ally looking closely into the men's faces.}
Yas, heem stay in 'long time. Heem hav' fin' bully time. An'
Ah'm say to heem : "Carlo, you bin goin' geet yourself keeled
pretty kveek. Look lak you was sad, Carlo; eet was you' las'
chance, sure." An' ze dog wag heem tail more fas' an' laugh out
heem eyes an' say ha-ha in heem t'roat, jes' sam' heem go on ze
peekneck w'at ze Yankee folks tak' w'en zey want geet drunk.
Understand? Heem un'stand ev'ry zing.
Bimeby, w'en Ah'm bin tow heem two mile, an' t'ink heem geet
sam' ez clean, Ah tak' heem ashor' an' geet ready fer keel
Dog look ? Heem look sad al' time. Heem seemed to know.
Soon we go by ze shore. Ze sun bin shin' in ze sky lak' heem
hav' good tarn', ze water seeng on ze rocks, lak' heem glad, Carlo
wag heem tail weef, weef, weef sam' heem bin leef mos' all
Some'ow, Ah hear ze noise on ze racks an' bin theenk w'at mak'
ze chunk-chunk. Ah look, an' sure ez you leef, sure ez Ah'm
tell you, Carlo, heem tail bin all boonched an' broke een ze clam
shells, w'at grab on ze hair heem tail w'en Ah tow heem enn
Ripogenus Rips twenty, t'irty, er hun'er' clams all grab fas' ter
Carlo heem tail an' all hoi' on lak they bin goin' tak er ride.
Preety beeg clam story ? Een coorse eet is. W'at you t'ink ?
W'at Ah'm do now, you bin t'ink ? W'at you do, you bin in ze
place Ah vas bin? You don't know?
Carlo heem bin good dog, lazy, lak any dog, lak you an' Ah'm
bin eef you an' Ah'm bin dog. But heem no bad dog 'nuf make
heem die 'long ze clams. So Ah'm bin t'ink, an Ah tak' ze knif
an' Ah'm bin whe-e-tle ze clams away, takin' some ze hair erlong
AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 33
ze clams, but hav' ze tail all sleek, lak eet bin new. Carlo heem
stan' steel an' wait fer ze clams fall off, lak er horse w'en you bin
tak' off ze mud. Kveek ez Ah'm bin done Carlo heem joomp all
over mah he'd an' leek mah face, sam' heem bin tickled mos' ready
Ah do? Ah'm hav' spell ter t'ink right now. Eef Ah keel
Carlo, heem bin dead all tarn. No more chase ze rabbit, no more
tree ze 'coon. Ez Ah'm bin theenk Ah open ze clams cut, cut
ev'ry tarn lak eet cut ze heart.
Ze firs' clam heem bin beeg heem shell ho' seex fingers ze
wheesky, an' w'en Ah'm bin cut heem two doors open, Ah fin' ze
leetle shine gravel een heem. Eet bin sam' size ze bean w'at ze
cook geev ze mans in ze camp, an' eet bin hard an' shine lak ze
oil lamp, w'en Ah'm bin touch ze match ter heem. Ah see w'at
heem vas ze firs' tam Ah look.
Vat eet vas ? Heem bin ze beeg pearl w'at ze Yankeemans buy,
an' Ah say eef Ah'm bin fin' more pearl, Ah'm buy Carlo an' keep
heem sam's heem bin mv doer.
Did Ah fin' any? Nex' shell hoi' no pearl jes' lak clam, no
more. W'en Ah'm open seex clam Ah'm bin fin' two more pearl,
an' keep on, so w'en Ah'm bin done Ah hav' ze wheesky glass
full ze pearl.
Pearl story all right ? You no b'live ?
Go on ? Yas, zat's w'at Ah deed. Ah runned back ze camp
an' say ze boss: 'Wat heem tak' for Carlo heem skeen?" An*
ze boss say :
"Skeen heem eef you want to, an' hurry back to work eef you
don' want to lose you' own skeen."
Nex' day w'en Ah see ze boss, heem say : "Eli, you black Can-
nucker, w'at for you no keel ze dog?"
