like a massive chain, asking 
sympathy with uplifted brows as the beggar asks alms. Better 
die for your own sake and for the world's sake than to pervert 
the uses and graces and dignities of life. There is no need to lay 
our girlhood and boyhood down so doggedly upon the altar of 
sacrifice as we toil up life's mountain side. Gray hairs should no 



74 WERNER'S READINGS 

longer be the insignia of age, but the crown of ripe and perennial 
youth. 

Laugh for your health. [Do so very heartily.] Laugh for 
your beauty. [Do so comically.] The joyous carry a fountain 
of light in their eyes and around in their dimples where the echoes 
of gladness play "hide-and-seek." But your lean and hungry 
Cassius is never betrayed into a laugh. If we put a laugh into a 
strait-jacket [laugh hollowly}, we kill the soul of joy. If we 
attempt to refine, we destroy its pure, mellifluent ring. If we sup- 
press a laugh [illustrate}, it mocks the effort that puts it forth. 

"Laugh, and the world laughs with you ; weep, and you weep 
alone." Laugh and be judged by it. [Laugh heartily.] Laugh 
and set the echoes ringing all about you. [Laugh more heartily.} 
Laugh and grow fat. [Laugh heartily as you leave stage.] 

CRYING. 

[Enter stage crying bitterly and then address audience.] 

I would be willing to choose my girl by the quality of her cry 
[a sad, weeping countenance]. A quiet sob from the heart [il- 
lustrate] as surely indicates the tender and sympathetic nature as 
anything a girl ever did or is likely to do. 

A cry is one of God's truths. [Cry bitterly.] It tolerates no 
disguises. [Cry in great agony.] Leave nature alone. [Cry 
wildly.] Cry if you want to "hold your own." [Cry lustily.] He 
only strives against nature who giggles. Cry with all your heart. 
[Cry bitterly.] 

I don't blame the babies for crying. It's the first privilege of 
existence. Cry for your beauty. [Beauty's cry should be full of 
grimaces.] Cry when you have the toothache. [Cry as in pain.] 

NOTE. 

After giving the monologue "Laughing," wait a moment and then give 
the monologue "Crying," as an encore. The two monologues may also 
be successfully given at one time by two different persons who appear 
simultaneously on stage, one laughing heartily, the other crying bitterly. 
The Laugher recites his first sentence with full business; then the Crier 
recites his first sentence with full business, they alternating in this way 
until the end. 



"AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 75 



A FLORENTINE JULIET, 



Romantic, Pathetic, Italian Monologue in Verse for a Woman. 



SUSAN COOLIDGE. 



CHARACTERS REPRESENTED: FLORENTINE MOTHER, Speaker, 
present; RENZO, her son, supposed to be present. 

COSTUME : That of a matron of the I2th to I4th Century a 
house costume. 

STAGE-SETTING: Boudoir interior of the I2th to I4th century. 

SCENE : At rise of curtain MOTHER is seated near a table looking 
down at Son who is supposed to be seated near her. 

WHAT is it, my Renzo? What is thy desire? 
To hear my story hear the whole of it? 
Ah, boy, with eyes still full of childish dreams, 
And yet with manhood on the firm young lip, 
'Tis a hard thing to ask me, and a strange. 

Yet must I do this hard thing for thy sake, 
Since who shall do it for thee, if not I? 
Thy father, who had else more fitly told, 
Is at the wars, the weary, wasting wars. 
Long years ago he sailed unto the wars, 
And dead or living, comes not back to us. 

Thou bearest an honorable name, my son, 

Two mighty houses meet and blend in thee : 

For I, thy mother, of the warlike line 

Of Bardi, lords of Florence in past time, 

Was daughter, and thy sire Ippolito 

Sprang from the Buondelmonti, their sworn foes: 

For we were Guelph and they were Ghibelline, 



76 WERNER'S READINGS 

And centuries of wrong, and seas of blood, 
And old traditional hatreds sundered us. 

Even in my babyhood I heard the name 
Of Buondelmonti uttered 'twixt set teeth 
And coupled with a curse, and I would pant 
And knit my brows and clench my tiny fist 
And whimper at the very sound of it : 
Whereat my father, stout Amerigo, 
Would catch me up and toss me overhead, 
And say I was best Bardi of them all : 
And if his sons but matched his only maid 
They'd make quick work of the black Ghibellines 
And of Buondelmonti. 

So I grew 

To woman's stature, and men called me fair, 
And suitors, like a flight of bees, began 
To hum and cluster wheresoe'er I moved. 
And then there came the day that fateful day, 
When little Ghan, my father's latest born, 
Was carried for chrism to the baptistry. 
And standing, all unaware, beside the font, 
I looked across the dim and crowded church 
And saw a face, a dazzling, youthful face, 
A face that smote my vision like a star: 
With golden locks, and eyes divinely bright 
Like San Michele in the picture there, 
Fixed upon mine. 

Had any whispered then 
It was Ippolito, our foeman's son, 
At whom I gazed, I should have turned away. 
My father's daughter sure had turned away. 
But nothing warned me, nothing hindered him, 
We looked upon each other Fate so willed 
And with our eyes our hearts met. 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 

And still that tender, radiant gaze wooed mine, 
And still I felt the enchantment burn and burn, 
But would not turn my head or look again: 
And all that night I lay and felt those eyes, 
And day by day they seemed to follow me, 
Like unknown planets of some strange new heaven 
Whose depths I dared not question or explore; 
And love and hate so strove for mastery, 
Within my girl's heart made their battle-field, 
That all my forces failed and life grew faint. 

He for his part set forth with heart afire, 

To learn my name sad knowledge, easy gained, 

Leaving the learner stricken with a chill. 

And after that wherever I might go 

To ball or feast, I saw him, only him ! 

And while the other cavaliers pressed round 

To praise my face or dress or hold my fan, 

Or bid me to the dance, he stood aloof 

With passionate eyes, but never might draw near 

For still my brother Piero or my sire 

Was close behind, with dark-set brows intent 

To watch him that he did not dare to speak. 

At last, with baffling of his heart-sick hope 
And long suspense and sorrow he fell ill : 
And in a moment when life's tide ran low 
He told his mother all : she, loving him well 
And loth to see him perish thus forlorn, 
Became his ally, spoke him words of cheer, 
And with my cousin Contessa, her sworn friend, 
She counsel took : and so, betwixt the two, 
It came about that on a day of spring 
We met : a meeting cunningly contrived. 
In an old villa past the walls. 
My mother had led me thither, knowing naught, 



78 WERNER'S READINGS 

And I, naught knowing, had wandered for a space 

Among the boskage and the fragrant vines; 

I heard the soft throb of a mandolin, 

And next a voice, divinely sweet it seemed, 

A voice unheard till then, and yet I knew 

The voice for his. 

The music ceased, the while spell-bound I stayed, 

Then came a rustle, he was at my feet! 

Few moments might we stay, and few words speak: 

But love is swift of tongue, all was arranged, 

The plan of our escape, the hour, the place, 

And that Ippolito, next night but two, 

With a rope ladder hidden 'neath his cloak, 

Should stand beneath my window. Once on ground 

A priest should wait to bind us quickly one. 

Then a mad gallop, ere the dawn of day, 

Would set us safely forth beyond the rule 

Of the Black Lily. 

With his vanishing" 

The thing grew like a dream, and as in a dream 
I seemed to walk the next day and the next; 
For all my thoughts were of that coming night, 
And all my fear was lest it should not come. 
And all the old-time animosities, 
And all the hates bred in me from a child, 
And feudal faith and loyalties were dead; 
I was no more a Bardi ; Love ruled all. 

It came, the night, and on the stroke of twelve 

I stood at the casement, wrapped in veil, with maslc 

And muffling cloak laid ready close beside : 

And there I stood and watched and heard the bells 

Strike one, two, three, and saw the rose of dawn 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 79 

Deepen to day, and still my love came not. 
Then fearing to be spied, I crept to bed, 
And lying in a weary trance, half sleep, 
Heard shouts and cries and noise of joyful stir 
Run through the palace, and quick echoing feet, 
And little Cosmo thundering at my door. 
:< Wake, Dianora, here is glorious news, 
Ippolito, our foeman's only son, 
Is caught red-handed on some midnight raid, 
Taken with a rope-ladder 'neath his cloak, 
Bound for some theft or felony, no doubt : 
And, as he offers neither excuse nor plea, 
He is to suffer at the hour of noon, 
In spite of his fond father's threats and cries. 
All that the criminal asks by way of boon 
Is he may pass our palace as he goes 
Unto the scaffold. A queer fancy that, 
But all the better sport it makes for us, 
And we need neither pity nor deny ; 
So rise, sweet sister, don your bravest gear, 
For all the household on the balcony 
Will be to jeer the fellow as he wends." 

My boy, look not so startled, those were bitter days. 
What was I saying? So I rose that day 
A traitor unsuspected 'mid his foes, 
Who were my friends, hiding 'neath feigned smiles 
A purpose desperate as was my hope. 
I rose and let them deck me as they would, 
Put on my jewels, star my hair with pearls, 
And all the while a voice like funeral dirge 
Sang in my half-crazed ears or seemed to sing 
The fragment and the cadence of a song, 
"Ah death, the end of grief, what do I care?" 
Then took my station on the balcony, 
In the mid place, the very front of all, 



So WERNER'S READINGS 

To see the hated foeman of our race 
Led past the palace on his way to die ! 
Long time we waited, till the fear began 
To stir that some mischance had marred the plan, 
And still I sat and smiled, and while the bells 
Tolled, and they talked and buzzed, I only prayed, 
"O pitying Virgin, only grant he come!" 

They came at last, the Bargello and his troop, 

And in the midst my love with hands fast tied 

And golden locks uncurled and face all wan, 

But still with gallant bearing, and his eyes 

Fixed upon mine me, for whose sake he died, 

For whose sweet honor's sake he silent died. 

There was a little halt and then a cry 

Of fierce joy rang from out our balcony. 

Now was my time : all sudden sprang I up, 

And while the astonished crowd kept silence deep, 

And they, my kin, amazed, sat silent, too, 

I loudly told our tale, our woful tale, 

And made avowal that 'twas for my sake 

Ippolito his noble silence kept! 

Then, while my brother strove to stop my mouth 

And fierce hands clutched my gown and seized my arms, 

I clung and pleaded : "Find the holy friar, 

Good people, only send to find the friar 

Find him for pity's sake ; he will confirm 

All I have said and prove my truth, and his, 

And save my dear love, slain for love of me." 

Then a great cry arose ; some this way ran, 

Some that, and suddenly, amid the press 

A cowl was seen, and Fra Domenico, 

Breathless with haste, just conscious of our need, 

Ran in the midst, and then, I know not what, 

For all was tumult ; but my love stood free, 

Free and unbound, and all the populace 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 3*- Hi 

Shouted our two-fold names, "Ippolito 
And Dianora," and the bells broke out, 
And with the bells the sun and all the air 
Seemed full of interlaced and tangled sounds. 
Cries and glad pealings and our blended names 
On one side ; on the other stormy words, 
Reproach and curses. 

Then the Podesta 

And many great lords came, and all passed in, 
And up the stairs and filled the palace full, 
And high and low joined in an equal plea 
That the long feud be stanched, and as a pledge 
Of lasting peace we two be wedded straight. 
But still my father frowned and closed his ears, 
And still my brothers fumbled at their swords : 
But when Count Buondelmonti, aged and gray, 
And shattered with the horror just escaped, 
Suspense and heavy sickness, hurried in 
And kissed my hands and knelt before my feet 
And blessed me, the savior of his son, 
While with redoubled zeal the Podesta 

Urged, and the noble lords Heaven touched their hearts 
They gave consent, and so the feud was healed, 
And the next day my love and I were wed. 
And twenty glad years came and fleetly sped. 
Ah me! and then he sailed unto the wars, 
And all the years that have gone by since then 
Are as sad night-shades steeped in deadly dews. 
Death has been busy with us, as thou knowest. 
Thou art the youngest of my six fair sons, 
Thou art the only one to close my eyes. 
If I shall wake in Paradise one day 
And find him safe, safely still my own, 
And see his eyes with the old steadfast loolc, 
Why that will be enough, that will be Heaven"! 



8a WERNER'S READINGS 



PRESSED FOR TIME. 



Comedy Monologue for a Man. 



CHARLES DE SIVRY. 



Translated expressly for this book by Lucy Hayes Macqueen. 



CHARACTER : The Man Pressed for Time. 
COSTUME : Society Frenchman. 

SCENE : Room of a Society Man. Couches, chairs, table, etc. 
One man supposed to be seated near table. Society Man stands 
near him. 

MY dear friend, I beg a thousand pardons, but I must leave 
you at once I am very busy exceedingly pressed for 
time. 

[Makes for the door, but fust at the door returns again to hi* 
friend. ] 

By the way, did I tell you something? No? Well, it's all the 
general's fault. He was telling me about that everlasting old 
campaign of his and I was pretending to listen not heeding one 
word, you know, he was going on : "I massed my men with 
a sharp turn, scattered the men of the 28th, everything was going 
beautifully" just then my fiancee came toward us, and as I leaned 
forward to make a pretty little speech to her, all the time pretend- 
ing to be engrossed with the general, something twitched my cup 
of chocolate out of my hand and all over the pale blue chiffon 
gown of my cousin. I rushed from the room covered with shame, 
the ridicule of all the people in the room, and chocolate. So, 
that is why my engagement is broken off such an excellent 
match, too. 

I am going to try to make up the misunderstanding to-day. The 
ladies go every afternoon between two and three to that well- 
known little confectioner's shop on the Boulevard to nibble maca- 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 83 

roons and discuss their neighbors ; and I am going to meet them 
there to-day and try to get in her good graces again. 

[Consults his watch.] 

It is now just ten minutes of three. I have not much time to 
lose. Well, I'll say good-bye. Pardon me for being in such a 
hurry, but you understand. 

[He makes another attempt to leave, but returns just as he 
reaches the door.] 

By the way, did I tell you that the general is a very useful 
friend to keep in with? If I get the embassy I am seeking, it will 
be through his recommendation ; only for that I would not waste 
my time listening to his old campaign yarns. Time is too pre- 
cious. Besides [laughing], you know about that famous "sharp 
turn" he is always talking about? Well, it is a matter of history 
that he was beaten all to pieces by the enemy done up like hot 
cakes oh, that reminds me speaking of cakes of the ladies 
and the confectioner's shop. 

[Consults watch.] 

Heavens ! I must be going. It is five minutes after three. 

[Makes another attempt to leave, but returns as before.] 

Oh, apropos of nothing in particular, have you heard the sad 
news? Gaeton, my best friend, and yours, too, I believe, well, 
his life is despaired of. He is terribly low, poor fellow. It came 
about from a quarrel. He has broken with the little countess 
all for nothing a mere trifle. They had a true love-affair this 
time. It has lasted three months now. He is ill, in bed, fever 
and the blues pulse, 450 beats per minute. 

[Consults his watch.] 

Too bad ! It is a quarter after three ! I have missed the ladies. 
Well, never mind, I'll see them at the opera this evening "Aux 
Italiens" they never miss it. And now I'll just run over and see 
the minister of foreign affairs about my embassy. I'll just be in 
time, for the general leaves every day at half-past three ; but I 
must hurry, so good-bye. 

[Rushes to a window and hails an imaginary cab.] 



84 WERNER'S READINGS 

Coachman ! Coachman ! Oh, it is taken. Well, never mind. 
I'll walk fast. Good-bye, again. 

[Makes another attempt to leave, but returns again.} 

Poor Gae'ton, who is ill with the fever, I promised him that 
I would stop at the countess's and tell her what a state he is in 
his despair, his sorrow, his penitence. I think she will listen to 
me she must listen to me. I will speak eloquently, like this : 

[Addressing an imaginary countess:} 

"Madam, if you only saw him this morning as I saw him, you 
would be all pity for his miserable state. Madam, it is his life 
that I beg from you his life ! He said to me : 'If you are not 
back here at four o'clock precisely with good news from the 
countess, then I shall know that she wants no more to do with me, 
and I shall immediately, precisely at five minutes past four, blow 
out my brains.' And you know that he will keep his word." 

[Addressing the imaginary friend.} 

He really will, too. He's a hot-headed fellow. He is such a 
serious fellow, too, withal, he could have made his fortune as a 
lyric poet ! I shall carry his pardon to him in a paper a little 
violet scented note. 

[Running to the window and frantically hailing another cab.} 

Coachman ! Coachman ! Why is it that every cab in Paris is 
engaged this afternoon? 
[Consulting watch.} 

It's no use. The general is gone now. It is half-past three ! 
Where can I find him ? What an unfortunate day it has been for 
me ! He was waiting for me, too, and he will be furious at my 
disappointing him. He has left in a rage, by this time. Heavens ! 
I wish I knew where I could find him ! And it is all your fault ! 
You detain me here talking and gossiping when you know I have 
important business to attend to. Oh, I do not blame you. When 
people are talking time flies so quickly one does not notice. But 
I must run now. I shall go to the countess's house the little 
countess for I must save my friend's life. He distinctly told 
me that if I am not back with him at four o'clock, he will blow out 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 85 

his brains at five minutes after four. He will do it, too. Oh, the 
women ! Good evening. 

[Makes another attempt to leave, but returns again.} 

[Quickly.] I will go now to the countess's house and will tell 
her in two words what I have told you. 

Then, I'll whisper in her ear to make my excuses to the general, 
her husband, and I'll ask her to try to get him to sign the papers 
for me. So you see, I'll kill two birds with one stone. After- 
ward, I'll run to poor Gae'ton with the good news for I shall 
carry nothing but good news. As a diplomat, you can depend 
upon me. 

And they say that the world thinks that society men have all 
their time unoccupied! What injustice! They think we are lazy. 
Well, now, at last, everything will come around all right ! This 
evening at "Aux Italiens" I shall have patched up my engage- 
ment, received pardon from the general, and saved the life of my 
best friend. 

[Consults zvatch.] 

Great Heavens ! It is five minutes after four o'clock ! 

He is dead! 



BETTY BOTTER'S BATTER.) 



BETTY BOTTER bought some butter, 
"But," she said, "this butter's bitter. 
If I put it in my batter, 
It will make the batter bitter, 
But a bit of better butter 
Will make my batter better." 
So she bought a bit of butter 
Better than the bitter butter 
And made her bitter batter better. 
So 'twas better Betty Botter 
Bought a bit of better butter. 



