[yawns.} Goo'-ni'." That's the way Percy talks to you. Isn't
it nice? That was the last dance I had, and then I had to come
away. [The following parody could be used as a finish.]
(AiR. "After the Opera is Over")
I'm sorry the dancing is over,
So sorry the dancing is done.
For supping, and flirting, and dancing,
I think is the greatest of fun I
[Skips about stage and exits.]
i.io WERNER'S READINGS
AFTER THE BALL: HIS REFLECTIONS.
Comedy Musical Monologue for a Man.
MEL B. SPURR.
CHARACTER : MR. HAROLD HORTY, Speaker, present, addresses
his conversation to audience.
TIME : High noon day after the ball.
SCENE : A den. Table, chairs, etc. On table are brandy and
[MR. HORTY drains a glass, sets it on table, shakes himself
together, yawns, and then exclaims:}
BY Jove ! These balls do knock one over and no mistake.
Make one feel kind of knocked-down-and-not-worth-pick-
ing-up-again, don't-you-know ! My head feels as if I'd been
dancing wrong end up, and I've got a red mark round my neck,
as if I'd been trying to saw my head off. My man tells me that
that is caused by my insisting on going to bed with my collar on.
Somehow, do you know, I don't remember going to bed at all !
I don't know why I shouldn't, but I don't. I know I feel deuced
seedy. I've had a good wash that pulls a fellow together ; I feel
as if I wanted starch-and-ironing as well. Awfully jolly ball that
was last night. Some tidy little girls there, don't-you-know.
Let me see if I can remember any of my partners. [Looks at
program.} By Jove! Is this my writing? It looks like forked
lightning more than anything else. Must have been worse than
I thought. Now let me see [reads]. "Kate Jesmond Deane."
Ah ! A cte-lightful little creature, with what-you-may-call-'em-
sapphire blue eyes and lovely chestnut hair sort of roa^-chest-
NOTE. "After the Ball : His Reflections" and "After the Ball : Her Re-
flections" are companion monologues which may be recited at same enter-
tainment, either by one person or by two persons, woman and man, one
following the other.
AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 131
nut hair, don't-you-know ! And such a sweet smile. It's a smile
that goes very well with mine. You know, some girls seem to be
afraid of their partners, don't they? But not Kitty. She nestles
up against a fellow's waistcoat like a bee-yu-tious bee in a balmy
butter-cup, don't-you-know! [Reads.] I notice I danced an
awful lot with her.
"Waltz, Miss Jesmond Deane." "Lancers, Kate." (Told me her
name was Kate.) "Polka, Kitty." (Getting on!) "Quadrille,
darling Kitty." "Waltz, My own Kitty-Witty." Ah ! That was
after the champagne.
[Reads.] "Miss Belinda Bluesox." I remember her. A
strong-minded party. Tall, thin and jointy not jaunty, don't-
you-know? jointy. Hostess told me she was a Master of Arts,
or something terrible. We had a set of quadrilles together.
Fancy going through a set of quadrilles in this petrified mummy
sort of style. [Goes through part of first figure of quadrille, with
arms folded stiffly.] Then, when we were setting to partners, I
was going to take her by the waist, as usual. Not a bit of it ! She
put out a skinny hand instead. [Imitates, turning round, hand
held aloft.] Then her conversation. She asked me if I was fond
of literature. I said, "Oh, yes some. I take the 'Sporting
Times' regularly." She said,' "What books did I like best?" I
said 'Those that have pictures in them, don't-you-know ?" She
said, "Didn't I study any of the arts or sciences?" I said "I did
a little in the art of self-defence." I thought she would have to
be taken home on a shutter. She was a terror, I tell you.
[Reads.] "Flossie Fluffytop." 'M-yes ! She was recommended
to me as a girl with plenty of "go" in her. By Jove! "Go!"
She had that with a vengeance. I have often wondered what was
meant by "perpetual motion." I think it must be a galop with
Miss Flossie Fluffytop. We went twirling and twisting round
like a couple of dervishes ! Ah ! and talking about twists, what
a twist that girl had on her at supper. I'd rather keep her a week
than a fortnight, any time.
