Dorothea M Hughes.

The spirit of Poland online

. (page 1 of 3)
Online LibraryDorothea M HughesThe spirit of Poland → online text (page 1 of 3)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook




PS 635
Copy 1

The Spirit of Poland


Dorothea M. Hughes

Successful Rural Plays

A Strong List From Which to Select Your
Next Play

FARM FOLKS. A Rural Play in Four Acts, by Arthur
Lewis Tubbs. For five male and six female characters. Time
of playing, two hours and a half. One simple exterior, two
easy interior scenes. Costumes, modern. Flora Goodwin, a
farmer's daughter, is engaged to Philip Burleigh, a young New
Yorker. Philip's mother wants him to marry a society woman,
and by falsehoods makes Flora believe Philip does not love her.
Dave Weston, who wants Flora himself, helps the deception by
intercepting a letter from Philip to Flora. She agrees to marry
Dave, but on the eve of their marriage Dave confesses, Philip
learns the truth, and he and Flora are reunited. It is a simple
plot, but full of speeches and situations that sway an audience
alternately to tears and to laughter. Price, 25 cents.

HOME TIES. A Rural Play in Four Acts, by Arthur
Lewis Tubbs. Characters, four male, five female. Plays two
hours and a half. Scene, a simple interior — same for all four
acts. Costumes, modern. One of the strongest plays Mr. Tubbs
has written. Martin Winn's wife left him when his daughter
Ruth was a baby. Harold Vincent, the nephew and adopted son
of the man who has wronged Martin, makes love to Ruth Winn.
She is also loved by Len Everett, a prosperous young farmer.
When Martin discovers who Harold is, he orders him to leave
Ruth. Harold, who does not love sincerely, yields. Ruth dis-
covers she loves Len, but thinks she has lost him also. Then
he comes back, and Ruth finds her happiness. Price 25 cents.


England Drama in Three Acts, by Frank Dumont. For seven
males and four females. Time, two hours and a half. Costumes,
modern. A play with a strong heart interest and pathos, yet rich
in humor. Easy to act and very effective. A rural drama of
the "Old Homstead" and "Way Down East" type. Two ex-
terior scenes, one interior, all easy to set. Full of strong sit-
uations and delightfully humorous passages. . The kind of a play
everybody understands and likes. Price, 25 cents.

in Three Acts, by Frank Dumont. For five males and four
females. Time, two hours. Rural costumes. Scenes rural ex-
terior and interior. An adventurer obtains a large sum of money
from a farm house through the intimidation of the farmer's
niece, whose husband he claims to be. Her escapes from the
wiles of the villain and his female accomplice are both starting
and novel. Price, 15 cents.

A WHITE MOUNTAIN BOY. A Strong Melodrama in
Five Acts, by Charles Townsend. For seven males and four
females, and three supers. Time, two hours and twenty minutes.
One exterior, three interiors. Costumes easy. The hero, a
country lad, twice saves the life of a banker's daughter, which
results in their betrothal. A scoundrelly clerk has the banker
in his power, but the White Mountain boy finds a way to check-
mate his schemes, saves the banker, and wins the girl. Price
15 cents.



The Spirit of Poland

A Play in Three Acts







Copyright 191 7 by The Penn Publishing Company

The Spirit of Poland

Oi.D 48734

JAN 17 1918


The Spirit of Poland


Pan (Mr.) Malewski . proprietor of a Polish estate
Pana (Miss) Wanda Malewski . . his daughter

an American, on way home after
a year at a Russian college
a lieutenant in the Russian Army
. a?i old servant of the Malewskis*

Tadeusz Bolski

Sasha Pouvanof
Sebastian .
Peasants :
Magda .
Manka .
Hanna .


Franka f

the bridegrooni

..... the bride

a lover

his sweetheart

an old man

his wife, foster mother to Wanda

. his wife
their little girl


An infant.

Two men to fill in dance,
two if preferred}.

A fiddler {or


"a" is pronounced as in " far."

ch " as in German.

Time of Playing. — Two hours.


Act I. — Outbreak of the European War.
Act II. — Time of Russian retreat.
Act III. — The winter of the next year.


