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Portmanteau adaptations / by, Stuart Walker ... ; edited, and with an introduction, by Edward Hale Bierstadt. Walker, Stuart, d. 1941. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images University of Kentucky, Electronic Information Access & Management Center Lexington, Kentucky 2002 b96-5-34068504 Electronic reproduction. 2002. (Beyond the shelf, serving historic Kentuckiana through virtual access (IMLS LG-03-02-0012-02) ; These pages may be freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. Portmanteau adaptations / by, Stuart Walker ... ; edited, and with an introduction, by Edward Hale Bierstadt. Walker, Stuart, d. 1941. Stewart Kidd, Cincinnati : [c1921] 229 p.,  leaves of plates : ill. ; 20 cm. Coleman Gammer Gurton's needle -- The birthday of the infants [founded on Oscar Wilde's story] -- Sir David wears a crown -- Nellijumbo -- Appendix: Repertory of the Stuart Walker Company. Microfilm. Atlanta, Ga. : SOLINET, 1996. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PS-21089) ; SOL MN05604.04 KUK) Printing Master B96-5. IMLS This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. Bierstadt, Edward Hale, 1891- U U C EU C U CC t - C.. 0 E2 E o - U PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS By STUART WALKER Author of Portmanteau Plays and More Portmanteau Plays Edited, and with an introduction by EDWARD HALE BIERSTADT ILLUSTRATED CINCINNATI STEWART KIDD COMPANY PUBLISHERS Printed in the T'nited States of America Thr Abinmbmt errs CONTENTS INTRODUCTION, - GAMMER GURTON'S NEEDLE, - THE BIRTHDAY OF THE INFANTA, SIR DAVID WEARS A CROWN, - NELLIJUMBO, - - - APPENDIX, - - - - Page -- 7 - - 3' - - I"3 - - '4I - 185 - - 225 This page in the original text is blank. ILLUSTRATIONS Facing page SCENE FROM "GAMMER" GURTON, - Frontispiece HODGE AND DIccoN, - - - - - 48 THE INFANTA OF SPAIN, THE CHAMBERLAIN, AND THE DUCHESS, - 1 20 THE DUCHESS OF ALBUQUERQUE, - - 136 THE KING, THE QUEEN, AND SIR DAVID, - 152 SIR DAVID AND HIS MOTHER, - - - - 152 THE SOLDIERY AND THE POPULATION, X - 176 THE KING'S GREAT AUNT AND THE KING'S COUN- CILLOR, - - - - - - 176 This page in the original text is blank. INTRODU CTION "WANhat's in a name" asked Juliet, and truly the reader of this book may well make the same query, for of the four plays contained in it only two can be considered in any wise as adaptations, and about one of those I am rather doubtful. However, the plan for the Portmanteau series, made three years ago, included this title, and as the book has been announced for manv months past as Portmanteau Adaptations it was thought unwise to make a change at the last moment. Therefore, the book and I who named it, both ask forgiveness if we have deceived. Our intent was innocent, and, to complete the quotation with which we began this apologia, "That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.'" The Portmanteau Theater with its plays was born in New York City, and in the past I have usually spoken of it largely in connection with New York. This I can no longer do, for Mr. Walker's great success in repertory in Indian- apolis has meant in effect a change in head- (luarters. It was inevitable that this should be so. Broadway is a good thing to come back to, but to remain there means either surrender, bankruptcy, or stagnation. Repertory on Broad- 7 INTRODUCTION way died with Augustin Daly, and though the Portmanteau, like a raider on the flanks of an army, has more than once dashed in and given a telling blow in the shape of a success it would be unwise to invite a pitched battle. There would be nothing to gain and everything to lose. Personally I have for years looked toward the middle west, or as Indianapolis would doubtless say, the middle east, for that revitalization in point of view which we all realize is so essential to the success of any art in America. And this in spite of Main Street. For Main Street is really no more typical of America than a sore toe is typical of the man who happens to have one. The Earth was born of Chaos; Christ came out of Nazareth; and there are more things in Main Street than are dreamt of in the philosophy of Mr. Sinclair Lewis. For five summer seasons the Stuart Walker Company has proved that Indianapolis has a large and appreciative theater going population, a population that likes new things done in a new way as well as old things. 'During the season of 1921 the Stuart Walker Company passed its six-hundredth performance in Indianapolis. There are several unique points about this company which should be noted. It is the only company of the kind that has ever gone intact from its home city (Indianapolis) into New York and Chicago using the same actors, lighting, and scenery. The company does not depend upon the personality of one or two people for its success. It is well rounded. 8 INTRODUCTION The productions are immensely even; one does not find a star supported by a dummy caste. If there is no one in the company who fits exactly into a part, some one is brought in from outside, but this happens very rarely. In its first five years the company has given over seventy-one plays of which about thirty-four were seen for the first time in the home city, and of which fifteen were premieres. This is truly a remark- able record; six hundred performances, seventy- one plays, fifteen premieres. I do not know of a single company in America to-day that can equal it. Also, and this is of no small importance, the prices of the company this last season were exactly half those of the regular winter prices. Here then is a company, well balanced, well trained, adequate in every way, and playing excellent repertory at half-price, and at a profit. And they tell us that repertory will not pay in America! Truly it will not pay when it is so calculated as to please only one type of person, and that one the smallest part of the public. The partial repertory of the Stuart Walker Company is listed in the appendix to this volume, and the attention of the reader is particularly invited to it, for it is deftly composed. It is psychologically sound. It ranges from Dunsany to Harry James Smith, and from Echegaray to Eugene Walter. Very evidently there is something here to please every one. And too there is an obvious effort to choose the best in each type of play. There is nothing haphazard, nothing left to chance. 9 INTRODUCTION Likew ise a repertorv company will not succceel when it is made up either of a collection of stars with w-hate-ver-can-be-dra2Led-in for support or when there is one star and the rest of the company is composed of odds and ends. Both of these things have happened, and both of them have failed. There is no Duse or Coquelin in the StUart Walker Companyr, and it is not even de- sirable that there should be. The balance would be destroyed at once. But, instead of this, there are, to mention only a few, Blanche Yurka, Elizabeth Patterson, Beatrice IMaude, McKav Morris, Regina Wallace, George Gaul, Tom Pow- ers, Margaret Mower, and Peggy Wood. When we speak of e.enness on the A-Anmerican stage we are more than apt to mean mediocrity, but in this instance we have an evenness of excellence, a company perfectly able to handle the romantic play, the realistic, the poetic drama or anything indeed that it is called upon to do, and handle it proficiently. There can be nothing slipshod here. The result is the most successful repertory company in the country. When the lesson has been thoroughly learned and digested we may have more of them. In my opinion, however, two unusual attributes possessed by MIr. Walker himself have stroml-v militated toward his success. He can see potentialities which are buried, and he can bring them out and develop them. In Portnanteauz Planvs I spoke of one of M\r. Walker's first productions at the end of whicb a Broadway manager asked him where on earth he had been I0 INTRODUCTION able to get his company, so many comparatively unknown actors doing Such unusually good work. Mr. Walker's reply, "I got six of them out of your companies," tells the story. He saw, where the other manager could not, that here were six people who could really act if they were given the chance instead of being buried in walking parts. He took them, trained them or rather helped them to train themselves, gave them the opportunity to develop their capacities, and they are unknown no longer. If Mr. Walker ever decides to start a school of acting it will be well worth going to. Naturally all this has helped. The work has been done by a man who has a great instinct for the stage, not by one who regards the stage merely as a means of making money, as one might think of a fish market for instance. It is vitally necessary that a producer, a director, a regiseUr have this instinct. It does not require a fair to sell fish, but to put on plays does require a certain intuitive knowledge of the theater. A great deal can 1)e learned, but the most important thing of all cannot be. Taste is inbred or else merely superficial. The fact that Mr. \Valker has both this instinctive taste and knowledge has not only helped very largely toward his success, but has likewise saved him some thousands of dollars in the doing. I can recall especially three plays, one of which cost I,500 to stage, one 452, and one nothing at all. They all succeeded. But this sort of thing can- not be indulged in indiscriminately; one must I I INTRODUCTION know absolutely when to spend money and when not to. From the foregoing it will be plain, if it is not so already, that the repertory theater will not only result in raising the standard of plays pro- duced, but will also raise the standard of pro- duction. Perhaps the most important single factor in repertory is the amount of experimental work that is possible. A play intended for a long run can seldom afford to be an experiment: the financial risk is too great. But in the repertory theater all things are possible. It becomes at once the place where plays, actors, scenery, new modes of staging and whatever is likely to be of interest is tried out. Byv its verv nature it can afford to be progressive; the ordinary theater cannot in most instances. It has all it can do to hold its own without taking unnecessary ch3.nces. The "little theater" has done much for us along these lines, but its public is small for the most part, and the range of its activity strictly limited. There is one more possibility likewise that I should like to recall now that we are on the subject both of the Portmanteau and of repertory, to which I referred in my intro- duction to MWore Portmanteau Plays. The Stuart Walker Company is safely established in a large city situated geographically in a more or less central position where the company has met with emphatic success. Why not make the portable Portmanteau Theater corelative to this repertory company In this event any play which had 1 2 INTRODUCTION made a decided hit in the home city could be added to the repertory of the Portmanteaul which could then be sent out in flying toUrs throughout the country. All the old arguments in favor of the Portmanteau would be jIst as pertinent as ever. It could go anywhere and play anywhere. For the small towns throughout the rural districts it would be a god-send. 'These places cannot afford to support a theater of their own; in many instances thev have not even a town hall in which to house the itinerant company. But the Port- manteaul can be set up in a barn or a ball roo'm, in anything in fact big enough to hold it. I know that this idea has occurred to 'Mr. \Walker. In fact I believe that it was his original suggestion. There are certain practical difficulties that stand in the wav of its accomplishment, however, that must be cleared up first. I note it as a suggestion, and I have no doubt that if the time ever does come when it is a practical possibility it wvill become a fact. Mr. Walker is not apt to hand back when opportunity offers. Both the theater and thc drama, as all other arts, need room for growth, for expansion, for development. Art forms are constn ltlv changing and growing, indeed if they do not they (leterio- rate and die. I do not mean that the old fornms must be discarded, but simply that the current must be refreshed with new life fromt timle to time. With the ordinary theater and with the ordinary company this is hardly possible. They are in a rut and their only salvation lies in not 13 INTRODUCTION being tempted out of it. But the possibilities opened up by a good repertory company, and by a practicable, portable theater are tremendous. The rigid, confining lines fade at once, and the whole structure becomes flexible and revitalized. With these one can branch out in any direction without fear of ultimate calamity. With every year that has passed since that first production of the Portmanteau at the Christodora House the signs have ripened, and the indications have become more evident. Progress has been at least normal, and at times more than normal. It is for the future to show the completed task. II The first play in this volume, GCammer Gurton's Needle, is a real adaptation, which is fortunate if only for the sake of the title of the book. Most readers will probably know the play in its orig- inal form, but until Mir. Walker adapted it for his own use I doubt if it had been played for many years except perhaps by English classes and dramatic clubs in the universities. Certainlv it was not available to the public. The form of the play is antiquated, and the use of rhymed verse makes its production doubly difficult. It is full of action, however, and of that robust English humor which culminated in Falstaff. Having these, it has nev'er actually lost its appeal, and with certain slight changes and modifications its audiences find it as popular to-day as it was in the i6th century. I 4 INTRODUCTION Gammer GCurton's NYeedle was acted sixteen years after the even more famous Ralplh Roister Doister at Christ's College, Cambridge. Though the authorship is somewhat uncertain it is gen- erally attributed to John Still, who, born in 1543, became Master of Christ's College, and finally Vice-Chancellor of the University. If Still really wrote Gaminer GCiuton's Needle it must have been in his youth while still an under- graduate at the University, for in his later days as Vice-Chancellor he held out strongly for the Latin drama as against the English, mainrfaning that the first was the more intellectual. To a certain extent he was right, but nevertheless, there is a certain flavor of the middle ages about Gamnmer that strongly recalls the Latin comedies. In the later years of his life, Still became a Bishop, and he must have looked back with something of regret to the bustling days when he wrote -1 Ryght Pith/v Pleasaunt and Nler-ie Coinedie: Jti tu vled Gammer GCruwi': ANedle. It is the second extant English comedy properly so-called, and as such has been handed over to students for far too long. About the only actual evidence of author- ship lies in the fact that the title page of the edition of 1 575 states that the play was "made by Mr. S Mr. of Art." As Still was the only Master in Cambridge at the time the play was probably acted whose name began with S, he has, justly enough in all probability, been given credit. At any rate, taken in connection with his later dignities his authorship is piquante. Indeed I1; INTRODUCTION it no longer matters, for there are no more royal- ties to pay, and the play itself is here for all who may enjoy it. It is written in rhyming lines of from fourteen to sixteen feet, and, as anyone will see who reads it aloud and rather rapidly, this verse form is far more difficult for the actor than blank verse even. Diccon was more or less of a stock figure of the period. In Gammer he is certainly human enough, but in other plays we find him sometimes invested with Puckish qualities that rise even to the height of Devildom on occasion. The play is broad, as broad as it is long in fact, but even so it has required little enough change and excision bv the deft touch of Mr. WN'alker to make it perfectly actable even in a young ladies' seminary, though hearsay informs me that this particular criterion of delicacy holds good no longer. III The Birthdaly of the Infanta is a wholly charm- ingz conceit so well suited to dramatic purposes that one is rather inclined to wonder why Oscar \Vilde as author of the story did not stage it himself. \Wilde's fairv tales stand quite apart from the rest of his work, however. His plays are best when they are most artificial. Th e Importance oif Being Earnest which hasn't a serious line or situation in it is far finer than Ladv Winder- mere's Fan, for instance, in which the pathos nearly approaches bathos, and the tragedy of which rings utterly false. The fairy tales have i6 I NTRODUCTION more sincerity than all of the rest of Wilde's work pult together, even and including De Pro- fundis. There is a very fine pathos in The Birth- day of the Infanta. there is tragedy even, but so delicate is the touch that the shadows are never permitted to assume a deeper tone than grey. There is an air of unreality that echoes an emotion that is not actually there, but the echo itself is poignantly lovely. The theme has been used several times since it was first written, and I do not know, I confess, whether the story was orig- inal with XWilde or not. Alfred Noyes adapted it for pure poetic form under the title of The Dwarf's Tragedy without giving credit either to Wilde or anyone else. His verses, however, were thor- oughly delightful, and he missed none of the manr opportunities for voluptuous color the tale presents. The reader may remember Noyes' description of the Princess when the Dwarf is sent to her at the feast. I quote from memory, and not quite accurately I fear, but I am without present access to the poem in question. "Roses, roses all around her, roses in her laugh- ing face, Roses where the glistening wine cup glowed in honor of the chase; Roses where the rosey jewels burned on snowy breast and brow Roses . . . and he burst out blindly through the feast of rose and snow." ' 7 INTRODUCTION It is certainly colorful, but though Mr. Walker's dramatic version may be somewhat less rosey it is none the less faithful to the original in at- mosphere, and in effect. I recall vividly Mr. Walker's original pro- duction of the Infanta with Gregory Kelly as the Dwarf. I cannot remember who did the scenery, but I have no difficulty in remembering its beauty as well as that of the costumes. The Birthday of the Infanta leaves an impression as of music; it is as though some lovely, melancholy strain had drifted through the air and lingered there to haunt one. The subtle fragrance and charm which are so entirely characteristic of these en- chanting tales of Wilde's are not absent from the play. Nothing is lost, and there is nothing added that is alien. 1V The last two plays of the volume show Stuart Walker in his most typical and successful vein as a playwright. They are children's plavs; that is, they are plays of children, but, as the author himself says, they are for children from "seven to seventy." That they are not only well liked, but even eagerly looked forward to by audiences ranging between these ages is proof positive that there is nothing spurious about them. "You can fool a man with a stuffed dogr, but yoLu can't fool a dog." By the same token vou can trick an audience of adults, some adilts, with a care- fully prepared product that they take to be an INTRODUCTION echo from childhood. But it isn't. It is simply what some clever writer knows that the average unclever audience thinks it remembers of its childhood. It isn't authentic in the least, and viewed with the cold eyes of truth is more apt to be childish than childlike. This is where Mr. Walker's plays are different. The children like them too. They recognize them. They know that they were written by a child. Six Who Pass While the Lentils Boil was, and is, one of -he most successful plays for children of all ages that has been written in many years. Even the critics liked it; it even entertained the managers. This is because it is real. It is as real as Puss in Boots, or Little Red Riding Hood, or Cinderella. Sir David WYears a Crown is the sequel to Six Who Pass While the Lentils Boil. Few plays have sequels; few could stand them. But you can pick a fairy story up almost where you dropped it, for the break automatically repairs itself through the sheer creative force of imagination. Six W,'io Pass J'Jbhile the Lentils Boil is set outside the palace not far from the square where the Queen is to be beheaded for stepping on the ring-toe of the King's Great Aunt. The play ends with the Queen saved by David, thereupon created on the spot Sir David Little Boy. The scene of Sir David Wears a Crown is at one of the Gateways of the King's palace, and the action begins while the search for the Queen is still going on. Thus this play begins not where the I9 INTRODUCTION other left off, but just enough before to knit the two plays together. Six WNho Pass was a wholly delightful fancy, but I confess that I like Sir David even better. The slight undercurrent of satiric comedy perceptible in the first play is even more evident in the second. Mr. Walker uses again the Prologue, the Device Bearer, and You in the Audience, thus at the very outset striking the key note of the performance. This play has a bit more substance than the other. The gentle and very pointed fun that is poked at etiquette, at convention, at law and order never goes so far that one feels the onus of a preach- ment, and yet goes far enough so that no shade of natural absurdity is missed. The Soldiery and the Population, and the rope that Sir David fin- ally removes by the simple expedient of coiling it up are all simply, skillfully, and successfully done. Many fairy tales have or have had a tinge of satire, and in none of themn does it seem to belong more naturally than Vere. Quite aside from this vein is that human 2motion which reaches its culmination in the last scene of the play between Sir David, now a p ince, and his Mother. It would have been very easy to have been maudlin here, but the author has not for an instant fallen into the pit temptation digged for him. The sentiment is true, simiple and convincing. It is born of that same tenderness that finds its outlet at one time in gently re cking the conventionalized inhibitions of society as it is constituted, and at another in the direct expression of that sym- 20 INTRODUCTION pathetic un(lerstanding with which the final scene of the play is treated. To my mind Mir Davoid WVears a Crowuz is an excellent example of Mr. Walker at his best as a playwright. His insistence on the fact that a play is something to be played, and something to play with; not a preachment, a symbol, an allegory or whatnot. A child's ball is a symbol of the globe if you choose, but most important of all it is a ball that can be thrown and caught again: toy ships, soldiers, houses, forts, castles and all the other equipment of the miniature world of childhood are, if you like, symbols of the greater world into which children must one day grow, but this is a detail, a perversion even, for the prime purpose of these things is play. Without them one can still make believe, but with them one can believe more easily. The whole idea behind the best of TMr. WNalker's plays is, I think, let's pretend. And if one can pretend all is well; but if one cannot, one's money should be given back to one at the box-office for that one has been lured into the theater under false pre- tences. After all, what is an art and all art but an exemplification and a natural expansion of Let's Pretend Sophistication is only the elab- orate mummery the juggler makes to distract our attention from his real purpose. Th e Doll's House, for instance, would be characterized by the careless as an intellectual play. Tut, tut, and fie for shame! That is only the mask. It might as easily and with greaten art be written as poeti- 2 I INTRODUCTION cally as Peer Gvnt in which one must pretend continually. There is that unfortunate type of person who regards the theater as a natural adjunct to the church, the law court, and to the soap box of the propagandist on the street corner. Sadly enough, some of these persons even write plays, and more sadly still get them produced. But here the pretense is still more flagrant, for they only pretend to be plays. There is no play in them really. This constant chase after hidden meanings, symbols and the like is only the in- cessant demand of the futile for futility. It is as though one could not take pleasure in the perfume of a flower or in the colors of a sunset without straightway becoming wordy and dis- cursive about perfumes and colors in general. WNe know that the wag of a dog's tail expresses pleasure; we do not demand that the dog wag his tail according to a signal code like a Boy Scout. And so if we demand that the Soldiery in Sir David Wears a Crown stand for Militarism, the Population for the Masses, the coil of rope for Law and Convention, and so on and on, we do no more than to limit and define the straw with which we are tickled. If the play is really to give us pleasure, however, if it is to awaken in us any sense of beauty, we must take it as it is, as a play. V Comes ANellijumbo. This is not a sequel, but it is reminiscent of another play of Mr. W\alker's which for some time has been one of the most 22 I NTR 'RODUCTION popular in his rcpertorv, that is Jonathian Alakes a IVish. 