[Reads.] "Maggie MacTaggart." Ou ! Aye! A great, raw-
boned Heeland toe-and-heehnd lassie, ye ken, don't-you-know.
132 WERNER'S READINGS
Hech! The dauchter o' a "braw laird," whatever kind of cattle
that may be. We had a real I was going to say reel Highland
Schottische together. We did it in the native style war-whoop
and all, complete. [Dances the Highland Schottische, emitting
loud, stentorian "hecks" every now and then. Finishes up in an
exhausted state, and fans face with handkerchief.} After about
ten minutes of this sort of thing, I w r as beginning to feel a bit
done up, don't-you-know. Miss Maggie MacTaggart looked as
if she hadn't turned a hair, so to speak. I gasped out, "It's a fine
dance, the Heeland Schottische, ye ken, don't-you-know. Hech!"
She said, "Aye, it's no that bad ! But your dances here are naeth-
ing but puir creepin' and crawlin'. Ye pay mair attention to yer
parrtners than to they dances." : 'Weel," I said, in my best
Jamieson, "and it's a vary guid fault, for a' thot, Hech!" She
said, "Maybe aye, maybe no ! It's ilka mair a canny gilly gaskin,
Skirrach!" I said I thocht so mysel', but I couldna' express it
sae elegantly. She sniffed again, and said, "Happen we'd better
gae at it again." So we "gaed" at it again, and after that I went
hame, ye ken, saying, "Hech, hech, hech !" all the way ; and, now
I come to think of it, I rather fancy it's that that's given me such
a head-hech this morning, ye ken, don't-you-know!!! HECH!
WHEN GREEK MEETS GREEK.
Humorous Yankee Dialect Verse Monologue for a Man.
TR ANGER here? Yes, come from Varmount,
Rutland county. You'e hern tell
Mebbe of the town of Granville?
You born there? No! sho! Well, well!
You was born at Granville, was you ?
Then you know Elisha Brown,
Him as runs the old meat market
At the lower end of town !
Well ! Well ! Well ! Born clown in Granville !
And out here, so far away!
'AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 133
Stranger, I'm homesick already,
Though it's but a week to-day
Since I left my good wife standin'
Out there at the kitchen door,
Sayin' she'd ask God to keep me;
And her eyes were runnin' o'er!
You must know ole Albert Withers,
Henry Bell and Ambrose Cole?
Know them all? And born in Granville !
Well! Well! Well! Why, bless my soul!
Sho ! You're not old Isaac's nephew,
Isaac Green, down on the flat !
Isaac's oldest nephew, Henry?
Well, I'd never thought of that !
Have I got a hundred dollars
I could loan you for a minute,
Till you buy a horse at Marcy'sf
There's my wallet ! Just that in it !
Hold on, though ! You have ten, mebbe,
You could let me keep; you see
I might chance to need a little
Betwixt now and half-past three!
Ten. That's it ; you'll owe me ninety ;
Bring it round to the hotel.
So you're old friend Isaac's nephew?
Born in Granville ! Sho ! Well, well I
*| *1* *J* ^I* *TT>
What! policeman, did you call me?
That a rascal going there?
Well, sir; do you know I thought so,
And I played him pretty fair;
Hundred-dollar bill I gave him
Counterfeit and got this ten !
Ten ahead. No ! you don't tell me,
This bad, too? Sho! Sold again!
S34 WERNER'S READINGS
Romantic Comedy Monologue for a Woman.
ANNA WARREN STORY.
[Enter WIDOW laughing heartily.]
HA! ha! ha! ha! Oh! I beg a thousand pardons ha! ha!
ha ! ha ! I cannot help it. I must laugh or I shall die
ha ! ha ! ha ! ha ! Now, imagine ! I am a widow ! Oh, no ! that's
not the reason I laugh. No, no ; it is much more droll than that.
One of my good lady friends wishes me to marry again, and
to bring this about has selected a number of gentlemen whom she
thinks suitable for a future husband for me; and she arranged a
meeting this evening for one of these gentlemen and me ha ! ha !
ha ! ha !
