You needn't be grinding them false teeth of yours at me ; I ain't
a-goin' out of here. I ain't so green as I look. I guess I know
a thing or two. I don't care if you are 28 years old, you ain't no
boss of me!"
AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 147
Comedy Lisping Dialect Monologue for a Boy.
MARY TUCKER MAGILL.
CHARACTERS: MASTER BROWN, Speaker, present, who addresses
his conversation to audience; BILL SMITH, supposed to enter
towards end of monologue.
[Enter MASTER BROWN slowly and awkwardly, looks at audi-
ence as if listening to a question, smiles, nods, hunches himself,
YETH, me an' him 'th right intimate. He knoweth more than
I do, 'cauth he'th had more exthperienth. Bill thay hith
father wath a robber.
Bill thay that he'th got ten millionth of dollarth of gold buried
down in hith thellar along with a lot of human boneth, people
he'th killed. An' Bill thay that hith father makth all the earth-
quakth that happen anywhere in the world, an' when the old man
comth home thometimes, he feelth tho thorry for him, 'cauth he'th
all tired to death makin' earthquakth. It thtandth to reathon it'th
hard work tearin' up the earth that way. An' Bill thay that hith
father juth taketh bith out of people if he don't like 'em, an a
lightnin'-rod man come along one day, an' Bill thay hith father
juth ate him right up, 'cauth he got mad at him.
An' Bill thay one day he wath a'flyin' of a kite, an' he had one
of theth little dogth that juth run along, an' Bill thay he tied the
kite to the dogth tail juth for fun, an' prethently the wind thruck
her an' the went boomin' down the thtreet about a mile with her
hind legth in the air. Prethently the kite commenthed going up.
Thoon the dogth was fifteen milth high, an' could thee California
an' Egypt, an' Oshkosh, I think Bill thed, or it thound like that,
but I don't like to thay for thertain. Anyhow, I know he come
down in Brathil, an' he thwam all the way home in the Atlantic
148 WERNER'S READINGS
ocean, an' when he got there all hith legth wath et off by the
tharkth. I with my father would give me a dogth tho I could
thend it off that way, but he never givth me nothin'. I never
have no fun like Bill doth; he'th too thtrick.
Bill thay another time he wath a-flyin' of hith kite, an' he went
up on top of the houth to give himthelf plenty of room, an' thet
up on the chimley, an' the old man had put a keg of powder down
below there to blow the thut out of the chimley, an' he thet her
off juth then, an' Bill wath blowed over againtht the Baptith
church thteeple, an' he hung on there for four dayth before they
could get him off. He juth lived by eatin' the crowth that come
an' thet on him, 'cautE they thought he wath made out of theet-
iron and put there for purputh.
Bill thay that hith brother invented a thothage thtuffer onth.
It wath a kind of a mathine what worked with a treadle. You
put the mathine on the hog'th back an' the hog'th foot on the
treadle, an' you thuck him with a pin an' that made the hogth
move the treadle, you know, an' in a minute the hogth wath cut
up in fine pieces in the treddle an' thtuffed an' thkinned, an' Bill,
thay hith brother called every hogth hith own thtuffer. That
muth o' bin a right curiouth kind of a mathine to work. I can't
juth thee how he did it, but I know ith tho, 'cauth Bill'th a good
boy, he ith, an' never tellth no thtorieth. He goeth to Thunday
thkool, he doeth.
He'th a good boy, he ith, an' he told me about hith uncle what
lived out in Authtralia, what wath et by a big oythter; an' he
thtayed there till he et the oythter. Then he thplit the thellth
open, took one of 'em for a boat, an' he thailed along, an' he
thailed along, till he come to a thea-therpent, an' juth caught it
an' thripped ith thkin all off of it, an' thold it to an engine com-
pany to put out fireth with. He thold it for forty thouthand
An' Bill thay the Injunth .took him wunth an' they cut hith
thcalp off, an' thtuck him half a dothen timeth through the body,
an' never hurt him a bit. He juth made hith ethcape by the
'daughter of the chief takin' him out of the wigwam an' givin'
'AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 149
him a horth to ride. Bill thay Bill thay he ! he ! that the
wath in love with him. He thay he could thow me the holth in
hith body now, but he'th afraid to take hith cloth off, fear he'd
bleed to death. Nobody don't know about it. Wouldn't tell the
old man 'cauth he'th 'fraid he'd worry about it.