An' Ah say : "Ah'm bin buy ze skeen w'at Carlo wear. You
"Oui, you may hav' heem now tak' heem," ze boss say, but ze
skeen is no good till you bin tak' heem off.
"Ah'm bin lak' Carlo bes' w'en heem skeen iss on heem," say
me. An' Ah zen show ze boss ze pearl an' bin tell heem ze story,
34 WERNER'S READINGS
an' ze boss heem laugh an' say Ah'm bin ze mos' rascalous scoun-
derl heem bin see een seex year.
Na, heem keep his bargain. He no tak Carlo. He mine.
So Ah, Carlo an' Ah go to ze river an' geet ze pearls beeg,
beeg, beeg ones. He do better ev'ry day an' zat ees why Ah skeen
hees tail. [Rises and starts toward exit. Stops.]
How much I mak' ? No, Ah canno' say dat. An' Ah see Carlo
now an' so Ah mus' go fin' ze pearls an' mak' my Carlo sinks
he's gettin' cleaned once more. [Exits, waving hand.}
THE STUTTERING LOVER.
FRED EMERSON BROOKS.
Ilu-love you very well,
Much mu-more than I can tell,
With a lu-lu-lu-lu-love I cannot utter;
I kn-know just what to say
But my tongue gets in the way,
And af-fe-fe-fe-fe-fection's bound to stutter!
When a wooer wu-wu-woos,
And a cooer cu-cu-coos,
Till his face is re-re-red as a tomato,
Take his heart in bi-bi-bits,
Every portion fi-fi-fits,
Thoueh his love sons: su-su-seem somewhat staccato!
I'll wu-worship you, of course,
And mi-never get divorce,
Though you stu-stu-stu-stu-storm in angry weather;
For whu-when you're in a pique,
So mu-mad you cannot speak,
We'll be du-du-du-du-dumb then both together.
AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 35
Romantic Monologue for a Woman.
CHARACTER: Miss NELL HETHERTON, Leading Woman of the
Comedy Theatre, New York, and the idol of the town.
SCENE: The drawing-room of Miss HETHERTON'S pretty apart-
ment in Gramercy Park. A fire burns in the grate, and a lux-
urious neglige gown and slippers are over a chair before it.
Table, with shaded lamp, boxes, letters, flowers.
TIME : Near midnight on Christmas Eve.
[There is the sound of a cab-door slammed, the rumble of
wheels, and in another moment Miss HETHERTON enters with her
arms full of red roses. She wears an opera cloak over her even-
ing dress, and she tosses the roses on a couch, turns up the light,
walks back to the door, and speaks:]
THAT will do, Celeste; take all those other flowers and put
them where they will keep cool and fresh till morning. To-
morrow you and I will arrange them in the vases. Yes, I'll keep
these here with me. [Takes up one of the roses and touches it to
her lips and whispers.] They remind me of home and here,
Celeste, you may take my cloak [drops it off shoulders, as though
giving it to maid], and good-night and a Merry Christmas to
you ! and oh ! Celeste [takes up a parcel from the corner}, here's
something for you a new silk gown, Celeste and I bought it
for you myself! [Laughs.] Yes thank you, Celeste you spoil
me [laughingly]. "Oui oui mademoiselle merci merci !"
[Bows the maid out laughingly, then throws herself in the chair
before the fire and clasps her hands above her head]
Well, there is no place like my own little snuggery, and yet I
am here like a veritable old maid, alone on Christmas Eve [looks
around] , and not a bit of Christmas green ; but the roses will do.
What a delightful little supper that was they gave me to-night on
the stage after the play and such a lot of notables ! Dear me !
And all presented to poor little Nell Hetherton, two years ago a
prim schoolma'am in a Western mining town ! Ah, me ! [Looks
3 6 WERNER'S READINGS
at bracelet on her arm.} That was nice of them to give me this
bracelet. I value it more than alFlhe rest. [Takes it from her
arm and reads inscription.} 'To Miss Nell Hetherton, from the
Well, I wonder now, if I had never been seized with that wild
desire for the stage, and if I had not worked and saved and strug-
gled to get to New York and if I had married Jack where I
should be to-night. [Leans her head on her hand and looks in the
fire.] I can see a little Western home, the logs blazing on the
hearth, the table spread for supper, the Christmas greens upon
the wall and Jack and I heigh-ho ! I in a gingham apron,
I suppose, mixiag biscuit instead of being Miss Nell Hetherton,
whose name is all over the town in letters as big as I am, and all
the men running after me, and the women copying my bonnets,
and a real live prince at my feet. [Laughs.]