't/llijunibo is of the same genre, in fact it is not unlike a tabloid version of the earlier and longer play. It too is of a child, and for children. It is quite unlike Sir David Wears a Croin, however, and to mind it is a less success- ful bit of work, though I am quite prepared to find that most audiences disagree with me. The troulble that I find with it is that it is too ob- vious. It is the story of a little blind boy, brought up, so far as he has been brought up at all, by a stiff and conventional aunt and uncle whose lives are engulfed and encircled by Yeas and Nays, and waho regard an imaginative flight as merely a more elaborate method of lying. The boy is very sensitive, and under the circumstances equally repressed. To him comes his father- his mother is dead-an explorer, an adventurer in the Elizabethan sense, from whom Richard has inherited all that has become perforce quies- cent under the disciplinary regime of the aunt and uncle. The story of how the boy and his father find each other is the story of the play. It is done sympathetically and deftly, but it is done too obviously and directly for my own taste. I feel as though a somewhat sentimental sermon- ette had been hurled at me. As usual, TMr. Walker's stage directions are simply asides in characterization. This I believe is as it should be if a play is to be printed. It has been wisely remarked that actually to succeed a play must be a success first on the stage and second in the 23 INTRODUCTION library. Of course this is true enough. Other- wise it cannot pass into literature, and if it can- not pass into literature it cannot endure for long. Look back over the centuries, and it will be evident enough that the plays that have come down to us, that have lasted, are the plays which are not only successful dramatically, but which are true literature in the bargain. Either this or they are historical curiosities, and are gen- erally unknown to the public. If only for this reason it seems to me that the method, actually inaugurated by Barrie on the modern English speaking stage, of elaborating the old conventional stage directions until they have an interpre- tative value, a literary quality, is a step in the right direction. It has been said in criticism of this that it makes a play less like a play and infringes on the privileges of the novelist. Ab- surd. It does not in the least make a play less like a play, but it does make it less like a prompt copy. Go back to the old editions of the plays published by French, and observe the 0. P.s and the R. U. E.s and the R. L. E.s and S. C.s and all the other abbreviations of that technical jargon which has no value except for the technical director of the play in question. And having rid ourselves of that why not go a step further and polish what is left to a semblance of bril- liancy at least There is a danger in this, of course: danger lest the unwary leave too much to the stage direction, and include too little in the 24 I NTRODUCTION dialogue, bUt Mr. \Walker is far too old a hand to be trapped into such a fault. iNellijumbo is a small tract in a dramatic form. One cannot criticise it because it is a tract. Criti- cism rests in the fact that it is so plainly a tract that, in the reading version, at any rate, one loses its illusion as a play. It is my belief that material of this nature can be treated much more successfully after the manner of Sir David J l'ears a Crown. Either that or let the dramatic action be pitched in so high a key that the sernmon rises to the point of a diatribe by Saint Paul. And somehow that seems unlikely. To make a bad pun, and most puns are bad, the play as it stands at present is too much like a curtain-lecture. It should be entirely superfluous to point out that this is simply a personal opinion. I have no doubt that this play is successful in production: for, good or bad, it is possessed amply of the quali- fications which usually spell success in America. Mlix pathos with humor, and the average American audience will succumb to the spell for three years running whether the pathos is spurious or not, and ev-en though the humor is of the sentimental varietv. There is a play of this type on Broadway now. It has been there for three solid years, and ten years from now it will be forgotten forever and deservedly so. America is probably the most sentimental nation on earth. It likes to think it is moral. It isn't particularly, but the illusion is dear to it. Hence the Rollo books and the 25 INTRODUCTION Elsie stories. We show it in our politics; we dis- play it in our social, and in our industrial relations, and our more popular art reeks with it. It is all that explains Harold Bell Wright, and that in- sufferably nasty little prig Pollyanna. A nation that will take such an author and such a book to its bosom, and make seven days wonders of them both cannot deny that it is sentimental. We do deny it, of course, which simply proves our sentimentality. We haven't even the courage of our lack of convictions. To me N'ellijumbo is possessed of a certain portion of this senti- mentality, and it spoils the play for me. Par- enthetically be it remarked that I can only afford to be thus outspoken because Mr. Walker has the ability of the true artist to take adverse criticism without spleen. It is another factor, and no small one, in making his career constructive from start to finish; he will listen to any suggestion, any criticism, and if he is convinced that he is wrong he will admit it. In the present instance it is a matter of different points of view, divergent temperaments. And so far as NTellijumbo is concerned one thing at any rate is sure: the play is sincere, it is skillful, it is deft. One may not like vanilla ice-cream, but that does not in the least prevent a given sample of it from being excellent of its kind. And too, if I have been justified in what I have said of Ae/li- jembo it is onlv fair to add that Mr. Walker's other play which is somewhat like it in type, jonathan Mfakes a Wish, is by no means charac- 26 I N'FRODUCTION terized by the same faults, if faults thev are. Jonathan has more plot, more direct action, less time and opportunity for moralizing, so that the lesson is indirect, and secon(larv to the actual play. In Nellijumbro one cannot l)Ut feel that the play is only an excuse for the lesson. And most of us stopped liking lessons on the same day and in the same hour when we began to realize that we had to learn them. VI Let Mr. Walker speak for himself as to this matter of plays, play-writing, and production. Here is a bit from a letter he wrote to Lord Dun- sany just five years ago when he was first putting on the Dunsany plays. "I am going to tell you a few of my ideas about play producing because I fcel at ease after reading your statements about our uncivilized musical comedies and our absurd toys for chiiren. To my mind the play is the most important consideration. The author must know what he is talking about, and why he says what he does in the way he says it. There is a story to tell and I try to tell it in the author's wav. I don't like symbolism as such, and I make no effort to foist upon an audience a hidden meaning. There is always some deep hidden meaning. There is a story to tell and that story must always have a certain effect upon the audience, and that effect is gained primarily through the actor's ability to translate the author's meaning into mental and physical action. The scenery must never be obtrusive; it is not and cannot be an end in 27 INTRODUCTIO-N itself; but to me lights come nHxt to the actor in im- portance. With lights of various colors and intensity, vast changes in space, and time, and thought can be suggested." I think that most readers will agree with me that this exposition is not only interesting in itself. but that it is so sane and balanced that we are setter able to understand Mr. Walker's success. He is entirely consistent, though con- sistency is not always the virtue we are led to believe, and if he has either erred or departed momentarily from the dogmas he has laid down it is no more than the best have done before him. Both in his writing and in his producing, Mr. Walker has been positive and constructive where too many have been content to be negative and destructive. He has preferred the virtues rather than the defects of life; he has felt that there was more inspiration in beauty than in the many antitheses of beauty with which the modern stage is encumbered. He is a romanticist always, for he sees that the hidden things are the truest, that there is less real significance in a soiled collar than in a soiled heart. There is the writer who uses the camera and who shows pictures of the outside of things; and there is the writer who, equipped with an X-Ray machine, shows pictures of the inside of things, and the only thing that these two have in common is their mutual hatred of each other, and the fact that they are both un- pleasant, unbeautiful, and unnecessary. Then, heaven be thanked, there is that writer who is not 28 INTRODUCTION interested in things at all, and who regards the camera as an uncreative medium, and the X-Ray as me-elv a scientific instrument, who knows that since he cannot capture the illusive and pin it to a printed page he must deal largely in suggestion. I do not mean symbolism, and I do not mean m' Vsticism, lout I do mean, to deal myself in s v "bols, that the inspiration which is drawn from the eternal current of life itself is far more sure, more satisfying, and more lasting than that which is taken from any one of the bits of refuse that the current casts on the bank as it hurries past. The same qualities that are in his plays are to be seen likewise in Mlr. Walker's staging, in his use of scenery and lighting, and indeed in the acting that one usually sees in his productions. It is creative, imaginative, synthetic. The near- est Walker has ever come, to my knowledge, to naturalism in his work is in his play The Medicine Show printed in the first volume of this series, Portmranteau Pla ts. The Medicine Show may appear naturalistic to the unwary, but actually it is as little so as a Japanese print. There is the same economy, the same sureness, and the same strength. I do not think that I can recall offhand another play of the same length, as few characters, and totally devoid of mise-en-scene, as this play is, which is so full of sharply defined character- ization. Each stroke tells, and at the end of a quarter hour in which nothing has happened you not only know intimately the three persons on the stage but you know their life, their environ- 29 INTRODUCTION ment, and their entire background. Very re- cently there has been a full length play in New York which tried to do the same thing through two hours of agony, and then failed to be anything but maudlin. It was a success, however, for it was "strong" drama. I remember when I was serving with the British troops during the "re- cent unpleasantness" that the Tommys got so accustomed to strong eggs that fresh laid ones were actually distasteful to them. They had too little kick. That is so often the case with Amer- ican art. Nevertheless if the American public has per- mitted itself to buy much worthless stock it has in- vested in some sound securities. The Portmanteau Plays, the Portmanteau theatre, and the Stuart Walker Company have been accepted, and are now established institutions. Mr. Walker is in a position to take the next step. WA'hat it will be no one knows; perhaps he does not even know himself. The last few vears have seen much ac- complished, and it would be unjust to think that Mr. Walker would rest in his present status even if he could. .Andi he cannot. He must either go on or go back according to that eternal law which denies our right to take dynamic energy and to preserve it i l a static form. ED A. RD HALE BIERSTADT. Castle Hill, August I,, 192I 30 GAMMER GURTON'S NEEDLE (First performance in America at Jordan Hall, Boston, February 14, 1916; first performance in New York City at the Princess Theatre, December ii, 1916.) BOSTON NEW YORK PROLOGUE ......... Harrie Fumade.. Gitrude Tristjanski DICCON ........... Edgar Stehli. ...... Edgar Stehli HOIDGE ............ MckIay Ml;)rris .......M. cKay M orris TYB ............ Nancy \WVli no ......N. ancy Winston GANINIER GURTON.. Judith lowry ......... Julith Lowry COCKE ..........W ilmot Heitlanl ...... Robert Cook DAME CHATTE . .. Florence WR'ollersen .... Florence \\Wollersen DOCTOR RAT ....... Gregory Kelly ........G reg ry Kelly DOLI ............H Iarrie Fumade ........ Agnes Rtogers MASTER BA.\YLE- . .. ILew Medbury .. Lew Medbury SCAPETHRIFT ....... John lawkins ........ John Hawkins Scenery and costumes designed by Wilmot Heitland. "GAMMER GURTON'S NEEDLE" was prodUCed originally in the Portmanteau Theatre without cuts. After several performances it was considered advisable to use the version which is printed in this volume. The lines within brackets ([ I) may also be cut to good effect unless the actors are especially proficient and deft in the speaking of rhymed verse. The intermissions ought to be very short. 3 I GAMMER GURTON'S NEEDLE A FARCE IN- FIVE ACTS ' THE NAMES OF THE SPEAKERS IN THIS COMEDY: DIccoN, the Bed/am HODGE, Gammer Gurton's servant TY'B, Gammer Gurton's maid GAMMER GURTON COCKE, Gammer Gurton's boy DAME CHATTE DOCTOR RAT, the Curate MASTTER BAYLYE DOLL, Dame Chatte's maid SCAPETHRIFT, Master Baylye's servant SCENE: A VILLAGE IN ENGLAND 2 (God Save the Queen!) Possible cuts are indicated bv brackets (). 2It is advisable to let the one scene stand throughout the play. 32 GAMMER GURTON'S NEEDLE The Prologue enters before the curtains and, after a deep curtsy, begins to speak: PROLOGUE We are now in the sixteenth century, when needles were very scarce. If one had one, one was very lucky; if one lost one-(The Prologue points to the curtains). We have here for you a right pithy, pleasant, and merry comedy entitled GANTMER GURTON'S NEEDLE, made by Mr. S, Master of Arts, who asks us not to discover his name, and played at Christ's College, Cambridge, not so very long ago. The Prologue now takes a more professional atti- tude and begins to speak with marked and rapid rhythm 1 As Gammer Gurton, with many wide stitches, Sat piecing and patching of Hodge her man's breeches, By chance or misfortune, as she her gear tossed In Hodge's leather breeches, her needle she lost. When Diccon, the bedlam, had heard by report That good Gammer Gurton was robbed in this sort He quickly persuaded with her in that 'stound I All the lines of the play should be spoken as rapidly as possible, with rhythm and variety. The more spontaneous the reading of the lines the fewer the cuts necessary. 3 33 PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS Dame Chatte, her dear gossip, this needle had found, Yet knew she no more of this matter, alas! Than knoweth Tom, our clerk, what the priest saith at mass. Hereof there ensued so fearful a fray Master Doctor was sent for, these gossips to stay, Because he was Curate, and esteemed full wise: Who found that he sought not, by Diccon's device. When all things were tumbled and clean out of fashion, Whether it were by fortune, or some other constellation, Suddenly the needle Hodge found by the pricking, And drew it out of his breeches where he felt it sticking. Their hearts then at rest with perfect security, With a pot of good ale, they struck up their plaudity. (THE PROLOGUE EXITS.) (THE CURTAINS OFEN.) 34 GAM MER GURTON'S NEEDLE ACT I The scene represents a street in an English village. ,It the right is Gammer Gurton's house; at the left, Dame Chatte's Inn. Loud voices off stage R. of Gammer, Tyb, and Cocke. Enter Diccon precipitatel/ from Gammer's house R. Hie carries a side of bacon under his arm. DICCON [Many a mile have [ walked, divers and sundry ways, And many a good man's house have I been at in my days; Many a piece of bacon have I had from out of their balks, With running over the country with long and weary walks; Yet came my foot never within those door- cheeks, To seek flesh or fish, garlic, onions, or leeks, That ever I saw a sort in such a plight As here within this house appeareth to my sight.] The old trot sits groaning, with alas! and alas! And Tyb wrings her hands, and takes on in worse pass [With poor Cocke, their boy. They be driven in such fits I fear me the folks be not well in their wits.] 35 PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS Ask them what they ail, or who brought them in this stay, They answer not at all or but "alack! and wellawav!" [When I saw it booted not, out at doors I hied me, And caught me a slip of bacon, when I saw that no one spied me, Which I intend not far hence, unless my pur- pose fail, Shall serve for a shoinghorn to draw on two pots of ale.] (Starts into lame Chatte's Inn 1., but stop," ell door and listens to Hlodge, who entersfrom a lane.) HODGE See Thus come I arrayed with dabbling in the dirt. She that set me to ditching, I'd like to splash her skirt! 'Od's soul, see how this stuff tears! (Examining the rents in his breeches.) I were better to be a bear-ward and set to keep bears! By the mass, here's a gash! a shameful hole indeed! And one stitch tear further, a man may thrust in his head. DICCON [But Hodge, the next remedy in such a case and hap Is to patch on a piece as broad as thy cap.] 36 GAMMER GURTON'S NEEDLE HODC, E ['Od's soul, man, 'tis not yet two days fully ended Since my dame Gurton, I am sure, these breeches mended! But I am made such a drudge, to trudge at every need, I would rend it though it were stitched with sturdy pack thread.] DICCON Hodge, let thy breeches go, and speak and tell me soon What devil maketh Gammer Gurton and Tyb, her maid, to frown. HODGE Tush, man, thou art deceived! 'Tis their daily look; They cower so over the coals their eyes be bleared with smoke. DICCON [Nay, by the mass, I perfectly perceived, as I came hither, That either Tyb and her dame had been by the ears together, Or else as great a matter, as thou shalt shortly see. HODGE Now I beseech our Lord, they never better agree!] DICCON By Gog's soul, there they sit as still as stones in the street, 37 PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS As though they had been taken with fairies or with some evil spreet. HODGE But canst thou not tell, in faith, Diccon, why she frowns, or whereat Hath no man stolen her ducks or hens or scalded Gyb, her cat DICCON What the devil can I tell, man I could not have one word; They gave no more heed to my talk than thou wouldst to a lord. HODGE Still I cannot but muse what marvelous thing it is! I shall go in and know myself what matters are amiss. DICCON' Then farewell, Hodge, a-while, since thou dost inward haste, For I will in to the good-wife Chatte, to feel how the ale doth taste. (Exit Diccon into the Inn.) HODGE I am aghast, by the mass! I know not what to do. I'd better bless myself well before I go thereto! Perchance some felon sprite may haunt our house indeed, And then I were but a noddy to venture where I have no need! 38 GAMMER GURTON'S NEEDLE GAINI ER (oxf-starg-) Tyb, thou lazy lout! G;et out! get out! (Tyb is pushed out throulgOz Gaammer's door R, ancd her besom is thrown out after her.) TYB I am worse than mad, by the mass, to be at this stay! I am chided, I am blamed and beaten, all the hours of the day. HODGE I say, Tyb-if thou be Tyb, as I trow sure thou be- What devilish make-a-do is this between our dame and thee TYB If she hear not of some comfort, she sayeth she is but dead, Shall never come within her lips one inch of meat nor bread! HODGE By our lady, I am not glad to see her in this dump. I wonder if her stool has fallen and she had a mighty bump! TYB Nay, if that were but the worst!-we would not greatly care For bursting of her ankle-bone or breaking of her chair; But greater, greater, is her grief as, Hodge, we shall all feel! 39 PORTMAN'TEAU ADAPTATIONS HODGE 'Od's wounds, Tyb! My Gammer has never lost her needle, TV B Her needle. HODGE Her needle TYB Her needle! MI Gammer sat her down to rest, and had me reach thy breeches, And by and by-a vengeance in it!-before she had ta'en two stitches To clap a clout upon thy seat, by chance aside she leers; And Gyb, our car, in the milk-pan she spied overhead and ears. "Out, cat! Out, thief!" she cried aloud, and cast the breeches down. Up went her staff, and out leapt Gyb-out- doors, into the town. And since that time was never wight could set their eves upon it. Cocke and I bid twenty times Gog's curses light upon it. HODGE And is not, then, my breeches sewed up, to- morrow that I should wear IThe word needle must be frequently slurred in pronun- ciation to make a monosylahle. 40 GAMINIER GURTON'S NEEDLE TYIB No, in faith, Hodge, thy breeches lie with the same great tear. HODGE [Now a vengeance light on all the sort, that better should have kept it- The cat, the house, and Tyb, our maid, that better should have swept it!] (Enter Gammer from her house.) GAMNI M E R Alas, Hodge, alas! I may well curse and ban This day, that ever I saw it, with Gyb and the milk-pan! For these and ill-luck together, as knoweth Cocke, my boy, Have took away my dear needle, and robbed me of my joy; My fair, easy, straight needle that was my only treasure- The first day of my sorrow is and last end of my pleasure! HODGE [Might have kept it when ye had it! But fools will be fools still! Lose what is fast in your hands Ye need not; but ye will!] GAM M E R Go, hie thee, Tyb, and run, thou jade, to the end here of the town! Didst carry dust out in thy lap; seek where thou poUredst it clown, 41 PORTMIAN TEAU ADAPTATION-S And, as thou saw me raking in the ashes where I mourned, So see in all the heaps of dust thou leave no straw unturned. TYB That I shall, Gammer, fast and soon, and then be here again! (Exit Tvl through opening ,ust below Izhouse R.) GAMNITER (calling after her) Tvb, stoop, and look down to the ground! Do it! And take some pain! HODGE Your needle lost It is a pity you should lack care and-endless sorrow! 'Od's death, how shall my breeches be sewed Shall I go thus to-morrow! CAMNTMER Ah, Hodge, Hodge! If I could find my needle, by the reed, I should sew thy breeches, I promise that, with full good double thread. And set a patch on either knee should last these spring months twain. Now Gog and good Saint Swithin, I pray to send it home again! HODG.E One hundred things that be abroad, I am set to watch their weal; Anel four of vou sit idle at home and cannot keep a needle! 42 GAMMER GURTON'S NE EDLE GANME R My needle, alas! I lost it, Hodge, what time I me up-hasted To save the milk set up for thee, which Gyb, our cat, hath wasted. HODGE The devil, he burst both Gyb and Tyb, with all the rest! I am always sure of the worst end, whoever have the l)est! Where have you been fidging abroad since you your needle lost GAINIMER Within the house, and at the door, sitting bv this same post, [Where I was looking a long hour, before these folks came here; But welaway! all was in vain, my needle is nowhere near!] HODGE Get me a candle; let me seek and grope wherever it be. ['Od's heart, ye be so foolish, I think you know it not when you it see!] GAMMER Come hither, Cocke! what, Cocke, I say! (Enter Cocke from House.) COCKE How, Gammer! 43 PORTMANTEAU AI)DAPTAIIONS GAMMER Go hie thee, son, And grope behind the old brass pan, which thing when thou hast done, There shalt thou find an old shoe, wherein, if thou look well, Thou shalt find lying an inch of a white tallow candle; Light it and bring it right away. COCKE That shall be done anon. (Goes into the house.) GANI MER Nay, tarry, Hodge, till thou hast light, and then we'll seek, each one. HODGE (crossing to house and calling to Cocke) Come away ye worthless boy, are ye asleep Must you have a crier! COCKE (off-stage) I cannot get the candlh light: there is almost no fire. HODG E ( picks up a stick and starts threatening/v into the house) [I'll hold thee a penny I'll make thee come if I maybe catch thine ear! Art deaf, thou stupid boy Cocke, I say, why canst not hear] GAMNTNER Beat him not, Hodge, but help the boy, and come you two together. (Hodge goes into the house.) (Enter Tvb.) 44 GAMNIER GURTON'S NEEDLE GA MMER How now, Tyb Quick, let's hear what news thou hast brought hither! TYIB I have tossed and tumbled yonder hea) [o'er and o'er again. And winnowed it through my fingers, as men would winnow grain- Looking within, and else without,] to find your needle, alas! But all in vain and without help, your needle is-where it was. GAMNMER Alas, my needle! WVe shall never meet! Adieu! adieu, for ase! T1'B Not so, Gamnmer, we might find it-if we knew where it lav. (Enter Cocke, wit/ a candle,from the house.) t OCKE (choked with laughter!) 'Od's cross, Gamnmer, if ye will laugh, look in but at the door, And see how Hodge lieth tUmbling and tossing around the floor, RakLing there some fire to find aimong the ashes dead, Where there is not one spark so big: as a pin's head. At last in a dark corner two sparks he thinks he spies Which were indeed naught else but Gyb, our cat's, two ey es. 45 PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS "Puff," quoth Hodge, thinking thereby to have fire without doubt; With that Gyb shut her two eyes, and so the fire was out. [And by-and-by they- opened, even as they were before; With that the sparks appeared, even as they had done of yore.] And e'en as Hodge blew the fire, as he did think, Gyb, as she felt the blast, straightwav began to wink, [Till Hodge fell to swvearing, as come best to his turLn, The fire was sUre bewitched, and therefore would not burn.] At last Gyb hopped upstairs among the old posts and pills And Hodge he hied him after till broke were both his shins. (Cocke and T4b are convlulsed with laughter.) GANMMIER (after them with her stick) See, here is all the thought that the foolish urchin taketh! And Tyb, methinks, at his elbow almost as merry maketh! HODGE (fron uipper window) 'Od's heart, help and come up! Gyb in her tail hath fire And is like to burn all if she get a little higher! (Pointing to the thatch.) 