Bill thay he ain't goin' to Thunday thkool no more ; thay he'th
goin' to turn a heathen, 'cauth hith father'th got a brath idol at
home. He'th goin' to wear a blanket an' carry a tomahawk ath
thoon ath the weather geth warm.
Bill thay hith father dug a big hole under thith thity, an' got
it all filled up with dynamite an' powder an' thingth, an' he'th
goin' to blow her up when he geth ready. An' Bill thay he goin'
to tell me, tho I can get away. Bill liketh me, he do. An' Bill
thay but thar'th Bill now ; do you hear him whithlin' ? I ecthpec'
he got thomethin' more to tell me. I muth go. Good-bye.
A Child's Speech.
IT scares me, my friends, to speak to you to-night. My heart
goes pitty pat. I want to speak my piece and can scarce think
what to say. Mine is a speech of welcome. I am to say welcome
to you all, right welcome to our hall, our hearts, and to hear what
we have to say. Some of the larger boys who are studying arith-
metic and geography and grammar will make believe they are
orators, or generals or kings, but I don't; you all know me and
it's no use for me to pretend to be what I am not ; besides, I can
welcome you just as well, just as I am, and now I say, you are
just as welcome as you can be. We are real glad you are here.
We wondered if you would come, we wanted you to come, we are
glad you have come, we thank you for your coming. Now you
know you are welcome.
ISO WERNER'S READINGS
THE LONG AGO.
Comedy Monologue for a Man.
Translated and arranged from the French expressly for this book by Lucy
CHARACTER: A MAN, the Speaker.
ONCE upon a time, long ago but long ago is not a strong
enough expression. It was a long, long, long, long time
Well, once upon a time, long ago one day no, there was
neither day nor night then so one time what else can I say?
there came into someone's head no, there were no heads then
anyhow, an idea came that is a good expression an idea came
to someone to do something.
He wanted to drink but what was there to drink? There
were no wines nor beers, then ; no sauterne, champagne, ver-
mouth, absinthe, cocktail, brandy, white wine, red wine, cider,
water, ginger ale, nor anything to drink. You see, times have
improved since then, very much.
Well, not being able to drink, he decided to eat, but to eat
what ? There was no turtle soup then, no turbot with caper sauce,
no roast-beef, no beef a la mode, no sauerkraut, no potatoes, no
pears, no cheese no indigestion, no blues, nothing of that kind.
You see how times have improved since then.
[Gayly.] So, not being able to eat nor drink, he decided to
sing but to sing what? [Sadly.] There were no drinking
songs, no love ditties with "flower" and "our," and "love" and
"dove" rhyming sweetly in them ; there was no flute nor guitar
nor mandolin, then ; not even a piano upon which the inn-keeper's
daughter could play an accompaniment while he sang. What
progress the world has made since then !
So, as he could not sing, he wanted to dance, but where ? There
were no balls, then, nor little home dancing parties where an
AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 151
ogre of a father and an eagle-eyed mother keep their eyes on you
all the time ; there was no chocolate to spill over your clothing
nothing of that kind whatever ; and no pretty young ladies to be
your partners so what was the use of dancing?
Then, since he could not eat, drink, sing nor dance, he could
only sleep. So he decided to go to bed. But there was no night,
no bed, no pretty wadded silk coverlets, no warm-water bath, no
night-lamp on the table and French novel well, you see, we have
made some progress since then.