It was at the opera. "Faust!" "Faust!" poetical and
I arrived with my friend before my "Future" should come, in
order to judge of his entrance.
The door opens. He enters. Ha ! ha ! ha ! ha ! I laugh. It is
not my fault. It was so funny.
Picture this to yourself. The evening was very cold, and the
air had given to this (ha! ha! ha! ha!) "Chosen One" among
the eligibles a severe cold. He had wound a scarf several times
around his head and had forgotten to take it off ha ! ha ! ha ! ha !
He looked as if he were a fortification in cashmere ; and his small
tip of a red nose seemed like a lighthouse.
We are introduced to each other.
"Madame" [imitating the salutation of the gentleman].
"Monsieur" [making a courtesy].
"Madame" [same as before].
"Monsieur" [same as before].
Then came a long silence oh, a long silence. I say to myself,
"He is looking at me ; he is fascinated."
"Beautiful hall," he says to me.
AND RECITATIONS NO. 3*. 135
"Oh ! ah ! Perfectly lovely."
In fact, everything was beautiful, except himself.
The act being finished, he went out to search for the compli-
ments he had not paid me, and in leaving the box he dropped his
glasses ; for, besides having a cold, he was near-sighted. I said
nothing, but pushed the poor man's glasses under the chair. He
did not return to look for them, not daring to let me know that
he could not see well.
"Well, my dear/' said my friend, "how do you like him?"
"Really, up to the present moment I only find he has a severe
"But, that will not last. Wait we shall see him again."
In speaking we had made a little turn in the box. The orches-
tra began the overture to the second act. We seated ourselves,
and, without thinking, my friend took my place and I took hers.
The door re-opened (ha! ha! ha! ha!) Monsieur re-entered,
and, seating himself behind me and leaning toward my ears he said :
'Thanks, my dear friend, thanks. She is frightful. She is
too dark. She is too large. I will have none of her. Thank you
(ha! ha! ha! ha!). Besides, she is stupid; indeed, she is. She
has found nothing to say to me, and I have taken up every sort
of subject. Find me another, but not this lady."
Ha! ha! ha! ha! He had not recognized me. We were both
dressed in black; he had mistaken me for my friend, and had
given me my panegyric (ha! ha! ha! ha!). A burst of laughter
made him comprehend his mistake, my voice serving him as a
"Oh ! Madame ! Many excuses ! Many pardons many
The emotion gave him extra cold and he began to sneeze and
sneeze and sneeze, and I I laughed and laughed and laughed to
such an extent that I finally escaped that I might come and laugh
with you, for I am sure he will go on sneezing forever.
I shall remain a widow.
136 WERNER'S READINGS
WHEN PAPA'S SICK.
Comedy Verse Recital for a Boy.
WHEN papa's sick, my goodness sakes!
Such awful, awful times it makes.
He speaks in, oh ! such lonesome tones,
And gives such ghastly kind of groans,
And rolls his eyes and holds his head,
And makes ma help him up to bed,
While Sis and Bridget run to heat
Hot-water bags to warm his feet,
And I must get the doctor, quick,
We have to jump when papa's sick.
When papa's sick, ma has to stand
Right 'side the bed and hold his hand,
While Sis, she has to fan an' fan,
For he says he's "a dyin' man,"
And wants the children round him to
Be there when "sufferin' pa gets through;"
He says he wants to say good-bye
And kiss us all, and then he'll die ;
Then moans and says his "breathin's thick,"-
It's awful sad when papa's sick.
When papa's sick he acts that way
Until he hears the doctor say,
"You've only got a cold, you know:
You'll be all right 'n a day or so;"
And then well, say you ought to see
He's different as he can be,
And growls and swears from noon to night
Just 'cause his dinner ain't cooked right;
And all he does is fuss and kick,
We're all used up when papa's sick.
AND RECITATIONS NO. &. 137
WHEN PA GETS SICK.
Comedy Verse Recital for a Boy.