86 WERNER'S READINGS 



TAKEN BY SURPRISE. 



Comedy and Dramatic Monologue for a Woman. 



METTA VICTORIA VICTOR. 



Arranged as monologue and directions given expressly for this book. 



CHARACTERS : Miss GUMBIDGE, Boarding-House Mistress, 
Speaker present; DORA, and several Gentlemen supposed to be 
present. 

COSTUME : Gray wig, red flannel nightcap, red flannel night- 
gown, old dark petticoat showing beneath nightgown, teeth all 
out (may be made to look so by blacking each tooth with shoe- 
maker's wax). Skin made-up to look wrinkled and old. 

SCENE: Hall-way (L. side of stage). Room where fire is sup- 
posed to be is at R. of stage. Miss Gumbidge stands facing en- 
trance to the room. She jumps about a good deal and calls at 
top of lungs.] 

SCENE I. 

DORA ! Dora ! Dora ! wake up, wake up, I say ! Don't you 
smell something burning? Wake up, child! Don't you 
smell fire ? Goodness, so do I ! I thought I wasn't mistaken. The 
room's full of smoke. Oh, dear ! what shall we do ? Don't stop 
to put on your petticoat. We'll all be burned to death. Fire ! 
fire ! fire ! 

[Turns quickly and looks toward stage front where MR. LITTLE 
is supposed to be standing.] 

Yes, there is ! I don't know where ! It's all over, our room's 
all ablaze, and Dora won't come out till she gets her dress on. 
Mr. Little, you shan't go in I'll hold you you'll be killed just 
to save that chit of a girl, when I I He's gone rushed right 
into the flames ! 

[Seems exhausted after her effort to hold MR. LITTLE from 
going into her room.] 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 87 

Oh, my house, my furniture, all my earnings ! Can't anything 
be done ? Fire ! fire ! fire ! 

[Another boarder seems to have entered and stands just where 
MR. LITTLE stood.] 

Call the fire-engines ! Ring the dinner-bell ! Be quiet ? How 
can I be quiet? Yes, it's all in flames; I saw them myself! 
Where's my silver spoons? Oh, where's my teeth, and my silver 
soup-ladle ? Let me be ! I'm going out into the street before it's 
too late ! 

[Miss GUMBIDGE suddenly makes for stage front as if about 
to leave, then acts as if stopped by some one.] 

Oh, Mr. Grayson, have you got water? Have you found the 
place? Are they bringing water? 

[Drops into chair near stage front C.] 

Did you say the fire was out? Was that you that spoke, Mr. 
Little? I thought you were burned up, sure. And there's Dora, 
too. How did they get out? My clothes-closet was on fire, and 
the room, too ! We would have been smothered in five minutes 
more if we hadn't waked up ! But it's all out now, and no damage 
done but my dresses destroyed and the carpet spoiled. Thank 
the Lord, if that's the worst ! But it ain't the worst ! Dora, come 
along this minute to my room. Don't you see don't you see I'm 
in my night-clothes ? I never thought of it before. I'm ruined, 
ruined completely ! Gentlemen, get out of the way as quickly as 
you can. 

[Rushes wildly into her room dragging DORA with her.] 

Dora, shut the door. 

[Miss GUMBIDGE rushes to dresser at stage R. and gazes at 
herself. ] 

Hand me that candle I want to look at myself in the glass. 
To think that all those gentlemen should have seen me in this 
fix! I'd rather have perished in the flames. It's the very first 
night I've worn these flannel nightcaps, and to be seen in 'em. 
Good gracious, how old I do look! Not a spear of hair on my 
head, scarcely, and this red nightgown and old petticoat on, and 
my teeth in the tumbler and the paint all washed off my face, and 



88 WERNER'S READINGS 

scared besides ! It's no use ! 1 never, never again can make any of 
those men believe that I'm only twenty-five; and I felt so sure of 
some of them. They say that new boarder is a drawing-master. 
I know he'll caricature me for the amusement of the young men. 
Only think how my portrait would look taken to-night ! and he'll 
have it, I'm sure, for I noticed him looking at me, the first thing 
that reminded me of my situation after the fire was put out. Well, 
there's but one thing to be done, and that's to put a bold face on 
it. I'll pretend to something I don't know just what to get 
myself out of this scrape, if I can. 
[Exit from room and stage.] 

SCENE II. 

STAGE-SETTING: Dining-room with table down stage C, chairs 
about table. 

[Enter Miss GUMBIDGE gotten up in latest morning goivn. 
She bozvs right and left as she approaches table, seats herself very 
carefully at head of table and then beams on each boarder in 
turn while she sees them properly served.] 

Good morning, gentlemen, good morning! We had quite a 
fright last night, didn't we ? Dora and I came pretty near paying 
dear for a little frolic. You see, we were dressing up in character 
to amuse ourselves, and I was all fixed up to represent an old 
woman, and had put on a gray wig and an old flannel gown that 
I'd found, and we'd set up pretty late, having some fun all to our- 
selves ; and I expect Dora must have been pretty sleepy, when she 
was putting some of the things away, and set fire to a dress in 
the closet, without noticing it. I've lost my whole wardrobe, nigh 
about, by her carelessness ; but it's such a mercy we weren't 
burned in our bed that I don't care to complain so much on that 
account. Isn't it curious how I got caught dressed up like my 
grandmother ? We didn't suppose we were going to appear before 
so large an audience when we planned out our little frolic. Don't 
you think I'd personify a pretty good old woman, gentlemen 
ha! ha! for a lady of my age? What's that, Mr. Little? You 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 89 

wish I'd make you a present of that nightcap, to remember me by ? 
Of course ; I've no further use for it. It's one of Bridget's that 
I borrowed for the occasion, and I've got to give it back to her. 
Have some coffee, Mr. Grayson do ! I've got cream for it this 
morning. Mr. Smith, help yourself to some of the beefsteak. It's 
a very cold morning fine weather out-of-doors. Eat all you can, 
all of you. Have you any profiles to take yet, Mr. Gamboge ? I 
may make up my mind to set for mine before you leave us ; I've 
always thought I should have it taken some time. In character? 
He ! he ! Mr. Little, you're so funny ! But you'll excuse me this 
morning, as I had such a fright last night. I must go and take 
up that wet carpet. 

[Miss GUMBIDGE gets up, smiles and bows to all at table and 
exits.} 



READY FOR A KISS, 



MAMMA, Fse been washin'- 
Don't you see I has? 
Curled my hair my own se'f 

Sweetest ever was ! 
Nozzer time I was not 
Half so nice as this 
See, Fse fixed up, mamma, 
Ready for a kiss ! 

Johnny's having trouble 

DrefHe trouble, too 
Bird-eggs in his pocket, 

Keeps a-comin' froo! 
I ain't a dirt baby 

Does you think I is? 
Fse your little Taddie, 
Ready for a kiss \ 



90 WERNER'S READINGS 

THE LITTLE FRIEND IN THE MIRROR. 



Comedy Monologue for Very Young Girl. 



ANNA M. PHILLY. 



Written expressly for this book. 



CHARACTERS REPRESENTED: SMALL GIRL, Speaker, present; her 
friend and playmate, MARY, her BIG SISTER, TOM and BOB, all 
supposed to be present sometime during the monologue. 

COSTUME: SMALL GIRL wears BIG SISTER'S silk skirt and car- 
ries her best fan. 

STAGE-SETTING : Dressing-room interior. Large mirror so 
placed that audience can get profile view of SMALL GIRL and of 
her reflection in mirror as she sits before mirror making-up with 
powder, etc. Near large mirror is table on which is placed 
doll, powder box, bow of ribbon, etc. About the room are 
chairs, couch, etc. 

SCENE AT RISE OF CURTAIN: SMALL GIRL standing near couch 
on which sits MARY. 

SMALL GIRL. 

NOW, Mary, the boys are gone, and you and I will have a good 
time with our dollies. I don't see what makes boys so 
mean, do you ? They had rather tease than eat. Whenever they 
see me talking to you they call out, "Oh, how do you do, Mary ?" 
in such a silly way. I get so provoked at them. 

[Listening.] I wonder what that noise was? Excuse me just 
a moment, and I'll go see. [Runs to imaginary door and looks 
out.] No, Mary, it was a false alarm; they are playing ball be- 
hind the -barn, so we are safe. 

[Admiring doll's dress.] Oh, thank you! I'm so glad you like 
it. My grandma made it. Oh, it's just dimity. Yes, I think she 
looks sweet in it. How is your baby this morning ? What ? You 
don't say! What's the matter? I'll bet it's amonia on the lungs! 
That's what Mrs. Paul's little boy had, and he died; wasn't sick 
but two days! You'd better be careful with her. I'm just in fear 



'AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. gi 

and trembling (as mamma says), I'm so afraid Marabel will get 
amonia or brownkitties, or something contiduous. Humph ! What 
does "contiduous" mean? Why, it means let me see, what does 
it mean ? Oh, yes, I know ; it means something catching, like 
diphtheria ! Oh, that makes me think, did you know my Uncle 
Herbert's children had the diphtheria? Oh, yes, they're all well 
now; but when they were so awful sick that old German woman 
who lives next door what is her name? Yes, that's it Mrs. 
Blitzenhoffer. Well, when she saw the card out she came over 
and tapped on the window and said, "Och, Mrs. Schmidt, I vas 
so sorey your chillerns got the dip-te-ra-ri-a Och, dat was too 
bad !" Wasn't that funny ? 

And Oh ! you mean, hateful boys ! if you don't go away and 
stop teasing me I'll tell mamma. I didn't say my doll had dip-te- 
ra-ri-a, or any such thing! I just said [Calling up stairs.] 

Mamma ! make Tom and Bob go off and stop teasing me. I'm 
not a tell-tale either ! Oh, what does make boys so mean ? I 
wouldn't be a boy for the world ! 

Oh, where is that pretty bow of ribbon ? I'm going to put it in 
my hair. Oh, here it is. Yphm ! I think my hair looks pretty this 
way. Now, isn't that sweet ? This dress? Oh, it's sister Amy's. 
[Parades up and down in front of mirror, admiring her goivn.] 
She has just loads of 'em. You know she plays and sings for con- 
certs so much and has so many beaux, so she has to have lots of 
different kinds. Humph? Oh, I don't know what the goods is, 
but it's pretty, don't you think? And I like it. 

Now, let's put a little powder on our faces. Oh, don't you long 
to be a young lady? Yes, this is sister's fan, too. Oh, one of 
her beaux gave it to her Tom Stewart, I think. Bah ! no, she 
don't care a thing for him. He has such red hair, and such lots 
of freckles. But he's awful good, mamma says, and has lots of 
money, and he's awful nice to little sister. He always brings me 
marshmallows a whole lot, fresh ones, too ; he don't try to poke^ 
off a lot of cheap stuff on me like some of the other old stingies do. 

There! I thought I heard something. I'll bet those boys are 
sneaking round again. [Goes to door and looks out.] Oh, it's 



93 WERNER'S READINGS 

my sister! What? Well, how did I know it was your newest 
skirt? Well, I just thought it was pretty, and I'm not hurting it 
one bit. Well, take your old skirt and fan. [Kicks skirt off and 
tosses fan.] I don't want 'em, anyway! Maybe you'd like me to 
give you the powder I put on my face [sarcastically]. I'm not 
vain, either ! Well, you can tell mamma, if you want to. She 
said I could play up here. 

There ! she's gone Mary. Big sisters are almost as mean 
as boys. When / get to be a big sister I'm going to be just as 
good to all the little girls, and let them play with anything I've 
got! 

Didn't sister look hateful and cross when she went out? My! 
how she slammed the door ! But you ought to have seen her last 
night when Fred Martin called. He's the one she likes best. She 
had that skirt on that I just kicked off. And she carried her fan 
and she winked and she smiled, and whenever she didn't under- 
stand what he said to her she would say, :< Beg pahdon?" Just 
like our new teacher talks the one from Boston. My ! but she 
puts it on ! Just you wait. The next time he comes 'round I'll 
let him know she's got a temper. 

Say, Mary, I wonder who left their flowers here. Daisies are 
my favorites. Let's tell our fortunes. Name it, Mary. Are you 
ready ? 



, One j ^ tw<> j 

Three I love, I. say. 
Four I love with all my heart, 
And five I cast away. 

Six, he loves, seven she loves, 

Eight they both love, 

Nine he comes, ten he tarries." 

Who is it? Pooh! I don't care for him, anyway; he's - 
[Listens.] Now, Tom, if you don't let me alone I'll I wasn't, 
either, talking about Teddy St. Clair. I was just practicing my 
new recitation and getting ready for school. There goes the bell 
now ! Dear me ! And I'm not ready at all. My ! but I'll haft to 
hustle. [Gathers up doll and other things as she hastily leaves 
platform.] 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 93 

DAWSON'S WOMAN. 



Dramatic Pathetic Western Dialect Monologue in Verse for a Man. 



W. MILLER. 

CHARACTER : WESTERNER, Speaker, present. 
COSTUME: Western farmer. 



SCENE : Westerner enters, moves along as if listening to some- 
one, nods his head and then speaks. 

WANT to hear about Jim Dawson? he's a little tetched, you 
know; 
Somethin' ails his upper story kinder cracked he's harmless, 

though. 

How it sends the chilly shivers up an' down my spinal bone, 
Freezes up my very marrer, when I think how Dawson's gone ! 
But about that Dawson fam'ly. Jim, he come in eighty-four, 
Took up land an' built a shanty, batched it f er a year or more ; 
Jim wuz such a jolly feller such a bang-up clever one, 
That we liked him, an' we used to ask him over, an' he come 

Purty often ; Marthy wondered if he'd took a shine to Cad 
She's our oldest gal, an' handsome, if she does look like her dad ; 
But Jim didn't do no courtin' 'round our gals, an' soon the boy, 
Blushin' awkward, tol' my folks he'd got a gal in Illinoy. 
Then he got more confidential after that, an' said that he 
Would be married in September ; said her folks wuz farmers ; she 
Hed been teachin' school a little, so's to help her folks to hum; 
Said she made han'-painted picters, an' could play pianer some. 

Wai, he brought her in September. Phew ! but she was purty, 

though ; 

My gals couldn't hold a candle to her, an' yet they ain't so slow : 
My two gals hev got the muscle, they kin plow an' use the hoe, 
But 'long side 'o her, fer beauty, my gals didn't stan' no show. 
An' ye'd ort to see that shanty blossom out when she got there 



94 WERNER'S READINGS 



White lace curtains at the winders, ingrain carpet on the floor, 
Drapes, an' lamberquins, an' tidies ribbon bows just filled the 

air! 
Lots o' things I never heard of Dawson's woman brought out here. 

Bunch o' cat-tails in the corner painted chromos everywheres, 
Little bags o' scented cotton hangin' on the backs o' chairs ; 
An' a-standin' in the corner, on a kind o' crooked rack, 
Wuz some painted jugs an' vases think she called 'em bricky- 

brac. 

That ranch paralyzed the natives here ; some on 'em used to swear 
That it looked like heaven ort to, with a angel hov'rin' there ; 
I kin tell ye, mister, that it wa'n't exaggeratin' things 
Very much, fer Dawson's woman wuz a angel, bar the wings. 

Ez fer Jim wal, now ; ye couldn't tech him with a ten-foot pole. 
Used to stay to hum on Sundays ; ez a man she called Jim 

"whole." 

She wa'n't no shakes at housework, said she never hed no luck ; 
So Jim washed an' scrubbed the kitchen floor, an' helped her cook 

the chuck. 

She told Marthy, confidential, when they'd got enough ahead 
Built a house with foldin' doors, an' porch an' winder blinds, she 

said 

They'd go back to see her mother, an' she told her, too, that day, 
When they got rich, they wuz goin' back to Illinoy to stay. 

Their hard time begun that winter, fer the blizzards they raised 

Ned- 
Froze the horses in the stables, froze the cattle in the shed ; 
Folks took lots of exercise, ye see, the temper'ture wuz low, 
An' fuel high ; we went without some necessaries, too. 
Then the crops played out next season, fer the rust got in the 

wheat, 
Dews an' sunshine done the business, an' our hailstorms can't be 

beat; 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 95 

Hail an' hearty, too, I reckon, fer they pelted at the corn, 
Till they drove it out o' sight, an' let no second crop be born. 

We're used to it, ez I told ye, but we got downhearted some, 
Waitin' fer that summer's harvest, which it never, somehow, 

come. 
Dawson's folks got clean discouraged, never seen 'em smile till 

wal, 
That there mornin' Jim come over, grinned, an' said they'd got a 

gal. 

Somewhat later, Dawson's woman piled the chromos in a heap, 
Packed up all the fancy truck around the ranch, jest made a 

sweep ; 

She brought out all the bricky-brac, an' took the curtains down, 
Loaded up the one-hoss wagon, took the kid, an' broke fer town. 

\ 
I saw her comin' up the road, an' hollered, "What's to pay?" 

She said, "Why, debts, o' course," then laughed an' turned her 

face away; 

She said they didn't need the things at all then tried to cough ; 
She said she'd take 'em up to town an' try to sell 'em off. 
I noticed that her eyes wuz red, but she went on to say 
How the shanty wuz so crowded that the baby couldn't play. 
She sold the traps an' paid the bills, an' hed enough, she did, 
To buy a coat fer Jim, an' shoes an' dresses fer the kid. 

I think Dawson's wife got homesick; don't believe she liked the 

West; 

Guess she didn't like the sandstones, ner the Injins at their best; 
Never'd seen a lively Injin till she come here, an' they used 
To skeer her some, likewise the cowboys, prowlin' 'round the 

roost. 

Then a cyclone blew upon us, when the spring wuz gittin' green, 
Struck us right an' left an' forrards, till it shaved the country 

clean ; 



96 WERNER'S READINGS 

In a quite emphatic manner lifted all we bed to spare 
Splintered shanties, barns an' fences kindlin' wood whizzed 
through the air. 

Dawsons went to town that day, or else I don't know where they'd 

b'en. 

They camped with us a week or two till they'd built up again ; 
We wuz boardin' in the cellar, with a haystack fer a roof, 
Which that breeze bed kindly put there, an' we thought it good 

enough. 

