Phelps, you're an old darling! Let me see what she says about
that young man. [Reads.] "Mr. Harry Rose, violinist, will fur-
nish" Harry Rose Harry is rather a common name wonder
why he don't have people call him Henry ; that's more dignified,
and I like the name better, too ; and "Rose" sounds girlish. Let's
see what was it Shakespeare said about a name? [Knocks on
forehead.] Oh, yes, "What's in a name, a rose by any other name
would smell as sweet/' Well, I hope he's a genius and not a
dandy dude. Now, what was I to practice? [Reads again.]
"Practice your strong selection, 'As the Moon Rose,' and your
pantomime, 'Comin' thro' the Rye.' But I must tell mamma
about the good news first. [Calling up stairs.] Mamma!
Mamma ! I've got my engagement ! Why, over to Highland
Park. Yes, I'm to receive five dollars. Next Friday evening.
Yes, I'm going to practice right away. No, I'll practice right
here in the library. [To herself.] Well, I must get off my things
and work hard now for an hour at least. [Takes off wraps while
talking.] My! won't Barbara Burris be jealous? She's been tak-
ing lessons of Miss Phelps longer than I have. She'll be as
"jealous as a barbary cock pigeon over his hen," as Rosalind said.
[Picks up note again mumbling.] Harry Rose Harry Rose
I can't help wondering what sort of a fellow you are, Mr. Harry.
I'd give a good deal to know whether you are married or single !
Well, I must settle down to biz ! I wonder how Dorothy Dunlap
looks, now she's booked for a recital. [Looks in hand-mirror.]
Hello ! Miss Dorothy ! same old girl, aren't you ? You must primp
up a little, now that you've an engagement as a reader. You're
not what folks call pretty, but you have brains, and brains count
for more than beauty any day, but I wish I were beautiful, just
the same. I think a little dash of Mennen's might help you out
somewhat. You must make a good impression on young Harry,
or maybe he's old Harry how do I know ? Anyway, first impres-
sions are the most enduring, so we'll do our best, won't we, "Dear
Daughter Dorothy," as mamma says?
AND RECITATIONS NO: 32. 19
Now for "As the Moon Rose." [Practices a couple of lines;*
then suddenly stops and says-'] I wonder how I look when I'm
speaking there's a whole lot in the way one looks. [Thinking.]
I have it There ! [Places mirror on chair in front of her, then
makes an elaborate bow.} Oh! I've got a stitch in my side, em!
how it hurts ! Dear me ! but wouldn't it be awful to get a pain like
that right on the stage before a crowd of people? I guess I'll
make a more modest bow. I think it looks better, anyway. Let's
see, where was I ? Oh, yes. [Goes on with selection. Then stops
suddenly.} I don't believe I need as much practice on that as I
do on the pantomime. I'm going to practice that awhile. Dear
me ! but I'm hungry ; but I haven't time to eat ; I can chew gum,
though, and pantomime at the same time. "Kill two birds with
one stone." What did I do with my gum last night? [Hunts
around edge of table and finally finds gum in handkerchief ; makes
great ado getting it limbered up; then hums melody of "Cowiin
thro' the Rye," pantomiming as she hums, and chewing gum rap-
idly and audibly. Just as she finishes the chorus the telephone
There goes the telephone ! I wonder what's wanted ? [Answers
'phone.] Hello! Yes, oh, yes; oh, Miss Phelps, you're a darling!
Oh, I thought you wanted me to come to your studio. You've
decided 'twould be better to come here instead? All right. Beg
pardon. Oh, are you? And you're going to bring the violinist
with you? When will you come? Oh, right away; dear me!
Oh, yes, yes, it's all right, certainly, only I'm just a little excited,
that's all. Sure, it's all right. Good bye ! Good bye !
[Picks up mirror and talks to herself.] Now, Miss Dorothy,
do your best, your level best to make a good impression. [Fixes
hair, pozvders face.] You're going to meet a man, an artist, a
genius, maybe your fate, so beware !