Then, he decided to fall in love. He said to himself, I shall be
very affectionate ; I shall sigh ; it will be a distraction ; I shall
even be jealous, and beat my my what? Beat whom? What?
Be jealous of whom? Whom shall I love sigh for? For a
brunette? There are no brunettes. For a blonde? There are
no blondes. There are no black locks, nor gold locks, nor red
locks not even a false wig for there are no ladies at all, any-
where. Women had not been invented then. Oh, what progress
we have made since then !
Then, I shall die, he said. [Resignedly.] I want to die but
how? There were no Brooklyn bridges to jump off, then no
ropes to hang one's self with, no revolvers, no fatal diseases, no
drugs, no apothecaries and no doctors !
Then, he wanted to do nothing. [Plaintively.] What more
unhappy position could one be in! [Joyfully.} But no do not
pity him there were no unhappy positions then no unhappi-
ness. Happiness and unhappiness are modern, you know people
were neither happy nor unhappy long ago.
So ends but no there was no end, then ; endings had not been
invented. To end is an invention of our times it is a part of our
progress. Oh, progress, progress! [He walks stupidly off
I5 a WERNER'S READINGS
WHEN PA WAS A BOY.
Comedy Child Dialect Monologue.
S. E. KISER.
1WISH 'at I'd of been here when
My paw he was a boy ;
They must of been excitement then
When my paw was a boy.
In school he always took the prize,
He used to lick boys twice his size
I bet folks all had bulgin' eyes
When my paw was a boy !
There was a lot of wonders done
When my paw was a boy ;
How grandpa must have loved his son,
When my paw was a boy !
He'd git the coal and chop the wood,
And think up every way he could
To always just be sweet and good -
When my paw was a boy !
Then everything was in its place,
When my paw was a boy;
How he could rassle, jump and race,
When my paw was a boy !
He never, never disobeyed ;
He beat in every game he played
Gee ! What a record they was made'!
When my paw was a boy !
I wish 'at I'd of been here when
My paw he was a boy;
AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 153
They'll never be his like agen
Paw was the moddle boy,
But still last night I heard my maw
Raise up her voice and call my paw
The biggest goose she ever saw
He ought of stayed a boy.
Pathetic Monologue in Verse for a Man.
CHARLES E. BAER.
[Anyone familiar with farm life knows that when the old dog becomes blind, tooth-
less, and helpless it is the sad but humane duty of the farmer to put an end to his
sufferings; it is generally done by taking him off to the woods and shooting him.
Although the new dog quickly wins his place in our affections, the old is not soon
CHARACTER: FARMER, Speaker; DOG, supposed to be present.
COSTUME : Farmer clothes and carrying a gun.
SCENE : Enter FARMER at Stage L., upper entrance.
COME along, old chap, yer time's 'bout up,
We got another brindle pup ;
I 'lows it's tough an' mighty hard,
But a toothless dog's no good on guard ;
So trot along right after me,
An' I'll put yeh out o' yer misery.
Now, quit yer waggin' that stumpy tail
We ain't a-goin' f er rabbit er quail ;
'Sides, yeh couldn't pint a bird no more,
Yer old an' blind an' stiff an' sore,
An' that's why I loaded the gun to-day
Yer a-gittin' cross an' in the way.
I been thinkin' it over ; 'tain't no fun.
I don't like to do it, but it's got to be done ;
Got sort of a notion, yeh know, too,
154 WERNER'S READINGS
The kind of a job we're goin' to do,
Else, why would yeh hang back that a-way,
Yeh ain't ez young ez yeh once wuz, hey !
Frisky dog in them days, I note,
When yeh nailed the sneak thief by the throat,
Can't do that now, an' there ain't no need
A-keepin' a dog that don't earn his feed.
So yeh got to make way for the brindle pup;
Come along, old chap, yer time's 'bout up.