Pan Malewski and Wanda, his daughter, make ready
for the dance they are giving. Tadeusz has lost his
way and accepts Malewski' s invitation to stay over
night. The dance interrupted by Sebastian's dreadful
news. " Austria has declared war on Russia ! " Sasha
Polivanof, a Russian officer, is quartered under
Malewski's roof. Wanda's contempt. " I hate him ! "
Tadeusz, who has known Polivanof at college, tells
him that he has fallen in love with Wanda. Polivanof
declares that if Russia wins it w r ill mean freedom for
Poland. Tadeusz is unconvinced. " I have no faith
in Russia." Wanda accuses him of cowardice, and
gives Polivanof a knot of Polish ribbon. " When the
bullets sing, your eyes will light me." The Russian
retreat — across Poland. Wanda and Polivanof.
" You will save us." " Marry me and ride with my
troops to safety." Wanda refuses in scorn. " Give
me back the knot of ribbon." The homeless peasants
find shelter at Wanda's house, which has been mysteri-
ously spared. Hunger. Malewski decides to sell his
violin. Wanda's plea. " Wait a little — only half an

hour " The slipping minutes. Tadeusz comes

from America bringing food and hope. " I thought
of a face I had seen in my dreams." The hungry are
fed. " Long live Poland ! "


Pan (Mr.) Malewski (pronounced Maleskie).
About sixty. Act I, wears a good suit of modern
clothes. Act II, overcoat and hat.

Pana (Miss) Wanda Malewski (pronounced
Vanda Maleskie). A pretty girl about twenty. In



Act I she wears a peasant dress. (See Magda, etc.,
below.) In Act II black dress, long cape and out-
door wraps. A shawl over head on second entrance.
In Act III, black dress, with a knot of Polish crimson
ribbon and a long crimson sash.

Tadeusz Boeski (pronounced Tadush). About
twenty-hve. Act I, riding suit. Act III, same, with
heavy coat over it, and a knot of red, white, and blue
ribbon. Smooth face.

Sash a Polivanof. About twenty-five. Uniform
of a Russian officer, with cape. Wears moustache.

Sebastian. About sixty. Costume in Act I should
suggest an old-time servant. It may be black, or
perhaps brown, with black braid. In Act III wears
heavy coat, riding boots, cap.

Bartosz (pronounced Bartosh), Jusef (Yusef),
Jan (Yan) and other peasants in Act I wear white
coats trimmed with red or blue, red caps with peacock
feathers, loose trousers gathered at knee, and high
boots. Bartosz in Act III wears old gray clothing,
ragged coat, etc. He has a long beard. Jusef and
Stach are about twenty-two. Jan is rather older.

Magda, Manka, Basia (Basha), and other peasant
women wear gay skirts, some flowered, some striped,
some white or plain-colored with stripes round the
bottom. White waists, and bodices of different colors.
Gay kerchiefs knotted at back of neck, or bare heads.
Hair done in braids, either loose, or coiled above ears
or on back of neck. In Act I quantities of beads are
worn, but not in Act III. In Act II, shawls cover heads
and shoulders. Magda and Manka are about eighteen
or nineteen. Hanna is about sixty. Basia, about
twenty-five. Vikta and Franka, young women.
Zosia (Zosha), a child of eight or ten, dresses like
her elders.


Act I. — Two candles, picture of Virgin. Long
wreath of red and white flowers, and another of blue
and white, and a third of any color. Violin, mirror,
step-ladder, cigarette. Calling card. Piece of candy.
Embroidered belt, and embroidered cloth. A folded
paper. Calling card. Bottles and glasses. Bell (to
be heard off stage). Key.

Act II. — Newspaper. Letter. Knot of Polish
crimson. Bundle of handkerchiefs apparently filled
with personal belongings. Portable household goods.
Lantern. Basket of food.

Act III. — Violin and case. Beet roots. Basket or
package of food. Saddle-bags. (These are two large
bags of cloth fastened together with a band of cloth
or leather. They should appear to be stuffed full of
goods.) Knot, or badge, of red, white and blue rib-
bon. Polish flag.