Crops wuz more than slim that summer, fer we bed a little drouth 
Clean from April to September, not a drop to wet yer mouth 
From the sky ; we kep' from chokin' at the river, till it slid, 
Then brought water by the quart an' counted it by drops, we did. 

How the sun swooped down upon us ! how it scorched an' cracked 

the land ! 
How it parched the fields o' grain an' cooked the taters in the 

sand ! 

Sucked up all the cricks an' rivers in Nebrasky, an' I'll bet 
It raised a row aloft at night because it bed to set. 
After that we had the prairie fire November, eighty-eight; 
If ye want to see the jaws o' hell a-gapin' at ye straight, 
With a million hissin' tongues o' flame, an' see them risin' higher, 
An' ye hain't got no ranch to save, jest watch a prairie fire. 

Miles away we heard it crackle, all the sky wuz blazin' red ; 
Tumble weeds ez big ez hay-stacks helped to take the flames 

ahead ; 

All the land wuz jest like tinder, an' the wind wuz blowin' hard, 
So the flames got mighty frisky, seen 'em jump two hundred yard. 
Wai, we done some heavy plowin' 'round the Dawson ranch that 

day, 
An' the wind jest took a friendly freak, an' drew the flames our 

way. 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 97 

We saved our lives by managing I might relate jest how, 
But I'm tellin' Dawson's story, an' my own ain't nowhere now. 

Ez we crawled to Neighbor Dawson's when the fire hed gone 

that day, 

We saw a bundle, which it 'peared the wind hed blowed away ; 
It wuz lyin' in the gumbo near the road, an' partly hid, 
An' I hope to holler, stranger, if it wuzn't Dawson's kid ! 
She hed wandered from her mother, in the midst of smoke an' 

flare, 

She wuz little, so the hungry flames forgot an' left her there, 
Lyin' smothered by the roadway ; so we took her to the home 
Where she'd furnish^ all the brightness through so many days 

o' gloom. 

Dawson's woman never held her head up after that, they say 
Teased fer Jim to take her home; he set an' watched her every 

day 

Till the end, an' told her soon ez he could git enough ahead 
They'd go back to Illinoy; "An' take the little one," she said. 

5jC *(C 3fC 5|C 3|C 5JC 5JC yf. 

Two lone mounds are over yender, on the banks o' Dismal Crick, 
'Mongst the gumbo grass an' cactus, an' the sand burs growin' 

thick ; 

But that stream still murmurs softer, an' the birds sing in the air 
Jest a little sweeter, fer the sake o' them that's sleepin' there. 
Dawson's got some luny notions ; he told Parson Gibbs, one day, 
That he didn't b'lieve in God, no matter what the preachers say 
Said if there wuz sech a bein', that he wouldn't hev the cheek 
To handle folks so rough, when he hed made 'em poor and weak. 
Settin' by them grave mounds yender, 'mongst the burs an' prickly 

pear, 

Dawson spends a heap o' time; he says he's 'feard they're lone- 
some there ; 

Says it ain't no place to keep 'em, an' he told me, jest to-day, 
If he ever could he'd take 'em back to Illinoy to stay. 



98 WERNER'S READINGS 



DECEITFULNESS OF MAN. 



Comedy New England Dialect Monologue for a Woman. 



CHARACTER: AUNT SUSAN, Speaker, present. She directs her 
conversation to the audience. 

SOME say 't when Eve left the Garden a double burden was 
imposed upon her because she had sinned twice, once in her 
pride and once in eatin' the fruit, an' thet only a single burden was 
placed on Adam. I dunno ez thet is true, an' I ain't sayin' it ain't. 

My sex has its failin's, and none knows 'em better'n me who has 
been one of 'em all my life, but sometimes it seems to me we have 
our burdens. How did Ed Johnson treat my niece, Susan Wig- 
gins, who married him less'n a year ago under false pretenses ? 

It never made no diff'rence in the relations in our family thet 
the Wigginses leaned toward Methodism, an' after Susan was 
named for me I never mention'd it. The Johnsons was mostly 
Unitarians, which, ez near ez I can calculate, isn't bein' much of 
anythin' accordin' to rule. 

Ed wasn't no better'n the Johnsons run, an' I ain't sayin' he 
was worse. He had his faults, though, an' manlike he concealed 
them till after he was married. 

Well, Susan Wiggns was brought up about ez strict Methodis' 
ez any one around here, an' her face was set against cards an' 
the-aters an' rum an' tobacco about ez much ez any one's, if I do 
say it myself. When Ed Johnson married her no one told Susan 
thet he had any bad habits. 

I knew thet poor Susan was ez innocent ez a mouse about the 
wiles of men folks, an' bein' her aunt I made up my mind thet I 
wouldn't see her imposed on. 

Well, I give the young people a month to get settled an' then I 
went over to take tea with them. 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. gg 

Ed has his father's old house an' a farm thet's so full of rocks 
thet I don't see how he's goin' to git a livin' an' none of the Haw- 
kins's money is a goin' thet way now when I'm dead an' buried. I 
wore my cameo brooch thet Susan admired an' my Paisley shawl, 
for I didn't want her to be shamed by her branch of the family, 
howsomever the Johnsons might act. 

'Why, Susan," says I, as I came in the front door an' was 
shown right into the parlor an' tol' to set down on the Johnson 
hair-cloth sofa thet never was used when Ed's mother was alive, 
"why, Susan," says I, "aren't you young folks gettin' very ex- 
travagant, throwin' your parlor open when there ain't no funeral 
or minister or anythin' ? I'm jus' one of the family an' you mustn't 
make company of me." 

"Not a bit of it, Aunt Susan," says she. "Ed says thet if things 
ain't good to use they ain't good for anythin'." 

Where Ed Johnson got such notions ez thet, an' him with a 
rocky farm, I'm sure I dunno. 

I just felt of my cameo brooch, casual like, but thinkin' it might 
give Susan a hint thet if I saw old Mis' Johnson's things misused 
I wouldn't be in a hurry to turn my pin over to some one who'd 
wear it out every day. 

Ed came in an' he not only slicked up before tea, but he put on 
the clothes he was married in, ez fine black broadcloth ez you'd 
want to see. 

"Expectin* company?" says I. 

"No one but you, Aunt Susan," says Ed. "Why do you ask ?" 

"Oh," says I, "I see you're all dressed up. I s'pose thet's 
'cordin' to rule now though, ez I see you have the slips all off'n 
your mother's parlor furniture." 

"We only live but once, Aunt Susan," says Ed, "an* I believe 
in enjoyin' life ez we go along." 

Rememberin' thet he was brought up Unitarian an' thinkin' thet 
it was only one of their new-fangled notions, I didn't argufy the 
question, but I had my doubts about Susan's happiness. 

Ed talked a lot about the stones on his farm bein' some new 
kind of marble, an' how there was money in them, but I said I 



ioo WERNER'S READINGS 

never knew stones to be anythin' but a detriment 'cept for fences. 
Susan had brought all her plants from home an' I do think thet 
growin' plants is her pet vanity. When tea was over Ed says : 

"Susie, shall I get after the bugs to-night?" 

"For mercy sake, Susan," says I, "if I hadn't heard Ed say so 
I'd never believe it, an' Mis' Johnson was such a careful house- 
keeper, too ! Dear, dear, but thet's too bad." 

"Hold on, Aunt," says Ed, "you're on the wrong track," an' 
then I saw them both laughin' ez if the minister had made a joke. 

"Ed's talkin' about the bugs on my plants, Aunt," says Susan, 
when she stopped laughin' ; "an' he found in a newspaper last 
week a way to kill them. Ed's awfully thoughtful, Aunt." 

"Oh," says I, settin' up very straight, "I'm glad to hear it." 

I ought to have suspicioned thet somethin' terrible was comin', 
for if you'll take perceivance you'll notice thet men don't potter 
around household plants without havin' deep motives. I was thet 
taken back, however, thet I was speechless. 

"Dear Ed," says Susan, "I'd be very thankful if you would give 
the bugs a dose." 

''Certainly, Susie," says he, obligin'-like, and before my eyes he 
took down from the clock shelf a pipe and a bag of tobacco. 

He filled his pipe, went over an' sat down by the plants an' 
lighted it. I never seen any one smoke more natcheral like. He 
blew out great puffs of smoke an' there sat Susie lookin' ez proud 
ez if he was leadin' an experience meetin'. 

"Well, for land sakes, Susan Johnson !" says I. 

"Now, Aunt," says Susan, "you are wrong. Ed has no bad 
habits. We both noticed about a week ago thet there was bugs on 
my plants. I tried liquorish water an' camphor an' I declare I was 
mos' sick about it. Then Ed came down from the village one 
night with a piece of one of those N'York papers. It said thet 
tobacco smoke was the only sure cure for plant bugs. 

" 'Do you believe it, Ed ?' says I. 

" 'There it is in the paper/ says he. 

" 'Well/ says I, 'the bugs are gettin' awful on them. I wish 
you'd thought to bring some tobacco with you/ 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 101 

" 'I did/ says he. Now, wasn't thet thoughtful of him, Aunt? 

"Well, we put a little tobacco on a saucer an' tried to light it 
but it wouldn't burn. Ed says that it would only burn in a pipe, 
an' to make sure of savin' the plants he brought along a pipe. 

" 'Did you think, Ed/ says I, 'you could burn a lettle tobaccc 
in a pipe for me without gettin' the habit?' 

" 'Sure/ says he. An' he did an' I think it's just lovely of him, 
so now." 

I wasn't born yesterday, an' bein' of a thoughtful mind I've 
taken some notice to the ways an' tricks of men. I could almost 
swear thet Ed Johnson winked at me, but bein' a maiden lady I 
didn't want to say so. Talk about the deceit of women ! It was 
jus' ez I expected. I says to Susan: 

"How long has Ed been killin' bugs for you this way?" 

"Since las' Saturday," she says. 

"Did he burn up more'n one pipeful the first night ?" 

'Yes," says. she, "he said they needed a big dose to begin with 
an 5 he's burned three pipefuls. Since then he's burned two pipe- 
fuls every night. 

"An' didn't the first make him sick?" says I. 

: 'Why, no," says Susan. 

"Did Edwin smoke before ?" says I, an' I could see he was get- 
tin' nervous. 

"No," says Susan, "certainly not." 

"Well, then," says I, "all thet I can say is thet " An' jus' 

then Ed Johnson says : 

"Look out, look out, Aunt Susan; there's a mouse jus' comin' 
out the buttery door." 

I can't abide mice, an' I don't know now whether there was one 
or not. I have my suspicions. I jumped up on my chair, however, 
an' Ed knocked around with the broom handle real hard. When 
he finished makin' a racket he began : 

"Oh, Aunt Susan, I heard Joe Stebbins down to the village 
yesterday tellin' what a good housekeeper you was." 

You know thet some people did say thet Joe used to like me 
better'n Lizzie Hooper, who is now Mis' Stebbins. I wasn't par- 



102 WERNER'S READINGS 

tic'lary curious to know what Joe Stebbins had said about me for 
myself, but I knew thet if it could get back to Lizzie it would 
make her real angry, an' I declare, in askin' Ed questions I for- 
got all about smokin' an' I went home leavin' thet poor child in 
innocence about thet man's deception. 

You can't tell me thet if he hadn't been hardened in the tobacco 
habit smokin' wouldn't have made him ez sick. You can't fool 
me. An' I haven't been back to the Johnsons' house since, be- 
cause Ed ez much ez told me to stay away. 

You see, his old rocks did turn out to be marble, an' some folks 
say ez how he will die rich. They won't need any of the Hawkins 
money, which is fortunate, considerin'. I suppose such deceitful- 
ness from man to woman is one of the burdens we females have 
to bear because of Eve's sins. 

They say Susan an' Ed's happy an' thet Ed regularly every 
night kills the bugs on Susan's plants. Well, it ain't none of my 
business, p'r'aps, but I can't help feelin' bad for Susan. 



PERPLEXED. 



LAST night I kissed her in the hall 
My promised wife. 
She said, "Now tell me truly this 
Another girl did you e'er kiss 
In all your life ?" 

I gazed down in her pleading face 

And told her, "No." 
Now, why did she, with pensive sigh 
And sad look in her soft blue eye, 

Say, "I thought so?" 

The game she gave me, you'll admit, 

Was pretty stiff, 

And as I homeward went my way 
And thought on what I'd heard her say, 

I wondered if 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 103 



THE COMFORTABLE CORNER 



Comedy Monologue for a Man. 



Translated from the French of M. Armand Sylvestre by Lucy Hayes 

Macqueen especially for this book. 



CHARACTER: The BACHELOR, Speaker, present, who directs all 
his conversation direct at audience. 

I AM a bachelor and I am a well-bred, well-behaved man. I 
simply say this to let you know that I have no bad habits 
which prevent me from offering myself a victim at the altar of 
Hymen no, none whatever. I have simply found myself suffi- 
cient unto myself. Why take another into partnership, when I 
am capable of running the business myself? I have weighed my 
own individuality and found myself worthy. I am on very good 
terms with myself. 

Now, a single man who has nobody and nothing tied to his 
heels cannot do a better thing than travel about and see life. All 
railroad directors and steamboat officials will tell you the very 
same thing. 

I console myself for the loneliness inherent in a bachelor life 
by traveling. I pass half of my life in going on journeys, and the 
other half in returning from journeys, and I shall in all proba- 
bility do this up to that fatal last journey of all for which I shall 
buy no return trip ticket, for I shall never return. 

I am a fellow who loves his ease, so I always travel as com- 
fortably as possible. I wear a silk cap, you know, the kind that 
sheds all the dust ; a little flask of brandy ; a little giblet patty in 
my portmanteau ; a good novel ; but, oh, above all, when I have 
to pass the night on the train, give me my comfortable corner 
sleeping compartment ! 

It is not because I am more comfortable there than I would 



104 WERNER'S READINGS 

be in any of the other compartments which cost the same price, 
it is not because human nature loves a bargain ; it is not because 
I am cooler in the corner than I would be in the middle of the car 
surrounded by all the passengers and a load of stuffed horse-hair 
cushions ; no it is because i am a poet and love to see the be- 
lated traveler rush after the train and try to throw himself on to 
the platform near me, and I like to look out of the window and 
see the receding landscape as I fly along you can see better from 
the corner of the last car than you can anywhere else on the 
train. 

Now, I tell you that I am a poet because you might not take 
me for one if you should ever meet me in a crowded waiting-room 
waiting for a train. I tell you this beforehand so that you will 
not be surprised at my behavior, then, for in spite of my poetic 
feelings I will jostle you terribly so as to get ahead of you into 
that righthand corner compartment at the end of the car. I have 
been known slyly to kick a chair in front of the other passengers 
for them to fall over, so as to get ahead of them into that corner. 
It is a very good old trick that chair trick, but do not employ it 
upon me, if you see me coming into a car where you may be, for I 
warn you that I would return the compliment by shoving a sofa 
or a table in front of you to keep you out of that corner. 

Well, in starting for Paris last night I secured my corner as I 
have done hundreds of times before, I had employed the chair 
for my fellow passengers to stumble over and the air was per- 
fectly blue with bad language as we began our journey. I had 
just rolled a good cigarette to scare all ladies away from my 
corner, and had made a perfect barricade of the seats around me 
with my hat, overcoat, portmanteau, umbrella, I even took out 
the contents of my portmanteau and spread them about so as to 
insure plenty of room. 

Thanks to my barricade, every passenger who opened the door 
and looked toward my corner immediately retreated. 

Soon I heard the signal for starting, I was saved. Dear night ! 
Incomparable for dreams and revery ! A full moon ! How the 
trees flew along under the stars ! 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 105 

What then did I hear ? A dastardly conductor yelling : "Here, 
sir ; here, madam ; there is room here." 

My privacy was invaded. A couple were thrust rudely in upon 
me. The woman was charming the man, beastly. You'll find 
it always that way. 

I took no notice of them, but allowed them to install themselves 
in the other side of the compartment. The lady went to the left 
the gentleman to the right. He immediately put on his slip- 
pers without asking my permission. I did not revenge myself 
upon him my immediately donning mine, for I believe I have 
told you that I am a well-bred man. I simply contented myself 
with pitying the poor creature who had to live with him. 

These people were soon very quiet and I decided not to look 
toward them and to try to imagine that I had the place all to 
myself. 

Oh, charming night, filled with meditation and ecstasy ! It 
seemed a little colder ! A mist had passed over the moon. 

But there ! That villainous conductor was howling again : 

"Here, sir ; here, madam ; there is room enough here, but hurry 
up." 

The door opened and another couple swooped down upon me 
the woman, pretty, the man a cyclops. You'll always find it so. 

Then what do you think I did ? A frightful battle was fought 
for an instant between my love of ease and my refined sense of 
delicacy. Follow me I beg of you. If I retained my corner, my 
charming neighbor would be forced to sit opposite me, and her 
husband would, of course, have to sit beside her to protect her 
then, you see she could not lie down at all, but would be obliged 
to sit up, bolt-upright, all night. If I gave my seat to her hus- 
band she would still have to suffer, for I would sit near her and 
be obliged to watch that beast lie down and sleep placidly on soft 
cushions, while she and I no I gave her my corner. I did so 
in less time than it has taken to tell. The unbearable man seated 
himself at my left and never even said : 'Thank you." 

As shameless as the first man, he proceeded to make a night 
toilet without even begging my pardon his wife did not, either, 



io6 WERNER'S READINGS 

but she, more's the pity, did not make a night toilet in front of 
me. 

I could no longer make believe that I was alone and ignore 
my neighbors. My night was lost ! The moon had gone in be- 
hind a cold mist. 

Once I carelessly glanced over at my first couple. I beheld the 
ugly profile of the man's face, sitting beside me, for all the world 
like a crow's if I had looked long at it, it would have driven me 
mad. 

Presently I gazed at the first couple. They were fast asleep 
the lady like a drooping lily the man like an ogre. 

I resigned myself to my fate and tried to sleep with the serene 
consciousness that though the men could not appreciate my deli- 
cacy and self-immolation the ladies could and did and only 
the fear of exciting the jealousy of their husbands kept them from 
expressing to me their thanks. I had no doubt that they had 
mentally compared me with their beastly husbands much to my 
advantage. 