WHEN pa gets sick he always knows
He's go'n ter die, an' Tommy goes
For Doctor Quack, an' 'fore he 'rives
I'm hurried off for Doctor Ives,
An' ma an' Bess an' auntie, too,
For liniments an' gruels go,
An' plasters an' the warmin' brick
An' everything, when pa gets sick.
No one of us is 'lowed to play,
The baby's sent across the way,
The 'pothecary's boy's about,
The hull time runnin' in an' out.
The house so with his groans is filled,
Folks stop to ask who's gettin' killed,
An' misery is piled on thick
For everyone, when pa gets sick.
We never have no table set ;
Cold vittles is the best we get,
For cook is busy to the brim
Contrivin' dainty things for him;
An* studyin' it in my mind
I'm good deal more'n half inclined
To think although I dassent kick
We suffer most when pa gets sick.
i 3 8 WERNER'S READINGS
IF I CAN BE BY HER.
Romantic Stammering Dialect Verse Monologue.
ID-D-DON'T c-c-c-are how the r-r-r-obin sings,
Er how the r-r-r-ooster f-f-flaps his wings,
Er whether 't sh-sh-shines, er whether 't pours,
Er how high up the eagle s-s-soars,
If I can b-b-b-be by her.
I don't care if the p-p-p-people s-say
'At I'm weak-minded every-w-way,
An' n-n-never had no cuh-common sense,
I'd c-c-c-cuh-climb the highest p-picket fence
If I could b-b-b-be by her.
If I can be by h-h-her, I'll s-s-swim
The r-r-r-est of life thro' th-th-thick an' thin ;
I'll throw my overcoat away,
An' s-s-s-stand out on the c-c-c-oldest day,
If I can b-b-b-be by her.
You s-s-see sh-sh-she weighs an awful pile,
B-b-b-but I d-d-d-don't care sh-she's just my style,
An' any f-f-fool could p-p-p-lainly see
She'd look well b-b-b-by the side of me,
If I could b-b-b-be by her.
I b-b-b-braced right up, and had the s-s-s-and
To ask 'er f-f-f-father f-f-fer 'er hand ;
He said : " Wh-wh-what p-p-prospects have you got ?"
I said : "I gu-gu-guess I've got a lot,
If I can b-b-b-be by her."
AND RECITATIONS NO. $2. 139
AT THE BOX-OFFICE.
Comedy Monologue for a Young Lady.
CHARACTERS: ALICE, Speaker, present; MARGARET, an ac-
quaintance, several men all supposed to be present.
SCENE : ALICE is standing in line looking in at window ; turning
suddenly, she discovers an acquaintance near stage front R.
HELLO, Margaret! Yes, dear, I have been standing in line
the longest time, perfect ages. I'm just about dead. Such
a string of stupid men have been ahead of me, and they have all
been so long making up their minds. I should think they would
decide what they wanted before they came, wouldn't you? I
Are you after tickets, too ? That's nice. I love company. Now,
dear, I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll let you stand right here behind
me and then you won't have to go away down the line.
[To a man in the rear:] What, sir? Well, I'll have you under-
stand, sir, this lady is a friend of mine, and I have a perfect right
to allow her to stand beside me if I wish ! The idea, Margaret ;
that man objects to your standing here !
It's awful waiting, isn't it ? I wouldn't do it for anyone but
Hackett, but I simply adore him. What do you think of my new
hat, dear? Rather "swell," I think. I bought it at "Maguirett's."
Her prices are something atrocious. Why, my dear, will you be-
lieve me, she wanted twenty-five dollars for an ordinary walking-
hat with nothing on it but a rosette? Of course,. it had style, but
when I pay that amount for style I want it to consist of something
more than a bow of ribbon.
Did you go to the whist yesterday? What did Maude wear?
The one trimmed with pink? Mercy, she's worn that since the
year One. Have anything good to eat ? Is that all ? Well, thank
goodness ! I didn't go. You always get lobster salad at whists,
just as you get chops and green peas at luncheons.
140 WERNER'S READINGS
Awfully uninteresting set of people here this morning, espe-
cially the men. Just look at this man ahead of me. I hate that
type of person, don't you ? So insignificant ! Think he must be
buying up the whole house, he's certainly been there long enough.