Scene Plot for Acts I and III




Act I

Scene. — A room in the house of Pan Malewski — a
nobleman of ancient family. On right wall, a picture
of Virgin ; underneath it a stand with two candles. In
front of it a step-ladder. In left wall, at back, a fire-
place, and against back wall — next the fireplace— a
settle. A door at back, and a door at left. A bell-
rope hangs at the back. Mirror over fireplace. To
right back, a sideboard covered with silver. The
room is cleared of the other furniture, as for a dance.

Act II

Scene. — A snowy field near the village. A few
fallen trees or logs. Everything as dreary as possible.
If a very simple setting is desired, the former scene
may be covered with white drop curtains, furniture,
etc., being removed.


Scene. — Same as Act I, except all silver and mov-
able valuables are gone. Table down l. c. A child's
coffin is on table. The candles are lit before the
Virgin's picture.

The Spirit of Poland


SCENE. — Pan Malewski's house. Time — At out-
break of war.

(Pan Malewski, Wanda and Sebastian discovered.
Sebastian stands by step-ladder, r. Wanda, down
C, is dancing. Pan M:, on settle up l., is playing
an air used later. Wanda stops suddenly.)

Wanda (c). No, no, I mustn't! I have no time.
(Runs laughing up l. to her father.) Dear little
Father, stop. Do you think I can help dancing when
you play? (She lays her hands on the strings, then
dashes r. and scrambles up the step-ladder.) Now
Sebastian, the blue and white. (Sebastian hands up
a wreath. Just as she is about to put it over the
Virgin's picture Pan M. begins to play, in the spirit of
mischief.) No, no ! (Pan M. plays louder. Wanda
flings doivn the wreath, jumps down, from the step-
ladder and dances, giving herself up to the swing of
the music. Then she checks herself. Up c. ) Stop !
stop (with a mock majesty), or I shall lose my temper.

Pan M. (up l.). What a terrible threat!

Wanda (a, pretending to be offended). Well, I
have a temper. (Coaxing.) But you won't tease
me again. (Pan M. lowers his bow; Wanda shakes
upraised finger.) Don't deny it, you always spoil me.
(She takes two steps, r., toward the picture, then over
shoulder.) And now you know I must decorate the
Virgin's picture. (Climbs step-ladder again and ar-



ranges a blue and white wreath over the picture.)
How does that look, Father ?

Pan M. Very well.

Wanda. No, let us try the other once more.
(Sebastian hands up the other wreath.) Of course
blue and white are her colors ; but she loves the Polish
red too.

Pan M. Twist them together, Wanda.

(She deftly twists them together and hangs them over
the picture. Bell without.)

Wanda. There they are ! there they are ! And we
aren't ready. (Scrambles down off the step-ladder.)
Quick, Sebastian, hide it! hide it! (Sebastian seises
the step-ladder. She tries to help him. Wanda, r.)
Oh, do be quick !

Sebastian (r. a). I've got it. There, there,
leave be. (Wanda watches as though to make him
move faster by the force of her ardor. Sebastian
slowly crosses the stage, l.) All this hurry for a lot
of peasant folk ! (Exit, c. Wanda flies to glass over
fireplace, l., and smiling at her image puts a final touch
to her hair and dress. Then she goes up to her father's
side, l., zvith a skip. Reenter Sebastian, c.) The
peasants have not come. It is a stranger.

Pan M. (up l.). A stranger?

(Places violin in case on settee.)

Wanda (up l.). What is he like?

Sebastian. A foreigner, I think.

Pan M. Has he letters to me?

Wanda (going c. to Sebastian). Is he young or

Sebastian (a). He has no letters.

Wanda (a). Is he old or young?

Sebastian (with a shrug). Young.

Pan M. (coming down L.), Did he say what
brought him?

Wanda ( c. ) . Is he handsome ?

Sebastian, He has lost his way.


Wanda. Is he handsome?
Sebastian {another shrug). Well enough.
Pan M. Ask him to come in. I'll do my best to
redirect him.

{Exit Sebastian, c.)

Wanda {coming down l.). Oh, Father, ask him
to stay. Dear little Father, ask him to stay.

Pan M. He may be in a hurry.

Wanda. Oh, no. Why should he be? We never
see a stranger from one year's end to the next, and
to-day is my birthday.

{Reenter Sebastian, c, with Tadeusz Bolski.
Sebastian withdraws with a bow.)

Tadeusz (c. ). Pardon my intrusion.

{Comes slowly down c.)