We'll travel along at an easy jog
Course, yeh don't know, bein' only a dog;
But I can mind when yeh wuz sprier,
Wakin' us up when the barn caught fire
It don't seem possible, yet I know
That was close onto fifteen year ago.
My, but yer hair wuz long an' thick
When yeh pulled little Salley out o' the crick ;
An' it came in handy that night in the storm,
We coddled to keep each other warm.
Purty good dog, I'll admit but, say,
What's the use o' talkin', yeh had yer day.
I'm hopin' the children won't hear the crack,
Er what I'll say when I git back?
They'd be askin' questions, I know their talk,
An' I'd have to lie 'bout a chicken hawk;
But the sound won't carry beyond this hill,
All done in a minute don't bark, stand still.
There, that'll do ; steady, quit lickin' my hand.
What's wrong with this gun, I can't understand;
I'm jest ez shaky ez I can be
Must be the agey's the matter with me.
An' that stich in the back what ! gittin' old, too
The dinner bell's ringin' fer me an' you.
r AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 155
Comedy Yankee Dialect Character Sketch Recital for a Woman.
CHARACTER : JOSIAH ALLEN'S WIFE, Speaker, present, who
directs her conversation to audience.
ALL summer long Josiah Allen had beset me to go to a
pleasure exertion with him, and I have had to work head-
work to make excuses and quell him down. But last week they
was goin' to have one out on the lake, on a island, and that man
sot his foot down that go he would.
We was to the breakfast-table a talkin' it over, and says I :
"I shan't go, for I am afraid of big water, anyway."
Says Josiah : 'You are jest as liable to be killed in one place as
"Mebby I shall be drounded on dry land, Josiah Allen, but I
don't believe it."
:< Wall," says he, "I guess I'll have another griddle-cake,
And as he poured the maple-syrup over it, he added gently,
but firmly :
"I shall go, Samantha, to this exertion, and I should be glad
to have you present at it, because it seems jest to me as if I should
fall overboard durin' the day."
Men are deep. Now that man knew that no amount of re-
ligious preachin' could stir me up like that one speech. I went.
We had got to start about the middle of the night, for the lake
was 15 miles from Jonesville, and the old mare bein' so slow, we
had got to start an hour or two ahead of the rest. I told Josiah
that I had jest as lieves set up all night, as to be routed out at two
o'clock, but he was so animated and happy at the idee of goin'
that he said that we would go to bed before dark, and get as much
sleep as we commonly did. So we went to bed with the sun an
hour high. And I was truly tired enough to lay down, for I had
worked that day almost beyond my strength. But we hadn't
156 / WERNER'S READINGS
more'n got settled down into the bed, when we heard a buggy
stop at the gate, and I got up and peeked through the window,
and I see it was visitors come to spend the evenin'. Elder Bamber
and his family, and Deacon Dobbins'es folks.
Josiah vowed that he wouldn't stir one step out of that bed
that night. But I argued with him pretty sharp, while I was
throwin' on my clothes, and I finally got him started up. I
thought if I got my clothes all on before they came in, I wouldn't
tell 'em that I had been to bed. And I did get all dressed up, even
to my handkerchief-pin. And I guess they had been there as
much as ten minutes before I thought that I hadn't took my
night-cap off. They looked dretful curious at me, but I never
said nothin'. But when Josiah come out of the bedroom with
what little hair he has got standin' out in every direction, and
one of his galluses a-hangin' most to the floor, I up and told 'em.
I thought mebby they wouldn't stay long. But Deacon Dobbins'es
folks seemed to be all waked up on the subject of religion, and
they proposed we should turn it into a kind of a conference
meetin' ; so they never went home until after ten o'clock.
It was most eleven when Josiah and me got to bed again. And
then jest as I was gettin' into a drowse, I heerd the cat in the
buttery, and I got up to let her out. And that rousted Josiah up,
and he thought he heerd the cattle in the garden, and he got up
and went out. And there we was a-marchin' round most all
But as bad and wore out as Josiah felt bodily, he was all ani-
mated in his mind about what a good time he was goin' to have.