I know he will ask me to marry him ! Since he came to the city
fresh from his Newport adulation and attention, he has been my
most devoted admirer. And no diamond bracelets or supper invi-
tations or coroneted cabs, but only the most kind and courteous
attentions : his morning call and bunch of roses, as though I were
a debutante in my first season ! It makes me almost love him.
And yet he hasn't spoken ; but if he does well, he is not so
bad. Qld, of course, but distingue, unassuming, with Old- World
manners and a great old name, and an estate that half the mothers
in New York have been angling for. Princess ! Princess ! How
fine it sounds. [Muses.]
And Jack has not sent me even a word for Christmas. An-
other sweetheart, I suppose. [Hums.]
"Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
Men were deceivers ever."
[Talks to the rose.] Would he be even a little bit jealous, do
you think, if he knew I had all of you beautiful roses sent me by
the Prince American Beauties instead of the wild roses he used
to gather for me on the mountain? [Takes photograph from
mantel and gazes at it.] What did I ever see in dear old Jack to
make me love him as I used to? square chin [squares her chin},
AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 37
mouth with just a little sarcastic laugh always at the corners of it,
straight nose, mine turned up, he always said. He doesn't know
what a howling beauty I have become and eyes well, his eyes
are good yes it must have been the eyes ! [Throws the picture
suddenly from her.]
And Jack has never sent me even one little word. What will
he say, I wonder, when he hears that I am a princess ? And, of
course, I'll have a coronet yes, indeed, the very latest kind. How
shall I look in a coronet, I wonder? [Playfully unfastens her
necklace and places it about her hair, looks in the mirror, rises
from her chair and curtseys as though receiving someone.}
He will be introduced, of course, and I shall put up my lorgn-
ette so, and turning the full light of my coronet upon him so
I'll say : "Ah, quite so. I remember you so well, Lord Ran-
dolph. At Baden it was we met, was it not? And how is dear
Lady Randolph?" [Suddenly sinks into chair, as though tired
of the jesting mood.]
After all, the prince has not asked me yet ; but I know what his
eyes said to-night when he kissed my hand at the carriage-door.
"And to-morrow, mademoiselle," he said, "may I send you a
That is so like a Frenchman he had just sent me all these
beautiful red ones. [Rises.] Perhaps Jack has written. [Looks
through notes and boxes on table; tosses them aside without open-
ing.] Dear me, what a time I shall have writing acknowledgments
of all these pretty things. What beautiful perfume is that?
[Sniffs.] Why why it's like PINE from the old tree near
the school-house where Jack and I [Catches sight of the
large bo.v, which she lifts on chair, cuts string, and removes
cover.] Oh! how beautiful! [Lifts a mass of the green, sweet-
smelling pine branches to her bosom, with her arms clasped about
them and face upraised, pale and smiling.] Why it must be
from Jack ! Thank God !* [Picks letter from among the
branches in box, opens, and reads:]
* The monologue can be ended here if desired.
38 WERNER'S READINGS'
"NELL DEAR: Of course, I have heard of all your social triumphs of the
last few months, and your final coup, the capture of the Prince Ver-
ronneiux. Every New York paper that has reached here contains accounts
of your engagement to him. I do not believe them, but I am forced to
think that even your true heart must be turned with all this adulation.
1 do not care to hear this from you, but I send you word that 1 prefer to
have our promise as though it had never been made. This for your sake.
You know how much I love you. But I know that 1 will have to give
more than another year before I can realize the success which my work
here is sure to bring. I hope to have wealth in a few years sufficient to
take care of you, Nell, and make a home for you ; but until then can I ask
you to give up such brilliant chances as are offered to you ? It would be
selfish and ungenerous of me to expect anything of the kind. Let your
own heart tell you what to do, not any fancied duty to a promise that
I shall never hold you to unless you choose to have it so. God bless you,
Nell. I send you a box of pine from the old tree, which you may like
to have for Christmas greens just as you used at home you remember,
[She drops her head upon her hands for a moment, as though
weeping silently. A knock at the door. Hastily takes the neck-
lace from her head, turns doivn the light.]