My back felt as if it was broken, but my conscience was peace- 
ful and it was sweet to suffer for that half of the creation which 
is so incomparably more beautiful than the other half. Delight- 
ful martyrdom. I even pretended to sleep, so as not to disturb 
the dear creatures. 

Then what did I hear? My pretty neighbor, opposite, was 
awake. She stole gently over to my hateful companion and 
whispered to him as she designated me with a look. I know it 
is not polite, but I could not help listening : 

"Poor dearie ! Why don't you ask that idiot if he is anywhere's 
near his destination yet, so that you may lie down and stretch 
your legs?" 



And now, brother bachelors, give me your corners, please. I 
am going to be married just to have the pleasure of taking those 
corners from you and hearing my wife call you idiots afterwards. 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32- 



HOW UNCLE MOSE COUNTS. 



Negro Dialect Comedy Monologue for a Man. 



Arranged as a monologue expressly for this book by Stanley Schell. 



CHARACTERS REPRESENTED: UNCLE MOSE, Speaker, present; 
MRS. BURTON, and other persons supposed to be present. 

MAKE-UP : Poor old darkey, a regular chatterer and gossip. 
STAGE-SETTING : A street in the South or an exterior scene. 

SCENE : Enter UNCLE MOSE with basket of eggs on arm, and 
carrying a folding chair on the other arm. He shambles along 
as if it were too much effort to move, occasionally wipes face 
with big red bandanna handkerchief. As he approaches side 
of stage where houses are supposed to be he begins to shout. 

POINTS : Whenever UNCLE MOSE asks a question, he invariably 
stops between sentences and eagerly watches the face of the 
person with whom he speaks. 

AIGS, aigs ! fraish aigs ! from honest ole Mose. Try mah 
fraish aigs. Aigs, aigs, aigs ! Yas'm, fraish laid dis mornin' 
yas'm firty cents a dozen. Dear? Hens cain't 'ford to lay 
no cheaper dis wedder. [Moves on.} Aigs! Aigs! Aigs! fraish 
laid aigs ony firty cents dozen. 

Good mornin', Miss Burton, good mornin'. Yas, indeed, I has. 
Jes' receibed tan dozen fraish from de hens dis bery mornin'. 
Fraish? Yas, I guantees 'em, an' an' de hen guantees 'em. 
Nine dozen? In der basket? Oh, yas, 'M yas, 'M All right, 
M'm. 

[Begins to take eggs from basket ivhich he has placed on the 
opened folding-chair and puts eggs gently into woman's basket. 
Counts and talks and, as a result, makes mistakes.] 

One, two, free, foah, five, six, seben, eight, nine, ten Oh, 

yas 'm, you kin 'ly on dem bein' fraish. How's yo' son comin' 
on in de school ? Mus' be mos' grown. 

A clark in de bank ? Why how ole am de boy ? Eighteen ? 
You doan tole me so! Eighteen and gittin' a sal'ry 'ready 



io8 WERNER'S READINGS 

Eighteen [counts and puts eggs in basket], nineteen, twenty, 
twenty-one, twenty-two, twenty-free, twenty-foah, twenty-five. 

An' how's yo' gal a-comin' on ? Mos' growed up de last time I 
seed her. Married and livin' farder south ? Wall, I do declar', 
how de time scoots away! And you say she hes chilluns? Why, 
how ole am de gal? She mus' be jes' about Firty-free? 

Am dat so? [Begins putting more eggs in basket.] Firty-free, 
firty-foah, firty-five, firry-six, firty-seben, firty-eight, firty-nine, 
forty, forty-one, forty-two, forty-free. Hit am sing'lar dat you 
hab sech old chilluns. You doan look more'n forty yars ole yersef. 

Nonsense ? Flatter you ? Fifty-free yars ole ? Dis ole darkey 
hain't got no time to flatter. An' fifty-free! I jes dun gwinter 
bleeve hit; fifty-free [goes on counting eggs and putting them 
in basket], fifty-foah, fifty-five, fifty-six- I done wan' you to 
pay 'tenshun when I count de eggs, so dar'll be no mistake. Fifty- 
nine, sixty, sixty-one, sixty-two, sixty-free, sixty-foah 

Whew! dis am a warm day. [Mops brow and rests a moment, 
looking about.] 

Dis am de time ob de year when I feels dat I'se gettin' ole 
mysef. I hain't long fer dis world. You comes from de bery 
fustes' family in de south, Miss Burton, an' when yo' fadder died 
he was sebenty yars ole. 

Sebenty-two? Oh, yas 'm I done fergot. Dat's old, suah. 
Sebenty-two [counts], sebenty-free, sebenty-foah, sebenty-five, 
sebenty-six, sebenty-seben, sebenty-eight, sebenty-nine- An' 

yo' mudder, Miss Burton? She was one of de likeliest lookin' 
ladies I ebber seed. An you 'minds me ob her so much ! She 
libed to mos' a hundred. I bleeves she was done past a centuren 
when she died- Ony ninety-six when she died? Den she 

died 'fo' I done thought. [Counts.] 

Ninety-six, ninety-seben, ninety-eight, ninety-nine, one hun- 
dred, one, two, free, foah, five, six, seben, eight. Dere, dat's one 
hundred an' eight nice fraish aigs jes nine dozen, an' here am 
one more fraish aig in case I discounted mysef. Good mornin', 
Mis' Burton. 

[Moves about stage shouting.] 



r AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 109 

Aigs, aigs, aigs ! No, ma'am, only one dozen left to-day kin 
take yer order fer to-morrer. [Moves on.} Aigs, aigs, aigs! 
Why, Mis' Burton, whut yo' call dis nigger? Now, yo' nos I 
neber stole a t'ing in mah life. You heerd me a countin' ob dem 
aigs. You recollects I tole you to see I done counts straight, an' 
frowed in one in case I done discounts wrong. Yer knows I 
counted straight? Yo' gal? Hab you one ob dem low white 
trash fer a serbent? You has den dat 'splains. She stole dem 
extry aigs, I reckon. You feel sure I done tell de truf ? Dat am 
so, Mis' Burton ; I neber cheated no one, an' I wouldn't ; I'se an' 
honest nigger, I is, an' you knows it. Yo' suah now I didn't? It's 
dat white gal. You'll send her away? Dat am de only way to 
do. De ideah ob sayin' I didn't count dem aigs straight. T'ank 
yo', Mis' Burton ; de nex' time we'll count dem aigs togeder, so 
no low down white trash kin put dirt on mah name agin. Good 
mornin', good mornin'. [Goes toward exit.} Aigs, aigs! fraish 
aigs! De idea, ez ef I didn't know how to count c'rectly. [Exit.] 



LOVE IN LENT. 



LQVE hides behind the door, 
'Tis Lent; 
His quiver's on the floor, 

'Tis Lent; 

The maiden bows her head, 
The maiden's prayer is said, 
The holy book is read, 
'Tis Lent. 

Love hears a step outside 

'Tis Lent- 
Love starts up, eager-eyed 

'Tis Lent ! 

A man comes in, and lo ! 
Love blithely draws his bow 
A twang ! And oh and oh, 

'Tis Lent 1 



no WERNER'S READINGS 



ABBIE'S ACCOUNTS. 



Comedy Monologue for a Woman. 



TUDOR JENKS. 



CHARACTER : MRS. ABBIE APPLEBY, Speaker, present. 

COSTUME : House costume. 

SCENE: A sitting-room. ABBIE discovered at desk. 

THERE is one comfort about being a married woman that is, 
of course, there are more than one there are a good many ; 
but one especially, I mean. And that is to have a right to some 
of the luxuries of life. Now, a husband isn't like an elder sister. 
Of all creatures that tyrannize over their kind, an elder sister is 
the very worst. A husband is rather well, rather bossy, Alfred 
says "bossy," and it's a real good word, but then you prefer that 
from them. Besides, one's husband is a man, you know ; and one 
expects men to be a little masterful. Alfred is, sometimes, and 
-I think I like it. It is such a comfort to ha^ve some one else to 
take the responsibility for things, you know. And that reminds 
me Alfred said I should keep accounts, now I'm married. 
Where has that account-book gone to, anyway? I'm sure I put it 
here under this pile of invitations to those five-o'clock nuisances 
I just hate them! The impudence of that Hanson woman with 
her teas ! She seems to think tea is a kind of legal tender ! I've 
sent her cards for the last six where in the world is that ac- 
count-book ? Oh, I remember ; I left it in the pocket of my blue 
serge or was it my gray cashmere ? That old cashmere ! I 
meant to leave it at home, but Ellen packed it in. It's worse than 
the "Colonel's Opera Cloak." Let me see it's in the closet up- 
stairs. [Starts toward door; then returns.] No, it isn't in the 
pocket of the cashmere it hasn't any pocket. I remember now ; 
I put it in the top drawer of my desk one of them. [Opens top 
drawer.] No. Where can the old thing heavens, what a lot 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. in 

of old stamps ! I had forgotten those. Those are for that Van 
Blankenstyne girl. When she got a billion she was going to 
endow a negro orphan baby in the South. He must be grown up 
by this time ! Let me see ; I began to collect those stamps in eigh- 
teen hundred and I don't know when. It must be years and 
years long before Susie was married, and her oldest is I don't 
know how old. Too old for dolls, anyway, because I thought of 
giving her a doll for Christmas, and then changed to a book. 
Where is that old book? Probably in the other drawer. [Opens 
other drawer and finds it.] Here you are ! How good the Russia 
leather smells ! I like red leather ; it's so business-like. [Spreads 
book out on desk.] 

Now where's the ink ? [Looks into inkstand, and turns it up- 
side down, making a face when she finds it empty.] Never mind. 
A pencil is just as good and better, if I should make mistakes. I 
wonder if I remember my multiplication table ? Seven times used 
to be a horror! Seven times seven are forty-nine, and seven 
times eight are fifty. That isn't right. Fifty-two, I guess. Let 
me see. [Counts on fingers.] It's so good to be married. They 
didn't use to let me count on my fingers at school. Forty-nine, 
fifty, fifty-one, fifty-two, three, four, five, sir. Seven times nine 
are fifty-six. [Turns to desk again.] Now, what do you put 
down first? It's either "debtor" or "creditor" to Alfred. He 
gave me $35 yesterday morning, all in fives. So am I his creditor 
or debtor? He gives it to me, you see, so I am his debtor for it. 
Of course. And he's my creditor. All right ; here goes ! [Writes 
for a moment.] Now that looks real sweet! "Alfred Appleby, 
Creditor." And on the other page, "Abbie Appleby, Debtor." 
But, let me see where am I to put down what I spend it for ? I 
know they use only two pages ; I remember hearing papa talk 
about taking a trial balance, and you can't balance three things 
unless you're a juggler. I think I'll tear these two pages out. 
No, I won't; it's only in pencil; I can rub it out. [Rubs vigor- 
ously, and then blows the pages.] I don't wonder papa gets 
tired over his accounts. It must be awful to be a bookkeeper, and 
get all covered with red ink. 



112 WERNER'S READINGS 

[Looks around and sees a package.] Goodness! I forgot that 
Chinese silk for the curtains. I must look at it before I go on 
with my accounts. I am tired of figuring, anyway. [Opens pack- 
age and spreads out silk.] How cheap these silks are nowadays! 
This was only only forty-five cents a yard, and there's enough 
to make a dress. I wonder how I'd look in it. [Drapes it arour.d 
her.] There! [Strikes attitude before mirror.] I look like a 
duchess at least. I wonder what duchesses look like, anyway? I 
wish I could travel and see things. It must be splendid to be rich 
-real rich, so that you don't care a bit how much you spend, and 
don't have to keep accounts. Oh, that reminds me I must go 
on with my account-book. I promised Alfred that I would have 
it ready for him this evening when he came home. But he won't 
care, even if I don't have it ready. Now, that's the difference. 
If it were papa, why, I just have to be ready. What a comfort it 
is that your husband isn't your father ! And how absurd it would 
be to be your own grandchild or something like that! [Goes to 
desk, and takes up account-book.] 

Why ! I thought I had done a lot ! And I rubbed it all out. 
Never mind ; a new broom sweeps clean. Oh, I remember it was 
that debtor and creditor thing that stopped me. After all, what 
difference does it make ? Alfred doesn't care. I'll choose one of 
them and put it down. [Writes.] "Abbie Appleby, Debtor." 
And now, on the other side [writes], "Alfred Appleby, Creditor." 
There ! Next I put down what he gave me. He gave me let me 
see [chewing end of pencil] it was $35 before I bought the lace 
for hat trimming ; and it cost $2.99 a yard, and I bought 2^3 
yards. My ! that's a puzzle ! How did we use to do it at school ? 
What a lot papa spent on my school bills, and much good it does 
me now ! Let me see here is the way Miss Gumption used to do 
them. [Imitating.] : 'If 2^x3 yards of lace cost $2.99 a yard, and 
if Alfred gave Abbie $35, how much did Abbie have to start 
with?" [Suddenly, as she sees through the problem.] Humph, 
that's easy! She had $35, of course! After all, an education is 
worth something ! I suppose that is what men call logic. 7 think 
guessing's easier. 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 113 

Well, the answer is $35, and it goes down under [pause] 
under [recklessly] "Creditor." There! Alfred is my creditor 
for $35. That is plain. [Writes it down.] Next comes the lace. 
Alfred isn't creditor for that, / know. So down it goes. [Writes; 
then, after a moment of reflection, she speaks abruptly.] How 
ridiculous ! "Abbie Appleby, debtor, to lace, $2.99 multiplied 
by 2^/s" but I'm not. I can't be debtor when I paid for it; and 
the idea of making Alfred creditor for several yards of lace, 
when he doesn't know anything about lace, is too absurd for any 
use ! I shan't change it, anyway. How much does it make ? Two 
dollars multiplied by two yards is four four what? It can't be 
done. You can't multiply yards by dollars, I'm sure. I remember 
that much. Why, Miss Gumption used to tease us dreadfully 
about that. She used to say, 'Two oranges multiplied by four 
apples makes what?" And then the other girls the ones she 
didn't ask would all laugh. And how that ridiculous Susie 
Brewer did giggle ! That was all she knew arithmetic, and 
things like that. She couldn't do a thing with Virgil and she's 
an old maid now, too. 

But I mustn't wander so. I wish I knew more about accounts. 
Alfred will think I'm a perfect ignoramus. It's his own fault. If 
he wanted somebody to keep accounts, he ought to have married 
Susie Brewer; but he couldn't bear her he never could. Said 
she gave him the creeps just to look at her frizzes. Still, it's a 
good thing to be systematic; and that reminds me I wonder 
what time it is. I didn't bring my watch. [Rises and searches 
for it.] I know I put it somewhere. [Tries to recollect where.] 
Ah, I know ! It fell out of my pocket when I was taking off my 
jacket. It must be on the floor near the bureau. [Searches there, 
and finds it. Picks it up.] I hope it isn't hurt! [Looks at the 
cover.] No; none of the pearls are out. Now, what was it I 
wanted it for ! Oh, yes to see the time. I'll have to wind it first. 
I'm glad it's a stem-winder. [Tries to wind it.] But it won't 
move but a click or two. It must be wound. [Puts it to ear.] 
Yes why [in a tone of great surprise], it's going! The sweet 
little thing. I guess I must have wound it some time or other. 



ii4 WERNER'S READINGS 

[Opens watch.] But it cant be so late. [Shakes watch and puts 
it to ear again.} Yes, it's going. I must really hurry, or I shan't 
have my accounts ready. 

Where was I? [Examines book.} $2.99 multiplied by 2^6 is 
I never can do it in the world ! Why, it's fractions and decimals 
mixed! [Sighs. After a moment seises pencil confidently.} I 
wonder I didn't think of that before! Of course $2.99 is prac- 
tically the same as three dollars, and 2^ is nearly three yards ; 
and three times three are nine yards. [Perplexed; then face 
clears.} What a goose! Dollars, of course! nine dollars; and 
except for car-fares and the caramels, that's really all I spent. 
Call it ten dollars. [Writes it down.] Then $35 less $10 is $25, 
and that's what is called the capital. No, that's not the right 
word. [Thinks.] I think the word bookkeepers use is "deficit," 
but I don't like it. There is one commences with B, I'm sure. It 
must be "bonus" ; that's it ! [Writes.] "To bonus, $25." Now 
I must see if I have that much cash. [Laughs.] Why, how fool- 
ish of me! That's the very word; I've heard papa say it often 
and often. [Scratches out the last entry, and rewrites.] There, 
that's better ; "To cash, $25." 

Where's my pocket-book? Here. Now let's see. [Counts 
change; stops suddenly, and examines one piece of money.] I 
knew she was a hateful that impudent thing at Brady's ! She's 
given me a fifty-cent piece with a hole in it ! What a sly, deceitful 
thing she must be ! And yet they ask people to have sympathy for 
those wretches ! No doubt that brazen creature makes a good liv- 
ing by passing bad fifty-cent pieces on customers ! It's certainly 
a wrong thing to do. And how can I get rid of it? [Reflects.] 
Alfred says they take all kinds of money at liquor stores ; I sup- 
pose they pass them off on drunken men. I might give it to Al- 
fred. [Stops and laughs.] Well, what am I to do? I can't put 
that down as "debtor" or "creditor," because neither Alfred nor 
I have anything to do with it. And I'm sure I can't put it down 
to that girl at Brady's but I might ; I can open a sort of account 
with her ; "Brady's shop girl, debtor, one plugged fifty-cent piece." 
And then I should have to open an opposite page with "Abbie 



'AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 1*5 

Appleby, creditor, fifty cents out." [Bell rings.'] Oh, that's 
Alfred! I remember I borrowed his latch-key and I haven't 
finished my accounts ! No matter, I've made a good beginning. 
And he won't blame his little wife, bless him ! He didn't marry 
me because he thought I was a good bookkeeper. I hear his step ; 
I'll go meet him. The darling! [Exit.} 



KEEP A-GOIN'. 



FRANK L. STANTON. 



IF you strike a thorn or rose, 
Keep a-goin'! 
If it hails or if it snows, 

Keep a-goin' ! 

'Tain't no use to sit an' whine 
When the fish ain't on your line; 
Bait your hook an' keep a-tryin' 
Keep a-goin' ! 

When the weather kills your crop, 

Keep a-goin' ! 
Though 'tis work to reach the top, 

Keep a-goin' ! 