46 (JAMMER GURTON'S NEEDLE GAMMER This is all the wit ye have where others make their moan. Come down, Hodge! Where art thou And let the cat alone! HODGE Come down, quoth you Very, then you might count me a patch! The house cometh down on your heads if it takes on the thatch. CAMMER It is the cat's eyes, fool, that shineth in the dark! HODGE Hath the cat, do you think, in every eye a spark GAMMER No, but they shine as like fire as ever man may see. HODGE (closes window) By the mass, and she burn all, you'll bear the blame on me! GAMMER Come down, and help to see that our needle here is found. Down, Tyb; on thy knees, I say! Down, Cocke, to the ground! To God I make a vow, and so to Good Saint Anne A candle shall they have apiece, get it where I can, If I may my needle find in one place or another. 47 PORTIMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS HODGE (entering) Now a vengeance on Gyb light, on Gyb, and on Gyb's mother [And all the generation of cats both far and near! GAMMER (as Cocke looks on her dress) Look on the ground, noddy Thinks thou the needle is here COCKE By my troth, Gammer, methought your needle here I saw But when my fingers touched it, I felt it was a straw.] TYB See, Hodge! W"hat 'tis 'Tis it. By the mass! ('They look at what she's found, take it to pieces, and throw it away.) GAMMER This matter amendeth not; my needle is still where it was. Our candle is at an end; it's black as night. Let's come another time, when we have more light. THE CURTAINS CLOSE 48 Hodge and D)iccon This page in the original text is blank. GAMIMER GURTON'S NEEDLE SONG 1 Back and side, go bare, go bare; Both foot and hand, go cold: But, belly, Gog send thee good ale enough Whether it be new or old! I can not eat but little meat, My stomach is not good; But, sure I think that I can drink With hirm that wears a hood. Though I go bare, take ye no care, I am nothing a-cold- I stuff my skin so full within Of jolly good ale and old. Back and side, go bare, go bare, etc. I love no roast, but a nut-brown toast And a crab laid in the fire; A little bread shall do me stead- Much bread I don't desire. No frost nor snow, no wind, I trow, Can hurt me if I would, I am so wrapt and thoroughly lapt Of jolly good ale and old. Back and side, go bare, go bare, etc. 'To be sung behind the scenes by Diccon and chorus. One version of the music may be found in Cecil Sharp's Folk Songs from Somerset, Fourth Series, LXXXII, The B3eggar, published by Simplen & Co., London. Wessex Press. 4 49 PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS And Tyb, my wife, that as her life Loveth well good ale to seek; Full oft drinks she till ye may see The tears run down her cheek; Then doth she troll to me the bowl E'en as a malt-worm should, And saith, "Sweetheart, I took my part Of this jolly good ale and old." Back and side, go bare, go bare, etc. Now let them drink till they nod and wink E'en as good fellows should do; They shall not miss to have the bliss Good ale doth bring men to. And all poor souls that have scoured bowls Or have them lustilv trolled- God save the lives of them and their wives Whether they be young or old! Back and side, go bare, go bare, etc. so GAMMNIER GURTON'S NEEDLE ACT II (Enter Diccon from Dame Chatte's house.) DICCON Well done, by Gog's malt! \Vell sung, and well said! Come on, Mother Chatte, as thou art true maid! (Ribald lauzgiterfrom Inn.) [This gear it warms the soul! Now, wind, blow on thy worst, And let us drink and swill till that our bellies burst.] Now a truly wise man by magic could divine Which way my journey lieth or where will Diccon dine! But one good turn I have: be it by night or day, South, east, north, or west, I am never out of my way. (Enter Hodge from house R., carrying a chunk of dry bread.) HODGE I' am goodly rewarded, am I not, do you think I had a goodly dinner for all my sweat and swink! DICCON Hail, fellow Hodge, and well mayst fare with thy meat, if thou have any! But, by thy words, as I them smelled, thy dainties be not many.] 5I PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS HODGE [Dainties,J Diccon Od's soul, man, save this piece of dry horsebread, I have bit no bite this livelong day; no crumb came in my head. DICCON W\hv, Hodge, was there none at home thy din- ner for to set HODGE 'Od's bread, Diccon, I came too late, was noth- ing there to get! Gyb-a foul fiend light on her!-licked the milk pan clean- See, Diccon, 'twas not so well washed this seven year, I ween! A pestilence light on all ill luck! I had thought yet, for all this, Of a morsel of bacon behind the door, at worst, I should not miss; But when I sought a slip to cut, as I was wont to do, 'Od's soul, Diccon, Gyb, our cat, had eat the bacon, too! (Which bacon Diccon stole, as is declared before.) DICCON Ill luck, [marry, swear it, Hodge! This day the truth to tell, Thou rose not on thy right side, or else blest thee not well- Thy milk slopt up,] thy bacon filched-that was too bad luck, Hodge! 52 GAMMER GURTON'S NEEDLE HODGE Nay, nay, there was a fouler fault: my Gammer gave me the dodge! [Seest not how I am rent and torn, my heels, my knees, and my breech I had thought as I sat by the fire to have here and there a stitch; But here I was wrong indeed.] DICCON Why, Hodge HODGE Boots not, man, to tell. [I am so dressed amongst a sort of fools I had better be in hell!] My Gammer, I am ashamed to say, by Gog, served me not well! DICCON How so, Hodge HODGE Has she not gone, trowest now, and lost her needle DICCON Her eel, Hodge Who fished of late That were a dainty dish! HODGE Tush, tush, her needle! her needle! her needle, man.! 'Tis neither flesh nor fish. [A little thing with a hole in the end as bright as any silver, Small, long, sharp at the point, and straight as any pillar. 53 PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATION S DICCON I know not what in devil thou meanest; thou bringest me more in doubt! HODGE Knowest not with what Tom Tailer's man sits sewing through a clout] (Crescendo) A needle, needle, a needle! My Gammer's needle is gone! DICCON' Her needle, Hodge Now I smell thee! That was a chance alone! By the mass, thou hadst a shameful loss if it were but for thy breeches! HODGE 'Od's soul, man, I should give a crown it it only had three stitches! DICCON How sayest thou, Hodge What should he have who found thy needle again HODGE Byym' father's soul, if I had it, I should give him a silver chain. DICCON Canst thou keep council in this case HODGE Else I would my tongue were out. DICCON Follow thou then but my advice, and I will fetch it without doubt. HODGE I'll run, I'll ride, I'll dig, I'll delve, I'll toil, I'll trudge, shalt see; 54 GAMMER GURTON'S NEEDLE I'll hold, I'll draw, I'll pull, I'll pinch, I'll kneel on my bare knee; I'll scrape, I'll scratch, I'll sift, I'll sweat, I'll bow, I'll bend, I'll seek, I'll stoop, I'll stir, I'll cap, I'll kneel, I'll creep on hands and feet; I'll be thy bondman, Diccon, I swear by moon and sun. And have I not something to stop this gap, I am utterly undone. (Pointing behind to his torn breeches.) DICCON Why is there any special cause thou takest thereat such sorrow HODGE Kristian Clack, Tom Simson's maid, by the mass, comes hither to-morrow! I am not able to say, between US what may hap,- She smiled on me last Sunday when I did off my cap. DICCON [Well, Hodge, this is a weighty matter and must be kept close; It might else turn to both our costs, as the world now goes-] Shalt swear to be no blab, Hodge! HODGE I shall, Diccon! DICCON (placing his left hand on his heart.) Then go to! Lay thine hand here; say after me as thou shall hear me do. Hast no book 55 PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS HODGE I have no book, I! DICCO.N Then needs must force Us both to lay thine hand upon my heart and there to take thine oath. (He recites the oat/i line by line, and Ilodge speaks it after him, his left hc-.nd on his ownz heart, his right hand on Diccon's.) DICCON I, Hodge, breechless, Swear to Diccon, richless, Bv the hand that I shall kiss, To keep his council close And always me to dispose To work what his pleasure is. (Diccon puts his hand in Hodge's face to be kissed.) DICCON Now, Hodge, see thou take heed And do as I thee bid, For so I judge it meet; This needle again to Xin, There is no shift therein, But conjure up a sprite. HODGE What, the great devil Diccon, I say! DICCON Yea, in good faith, that is the way- Fet' with some pretty charm. HODGE Soft, Diccon, be not too hasty yet, By the mass, for I begin to sweat! I am afraid of some harm! 56 GAMIMER CiURTON'S NEEDLE (Diccon draws a magic circle, making a myste- rious buzzing sound as lie does so.) DICCON Come hither, then, and stir thee not One inch out of this circle plot, But stand as I thee teach. HODGE And shall 1 be here safe from their claws (Ile seeks a safe place ine tie circle.) DICCON The master devil with his long paws Here to thee cannot reach. Now will I settle me to this gear. HODGE (His fear amounts almost to panic.) I say, Diccon, hear me, hear! Go softly to this matter! DICCON What the devil, man Art afraid of naught HODGE Canst not tarry a little thought Till I drink a draft of water (Starts of.) DICCON (stopping him wit/i a shout) Stand still to it! Why shouldest thou fear him HODGE 'Od's sides, Diccon, methinks I hear him! Tarry, I shall mar all! DI CC ON The matter is no worse than I told. HODGE By the mass, I am able no longer to hold. Too bad! I must run or I fall! 57 PORTMIANTEAU ADAPTATIONS DIcco N- (supporting him) Stand to it, Flodge! Stir not, you curst thing! What the devil Be thine heart-strings burst- ing Thyself awhile but stay; The devil-I smell him-will be here anon. HODGE Hold him fast, Diccon, I am gone! I am gone! I'll not be at that fray. (Hodge breaks azmap fronm Diccon and flees into Gammer's house.) DICCO N Soft, leave me alone and I'll take charge This matter further to enlarge Within a time quite short. If ye will mark my toes, and note, I will give ye leave to cut my throat If I make not good sport. (4pproaches I)ame C-hatte's door.) Dame Chatte, I say! Where be ye Within CHAT-rE (entering, she holds some cards in her hsand) Who have we there maketh such a din DICCON Here is a good fellow, maketh no great danger. CHAT-FE \What, Diccon Come near, ye be no stranger' DICCON Nay, nay, there is no tarrying, I must be gone again; But first, for you in council I have a word or twain. GAMMER GURTON'S NEEDLE CHATITE Come hither, Doll! (Doll entiers, partly sober. Dame Chatte hands her the card/s w'it/i whaich she has been p/axing.) Doll, sit down and play this game, And, as thou sawest me do, see thou do e'en the same. There is five trumps beside the queen, the hindmost thou shalt find her. (i4s Doll is picking her unsteady wa into house, Chatte calls after her.) "Take heed of Sim Glover's wife, she hath an eve behind her!" Now, Diccon, say your will. DICCON Nay, soft a little vet! I would not tell it my sister, the matter is so great. There I will have you swear by our dear Lady of Bullaine, S. Dunstone and S. Donnyke, with the three Kings of Kullaine, That ye shall keep it secret. CHATTE 'Od's bread, that will I do! As secret as mine own thought, by Gog, and the devil, too! DI CCO N Here is Gainmer Gurton, your neighbor, a sad and heavy wight, Her goodly fair red cock at home was stolen this last night. 59 PORTMANTEIAU ADAPTATIONS CHATT E 'Od's soul, her cock with the yellow legs, that nightly crowed so just DICCON That cock is stolen! C H A TT E What! Was he taken out of the hens' roost DICCO.N I cannot tell where the devil he was kept under key or lock; But Tvb hath ticked in Gammer's ear that you should steal the cock. CHATI E Have I Fat jade! By bread and salt- DICCON' \What, soft, I say! Be still! Say not one word for all this gear- CHATT E By the mass, that I will! I will have the young wench by the head, and the old trot by the throat! DICCON Not one word, Dame Chatte, I say, not one word, for my coat! CHATTE Shall such a beggar's brawl as that, thinkest thou make me a thief The blight light on the jade's sides, a pestilence and mischief; (Crossing to Gamnmer's house.) Come out, thou hungry, needy witch! 0, that my nails be short! 6o GAMMNIER GURTON'S NEEDLE DICCON 'Od's bread, woman, hold your peace, this gear will else pass sport! [Did ye not swear ye would be ruled, before the tale I told I said ye must all secrets keep and ye said sure ye would.] CHATTE Would you allow yourself, Diccon, such a sort to revile you, With slanderous words to blot your name, and so to defile you DICCON No, Goodwife Chatte, I would be loth such drabs should blot my name; But ve must so order all that Diccon bear no blame. CHATTE Go to, then! Say on your mind, ye shall me rule therein. DICCON ['Od's mercy, Dame Chatte! In faith thou must the gear begin.] It is twenty pound to a hen's tooth, my Gammer will not tarry; But hitherward she comes as fast as her legs can carry, To brawl with you about her cock; for well I heard Tyb say The cock was roasted in your house for break- fast yesterday. 6i PORTMIANTEAU ADAPTATIONS [And, when ye had the carcass eaten, the feathers ye out flung, And Doll, your maid, the legs she hid a fort deep in the dung.] CHATTE Oh, gracious Gog! my heart it bursts! DICCON- Tell her your mind and spare not, So shall Diccon blameless be, and then, go to, I care not! CHATTE Then, drab, beware her throat! I can abide no longer! In faith, old witch, it shall be seen, which of us two be stronger! (Crossing to the left of Diccon.) DICCON [In the meanwhile get you in, and make no words of this, More of this matter within this hour to hear, you shall not miss. Now fare ye well! CH ATTE Nay, soft, Diccon, and drink! What, Doll, I sax'! Bring here a cup of the best ale; (Doll brings mug of ale; Cizatte takes it from her and givees it to Diccon.) Let's see, come quickly away! (Doll goes into the Inn.)] (Dame Chatte goes into the Inn.) 62 GANINJER GURTON"S NEEDLE DICCON (to the audience) Ye see, masters, that one end tapt of this my short device; Now must we broach t' other to, before the smoke arise. HODGE (poking head out of door of Gammer's house) Tush, man, is Gammer's needle found That I should gladly know DICCON She may thank thee, it is not found, for if thou had kept thy standing, The devil he'd have fetched it out e'en at thy commanding. HODGE (entering) 'Od's heart! and could he tell nothing where the needle might be found DICCON Ye foolish dolt, ye were to seek, here had we got our ground; Therefore his tale so doubtful was that I could not perceive it. HODGE Then I see where something was said, I hope one day yet to have it. But Diccon, Diccon, did not the devil cry "Ho! ho! ho!" DICCON If thou hadst tarried where thou stoodst, thou wouldst have said so. HODGE Durst swear of a book, I heard him roar, straight after I was gone; 63 IPORT.NIANTEAU ADAPTATION S But tell me Diccon, what said the knave Let me hear't anon! DICCON 'The V arlet talked to me I know not well of what; One while his tongue it ran and paltered of a cat; Another while he stammered still upon a rat; Last of all, there was nothing but every word "Chatte! Chatte!" Now, whether Gyb, our cat has eaten it in her maw, Or Doctor Rat, our curate, has found it in the straw, Or this Dame Chatte, your neighbor, has stolen it, Gog he knows, But by the morrow at this time we shall learn how the matter goes. HODGE Can you not learn to-night, man Don't you see what is here (Pointing to his torn breeches) DICCON 'Tis not possible to make it sooner appear. HODGE Alas, Diccon, then I have no shift, but-lest I tarry too long- I'll hie me to Sim Glover's shop, there to seek for a thong, Wherewith this breech to fasten and tie up as I may. 64 GANINIER GURTON'S NEEDLE DICCON To-morrow, Hodge, if we chance to meet, you'll see what I will say. (Exit Hodge below the Inn.) DICCON Now this gear must forward go, for here my Gammer comes. (Enter Gammer Gurton.) GAMMER (Lookingfor needle) Good Lord, shal't never be my luck my needle again to spy [Alas, the while, 'tis past my help! Where 'tis, still it must lie! DICCON Now, Swithin, Gammer Gurton, what drives you to this sadness I fear me, by my conscience, you will surely fall to madness.] GA MM ER (startled-sees Diccon) What is that What, Diccon I am lost, man, Fy! fy! DICCON Marry, fie on them that be worthy! But what should be your trouble GANMMFER Alas, the more I think on it, my sorrow it waxes double! My goodly tossing treasured needle I have lost: I wot not where. DICCON [Your needle when 5 6C PORTNTAN TEAU ADAPTATIONS GA.NINER My needle, alas, I might not well spare As Gog himself he knows, ne'er another one I have.] DICCON If this be all, good Gammer, I warrant you all is safe. GAMI MER Why, know you any tidings which way my needle has gone DICCON Yea, that I do, doubtless as ye shall hear anon. A deal o' things this matter toucheth, within these twentv hours- Even at this gate before my face, by a neighbor of vours. She stooped her down, and Lip she took a nee&e or a pin. [I durst be sworn it was even yours, by all my mother's kin.] GANTNTER It was my needle, Diccon, I wot, for here even by this post, [I sat, what time as I up-start, and so my needle is lost.] Who was it, dear son Speak, I pray thee, and quickly tell me that! DICCON A subtle queen as any in this town, your neigh- bor here- GA Mf ENf E R Dame Chatte! 66 GANIMER GURTON'S NEEDLE DICCON And when she took it up, even here before your doors, "What, soft, Dame Chatte," quoth I, "that same is none of vours" "Avant," quoth she, "Sir knave! What pratest thou of that I find" She walked straight into her house and I was close behind. (Crossing to Inn in imitation of Dame Chatte.) [She screamed I was a knave, and yrou a bore of bores, Because I spoke in your behalf and said the needle was yours.] GAMMMER 'Od's bread, and thinks the callet to keep my needle so DICCON Leave her alone, and she minds none other but even to dress you so! GAMM ER By the mass, I'll rather spend the coat that is on my back! Thinks the false trot by such a slight that I'll my needle lack DICCON Do not delay, I council you; but of this take good heed: Let it not be known I told you of it, how well- soever ye speed! 67 PORTMNMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS GA.MMER I'll in, Diccon, a clean apron to take and set before me; And may mv needle I once see, I'll sure re- member thee! (Exit Gammer Gurton into her house.) DICCONT My Gammer sure intends to be upon her bones (Indicating Dame Cizatte) With staffs or clubs or else with cobblestones. Dame Chatte, on the other side, if she be fLr- behind, I am right far deceived, she is given to it of kind. (To musicians, offstage.) In the meantime, fellows, tune up your strings! A tune, I say, And let your friends hear such songs as ye can play! THE CURTAINS CLOSE. ACT III (Enter Liodge, returning from Sirm Glover's.) HODGE Sim Glover, yet Gramercy! I am mighty well- sped now. Thou art even as good a fellow as ever kissed a cow! Here is a thong indeed; as strong as any steel- 68 GAM'MER GURTON'S NEEDLE And here a nail Sim Glover gave-I'll use it for a needle. (Enter Gammer.) GAMMER How Hodge! Mayst now be glad I have news to tell thee. I know who has my needle; I trust soon shalt it see. HODGE The devil thou dost! Hast heard, Gammer, indeed: or dost but jest GANINMER ['Tis as true as steel, Hodge. HODGE WN'hy, knowest well where didst lose it] GAMM E R I know who found it and took it up, shalt see ere it be long. HODGE 'Od's mother dear, if that be true, farewell both nail and thong! (He throws them awayC.) But who has it, Gammer Say on! I would fain hear it disclosed. GA M IER That false vixen, that same Dame Chatte that counts herself so honest! HOODGE Who told you so G;AM MER That same did Diccon the bedlam who saw it done. 69 PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS HODGE Diccon He is a vengeful knave, [Gammer; 'tis a dirty jade's son! Can do more things than that, else I am ill decei ved. By the mass,] I saw him of late call up a great black devil! 0, the knave cried, "Ho! ho!" He roared and he thundered, [And if ye 'ad been here I am sure ye would surely have wondered.] GAMMER Were not thou afraid, Hodge, this place to see him in HODGE \o; and had he come to me, I should have laid him on the face, I should have promised him! GA NNTM ER But, Hodge, had he no horns to push HODGE As long as your two arms! Saw ye never Friar Bush, Painted as a cloth, with a great long cow's tail, And crooked cloven feet, and many a hooked nail For all the world, if I should judge, I should reckon him his brother. Look, even what face Friar Bush had, the devil had such another! 70 GAMMER GURTON'S NEEDLE GAMMER Now, Gogamercy, Hodge! Did Diccon bring him in HODGE Nay, Gammer, hear me speak; I'll tell you a greater thing. The devil, when Diccon bade him-I heard him wondrous well-- Said plainly here before us that Damie Chatte had your needle. GANIMER Then let us go and ask her wherefore she means to keep it; Seeing we know so much, 'twere a madness now to sleep it. HODGF. Go to her, Gammer, see ye not where she sits indoors Bid her give you the needle-'tis none of hers, but yours! (Gammergoes to Damne Chatte's. Hodgefollo.ws.) GANTM E R (Calling.) Dame Chatte, I would pray thee fair, let me have what is mine! I have not this twenty years taken one breath that is thine. Therefore give me mine own and let me live beside thee! CH A-rF (entering) Why hast thou crept from home hither to mine own doors to chide me 7I PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIO\NS Hence, doting drab, avant, or I shall set thee further! Intendst thou and that knave me in my house to murder GAMM E R Tush, gape not so on me, woman! Shalt not vet eat me! Nor all the friends thou hast in this shall not intreat me! Mine own goods, I will have, and ask thee not bv leave. What woman! Poor folks must have rights, though the thing you aggrieve. CH ATTE Give thee thy rights and hang thee up with all thy beggar's broods! What, wilt thou make me a thief and say I stole thy goods GAM MNT E R I'll say nothing, I warrant thee, but that I can prove it well- Thou tookst my goods e'en from my door, I am able this to tell! CHATr E Did I, old witch, steal what was thine How should that thing be known GANINTE R I cannot tell; but up thou took it, as though it had been thine own. CHATTE Marry, fie on thee, thou old gib, with all my very heart! 72 GANI'MER GURTON'S NE1EDLE GAMM ER Nay, fie on thee, thou ramp, thou rig, with all that take thy part! CHATTE A vengeance on those lips that layeth such things to my charge! GA MM ER A vengeance A vengeance on those callet's hips whose conscience is so large! CHATTE Come here, dog! GAMM ER Come out, hog, and let mle have a right. CHATT E Thou arrant witch! GAMMER Thou bawdy witch, I'll make thee curse this night! CHAATTE You bag, you wallet! GANMM ER A cart for a callet! CHAATT E Why, thinkest thou thus to prevail I hold thee a groat I shall patch thy coat! GA MM ER Thou wilt as soon steal my pail! TIhou blab, thou (Irab, thou rake, thou jade, will not shame make thee bide! 73 PORTMVIANTEAU ADAPTATION S CHA T F. Thou scold, thou bold, thou rotten, thou glut- ton! I will no longer chide! But I will teach thee to keep home. GAMNMER Wilt thou, drunken beast (The;' clinch.) HODGE (dancing around) Stick to her, Gammer, take her by the head, I'll warrant vou this feast! Smite, I say, Gammer! Bite, I say, Gammer! I trow ye will be keen! Where be your nails Claw her jaw! Pummel her red face green! 