Well! Ah, Celeste! Well, Celeste? [Goes to the door.] Ah,
it is Christmas morning impossible! I must have been dream-
ing by the fire, and these beautiful white roses ! For me ! and
[Comes back with large basket of white roses, tied with zvhite
satin ribbon; places them on floor. Christmas chimes sound
faintly from without. She opens large white envelope, takes out
letter, and reads.]
"You know you have my heart. I lay it at your feet with these blos-
soms. I ask you, mademoiselle, if you will be my wife? I will not say
more. Yesterday I sent you red roses, which spoke of my love. This
Christmas morning, I send you bride roses, for my princess that is to be,
I fondly hope. I shall be proud, mademoiselle, if you will but send me
one little rose by my messenger, who will wait. Send me no cruel letter,
but the rose or nothing.
"Allow me, mademoiselle, to sign myself
"Your most devoted admirer, rt ,_
[The letter flutters from her hands to the ground. She stands
as though frightened for a moment. Falls dazed into the chair.
Then she takes a spray of pine from the bo.r, places it upon her
hair where the crown has been, rises to her feet, and looks in the
mirror over the mantel with a smile, then she turns to the door.]
Celeste, tell him there is no answer !
AND RECITATIONS NO, 32. 39
A CRUSHED TRAGEDIAN,
Comedy Monologue in Verse for a Man.
ED. L. MCDOWELL.
Written expressly for this book.
CHARACTER : ACTOR, Speaker present.
COSTUME : Shabby, genteel suit.
SCENE: Enter ACTOR, gazes about and then addresses audience.
OH, why do the critics insist that I
Am not an actor born?
Why do the "gallery gods/' forsooth,
Laugh all my powers to scorn?
I feel great fires within my frame
Which high should mount
From my soul's fount
And set the world aflame.
Then why am I here in this No Man's Land,
So far from the marts of trade?
Collect thyself, mind ah, yes, last week
I enacted the great Jack Cade.
Yes, I lived Cade's life through every scene
And showed Jack's hopes and fears ;
Next morn the New York critics proved
That I played a Jack with ears !
[Illustrating a donkey's ear-flaps, etc.]
The theatre was crowded from pit to dome
To see me enact the hero of Rome.
Forth I rushed on the stage midst the wildest applause,
And my very first speech won a storm of huzzas
Too stormy methought. Yet it flattered my pride,
And resolved me the more. So with grand tragic stride
40 WERNER'S READINGS
And Delsartian sweep of my eloquent arms,
I proceeded to paralyze the house with my charms
When something hit me in the neck
Which aroused my dramatic ire,
'The man that threw that egg," says I,
"Is a a parabolical, diabolical liar."
He apologized and said that far
From theatrical infracting,
That he'd paid his money to see me act
And intended to be exacting. [Egsacting.]
Oh, then awoke the hopes that slept within my manly breast,
An exacting audience now must needs to see me act my best.
But alas ! the perfume of that venerable egg
Had my memory so unfixed
That the lines of every play I knew
Got most confoundedly mixed.
: 'To be or not to be," I shrieked
The audience thought I'd better not;
Advised me to go and soak my head,
Or seek some breezy spot,
Where the wind might through my whiskers blow,
Ere I turned up my toes to the daisies. "Oh,
Cruel critics," I cried, "you shall hear me yet;
Richard's himself again, you bet."
They applauded, then hooted, then crushed my hopes
With bouquets tied to the ends of ropes.
They guyed me, yes and they bouquets plied
Of a vegetable kind till I could have died.
Yet, "On with the play though it rain cats and dogs,"
I yelled, while showers of eggs bespattered my "togs."
AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 41
Fiercely I acted till a big potato caught me
Somewhere in the ribs, and suddenly brought me
Well, nearer to death than I care to be brought.
But ha ha ! my second wind came, I called for my "cue."