[Sadly.] But I don't believe I'll ever love any one as I did
my ! I thought I heard some one coming. I s'pose I may ex-
pect them now any minute. Bother ! if I could just make my heart
stop thumping so loudly. I wonder if I've got heart disease. I
See bottom of pag 3' fo lines from ' A. the Moor Rose.'
20 WERNER'S READINGS
know it isn't sentiment or fear I'm just a little nervous, that's
all. I'm going to turn down the gas real low and sit here in this
window and watch. I'll have the advantage of them then ; I can
see them but they can't see me. Ah, ha, Master Harry, I'll catch
the first glimpse.
[Sits near window straining eyes, still chewing gum.] Dear
me ! I must hide this gum, or Miss Phelps will be shocked ; she
thinks it unladylike to chew gum. I believe they are now coming
down the walk. Yes, that's Miss Phelps ; I know her gait. My,
but he's tall and handsome ! Oh, they're going on. Oh, now I see ;
it's Dr. Mayfair and his mother. I never thought she and Miss
Phelps were a bit alike before. Well, if I've got to wait I'll im-
prove the time. [Chews gum nervously; then calls up stairs.]
Yes, mother, I'm practicing. [Aside.] Practicing chewing.
[Looks out again.]
There ! that is surely Miss Phelps. Yes, it is, and they're com-
ing right up the steps. Why, he walks a little lame. Oh, dear,
I must get rid of this gum. [Dashes round room, turns on gas }
and stands in front of door.} Now, ring the bell. Why don't
you ring? I'll peep through the key-hole. [Just as she does this
the bell rings.] Wheel but that's hard on ear-drums. [Opens
door.] Good morning, Miss Phelps, and this is Mr. Rose?
[Aside.] My! what an old duffer! Old enough to be my grand-
father. I'm delighted to meet you, Mr. Rose. [Aside.] But
would have been more delighted were you forty years younger.
Here, have this chair, Mr. Rose; and Miss Phelps, please make
yourself at home. Where is your violin, Mr. Rose ? Oh ! I sup-
posed you were the gentleman who was to play for me. Indeed !
Your son Oh, I'm so glad I mean or a Beg pardon?
No, Miss Phelps, my mother is not well ; she is suffering with
a sprained ankle. Oh, certainly you may see her if you like ; she
is up stairs in the sitting-room. Oh, Mr. Rose desires to see
her ? You and my mother old school-mates ? Is it possible ? Why,
how very funny.
[Calling up stairs.] Mamma! an old friend of yours is coming
up to see you an old school-mate. He knew you in England.
'AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 21
Wait til) he comes, and see if you know him. Go -right up, Mr.
Rose; it will be all right. [Pantomime watching Mr. Rose de-
Say, Miss Phelps, when is the young man coming? Why, that
must be he now. You answer the bell ; I'm so excited and ner-
vous. I'll slip into the back parlor until I get my breath. [Picks
up mirror and powder as she goes.] Now, Dorothy Dunlap, be-
have yourself. You are acting like a great simpleton, and here
you are a young woman almost nineteen, and booked for a re-
cital ! I'm ashamed of you. There he comes, now. Why, how
familiar his step sounds. I could almost swear it was Henry
St. Glair's step. I'll just peep through these curtains and see what
sort of a looking fellow he is.
[Dashing out in great surprise.] Why, Henry St. Clair! What
are you doing here ? I thought you were in Europe ! Let me go,
sir; don't you remember how we parted just three years ago? I
said then I'd never speak to you again, and I wouldn't if well,
if I had not been so excited. Besides, I'm expecting a Mr. Harry
Rose here any minute to You are Harry Rose? I don't be-
lieve it. Well, explain yourself, if you can. Oh, I see ; how sad,
how very sad ; and your parents both died within a month, and
this Mr. Rose adopted you, and educated you in music? And
what brought you here ? A visit to the homeland, and with me?