'Od's bones, Gammer, hold up your head! CHATTE I trow, drab, I shall dress thee. (Chases Hodge.) Tarry, thou knave, I hold thee a groat; I shall make these hands bless thee! (.S Unites Ga niiner effectiveely.) Take thou this, old trot, for amends, and learn thy tongue well to tame, And sav thou met at this bickering, not thv fellow, Liut thy dame! (Cam inerfjalls doen.) jio[)(, E (keeping wmell out of reach) Where is the strong-armned drab I'll give her a horse's mark! Stand out o' my way, so that I'll kill none in the dark! 74 GAMNMER GURTON'S NEEDLE Up, Gammer, if ye be alive! I'll fight now for us both. Come not near me, thou scold-callet, to kill thee I were loath. CH ALE Art here again, thou hoddy-pike What, Doll, bring me out my slpit. HODGE (wit/h Gammer's stIff) I'll break thee with this, bv our father's soul, I'll conjure that foul spirit- (Doll brings spit to Cilatte, wh1o sweeps at Hodge.) Hold the door, Cocke! Keel) door, thou lazy boy! CHATS E Stand to it, thou dastard, for thine ears! teach thee with me to toy! I'll HODGE (threatening) 'Od's wounds, trot, I'll make thee avaunt! (Chatte concentrates attack on seat of Hodge's trousers, bringing him to earth.) HODGE (scrambling into tize hourse "on all-fours") Take heed, Cocke, pull in the latch! CHATTE I, faith, sir Loose-Breech, had ye tarried, Xye should have found your match! GAMMER (having risen unnoticed, attacks) Now, 'ware thy throat, varlet, you'll pay for all. (Dame Clhatte falls flat, face-dozni.) HODGE (from window) Well. said, Gammer, by my soul. (Gammer catches Ch'hatte bY the belt and beats her up and down.) 75 PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS Rouse her, souse her, bounce her, trounce her, pull out her throat whole! CHATTE (slowly rising on hands and knees with arched back) Camest behind me, thou withered witch When I get up on foot (Hodge, at window, hurls a cabbage with deadly accuracy, bringing Chatte to earth.) Thou'l1 pav for all, thou old tarlether, I'll teach thee what b'longs to it! (Gammer is so completely lost in admiration for Hodge that she is unpreparedfor Chatte's attack.) Take thou this to make up thy mouth till time thou come by more! (Gammer falls. Exit Dame Chatte.) HODGE (enteringfrom house) Up, Gammer, stand on your feet; where is the old bore Faith, would I had her by the face, I would crack her bawdy crown! GAMMER Ho, Hodge, Hodge, where was thy help, when the vixen had me down HODGE (attempts to lift Gammer through this speech) By the mass, Gammer, but for my staff, Chatte had gone nigh to spill you! I think the varlet had not cared-if I had not come-to kill you. But shall we lose our needle thus GAMM E R No, Hodge, I were loath to do so. 76 GAMMNIER GURTON 'S 'NEEDLE Thinkest thou I'll take that at her hand No, Hodge, I tell thee, no. (Hodge has practically succeeded in standing Gammer uip, but she deaims so vigorouslv size upsets them both.) HODGE I wish this fray were over and done, And our own needle at home. (Both are up noW.) Else 'twill be mv chance some one to kill, wherever it be, or whonm! GAMMER We have a parson, HJodge, thou knowest, a man esteemed wise, Master Doctor Rat, I'll send for him and ask him his advice. HODG E Yes, marry, Gaimmer, that I think best. WNill you now for him send The sooner Doctor Rat is here, the sooner we'll have an end. CANMMER He will shrive her for all this gear and give her penance straight, We'll have our needle, else Dame Chatte comes ne'er in heaven's gate! HODGE And hear, Gammer Diccon's devil, as I re- member well, Of cat, and Chatte and Doctor Rat a felonious tale did tell. 77 PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS G AMMEI ER I'll have him straight! Call out the boy; we'll make him take the pain. HODGE I hold you forty pounds that is the way your needle to get again! W5hat, Cocke, I say! Come out! WNhat the devil! Canst not hear COCKE (appearing) How now, Hodge How does, Gammer Is yet the weather clear (Enter Cocke) What would you have me do GAMM ER Come hither, Cocke, anon! Hence swift to Doctor Rat, hie thee that thou were gone! (Cocke starts off L.) And pray him come speak with me; I am not well at ease. Shalt find him at his chamber, or else at Mother Bee's! Else seek him at Hob Fylcher's shop, for as I heard it reported, There is the best ale in all the town, and now is most resorted. COCKE And shall I bring him with me, Gammer GAMMNI E R Yea, by-and-by, good Cocke. COCKE Shalt see that he'll be here anon, else crack me on the dock! (Exit Cocke below the Inn.) 78 GAMMI,\IEIR GURTON'S NEEDLE HODGE Now, Gammer, shall we two go in and tarry for his coming What the devil, woman Pluck up your heart, and leanve off all this glul-inillg! Though she were stronger at the first, as I think ye did find her, Yet there ye drest the drunken drab each time ye came behind her. GA MM ER Nay, nay, I am sure she'll not forget, for, set ending to beginning, And I doubt not but she will make small boast of herself winning. (They go toward Gammer's house.) TYB (enters, running) See, Gammer, Gammer, Gyb, our cat. I'm afraid that she's ailing! She's gasping there behind the door, as though her wind were failing. Now I doubt what Gyb should mean that she doth now so dote! HODGE (running of and getting cat and returning) Hold hither! I bet twenty pounds your needle is in her throat! Grab her, I say! Methinks I feel it. Dost prick your hand GANTMER I cannot feel it. HODGE (feeling from head to tail) No. I know there's not within this land 79 IPORTMVANNTEAU ADAPTATIONS A better cat than Gyb, betwixt the Thames and Tyne; She has so much wit in her head almost as I have in mine! TYB Faith, she has eaten something that will not easily down. I cannot tell whether she got it at home or abroad in the town. GAMMER Alas, I fear it be some crooked pin! And then farewell, Gyb; she's undone, and lost all save the skin. HODGE 'Tis your needle, woman, I say! 'Od's soul, give me a knife. And I'll have it out of her maw, or else I'll lose my life! GAMNIER What! Nay! Hodge, fie! Kill not our cat; 'tis all the cats we have now! HODGE By the mass, Dame Chatte has me so moved I care not what I kill now! Go to, then, Tvb, to this gear (giving /the cat to Tvb). Hold up her head and take her. I'll see what the devil is in her throat, [I'll take the pains to rake her! GANTNTER Rake a cat, Hodge What wouldst thou do HODM E What, thinkest that I am not able 8o GANIMMER GURTON'S NEEDLE Did not Tom Tankard rake his cow a-standing in the stable] (Enter Cocke, running; gets almost to House before turning.) GAMMER Soft, be content; let's hear what news Cocke brings from Master Rat. COCKE (breathlessly) Gammer, I asked the Master to come. GAMMNER And what said he, Cocke, to that COCKE A cup of ale was in his hand and a crab lay in the fire. He sent me forth and said he'd come trudging through the mire. I bet a penny he'll something say your needle to get again. GAMMER I am glad to hear so much, Cocke; and until he come, within. THE CURTAINS CLOSE ACT IV (Enter Doctor Rat below the Inn.) RAT A man were better twenty times be a watch- dog and bark Than here among such a sort be parish priest or clerk! PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS I had not sit the space to drink two pots of ale But Gammer Gurton's sorry boy was straight- way on my trail. And she was sick, and I must come, to do I know not what! If once her finger's end but ache, trudge! call for Doctor Rat! And when I come not at their call, I only thereby lose; For I am sure to lack thereby a tithe-pig or a goose. [I warrant you when truth is known, and they have told their tale. The matter whereabout I come is not worth a pot of ale. Yet must I talk so sage and smooth as though I were delighted, Else, or the year come to an end, I shall be surely blighted.] (He sees Gammer entering from house.) What! work ye, Gammer Gurcon Here's your friend the curate, Master Rat! GANINIER Oh, good Master Doctor, I have troubled you, I know well that! RAT How do you know, woman Be ye lusty or be ye not well at ease GANINIER By Gab, Master, I am not sick, but yet I have disease. 82 GAMMER GURTON'S NEEDLE RAT What is the matter GAMMER I've lost my needle! A drab came by and spied it. And, when I asked her for the same, the filth flatly denied it. RAT What was she that- GAMM ER She began to scold and brawl- Alas, alas! Come hither, Hodge! This wretch can tell you all. (Enter Hodge.) HODGE Good morrow, Gaffer Vicar! RAT Come on, fellow, let us hear. Thy dame hath said to me thou knowest of all this gear. HODGE My Gammer Gurton here, see now, Sat her down at this door, see now, And as she began to bestir her, see now Her needle fell on the floor, see now; Then came the queen, Dame Chatte, see now, To ask for her black cup, see now; And even here at this gate, see now, She took that needle up, see now. My Gammer then she said, see now, Her needle back to bring, see now, And Chatte beat Gammer's head, see now, 83 PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS Is not this a wondrous thing, see now WN'hen I saw this, I was wroth, see now, And started between the twain, see now; Else, I durst take an oath, see now, NIv Gammer had been slain, see now. GAN IMM E R Help, good Master, else shall we both be beaten and lose our needle too. RAT Tell me, that ere I be gone. What would ye have me to do Now be se sure Dame Chatte hath your good needle found GANTNI E R Here comes the man that saw her take it off the ground; Ask him yourself, Master Rat, if ye believe not me, And help me to my needle, for Gog's sake and Saint Charity. (Enter Diccon below the Inn.) RAT Come here, Diccon. Wilt thou swear Dame Chatte this woman's needle had DICCON Nay, by S. Benit, will I not; then might ye think me mad! GAMMER Why didst thou not tell me so for true Canst thou for shame deny it 84 GAMMIER GURTON'S NEEDLE DICCON Aye, marry, Gammer; bUt I said I'd al)ide not by it. RAT [Will you say a thing and not stick to it to try it DICCON "Stick to it," quoth you, Master Rat MIarry, sir, I defy it!] RAT Then we be never the nearer for all that you can tell! DICCON [Yes, marry, sir, will you do by my advice and council !] If mother Chatte see us all here she knoweth how the matter goes; Therefore I say you three go hence and within the house keep close, And I will into Dame Chatte's house and see the needle with these two eyes- Whoever says the contrary, I'll swear he lies. GAMNIMER Now, gentle Diccon, do so; and, good sir, let us trudge. RAT By the mass, I may not tarry long to be your judge. DICCON ['Tis but a little while, man. What! Take so much pain! If I hear no news of it, I'll come soon again.] 85 PORTMIANTEAU ADAPTATIONS HODGE Tarry so much, good Master Doctor, of your gentleness! RAT Then let us hie us inward; and, Diccon, speed thy business! (Exeunt into Gammer's house.) (Diccon approaches Dame Chatte's.) DI CCO N But, Mother Chatte, my gossip, talk first withal I must; For she must be chief captain to lay the Rat in the dust. (Enter Dame Chatte.) Good day, Dame Chatte, in faith, and well met in this place! CHATT E Good day, my friend Diccon. Whither walk ye this space DICCON E'en to you, Dame Chatte. Why's Hodge so offended CHATrE Oh, in faith, I would thou hadst seen-O Lord, I both upended! DICCON He swore by heaven and hell he would wreak his sorrow And leave you never a hen alive by eight of the clock to-morrow. CHATTE The knave as well dare hang himself. 86 GAMMER GURTON'S NEEDLE DICCON Behind VoUr furnace or lead Is there a hole where a crafty knave may creep in if he need CHATTE Yes, by the mass, a hole broke down in these two days. DICCON Hodge he intends this same night to slip in there-a-ways. CHATTE [O Gog, that I were sure of it! In faith, he should have his rmeed! DICCON Watch well, for the knave will be there as sure as is your creed.] CHATTE By Gog's bones when he cometh, now that I know the matter, He shall sure at the first skip to leap in scalding water- With a worse turn besides! When he will, let him come! DICCON I tell you as my sister. You know what meaneth "mum.!" (Exit Dame Chatte.) Now lack I but my doctor to play his part again. And lo, there he cometh, peradventure, to his pain. (Enter Doctor Rat.) 87 PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS RAT What good news, Diccon, fellow Is Mother Chatte at home DI CCO N' She is, sir, and she is not, but it please her to whom. [I have done that I have done, be it worse, be it better! And Dame Chatte at her wits end I have almost set her. RAT How so, I pray thee, Diccon DICCON' There she sat sewing a halter or a band, With no other thing save Gammer's needle in her hand. As soon as any knock, if the filth be in doubt, She needs but one puff and her candle is out. Now I, sir, knowing of every door the pin, Came nicely, and said no word till time I was within; And then-saw the needle, even with these two eyes; Whoever says the contrary, I will swear he lies.] RAT Do you bring me to a place, as the house stands- DICCON Where ye shall take the drab with the needle in her hands 88 GAMMER GURTON'S NEEDLE RAT For Gog's sake, do so, Diccon, and I will 'gage my gown To give thee a full pot of the best ale in the town! DICCON See ye not what is here-a hole wherein ye may creep- Into the house, and suddenly unawares among them leap. RAT Art thou sure, Diccon, the swill-tub stands not hereabout DICCON I was within myself, man, even now. There is no doubt. Go softly, make no noise, give me your foot, Sir John! Here will I wait upon you till you come out anon. (Doctor Rat climbs into the house.) (Cries off-stage.) RAT Help, Diccon! out, alas! DICCON How, my wenches! Have ye caught the fox That used to make revel among your hens and cocks (Exit Diccon.) (Hodge comes from Gammer's house, hears the yells from the Inn, and runs back.) (Doctor Rat comes out in disarray.) 89 PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS RAT WRoe worth the hour that I came here! And woe worth him that wrought this gear! [WVhoever it wrought and first did invent it, He shall, I warrant him, ere long repent it!] Master Bavlve, I trow, and he be worth his ears, W\ill snaffle these murderers and all that them bears. I will surely neither bite nor sup Till I fetch him hither, this matter to take up. (He exits below the Inn.) THE CURTAINS CLOSE ACT V (Stools are arranged in a semicircle between the two houses. Master Bay/ye, Doctor Rat, and Scapethrift are seated.) BAYLYE (center) I can perceive none other. I speak it from my hear t But either ye are in all the fault or else in the greatest part. RAT (L. center) Must it be counted his fault, beside all his griefs, WXhen a poor man is spoiled and beaten among thiefs BAYLYE And methinks, by your own tale, of all that ye name, 9g GAMNIMIER GURTON'S NEEDLE If any played the thief, LThe women they did make probation, But stoutly withstood If that a thief at your begin, Would you hold forth pull him in RAT But I am no thief, sir, clerk. BAYLYE Yea, but who knoweth that, in the dark RAT [Is not this evil enough, to the brain (Showing his broken head.) BAYLYE Might it not have been your 'ave been slain] RAT Now, will you be so good, sir, Dame Chatte, And know what she intended but that. you were the very same. nothing, as your words your forcible invasion.] window to enter should Vour hand and help to but an honest learned when he meets you have a clout upon luck with a spit to as to talk with I ask no more BAYLYE (going to Scapethri[t.) Let her be called, fellow. (Exit Scapethrift into the Inn.) She'll plead in metre or in prose, 9' PORTMIANTEAU ADAPTATIONS And bid you seek your remedy; and so go wipe your nose! (Enter Ciaztte from the Inn, followed bY Scape- thriJt.) BAYLYE Dame Chatte, Master Doctor said you showed him much misorder, Laying to your charge that you tried him to murder; To hear you answer hereto we have now for you sent. CHATT E I'll swear he's a liar, by word and intent. For this seven weeks with me, I am sure, he sat not down. Nay, ye have other missions, in the other end of the town, Where ve were liker to catch such a blow Than anywhere else, as far as I know! BAYLYE Belike then, Master Doctor, no stripe from her ye got! RAT Think you I am so mad that where I was beat I know not [Will you believe this queen before you have tried it It's not the first deed she hath done and after- ward denied it.] CHATTE What, man, will you say I broke your head 92 GAMM.\IER GURTON'S NEEDLE RAT How canst thou prove the contrary CHATT E Nay, how provest thou that I did the deed RAT Too plainly, by St. Mary! This proof, I trow, may serve though I no word spoke! (Showing his broken head.) CHATTE Because thy head is broken, was it I that it broke I saw thee, Rat, I tell thee, not once within this fortnight. RAT No, marry, thou sawest me not, but because thou hadst no light. BAYLYE Answer me this, Master Rat: When caught you this harm of yours RAT Awhile ago, sir, Gog he knoweth, within less than these two hours. BAYLYE Dame Chatte, was there none with you-con- fess, in faith-about that season [What, woman! Let it be what it will, 'tis neither felony nor treason.] CHATTE Yes, by my faith, Master Baylye, there was a l'nave not far 93 PORTNIANTEAU ADAPTATIONS Who caught one good filip on the brow with a door-bar- And well was he worthy, as it seemed to me; But what is that to this man, since this was not he BAYLYE Who was it, then Let's hear! RAT Alas! sir, ask you that Is it not plain enough by the own mouth of Dame Chatte The time agreeth, my head is broken, her tongue does not lie; Only upon a bare nay, she saith it was not I. CHATTE No, marry, was it not indeed; ye shall hear by this one thing: This afternoon a friend of mine for goodwill gave me a warning. And bade me well look to my roost and all my capon pens, For, if I took not better heed, a knave would have my hens; [Then I, to save my goods, took so much pains as him to watch, And, as good fortune served me, it was my chance him for to catch. What strokes he bore away, or what other his gains, I know not, but sure I am he had something for his pains!] 94 GAMMNI E R GURTON'S NEEDLE BAYLYE But knowest thou not his name CHATTE I know it, but what then It was that crafty scullion, Hodge, my Gammer Gurton's man. BAYLYE Call me the knave hither; he shall sure kiss the stocks- I shall teach him a lesson for filching hens or cocks! (Exit Scapet/zrift into Garniner's house.) RAT I marvel, 1\Iaster Baylye, so bleared be your eyes; An egg is not so full of meat as she is full of lies. CHATTE (chasing Rat around to R.) Was Hodge not there Look on his pate, that shall be his witness! RAT (right) I would my head were half so whole, I would seek no redress! (Enter Gammer Gurton.) BAYLYE God bless you, Gammer Gurton. GAIMM ER God 'ild you, master mine! BAYLYE Thou hast a knave within thv house-Hodge, a servant of thine. They tell me that busy knave is such a filching one 95 IPORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS That hen, pig, goods, or capon thy neighbor can have none. GAMMN E R Bv Goa, I am much amazed to hear any such report! Hodge was not wont, I trow, to have him in that sort. CHATTE A thieving knave is not alive, more filching nor more false; MNany a truer man than he has hanged up by the halse! [And thou, his dame, of all his theft thou art the sole receiver, For Hodge to catch and thou to keep, I know, thou base deceiver.] GAMNMER [Sir reverence of your masterdom, if you could hear me not I would be so bold, for all her brags, to call her arrant trot.] If I knew Hodge as base as thou, I wish me endless sorrow If I took not the pains to hang him up before to-morrow! CHATT E What have I stolen from thee or thine, thou ill-favored old trot GA MM ER A good deal more, by Gog's blest, than ever by thee got! 96 GAMMER GURTON'S NEEDLE BAYLYE How chance Hodge is not here Him would I fain have had! GAMWNMER Alas, sir, he'll be here anon; he be handled too bad! CHATTE [Master Baylye, sir, ye be not such a fool, well I know, But ye perceive by this lingering there is a pod in the straw.] (Thinking that Hodge's head was broken, and that Gammer would not let him come before them.) Ah! GA MM E R But I'll show you his face, I warrant thee.-Lo, now where he is! (Enter Hodge, wearing his torn breeches, and covering the rent with his hands.) BAYLYE Come on, fellow! It is told me thou art a fox, I wis. HODGE I defy them all that dare it say; I am as true as the best! BAYLYE Were not thou taken within this hour in Dame Chatte's hens' nest HODGE Taken there No, master, I would not do't for a houseful of gold! 7 97 PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATION'S CHATTE Thou or the devil in thy coat, swear this I dare be bold. RAT Swear me no swearing, queen, the devil he give thee sorrow! All is not worth a gnat thou canst swear till to-morrow. Where is the harm lie hath Show it, by 'Od's bread! Ye beat him, with a witness; but the stripes light on m X head ! HODGE Beat me 'Od's blessed body, I would first, I trow, have pushed thee And had my hands both been loose, callet, I should have crushed thee! CHATTE Thou arrant knave, I trow thou knowest the full weight of my fist; I am foully deceived unless thy head and my door-bar kissed. HODGE Hold thy chat, drab, thou criest so loud can no man else be heard. CHA'TTE Well, knave, had I thee alone, I would surely rap thy costard. BAYLYE Sir, answer me this: Is thy head whole or broken 98 GAMMER (GURTON'S NEEDLE CHATTE Yea, Master Baylye, blest be every good token! BAYLYE Come nearer here! HODGE (going to Bavyle and kneeling) Yea, that I dare. BAY LYE By our Lady, here is no harm. Hodge's head is whole enough, for all Dame Chatte's charm. CHATTE (after feeling Hodge's head) [By Gog's blest, however the thing he cloaks or smoulders, I know the blows he bore away either with head or shoulders.] Camest thou not, knave, within this hour creep- ing into my pens, And there was caught within my house groping among my hens HODGE Give my Gammer again her washical thou stole away in thy lap! GAMMER Yea, Master Baylye, here is a thing you know not of, mayhap. This drab she keeps away my goods. The devil he might her snare! I pray you that I might have a right action on her. 99 PORTMiAN TEAU ADAPTATIONS BAYLYE Why, what can se charge her withal so se do not well. To say GAINMNT E R Marry, a vengeance to her heart, the trot has stolen my needle! CHATTE (crescendo) Thy needle, old witch How so It were alms thy skull to knock! So didst thou say the other day that I had stolen thy cock. [And roasted him for my breakfast,-which shall not be forgotten, The devil pull out thy lying tongue and teeth that be so rotten!] GAONMMER (shouting) Give me my needle! BAYLYE (v ells "Silence!" stopping them.) Silence! How knowest thou, Gammer, Dame Chatte thy needle had (Chatte brings stool to front, sitting with her back to the lot of them.) GAMMER To name you, sir, the party, I should not be very glad. BAYLYE [Yea, but we must needs hear it, and therefore say it boldly. GAMMER Such one as told the tale full soberly and coldly] Diccon, NIaster, the bedlam, I am very sure ye know him. I00 GAMNIMER GURTON'S NEEDLE B AYL Y E A false knave, by 'Od's pity! Ye were but a fool to trow him. Told he not you that -she stole your cock that tide GA MM ER No, master, no indeed; for then he should have lied! CHATTE Thy wench Tyb said thy cock was stolen, and in my house was eaten. That lying cat, alas that she is not swinged and beaten, [And yet for all my good name, it were a small amends! I pick not this gear, hearest thou, out of my fingers' ends;] But he that heard it, told me, whom thou of late didst name,- Diccon, whom all men know,-it was the very same. BAYLYE This is the case: You lost vour needle about the doors, And she answers again she has no cock of yours; WNill you say she hath your cock GAMNTMER No, marry, sir, that I'll not! BAYLYE Will you confess her needle i0I PORTM\ANTEAU ADAPTATIONS CHATTE (picking up stool aggressively) Will I No, sir, will I not! (Swings stool around and the others topple over, but Chatte only sits.) BAYLYE (onfloor) Then there lieth all the matter- CANMNTER Soft, master, by the way! Ye know she would do little, and she could not say nay. BAYLYE (sitting again) [Yea, but he that made one lie about your cock stealing Will not stick to make another, when lies be in dealing,] I ween the end will prove this brawl did first arise Upon no other ground but only Diccon's lies. CHATTE Thouah some be lies, as you belike have spied them, Yet other some be true; by the proof I have well tried them. He told me Hodge would come, and in Hodge came indeed; But, as the matter chanced, with greater haste than speed- This truth was said, and true was found, as truly I report. BAYLYE If Doctor Rat be not deceived, it was of an- other sort. 102 GAMMER GURTON'S -NEEDLE RATI' Did not Diccon appoint the place where thou shouldst stand to meet him CHATTE Yes, by the rnass, and, if he came, bade me not stick to spit him. RAT He is the cause of all this brawl, the dirty, lying lout! He said you had the needle, as I could well find out, [And set me through the back-hole creeping upon my knees, And I found the weight of your door-bar for my reward and fees.], 13AY LYE Sir knave, make haste, liccon were here; fetch him wherever he be! (Exit Scapethrift below Gammer's house.) CHAT`TE Fie on the villain! Fie! fie! That makes US then agree. GAMMER Fie on him, knave, with all my heart! Now fie! and fie again! RAT Now "fie on him," may I best say, whom he hath almost slain. 1 If this cut is used reverse the first two lines of the s pe ch. 103 PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS BAYLYE Lo, where he cometh at hand; belike he was not far! (Enter Diccon.) Diccon, here be two or three thy company cannot spare. DICCO.N (just escaping Hodge's kick by leaping to L.) God bless you, and you may be blest, so many all at once! CHATTE [Come, knave, it were good to beat thee, by cock's bones. Seest not thy handiwork Sir Rat, can ye forbear him DICCO N A vengeance on those hands light! For my hands came not near him.] BAYLYE Hast thou not made a lie or two to set these two by the ears DICCON What if I have Five hundred such have I seen within these seven years. [I am sorry for nothing else but that I saw not the sport Which was between them when they met, as they themselves report.] RAT [In the king's name, Master Baylye, I charge you set him fast! I04 GA.NIMER GURTON'S NEEDLE DICCON What, fast at cards, or fast asleep It is the thing that I did last. RAT Nay, fast in fetters, false varlet, according to thy deeds. BAY LYE Master doctor, there is no remedy; I must in- treat your needs Some other kind of punishment.] RA I Master Baylye, I charge you [nay,] by all hallows! His punishment, if I may judge shall be naught else but the gallows. BAYLYE I grant him worthy punishment, but in no wise so great. GAMMER It is a shame, [ tell yoLI plain, with such false knaves to treat! He has almost undone us all-that is as true as steel. And yet for all this great ado, I am never the nearer my needle! BAYLYE Canst thou not say anything to that, Diccon, with least or most DICCON Yea, marry, sir, this much I can say! Well, the needle is-lost. (Chatte swings at Diccon, who dodges and Baylye gets clipped instead.) 