Zounds ! the prompter had skipped with my cue and watch, too.
Yes, manager, scene-shifters, dizzy actors all gone
Had left me to play out Jack Cade all alone.
Still my soul was resolved that my genius should win,
So, grandly in monologue I again did begin,
When a twenty-pound cabbage found its way to my head,
And all my ambition immediately fled.
That's why I am here in this No Man's Land,
Far away from the marts of trade,
And here I'll abide, for I understand
That a "return engagement" would occasion a raid.
Thank heaven! I still live! Alack, my poor poll,
Thou hast brought naught but shame to my ambitious soul.
Alack, poor Yorick ! Great Kraut ! when that huge cabbage fell,
Methought 'twere a summons to heaven or to sheol !
No more will the hair on my dizzy skull grow
'Tis cabbaged for good ; well, well, let it go, heigh-ho, heigh-ho !
No more on the stage as a target I'll stand ;
Henceforth I'll scratch gravel in No Man's Land.
Perhaps as a farmer kind nature may find
Some chance for the genius which cankers my mind.
So farewell to tragedy ; welcome, thrice welcome the plow.
Come farm-fruit, come hen-fruit, I'll cabbage you now.
But Fd let a wilderness of monkeys all my farm prospects ravage
Just to "plug" the propeller of that twenty-pound cabbage.
42 WERNER'S READINGS'
AUNT SOPHRONIA TABOR AT THE OPERA.
Yankee Dialect Comedy Monologue for a Woman.
Arranged as monologue expressly for this book by Elise West.
CHARACTERS REPRESENTED: AUNT SOPHRONIA, Speaker, pres-
ent; LOUISA, her niece, supposed to be present.
COSTUME : Old-fashioned black alpaca or black silk costume, etc.
[Enter AUNT SOPHRONIA looking at orchestra as she moves
along, and talks then at audience and whole building.]
SO this is the uproar? Well, isn't this a monster big building?
And that Chanticleer ! It's got a thousand candles, if it has
one. I wish that your Uncle Peleg was here. You're sure,
Louisa, that this is a perfectly proper place ? Somehow, you city
folks look upon such things differently than we do who live in the
country. Dear suz! Louisa, do look way up there in the tiptop
of the house ! Did you ever see such a sight of people ! Why,
excursion trains must have run from all over the State. Massy,
child! There's a woman forgot her bonnet! My Eliza Ann cut
just such a caper as that one Sunday last summer, got clean into
the meeting house, and half way down the middle aisle, before she
discovered it, and the whole congregation a-giggling and a-titter-
ing. Your cousin Woodman Harrison shook the whole pew.
Just speak to that poor creature, Louisa. She'll feel awfully cut
up when she finds it out. Come bareheaded a-purpose ! Well, I
do declare! But, Louisa, where's the horse-chestnut? You said
something or other about a horse-chestnut playing a voluntary.
Them men with the fiddles and the bass-viols ? I want to know !
Belong to the first families, I suppose. They are an uncommon
good-looking set of men. Is Mrs. Patte a furrener? There goes
the curtain. Louisa, oughtn't we to stand up during prayer-time ?
Dear suz ! I wish your Uncle Peleg was here. Somehow, it seems
kinder un-Christian to be play-acting worship. La sakes, child,
what is the matter ? Is the theatre on fire ? It's only the people
AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 43
applauding because Patte is on the stage ? Sakes alive ! Is that
it? I thought we was all afire, or Wiggin's flood had come. So
that is Mrs. Patte. Well, I declare for it! she's as spry as a
cricket, and no mistake. Why, she looks scarcely out of her
teens. How old is she, Louisa? Over forty? Is it possible?
There, they're at it again.
What is the matter now? What, that dapper little fellow
a-bowing and a-scraping and a-smirking ! Is that Mr. Scalchi ?
Madame Scalchi? Louisa, are you sure that this is a perfectly
proper place? I only wish Peleg was here, for then I shouldn't
feel so sort a-skerry like and guilty. Listen to that music, listen,
Louisa. Hip, hip, hooray ! Well, I never ! The sweat's just
a-rolling off me, and I am as weak as a rag-baby. I wish I had
my turkey-tail. This mite of a fan of yours don't give wind
enough to cool a mouse. Didn't that sound like an angel choir?