S'pose you're out o' ev'ry dime, 
Gittin' broke ain't any crime ; 
Tell the world you're feelin' fine 

Keep a-goin' ! 

When it looks like all is up, 

Keep a-goin' ! 
Drain the sweetness from the cup, 

Keep a-goin' ! 

See the wild birds on the wing, 
Hear the bells that sweetly ring, 
When you feel like singin' sing 

Keep a-goin' ! 



WERNER'S READINGS' 



THE PIANO-TUNER. 



Comedy Monologue for a Man. 



Translated and arranged from the French expressly for this book by Lucy 

Hayes Mac queen. 



CHARACTER : The PIANO-TUNER, Speaker, present. Dressed in 
black without a collar, he sits at piano and speaks while strik- 
ing chords and running scales at random. 

A MAN has been Quixotical enough to steal my wife a Don 
Quixote whom ugliness inspires, for my wife is ugly. 
And in spite of all my domestic unhappiness I have to go poor, 
humble workman that I am faithfully to fulfil my sad task of 
piano-tuning. 

[Plays piano.] 

Do mi sol do n fa la n mi sol si mi. 

I awaken the sleeping soul of music in the keyboard ; give life 
to the dull, dead white and black ivory. I am full of zeal ; I come 
with the sun to tune my pianos. Oh, the miserable drollery of 
the thought that I went forth every morning to restore harmony 
to poor instruments that had been put out of tune by unskilful 
fingers, and I returned at evening to hear the shrill, discordant 
voice of my ugly wife fill the air with her complaints. Then, 
when I was as tired and worn out as a black slave with my hard 
day's work, I had to give her my hard-earned money with which 
to bedeck her ugliness. 

[Plays a scale.] 

In the hall where the night's revel has left everything in dis- 
order, restoring ruined flats and sharps to their normal pitch, you 
see me at work, and only God knows what I feel. Oh, piano, 
witness of such beautiful gala nights of which nothing remains 






AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 117 

for me to see except their following gray, cloudy mornings, I 
feel that you are one I can confide in. I have never known hap- 
piness, wealth, nor beauty. 

[Turns over music on piano and finds something he 
can play.} 

Ah ! Here are some four-hand pieces lovers can play such 
music. He, pressing the pedal, covers with a tremolo his pas- 
sionate whisper, while she under the very eyes of her indulgent 
parents, answers with little runs and trills, becomes confused, 
blushes, pales again, trembles, and gives her lover a tender little 
pressure of the foot to indicate to him that he has made an error 
in his playing. 

Here are some waltzes beautiful, blonde waltzes flying like 
swallows here and there, and leaning forward lightly in the arms 
of their partners ! Shall I not banish such entrancing visions ? 

Oh, compare my lonely lot, my dark nights, with these gay 
evenings, where beautiful eyes flash brighter than the jewels 
which sparkle in the light on every side ! 

[He stops and thinks.] 

Still, I am happier than that lover of my wife's! He has to 
look at her ugly face morning and night and pretend to be greatly 
in love. Only we who are husbands can be sulky and avert our 
eyes from the faces of our wives. Lovers must be ardent. 

[Turning over the music.} 

Here are accompaniments, opera music, songs, operettas * * * 
[Searching still further among the music.} 

Here are some ends of dead cigarettes. 
[Plays a scale or two.] 

I do not smoke cigarettes. I take my tobacco in the good, old 
way. 

[Pauses.] 

No! I never cared for any woman except my wife. She was 
not beautiful, but I chose her for her ugliness, thinking, like 



n8 WERNER'S READINGS 

many another reasonable man, that an ugly wife would be faith- 
ful. I never even suspected her. 

[Plays minor chords in a depressing manner.] 

I thought, poor fool that I was, that she was too ugly to ever 
tempt the heart of a lover. 

[Plays another scale.] 

Ah, well, ugliness, it seems, does not frighten love. She left 
me, one day, heavily veiled, taking away with her, without shame 
or remorse, my paper collars, my glass watqh-chain, my two new 
razors, my summer shirts in fact, all of my wardrobe all ! all ! 
all ! even my poor old tuning-fork. She sold all our household 
furniture to defray elopement expenses, and now I am obliged 
to replace my tuning-fork with my voice when I am at work. 

[He sings a broken, false note.] 
And my voice how feeble it is now! 

[With a sigh.] 
Ah, I could stand it better if only my wife had been pretty ! 

[He begins to work.] 

I am too base at heart ! I am ashamed of myself to have any 
thought or care for that ugly, absent wife of mine! 

[He plays loud and strikes the keys hard.] 

I do not care ! I am very angry ! The beast ! If ever I catch 
her I will beat her! 

[Bangs harder than ever on the piano.} 

I feel every bad instinct growing strong within me. I have 
behaved like a lamb long enough now I am going to rage like 
a demon. 

[He bangs terribly on the piano.] 

Stop ! Stop ! Stop ! 

[Very coolly.} , f 

" 

I have broken the piano ! I will run away ! 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 3*- 



MY LOVER WHO LOVED ME LAST SPRING. 



Romantic Pathetic Monologue for a Girl. 



DOLLIE DENTON. 



Written Expressly for this Book. 



CHARACTERS : PROSPECTIVE BRIDE, Speaker, present ; her friends. 

SCENE: Her boudoir. PROSPECTIVE BRIDE in dainty negligee, 
reclines on couch. 

OH ! girls, I am charmed to have you ; 
So sweet of you to come. 

You know mama and I were just speaking of you, 
Why, Bess, how absurd ; how could you ever be de trop ? 
Yes, indeed, we are busy 
With milliners and modistes. And then, 
We sent direct to Paris 
To secure the services of Mme. N., 
With whom I practice daily my court bow Ahem! 

[Laughs and bows.] 

Countess D'Valliere there, 

Isn't that au fait to the Queen ma chere? 

Why, certainly, you shall see my trousseau 

Please ring, Bessie dear, for my French maid; 

That is one more necessary affliction, 

So the Count will not be afraid of my accent, 

Which must be Parisian strictly. 

Nannette, apportez mes robes, 

i cest dans cette chambre aliens. 



120 WERNER'S READINGS 

Yes, she's bright enough, 

But it takes me so long 

To acquire the accent Parisian, 

Sometimes I wish I'd never been born. 

My gowns are from Worth and Felix and [looking around as if 

speaking to maid ivho enters with gowns] 

Entre, oui, oui 

Mettez sur la chaise aliens. 

Papa has given me carte blanche for anything under heaven, 

Or the deep blue sea, 

Yes, Inez, quite right, 

One does not become a countess 

Every day in one's life. 

[Motions to gowns on chair.] 
Bess, that lace is worth a fortune 
Present from ma mere to be; 
And those buckles on the cheval dresser 
Are from the Duchess D'Louis. 
Diamonds of the first water ; 
Aren't they pretty see ! 
Oh ! Mother dear, do let me chatter, 
For after another short day, 
I'll be a titled lady, 

And must say "Amen" to "love, honor and obey." 
Yes, Bess ; 
Count D'Valliere is slightly ancient and rather a stern-looking 

man. 

But consider his titles, dearie, 
And money, and lands ; 
Why, his estates are worth millions. 
Last season at Newport the way the girls threw themselves at 

his head, 

Was ridiculous ; of course to the Count it was simply sport. 
Have you seen his horses? 
There they go! 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 121 

Aren't they beauties? 

Black as jet; 

There has never been a pair in Memphis tc compare with them 

yet. 

The girls are just dying with envy 
What's that? Hush! 
Ray, do not talk of that ring! 
Do you recognize it, Alida? 
It was given me by Reginald Hall, 
The talented young artist 

Whom we met at the Beach House last Spring 
Yes, it belonged to his mother; 
You remember him, dear, 
What Ray? He is killing himself drinking 
Such a pity; such a pity [sighs heavily]. 
Ah, me, did I start? 
Well, dearie, he was fascinating, 
But poor as a church mouse, 

And maybe he did touch my heart [laughs nervously]. 
You're going? Oh! dear, I'm so sorry 
Mother is in the library ; 
She will lead the way. 
May I ask you to excuse me ? 
How I wish I might beg you to stay, 
But my toilet demands my attention ; 
Count D'Valliere is a critic, you know. 
I drive with him at seven, 
So Au revoir. 

>JC 3j 5{C 5j *j rfc 

Thank God ! they've gone and left me 

What a miserable, weak, craven thing 

How I chatter and laugh, day in and day out, 

Striving to forget him. 

Ah ! Reginald, my King ! 

Your fair face and ambition 

Rise before me like a ghost of the past 



122 WERNER'S READINGS 

That flings back with a sneer my false kisses and promises, 

That were not made to last. 

Ah, me ! Did I say they were false 

Caresses and promises I gave 

When he'd bring, in all life's young beauty, 

His heart's true love? 

Then I lied- 

Nay, they were not false ; 

To him only have I given the true thing. 

Ah ! Reginald, how well I remember 

When you first spoke of the hope you had; 

The rain was dripping, dripping 

With a musical sound so sad. 

We two had been reading "Lilith" 

Reading all that day. 

Suddenly I glanced at him 

How my heart thrilled. 

Well, he told me the old sweet story, 

Maybe in the same old way. 

With his strong arms around me clasped closely, 

I can hear him e'en now as he'd say : 

"Darling, I love you ; I love you/' 

It may be the same old thing, 

But my heart quickens now 

And flutters like a bird that has broken its wing. 

I have ruined his life 

God forgive me ! 

Why can I not blot out the past ? 

Why must I be cursed with a love 

That e'en down into eternity will last? 

Other women love and forget 

Why, to me, must it be the real thing? 

Ah, Heaven ! Count D'Valliere's voice I 

I must don the masque. 

Pity me, oh dear God, pity me, 

And pity my lover who loved me last Spring-. 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 123 



TAKING AN ELEVATOR. 



Comedy Yankee Dialect Monologue for a Woman. 



CHARACTER : Country Woman. 

COSTUME : House dress of a countrywoman. 

SCENE : Country sitting-room. 

[Enter COUNTRYWOMAN and talks direct to audience.] 

1HAD heard considerable about Mr. Stewart's big store in 
New York, but I wasn't in no way prepared for all I see 
there. Sakes ! it was equal to a dozen villages like Vandusburg 
a-coming out o' meetin' all to once.* 1 - Such a crowd I never see. 
And the women maulin' of the goods without buyin', and the 
clerks lookin' on sarcastic, just the like you see in any ornery 
store. Well, I went about better'n an hour, gettin' a couple o' 
pair o' good domestic hose for my son Jabez, and seven-eighths 
of a yard of stuff for cheese-bags, and finally, bein' uncommon 
tired, I felt a weak spell comin' on, and I hadn't hardly strength 
to ask for chintz for the sittin'-room sofa. 

"Next story, ma'am," says the clerk, kind o' lookin' sharp at 
me. ''Wouldn't you like to take a elevator?" 

Well, I was beat. It seemed a most uncommon proceedin', and 
what I never heard no gentleman do before, to ask me to take a 
elevator. I had my misgivin's what it meant, for our Jabez, with 
his jokes, and what nots, though father and me is most strong 
temperince folks, presists sometimes in takin' what he calls ele- 
vators, which is glasses o' speerits and water, calkerlated, as he 
says, to raise droopin' feelin's and failin' strength. 

"Sir," says I as lofty as I could, "I prefer not, and, to my mind, 
you'd do better for a respectable shop not to be offerin' elevators 
leastwise not to me." 

So I kept walkin' round, not likin' to ask questions showin' my 



124 WERNER'S READINGS 

country ways, and still feelin' that awful feelin' o' goneness which 
them as has weak spells is subject to, when another clerk, hearin' 
me ask for chintzes, said something agin about takirf a elevator ! 
By this time I felt dreadful ; and so says I, makin' up my mind it 
was a New York fashion, and it wasn't best to seem too back- 
country, "Thanks to you, sir, I don't mind tryin' something of the 
kind, bein' most remarkable thirsty." 

"Certainly, ma'am," says he, bowin' careless toward a stand 
holdin' a fancy pail, full of what I might have took to be water, 
judgin' by the taste, but I know well enough it was some deceit- 
ful genteel kind of liquor with the taste and smell took out of it, 
as they do to benzine and castor oil. No sooner had I swallowed 
a goblet of it, than a young man pinted to a little room, which, if 
you'll believe me, give the queerest kind of jerk you ever see just 
as I looked in. But seem' comfortable sofas all around the walls, 
I steps in, and sot down. There \vas other ladies goin' in, too, 
and I couldn't help wonderin' whether they had been takin' ele- 
vators like me. "It won't do no harm," said I to myself, "to set 
here a minute or two, till this dizzy spell passes off" when 
massy on me ! if I didn't feel myself agoin' up ! Yes, agoin' up ! 
And with me the room, and sofas, and ladies, and all ! I clutched 
a hold of the cushions, and stared kind o' wild, like as not for one 
of the ladies bit her lips as if contemplating to laugh. And still 
we was all a goin' up leastwise it seemed so to me. "It's all on 
account o' taking' that elevator," thinks I to myself. And then 
it came upon me, how uncommon appropriate the word was, 
meanin' a drink. But I couldn't help feelin' scared, particular 
when I see, all of a sudden, men and women kind o' walking 
about in the air. Once I jumped up to go out of the room, but 
a man, workin' some clock-works in the corner, held out his 
hand. "In one moment, madam !" said he, a-pushin' me back 
with such an air. 

"Did you take a elevator?" I whispered to the lady settin' 
along side of me. She nodded her head without sayin' nothing, 
and, from her queer look, I reckoned she was worse afflicted, even 
than I was. 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 125 



"It's the first one I ever took in my life," continued I. "Our 
country elevators is more positive to take, but they don't have 
nothin' like this effect, though I must say such things never 
oughter to be took except in sickness." 

"Now, madam," says the clerk, very pompous, "you'll have no 
difficulty now." Sure enough, I didn't have no difficulty. For 
a minute, the effect of the elevator passed off suddener than it 
came. I followed the ladies out lively enough. But, sakes alive ! 
what a time I had findin' the street-door. I never was so both- 
ered in all my life ; though I knowed all along what was the mat- 
ter. But I just kept on, without asking no questions, a-goin', 
down stairs, and down stairs, and expectin' nothin' else but to 
find myself in the kitchen, if Mr. Stewart's family lives any- 
where in the buildin', which is most likely, there bein' enough 
room, I should think. How I ever got out of that store, I don't 
never expect to know. But after I once ketched sight of them 
glass doors I didn't halt till I stood out on, the sidewalk, ex- 
plainin' private to a police that I had been takin' elevators, and 
wouldn't he put me into a down-town stage. 

To this day I haven't said a word about the business to Jabez, 
nor husband, nor no one to home. Some things had best be by- 
gones. But I feel it a boundin' duty to warn respectable females, 
great and small, not to be led into takin' elevators when they go 
into them York stores. Least of all, this new-fangled kind, which 
is equally fatal in consequences to pure spirits, but tastes like 
nothin' on earth but water, which leads you to takin' too much. 



I'M LITTLE, BUT I'M SPUNKY. 

IJ M little, but I'm spunky, too, 
I'll tell you all what I can do ; 
I've got a top that spins ; and I 
Can make a kite go to the sky. 
Bill Smith says he has got one, too; 
I don't believe he says what's true, 
And I can tell you just the sign 
'Cause Bill he always borrows mine! 



126 WERNER'S READINGS. 



AFTER THE BALL: HER REFLECTIONS. 



Comedy Musical Monologue for a Woman. 



MEL B. SPURR. 



CHARACTER : Miss FLOSSIE FLUFFYTOP, Speaker, present. 
TIME : High noon the day after the ball. 

SCENE : A boudoir. On a stand are a bottle of salts and several 
jars of scents. Piano at one side of room. 

[Miss FLOSSIE is seated near table zvrapped in a shawl and 
looking somezvhat fagged as she gases at her program.} 

OH, dear, dear ! How fatigued I do feel, to be sure. I seem, 
positively, to ache in every limb. It does seem a shame 
that one can't have a little innocent amusement overnight with- 
out having to suffer so terribly for it next day. I have just had 
an interview with Dr. Blunt, our family physician, but he really 
is such an outspoken, unsympathetic old brute, that I feel very 
little, if any, better for his visit. He asked me if my head ached ! 
I told him that it simply felt as if it would split! Then he asked 
me what else I could expect, after twirling round for several 
hours like a tee-totum, in a room as hot as an oven. I told him 
that I was not a tee-totum, and I didn't know anything about 
ovens. Then he said I was probably suffering from indigestion, 
and he asked me what I'd had to eat at the ball ? Rude, inquisitive 
people doctors are, to be sure ! I told him I couldn't remember. 
He said I must. I said I couldn't it was impossible! He said, 
"Was it such a lot?' I said, No, it was not such a lot, but I 
couldn't possibly remember all I ate at a ball. He insisted, so I 
told him that, as well as I could recollect, I'd had a little clear 
soup, and just a picking of cod and oyster sauce, and some joint, 
and an entree or two, and some sweets, and a few ices, and per- 
haps two or three oranges and an apple and some grapes noth- 

N9TE. "After the Ball: Her Reflections" and "After the Ball: His Re- 
flections" are companion monologues which may be recited at same enter- 
tainment, either by one person or by two persons, woman and man, one 
following the other. 



'RECITATIONS NO. 32. 127 

ing at all out of the way, you know for a ball! You should have 
seen the way he glared at me, as he informed me that such a mix- 
ture as that was enough to destroy the digestion of an elephant. 
Yes, an elephant male or female ! The idea of comparing me to 
an elephant! disgusting! Yes, and then he finished up by 
recommending me to take a good, smart, two hours' walk in the 
country. The idea ! A morning like this ! He knows that the morn- 
ing air would make my eyes and nose sore and red, but what does 
he care about that ? Nothing ! The old hedgehog ! / hate him. 

But it was a delightful ball, after all ! There was such a lot of 
nice fellows there, and good dancers some of them. I danced 
every dance, of course. I always do. If I don't, I fill in the 
blanks when I get home. You can always do that, can't you ? 