105 PORTMAINTEAU ADAPTATIONS BAY LYE Nay, canst not thou tell which way that needle may be found DICCON No, by my fay, sir, though I might have an hundred pound. BAYLYE Well, Master Rat, you must both learn, and teach us, to forgive, Since Diccon hath confession made and is so cleanly shrive If ye to me consent, to amend this heavy chance, I will ensign him here some open kind of penance,- [On this condition: Where ye know my fee is twenty pence; For the bloodshed, I am agreed with you here to dispense], Ye shall go quite, so that ye grant the matter now to run To end with mirth among us all, even as it was begun. CHATTE Say yea, Master Vicar. RAT My part is the worse; but since votu all agree, Go even to, Master Baylye-let it be so for me! BAYLYE How sayest thou, Diccon, art content this shall on me depend i o6 (JGAMMR GURTON'S NEEDLE DICCON Go to, Master Baylye. Say on your mind. I know ye are my friend. BAYLYE [Then mark ye well: to recompense this thy former action, Because thou hast offended all, to make them satisfaction,] Before their faces here kneel down, and as I shall thee teach- For thou shalt take an oath on Hodge's leather breech: (Diccon kneels.) First, for Master Doctor, upon pain of his curse- Where he will pay for all, thou never draw thy purse (Diccon laughs.) And, when ye meet at one pot, he shall have first pull, And thou shalt never offer him the cup but it be full. (Rat laughs gleeful/y.) To Goodwife Chatte, thou shalt be sworn, even in the same wise. If she refuse thy money once, never to offer it twice,- For Gammer Gurton's sake again, sworn shalt thou be To help her to her needle again, if it do lie in thee. 107 PORTMANTEAU ADAPLTATIONS Last of all, for Hodge, the oath to scan, Thou shalt never take him for fine gentleman. HODGE Come on, fellow Diccon, I shall be even with thee now! BAYLYE Thou wilt not stick to do this, Diccon, I trow DICCO-N No, by my father's skin, my hand down I lay it! Look, as I have promised, I will not deny it. (He gives Ilodge a blots on the seat of the torn breeches.) HODGE (tells) Gog's heart! BAYLYE What, Hodge, doth he hurt thee or ever he begin HO DC E He thrust me in the breeches with a bodkin or a pin! (He finds the needle.) I say, Gammer, Gammer! GAMMNER How now, Hodge, how now HODGE 'Od's malt, Gammer Gurton! GAM I N I E R Thou art mad, I trowv! HODGE [Will you see! The devil, Gammer! I o8 GAMMER GURTON'S NEEDLE GAINIMER The devil, son God bless us! HODGE I would I were hanged, Gammer! GAINIMER Marry, see ye might dress us.] HODGE I have it, by the mass, Gaminer. GAMNIER What Not my needle, Hodge HODGE Your needle, Gammer! Your needle! GAMMNIER No, fie, dost but dodge! HOD GE I have found your needle, Gammer, here in my hand be it! GAMINIER For all the loves on earth, Hodge, let me see it! HODGE I am sure of it, I warrant you, it goes no more astray. GANINMER Hodge, when I speak so fair, wilt still say me nay (Hodge gives her the ncedl/e.) 'Tis mine own dear needle, Hodge, truly I wot. HODGE Am I not a good son, Gammer Am I not 109 PORTM\ANTEAU ADAPTATIONS GANINIER (embracing Hodge) Gog's blessing light on thee, hast made me forever! HODGE I knew that I must find it else I would have had it never. CHATT E By my troth, Gossip Gurton, I am glad as though myself a good turn had. (Embracing Gammer.) BAY LYE And I, in faith, am happy to see it so come forth. RAT I rejoice so much at it as three needles' worth! DI CCO N' Gammer, say, "Gramercy, Diccon," for spring- ing of the game. GAMMER (patting him) Gramercy, Diccon, twenty times! 0 how glad lam. (She has an idea and begins to fumble in her petticoat.) I have but a halfpenny, as far as I know, (,Ill cluster around her.) And I'll not rest this night till I it bestow; If ever ye love me, let us go in and drink! BAYLYE (starting into the Inn, R., followed by Rat) I am content, if the rest think as I think. DICCON- (arm about Hodge) Soft, sirs, take us with you; the company shall be the more! I1IO GAMNIMER GURTON'S NEEDLE (Spanking Hodge, who leaps into the air.) As proud comes behind, they say, as any goes before! (XIl but Diccon go into tile Inn.) (Turning to the audience) But now, my good masters, since we must be gone And leave you behind us here all alone- Since at our last ending thus merry we be, For Gammer Gurton's needle sake, let us have a plaudity! (He goes into the Inn.) THE CURTAINS CLOSE I I I This page in the original text is blank. THE BIRTHDAY OF INFANTA (First performance in Binghamton, New York, No- vember 4, 1916; first time in New York City at the Princess Theatre, December II, 19I6.) A PAGE ............ ............ Edgar Stehli THE INFANTA OF SPAIN ................... ancy Winston The DUCHESS ON ALBUQUERQU I.......... Judith Lowry AN ATTENDANT ........................ Edmond Crenshaw THE FANTASTIC ........................ Gregory Kelly THE CHAMBERLAIN ......M....... . cKay Morris THE COUNT OF TIERRA NUt VA ........... Robert Cook Scenery designed by Frank J. Zimmerer. Costumes and proper- ties by Mrs. John WV. Alexander, exeCLte(i by the Arden Galleries. Music by Harry Gilbert. ''3 THE BIRTHDAY OF THE INFANTA (founded on Oscar Wil(e's Story) CHARACTERS THE INFANTA OF SPAIN THE DUCHESS OF ALBUQUERQUE THE COUNT OF TIERRA-NUEVA THE CHAMIBERLAIN THE FANTASTIC A MOORISH PACE ANOTHER PAGE The scene is the royal balcony) overlooking a garden. The time is the sixteenth century,. I "4 THE 13IRTHDAY OF THE INFANTA 'lct' opening of the curtains discloses a balconiy ocicrlooking a garden. The grim stone arch/ rames a brilliant sky. Gayflowers and afew white roses cover the railing. A bit of gaudy awVniing which can be lowered over the arch flutters in the breeze. Ait the right is a large mirror so draped that the dull, black hangings can be lowered to cover the mirror entirelv. The hangings are of velvet, powdered with suns and stars. jt the left similar hangings adorn a doorway. There are rich floor coverings and severalformal chairs. 4 moorish attendant in black and Yellow liverv enters and arranges the chairs, and stands at attention. The Infanta enters, followed by the Duchess of Albuquerque. The Infanta is dressed in gray brocade, very, very stiff and stately. She is small, with reddish hair and a settled air of self- possession and formality. Occasionallv her eves twinkle and her feet suggest her childishness, but she soon recovers herself under the watchful eve of the Camerera, and she never really forgets that she is the Infanta of Spain. The Infanta bows, if the slight inclination of her head can be called bowing, to the Moorish attendant. The Duchess also inclines her head and stands in the doorway. ''5 PORTMANTEAU ADAPTIATIONS INFANTA I would be alone. DUCHESS Your Highness- INFAN.STA I would be alone. (The Duchess turns in the doorwaY and speaks to those behind her) DUCHESS Her Highness would be alone. (Then to the Infanta) This is unheard of. IN FANTA My birthday is rare enough to be almost un- heard of, your Grace of Albuquerque. I would be alone on my birthday-and I'm going to be alone! (Then to the attendant) You may go! . . . But wait (She stands admiring/v before the mirror.) Hold back the curtain. (The attendant lifts the curtain.) (She preens herself.) Why do I not look so well in my own suite See how wonderful this is here. Look at the gold in my hair. DUCHESS That is vanity, your Highness. INFANTA Can I not admire myself on my birthday Have I so many birthdavs that I must liv e them as I live every other day THE BIRTHDAY OF THE INFANTA DUCHESS What is wickedness on other days is also wickedness on your birthday. INFANTA (Taking a white rose from the balustrade and trying it in her hair and at her waist.) See-see-I like it here. (The Duchess, outraged, speaks to the attendant.) DUCHESS You may go. INFANTA No, no-stay-draw the curtains across the mirror! DUCHESS What will your father say (The Infanta is quite beside her little self.) INFANTA Draw the curtains across the mirror and hide me from myself as those curtains hide my dead mother's room! DUCHESS Please- INFANTA I have spoken, your Grace. The curtains are to be drawn. We shall have no mirror to-day. (The attendant closes the curtain.) INFANTA You may go! (The attendant exits.) (The Infanta goes to the balustrade and looks into the gardens below.) I 17 PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS (The Duchess, quite at a loss Wv/2at to do, finally crosses to the Infanta.) DUCHESS Your Highness, I -am compelled to remonstrate with you. What will his Majesty, your father, say INFANTA My father will say nothing. He does not seem to care. DUCHESS Oh-Oh-Oh- INFANTA And my uncle wishes that I were dead. No one cares. I have to be a queen all the time, and I can never be a little girl like the little girl I saw in Valladolid. She just played . . . and no one corrected her every moment. DUCHESS You play with the finest dolls in the world. INFANTA But I do not have mud like hers! DUCHESS Mud! INFANTA I'd like to smear my face! DUCHESS Oh! INFANTA And I'd like to climb a tree! DUCHESS Oh, your Highness, you fill me with horror! You forget that you are the daughter of a king! i 18 THE BIRTHDAY OF THE INTFANTA I ad VA NTA Well, it's my birthday-and I'm tired of being a wooden lodV. (She seats herseyf most unmaiesticallv on the footstool.) DUCHESS Such wickedness! f shall have to call the Grand Inquisitor. There is a devil in you! INFA NTA Call him! I'll rumple my hair at him. DUCHEF. sS He'll forbid you to enjoy your birthday. INFANTA What is it for my birthday-the same old story. DUCHESS (mysteriously) Who knows INFANTA (not so surely) When I was ten, they had dancing in the garden, but I could not go amongst the little girls. They played and I looked on. DUCH ESS An Infanta of the house of Aragon must not play with children. INFANTA And when I was eleven they had dancing in the garden and a shaggy bear and some Barbary apes; but I could only sit here. I couldn't touch the bear, even when he smiled at me. And when one of the apes climbed to this balus- trade, you drew me away. I 19 IPORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS DUCHESS Such animals are very dangerous, your High- ness. INFANTA And here I am-twelve years old to-day-and still I must stay tip here like a prisoner. DUCHESS Your Highness is very ill-tempered to-day. IN FA NTA I do not care. I do not want to be an fnfanta. DUCHESS You are the daughter of Ferdinand, by grace of God, King of Spain! INFAN'TA Will mv father come to me to-day And will he smile DUCHESS This is all for you alone. I!NFANTAR Will not mv sad father then come to me to- dav And will he not smile DUCHESS He will see you after the surprise. INFANTA A surprise DUCHESS Yes, your Highness. I N FA NTA What is it DUCHESS I can not tell. I20 'A v: -a r- .T_ -i t) .5_ V- Ol. -i :j This page in the original text is blank. THE BIRTIHDAY OF THE INFANTA I N FANTA If I guess DUCHESS Perhaps. INFANTA It's hobby horses! DUCHESS No. (They almostforget their royaltv.) INFANTA It's an African juggler with two green and gold snakes in a red basket. DUCHESS No. INFANTA In a blue basket DUCHESS No. IN FANTA (ecstatically) Three snakes DUCHESS Not at all. INFANTA (dully) Is it a sermon by the Grand Inquisitor DUCHESS No. INFANTA (with new hope) Is it a troupe of Egyptians with tambourines and zithers DUCHESS No. I21 PORT"MANTEAU ADAPTATIONS IN FANTA Is it something I've never seen before DUCHESS Never in the palace. INFANTA (screaming) It's a fantastic! DUCHESS Who knows INFANTA Oh, it's a fantastic. It's a fantastic! (She dances about.) DUCHESS Your Highness forgets herself. INFANTA It's a fantastic! It's a fantastic! (She suddenlv regains her poise.) Where is my cousin, the Count of Tierra- Nueva I shall tell him that I am to be enter- tained on my birthday by a fantastic. And I shall let him come here to see it. (The Moorish attendant steps inside the door and holds the curtain aside.) INFANTA Your Grace, inform the Chamberlain that I shall have the fantastic dance for me in mv balcony. The sun in the garden hurts my eyes. Besides, I want to touch his back. (She goes out, eviery inch a queen.) DUCHESS She has guessed. Tell the Chamberlain to send the fantastic here. 1 2 2 THE BIRTHDAY OF THE INFANTA ATlElENDANT The fantastic is waiting in the ante-chambner, your Grace. (The Duchess exits (after the Infanta.) (The Attendant crosses to ante-chamber.) ATTENDANTr Her Grace, the Duchess of Albuquerque, bids you enter. Inform the Chamberlain that her Highness, the Infanta, is ready for the dance. ( The Fantastic and ain zIttendant enter. Th e Fantastic is a hunch-back, zwith a huge inane of black hair and a bright face that shows no trace of beaut-v, but great light and wonder.) (Thze Fantastic looks about the balcony. It is all so strange to him. As he goes about touching the things in the place the Attendant follows him closely, watching him with eagle eves. As the bov nears the mirror and laws his hand upon the black velvet hangings the Attendant steps in front of him and prevents his opening the curtains. The little bov then sits-a very small, misshapen little creature-on the steps of the balcony. (The Chamberlain enters. He is a middle-aged man, with some tenderness left in his somewhat immobile face, and when he addresses the little bov there is a note of pathos that is almost in- definable.) CHAMTBERLAIN Little grotesque, you are to see the King's daughter! FANTASTIC (almost overcome) Where is she 123 1)O l R IMAN TEA U ADAPTATIONS CHf A.\IBERLA IN Come now, you must not be afraid. F A NTASTI C I have never seen a king's daughter. CHAMBERLAIN You must smile. FANTASTIC Is she very big-and all bright and shiny CHAMBERLAIN Smile! You did not have such a long face yes- terday. That is why we bought you. FANTASTIC Will she smile upon me CHAMBERLAIN You must make her smile. FANTASTIC Will she beat me if I do not make her smile CHAMBERLAIN; You shall be beaten if you displease her. This is her Highness's birthdayx. And you are to dance for her to make her happy. FANTASTIC I have never danced for a king's daughter before. CHA.MBERLAIN You must dance bravely before her as you danced when we found you in the woods yes- terday. FANTASTIC I am afraid of the king's daughter. I24 THE BIRTHDAY 01 THE INFANTA CHANIBERLAIN We cannot have fear on the Infanta's birthday. We must have happincss. FANTASTIC I wish my father had not sold me. CHAMBERLAIN Your father was very poor, and he wanted you to make the Infanta happy. FANrTASTIC My father did not care for me. CHAMBERLAIN YoU shall make the Infanta happy. FANTAS I IC If you had a son wouLld youL sell him CHAMBERLAIN You were sold to the Infanta. FANTASTIC Have you a son CHAMBERLAIN No. FANTASTIC IMy father had seven sons. C HA ABI R ERLAIN I had a little boy once. FA NTA STIC And did you sell him CHANTI B ERLAIN No. He went away. . FANTASTIC He died. Could he make the Infanta smile CHANIBER LAIN I think he could. 1 25 PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS FANTASTIC Did he dance for her CHAMBERLAIN No, he rode a hobby-horse in the mock bull fight. FANTASTIC What is a hobby-horse CHAMBERLAIN A hobby-horse is a make-believe horse-like the stick that you ride through the woods. FA ANT ASTIC Oh, can't I ride a hobby-horse in a bull fight CHAMBERLAIN Some time. . . . If you make the Infanta happy on her birthday I'll give you a hobby- horse. FA ANTA STIC Can I ride it to-day-for her, CHAMBERLAIN No. You'll have to dance for her. FANTASTIC Is she terrible CHA.MBERLAIN -Not if you are good. FANTASTIC I think-I'm afraid. CH AMB FRLAIN Afraid You were not afraid of the woods. FANTASTIC They would not hurt me. I did not have to make them smile. I 26 THE BIRTHDAY OF THE INFANTA CHAMBERLAIN What will you do when you see the Infanta FANTrASIIC I don't know. That man who dressed me up said I must smile and bow. My smile was very funny, he said, and mni bow was funnier. I diln't try to be futnny. CHAMBE3ERLAIN Some boys are funny even when they don't try to be. FANTASTIC I don't feel funny. I just feel happy, and when I am happy people laugh. . . . Did she smile upon your son when he rode the hobby- horse CHAMBERLAIN She threw a rose to him. FANTASTIC Do you think she'll throw a rose to me I like roses.... Am I like your son CHAMBERLAIN My son was tall. FANTASTIC I would be tall and strong, too; but I broke my back, and my brothers say I am very crooked. I do not know. . . . I am not as strong as they are, but I can dance and some- times I sing, too. . . . I make up my songs as I go along. And they are good songs, too, I know, because I've heard them. CHAMBERLAIN How did you hear them, Senor Merry-Face 127 PORTMAN TEAU ADAPTATIONS FANTASTIC Someone sang them back to me. CHAMBERLAIN A little girl, perhaps FANTASTIC Someone. ... When I sang in the valley she would mock me. CHAMBERLAIN Who was it . . . Tell me. FANTASTIC It was Echo. CHAMBERLAIN Echo And does she live near your house FANTASTIC She lives in the hills-and sometimes she used to come into the woods when it was very still. CHAMBERLAIN Did you ever see Echo FANTASTIC No. You can't see her. . . . You can onlv hear her. CHAMBERLAIN Would you like to see her FANTASTIC I always wonder if Echo might not mock my face as she mocks my voice CHAMBERLAIN Who knows FANTASTIC I go into the hills and I sing a song and then Echo sings back to me-just as I sing. . . I 2 8 THE BIRTHDAY OF THE INFANTA But when I go into the woods Echo doesn't stand in front of me- just as I look. CHAMBERLAIN Haven't you ever seen yourself FANTASTIC No, but I would like to. I always make people happy when they look at me. They always laugh. Would I laugh if Echo mocked mv face CHAMBERLAIN I do not know. FANTASTIC Am I really happy looking CHAMBERLAIN You are a fantastic. FANTASTIC That sounds happy. CHAMBERLAIN I hope it always will be. FANTASTIC Have you ever seen yourself CHAMBERLAIN Yes. FANTASTIC Did your son see himself CHAMBERLAIN Yes. FANTASTIC Where CHAMBERLAIN In a mirror. FANTASTIC Is that Echo's other name a 129 PORTMIAN TEAU ADAPTATIONS CHAMBERLAIN Yes. FANTASTIC Can I see myself sometime CHAMBERLAIN Yes. FANTASTIC I'll sing, too. (The Attendant enters.) ATT ENDANT Her Royal Highness, the Infanta of Spain! (The Fantastic is verY much frightened.) CH ANIB ERLAIN Go behind the door there. . . . Wait. Be brave. . . . Smile. ... And do not speak until you are asked to. (The Infanta enters sedatelV, followed bv the Duchess and the Count of Tierra-Nueva, an un- pleasant-looking boy of sixteen.) (The Chamberlain bows /ery low and kisses the Infanta's stiffly proffered hland.) INFANTA (regally) My lord Chamberlain, this is our royal birthday, and in accord with the wish of our father, the King of Spain, we are to be entertained with some mirthful sport (Suddenly a little girl.) -and I know what it is. It's a fantastic. CHAMBERLAIN Your Highness, it is the pleasure of the Cham- berlain to His Majesty, your father, the King of Spain, to offer my felicitations this day on which God has deigned to send happiness and good 130 THE BIRTHDAY OF THE INTFANTA fortune to Spain in your royal person. His Majesty the King through me desired to sur- prise you with mirth this day. INFANTA Is our royal father well And does he smile to-day CHAMBERLAIN His Majesty does not smile, your Highness. He cannot smile in his great grief. INFANTA Let the surprise be brought to us. But I guessed what it was! . . . It must be very ugly and very crooked and very, very funny to look at-or we shall be highly displeased. (,She settles into her royal place and takes on a manner.) (The Fantastic, having been summoned by the page, barely enters the door.) (The Infanta, looking royally straight before her, does not turn her head.) (ilfter a moment.) INFANTA Well CHAMBERLAIN Here is the surprise, your Highness. (The Fantastic is the picture of grotesque misery. Ile looks first at the Chamberlain and then at the Infanta. Finally she turns to him, and he tries a timid smile a.:d an awkward bow.) (The Infanta claps her little hands and laughs in sheer delight.) (The Fantastic looks desperately at the C'ham- berlain.) l 31 PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS INFANTA Go on.. . . Isn't he funny! CHA.NIBERLAIN (to Fantastic) Bow again and then begin to dance. FANTASTIC (jo xVfull') She is only a little girl, and I've made her happy! CHAMBERLAIN WNNhat will you dance, Seior Merry-Face FANTASTIC I'll dance the one I made up and no one en r saw or heard it except Echo. It's the dance of the autumn leaf. I'll show you what the autumn leaves do and I'll tell you what they say. INFANTA How do you know, you comic little beast FANTASTIC I know because I live in the woods, up in the hills, and I dance with the leaves-and I have two pet wood-pigeons. INFANTA Where is the music FANTASTIC I sing-it's happier that way. INFANTA Dance! Dance! (The Fantastic bows in an absurd/v grotesque way-his idea of stateliness and grace.) INFANTA I've never seen such a monstrous fantastic. I32 THE BIRTHDAY OF TIlE INFANTA CO U NT We must touch his back before he goes-for good luck. (The Fantastic begins to sing and dance The Song of the Autumn Leaf.) FANTASTIC (singing) All summer long I cling to the tree, Merrily, merrily! The winds play and play, But I cling to the tree, Merrily, merrily! The summer sun Is hot and gold, Cheerily, cheerily. But I hang on In the August heat, Wearily, wearily! I am not free, For I have to hang Wearily, wearily! Until autumn frosts Release my grasp, Cheerily, cheerily! Then I'm free, All crumpled and brown Merrily, merrily! I roll and I blow Up and around, Merrily, merrily! All crumpled and brown In my autumn coat, '33 PORTMAN'TEAU ADAPTATIONS I dance in the wind, I hide in the rain, Dancing and blowing And waiting for winter, Cheerily, cheerily, Merrily, merrily, Wearily, wearily. (He falls like a dead leaf onto the floor.) (The Infanta is delighted.) I N FAN TA I'm going to throw him a rose! DUCHESS Your Highness! INFANTA See-like the court ladies to Caffarelli, the treble. (The Fantastic has risen and bowed in his gro- tesqute wa x.) (The Infanta tosses the rose to him.) (He takes it up and, bowing absurdly, presses it to his lips.) DUCHESS (who has never smiled) Your Highness, you must prepare for your birth- day feast. INFAN-TA Oh, let him dance again! The same dance! DUCHESS Think of the birthday feast, your Highness. Your father, the King of Spain; your uncle, the Grand Inquisitor; the noble children. INFANTA Once more! '34 THE BIRTHDAY OF THE INFANTA DUCHESS YoUr Highness, you must see the huge birth- day cake with your initials on it in painted sUgar-and a silver flag. IN FANTA Very well. He can dance again after my siesta. My cousin, I trust that you will see the next dance. COU NT I'll ride a hobby-horse and he'll be the bull. It will be very funny with such a funny bull. (fle kisses her hand and exits the opposite zwa.) ('IT/he Infanta,followed by the Duchess, exits, and as she goes she looks once more at the Fantastic and breaks into a laulgh.) (The Fantastic is delighted and stands looking.. after her.) CHAMBERLAIN Come! FANTASTIC (putting out his hand) I think she liked me. CHA MBERLAIN The Infanta of Spain is the (laughter of the King of Spain. You have made her smile. Come! (They go out.) (The Alttendant crosses and closes the awning. He draws the curtains from the mirror and preens himself a bit, looking now and then until he disappears.) (A4 sunbeam coming through the fluttering awninlg, 13; PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS strikes the mirror, and reflects onto the tesselated floor.) (There is a short intermezzo. Far-a-way harps and violins echo the Fantastic's little song.) (The Fantastic enters furtively, looking about. He takes the rose from his bosom.) FANTASTIC I think I'll ask her to come away with me when I've finished my dance. (He crosses to her door and listens. Then smiles and skips a step or two. He sees the sunbeam through the awning and goes to it. He again takes the rose from his coat and holds it in the sunlight. Again he dances to the door and listens, then he turns facing the mirror for the first time. He breaks into a smile, but first hides the rose hastily. He waves his hand.) FANTASTIC Good morrow! . . . You are very funny! . . . You are very crooked! . . . Don't look that way! . . . Why do you frown at me . . . Can't you talk . . . You only move your lips. ... Oh, you funny little boy! (He puts his hands on his sides and breaks into a great laugh.) FANTASTIC If you could see yourself, you'd laugh -still more. (He makes a mocking bow and breaks into shouts. He plays before the mirror. The mockery is too clever.) 136 The Duchess of Albuquerque 00 .", '77-7!-. This page in the original text is blank. IMHE BIRTHDAY OF THE INFANT A FANTASTIC You nmock me, you little beast! . . . Stop it! Speak to me. . . . You make me afraid. . . . Like night in the forest. (He has never known anything like this. He is in turn enraged, terrified.) (He runs forward and puts out his hand. He rubs his hand over the face of the mirror and the cold, hard surface mystifies him. He brushes the hairfrom his eyes. He makes faces. He re- treats. He looks about the room. He sees every- tiing repeated in the mirror-the awning, the clairs, the sunbeam on thefloor.) FANTASTIC (calling) Echo! (He strains for an answer. He hides behind a chair. Ie makes a plan.) FANTASTIC I know, miserable little monster. You shan't mock me. (He takes the rose from his coat.) FANTASTIC She gave me this rose. It is the only one in the world. . . . She gave it to me-to me. (He emerges from behind the chair and holds out the rose. IXWith a dry sob he shrinks away and, fascinated, stares at the mirror. He compares the rose, petal by petal, terror and rage rising in him. He kisses it and presses it to his heart. Suddenly he rushes to the mirror with a cry. He touches the glass again, then with a cry of despair he hurls himself sobbing on the floor. Once more '37 PORTMIANTEAU ADAPTATIONS he looks upon the picture and then, covering his face Keith his hands, lie crawls awab like a wounded animal lies moaning in the shadow and beating the ground w ith his impotent hands.) (The Infanta enters, followed by the Count. At the sight of the Fantastic the Infanta stops and breaks into a laugh.) INFANTA His dancing was funny, but his acting is funnier still. Indeed he is almost as good as the pup- pets. (His sobs grow fainter and fainter. He drags himself toward the door, trying to hide his face. Then with a sudden gasp he clutches his side and falls back across the step and lies quite still.) (The Infanta waits a moment.) INFANTA That is capital; it would make even my father, the King of Spain, smile. . . . But now you must dance for me: Cheerily, cheerily! Merrily, merrily! Wearily, wearily! CO U NT Yes, you must get up and dance and then we'll have a bull fight and I'll kill you. (The Fantastic does not answer.) INFANTA (stamping her foot) My funny little fantastic is sulking. You must wake him up and tell him to dance for me. couN r You must dance, little monster, you must dance. 