Can we be friends again ? Well, Henry, since you've come so far,
and confessed so much, we will be friends until, well, until after
the recital, at any rate. Miss Phelps! [Calling.} Why, where
has she gone ? I presume she thought war was declared and she'd
better get out of the way of the shots. Oh, Miss Phelps ! come
back ! The war is over and the coast is clear. Yes, we've made
up and it's time for our rehearsal now. Come on.*
*"Now upon this June day in the year of our Lord 1780, the patriots
were gathered outside the tavern door the witch-girl Judith apart from
the rest, her black horse 'Fonso tugging impatiently at her arm and
Grandame Pettibone's voice rose shrilly above the babble. 'Hiram won't
be back to-night, I guess, and he's already three days overdue. It's pretty
dangerous work, carrying Washington's messages, but he's bound to get
along in the world, Hiram is; and that witch-girl Judith fools herself ID
thinking the lad cares for her. Why, I know he's another sweetheart in
Boston town/ The girl took a step forward to answer back hotly, then*
22 WERNER'S READINGS
Dramatic Monologue in Verse for a Man.
TRANSLATED FROM THE ITALIAN OF GAZZOLETTI BY ADAM RONDEL.
[The original of the following poem was recited before crowded audi-
ences by the elder Salvini on several occasions during his American tour.
Attired in the costume of this "hero of two worlds," his powerful form
bent as though with the weight of years and of the heavy chains that
bound his feet and hands, the great tragedian moved his hearers to the
highest pitch of enthusiasm. The poem was given to the translator by
Salvini's private secretary and prompter, who venerates the worn little
pamphlet for the many associations it enfolds of this great master of "the
greatest of all arts."- -A. R.]
CHARACTER : COLUMBUS.
COSTUME: Half-worn costume following style pictured in all
illustrations of Columbus.
SCENE: Interior of a cell. COLUMBUS standing weighted with
FORLORN, alone and old I die. Alas !
My life, in hardships passed, in sorrow ends.
But heaven vouchsafed to me 'midst all my woes
One joy so great, that every grief because
Of it seemed a delight ; for sending forth
A ray of His eternal light upon
The world, God turned to Italy and spoke
In graciousness to me : "O fearless one,
Go find a pathway toward the setting sun."
And opening my eyes upon the West,
I saw what seemed a new world rising up
From out the waves. Wide-reaching forest lands
Of trees unknown ; great rivers ; plains immense ;
And various beasts ; and birds of plumage rare ;
AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 23
And all the luscious fruits that India yields,
The envy and desire of Northern lands;
The seas were rich with pearl, the hills with gold.
"Go forth, return and tell what thou hast seen,"
I heard the voice speak in my ear. Alas !
I have no wealth ; no sail spreads out at my
Command and nothing have I but a thought.
I brought my heavenly inspiration to
The crowned ones of the earth and asked of them
A little of their wealth. Alas ! alas !
Through long and weary years I plead with them,
But they derided me, misunderstood.
I hardly understood myself- -I saw.
Pray bring me closer to the casement there.
Take not from my unhappy, hung'ring eyes
The sight of the bright sea the sea, a short
While since, so infinite; no longer so,
Since I with new-found shores have shut it in.
The sea, the sea, my kingdom and my friend,
My glory and the hope of my best years !
Once more let me salute it, then unfurl
The sails : I'll voyage on to find that shore
Uncertain and unknown, more distant far,
Of which no tidings may I bring to you.
So smooth it was, so joyous and so blue,
When fearless first I cast myself upon
Its open, sunlit, pulsing breast, and saw
What eye of man had never seen. With dire
And fearful terrors and with monsters dread
Man's superstition filled it. / feared not
Nor hesitated long. Fly on, my bark !
And if my heart beat high, it was with dread
Lest they, my tim'rous men should courage lack
To bear our purpose to its perfecting.
24 WERNER'S READINGS
Fly on, my bark ! No hostile omens shall
Thy winged course arrest : land lies beyond
1 see it in my swift, out-running thought.
Faint-hearted ones, take courage! Land is near!