[Looks at program.} I wonder if I can remember any of my 
partners? [Reads.] "Charlie Honeyford." Ah, I remember 
Charlie ! Oh, he is nice ! [// the performer is a pianist, she 
should here turn round to the piano, and softly accompany the 
words with suitable music. This, of course, should be kept up to 
the end of the monologue. Here a waltz should be played.} And 
so handsome, too. Such lovely golden hair and moustache, but 
very little gold anywhere else, unfortunately. It is a pity, because 
he's so good-looking. And he dances delightfully. 

[Reads program.] "Captain Claude Crawler." [Plays first 
figure of lancers, softly.] Yes, that was fun! We danced the 
lancers, and he didn't know the figures. He had to be pulled 
through. Oh, have you ever had to pull anybody through the 
lancers? Isn't it awful! You should have seen Captain Claude 
Crawler after he'd been clawed through. He was all dank and 
dripping, as if he'd just come up from under water. [Giggles.] 
It's a shame to laugh at him, but he was too absurd. [Giggles; 
reads program.] "Benjamin Briefless." He was a barrister. 
Well, I'll give him his due. He could talk. I never heard a 
woman talk like him not even at a mothers' meeting! But he 
couldn't dance a little bit. His was the hop-skip-jump style of 
thing. He said "he couldn't slide, he could only hop." And he 
did hop, too. On to my corns sometimes. We danced the High- 



128 WERNER'S READINGS. 

land schottische, and we separated as usual during the first part, 
you know. And before I knew where he was, he was jigging 
away at the other end of the room with a creature in green ! He 
said he was short-sighteu, and didn't know the difference. I 
thought he was very rude. It was simply adding insult to injury, 
wasn't it ? 

[Reads program.] "Maurice Moonshine." [Plays mazourka.] 
He was a poet ; a real poet. He had lovely unkempt hair. I don't 
exactly know what unkempt hair is, but I think it must mean un- 
cut, and then such eyes! like gimlets! Badly-fitting clothes, 
too ; all complete a perfect poet. He asked me in a sort of "cold- 
drawn castor oil-" y voice if he "might have the pleasure of a 
dance with me?" Fearing that he might come to some harm if 
I didn't give him one, I gave him a mazourka, and at the proper 
time he came for it. The dictionary says that a mazourka is "a 
sentimental sort of dance." Mr. Moonshine evidently felt it to 
be so, for he rolled his eyes up to the ceiling, clasped my hand 
with feverish eagerness, and sighed so dismally and so often that 
I really was afraid he was not very well. I said to him, "Are ^ou 
not well?" He said, "Well? I am enraptured!" [Dismally.] I 
said, "Is that the way you look when you are enraptured? You 
don't look over festive." What do you think he said ? Tis but 
a worldly heart that is worn upon the sleeve." I said, "Oh, that's 
very pretty, indeed ! Is that Tennyson or Shakespeare, Mr. 
Moonshine?" He said, "It is neither. It is Moonshine. All 
Moonshine !" I was very glad when that dance was over. It 
made me feel quite uncomfortable. 

[Reads program] "Harold Horty." Oh, yes! I remember 
Mr. Horty. He was one of the golden youth of the day. Plenty 
of money, you know, but very little brain. His conversation was 
not brilliant, by any means, and was restricted, almost entirely, 
to that highly epigrammatic expression, "Don't-you-know?' He 
came up to me languidly, and said, "I hope you've kept a dance 
for me, Miss Fluffytop, don't-you-know ?" So I gave him a 
galop. Oh, and it ivas a galop ! A donkey's galop, as far as he 
was concerned, don't-you-know! [Plays galop softly.] We 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 129 

bumped against everybody, in turn. And every time we bumped 
lie would say, "Shocking lot of dancers they are here, to-night. 
Aren't they?" And I said, looking full at him, "Yes, some of 
tthem are." He didn't see it. He went on, "just in the old sweet 
way." And, if you please, he seemed to think it was all my fault. 
Oh ! I think I never was so mortified in my life. But I had my 
revenge. Oh, dear, yes ! I saw he was getting very tired. (These 
sort of men are very soon done up.) So I wouldn't let him stop. 
-He said, "I hope I'm not tiring you, Miss Fluffytop, don't-you- 
"know?" I said, "Oh, no! Not at all, thank you!" and on we 
went, faster than ever. Then he gasped out "It's getting rathef 
warm, don't you think?" I said, "Not at all!" and on we went 
sgain. At last he was obliged to give in. He said [puffing], "If 
you don't mind, we'll stop now, don't-you-know P' Poor fellow ! 
He was done up, if you like. He had to have a brandy and soda, 
"to bring him round again, don't-you-know!!" 

[Reads program.] "Percy Powell." [^/^] Ah! Percy Is 
a perfect darling, "don't-you-know !" He waltzes divinely. 
[Plays waltz.} And he talks so nicely to you, too, while dancing. 
None of your stupid, inane, vapid conversation like Mr. Horty's ! 
Oh, dear, no ! His is what I call real, intellectual talk. This 
is the way Percy talks to you while dancing. "Awful lot of peo- 
ple here to-night." [Looks up and smiles, as if assenting to the 
remark. N.B. This business is kept up all through the ensuing 
remarks of Percy.} "Very warm!" -"Been to many kick-ups 
this season?" "Going to the Thompsons' next week?" "Ah, so 
am I. I shall see you there. Thanks awfully for this dance. 
[yawns.} Goo'-ni'." That's the way Percy talks to you. Isn't 
it nice? That was the last dance I had, and then I had to come 
away. [The following parody could be used as a finish.] 

(AiR. "After the Opera is Over") 
I'm sorry the dancing is over, 

So sorry the dancing is done. 
For supping, and flirting, and dancing, 
I think is the greatest of fun I 

[Skips about stage and exits.] 



i.io WERNER'S READINGS 



AFTER THE BALL: HIS REFLECTIONS. 



Comedy Musical Monologue for a Man. 



MEL B. SPURR. 



CHARACTER : MR. HAROLD HORTY, Speaker, present, addresses 
his conversation to audience. 

TIME : High noon day after the ball. 

SCENE : A den. Table, chairs, etc. On table are brandy and 
soda. 

[MR. HORTY drains a glass, sets it on table, shakes himself 
together, yawns, and then exclaims:} 

BY Jove ! These balls do knock one over and no mistake. 
Make one feel kind of knocked-down-and-not-worth-pick- 
ing-up-again, don't-you-know ! My head feels as if I'd been 
dancing wrong end up, and I've got a red mark round my neck, 
as if I'd been trying to saw my head off. My man tells me that 
that is caused by my insisting on going to bed with my collar on. 
Somehow, do you know, I don't remember going to bed at all ! 
I don't know why I shouldn't, but I don't. I know I feel deuced 
seedy. I've had a good wash that pulls a fellow together ; I feel 
as if I wanted starch-and-ironing as well. Awfully jolly ball that 
was last night. Some tidy little girls there, don't-you-know. 

Let me see if I can remember any of my partners. [Looks at 
program.} By Jove! Is this my writing? It looks like forked 
lightning more than anything else. Must have been worse than 
I thought. Now let me see [reads]. "Kate Jesmond Deane." 
Ah ! A cte-lightful little creature, with what-you-may-call-'em- 
sapphire blue eyes and lovely chestnut hair sort of roa^-chest- 

NOTE. "After the Ball : His Reflections" and "After the Ball : Her Re- 
flections" are companion monologues which may be recited at same enter- 
tainment, either by one person or by two persons, woman and man, one 
following the other. 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 131 

nut hair, don't-you-know ! And such a sweet smile. It's a smile 
that goes very well with mine. You know, some girls seem to be 
afraid of their partners, don't they? But not Kitty. She nestles 
up against a fellow's waistcoat like a bee-yu-tious bee in a balmy 
butter-cup, don't-you-know! [Reads.] I notice I danced an 
awful lot with her. 

"Waltz, Miss Jesmond Deane." "Lancers, Kate." (Told me her 
name was Kate.) "Polka, Kitty." (Getting on!) "Quadrille, 
darling Kitty." "Waltz, My own Kitty-Witty." Ah ! That was 
after the champagne. 

[Reads.] "Miss Belinda Bluesox." I remember her. A 
strong-minded party. Tall, thin and jointy not jaunty, don't- 
you-know? jointy. Hostess told me she was a Master of Arts, 
or something terrible. We had a set of quadrilles together. 
Fancy going through a set of quadrilles in this petrified mummy 
sort of style. [Goes through part of first figure of quadrille, with 
arms folded stiffly.] Then, when we were setting to partners, I 
was going to take her by the waist, as usual. Not a bit of it ! She 
put out a skinny hand instead. [Imitates, turning round, hand 
held aloft.] Then her conversation. She asked me if I was fond 
of literature. I said, "Oh, yes some. I take the 'Sporting 
Times' regularly." She said,' "What books did I like best?" I 
said 'Those that have pictures in them, don't-you-know ?" She 
said, "Didn't I study any of the arts or sciences?" I said "I did 
a little in the art of self-defence." I thought she would have to 
be taken home on a shutter. She was a terror, I tell you. 

[Reads.] "Flossie Fluffytop." 'M-yes ! She was recommended 
to me as a girl with plenty of "go" in her. By Jove! "Go!" 
She had that with a vengeance. I have often wondered what was 
meant by "perpetual motion." I think it must be a galop with 
Miss Flossie Fluffytop. We went twirling and twisting round 
like a couple of dervishes ! Ah ! and talking about twists, what 
a twist that girl had on her at supper. I'd rather keep her a week 
than a fortnight, any time. 

[Reads.] "Maggie MacTaggart." Ou ! Aye! A great, raw- 
boned Heeland toe-and-heehnd lassie, ye ken, don't-you-know. 



132 WERNER'S READINGS 

Hech! The dauchter o' a "braw laird," whatever kind of cattle 
that may be. We had a real I was going to say reel Highland 
Schottische together. We did it in the native style war-whoop 
and all, complete. [Dances the Highland Schottische, emitting 
loud, stentorian "hecks" every now and then. Finishes up in an 
exhausted state, and fans face with handkerchief.} After about 
ten minutes of this sort of thing, I w r as beginning to feel a bit 
done up, don't-you-know. Miss Maggie MacTaggart looked as 
if she hadn't turned a hair, so to speak. I gasped out, "It's a fine 
dance, the Heeland Schottische, ye ken, don't-you-know. Hech!" 
She said, "Aye, it's no that bad ! But your dances here are naeth- 
ing but puir creepin' and crawlin'. Ye pay mair attention to yer 
parrtners than to they dances." : 'Weel," I said, in my best 
Jamieson, "and it's a vary guid fault, for a' thot, Hech!" She 
said, "Maybe aye, maybe no ! It's ilka mair a canny gilly gaskin, 
Skirrach!" I said I thocht so mysel', but I couldna' express it 
sae elegantly. She sniffed again, and said, "Happen we'd better 
gae at it again." So we "gaed" at it again, and after that I went 
hame, ye ken, saying, "Hech, hech, hech !" all the way ; and, now 
I come to think of it, I rather fancy it's that that's given me such 
a head-hech this morning, ye ken, don't-you-know!!! HECH! 



WHEN GREEK MEETS GREEK. 



Humorous Yankee Dialect Verse Monologue for a Man. 




TR ANGER here? Yes, come from Varmount, 

Rutland county. You'e hern tell 
Mebbe of the town of Granville? 

You born there? No! sho! Well, well! 
You was born at Granville, was you ? 

Then you know Elisha Brown, 
Him as runs the old meat market 

At the lower end of town ! 
Well ! Well ! Well ! Born clown in Granville ! 

And out here, so far away! 



'AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 133 

Stranger, I'm homesick already, 

Though it's but a week to-day 
Since I left my good wife standin' 

Out there at the kitchen door, 
Sayin' she'd ask God to keep me; 

And her eyes were runnin' o'er! 
You must know ole Albert Withers, 

Henry Bell and Ambrose Cole? 
Know them all? And born in Granville ! 

Well! Well! Well! Why, bless my soul! 
Sho ! You're not old Isaac's nephew, 

Isaac Green, down on the flat ! 
Isaac's oldest nephew, Henry? 

Well, I'd never thought of that ! 
Have I got a hundred dollars 

I could loan you for a minute, 
Till you buy a horse at Marcy'sf 

There's my wallet ! Just that in it ! 
Hold on, though ! You have ten, mebbe, 

You could let me keep; you see 
I might chance to need a little 

Betwixt now and half-past three! 
Ten. That's it ; you'll owe me ninety ; 

Bring it round to the hotel. 
So you're old friend Isaac's nephew? 

Born in Granville ! Sho ! Well, well I 

*| *1* *J* ^I* *TT> 

What! policeman, did you call me? 

That a rascal going there? 
Well, sir; do you know I thought so, 

And I played him pretty fair; 
Hundred-dollar bill I gave him 

Counterfeit and got this ten ! 
Ten ahead. No ! you don't tell me, 

This bad, too? Sho! Sold again! 



S34 WERNER'S READINGS 

AN INTRODUCTION. 



Romantic Comedy Monologue for a Woman. 
ANNA WARREN STORY. 



[Enter WIDOW laughing heartily.] 

HA! ha! ha! ha! Oh! I beg a thousand pardons ha! ha! 
ha ! ha ! I cannot help it. I must laugh or I shall die 
ha ! ha ! ha ! ha ! Now, imagine ! I am a widow ! Oh, no ! that's 
not the reason I laugh. No, no ; it is much more droll than that. 

One of my good lady friends wishes me to marry again, and 
to bring this about has selected a number of gentlemen whom she 
thinks suitable for a future husband for me; and she arranged a 
meeting this evening for one of these gentlemen and me ha ! ha ! 
ha ! ha ! 

It was at the opera. "Faust!" "Faust!" poetical and 
preparatory. 

I arrived with my friend before my "Future" should come, in 
order to judge of his entrance. 

The door opens. He enters. Ha ! ha ! ha ! ha ! I laugh. It is 
not my fault. It was so funny. 

Picture this to yourself. The evening was very cold, and the 
air had given to this (ha! ha! ha! ha!) "Chosen One" among 
the eligibles a severe cold. He had wound a scarf several times 
around his head and had forgotten to take it off ha ! ha ! ha ! ha ! 
He looked as if he were a fortification in cashmere ; and his small 
tip of a red nose seemed like a lighthouse. 

We are introduced to each other. 

"Madame" [imitating the salutation of the gentleman]. 

"Monsieur" [making a courtesy]. 

"Madame" [same as before]. 

"Monsieur" [same as before]. 

Then came a long silence oh, a long silence. I say to myself, 
"He is looking at me ; he is fascinated." 

"Beautiful hall," he says to me. 

"Very beautiful." 

"Beautiful music/' 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 3*. 135 

"Oh ! ah ! Perfectly lovely." 

"Fine execution." 

"Yes, yes." 

In fact, everything was beautiful, except himself. 

The act being finished, he went out to search for the compli- 
ments he had not paid me, and in leaving the box he dropped his 
glasses ; for, besides having a cold, he was near-sighted. I said 
nothing, but pushed the poor man's glasses under the chair. He 
did not return to look for them, not daring to let me know that 
he could not see well. 

"Well, my dear/' said my friend, "how do you like him?" 

"Really, up to the present moment I only find he has a severe 
cold." 

"But, that will not last. Wait we shall see him again." 

In speaking we had made a little turn in the box. The orches- 
tra began the overture to the second act. We seated ourselves, 
and, without thinking, my friend took my place and I took hers. 

The door re-opened (ha! ha! ha! ha!) Monsieur re-entered, 
and, seating himself behind me and leaning toward my ears he said : 

'Thanks, my dear friend, thanks. She is frightful. She is 
too dark. She is too large. I will have none of her. Thank you 
(ha! ha! ha! ha!). Besides, she is stupid; indeed, she is. She 
has found nothing to say to me, and I have taken up every sort 
of subject. Find me another, but not this lady." 

Ha! ha! ha! ha! He had not recognized me. We were both 
dressed in black; he had mistaken me for my friend, and had 
given me my panegyric (ha! ha! ha! ha!). A burst of laughter 
made him comprehend his mistake, my voice serving him as a 
glass. 

"Oh ! Madame ! Many excuses ! Many pardons many 
many " 

The emotion gave him extra cold and he began to sneeze and 
sneeze and sneeze, and I I laughed and laughed and laughed to 
such an extent that I finally escaped that I might come and laugh 
with you, for I am sure he will go on sneezing forever. 

I shall remain a widow. 



136 WERNER'S READINGS 

WHEN PAPA'S SICK. 



Comedy Verse Recital for a Boy. 
JOE LINCOLN. 



WHEN papa's sick, my goodness sakes! 
Such awful, awful times it makes. 
He speaks in, oh ! such lonesome tones, 
And gives such ghastly kind of groans, 
And rolls his eyes and holds his head, 
And makes ma help him up to bed, 
While Sis and Bridget run to heat 
Hot-water bags to warm his feet, 
And I must get the doctor, quick, 
We have to jump when papa's sick. 

When papa's sick, ma has to stand 

Right 'side the bed and hold his hand, 

While Sis, she has to fan an' fan, 

For he says he's "a dyin' man," 

And wants the children round him to 

Be there when "sufferin' pa gets through;" 

He says he wants to say good-bye 

And kiss us all, and then he'll die ; 

Then moans and says his "breathin's thick,"- 

It's awful sad when papa's sick. 

When papa's sick he acts that way 
Until he hears the doctor say, 
"You've only got a cold, you know: 
You'll be all right 'n a day or so;" 
And then well, say you ought to see 
He's different as he can be, 
And growls and swears from noon to night 
Just 'cause his dinner ain't cooked right; 
And all he does is fuss and kick, 
We're all used up when papa's sick. 



AND RECITATIONS NO. &. 137 



WHEN PA GETS SICK. 



Comedy Verse Recital for a Boy. 



WHEN pa gets sick he always knows 
He's go'n ter die, an' Tommy goes 
For Doctor Quack, an' 'fore he 'rives 
I'm hurried off for Doctor Ives, 
An' ma an' Bess an' auntie, too, 
For liniments an' gruels go, 
An' plasters an' the warmin' brick 
An' everything, when pa gets sick. 

No one of us is 'lowed to play, 
The baby's sent across the way, 
The 'pothecary's boy's about, 
The hull time runnin' in an' out. 
The house so with his groans is filled, 
Folks stop to ask who's gettin' killed, 
An' misery is piled on thick 
For everyone, when pa gets sick. 