1 38 THE BIRTHDAY OF THE INFANTA The Infanta of Spain and the Indies wishes to be amused. (Then to a page) A whipping master should be sent for. (The page goes out.) COUNT Let's touch his back (as the children touch his hump) and make a wish. INFANTA I wish he would dance. (Enter the Chamberlain and the Duchess.) DUCHESS Your Highness! INFANTA Make him dance or I shall have him flogged. (The Chamberlain rushes to the bodv. He kneels. Feels the heart-sees the sunbeamn and the exposed mirror-shrugs his shoulders-rises.) CHAMIBERLAIN Mi bella Princess, your funny little fantastic will never dance again. INFANTA (laughing) But why will he not dance again CHAMBERLAIN Because his heart is broken. INFANTA (thinks a moment, then frowns) For the future let those who come to play with me have no hearts. (She passes out, not deigning to look back, everv inch the queen-the disappointed, lonely, shut-in little queen.) (The others follow her properly according to rank; 139 I PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS but the Chamberlain, remembering a little boy who would ride hobby-horses no more in mock bull fights, returns and throws the Infanta's mantilla over the little zwarped body. It is a moment of glory. The Chamberlain again starts to follow his Mistress; but memory is stronger than etiquette. He goes to the Fantastic and takes up the little hand which clutches something pre- cious. He opens the fingers and finds the rose. He holds it out and lets the petals flutter to the floor. That is all.) THE CURTAINS CLOSE 140 SIR DJAVID \WEARS A CROWN MURAT THEATRE, INDIANAPOLIS, JUNE 24 THE FIRST PERFORMANCE OF SIR DAVID WEARS A CROWN A Play in One Act (A Sequel to Six WHO PASS WHILE THE LENTHIS BOIL) PROLOGUE TO THE PERFORNIANCE . fTnl Powers THE PROLOGUE........., Edwin Noel THE DEVICE-BEARER ......... .. James Morgan YOU-IN-THE-AUDIENCE ....... You and Others THE POPULATION . ... Aldrich Bowker THE SOLDIERY .................. John Wray THE MIME .OScar Davisson THE MILKIMAID .................. Helen Burch THE BLINDMAN .............W..... alter Vonnegut THE BALLAD-SINGER .Stuart Walker THE KING's TRUMPETER .Oakley Richey HIS MAJESTY, THE KING. George Somnes THE KIN-G'S ( OUN(ILLOR. Robert McGroarty THE KING'S GREAT AUNT ........ Elizabeth Patterson THE HEADSMAN .McKay Morris HER 'MAJESTY, THE QUEEN . Judith Lowry SIR D.AYID LITTLE-BOY .Robert Masters His MOTHER. Blanche Yurka Scenery designed by Stuart WValker and Oakley Richey. Cos- tumes by Frank J. Z;immerer and Wilmot Heitland. Properties by Frank J. Zimmerer. 142 SIR DAVID WEARS A CROWN A PLAY IN ONE ACT A SEQUEL TO SIX WHO PASS WHILE THE LENTILS BOIL AN OUTLINE OF SIX WHO PASS WHILE THE LENTILS BOIL While the Boy watches boiling lentilsfor his Mother, six people pass: The condemned Queen, whom he promises to hide until after the hour set for her decapitation; the Mime, who tempts him to leave his duty; the Milkmaid, who tells him of the reward offeredfor the Queen and makes him wish lie had not made a promise; the Blindman, who shows him why it is best to keep a promise; the Ballad Singer, who would rather wander all his life than break a promise, and the dreadful Headsman who, outwitted by the Boy, finds the Q2ueen too late. Her Majestyi gratefully knights Sir David Little-Boy and takes him in state to the King's castle. He is free to go, because by this time the lentils have boiled. He has done his duty and he has kept his promise. 143 CHARACTERS THE PROLOGUE THE DEVICE-BEARER YOU IN THE AUDIENCE THE POPULATION THE SOLDIERY THE MWINME THE MILKMAID THE BLINDMAN THE BALLAD-SINGER THE KING'S 1 RU.MPETER HIS MAJESTY, THE KING THE KING'S COUNCILLOR HER HIGHNESS, THE KING'S GREAT- AUNT THE HEADSMAN HER MAJESTY, THE QUEEN SIR DAVID LITTLE-BOY HIS MOTHER The scene is a gateway to the King's Castle. The time is when you will. '44 SIR DAVID WEARS A CROWN (The Prologue and the Device-Bearer enter.) PROLOGUE I am the Prologue. He is the Device-Bearer. I am here to tell you about the play that hides behind these curtains. He serves the simple purpose of balancing me as a decoration. (The Prologue claps his hands and the Device- Bearer sits at the side of the stage and henceforth is nothing more than a small part of the picture.) It is possible that something difficult may creep into this simple play. If there is anything you do not understand I shall be glad to explain it to you. You (in audience) While the play is going-on PROLOGUE Of course. YOU That will be disturbing. PROLOGUE Why If one must talk in the theater every- body ought to be allowed to hear. Now the interesting thing about this play is that it isn't true at all. It is all make-believe. Nobody in it ever was, and, unless you do your part, no one in it ever will be. YOU What can we do 10 '45 PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS PROLOGUE Believe. YOU I can't believe what isn't real. PROLOGUE Then make it real. . . . Here are the cur- tains. Ihey divide you and them. . . . You are real, perhaps, and they are make-believe, surely. When these curtains open will you come here, shall they Lo there, or will you, both you and they, forget everything except the play So, remove your hats, dear ladies, fix your hair once and for all. Clear your throats, you husky men, and cough now, for the play be- gins. Amongst Xyou there are some so V(oung, so eternally young, that they will soon be lost in the story. Do not disturb them if you have forgotten how to play. So, remove your hats, dear ladies, fix your hair for good and all. Clear your throats, you husky men, and cough now. See, the play begins. (He claps his hands and the curtains open, dis- closingv the scene.) This play is the story of what happens when one is guilty of a breach of etiquette. x-o U What is etiquette PROLOGUE Etiquette Why, etiquette is living according to rules made by people who have never smiled. 146 SIR DAVID WEARS A CROWN . . We are now outside the King's Palace. . . This is a gate. Through this the King and the King's Great-AuLnt will come. The King will sit here, and the King's Great-Aunt will sit here. . . . This is the Headsman's block, and here the lovely Queen is to be be- headed before the clocks strike twelve at mid- day, a half an hour from now. YOU Where is it PROLOGUE Who can tell what country I wish I knew. .. .A Are you ready . . . Quiet, then. . . . Here comes the Population; and here the Soldiery. (The Prologue sits at tlhe side of the curtains oppo- site the Device-Bearer.) (The Population enters from one side of the stage, the Soldiery from the other; the former carries a bit of bread; the latter a lance and a silken cord.) POPULATION Good-morning, Soldiery. SOLDIERY Good-morning, Population. POPULATION I've come to see the beheading. SOLDIERY You're early. POPULATION I brought my lunch. I want to see it all. 147 PORTNIMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS SOLDIERY That's good. Now help me stretch the ropes to keep the Population back. POPULATION Why stretch the ropes to keep the Population back SOLDIERY It is the law. POPULATION I'm the Population, and I promise that I'll stay back. SOLDIERY The Soldiery has alwavs stretched the ropes to hold the Population back. I shan't stop it now, whether you number one or thousands. Here, take this end and stretch the rope. (He sets his lance against the block, and he and the Population stretch the rope, laying it very carefullv on the ground in a half-circle.) SOLDIERY (taking up his lance and assuming a professional pose, bellows) You can't come inside the ropes, on pain of death. Do you hear POPULATION (obsequiously, kneeling) Yes, sir. SOLDIERY (setting down his lance and assuming a human tone) Thank you for your help. POPULATION That's all right. (He offers the Soldiery a crust of bread, which is gratefully accepted.) I 48 SIR DAVID WEARS A CROWN (Indeed, the Soldiery is a very excellent and human person, and his fierce attitude with tI/e lance and his bellowing are merely official, like a uniform, and as easily removed. But the Sol- diery has associated bellowing with taking zup Ains lance so long that he is wholly automatic now, as he should be.) POPULATION Who are they beheading SOLIEIIERY What did you say POPULATION I said, "Who are they beheading" SOLDIERY Whom POPULATION Yes, who SOLDIERY You mustn't say "Who are they beheading" You must say "Whom are they beheading" POPULATION Nonsense. You don't say "Whom are you," do you SOLDIERY Certainly not, but you ought to say "Whom are they beheading" POPULATION Well, you can- SOLDIERY (taking up his lance, bellows) You say "Whom are they beheading!" I49 PORTMAN'TEAU ADAPTATIONS POPULATION All right, if you are going to resort to force: Whom are they beheading SOLDIERY (putting his lance down) I don't know. That's the Headsman's business. POPULATION I heard it was the Queen. SOLDIERY Maybe. I wish it was the King's Great-Aunt. (The Mime and the Milkmaid enter.) POPULATION Is the King's Great-Aunt very old SOLDIERY She's very old and very meddlesome. She's into everything, and she knows every law that's ever passed, and she holds us to them. (The Mime steps forward.) MIME Is this- SOLDIERY (seeing him and the Milkmaidfor thefirst time, leaps for his lance and, assuming his pro- fessionalpose, bellows) You can't come inside the ropes, on pain of death! Do you hear (There is no answer.) (Bellows again) You can't come inside the ropes, on pain of death! Do you hear (There is no answer. The Soldiery looks appeal- ingly at the Population) Do you hear ISO SIR DAVID WEARS A CROWN (zJgain no answer, anad again an appeal to the Population) Do you hear POPULATION (to the Milkmaid) Say "Yes, sir." MIME AND M1ILK.IAII) Yes, sir. SOLDIERY (putting down his lance) WN'hy didn't you answer me the first time MILKIMAID I didn't know you wanted me to. SO LDI E RY Well, I did. MILKMAID But you shouted so loudl I thought you weren't talking to anybody in particular. SOLDIERY It's the law. MIME (to the Population) Some laws are funny, don't you think POPULATION I don't know. A law's a law, and I'm the Pop- ulation, and a law is for the Population. MIME And now we know! SOLDIERY Who are you MIME I'm a mime. P0 P OU LATIO N X\Nhat's a mime T 5 I PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS MIME A mime's a mime. SOLDIERY What's a mime MIME A mime's a mountebank. MILKMAID And what's a mountebank M I M E A mountebank's a strolling player. SOLDIERY Are you going to perform for us MIME After the decapitation. POPULATION What's your name MIME (in action) Ho, for Jack the Juggler! Would you miss him SOLDIERY We know all the rest of that. MILKMAID You must let him finish. SOLDIERY WNhat's the use POPULATION Let's have it, Jack. MIME How can I when you do not let me make my speech MILKMAID Go on, we'll let you finish. I52 Sir David and His Mother 1The King, the OLuCCn, and Sir D)avid This page in the original text is blank. SIR DAVID WEARS A CROWN MIMNE Oh, no. I'll wait until the crowd is here. POPULATION I'm the crowd. MILKMAID Come on! Come on! MINIE All right. . . . Ho, for Jack the Juggler! XWould you miss him--- (,,I crYx is heard, "Ilelp the blind! lielp the blind!" and on top of it just the refrain "Old King Cole was a merry old soul.") (The Soldiery is on his guard imnmediately with his lance as the Blindmian and the Ballad-Singer enter.) SOLDIERY (bellowing) You can't come inside the ropes, on pain of death. Do you hear MI L K MAID You'd better saly, "Yes, sir," or he'll yell it agai n. SOLDIERY (begins to bellow again) You can't- BALLAD-SINGER AND BLINDMAN Xes, sir. SOLDTERY (normally) I've got to finish it--(and again starts) come inside- MIME We know the rest of it. SOLDIERY Don't interfere with the law. (Continues bellow- '53 PORTMIANTEAU ADAPTATION-S ing) The ropes on pain of death. Do you hear', ALL (eage-ly/) Yes, sir! SOLDIERY (putting down his lance) Thank you. . . . What are yoU doing here MILKMAID I came to see the beheading. BLINDMAN And 1, that I might tell about it. SINGER And I, that I might sing to the crowd. MINIE And I, that I might dazzle you. POPULATION Evervbody's here-except the Queen. Why not beain MILKMAID They can't find the Queen. POPULATION Where is she MILKMAID They've offered a reward for her- POP ULATIO N A reward MINME How much M ILKM AID A pail of gold and a pair of finger-rings. POPULATION Why don't you find her, Soldiery 154 SIR DAVID WVEARS A CROWN SOLDIERY No one told me to. BLINDMIAN YoU say the reward is a pail of gold and a pair of finger-rings SINGER That's what she said. I know- SOLDIERY (taking up his lance) What do vou know BLINDMAN Nothing. SINGER Nothing. SOLDIERY But you said "I know." Is it about the Queen WNNhat do vou know about the Queen SINGER Shall I sing you a ballad POPULATION Yes, sing a ballad. SOLDIERY What do you know about the Queen MI LKMA ID Oh, let him sing a ballad. SOLDIERY I must do my duty. What do vou know about the Queen (The King's Trumpeter enters and stands at the center of the gate. He blows a noble blast on his trumpet.) I55 PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS TRUMPETER His Majesty, the King! (All kneel except the Trumpeter as the King enters,followed by his Council/or.) (The Trumpeter blows a lesser blast.) Her Highness, the King's Great-Aunt. (The King's Great-Aunt enters.) (She and the King seat themselves ceremoniously.) (The Councillor bows between the King and the King's Great-Aunt.) (A mechanical chant is the official way of con- ducting cases here, and a man must learn bv rote what he must sav at trials, be he King or Coun- cillor.) COUNCILLOR (in a stiff, mechanical chant) Your Majesty, it is our duty to inform you that your wife, the Queen, is to be beheaded, in compliance with the law, while your Majesty's four clocks are striking twelve. KING (chanting) Who is the aggrieved person COUNCILLOR (chanting) The aggrieved sits on your left. MILKMAID (whispering) Doesn't the King know his wife is to be be- headed POPULATION (whispering) Of course he does. MILKMAID Then why do they tell him here POPULATION It is the law. i56 SIR DAVID WEARS A CROWN SOLDIERY (bellowing, after lie is quite sure he has heard the entire conversation) Silence! KIN(; (chanting) Then let the aggrieved speak. COUNC ILLO R (Chanting) His Majesty the King bids you speak your grievance which is just cause for the Queen's beheading. KING S GREAT-AUNT (chanting) Last night we were celebrating the second year of peace with the neighboring kingdom. WN'e were dancing the minuet after the banquet- MILKMAID (whispering) Does the old lady dance POPULATION (whispering) She tries to. SOLDIERY (bellowing) Silence! KING'S GREAT-AUNT When the Oueen-(forgetting to chant) your wif e- (The Councillor coughs and she chants again) stepped on the ring-toe of the King's Great- Aunt. KING (chanting) WN'hat is your demand KING'S GREAT-AUN T (chanting) I demand that the aforesaid Queen be beheaded. KING By what authority I57 PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS KING(. S GREAT-AUNT According to the law. KING Is there such a law COUNCILLOR There is. KING Read the law. COUNCILLOR (unrolling a parchment, reads) WXhereas, if a Queen step on the ring-toe of the King's Great-Aunt, or any member of her family; Be it resolved, the aforesaid Queen must be beheaded while the King's four clocks are striking twelve at mid-day. KING S GREAT-AUNT I demand the execution of the law. KING We, the King, decree that our wife the Queen be beheaded to-day while our four clocks are striking twelve at mid-day. COUNCILLOR The culprit will kneel. M\III.KMA ID (whispering) Where is the culprit SOLDIFRY (bellowing) Silence! (iNaturall/) She isn't here. KING (rising) It is not in our power to pardon you, oh, guilty Queen. Gracefulness is a royal possession, and when a Queen is no longer graceful she can no longer live. 158 SIR DAVID WEARS A CROWN KING'S GREAT-AUNT (naturally) The Queen isn't here. KING The law will take its course. KING S O.REAT-AUNT Where is the Queen COUNCILLOR I've offered a pail of gold and a pair of finger- rings for her apprehension. KING'S GREAT-AUNT Two pails of gold if she is found! BLINDMAN Is that a promise, Vour Highness SOLDIERY (bellows) Silence! (N'ormal) Royalty mnents. KING'S GREAT-AUNT I mean- KIN(G We heard what you vou meant. COU NCILLOR can't take back any state- said. W!e shall judge what It is on the stroke of twelve, yoUr Majesty, and there is no Queen, no culprit. KIN(, S GREAT-AUNT Are the laws of our country to be held uIp to ridicule Find the Queen! Four pails of gold if she be found! (The kneeling commoners are excited.) Six pails of gold and six pairs of finger-rings! (The King's clocks begin to strike, but not in 15 9 PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS unison. First there is one large one, then two smaller ones, and finally a tiny one.) (During the striking of the clocks there is great excitement. The spectators almost forget their manners before royalty. The Councillor buzzes around. The King's Great-,4unt cries out again and again, "WJAhere is the Queen" "Where is the culprit" The Soldiery, lance in hand, bel- lows his familiar call, "You can't come inside the ropes." The Trumpeter blows his trumpet. The King stands up and counts the strokes of the clocks.) KING (at the twelfth stroke of the tinv clock) The Queen is free! I now decree a holiday to all the land. And everybody can go to hunt the Queen. SINGER And if I find the Queen I shall get six pails of gold and six pairs of finger-rings MILKMAID That was the promise of the King's Great- Aunt. SOLDIERY Silence! KING S GREAT-AUNT I said- KING You said just that. The King's Great-Aunt will give six pails of gold and six pairs of finger- rings to the one who finds the Queen. KING S GREAT-AUNT I refuse- I 6o SIR DAVID WEARS A CROWN KING Royalty cannot refuse to fulfill a promise! And to the offer of my aunt I shall add six more pails of gold. BLINDMAN Can they behead the Queen now if they find her KING They can not. BLIND MAN Then I can find her, your Majesty. KING Where is she Come here and tell me. (As the Blindman steps forward the Soldiery bellows "You can't come inside the ropes.") KING Come here! COUNCILLOR He cannot approach your Majesty. . . is the law. SINGER I can find the Queen, your Majesty! KING'S GREAT-AUNT Off with their worthless heads! They aided the escape of the culprit! . It have KING No, I decree- KING S GREAT-AUNT The law! The law! COUNCILLOR Her Highness is right, your Majesty. The law I 6 I it PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS states that anyone guilty of aiding a culprit to escape must be beheaded. SINGER We did not aid. BLINDMATN No, we did not. KING S GREAT-AUNT The word of a commoner cannot stand. COUNCILLOR Soldiery, do your duty! KING'S GREAT-AUNT Now, we shall have a beheading after all! SOLDIERY (to Singer and Blindman) Come on, step up! MILKMAID Mercy, have mercy! SOLDIERY Step up. (The Ballad-Singer and the Blindman walk to the side of the block and there the Soldiery binds them together, all the while they protest their in- nocence.) (A4t this moment the Headsman is heard, "Her Majesty the Queen and Sir David Little-Bov; Her Majesty the Queen and Sir David Little- Boy.") (The Headsman, bearing his ax, enters in his own stately way, and with the utmost dignity starts to approach the King, but as he nears the rope, the Soldiery bellows his command, "You can't come inside the ropes." The Headsman stops short, but slays the Soldiery with a glance.) I62 SIR DAVID WEARS A CROWN HEADSMAN The King's Headsman, the Winder of the King's Four Clocks- SOLDIERY You can't come inside the ropes, on pain of death. Do you hear HEADSMAN Yes, I hear. (Then he calls with refined dignity) Her Majesty the Queen and Sir David Little- Boy! (The Queen and the Boy enter. The boy suddenly becomes very conscious of being in the presence of the King.) KING'S GREAT-AUNT Oh, there you are! KING My Queen! COUNCI LLOR It is not etiquette, your Majesty. KING (recalling the proper procedure, chants) Who is this before us QUEEN (chanting) It is your wife, the Queen. KING And who stands beside our Queen BOY I'm- SOLDIERY Silence! QUEEN This is Sir David Little-Boy. i63 PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS COU-N'CILLOR There is no Sir David Little-Boy in the royal almanac, your Majesty. KING Who is this Sir David Little-Boy, Sir Heads- man H EADSMAN He helped the Queen to escape. BLIN OMAN Is that the little boy who gave me the lentils when I was hungry, and who would not break a promise SINGER It's the little boy to whom I sang two ballads. BOY Queen, why are my two friends bound to- gether QU EEN Sir David, first we must tell them who you are. BOY (steppingforward) I- H EADSMAN Address the King. BOY King- H EADSMAN That's not the way. BOY What do I do H EADSMAN Watch me. (He struts forward and kneels.) Your Majesty-see, that way. I64 SIR DAVID WEARS A CROWN BOY (imitating the fleadsman as only a little boy can in i/atlL huis elders) Your Majesty, I am the little boy who lives in the yellow cottage on the short-cut to the headsman's block. KING S GREAT-AUNT How does it happen that you are called Sir David, upstart BOY I'm not an upstart. 1 David Little-Boy. KING S GREAT-AUNT What right has the Qu Well QUEEN By the law passed by father. KING S GREAT-AUNT There is no such law. QUEEN Oh, yes, there is, Aunt. COOUNCILLOR I think your Majesty's QU E EN It does not fail. 'he Queen called me Sir seen to create a knight I my great-great-grand- memory fails. BOY Queen, I won't be Sir David if it will cause you trouble. QUEEN A QLueen has one trouble or another, but this will be my last. PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS KING S GREAT-AUNTNr Will you permit this insolence, your Majesty KING Her Majesty the Queen claims a law. Can she produce the law QUEEN I can, your Majesty. KING Where is it QU EE N Here (she takes a scrollfrom her dress). I found it in the room of the King's Great-Aunt. KING'S GREAT-AUNT By what right does a Queen steal into my apartment Seize her! (The Soldiery starts to take the Queen.) KING Hands off the Queen! (The Queen takes a step to cross the ropes.) SOLDIERY (bellows) You can't come inside the ropes, on pain of death. Do you hear QUEEN But I'm the Queen. SOLDIERY (normally) Duty is duty, your Majesty, law is law. (Bel- lowing) You can't come inside the ropes, on pain of death. Do you hear QU E EIN Yes, I hear. i66 SIR DAVID WEARS A CROWN KING Sir Headsman, bring me the law. ('Te I eads man is about to obey.) SOLDIERY (bellows) You can't come inside the ropes, on pain of death. Do you hear KING Then I shall go to the Queen. COUNCILLOR Your Majesty, it is not fitting. BLINDMAN I am about to die, oh, Queen; let me give the law. QUEEN About to die BOY He is mv friend! . . . If the ropes weren't there could I take the law to the King QUEEN Surely. BOY Let's take the ropes away. QUEEN Alas, it can't be clone. BOY Let's coil the ropes. QUEEN How BOY So. (He quickly coils the ropes.) I67 PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS SOLDIERY (bellows) You can't come inside the ropes, on pain of death. Do you hear BOY You can't get inside the ropes There isn't any inside. QUEEN (going to the king) Here is the law, your Majesty. KING (about to embrace her) My Queen! KING S GREAT-AUNT I protest. COUNCILLOR It is not seemly, your Majesty. . . . I'll take the law. KING Read the law. COUNCILLOR It may be better to discuss it first. KING Read the law! COUNCILLOR (reading) Whereas, all relatives have had an upper hand in my kingdom for three generations and have passed laws that make it difficult for our Queens; Be it resolved, that all such laws shall stand, because etiquette and discipline are good for all mankind, but should there ever be a Queen who can escape the punishments devised by relatives she shall be absolute, and there- after her word will be the law, for any woman i68 SIR DAVID WEARS A CROWN who can outwit her husband's relatives is worthy to rule a nation. QUEEN I have escaped. I claim the reward of the law. KING Your word is absolute. Henceforth you are the law. KING S GREAT-AUNT (feathering her nest) Dearest, mount the throne. QUEEN Nav, I shall mount the Headman's block. (S/ie mounts the Headman's block, and she is veryx beautifdl.) I, the Queen- COUNCILLOR Your Majesty, it is proper to say "We, the Queen "-- 1, the Queen, do first hereby reiterate that this brave knight is Sir David Little-Boy. Second, that- COUNCILLOR You should chant it, your Majesty. QUEEN (still in normal tones) Second, that the office of King's Councillor be vacant; third, that the King's Great-Aunt give up her ring or her ring-toe- KING S GREAT-AUNT Mercy! I am too old to lose my ring! I should die without my ring-toe! QUEEN Very well, you shall keep your ring and your toe; but when we dance the minuet you must 169 PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATION S sit on your foot, for in future I shall step when and where I please. . .. Sit on your foot! (The King's Great-ziunt sits on her foot and wails.) KING S GREAT-AUNT What is the country coming to! (But she is berev glad to salve her toe.) You (in the audience) Pshaw! this play is just like every other one. PROLOGUE It isn't over yet. You just wait. QUEEN Fourth, the Soldiery must lay down his arms. SOLDIERY (bellows) You can't come- QUEEN Lay down your arms! SOLD)I ERY Pardon me, your Maj lawvs down his lance.) QUEEN Loose the bonds from Ballad-Singer. (The Soldiery does so.) Sir David, your hand. (The Boy, in a glow of Here are your friends. KIN(,S GREAT-AUNT A noble cannot have moners ! QUEEN it was habit. (He i the Blindman and the wonder, steps forward.) friends among the com- Quite true. Quite true. . . . Mime, step I70 SIR DAVID WVEARS A CROWN forward. . . . Kneel. . . . Arise, Sir Mime. Every Friday afternoon you shall have an hour's sport with Sir David Little-Boy. MIME Please, your Majesty, I must wander far away in search of farthings from the crowds of all the world. QUEEN You make men happy with your play. We give you farthings. You will not want. (As she speaks to each of the others, she makes the gesture of knighting him.) (They kneel together.) QUEEN To you, sweet Lady Milkmaid, I give a spotted cow; to you, Sir Blindman, a cushion and a canopy at the castle gate; to you, Sir Ballad Singer, a vermilion cloak. Arise. And now, Sir Little-Boy-(She leans over him) to you who saved my life, to you who kept your promise, for your mother I give a velvet gown, a silken kerchief, and a cloth-of-gold bonnet, and for yourself I give a milk-white palfrey, two pails of gold, two finger-rings, a castle, and a sword. Sir Councillor- (The Councillor comes forward and she whispers in his ear.) COUNCILLOR The little one, your Majesty QUEEN The best one, Sir Councillor! (The Councillor goes into the Castle.) I7I IPORT.MANTEAU ADAPTATIONS QU E EN Court is dismissed! Your Highness, my hus- band's Great-Aunt, you may go to your room. You have caused us years of anguish; but I forgive you. Trumpeter, lead her Highness away in state. (The Trumpeter blows a little blast and exits, shouting "M11ake vay for her Highness, the King's Great-Hunt!") (The King's Great-Hunt rises with difficulty and waddles awaY in defeat.) KING'S GREAT-AUNT (mumbling) I never thought I'd live to see the day--but times have changed. (Exits into the Castle.) QUEEN The Population may go into the gardens. The Soldiery may take a holiday. (The Population and the Soldiery go out arm in arm.) Sir Headsman, you may take your axe to the museum. BOY Queen, can he come back and tell me stories QUEEN Whenever you may wish. . BOY Sir Headsman- HEADMS-AN (magnificent to the end) Sir Headsman- BOY Sir Headsman- 17 2 SIR DAVID WEARS A CROWN H EADSMAN Alas, no more. My axe goes to the museum- and I become merely Sir Headsman Emeritus. BOY WN'ell, Sir-Sir-- QU E E N Sir WN'inder of the King's Four Clocks. BOY Sir Winder of the King's Four Clocks, I- HEADS MAN (smiling for tI/e zwole wzle world) That is the longest title in the kingdom. Yes BOY (looking at d izeeii's neck) You said the Queen's neck wasn't much bigger than a hair. HEADSMAN I did. BOY You said your axe would cut a hair in two. HEADSMAN Did I BOY You did. H EA DS MAN It will. BOY How could it HEADSMIAN Easily. 