And soon our bark will touch the beauteous shore.
Heaven aids our daring enterprise with winds
Propitious and with soft, caressing waves.
Day follows weary day till months are gone
And still no trace of land is visible;
But sky and sea around us and above,
While pallid faces tell all hope is lost.
And I, what can I do ? Must I with my
Sparse gold their dull souls bribe? They'll heed naught else,
New stars are leading me on unknown seas.
"Give me but three days more, and then, if still
'Tis vain we hope I'll yield me up to you."
Behold from out the west great clouds of birds
In rapid flight.
Sea-weed and curious leaves and plants adrift
From stranger shores.
Breaks through the eternal silence of the sky
A fervent cry :
"The land! the land!" Oh, who can tell my joy?
The land at last !
A light descried across the misty night
Confirms our hope :
And hands are strong and hearts are light once more
As on we go.
The bright day comes and crimson is the sea.
Was it a dream ?
Ah, no, it lies within our sight at last
The longed-for land !
A beauteous maid bedecked in green and gold
On billowy couch,
AND RECITATIONS NO. 33. 25
Sparkling and fair to see, a guerdon paid
To valorous knight;
A bride as fair as hope more fair than I
Had dared conceive.
The sun creeps up the lurking shadows flee
And lo ! she laughs
From very joy of life.
Now furl the sail let down the boats, O land!
At length I kiss thy longed-for shores; at last,
O heavenly inspiration not in vain
Believed in, I my greeting bring to thee !
The great work is completed. Am not I
Lord of my lands and of the sea ? But where
My subjects and my palaces, my gems,
My laurels, and, O king, thy promises?
Within thy palace, the Alhambra, throned*
Granada, vanquished, lying at thy feet
A wandering Italian came to thee,
A man oppressed beneath the burden of
His thoughts and gray before his time. A tired
And sickly child clung to his hand. Grandees
And princes high in rank and captains brave
Stood there 'mid all the splendor ancient Spain
Could boast. What said to thee, O Ferdinand,
The unknown Genoese? "O Sire," he said,
Nor was there quiver of his lip "O Sire,
Fate gave thee Aragon and love Castile,
And war the kingdom of the Moors. But I
Would give thee more than fate, or love, or war,
Than Aragon, Granada or Castile
Far more a world ! I went and I returned.
Unlocked for I returned, O king, with gems
And gold from thy new kingdom, won without
26 WERNER'S READINGS
The shedding of a drop of blood or sound
Of battle cry. And when I proudly showed
The proofs of my discovery to thee,
Thy haughty councillors and learned men,
Thou saidst to these, thy courtiers : "Genius is
A spark of the Divine above all kings !
Uncover in its presence, O Grandees
Of Spain !"
Can I this same Columbus be,
Forgotten, poor, and driven from place to place?
Without a home, where he may even die,
Is he discov'rer of the world, while all
Of Europe feasts and revels in the gold
Whose sources he made known?
Oh, do not tell
Posterity this infamy, nor say
That these old arms the impress bear of chains,
Nor that I lived imprisoned where I once
Had walked a conqueror. O cruel Fate,
If it was written in thy book that such
A service should be paid in coin so poor,
Then God be thanked that such reward came not
From Italy. Ah, well ! 'tis done, 'tis done !
Behold the fair land reeks and smokes with blood !
Oh, horrid crimes ! Lo ! swords are buried deep
In brothers' hearts defenceless. . . . Such was not
Columbus' thought when he became your guide,
Beneath the banner of the Holy Cross
Which ye have so defiled with massacres
And made the very pretext for your sin.
What passion moves you, men, that gold does not
Suffice that ye must have the warm life-blood
Of brother men? If this be valor, what
AND RECITATIONS NO, 32. 2%
Is cowardice ? Oh, hide the vision dread
The pain that all unwittingly I've caused.
* * 8
I am resigned. O sea ! the sight of thee
Brings to my heart remorse : both innocent,
And yet accomplices in all these great
Misfortunes. Time will come when all the crime
Beneath the dust of centuries will rest,
And from this new-found world will come at last
As much of good as evil came at first.