We never have no table set ; 
Cold vittles is the best we get, 
For cook is busy to the brim 
Contrivin' dainty things for him; 
An* studyin' it in my mind 
I'm good deal more'n half inclined 
To think although I dassent kick 
We suffer most when pa gets sick. 



i 3 8 WERNER'S READINGS 



IF I CAN BE BY HER. 



Romantic Stammering Dialect Verse Monologue. 



BEN KING. 

ID-D-DON'T c-c-c-are how the r-r-r-obin sings, 
Er how the r-r-r-ooster f-f-flaps his wings, 
Er whether 't sh-sh-shines, er whether 't pours, 
Er how high up the eagle s-s-soars, 
If I can b-b-b-be by her. 

I don't care if the p-p-p-people s-say 
'At I'm weak-minded every-w-way, 
An' n-n-never had no cuh-common sense, 
I'd c-c-c-cuh-climb the highest p-picket fence 
If I could b-b-b-be by her. 

If I can be by h-h-her, I'll s-s-swim 
The r-r-r-est of life thro' th-th-thick an' thin ; 
I'll throw my overcoat away, 
An' s-s-s-stand out on the c-c-c-oldest day, 
If I can b-b-b-be by her. 

You s-s-see sh-sh-she weighs an awful pile, 
B-b-b-but I d-d-d-don't care sh-she's just my style, 
An' any f-f-fool could p-p-p-lainly see 
She'd look well b-b-b-by the side of me, 
If I could b-b-b-be by her. 

I b-b-b-braced right up, and had the s-s-s-and 
To ask 'er f-f-f-father f-f-fer 'er hand ; 
He said : " Wh-wh-what p-p-prospects have you got ?" 
I said : "I gu-gu-guess I've got a lot, 
If I can b-b-b-be by her." 



AND RECITATIONS NO. $2. 139 

AT THE BOX-OFFICE. 



Comedy Monologue for a Young Lady. 



ELSIE LIVERMORE. 



CHARACTERS: ALICE, Speaker, present; MARGARET, an ac- 
quaintance, several men all supposed to be present. 

SCENE : ALICE is standing in line looking in at window ; turning 
suddenly, she discovers an acquaintance near stage front R. 

HELLO, Margaret! Yes, dear, I have been standing in line 
the longest time, perfect ages. I'm just about dead. Such 
a string of stupid men have been ahead of me, and they have all 
been so long making up their minds. I should think they would 
decide what they wanted before they came, wouldn't you? I 
always do. 

Are you after tickets, too ? That's nice. I love company. Now, 
dear, I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll let you stand right here behind 
me and then you won't have to go away down the line. 

[To a man in the rear:] What, sir? Well, I'll have you under- 
stand, sir, this lady is a friend of mine, and I have a perfect right 
to allow her to stand beside me if I wish ! The idea, Margaret ; 
that man objects to your standing here ! 

It's awful waiting, isn't it ? I wouldn't do it for anyone but 
Hackett, but I simply adore him. What do you think of my new 
hat, dear? Rather "swell," I think. I bought it at "Maguirett's." 
Her prices are something atrocious. Why, my dear, will you be- 
lieve me, she wanted twenty-five dollars for an ordinary walking- 
hat with nothing on it but a rosette? Of course,. it had style, but 
when I pay that amount for style I want it to consist of something 
more than a bow of ribbon. 

Did you go to the whist yesterday? What did Maude wear? 
The one trimmed with pink? Mercy, she's worn that since the 
year One. Have anything good to eat ? Is that all ? Well, thank 
goodness ! I didn't go. You always get lobster salad at whists, 
just as you get chops and green peas at luncheons. 



140 WERNER'S READINGS 

Awfully uninteresting set of people here this morning, espe- 
cially the men. Just look at this man ahead of me. I hate that 
type of person, don't you ? So insignificant ! Think he must be 
buying up the whole house, he's certainly been there long enough. 
Anyway, I come next. There, he's through at last. 
f [To the ticket seller:] Two seats, please. Oh, Saturday, yes, 
matinee. Best seats, I always buy the best seats. Are those the 
best seats you can give me? Isn't there anything nearer? I 
couldn't possibly think of sitting back of D., and I must insist on 
aisle seats. (You know, Margaret, Jennie and I always draw 
to see which one shall buy the caramels and have the aisle seats.) 
How much are these ? Two dollars apiece ? I call that robbery. 
Why, I have sat there any number of times and never paid more 
than a dollar. Let me see something cheaper, please. 

Dollar and a half? Way back there? That's funny! You can 
get lovely seats at the Bijou for that price, front row, I believe. 
I never would pay a dollar and a half to sit there. Where are the 
dollar seats? Oh, balcony. Oh, Jennie wouldn't like those. She 
couldn't see a thing. She's a trifle near-sighted, although she 
doesn't like to admit it. Will Ellen Terry play Saturday after- 
noon ? Isn't she in the company ? Oh, no, of course not. I recol- 
lect now. She plays with Faversham, doesn't she ? I always get 
so mixed. 

Anyway, I know I've seen Hackett. I don't remember much 
about the play, >but he was too dear for anything. It was "Henry 
VIII." or "Sherlock Holmes" or something like that, and he wore 
purple tights and looked stunning. [To the man behind:} What, 
sir? No, I haven't decided yet what I want. I've been standing 
in line one solid hour, and I don't intend to rush now for anyone. 
(Men are so rude !) 

What can you give me for fifty cents ? Second balcony? That's 
what they call "nigger heaven," isn't it ? I never sat there myself, 
but I know real nice people who do go there. Carrie White goes 
there a lot, and she's an awfully swell girl. By the way, Mar- 
garet, have you seen that new coat Carrie's wearing? My dear, 
it's a dream ! gray broadcloth made with the new style sleeves 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 141 

and trimmed with Oh, yes, beg pardon, I forgot about the 

seats. Yes, I will decide at once. What? Yes, I know there are 
others waiting, but I've been waiting myself and I didn't com- 
plain. [To the man in the rear:} I think it very impolite of you 
men to talk so. 

^ There! aren't any seats cheaper than fifty cents, are there ? Well, 
I thought I'd inquire. I've known places where you could get the 
best seats for thirty cents. No, it wasn't this theatre. Now. what 
would advise, Margaret? To-day is Thursday, and Sat- 
There, what am I thinking about ? I can't go Saturday, of course 
not. That's the very day Maude and I planned to cut out shirt- 
waists. Isn't that mean? Well, I'll have to give up the matinee, 
that's all there is about it. 

Why, I never saw such rude men in my life. I think it very 
strange if a lady can't buy theatre tickets without being insulted. 
I'll never patronize this theatre again. I'll go where I will be 
treated civilly and where I can buy a decent seat without paying 
all creation. 

Margaret, don't you buy tickets, either. Come, dear, let's go 
down to Huyler's and have a soda. 



WHEN THE MINISTER CAME TO TEA. 



JULIET WILBOR TOMPKINS. 



MANY a solemn conference 
Went on in high-backed seat, 
And long we pondered, in grave suspense, 

What the minister 'd like to eat. 
And never a royal pilgrimage 

So fluttered a realm in fee ; 
For the hurrying footsteps came and went, 
And the heart beat thick for the great event, 
When the minister came to tea. 

Oh, the pewter was polished brave and bright, 
And the silver shone like glass, 



143 WERNER'S READINGS 

With never a spot or a speck in sight 
Where the clerical eye might pass. 

For mother was up in the early dawn, 
And calling to Ann and me, 

And the floor was sanded in scrolls and waves, 

And we learned how a good little girl behaves 
When the minister comes to tea ! 

Then the cream plop-plop'd in the waiting churn, 

And our arms grew tired and lame 
As we patiently did our share in turn 

Till the clerical butter came. 
But our thoughts kept pace with the dasher's stride,. 

Telling with secret glee 
To all unhonored by such a guest, 
How the minister talked and ate and dressed 

When he came to OUR HOUSE to tea. 

Oh, the things we piled on the willow plates, 

And the things we sniffed with pride ! 
And the solemn visitor in our gates 

Did he chuckle a bit inside? 
Under his grave, abstracted air, 

And the texts that he turned on me, 
And his sighing comments on worldly dross, 
And his somber dealing with damson sauce 

Did the minister like his tea? 

Was he a human, after all, 

This great grandee of souls? 
Well, Heaven be praised that he did not fall 

At the lure of our cakes and rolls. 
For never was glorious pride like ours 

(And never again shall be) 
When the warming-pan rubbed the icy sheet 
For the sake of four little tired feet, 

And the minister'd been to tea ! 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 143 

THE MINISTER COMES TO TEA. 



Comedy Verse Monologue for a Boy. 



OH ! they've swept the parlor carpet, and they've dusted every 
chair, 

And they've got the tidies hangin' jest exactly on the square; 
And the whatnot's fixed up lovely, and the mats have all been 

beat, 

And the pantry's brimmin' over with the bully things ter eat. 
Sis has got her Sunday dress on, and she's frizzin up her bangs, 
Ma's got her best alpacky and she's askin' how it hangs. 
Pa has shaved as slick as can be, and I'm rigged way up in G, 
And it's all because we're goin' ter have the minister ter tea. 

Oh ! the table's fixed up gaudy with the gilt-edged chiny set, 
And we'll use the silver tea-pot and the comp'ny spoons, you bet; 
And we're going to have some fruit-cake and some thimbleberry 

jam., 
And "riz biscuits" and some doughnuts, and some chicken and 

some ham. 

Ma, she'll 'polergize like fury and say everything is bad, 
And "sich awful luck with cookin' she is sure she never had," 
But of course she's only bluffin', for it's as prime as prime can be, 
And she's only talkin' that way 'cause the minister's ter tea. 

Everybody is a smilin' and as good as ever wuz, 
Pa won't growl about the vittles, like he generally does, 
And he'll ask me would I like another piece of pie ; but sho ! 
That, er course, is only manners an' I'm s'posed ter answer "No !" 
Sis'll talk about the church work and about the Sunday-school, 
Ma'll tell how she liked that sermon that was on the Golden Rule, 
And if I upset my tumbler they won't say a word to me 
Yes, a boy can eat in comfort with the minister ter tea ! 

Say! a minister, you'd reckon, never'd say what wasn't true; 
But that isn't so with ours, and I jest can prove it, too; 
'Cause when sis plays the organ so it makes yer want ter die, 



144 WERNER'S READINGS. 

Why, he sits and says it's lovely, and that seems to me a lie. 
But I like him all the samey, and I only wish he'd stay 
At our house for good and always and eat with us every day ; 
Only think of havin' goodies every evenin' ! Jiminee ! 
And I'd never get a scoldin' with the minister ter tea! 



MEAN LITTLE TORMENT. 



MY name's Jack. I'm eight years old. I've a sister Arathusa^ 
and she calls me a little torment. I'll tell you why. You 
know Arathusa has got a beau, and he comes to see her every 
night, and they turn the gas 'way, 'way down 'till you can't 
hardly see. I like to stay in the room with the gas on full blaze,, 
but Arathusa skites me out of the room every night. I checked! 
her once, you better believe. You know she went to the door to 
let Alphonso in, and I crawled under the sofa. Then they came 
in, and it got awful dark, and they sat down on the sofa, and I 
couldn't hear nothing but smack ! smack ! smack ! Then I reached 
out and jerked Arathusa's foot. Then she jumped and said, "Oh, 
mercy, what's that?" and Alphonso said she was a "timid little 
creature." "Oh, Alphonso, I'm happy by your side, but when I 
think of your going away it almost breaks my heart." Then I 
snickered right out, I couldn't help it, and Arathusa got up, went 
and peeked through the key-hole and said, "I do believe that's 
Jack mean little torment he's always where he isn't wanted." 
Do you know, this made me mad, and I crawled out from under 
the sofa and stood up before her and said, 'You think you are 
smart because you wear a Grecian bend. I guess I know what 
you've been doing ; you've been sitting on Alphonso's lap, and 
letting him kiss you like you let Bill Jones kiss you. You ought 
to be ashamed of yourself. If it hadn't been for that old false front 
of yours, pa would have let me have a bicycle like Tom Clifford's. 
You needn't be grinding them false teeth of yours at me ; I ain't 
a-goin' out of here. I ain't so green as I look. I guess I know 
a thing or two. I don't care if you are 28 years old, you ain't no 
boss of me!" 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 147 



"BILL THAY." 



Comedy Lisping Dialect Monologue for a Boy. 



MARY TUCKER MAGILL. 



CHARACTERS: MASTER BROWN, Speaker, present, who addresses 

his conversation to audience; BILL SMITH, supposed to enter 
towards end of monologue. 

[Enter MASTER BROWN slowly and awkwardly, looks at audi- 
ence as if listening to a question, smiles, nods, hunches himself, 
and speaks.] 

YETH, me an' him 'th right intimate. He knoweth more than 
I do, 'cauth he'th had more exthperienth. Bill thay hith 
father wath a robber. 

Bill thay that he'th got ten millionth of dollarth of gold buried 
down in hith thellar along with a lot of human boneth, people 
he'th killed. An' Bill thay that hith father makth all the earth- 
quakth that happen anywhere in the world, an' when the old man 
comth home thometimes, he feelth tho thorry for him, 'cauth he'th 
all tired to death makin' earthquakth. It thtandth to reathon it'th 
hard work tearin' up the earth that way. An' Bill thay that hith 
father juth taketh bith out of people if he don't like 'em, an a 
lightnin'-rod man come along one day, an' Bill thay hith father 
juth ate him right up, 'cauth he got mad at him. 

An' Bill thay one day he wath a'flyin' of a kite, an' he had one 
of theth little dogth that juth run along, an' Bill thay he tied the 
kite to the dogth tail juth for fun, an' prethently the wind thruck 
her an' the went boomin' down the thtreet about a mile with her 
hind legth in the air. Prethently the kite commenthed going up. 
Thoon the dogth was fifteen milth high, an' could thee California 
an' Egypt, an' Oshkosh, I think Bill thed, or it thound like that, 
but I don't like to thay for thertain. Anyhow, I know he come 
down in Brathil, an' he thwam all the way home in the Atlantic 



148 WERNER'S READINGS 

ocean, an' when he got there all hith legth wath et off by the 
tharkth. I with my father would give me a dogth tho I could 
thend it off that way, but he never givth me nothin'. I never 
have no fun like Bill doth; he'th too thtrick. 

Bill thay another time he wath a-flyin' of hith kite, an' he went 
up on top of the houth to give himthelf plenty of room, an' thet 
up on the chimley, an' the old man had put a keg of powder down 
below there to blow the thut out of the chimley, an' he thet her 
off juth then, an' Bill wath blowed over againtht the Baptith 
church thteeple, an' he hung on there for four dayth before they 
could get him off. He juth lived by eatin' the crowth that come 
an' thet on him, 'cautE they thought he wath made out of theet- 
iron and put there for purputh. 

Bill thay that hith brother invented a thothage thtuffer onth. 
It wath a kind of a mathine what worked with a treadle. You 
put the mathine on the hog'th back an' the hog'th foot on the 
treadle, an' you thuck him with a pin an' that made the hogth 
move the treadle, you know, an' in a minute the hogth wath cut 
up in fine pieces in the treddle an' thtuffed an' thkinned, an' Bill, 
thay hith brother called every hogth hith own thtuffer. That 
muth o' bin a right curiouth kind of a mathine to work. I can't 
juth thee how he did it, but I know ith tho, 'cauth Bill'th a good 
boy, he ith, an' never tellth no thtorieth. He goeth to Thunday 
thkool, he doeth. 

He'th a good boy, he ith, an' he told me about hith uncle what 
lived out in Authtralia, what wath et by a big oythter; an' he 
thtayed there till he et the oythter. Then he thplit the thellth 
open, took one of 'em for a boat, an' he thailed along, an' he 
thailed along, till he come to a thea-therpent, an' juth caught it 
an' thripped ith thkin all off of it, an' thold it to an engine com- 
pany to put out fireth with. He thold it for forty thouthand 
dollarth. 

An' Bill thay the Injunth .took him wunth an' they cut hith 
thcalp off, an' thtuck him half a dothen timeth through the body, 
an' never hurt him a bit. He juth made hith ethcape by the 
'daughter of the chief takin' him out of the wigwam an' givin' 



'AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 149 

him a horth to ride. Bill thay Bill thay he ! he ! that the 
wath in love with him. He thay he could thow me the holth in 
hith body now, but he'th afraid to take hith cloth off, fear he'd 
bleed to death. Nobody don't know about it. Wouldn't tell the 
old man 'cauth he'th 'fraid he'd worry about it. 

Bill thay he ain't goin' to Thunday thkool no more ; thay he'th 
goin' to turn a heathen, 'cauth hith father'th got a brath idol at 
home. He'th goin' to wear a blanket an' carry a tomahawk ath 
thoon ath the weather geth warm. 

Bill thay hith father dug a big hole under thith thity, an' got 
it all filled up with dynamite an' powder an' thingth, an' he'th 
goin' to blow her up when he geth ready. An' Bill thay he goin' 
to tell me, tho I can get away. Bill liketh me, he do. An' Bill 
thay but thar'th Bill now ; do you hear him whithlin' ? I ecthpec' 
he got thomethin' more to tell me. I muth go. Good-bye. 



WELCOME. 



A Child's Speech. 



IT scares me, my friends, to speak to you to-night. My heart 
goes pitty pat. I want to speak my piece and can scarce think 
what to say. Mine is a speech of welcome. I am to say welcome 
to you all, right welcome to our hall, our hearts, and to hear what 
we have to say. Some of the larger boys who are studying arith- 
metic and geography and grammar will make believe they are 
orators, or generals or kings, but I don't; you all know me and 
it's no use for me to pretend to be what I am not ; besides, I can 
welcome you just as well, just as I am, and now I say, you are 
just as welcome as you can be. We are real glad you are here. 
We wondered if you would come, we wanted you to come, we are 
glad you have come, we thank you for your coming. Now you 
know you are welcome. 



ISO WERNER'S READINGS 



THE LONG AGO. 



Comedy Monologue for a Man. 



Translated and arranged from the French expressly for this book by Lucy 

Hayes Macqueen. 



CHARACTER: A MAN, the Speaker. 

ONCE upon a time, long ago but long ago is not a strong 
enough expression. It was a long, long, long, long time 
ago. 