Anyway, I come next. There, he's through at last.
f [To the ticket seller:] Two seats, please. Oh, Saturday, yes,
matinee. Best seats, I always buy the best seats. Are those the
best seats you can give me? Isn't there anything nearer? I
couldn't possibly think of sitting back of D., and I must insist on
aisle seats. (You know, Margaret, Jennie and I always draw
to see which one shall buy the caramels and have the aisle seats.)
How much are these ? Two dollars apiece ? I call that robbery.
Why, I have sat there any number of times and never paid more
than a dollar. Let me see something cheaper, please.
Dollar and a half? Way back there? That's funny! You can
get lovely seats at the Bijou for that price, front row, I believe.
I never would pay a dollar and a half to sit there. Where are the
dollar seats? Oh, balcony. Oh, Jennie wouldn't like those. She
couldn't see a thing. She's a trifle near-sighted, although she
doesn't like to admit it. Will Ellen Terry play Saturday after-
noon ? Isn't she in the company ? Oh, no, of course not. I recol-
lect now. She plays with Faversham, doesn't she ? I always get
Anyway, I know I've seen Hackett. I don't remember much
about the play, >but he was too dear for anything. It was "Henry
VIII." or "Sherlock Holmes" or something like that, and he wore
purple tights and looked stunning. [To the man behind:} What,
sir? No, I haven't decided yet what I want. I've been standing
in line one solid hour, and I don't intend to rush now for anyone.
(Men are so rude !)
What can you give me for fifty cents ? Second balcony? That's
what they call "nigger heaven," isn't it ? I never sat there myself,
but I know real nice people who do go there. Carrie White goes
there a lot, and she's an awfully swell girl. By the way, Mar-
garet, have you seen that new coat Carrie's wearing? My dear,
it's a dream ! gray broadcloth made with the new style sleeves
AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 141
and trimmed with Oh, yes, beg pardon, I forgot about the
seats. Yes, I will decide at once. What? Yes, I know there are
others waiting, but I've been waiting myself and I didn't com-
plain. [To the man in the rear:} I think it very impolite of you
men to talk so.
^ There! aren't any seats cheaper than fifty cents, are there ? Well,
I thought I'd inquire. I've known places where you could get the
best seats for thirty cents. No, it wasn't this theatre. Now. what
would advise, Margaret? To-day is Thursday, and Sat-
There, what am I thinking about ? I can't go Saturday, of course
not. That's the very day Maude and I planned to cut out shirt-
waists. Isn't that mean? Well, I'll have to give up the matinee,
that's all there is about it.
Why, I never saw such rude men in my life. I think it very
strange if a lady can't buy theatre tickets without being insulted.
I'll never patronize this theatre again. I'll go where I will be
treated civilly and where I can buy a decent seat without paying
Margaret, don't you buy tickets, either. Come, dear, let's go
down to Huyler's and have a soda.
WHEN THE MINISTER CAME TO TEA.
JULIET WILBOR TOMPKINS.
MANY a solemn conference
Went on in high-backed seat,
And long we pondered, in grave suspense,
What the minister 'd like to eat.
And never a royal pilgrimage
So fluttered a realm in fee ;
For the hurrying footsteps came and went,
And the heart beat thick for the great event,
When the minister came to tea.
Oh, the pewter was polished brave and bright,
And the silver shone like glass,
143 WERNER'S READINGS
With never a spot or a speck in sight
Where the clerical eye might pass.
For mother was up in the early dawn,
And calling to Ann and me,
And the floor was sanded in scrolls and waves,
And we learned how a good little girl behaves
When the minister comes to tea !
Then the cream plop-plop'd in the waiting churn,
And our arms grew tired and lame
As we patiently did our share in turn
Till the clerical butter came.
But our thoughts kept pace with the dasher's stride,.
Telling with secret glee
To all unhonored by such a guest,
How the minister talked and ate and dressed
When he came to OUR HOUSE to tea.