And then my name by unborn races will
Be blest the praise more glorious because
So late. I die content. Columbus will
Be known in every clime and men rise up
To do him reverence.
A LITTLE MOTHER'S TRIALS,
BESSIE B. McCLURE.
[A little girl with infant doll in her lap, one in a cradle and others
seated on chairs or couch.}
OH, dear ! I'm in such trouble
Sophia's sick abed,
And Rosalind is dreadful cross
Because she bumped her head;
Belle's torn her nice new apron,
The naughty, careless child !
And Rob is so mischievous
He nearly sets me wild :
The baby, too, is teething,
And so, of course, he cries ;
Dear me ! It's hard to manage
A family of this size.
28 WERNER'S READINGS
JIMMY BROWN'S PROMPT OBEDIENCE.
Comedy Monologue for a Small Boy.
W. L. ALDEN.
[Enter JIMMY BROWN in hesitating fashion, shuffles along,
stops and looks at fingers, then talks direct to audience.}
I HAVEN'T been able to write anything for some time. I don't
mean that there has been anything the matter with my fingers
so that I couldn't hold a pen ; but I haven't had the heart to write
of my troubles. Besides, I have been locked up for a whole week
in the spare bedroom on bread and water, and just a little hash
or something like that, except when Sue used to smuggle in cake
and pie and such things, and I haven't had any penanink. I was
going to write a novel while I was locked up by pricking my
finger and writing in blood with a pin on my shirt ; but you can't
write hardly anything that way, and I don't believe all those
stories of conspirators who wrote dreadful promises to do all
sorts of things in their blood. Before I could write two little
words my finger stopped bleeding, and I wasn't going to keep
on pricking myself every few minutes ; besides, it won't do to use
all your blood up that way. There was once a boy who cut him-
self awful in the leg with a knife, and he bled to death for five or
six hours, and when he got through he wasn't any thicker than
a newspaper, and rattled when his friends picked him up just like
the morning newspaper does when father turns it inside out. Mr.
Travers told me about him, and said this was a warning against
bleeding to death.
Of course you'll say I must have been doing something dread-
fully wrong, but I don't think I have ; and even if I had, I'll leave
it to anybody if Aunt Eliza isn't enough to provoke a whole com-
pany of saints. The truth is, I got into trouble this time just
through obeying promptly as soon as I was spoken to. I'd like
AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 29
to know if that was anything wrong. Oh, I'm not a bit sulky,
and I am always ready to admit I've done wrong when I really
have ; but this time I tried to do my very best and obey my dear
mother promptly, and the consequence was that I was shut up for
a week, besides other things too painful to mention. This world
is a fleeting show, as our minister says, and I sometimes feel that
it isn't worth the price of admission.
Aunt Eliza is one of those women that always know everything,
and know that nobody else knows anything, particularly us men.
She was visiting us, and rinding fault with everybody, and con-
stantly saying that men were a nuisance in a house and why didn't
mother make father mend chairs and whitewash the ceiling and
what do you let that great lazy boy waste all his time for ? There
was a little spot in the roof where it leaked when it rained, and
Aunt Eliza said to father, "Why don't you have energy enough
to get up on the roof and see where that leak is? I would if I
was a man thank goodness I ain't." So father said, "You'd
better do it yourself, Eliza." And she said, "I will this very
So after breakfast Aunt Eliza asked me to show her where the
scuttle was. We always kept it open for fresh air, except when
it rained, and she crawled up through it and got on the roof. Just
then mother called me, and said it was going to rain, and I must
close the scuttle. I began to tell her that Aunt Eliza was on the
roof, but she wouldn't listen, and said, "Do as I tell you this in-
stant, without any words; why can't you obey promptly?" So I
obeyed as prompt as I could, and shut the scuttle and fastened it,
and then went down-stairs, and looked out to see the shower come
It was a tremendous shower, and it struck us in about ten
minutes ; and didn't it pour ! The wind blew, and it lightened and
thundered every minute, and the street looked just like a river.