I wanted to wear my brown and black gingham and a shaker, but
Josiah insisted that I should wear a new lawn dress that he had
brought me home as a present. So, to please him, I put it on,
and my best bonnet.
And that man, all I could do and say, would put on a pair of
pantaloons I had been amakin' for Thomas Jefferson. They was
gettin' up a military company to Jonesville, and these pantaloons
was blue, with a red stripe down the sides. Josiah took a awful
fancy to 'em, and says he :
RECITATIONS NO. 32. 157
"I will wear 'em, Samantha ; they look so dressy."
Says I : 'They hain't hardly done. I was goin' to stitch that
red stripe on the left leg on again. They hain't finished as they
ort to be, and I would not wear 'em. It looks vain in you."
Says he : "I will wear 'em, Samantha. I will be dressed up for
once." So he put 'em on.
I had good vittles, and a sight of 'em. The basket wouldn't
hold 'em all, so Josiah had to put a bottle of red rassberry jell
into the pocket of his dress-coat, and lots of other little things,
such as spoons and knives and forks, in his pantaloons and breast-
pockets. He looked like Captain Kidd, armed up to the teeth,
and I told him so. But, good land ! he would have carried a
knife in his mouth if I had asked him to, he felt so neat about
goin', and boasted so on what a splendid exertion it was goin'
We got to the lake about eight o'clock. We was about the first
ones there, but they kep' a-comin', and before ten o'clock we all
I had made up my mind from the first on't to face trouble, so
it didn't put me out so much when Deacon Dobbins, in gettin' into
the boat, stepped onto my new lawn dress, and tore a hole in it
as big as my two hands, and ripped it half offen the waist. But
Josiah got worked up awfully when the wind took his hat off and
blew it away out onto the lake.
I did the best I could by him. I pinned on his red bandanna
handkerchief onto his head. But as I was a-fixin' it on, I see
there was sunthin' more than mortification ailed him. The lake
was rough and the boat rocked, and he was beginnin' to be awful
sick. He looked deathly. Pretty soon I felt bad, too. Oh ! the
wretchedness of that time. I have enjoyed poor health consider-
able in my life, but never did I enjoy* so much sickness in so short
a time as I did on that pleasure exertion to that island. When
we reached there, we was both weak as cats.
Finally, I got so I could walk straight, and sense things a little,
and I began to take the things out of my dinner-basket. The but-
ter had all melted and a lot of water had swashed over the side of
158 WERNER'S READINGS
the boat, so my cake and cookies looked awfully mixed up. But
no worse than the rest of the company's did.
The chicken and cold meat bein' more solid had held together
quite well, though it was all very wet and soppy. We didn't feel
so animated about eatin' as we should if we hadn't been so sick-
to our stomachs. But we felt as if we must hurry, for the man
that owned the boat said he knew it would rain before night, by
the way the sun scalded.
Wall, all of a sudden I thought, where is Josiah ? I asked the
company wildly if they had seen my companion, Josiah.
They said, "No, they hadn't."
But Celestine Wilkin's little girl says, "I seen him goin' off
towards the woods. He acted dretful strange, too ; he seemed to
be a-walkin' off sideways/'
''Had the sufferin's he had undergone made him delirious?"
says I to myself; and then I started off on the run towards the
woods, and old Miss Bobbet, and Miss Gowdy, and Sister Bam-
ber, and Deacon Dobbins'es wife all rushed after me.
Oh, the agony of them two or three minutes ! All of a sudden,
on the edge of the woods, we found him. He sot backed up
against a tree, in a awful cramped position, with his left leg under
him. Miss Gowdy hollered out :
"Oh, here you be. We have been skairt about you. What is
He smiled a dretful sick smile, and, says he :
"Oh, I thought I would come out here and meditate a spell. It
was always a real treat to me to meditate."