'I'his way. (He swings it dowzzartd wit/i all t/Ile r;yn(ee ot ac/,.ieviing his swoan's song wit/l it.) See 173 PORT'MANTEAU ADAPTATIONS BOY How do you spell hair HEADS MAN H-A-R-E. How else BOY H-A-I-R. H EADS MAN I never quibble. (He bows to the Queen, the crowd, and You superbly; and he departs.) (The Queen takes her place where the King's Great-iunt had sat.) And now my friends and friends of Sir David, you may say good-bye. In an hour we shall meet in the banqueting hall for pies and cherry tarts and cakes and things. (The Mime steps forward.) MIME Sir David Little-Boy, I am your slave. (He bows very deeply and lays his hand in the Boy's. When he has gone Sir David finds that he is clasping a golden ball.) (The Milkmaid comes to Sir David.) MILKMAID Isn't it wonderful! (And before he knows it she has thrown her arms around his neck and kissed him and passed on.) (He doesn't know whether to smile or blush, but he does hang his head.) (The Blindman shuffles up to him.) I74 SIR DAVID WEARS A CROWN BLINDMAN You only have to close your eyes to make things true. (And passes on.) (The Ballad-Singer comes.) SINGER Hello! BOY Sing me a ballad. SINGER Later-perhaps. BOY No, now. QUEEN Just for us. (The Boy sits between her and the King on the step at their feet. The Ballad-Singer sits close beside him.) SINGER This is the Ballad of the Silver Star and the Crescent Moon. (Sings to the wondering Boy.) Oh, a silver star and a crescent moon Afloat in the sunset sky Can make a smile on a scowling face, Tho' the face be you or I. For the silver star and the crescent moon Are like memories afar- We always dream at the guarded gate And pass the gate ajar. I 75 PORTMIANTEAU ADAPTATIONS There's a moral to my little song, For hearts bowed down and hearts in tune- The silver star is a distant dream And a waxing hope is the crescent moon. Good-bye. And don't forget that the King's Great-Aunt owes you six pails of gold. Good- bye. (He dashes off.) (The Box sits in wonder a moment and then looks first at the smiling Queen, then at the pleasant King. He takes the knife from his pouch and shozws it to the King.) BOY Have you seen mya knife (The King slips down beside him, which makes the Boy gasp. It isn't everybody who sits beside a King.) KING We had a little boy like you, and he loved his knife. . . . He was a Prince. . . . How would you like to be a Prince BOY I think-I'd like it. (He is almost breathless, talking to a King!) (The Councillor enters and hands something to the tueen.) KING And would you like to be my son BOX' Yes, sir. 176 TIhc Sold iery and thC Pop)ultioMn '1Thc King's (Great Aunt and the 1KiIng's Councillor F - This page in the original text is blank. SIR DAVID WEARS A CROWN QUEEN And mine (1s she sits beside him. Now they are not like King and Queen and a little Knight. They a-e just three people sitting together.) inoY (to the lovely Queen) Next to my mother I like you. KING If you were our little boy, some day you would be a King. BOY Oh-I couldn't be a King. QUEEN Why not BOY I wouldn't know what to do. KING Their are many kings who do not know what to do. QUEEN And think of all the happiness you could make. BOY Could I do whatever I wanted to do KING If you were wise. BOY Could I give a ring to the Blindman KING Oh, yes. BOY And ask him in 12 I77 PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS QU E EN Surely. BOY Then-would I have to have a Great-Aunt KING Not now. BOY Or a Councillor QU EEN All that is abolished now. BOX Then--you're sure I wouldn't have a Great- Aunt QU F EN Quite sure. BOY Then-I'd like to be a king! QU EEN All right. Shut your eyes. BOY Oh, I know-the Blindman told me to shut my eves to make things come true. (He shuts his eves very tight. The Q)ueen un- wvraps the somnething which the Councillor brought. It is a beautif ul crown. She places it on the bow's head.) QU E E N Open Vour eyes. (He opens his eves and his hands steal up to the crown. He can t believe his touch.) BOY Oh! 17 8 SIR DAVID WEARS A CROWN QUEEN How do you feel BOAY (gasping) All right. KING You are a Prince now. (Hie takes a cape from his shoulder and throws it about the Boy's shoulders.) Arise, my Son and Prince. (The Boy stands up, and hle looks every inch a little king in his crown and robe.) BOY Am I a real prince QUEEN As real as the King or I. (The Boy walks a princely step or two, when a voice is heard calling "David! David!" It is the sweetest voice in the world, and it is sad and troubled now. The Boy stops short.) BOY My mother! VOICE David! BOY I am here, Mother. (The mother enters. She is the most beautif ul woman in the world-like vour mother and mine, but her eves are wide with fear.) MOTHER David! Oh, I thought I had lost you! My boy! my boy! I79 IPORTNIANTEAU ADAPTATIONS BOY Mother, I am a Prince. MOTHER Oh, my little dream-boy, you are always my Prince. Why did you run away BOY I didn't run away. I came to save the Queen. And now I am a Prince. MOTH ER The Queen A Prince! (She sees the King and Queen.) Oh, your Majesties! (m4nd bows very low.) QU FEN Arise, Lady Little-Boy. We have made your boy our son and heir. MOTHER Does that mean-I must-he must go from- me KING When his country calls he must go. BOY You mean I must leave my mother KING Some day you must leave her. BOY (to his mother) But don't you need me now MOTHER David, if you are meant to be a king, I want you to be a king. I8O SIR DAVID WEARS A CROWN QUEEN We'll leave you here him what you know. (She Understands what KIN(; Farewell, my Prince. QUEEN My) little boy! (Thell leave the motler MOTH ER I)avid, isn't it wonder BOY" Mother, did they mean I had MOTH ER You will be a king. together. You can tell aal women understand.) and the boyv together.) to leave you BOY I can't leave you. (He sits disconsolatel/ on the step of the King's seat.) MOTHER (sitting beside him) You are going to grow up to be a great, fine man, my David-Boy, and you will be a king. Some day you would have to leave me anyway --to go out into the world and seek your fortune. BOY But not so soon. MOTHER I'll be near, and I'll see you every day. You will be a king, my boy! i 8 i PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS BOY You'll be all alone. MOTHER Oh, no, my boy, never alone. For every hour of every day I'll think of you and dream of you. BOY Who'll help you work MOTH ER There'll be no work. It will all be play, for my boy is going to be a king. BOY (as he leans his head against her shoulder) Oh, Mother, I'm so tired! MOTHER (placing her arm about him) I know. Do you remember how I used to sing a little lullaby to you when you were tired BOY (his eyes are heavy with sleep) Uh-huh. (The mother hums soft/y as she places her cheek against his head, but the crown interferes some- what.) BOY Sing it out. I like the words. MOTHER (singing) Sleep, Davie, sleep- BOY No, I like the old words-the ones when I was a little boy. MOTHER Sleep, baby, sleep- Close your tired eyes; Here's a kiss from father, To make you wealthy; 182 SIR DAVID WEARS A CROWN Here's a kiss from mother, To make you healthy; And God the Father blows a kiss To make you wise. Sleep, baby, sleep. Close your tired eyes. (The Boy snuggles against his mother and then reaches up and takes of the crown. She carefully places it beside her and continues her lullaby as the curtains close.) You (in the audience) Well, will he be a king or not PROLOGUE His mother knows. (The Prologue and the Device-Bearer bow and disappear.) (The ladies may arrange their hair and the gen- tlemen may cough to their throat's content.) THE CURTAINS CLOSE 183 This page in the original text is blank. NELLIJUMBO' THE PROLOGUE YOU IN THE AUDIENCE AUNT FLORA UNCLE GEORGE ELLEN RICHARD ADAMS COLE JASPER COLE 'The spelling used is NELLIJ3UMiO, but Richard probably thought of him as NELLIEJu.iBO, and that spelling is used in Richard's speeches. i86 NEJLLIJUMBO (The PROLOGUE enters.) PROLOGUE I am the prologue. . . . Experience has taught me that most of the people about us do not see or hear, and that many hear but do not see. . . . You, dear ladies, have programmes in your hands-or perhaps they have fallen on the floor with your handkerchiefs; but I dare say you have not read them. You, brave men, being tired and prescient, do not need pro- grammes; because plays are only plays, after all is said and done, and the only thing in life is business and the after-hours' fatigue. BUT that the fault of your not understanding may not be mine, I am going to tell you enough to make your programrnes really superfluous. . When these curtains open a little play will begin. I call it a little play because it is short and because it is only about a little boy who knows nothing of business. His business is growing up in what you and I might call eternal darkness. Perhaps he will show you how light is something that is seen without eyes, heard without ears, told without tongue; something that is THERE, though the sun be obscured in everlasting eclipse, though the moons and stars beyond the orbit of revolving space be falling cinders. . . . I beg your pardon, sirs, for my 187 PORT.NMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS flight into rhetoric. The play will not offend in kind. Before I stumble toward grandilo- quence again I shall open the curtains. (Hle claps his hands and the curtains open, dis- closing a room.) The scene is a room in Aunt Flora's home. Uncle George is her husband, buat the house is in her name. It would be her house even if it were not in her name. It is very earls on Christmas morning. . . . There is Aunt Flora putting the last touches on the Christmas tree. (Aunt Flora is a tall, gaunt, unapproachable but not unkindly woman. She may be fifty; but then she has been fifty for thirty Years. She may have been young once-in the zell-clothed and modest nineties.) Perhaps your Aunt Flora used to sing or smile as she saw her plans for Christmas turn real; but this Aunt Flora does not sing. She is serious- minded, this Aunt Flora. Life is her business. She has gone through the years of her life seriously unbendingly. I( she has done wrong it is be- cause to her the wrong way seemed the right way. The trouble with Aunt Flora is that in her business of living she never stopped to make a frank inventory. You (in the audience) Is the Christmas tree for Aunt Flora-or for Uncle George (,It this moment Aunt Flora has arranged some- thing "exactly right," and Uncle George enters, I 88 NE1I-1 JUNMIBO carr'ing somve strange-looking books and some ordinary books.) (Uncle George is quite as ga/nit, quite as unap- proachable, quite as predeslined fifty as rlitnt Flora. Th ey are colder than the brozWn-and-gray zvallpaper and the deplorablx' spick-and-span fur- nishings of the room. heY do not greet each other.) PROLOGUE (laughing as he looks at the brow-n-and- gray couple) What do you think . . . Uncle George does not greet Aunt Flora. They have met earlier this morning, and words are used only under pressure of necessity. (Uncle George places the books on the white muslin that surrounds the tree. Hle placcs them carefully.) (1iunt Flora puts a last touch to the tree, which is oh, so painfullv orthodox.) PROLOGUE Aunt Flora likes the tree. She- (lunt Flora has stood of, taking in her work with a critical eye.) She- (zlunt Flora is about to speak.) I bow. . . . Aunt Flora has somewhat to sav. (The Prologue goes out. You see this is a modern play, and Prologues do not stay in view during modern plays.) AUNT FLORA H-m! (She sits in HER chair by the table and takes up the morning paper.) 189 PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS (Uncle George scans the tree without emotion, and then sits in HIS chair.) UNCLE GEORGE (after a moment) Is that the Ledger, Flora AUNT FLORA Yes. UNCLE GEORGE Is Jasper's picture in it AUNT FLORA Yes-with quite an article. UNCLE GEORGE What does it say AUNT FLORA I have only seen the captions, George; but I judge it is the usual newspaper matter. (Read- ing) "Intrepid explorer," "Distinguished sci- entist," "Four hazardous years in unknown lands." H-m. We must see that no one reads this to Richard. UNCLE GEORGE Superlatives AUNT FLORA Yes-superlatives and some of Jasper's in- curable childishness. UNCLE GEOR(E What is it AUNT FLORA (reading) Jasper Cole, the intrepid explorer, returned yesterday from his hazardous journey of four years through the unknown heart of South America. Mr. Cole, when seen in his rooms at the Beauvais-Sheffield, seemed much more in- I 9o NELLIJUNIBO terested in his ten-year-old son, Richard Adams Cole, who lives with Mr. and Mrs. George Carlton Adams, 2719 Franklin Boulevard, than he did in his own work. "I have not seen him," said Mr. Cole, "since he was six, and I am wait- ing for Christmas morning to surprise him-" UNCLE GEORGE I do not approve. I think the boy should have been told. AUNT FLORA We are not Richard's parents. UNCLE GEORGE No, we are not, Flora; but I think we should have exercised our judgment in this matter as we have in the matter of his education. AUNT FLORA Jasper was not here to supervise the education and his letters came two years after Mary's death. He couldn't "supervise" then. UNCLE GEORGEI. He trusted in our judgment. AUNT FLORA But he asked us to be particularly careful to tell Richard that there would be a surprise for him on the tree this morning. UNCLE GEORGE Utterly childish! AUNT FLORA Utterly. (She sees the books at the foot of the tree.) I think, George, we had better put Richard's books on a table. I 9 I PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS UNCLE GEORGE Quite right. Richard is ten years old-too old to play on the floor. AUNT FLORA He wouldn't want to be treated like a baby. ( Uncle George places the books on a table.) AUNT FLORA What time is it, George U:.NCLE GEORGE (looking at his zwatch) 6:45. AUNT FLORA Jasper said he would be here at seven this morning. UNCLE GEORGE We have always set nine as the hour for the child to see the tree. AUNT FLORA I think we can indulge Jasper this time. He will recognize his error when he sees how much Richard has grown, how much dignity and re- serve the boy has developed. (zl maid enters. She, too, is gaunt, unapproach- able, not unkindly, yet a predestined fifty.) AUNT FLORA What is it, Ellen ELLEN Mr. Richard, ma'am. AUNT FLOR Yes UNCLE GEORGE Is he- (He controls his excitement. Uncle George and 192 NELLIJ UM I BO Aunt Flora love Richard, but their love has a crust that even the anxiety of love cannot wholly penetrate.) ELLEN He seems excited, ma'am. He says something is going to happen-and he wants to come down. AUNT FLORA Tell him that he is not to come down until seven o'clock. ELLEN Yes, Ma'am. I told him that, and he- (The hall clock begins to strike. Uncle George takes out his watch.) UNCLE GEORGE Fast. Strange. (A boy calls out: "It's seven o'clock! It's seven o'clock!" and his feet are heard rushing through the hall.) (Richard Adams Cole enters. He is a bov of ten, gentle and restrained, but he is quivering with ex- citement. At first he seems to be a normal young- ster, exceptfor thefact that he carries his head as though he were listening intently, and he uses his hands as though he were "understanding" with them. His swiftness of movement and alertness do not betray his "misfortune.") UNCLE GEORGE Richard! RICHARD It's seven o'clock! Where's the surprise 13 193 PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS IUNCLE GEORGE It isn't seven vet. RICHARD (strangely) The hall clock struck seven. -UNCLE GEORGE The hall clock is wrong. RlCHARD You said the hall clock was just right-always. AU-NT FLORA Ellen, who has been tampering with the hall clock E L, . EN Indeed, ma'am, I don't know. No one except Mr. Adams ever touches it. LNCLE GEORGE It was on the dot when 1 came downstairs this morning. RICHARD Can't I see the surprise AUNT FLORA Richard, one moment. Do you know any- thina about the hall clock RICHARD (evasively) Uncle George said it was always right. AUlN-T FLORA Have you been out of your room in the past half hour (Richard does not answer.) UNCLE GEORGE Richard, your Aunt Flora is speaking to you. RICHARD What, ma'am I94 NELLI JU\1BO AUNT FLORA (looking at Uncle George) Richard, are you inattentive or are you evading RICHARD No, ma'am. AUNT FLORA Richard, I am going to be annoyed. Ellen, watch the front door, and if anyone comes- anvone-ask him to wait in the reception-room. ELLEN Yes, ma'am. (She goes out.) (Richard is alert and "watches" Ellen go.) UNCLE GEORGE Now, do you know anything about the hall clock RICHARD I wanted to see the surprise. AUNT FLORA I have never known you to lose your poise so completely, Richard. RICHARD (passionatel/v) I know, Aunt Flora, but this is Christmas Day. Something is happening. What is it UNCLE GEORGE Control yourself, Richard, and tell me what you know about the hall clock. RICHARD Yes, sir . . AUNT FLORA Well RICHARD I set it ahead '95 PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS UNCLE GEORGE Richard Adams Cole!- AUNT FLORA Richard! UNCLE GEORGE That clock belonged to nmly grandfather, and in my lifetime no hands have ever touched it except mine and my father's. It has been a sacred trust handed down from father to soii. RICHARD I couldn't help it, Uncle George. UNCLE GEORGE I have no son; and some day I should pass the trust on to you. RICHARD I couldn't wait! AUNT FLORA And so you betrayed your trust. RICHARD No! I didn't mean it that way. 1-1- (0:'erwhelmed by his guilt, his words stop.) UNCLE GEORGE Flora. RICHARD I'm sorry. (Almost in a whisper) I wanted to see the surprise. AUNT FLORA Very well, Richard, then it is our duty to teach you to control yourself. We can't always have what we want in this life, and the sooner you learn this lesson the better. I96 NELLIJUMBO RICHARD Yes, ma'am. (Several clocks in the house, including the one on the mantel, begin to strike.) UNCLE GEORGE See what you have done! RI C H AR I) I didn't mean to-(no words come.) UNCLE GEORGE Then why did you do it (Richard has been taught to answer, and he tries, but words won't come now without tears; and Richard will not weep on Christmas Day.) AUNT FLORA Why, Richard RICHARD I- (He turns to the door with a strange "understand- ing" movement of the hands.) UNCLE GEORGE Richard! (Richard stops.) AUNT FLORA If you will disobey me you must go to your room and remain until we send for you. (Richard mumbles "I'm sorry" inarticulately and leaves the room.) UNCLE GEORGE Well! AUNT FLORA I am sorry we have to punish the child on 197 PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS Christmas Day, George, but we surely cannot overlook this breach of discipline. UNCLE GEORGE My grandfather's clock! (Jasper Cole enters on tiptoe. He is an eternally young man, like the father of any boy's dreams. He is tall, slender, active, ruddy, with a smile that Richard "sees" in spite of everything.) (Uncle George and Aunt Flora do not see him.) JASPER P-s-t! AUNT FLORA (turning) Jasper! UNCLE GEORGE My boy! (They greet Jasper with a brown-and-gray warmth -their best. Aunt Flora even grants her cheek to him.) JASPER And the boy. Where is my boy AUNT FLORA (with constraint) He is in his room. JASPER I must go to him. UNCLE GEORGE Just one moment, Jasper. JASPER Is he-is he-ill UNCLE GEORGE No-no- AUNT FLORA But we must talk to you before you see him. I98 NELLIJUMBO JASPER Will he know me Does And strong UNCLE GEORGE We speak often of you to remember you very well. AUNT FLORA Your few letters have much. JASPER And his mother Mary without her AUNT FLORA he guess Is he tall him, and he seems to interested him very How did he get along We have done our best, Jasper. JASPER You blessed woman, I know you have-Vou and Uncle George. How can I thank you UNCLE GEORGE You need not thank us, my boy. It was our duty. AtTNT FLORA It wasn't easy for us, Jasper. We have never had any children, and their ways are strange to us. This child, with his misfortune, was, for a long time, beyond my comprehension. I under- stand him now. Lie was so fantastic, so ex- citable, and unapproachable at first-even friv- olous, and he was always wanting to do what a child in his condition could not possibly do. But we have worked with him and watched him, and got him under control-- until to-day. I am 199 PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS sorry that you will see him for the first time as he is at this moment. The excitement of Christmas and a breach of discipline have per- haps made him nervous. JASPER I should think so. AUNT FLORA At the reading hour he will read to you. JASPER The reading hour AUNT FLORA Yes. We always read for an hour after break- fast. JASPER Oh-yes. . . . I have had my breakfast. UNCLE GEORGE So have we. We ate very early to-day, so that we could finish the tree; but we shall read from eight until nine, as usual. AUN'T FLORA Jasper, Richard has just been guilty of sub- terfuge. JASPER Subter- AUNT FLORA Yes. He pushed George's clock forward so that it would strike ahead of time. JASPER (laughing) Did he now (He sees that he should not laugh.) Why 200 NELLIJUNIBO AUNT FLORA In order to find out the sooner what his sur- prise was to be. JASPER Oh! UNCLE GEORGE We hope you will not condone his offense. AUNT FLORA Do you wish to have us here when you meet him, or shall we leave JASPER Wait a moment. I brought him some pres- ents. I'll arrange them and then I'll- (He gets the packages of presents outside the door, looks a moment at the stiff, prim tree.) I think I'll see him alone. (ite begins to open the packages, removing several interesting toXs and games-no books. One pack- age he does not open. He arranges the lot of them about the foot of the tree.) I thought he would like this ship. It's a model of the Roosevelt. See, here's the name in raised letters. UNCLE GEORGE We couldn't let him go near the water, Jasper! JASPER When he's alone he can sail it in his room. . . . Here's a set of soldiers and cannon. Properly arranged, they can fight the battle of Waterloo. AUNT FLORA Isn't that a little blood-thirsty 20I PORT \I AN\TEAU ADAPTATIONS JASPER Their hearts are only lead, Aunt Flora. Here's a magic tower. See, you can make all sorts of things out of it,-and here is- UNCLE GEORGE I am sorry, Jasper, but I'm afraid Richard doesn't care for toys. JASPER Then we shall make him care. AUNT FLORA What is in that box (She indicates the un- opened package.) JASPER That Oh, that is a package of romance, of history, of adventure, of- AUNT FLORA Jasper, will you never grow up UNCLE GEORGE Your son is older than you are. Why, you've laid out toys for him as if he were a baby! He hasn't played on the floor for three years. JASPER Then we shall make him young again. ... Send him in. . . . I am ready for him. AUNT FLORA OuLr presents are on the table. (She goes to the door and calls) Ellen! ELLEN (Of) Yes, Ma'am. AUNT FLORA Send Richard here. (She closes the door.) 202 NELLIJUMBO JASPER (fixes his tie and smooths his hair) I am facing an ordeal. I wonder how I'll stand the test. UNCLE GEORGE Remember, he isn't a baby now. JASPER Ah, no. He's a little man. AUNT FLORA (at the door) He's coming, and he's bringing that dog! Jasper, if Richard is reticent or constrained you must not let it hurt you. His misfortune has made him shy. He doesn't take even me into his confidence. As an example: he has a name for that dog that he won't tell to anyone. (There is a knock on the door.) Come inl. (jasper stands at the far side of the tree.) (Richard comes into the room, carr)ing an uin- graceful seal-brown pup. It has long ears and tail which hang as limplv as its disproportionate paws. In spite of the recent reprimand, Rich- ard shows traces of excitement and anticipation. He hesitates at the door.) RI C H A RD Aunt Flora-Uncle George AUNT FLORA AND UNCLE GEORGE Yes, Richard. RICHARD Ellen said you wanted me. AUNT FLORA Yes, Richard, the tree is ready, and we wish you a merry Christmas. 