Pan M. {coming forward to greet him). You are
very welcome. I hear you have lost your way. What
can I do for you?

Tadeusz. I came to ask which road I had better
take. I am on my way from Rokitno to Radom.

Pan M. (l. a). You have indeed lost your way.

Tadeusz (a). And the worst of it is, my horse
has gone lame. How far is it to Radom?

Pan M. A good twenty miles, and bad roads.

Tadeusz. Worse roads than I have come through ?

Pan M. Yes.

Wanda (l., laughing). A man was drowned in one
once. The coach overturned, and he was drowned.

Tadeusz. Then I must fling myself on your charity.
Is there any place near here where I could exchange a
lame horse for a sound?

Pan M. Let us talk of that later. In the mean-
time will you not stay for our festivity? This is my
daughter's birthday, and all the peasants in the village
are coming here for a dance.

Tadeusz. A thousand thanks! But then how
should I reach Radom before nightfall?


Pan M. Be our guest for to-night. A room is al-
ways ready for the stranger, and a place set at table
for the " man from across the mountains."

Tadeusz (to Wanda). Have I stepped into a fairy
tale ? (To Pan M.) I may be fifty kinds of a scamp.

Pan M. (l. a). No, no!

Tadeusz (c, to Pan M.). You ask me without
knowing my name — my business ?

Wanda (l.). Yes, of course. Why not? It is
our custom. You are a " man from over the moun-

Tadeusz. "If this be dreaming, may I never wake/'

Pan M. No dream, I assure you.

Tadeusz (to Wanda). And the knight in the fairy
tale came to a palace where all strangers were made
welcome ; and there he found the fairest princess in
the world. (To Pan M.) I am still bewildered.
(Handing his card.) Take my card, to convince me
I'm not dreaming. {To Wanda.) I will gladly be a
" man from over the mountains." I count it luck my
horse went lame.

Pan M. The good fortune is ours. (He looks at
card, bows slightly and hands it to Wanda. To
Tadeusz.) Do you smoke? (He offers a cigarette.
Tadeusz accepts and lights it, but forgets to smoke.)
You must be cold. Come nearer the fire.

(The men stand l. by fireplace. Wanda is back of
them, by the settle.)

Wanda (looking at card). Tadeusz Bolski. The

name is Polish. I thought You speak like a

foreigner. Are you a Pole?

Tadeusz. I am of Polish blood. My great-grand-
father followed Kosciusko to fight for the cause of
freedom in America.

Wanda. Then you are an American ?

Tadeusz. An American citizen — on my way home
from a year of college in St. Petersburg.

Pan M. Your home is in the land where all men
receive justice.


Wanda. Where the children never see their fathers
marched off to war.

Pan M. You do not live in constant terror of the

Tadeusz. Why, scarcely.

Pan M. Every Pole worthy of the name fears the

Wanda. And in America every child is taught to
read. If I were to open a school here I should be

Tadeusz. You ?

Wanda (smiling). And sent to Siberia, perhaps,
if I persisted.

Tadeusz. Impossible !

Wanda. Oh, yes — my father was born there, and
my grandfather worked in the mines with chains on
his feet.

Tadeusz. But now — in these davs — and for teach-

Wanda (still smiling). I should be accused of stir-
ring up a revolt.

Tadeusz. I have begun to understand what freedom
means — the freedom my great-grandfather fought
for — now when I see countries without it. First Rus-
sia and now Poland. It makes me (He checks

himself.) If only there were hope, a revolt

Pan M. (bitterly). Ah, a revolt.

(He shakes his head.)

Tadeusz. You are hopeless— like my Russian
friend, Polivanof. Hopeless of anything better.

Pan M. Those who had hope are dead.

Tadeusz. But you seem to think nothing you can
do will make any difference.

Pan M. Those Poles who tried to make a differ-
ence sleep in the lost battle-fields.

Tadeusz. But the people — the peasants That

is what I tried to show Polivanof. The people will
not stand it much longer.

Pan M. You say your Russian friend is a fatalist.


So am I. But I am not hopeless. Liberty will come
when it will come.

Tadeusz. But why not fight to bring it?

Pan M. I thought the Americans were a practical

Tadeusz. So they are, but

Pan M. A revolt is not practical.