Well, once upon a time, long ago one day no, there was 
neither day nor night then so one time what else can I say? 
there came into someone's head no, there were no heads then 
anyhow, an idea came that is a good expression an idea came 
to someone to do something. 

He wanted to drink but what was there to drink? There 
were no wines nor beers, then ; no sauterne, champagne, ver- 
mouth, absinthe, cocktail, brandy, white wine, red wine, cider, 
water, ginger ale, nor anything to drink. You see, times have 
improved since then, very much. 

Well, not being able to drink, he decided to eat, but to eat 
what ? There was no turtle soup then, no turbot with caper sauce, 
no roast-beef, no beef a la mode, no sauerkraut, no potatoes, no 
pears, no cheese no indigestion, no blues, nothing of that kind. 
You see how times have improved since then. 

[Gayly.] So, not being able to eat nor drink, he decided to 
sing but to sing what? [Sadly.] There were no drinking 
songs, no love ditties with "flower" and "our," and "love" and 
"dove" rhyming sweetly in them ; there was no flute nor guitar 
nor mandolin, then ; not even a piano upon which the inn-keeper's 
daughter could play an accompaniment while he sang. What 
progress the world has made since then ! 

So, as he could not sing, he wanted to dance, but where ? There 
were no balls, then, nor little home dancing parties where an 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 151 

ogre of a father and an eagle-eyed mother keep their eyes on you 
all the time ; there was no chocolate to spill over your clothing 
nothing of that kind whatever ; and no pretty young ladies to be 
your partners so what was the use of dancing? 

Then, since he could not eat, drink, sing nor dance, he could 
only sleep. So he decided to go to bed. But there was no night, 
no bed, no pretty wadded silk coverlets, no warm-water bath, no 
night-lamp on the table and French novel well, you see, we have 
made some progress since then. 

Then, he decided to fall in love. He said to himself, I shall be 
very affectionate ; I shall sigh ; it will be a distraction ; I shall 
even be jealous, and beat my my what? Beat whom? What? 
Be jealous of whom? Whom shall I love sigh for? For a 
brunette? There are no brunettes. For a blonde? There are 
no blondes. There are no black locks, nor gold locks, nor red 
locks not even a false wig for there are no ladies at all, any- 
where. Women had not been invented then. Oh, what progress 
we have made since then ! 

Then, I shall die, he said. [Resignedly.] I want to die but 
how? There were no Brooklyn bridges to jump off, then no 
ropes to hang one's self with, no revolvers, no fatal diseases, no 
drugs, no apothecaries and no doctors ! 

Then, he wanted to do nothing. [Plaintively.] What more 
unhappy position could one be in! [Joyfully.} But no do not 
pity him there were no unhappy positions then no unhappi- 
ness. Happiness and unhappiness are modern, you know people 
were neither happy nor unhappy long ago. 

So ends but no there was no end, then ; endings had not been 
invented. To end is an invention of our times it is a part of our 
progress. Oh, progress, progress! [He walks stupidly off 
stage.} 



I5 a WERNER'S READINGS 



WHEN PA WAS A BOY. 



Comedy Child Dialect Monologue. 



S. E. KISER. 

1WISH 'at I'd of been here when 
My paw he was a boy ; 
They must of been excitement then 

When my paw was a boy. 
In school he always took the prize, 
He used to lick boys twice his size 
I bet folks all had bulgin' eyes 
When my paw was a boy ! 

There was a lot of wonders done 

When my paw was a boy ; 
How grandpa must have loved his son, 

When my paw was a boy ! 
He'd git the coal and chop the wood, 
And think up every way he could 
To always just be sweet and good - 

When my paw was a boy ! 

Then everything was in its place, 

When my paw was a boy; 
How he could rassle, jump and race, 

When my paw was a boy ! 
He never, never disobeyed ; 
He beat in every game he played 
Gee ! What a record they was made'! 

When my paw was a boy ! 

I wish 'at I'd of been here when 
My paw he was a boy; 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 153 

They'll never be his like agen 

Paw was the moddle boy, 
But still last night I heard my maw 
Raise up her voice and call my paw 
The biggest goose she ever saw 

He ought of stayed a boy. 



POSTPONED. 



Pathetic Monologue in Verse for a Man. 



CHARLES E. BAER. 



[Anyone familiar with farm life knows that when the old dog becomes blind, tooth- 
less, and helpless it is the sad but humane duty of the farmer to put an end to his 
sufferings; it is generally done by taking him off to the woods and shooting him. 
Although the new dog quickly wins his place in our affections, the old is not soon 
forgotten.] 

CHARACTER: FARMER, Speaker; DOG, supposed to be present. 
COSTUME : Farmer clothes and carrying a gun. 
SCENE : Enter FARMER at Stage L., upper entrance. 

COME along, old chap, yer time's 'bout up, 
We got another brindle pup ; 
I 'lows it's tough an' mighty hard, 
But a toothless dog's no good on guard ; 
So trot along right after me, 
An' I'll put yeh out o' yer misery. 

Now, quit yer waggin' that stumpy tail 
We ain't a-goin' f er rabbit er quail ; 
'Sides, yeh couldn't pint a bird no more, 
Yer old an' blind an' stiff an' sore, 
An' that's why I loaded the gun to-day 
Yer a-gittin' cross an' in the way. 

I been thinkin' it over ; 'tain't no fun. 

I don't like to do it, but it's got to be done ; 

Got sort of a notion, yeh know, too, 



154 WERNER'S READINGS 

The kind of a job we're goin' to do, 

Else, why would yeh hang back that a-way, 

Yeh ain't ez young ez yeh once wuz, hey ! 

Frisky dog in them days, I note, 

When yeh nailed the sneak thief by the throat, 

Can't do that now, an' there ain't no need 

A-keepin' a dog that don't earn his feed. 

So yeh got to make way for the brindle pup; 

Come along, old chap, yer time's 'bout up. 

We'll travel along at an easy jog 
Course, yeh don't know, bein' only a dog; 
But I can mind when yeh wuz sprier, 
Wakin' us up when the barn caught fire 
It don't seem possible, yet I know 
That was close onto fifteen year ago. 

My, but yer hair wuz long an' thick 
When yeh pulled little Salley out o' the crick ; 
An' it came in handy that night in the storm, 
We coddled to keep each other warm. 
Purty good dog, I'll admit but, say, 
What's the use o' talkin', yeh had yer day. 

I'm hopin' the children won't hear the crack, 
Er what I'll say when I git back? 
They'd be askin' questions, I know their talk, 
An' I'd have to lie 'bout a chicken hawk; 
But the sound won't carry beyond this hill, 
All done in a minute don't bark, stand still. 

There, that'll do ; steady, quit lickin' my hand. 

What's wrong with this gun, I can't understand; 

I'm jest ez shaky ez I can be 

Must be the agey's the matter with me. 

An' that stich in the back what ! gittin' old, too 

The dinner bell's ringin' fer me an' you. 



r AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 155 

PLEASURE EXERTION. 



Comedy Yankee Dialect Character Sketch Recital for a Woman. 



MARIETTA HOLLEY. 



CHARACTER : JOSIAH ALLEN'S WIFE, Speaker, present, who 
directs her conversation to audience. 

ALL summer long Josiah Allen had beset me to go to a 
pleasure exertion with him, and I have had to work head- 
work to make excuses and quell him down. But last week they 
was goin' to have one out on the lake, on a island, and that man 
sot his foot down that go he would. 

We was to the breakfast-table a talkin' it over, and says I : 

"I shan't go, for I am afraid of big water, anyway." 

Says Josiah : 'You are jest as liable to be killed in one place as 
another." 

"Mebby I shall be drounded on dry land, Josiah Allen, but I 
don't believe it." 

:< Wall," says he, "I guess I'll have another griddle-cake, 
Samantha." 

And as he poured the maple-syrup over it, he added gently, 
but firmly : 

"I shall go, Samantha, to this exertion, and I should be glad 
to have you present at it, because it seems jest to me as if I should 
fall overboard durin' the day." 

Men are deep. Now that man knew that no amount of re- 
ligious preachin' could stir me up like that one speech. I went. 

We had got to start about the middle of the night, for the lake 
was 15 miles from Jonesville, and the old mare bein' so slow, we 
had got to start an hour or two ahead of the rest. I told Josiah 
that I had jest as lieves set up all night, as to be routed out at two 
o'clock, but he was so animated and happy at the idee of goin' 
that he said that we would go to bed before dark, and get as much 
sleep as we commonly did. So we went to bed with the sun an 
hour high. And I was truly tired enough to lay down, for I had 
worked that day almost beyond my strength. But we hadn't 



156 / WERNER'S READINGS 

more'n got settled down into the bed, when we heard a buggy 
stop at the gate, and I got up and peeked through the window, 
and I see it was visitors come to spend the evenin'. Elder Bamber 
and his family, and Deacon Dobbins'es folks. 

Josiah vowed that he wouldn't stir one step out of that bed 
that night. But I argued with him pretty sharp, while I was 
throwin' on my clothes, and I finally got him started up. I 
thought if I got my clothes all on before they came in, I wouldn't 
tell 'em that I had been to bed. And I did get all dressed up, even 
to my handkerchief-pin. And I guess they had been there as 
much as ten minutes before I thought that I hadn't took my 
night-cap off. They looked dretful curious at me, but I never 
said nothin'. But when Josiah come out of the bedroom with 
what little hair he has got standin' out in every direction, and 
one of his galluses a-hangin' most to the floor, I up and told 'em. 
I thought mebby they wouldn't stay long. But Deacon Dobbins'es 
folks seemed to be all waked up on the subject of religion, and 
they proposed we should turn it into a kind of a conference 
meetin' ; so they never went home until after ten o'clock. 

It was most eleven when Josiah and me got to bed again. And 
then jest as I was gettin' into a drowse, I heerd the cat in the 
buttery, and I got up to let her out. And that rousted Josiah up, 
and he thought he heerd the cattle in the garden, and he got up 
and went out. And there we was a-marchin' round most all 
night. 

But as bad and wore out as Josiah felt bodily, he was all ani- 
mated in his mind about what a good time he was goin' to have. 
I wanted to wear my brown and black gingham and a shaker, but 
Josiah insisted that I should wear a new lawn dress that he had 
brought me home as a present. So, to please him, I put it on, 
and my best bonnet. 

And that man, all I could do and say, would put on a pair of 
pantaloons I had been amakin' for Thomas Jefferson. They was 
gettin' up a military company to Jonesville, and these pantaloons 
was blue, with a red stripe down the sides. Josiah took a awful 
fancy to 'em, and says he : 



RECITATIONS NO. 32. 157 

"I will wear 'em, Samantha ; they look so dressy." 

Says I : 'They hain't hardly done. I was goin' to stitch that 
red stripe on the left leg on again. They hain't finished as they 
ort to be, and I would not wear 'em. It looks vain in you." 

Says he : "I will wear 'em, Samantha. I will be dressed up for 
once." So he put 'em on. 

I had good vittles, and a sight of 'em. The basket wouldn't 
hold 'em all, so Josiah had to put a bottle of red rassberry jell 
into the pocket of his dress-coat, and lots of other little things, 
such as spoons and knives and forks, in his pantaloons and breast- 
pockets. He looked like Captain Kidd, armed up to the teeth, 
and I told him so. But, good land ! he would have carried a 
knife in his mouth if I had asked him to, he felt so neat about 
goin', and boasted so on what a splendid exertion it was goin' 
to be. 

We got to the lake about eight o'clock. We was about the first 
ones there, but they kep' a-comin', and before ten o'clock we all 
got there. 

I had made up my mind from the first on't to face trouble, so 
it didn't put me out so much when Deacon Dobbins, in gettin' into 
the boat, stepped onto my new lawn dress, and tore a hole in it 
as big as my two hands, and ripped it half offen the waist. But 
Josiah got worked up awfully when the wind took his hat off and 
blew it away out onto the lake. 

I did the best I could by him. I pinned on his red bandanna 
handkerchief onto his head. But as I was a-fixin' it on, I see 
there was sunthin' more than mortification ailed him. The lake 
was rough and the boat rocked, and he was beginnin' to be awful 
sick. He looked deathly. Pretty soon I felt bad, too. Oh ! the 
wretchedness of that time. I have enjoyed poor health consider- 
able in my life, but never did I enjoy* so much sickness in so short 
a time as I did on that pleasure exertion to that island. When 
we reached there, we was both weak as cats. 

Finally, I got so I could walk straight, and sense things a little, 
and I began to take the things out of my dinner-basket. The but- 
ter had all melted and a lot of water had swashed over the side of 



158 WERNER'S READINGS 

-. 

the boat, so my cake and cookies looked awfully mixed up. But 
no worse than the rest of the company's did. 

The chicken and cold meat bein' more solid had held together 
quite well, though it was all very wet and soppy. We didn't feel 
so animated about eatin' as we should if we hadn't been so sick- 
to our stomachs. But we felt as if we must hurry, for the man 
that owned the boat said he knew it would rain before night, by 
the way the sun scalded. 

Wall, all of a sudden I thought, where is Josiah ? I asked the 
company wildly if they had seen my companion, Josiah. 

They said, "No, they hadn't." 

But Celestine Wilkin's little girl says, "I seen him goin' off 
towards the woods. He acted dretful strange, too ; he seemed to 
be a-walkin' off sideways/' 

''Had the sufferin's he had undergone made him delirious?" 
says I to myself; and then I started off on the run towards the 
woods, and old Miss Bobbet, and Miss Gowdy, and Sister Bam- 
ber, and Deacon Dobbins'es wife all rushed after me. 

Oh, the agony of them two or three minutes ! All of a sudden, 
on the edge of the woods, we found him. He sot backed up 
against a tree, in a awful cramped position, with his left leg under 
him. Miss Gowdy hollered out : 

"Oh, here you be. We have been skairt about you. What is 
the matter?" 

He smiled a dretful sick smile, and, says he : 

"Oh, I thought I would come out here and meditate a spell. It 
was always a real treat to me to meditate." 

Says I, "What is the matter, Josiah Allen?" 

"I am a-meditatin', Samantha." 

Says I, "Do you come down and jine the company this minute, 
Josiah Allen." 

The wimmen happened to be a-lookin' the other way for a min- 
ute, and he looked at me as if he would take my head off, and 
made the strangest motions towards 'em; but the minute they 
looked at him he would pretend to smile, that deathly smile. 

Says I, "Come, Josiah Allen, we're goin' to get dinner right 
away, for we are afraid it will rain." 



AND RECITATIONS NO. 32- 159 

"Oh, wall," says he, "a little rain, more or less, hain't a-goin' 
to hender a man from meditatin'." 

Says I, "Do you stop meditatin' this minute, Josiah Allen !" 

Says he, "I won't stop, Samantha. I let you have your way a 
good deal of the time ; but when I take it into my head to medi- 
tate, you hain't a goin' to break it up." 

Jest at that minute they called to me from the shore and we 
had to start off. But, oh ! the gloom of my mind. Had the suf- 
ferin's of the night added to the trials of the day made him 
crazy ? I thought more'n as likely as not I had got a luny on my 
hands for the rest of my days. 

The distress of that pleasure exertion ! But I kep' to work, and 
when we had got dinner most ready, I went back to call Josiah 
again. Old Miss Bobbet said she would go with rne. So we 
started up the hill. 

Says I, "Come, Josiah Allen, dinner is ready." 

"Oh! I hain't hungry," says he. "The table will probable be 
full. I had jest as lieves wait." 

"Table full!" says I. 'You know jest as well as I do that we 
are eatin' on the ground. Do you come and eat your dinner this 
minute !" 

'Yes, do come," says Miss Bobbet, "we can't get along without 
you." 

"Oh ! I have got plenty to eat here I can eat muskeeters." 

The air was black with 'em, I couldn't deny it. 

'The muskeeters will eat you more likely," says I. "Look at 
your face and hands ; they are all covered with 'em." 

'Yes, they have eat considerable of a dinner out of me, but I 
don't begrech 'em. I hain't small enough, nor mean enough, I 
hope, to begrech 'em one good meal." 

Miss Bobbet started off, and after she had got out of sight, 
Josiah whispered to me : 

"Can't you bring forty or fifty more wimmen up here? You 
couldn't come here a minute, could you, without a lot of other 
wimmen tight to your heels ?" 

It seems he had sot down on that bottle of rassberry jell. That 



160 WERNER'S READINGS AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 

red stripe on the side wasn't hardly finished, as I said, and I 
hadn't fastened my thread properly, so when he got to pullin' at 
'em to try to wipe off the jell, the thread started, and bein' sewed 
on a machine, that seam jest ripped right open from top to bot- 
tom. Wall, I pinned 'em up as wall as I could, and I didn't say 
a word to hurt his feelin's, only I jest said this to him : 
'Josiah Allen, is this pleasure?" 

'Throw that in my face again, will you ? There goes a pin into 
my leg! I should think I had suffered enough without your 
stabbin' of me with pins." 

I fixed 'em as wall as I could, but they looked pretty bad. 
Finally, I told him I would put my shawl onto him. So I doubled 
it up corner-ways as big as I could, and he walked back to the 
table with me,, So he told the company he always loved to wear 
summer shawls ; he thought it made a man look so dressy. 

But he looked as if he would sink all the time he was a-sayin' 
it. He was sick all the way back to the shore, and so was I. And 
jest as we got into our wagons and started for home the rain 
began to pour down. The wind turned our old umbrell inside out 
in no time. I says to Josiah : 

"This bonnet and dress are spilt, Josiah Allen, and I shall have 
to buy some new ones." 

"Wall! wall! who said you wouldn't?" he snapped out. 

And there we jest sot and suffered. The rain poured down; 
the wind howled at us ; the old mare went slow ; the rheumatiz 
laid holt of both of us ; and the thought of the new bonnet and 
dress was a-wearin' on Josiah, I knew. I did speak once, as he 
leaned forward, with the rain drippin' offen his bandanna hand- 
kerchief. I says to him in stern tones : 

"Is this pleasure, Josiah Allen?" 

As we drove up to our doorstep, and as He helped me put into 
a mud puddle, I says to him : 

"Mebby you'll hear me another time, Josiah Allen." 

And I'll bet he will. I hain't afraid to bet a ten-cent bill that 
that man won't never open his mouth to me about a pleasure 

exertion again. CENTRAL CIRCULATION 

CHILDREN'S HQOM