203 PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS RICHARD Thank you, Ma'am-and is the surprise ready AUNT FLORA The surprise is here. (Richard starts into the room, then he turns, reaching out one hand.) RICHARD Uncle George UNCLE GEORGE Yes, Richard RICHARD (turning toward his uncle) I'm sorry I set the clock ahead. It was very wrong of me. (jasper has been watching his boy with ill- restrained eagerness; but he means to play the game, although in the halting little apology he reads the history of the motherless-fatherless years of the boy.) UNCLE GEORGE Very well, Richard. I trust it will not happen again. RICHARD No, sir. (He turns his head, listening.) Dr. White-is that you (Wow we know that Richard is blind, for he is facing his father. jasper places his finger on his lips to enjoin Aunt Flora and Uncle George to silence.) AUNT FLORA Come, George. Richard, we'll leave you to your tree and your surprise. (She goes to Richard and puts her hand on his 204 N ELLIJUNIBO shoulder. He turns his cheek and she kisses it in her way, then leaves the room.) UNCLE GEORGE There are some books on the small table and some toys at the foot of the tree. RICHARD Thank you, Uncle George. . . . I've brought the dog with me. Can he stay UNCLE GEORGE He may stay-to-day, Richard, but to-day only. I hope you will have a merry Christmas, my boy. (He shakes hands with Richard and goes out, closing the door after him, at a signalfrom .7asper.) (Richard stands a moment; then, putting his "understanding" hand before him, goes forward. He touches the tree. He ha/f turns to listen, and rasper feels his own heartbeats pounding a tocsin. But Richard, not hearing any one, gets on his knees and, releasing the dog, begins to feel along the floor. His fingers meet a toy sol- dier. He hesitates, then lifts the to- as hle eagerly "sees" it with his hands.) RICHARD Look, look, Nellie-Jumbo--a soldier! And here's another! (His hands "see" the group verY rapidl/v now.) Here's one on horseback!-A cannon!-two- three-Boom! (He touches the ship. St first hie can't believe his trusty fingers until he runs them across the name- plate.) 205 PORT'MANNTEAU ADAPTATIONS R-O-O-S-E-V-E-L-T! Roosevelt. We'll sail the seas and find polar bears! They're all white, Nellie-Jumbo. That's different from you. You're seal-brown. Poof! Poof! (One can see the noble adventure begin as Richard imitates the engines.) (He touches the unopened package next, and with lightning speed his fingers read what is impressed on the package.) "To Snoodles." My father used to call me Snoodles when I was a little chap. "This-is- a - secret - between -- you - and - capital Y-A-A- capital U-R-D"-Y-A-A-U-R-D! Oh, I guess that is a name-"and me." "This is a secret between you and Yaa-Urd and me. You-will-find-me-if--you go- to - the - big - pine-tree - in - the - green - forest. Do - not - open - this - until - you-find--me. P. S. Be-sure-to- bring - a - bodyguard with - you." I know! It's a game. Come on, soldiers; come on, Nellie-Jumbo! I know where the big pine tree is! (He gathers NVellijumbo under his arm and takes two soldiers in his hand. With his free hand he "sees" his way toward his father, who plays the game with gleaming eyes. He has brought adventure into Richard's life again, and the glow of wonder on the boy's face is ample re- ward for the hours of waiting for this moment. Richard touches his father.) 206 NELLIJUWIMBO RICHARD (dauntlessly) Here I am! JASPER (deeply) Who art thou RICHARD (tremulous! , uncertainly, but valiantly none the less) I am Richard; Richard, the Lion-hearted. (It is the first time in four years that any ear ex- cept Nellijumbo's has ever heard this secret wish of Richard's heart-to be the Lion-hearted.) JASPER Greetings, sire. RICHARD And who are you-art thou (He is less certain in the game now,for, remember, play is new to him.) JASPER I am Yaa-Urd. (He speaks the word with a delightful mvstery', pronouncing every letter with loving care.) Thy servant, sire. Wilt thou not greet me RICHARD Whence art thou from, Ya-Urd JASPER May it please thee, sire, thou deprivest me of an "A." My name is Yaa-Urd, unless thou wishest to have the other "A." (Richard actually giggles in a room where giggles have alwa vs frozen.) RICHARD Whence art thou from, Yaa-Urd 207 PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS JASPER I am from a country-beyond the seas-beyond the clouds, sire. RICHARD What art its name, Ya-u-Yaa-Urd JASPER Its name is Abaa-Ar. RICHARD Good, my man. I always wanted to go to- to- This is Nellie-Jumbo. JASPER How dost thou do RICHARD (quite matter of fact) What's vour real name JASPER I know vour real name. (When his father no longer speaks with an as- sumed v7oice, Richard loses his glamor, becomes restrained and shy.) RICHARD It's Richard Adams Cole, sir. JASPER It's Snoodles! RICHARD How did you know, sir JA. PER Don't you know me, Snoodles RICHARD No, sir- (It hurts deeplv, but jasper must face it.) Oh, yes, sir. I think you are my father, sir. JASPER I am. I am. 208 NELLIJUMBO (He takes Richard in his arms.) (The boy is mute. Remember, he has not had much demonstrative affection since his mother died, and when a boy is ten, and he has learned to hide his dreams, he does not know how to speak. It is 7asper's problem to open his boy's shut-in world.) JASPER (quite shyly) Would you rather I had been Yaa-Urd, really RICHARD No, sir. (jasper smiles as he had often smiled in order to win savages whose trust he had to win. Then he thinks that his smile cannot carrv. But smiles have sound and lovely words have wings. Richard had "heard" the smile; and the strange names spoken so beautifully by his father had made another breach in the wall of his secret world.) JASPER Will you shake hands nowr RICHARD Yes, sir. JASPER Shall I call you Snoodles RICHARD Aunt Flora doesn't like nicknames. JASPER Doesn't she Do you RICHARD Yes, sir. JASPER (dutifully, but without conviction) Well, I suppose Aunt Flora is right. 11 209 PORTMANTEAIU ADAPTATIONS RICHARD Yes, sir. (7asper sees that the advantage gained by Yaa- Urd has gone. But long association with elemental people keeps him from being discouraged. /lfter all, /lunt Flora and Uncle George are merely like a paternal government that means well and trie s to put all its subjects into one mold.) JASPER But, I suppose, sometimes it is necessary to give people two names. Here's Nellijumbo, for instance- (Richard "gives" never so little when tdie story comes so close to home.) She must have a company name. RICHARD He's a he. JASPER Oh! . . . B'hat's his out-loud name RICHARD (takes a deep breatd) .Au1t Flora and Uncle George wanted mie to call him Prince. JASPER Why didn't you RICHA RD I like Nellijumbo better. JASPER What does Nelli jumbo mean RICHARD It doesn't mean anything. JASPER I like it. 210 NELLIJUMBO RICHARD So do I. JASPER It's a wonderful name. (Richard reaches out his hand and shvyv touches jasper's sleeve. )asper's impulse is to take the boY in his arms, but he waits.) Did you make it up RICHARD No, sir. I heard it. JASPER \NVho said it RICHARD Aunt Flora, sir. JASPER Did she make it up RICHARD Oh, no, sir. She heard it, and she thought it was a very silly name. 1ASPER It isfunny, isn't it RICHARD I like it. JASPER So do I. . . . And I like Nellijumbo, too. It sounds just like-him. RICHARD All brown and soft and shaky. JASPER Yes. . . . Hello, Nellijumbo. (jasper sits on the floor beside the dog. Richard "sees" this, but he can't believe it. To ANelli- 2I I PORTMIANTEAU ADAPTATIONS jumbo Christmas has meant nothing more than sleep. He suffers 7asper to take him up, howz ever, and snuggles comfortably in his lap.) You are going to be like the dogs of Abaa-Ar when you grow up. (He speaks the strange wordfor Richard's benefit.) RICHARD Did you make up A-bar (HIe sits in a chair.) JASPER Some of it. RICHARD Who was Yaa-Urd I like him. JASPER He was an Indian prince who lived hundreds of years ago in South America. RICHARD 'I'hat's on the other side of the Panama Canal. I know. It's shaped this way. (He outlines South America in the air.) And it has a lot of high mountains here. (He makes the Andes mountains in the air.) JASPER Yaa-Urd lived in those mountains. RICHARD Where JASPER Here- (Fortunatel/V he remembers the map in the air, and he places his forefinger- where Richard can "'see" it.) RICHARD (as his hand touches y7aSpcr's finger) Half-way. 2 1 2 NELLIJUMBO JASPER Yes, in a fertile valley between two high ranges in a land called Peru. RICHARD (slipping to the floor beside his father) I like you. JASPER And I-like you. I like you as much as Yaa- Urd liked the little Indian prince. RICHARD Will you tell me all about it JASPER I'll play it with you. RICHARD How JASPER You be the prince and I'll be Yaa-Urd. RICHA RD I don't know it. JASPER That doesn't make any difference. We'll make it up as we go along. RICHARD What will Nellie-Jumbo be JASPER He'll be your faithful pony. RICHARD He isn't big enough. JASPER Then I'll be your faithful pony. RICHARD But you're Yaa-Urd. 213 PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS JASPER I'll be both. RICHARD Go on. (He laughs out of sheer joy.) Where are wee JAS P EF R We're in South America. RICH A RD This room is South America! JASPER And under the tree is the city of Abaa-Ar. RICHA RD) Which side J AS PER All around. RICHARD And here are the soldiers-and the cannons. JASPER They didn't have cannon in those days. RICHARD (disappointed) Didn't they JASPER All right, we'll give them cannon, anyway. (Richard places the three cannon and saYs "boom"' for each of them.) Now these two chairs are two low mountains and between them is a mountain pass. RICHARD (going to the chairs that jasper has placed) Is there snow on them JASPER Deep. 214 NELLIJUMBO RICHARD What's their name JASPER This one is Ixu, and this one is Zanthu. RICHARD (touching the chairs as lie speaks) Uncle George's chair is Ixu and Aunt Flora's chair is Zanthu!-and here's the mountain pass. Where are we going JASPER Well, this piano is the high mountain-named Zabu. (Richard goes to the piano.) RICHARD Snow from here uIp. O-o-h, it looks cold. Zabu! JASPER Now on these two mountains live hostile tribes. RICHARD Host'l. (This name pleases him less than the others, but he accepts it.) JASPER On Zabu lives the common enemy-named Taru. (Richard places soldiers on Ixu and Zanthu.) RICHARD These are the Host'ls. They haven't any cannons. You see they couldn't get them up the mountain sides. JASPER No, of course not. (He sees that the cannon of ,/baa-,r will subdue the "Host'ls.") 215 PORTMTANTEAU ADAPTATIONS RICHARD And here is Taru. (Placing a soldier on horse- back on the piano.) JASPER (foolish!'N, with delight) Taru's on his high horse, isn't he (Richard giggles, principally because his father smiles.) RICHARD Now, what's the matter with them (jasper sees the forgotten unopened package.) JASPER Here is a chest of jewels that belongs to the Prince, and until he gets it he cannot be Em- peror. Taru had taken it and fled to Zabu long years ago with twenty faithful followers. RICHARD I haven't twenty soldiers. JASPER All right. All of them died-except Taru. They died of cold. RICHARD How did he pass Ixu JASPER In a fog. RICHARD Oh! JASPER Shall we begin RICHARD Yes. 216 NELLIJUMBO JASPER All right. Into the palace. RICHARD (turning and threading without touching the cannon) his way to the tree Here's the palace. JASPER How did you find the palace so easily RICHARD Why, it's there. . . . You wouldn't know I was blind, would you JASPER No. RICHARD I see a lot of things-but I wish I could see color. JASPER Yes. RICHARD I know seal-brown. I can feel it. JASPER (falling into the ganze) Majesty, thou shalt see gold in 1 Taru stole from thee. RICHARD What is my name -he chest that JASPER It's- RICHARD Do you care if I am Richard the Lion-hearted JASPER Well, Richard was never in Peru; but we'll put him there. Maj esty, thou canst not be Em- peror unless thou winnest thy crown again. 217 PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS RIC HARD Yaa-Urd, arise. We shall go in search of my crown. JASPER Robbers and Host'ls infest the way. RICHARD At Ixu and Zanthu JASPER Aye, aye, sire. RICHARD Set the cannons on them. JASPER They will not shoot so far. RICHARD Then take them with us. J ASPER The roads are impassable. RICHARD (stumped for a moment) Then we'll pass Ixu in a fog. JASPER (delighted out of his character) Bully!-I mean forwardf RICHARD Come on, we go out of the city gates. JASPER Wilt thou ride, Sire RICHA RD I have no horse. JASPER I'll be the horse. RICHARD You can't be Yaa-Urd and the horse both. 2 1 8 NELLIJUNMBO JAS PER That's true. . . . I think thot hadst better go disguised, sire, and while thou art robing I'll find thee a horse. RICHARD What shall I wear JASPER Here. RICHARD Oh, that's Aunt Flora's piano-cover-I can't. JASPER It is thy robe, sire. ... And here-this is thy mantle. Put them on. (BY' this time 7Iunt Flora's room is ver' mcich changed in appearance.) I go for thy horse. (He strides a pace or two, then returns.) If I should not come back, sire, you may know I have been killed. (In an everyv-dayN tone) IThen I can be the horse. (Richard arrays himself in the piano-covier and scarf.) (jasper gets down on his hands and knees, neighis and prances as well as lie can. zis lie comes to Richard lie neighs again.) RICHARD Ho, a horse. JASPER I'm a talking steed, sire. . . . Mount. RICHARD Really. 2 19 PORTMAN'TEAU ADAPTATIONS JASPER (On his knees) Really. (Again on allfours.) (Richard mounts.) RICHARD Get up! JASPER Aren't you going to take Nellijumbo RICHARD No, I must go alone. Nellie-Jumbo, you stay home and watch the palace. . . . Get up! (jasper turns awax'from Ixu and Zanthu.) Gee!-That means go right.-It's this way. JASPER (himself) How did you know RICHARD Why, they're there-just there. That's all I know. JASPER (as he nears the "pass") There's a heavy fog, sire. RICHARD Get up! . . . (whispering) We're through the pass. B-r-r-r! it's cold. On to Zabu! (jasper nears piano.) Whoa! I'll hitch you. JASPER Can't I go with you RICHARD I'll climb alone... .I'm afraid I'll scratch the piano. 220 NNELLIJUNI BO JASPER Take off thy shoes, sire, and he won't hear thee comning. (Of go Richard's shoes and up on the piano goes ARichard, jasper Statching in adoration.) (fIn a moment Richard is in a loud and terrifying altercation with the air above the leaden soldier.) RIC HAR[) Ah, villain, give me back my jewels. Biff! Bang! Zip! Ah! (He takes up the box, jumps from the piano, mounts his steed, and vells) Get up! Victorv! (/Zs jasper trots through the pass, the door opens and Sunt Flora enters.) AUNT FLORA Goodness! What is the matter (Uncle George is on her heels.) UNCLE GEORGE Is he hurt . . . Why, what's the matter RICHARD Oh, Aunt Flora, we've found the jewels! AUNT FLORA What on earth Jasper! Richard! What is this nonsense (jasper and Richard have reached the pass and the palace. Aunt Flora and Uncle George are straightening the furniture.) (Richard dismounts.) JASPER (rising) It isn't nonsense, Aunt Flora. We've really got 2 Z I PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS the jewels. . . . Open the box, Snoodles. (Richard begins to open the box.) AUNT FLORA How could you humiliate the child by such nonsense! JASPER Aunt Flora, dearest, it isn't nonsense. RICHARD (taking a wonderful Inca ornament from the box) Oh, what is it What color is it JASPER It's gold, real yellow gold, and hundreds of years ago it belonged to a little Inca prince. (The clock strikes eight.) UNCLE GEORGE It's the reading hour. (Richard dutifully takes up a book.) JASPER Do you care if Richard tells you the story of the jewels instead of reading AUNT FLORA As you wish, Jasper. UNCLE GEORGE How does he know about it JASPER He's just lived it. Tell them, Snoodles. (He takes lVellijumbo in his lap. Richard goes to him and climbs onto his knee.) AUNT FLORA I cannot understand it. Richard never climbs into my lap. 222 NELLIJUMBO JASPER Well, you see, Aunt Flora, we are both of us incurably romantic, incurably frivolous, and in- curably-fond of you. (He just hugs Richard.) Tell them the story, Richard. RICHARD (with an arm around his father's neck) Well, once-upon-a time (But his mind and his heart are elsewhere as the curtains close. He has found his comrade.) THE END. 223 This page in the original text is blank. APPENDIX 15 PERSONNEL OF THE STUART WALKER COMPANY 1921 ALDRICH BOWKER HELEN BURCH OSCAR DAVISSON MURIEL BROWN ROBERT FISKE EUGENIE CHAPEL GEORGE GAUL MARGARET DALRYMPLE ROBERT MCGROARTY LAEL DAVIS ROBERT MASTERS AGNES HORTON L'fESTRANGE MILLMAN GRACE KIECHLE JAMIEs NIORGA.4: JUDITH LOWRY MCKAY MORRIS DOROTHY MCDONALD ARVID PAULSON BEATRICE MAUDE EDWIN NOEL JULIA MCMAHON TomI POWERS MARGARET MOWER GEORGE SOMNES LUCILLE NIKOLAS STUART WXALKER ELIZABETH PATTERSON WXALTER VON N EGUT MIARJORIE VONNEGUT JAMES P. XXEBBER REGIN-A WALLACE JOHN- W RAY PEGGY XO OOD BLANCHE YURKA FRANK J. ZIMNMNERER, - - - - Art Director ROBERT MCGROAR-ry, - - - - Stage Director THE MURAT THEATRE, INDIANAPOLIS 226 APPENDIX REPERTORY THE WOLF MAMMA'S AFFAIR CIVILIAN CLOTHES D A DDI ES SMILIN' THROUGH THE GREAT GALEOTO THE BOOK OF JOB TEA FOR THREE COME SEVEN THREE CHILDREN'S PLAYS MY LADY FRIENDS ARTISTS' LIFE A PAIR OF SILK STOCKINGS MAIN STREET MONNA VANNA TRILBY WEDDING BELLS THE LOTTERY MAN HONOR BRIGHT OF THE STUART WALKER COMPANY I921 Eugene Walter Rachael Barton Butler (First time here) Thompson Buchanan (First time here) John Hobble Allan Langdon Martin (First time here) Jose Echegaray Roi Cooper Megrue Octavus Cohen (First time here) Stuart Walker (One a premier) Frank Mandel and Emil Nyitray Peggy Wood and Sam- uel Merwin (Premier) Cyril Harcourt (60oth performance) Harvey O'Higgins and Harriet Ford (Premier) Maurice Maeterlinck George de Maurier Salisbury Field (First time here) Rita Johnson Young Meredith Nicholson and Kenyon Nicholson (Premier) 227 APPENDIX THE BEAUTIFUL ADVENTURE, de Flers and Caillavet NEVERTHELESS Stuart Walker SIS WHO PASS WHILE THE LENTILS BOIL Stuart Walker SIR DAVID WX EARS A CROWN Stuart Walker (Premier) Two KISSES Harry James Smith LAST FIVE PLAYS SEASON 19i9 KICK IN NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH FAIR AND WXARMER THE FORTUNE HUNTER PICCADILLY JIM Willard Mack James Montgomery Avery Hopwood Winchell-Smith Guy Bolton and P. Wodehouse (New) SEASON I 920 Two KISSES THE MIRACLE MAN POLLY WXITH A PAST THE STORM BIRD THE SHOW SHOP THE GYsP TRAIL TEMPERAMENTAL HENRY THE LODGER BABY MINE A LITTLE JOURNEY Harry James Smith (Pre- mier) George M. Cohan (First time in Indianapolis) George Middleton and Guy Bolton Dion Clayton Calthrop and Roland Pertwee (Premier) James Forbes Robert Housum Samuel Merwin (Pre- mier) Horace Annesley Vachell (First time here) Margaret Mayo Rachel Crothers (First time here) 228 G. APPENDIX A VERY G;OOID YOUNG MAN Too MANY HUSBANDS PEG O MY HEART 39 EAST Martin Brown (First time here) Somerset Maugham (First time here) J. Hartley Manners Rachel Crothers (First time here) Gammer Gurton's Needle was first produced by Mr. Walker at Boston, Massachusetts, on February 14, 1916. The first New York production was at the Princess Theatre in December of i9i6. CAST (See page 31) The Birthday of the Infanta was first produced at Binghamton, New York, in November of i9i6. The first New York production was at the Princess Theatre in December of i9i6. CAST (See page I I 3) Sir David Wears a Crown was first produced at the Murat Theatre, Indianapolis, Indiana on June 24, 1921. It has not yet had a New York production. CAST (See page 142) Nellijumbo has not yet been played. 229 Stewart Kidd Play Series The Portmanteau Plays By STUART WALKER Edited and with an introduction by Edward Hale Bierstadt Brooklyn Eagk: "All of the plays in these attractive maroon volumes are literary without being pedantic, and dramatic without being noisy. They are a genuine addition to the steadily growing list of worthwhile plays by American drama- tists. Stewart Kidd are to be congratulated on presenting them to the public in such attractive format." Vol. i -Portmanteau Plays Introduction The Trimplet Nevertheless Six Who Pass While the Lentils Boil Medicine Show Vol. 2-More Portmanteau Plays Introduction The Lady of the Weeping Willow Tree The Very Naked Boy Jonathan Makes a Wish Vol. 3-Portmanteau Adaptations Introduction Gammer Gurton's Needle The Birthday of the Infanta Sir David Wears a Crown Nellijumbo Each of the above volumes handsomely bound and illus- trated. Per volume net, in Silk Cloth, 2.50; -3 Turkev Morocco, 8.5o. A Notable Achievement European Theories of the Drama AN ANTHOLOGY OF DRAMATIC THEORY AND CRITICISM FROM ARISTOTLE TO THE PRESENT DAY, IN A SERIES OF SELECTED TEXTS, WITH COMMENTARIES, BIOGRAPHIES AND BIBLIOGRAPHIES BY BARRETT H. CLARK AUTHOR OF "CONTEMPORARY FRENCH DRAMATISTS," "THE CONTI- NENTAL DRAMA OF TODAY," "BRITISH AND AMERICAN DRAMA OF TODAY," ETC., ETC. A book of paramount importance. This monumental anthology brings together for the first time the epoch-making theories and criti- cisms of the drama which have aftieted our civilization from the be- ginnings in Greece down to the present day. Beginning with Aristotle. each utterance on the subject has been chosen with reference to its importance, arngl its effect on subsequent dramatic writing. The texts alone would be of great interest and value, but the author, Barrett H. Clark, has so connected each period by means of inter-chapters that his comnments taken as a whole constitute a veritable history of dramatic criticism, in which each text bears out his statements. Nowhere else is so important a body of doctrine on the subject of the drama to be obtained. It cannot fail to appeal to anyone who is interested in the theater, and ill be indispensable to students. The introduction to each section of the book is followed by an exhaustive bibliography; each writer whose work is represented is made the subject of a brief biography, and the entire volume is rendered doubly valuable by the index, which is worked out in great detail. Prof. Brander Alditheus, of Columbia University. says: "Mr. Clark deserves high praise for the careful thoroughness with which he has performed the task he set for himself. He has done well what was well worth doing. In these five hundred pages he has extracted the essence of several five-foot shelves. His anthology will be in- valuable to all students of the principles of playmaking; and it ought to be welcomed by all those whose curiosity has been aroused by the frequent references of our latter-day theorists of the theater to their predecessors Aristotle and Horace, Castelvetro and Scaliger, Sidney and Jonson, d'Aubignac and Boileau, Lessing and Schlegel, Goethe and Coleridge." Win. Lyon Phelps, of Yale University, writes: "Mr. C(lark's book, 'European Theories of the Drama,' is an exceedingly valuable work and ought to be widely useful." Large 8vo, S50 pages. Net, 5.00; Y4 Turkey Morocco, Net, .Ti2. STEWART & KIDD COMPANY I Cincinnati, U. S. A. Publishers STEWART KIDD DRAMATIC PUBLICATIONS THE TRUTH ABOUT THE THEATER. . Anonymous 1.25 EUROPEAN- THEORIES OF THE DRAMA Barrett H. Clark 5.00 CONTEMPORARYFRENCH DRA MATISTS Barrett H. Clark 2.50 FOUR PLAYS OF THE FREE THEATER. Barrett H. Clark 2.50 THE PROVINCETOWN PLAYS Geo. Cram Cook & Frank Shay, Editors 2.50 THE Two CROM WELLS .. . Liddell DeLesseline 1.50 PLAYS AND PLAYERS . ....... Walter Prichard Eaton 3.00 TEE ANTIGONE OF SOPHOCLES Prof. Jos. Edward Harry 1.25 TlE CHANGING DRAMA ....... Archibald Henderson 2.50 EUROPEAN DRAMATISTS ...... Archibbald Henderson 3.00 GEORGE BERNARD SHAW: HIs l.IFE AND WORKS Archibald Henderson 7.50 FIFTY CONTEMPORARY ONE ACT PLAYS Compiled by Pierre Loving & Frank Shay 5.00 SHORT PLAYS .................. Mlary MacMillan 2.50 MORE SHORT PLAYS .............M ary ilfac-illan 2.50 THE GIFT ................M argaret Douglas Rogers 1.00 COMEDIES OF WORDS AND OTHER PLAYS Arthur Schnitzler, Translated by Pierre Loving 2.50 LUCKY PEER ...........g...... AUgust Strindberg 2.50 Translated by Velma Swanston Howard EASTER.A ....... August Strindberg 2.50 Translated by Velma Swanston Howard THE HAMLET PROBLEM AND ITS SOLUTION Emerson Venable 1.50 PORTMANTEAU PLAYS .... . Stuart Walker, net 2.50 MORE PORTMANTEAU PLAYS ... . Stuart Walker, net 2.50 PORTMANTEAU ADAPTATIONS.... Stuart Walker, net 2.50 Stewart KWSA Mfodern Plays MANSIOINS..... Hildegarde Flanner.50 THE SHEPHERD IN THE DISTANCE.. Holland Hudson .50 HEARTS TO MEND .. H. A. Overstreet .50 SHAM. Frank G. Tompkins .50 SIX WHO PASS WXHILE TE LENTILS BOIL Stuart Walker .50 Others to Follow