Says I, "What is the matter, Josiah Allen?"
"I am a-meditatin', Samantha."
Says I, "Do you come down and jine the company this minute,
The wimmen happened to be a-lookin' the other way for a min-
ute, and he looked at me as if he would take my head off, and
made the strangest motions towards 'em; but the minute they
looked at him he would pretend to smile, that deathly smile.
Says I, "Come, Josiah Allen, we're goin' to get dinner right
away, for we are afraid it will rain."
AND RECITATIONS NO. 32- 159
"Oh, wall," says he, "a little rain, more or less, hain't a-goin'
to hender a man from meditatin'."
Says I, "Do you stop meditatin' this minute, Josiah Allen !"
Says he, "I won't stop, Samantha. I let you have your way a
good deal of the time ; but when I take it into my head to medi-
tate, you hain't a goin' to break it up."
Jest at that minute they called to me from the shore and we
had to start off. But, oh ! the gloom of my mind. Had the suf-
ferin's of the night added to the trials of the day made him
crazy ? I thought more'n as likely as not I had got a luny on my
hands for the rest of my days.
The distress of that pleasure exertion ! But I kep' to work, and
when we had got dinner most ready, I went back to call Josiah
again. Old Miss Bobbet said she would go with rne. So we
started up the hill.
Says I, "Come, Josiah Allen, dinner is ready."
"Oh! I hain't hungry," says he. "The table will probable be
full. I had jest as lieves wait."
"Table full!" says I. 'You know jest as well as I do that we
are eatin' on the ground. Do you come and eat your dinner this
'Yes, do come," says Miss Bobbet, "we can't get along without
"Oh ! I have got plenty to eat here I can eat muskeeters."
The air was black with 'em, I couldn't deny it.
'The muskeeters will eat you more likely," says I. "Look at
your face and hands ; they are all covered with 'em."
'Yes, they have eat considerable of a dinner out of me, but I
don't begrech 'em. I hain't small enough, nor mean enough, I
hope, to begrech 'em one good meal."
Miss Bobbet started off, and after she had got out of sight,
Josiah whispered to me :
"Can't you bring forty or fifty more wimmen up here? You
couldn't come here a minute, could you, without a lot of other
wimmen tight to your heels ?"
It seems he had sot down on that bottle of rassberry jell. That
160 WERNER'S READINGS AND RECITATIONS NO. 32.
red stripe on the side wasn't hardly finished, as I said, and I
hadn't fastened my thread properly, so when he got to pullin' at
'em to try to wipe off the jell, the thread started, and bein' sewed
on a machine, that seam jest ripped right open from top to bot-
tom. Wall, I pinned 'em up as wall as I could, and I didn't say
a word to hurt his feelin's, only I jest said this to him :
'Josiah Allen, is this pleasure?"
'Throw that in my face again, will you ? There goes a pin into
my leg! I should think I had suffered enough without your
stabbin' of me with pins."
I fixed 'em as wall as I could, but they looked pretty bad.
Finally, I told him I would put my shawl onto him. So I doubled
it up corner-ways as big as I could, and he walked back to the
table with me,, So he told the company he always loved to wear
summer shawls ; he thought it made a man look so dressy.
But he looked as if he would sink all the time he was a-sayin'
it. He was sick all the way back to the shore, and so was I. And
jest as we got into our wagons and started for home the rain
began to pour down. The wind turned our old umbrell inside out
in no time. I says to Josiah :
"This bonnet and dress are spilt, Josiah Allen, and I shall have
to buy some new ones."
"Wall! wall! who said you wouldn't?" he snapped out.
And there we jest sot and suffered. The rain poured down;
the wind howled at us ; the old mare went slow ; the rheumatiz
laid holt of both of us ; and the thought of the new bonnet and
dress was a-wearin' on Josiah, I knew. I did speak once, as he
leaned forward, with the rain drippin' offen his bandanna hand-