I got tired of looking at it after a while, and sat down to read, and
in about an hour, when it was beginning to rain a little easier,
mother came where I was, and said, "I wonder where sister Eliza
is ; do you know, Jimmy ?" And I said I supposed she was on the
30 WERNER'S READINGS
roof, for I left her there when I fastened the scuttle just before
it began to rain.
Nothing was done to me until after they had got two men to
bring Aunt Eliza down and wring the water out of her, and the
doctor had come, and she had been put to bed, and the house was
quiet again. By that time father had come home, and when he
heard what had happened- But, there ! it is over now, and
let us say no more about it. Aunt Eliza is as well as ever, but
nobody has said a word to me about prompt obedience since the
EMBER, awful long ago
'Most a million weeks or so
How we tried to run away.
An' was gone for 'most a day?
Your Pa found us bofe an' nen
Asked if we'd be bad again
An' we promised, by-um-by,
Do you 'member? So d' I.
'Member^ when I tried to crawl ~-
Frough \at hgje<beneaf your wjall, -
An' I stuckjcbecuz my head
Was too~rjig ? Your. Muvver said,
When she came to j^ull me frough,
S'prised. you didn't try it, too.
An you jig it, by-um-by. v
'Member ? " Do yuh ? So d' JL
*M>mber_when your Muvver said
'At she wight. I'd run an' do
^11 ve mischief in my bead
All at cincjj^n' get it fijLigh?
S'pose we ^Udr>why, maybe yen
We could So it all again !
Guess we could if .we should try
AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 31
WHY THE DOG'S TAIL WAS SKINNED.
French Canadian Dialect Comedy Monologue for a Man.
Arranged as a monologue expressly for this book by Stanley Schell.
CHARACTERS REPRESENTED : THE FRENCH CANADIAN, owner of
the dog, Speaker, present; CAMPERS, supposed to be present.
COSTUME: Rough camper's costume.
STAGE-SETTING : Camp fire scene.
SCENE : Campers supposed to be lying about camp fire near stage
[Enter THE FRENCH CANADIAN with a supposed dog follow-
ing at his heels. He occasionally glances at the dog as he slowly
crosses stage from R. rear to front center, apparently moving
around several men. He sits quietly, lights his old pipe, smiles
a little as he seems to be listening to what they are talking about,
nods head and smiles again, takes a long puff as if deeply think-
ing; then, as if satisfied zvith the result of his reflections, settles
back comfortably, motioning to his dog to lie at his feet. Then
takes another long puff at pipe and watches the smoke go off as
he slowly begins to talk.]
YOU men's bin ask me w'at for ah'm skeen ze dog's tail. Ah'm
tell you. [Another long puff at pipe and the same slow
process of watching the smoke curl away.] Ah'm skeen heem for
money, skeen heem fer cinque dollar, fer ev'ry hair een heem tail,
an' more, too. Let me tell.
Ze dog heem bin no good, jes' lay 'roun' camp in ze sun an' bite,
bite, bite fer ze flea. Heem geet dir-ty, an' heem eye bin geet
red, lak heem bin on beeg, long, booze. Ze boss heem com' 'long
one day an' heem say : "Eh, Eli, you lazy Frenchman, you tak'
Carlo down stream behin' ze bateau an' w'en you bin geet heem
clean you tak' heem ashore an' keel heem dead, an' deeg hoi' an'
32 WERNER'S READINGS
hide heem from ze eyes of me. Eef you don't do eet, Ah'm keek
you out ze place."
'Fraid? Yes, he one, big, strong man. So, Ah kem down.
Carlo heem com' 'long 'hind ze bateau an' splash, splash, like zis
[makes movements with his hands to sJwiv how Carlo did] in ze
water, lak heem bin tickle 'most 'ter bin die. [From now on he
grozvs more and more earnest, gesticulating frequently, occasion-