Oh, the things we piled on the willow plates,
And the things we sniffed with pride !
And the solemn visitor in our gates
Did he chuckle a bit inside?
Under his grave, abstracted air,
And the texts that he turned on me,
And his sighing comments on worldly dross,
And his somber dealing with damson sauce
Did the minister like his tea?
Was he a human, after all,
This great grandee of souls?
Well, Heaven be praised that he did not fall
At the lure of our cakes and rolls.
For never was glorious pride like ours
(And never again shall be)
When the warming-pan rubbed the icy sheet
For the sake of four little tired feet,
And the minister'd been to tea !
AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 143
THE MINISTER COMES TO TEA.
Comedy Verse Monologue for a Boy.
OH ! they've swept the parlor carpet, and they've dusted every
And they've got the tidies hangin' jest exactly on the square;
And the whatnot's fixed up lovely, and the mats have all been
And the pantry's brimmin' over with the bully things ter eat.
Sis has got her Sunday dress on, and she's frizzin up her bangs,
Ma's got her best alpacky and she's askin' how it hangs.
Pa has shaved as slick as can be, and I'm rigged way up in G,
And it's all because we're goin' ter have the minister ter tea.
Oh ! the table's fixed up gaudy with the gilt-edged chiny set,
And we'll use the silver tea-pot and the comp'ny spoons, you bet;
And we're going to have some fruit-cake and some thimbleberry
And "riz biscuits" and some doughnuts, and some chicken and
Ma, she'll 'polergize like fury and say everything is bad,
And "sich awful luck with cookin' she is sure she never had,"
But of course she's only bluffin', for it's as prime as prime can be,
And she's only talkin' that way 'cause the minister's ter tea.
Everybody is a smilin' and as good as ever wuz,
Pa won't growl about the vittles, like he generally does,
And he'll ask me would I like another piece of pie ; but sho !
That, er course, is only manners an' I'm s'posed ter answer "No !"
Sis'll talk about the church work and about the Sunday-school,
Ma'll tell how she liked that sermon that was on the Golden Rule,
And if I upset my tumbler they won't say a word to me
Yes, a boy can eat in comfort with the minister ter tea !
Say! a minister, you'd reckon, never'd say what wasn't true;
But that isn't so with ours, and I jest can prove it, too;
'Cause when sis plays the organ so it makes yer want ter die,
144 WERNER'S READINGS.
Why, he sits and says it's lovely, and that seems to me a lie.
But I like him all the samey, and I only wish he'd stay
At our house for good and always and eat with us every day ;
Only think of havin' goodies every evenin' ! Jiminee !
And I'd never get a scoldin' with the minister ter tea!
MEAN LITTLE TORMENT.
MY name's Jack. I'm eight years old. I've a sister Arathusa^
and she calls me a little torment. I'll tell you why. You
know Arathusa has got a beau, and he comes to see her every
night, and they turn the gas 'way, 'way down 'till you can't
hardly see. I like to stay in the room with the gas on full blaze,,
but Arathusa skites me out of the room every night. I checked!
her once, you better believe. You know she went to the door to
let Alphonso in, and I crawled under the sofa. Then they came
in, and it got awful dark, and they sat down on the sofa, and I
couldn't hear nothing but smack ! smack ! smack ! Then I reached
out and jerked Arathusa's foot. Then she jumped and said, "Oh,
mercy, what's that?" and Alphonso said she was a "timid little
creature." "Oh, Alphonso, I'm happy by your side, but when I
think of your going away it almost breaks my heart." Then I
snickered right out, I couldn't help it, and Arathusa got up, went
and peeked through the key-hole and said, "I do believe that's
Jack mean little torment he's always where he isn't wanted."
Do you know, this made me mad, and I crawled out from under
the sofa and stood up before her and said, 'You think you are
smart because you wear a Grecian bend. I guess I know what
you've been doing ; you've been sitting on Alphonso's lap, and
letting him kiss you like you let Bill Jones kiss you. You ought
to be ashamed of yourself. If it hadn't been for that old false front
of yours, pa would have let me have a bicycle like Tom Clifford's.