I'm so glad I came; and if Peleg was only along! But, there, I
hain't going to speak again till the uproar is over.
Louisa Allen, what are them half-nude statutes a-standing up
in the back there ? Don't they realize that the whole congregation
can see them ? and haven't they any modesty ? The bally ? Louisa
Sophronia Tabor Allen, just you pick up your regimentals, and
follow me ; and that quick, too. You needn't auntie me. Just get
your duds together, and we'll travel. Thank goodness your
Uncle Peleg Josiah Tabor is not here ! Don't let me see you give
as much as a glance to where those graceless nudities are, or, big
as you are, I'll box your ears. Louisa, I only wish I had my thick-
est veil, for I am positively ashamed to be caught in this un-Chris-
tian scrape. Come, and don't raise your eyes. There, thank good-
ness, we're in pure air at last! I have nothing to say agin th?
uproar. Them voices would grace a celestial choir. This I say
with all reverence. But that side show ! I wouldn't have had
my Eliza Ann nor my Woodman Harrison a-witnessed what
we've come near a-witnessing for a thousand-dollar bill. No, not
for a ten-thousand-dollar bill. And I am so thankful that your
Uncle Peleg was not here ! Somehow, Louisa, I feel as if I'd
fallen like the blessed Lucifer out of the moon.
44 WERNER'S READINGS
BILLY THE HERMIT.
Pathetic Yankee Dialect Monologue for a Man.
Arranged as monologue expressly for this book by Grace B. Faxon.
[Suitable for any occasion, but especially suitable for Hunting,
or Camp, Bird-Day, Children of Mercy Day, Sunday Schools.]
CHARACTERS REPRESENTED: BILLY THE HERMIT, Speaker, pres-
ent ; SONNY, a small favorite of the HERMIT, and several chil-
dren, all supposed to be present.
COSTUMES: BILLY THE HERMIT wears an old-fashioned brown
cloth suit, large-rimmed soft felt hat, heavy looking boots. He
should be made up as an old and wrinkled man.
STAGE-SETTING : Outdoor scene, trees, grass, etc. Near stage
front R. should stand a part of an old trunk of a tree (about
two feet high), and near it lying down the trunk of another
SCENE : Enter from L. C. side entrance and walk slowly across
stage, acting as if interested and looking at the small people
walking with you. Talk as you cross stage and finish first para-
graph of monologue by the time you have reached the tree-
trunk. After all are seated, seat yourself, cross your legs, set-
tle down with thoughtful attitude and go on with the mono-
DID I ever shoot anything? Wai, yes, sonny, I did once. I
dunno why I done it nor never did. But I know this
much I hain't never touched a gun since and don't never want
to! Tell you about it? Wai, 'tain't much of a story. Dunno as
you 'd be much int'rested in it. But seein' as you asked, I guess
I may as well tell you. But fust, all set down on thet are log.
Thet's right. Naow I'll set down. Be you all comfortable? You
be? Thet's right.
'AND RECITATIONS NO. 32. 45
You see it was like this happened a long time ago when I was
a boy. Seems kinder cur'ous sometimes when I think I was ever a
little boy, young as you be, sonny. Dunno as you'd care to hear
about my mother, but she somehow comes into the story. Hain't
talked about her to any one for years. She warn't never very
strong and she used to have to work too hard cookin' and sewin'
and washin, and ironin'. Terrible pretty she was, too ! What
was she like ? Wai, she was kinder little and slender and her hair
was all waves and crinkles and just the color of the inside of a
chestnut burr and nigh about as soft and silky ; and her eyes were
jest like them little still dark places in the brook where the grass
grows right down to the water and every once in a while the sun
shines down and makes a sparkle. You know them places jest
the places to catch penny fish, you know.
Wai, mother was awful good to me. She used to take me
walkin' in the woods Sunday afternoons and tell me 'bout the
birds and the flowers and a whole lot of things that she seemed
to know more about than anybody did. Dunno how she ever
learned it all, but somehow she'd found out. Guess 'twas 'cause