Tadeusz {eagerly). But is there nothing I can do?
No cause I can join? Poland gave my great-grand-
father to America, and America owes my life to

Pan M. You are true to your race.

Wanda. I knew you were a Pole at heart.

Pan M. {taking both his hands). Stay with us,
learn to know your great-grandfather's country.

Wanda. You are one of us already.

Tadeusz. I wish I were. I wish there were an
army mustering now for the defence of Poland, that I
might light for her liberty. Perhaps you might buckle
on — (less seriously) my blanket roll.

Wanda. If every one felt as you do, Poland would
soon be free. {Distant music heard. Wanda goes
to door, c.) Here they come. This is my name day,
and we have chosen it for Magda's wedding.
(Tadeusz and Pan M. come down l.) All the peas-
ants are coming for a dance, and then a feast in the
big barn. I have decorated the room for it.

Tadeusz. I see you have red, white and blue there
in the flowers.

Wanda. Yes, blue and white for the Virgin, and
red and white for Poland.

Tadeusz (l.). But red, white and blue is also

Wanda (c). Ah, yes! For America, and free-
dom! (She comes down l. to her father's side. A
loud burst of music. Sebastian and the peasants
enter slowly, c, walking two by two. Magda and
Jusef come first, Hanna and Bartosz next, then
Basia and Jan, and last of all Manka and Stach.
Manka is shy with Stach, but he is forward. Little
Zosia runs near her mother with a wreath. Zosia


runs forward with the wreath to Wanda.) Thank
you ! Thank you all ! Ah, little one, I have not
forgotten you.

(She gives Zosia a piece of candy. Peasants file by,

greeting Pan M. and Wanda. They half bend

their knees and kiss their hands. It may take too
long for all to do this.)

Peasants. Praised be the name of the Lord.

Wanda and Pan M. For all eternity. Amen.

Pan M. So you have been made man and wife.
I wish you long life and prosperity, and every hap-

Jusef and Magda (c. ). We thank you humbly.

Magda. Will you accept this work of my hands?

(Comes down l. Gives a towel, which she binds
around Wanda's shoulders, and gives a belt to
Pan M.)

Pan M. and Wanda. Many thanks.

(Magda returns to Jusef, up c. Sebastian goes up
c., and exit.)

Pan M. Here is something to start your house-

(Manka collects money in her apron for the bride.)

Tadeusz. May I add my bit?

Wanda. Of course !

Jusef and Magda. God bless you !

Wanda. You are a good worker, Magda. Your
linen is white and fine. Jusef will have a good house-

Jusef. Oh, she is a fine lass ! No one makes better
bread or churns finer butter.

Partoz. Oh, you have done well for yourself.
Magda has the largest feather bed in the village.
Every one will envy you.


Vikta (r.). Magda is lucky too. Jusef made so
much money helping to build the new bridge that he
bought himself a cow.

Franka. And another pig and some chickens.

Manka. Besides, he is a handsome lad, and as
strong as an ox.

Stach (up R. a). You had better not notice how
another man looks. He is not for you.

Manka (r.). I can look at whom I please. No
one can forbid me. I'm not married yet.

Vikta (to Franka). Silly Manka, to quarrel with
Stach. She may lose him yet.

Franka (r.). And you would like to find what
she loses.

Vikta. Don't be stupid!

Pan M. You must need refreshments after your
long ride from the church. They will bring us some
of our old mead presently. The tables are laid for
supper in the big barn.

Wanda. And the lawn is cut smooth for dancing.
But let us start our first dance here. Come, Jusef —
you shall be my partner, as is the custom, and Father
will take the bride.

(Music strikes up — a fiddler or two may be introduced
in peasant costume. The dance begins. Sebastian
dances at one side with Zosia till close before the
end, when he exits.)

Tadeusz (snapping his fingers, and taking a few
steps). I've got it!

(He whirls round by himself, and then comes laughing
and triumphant to Wanda's side, and takes her
partner's place in the next figure. The old people —
Hanna and Bartosz — dance stiffly but with spirit.
When the dance is nearly over Sebastian enters,
c, terribly grave. The couples slozv down breath-
less, and stop in groups R. and l.)

Sebastian. Master ! Master !
Pan M. What is it?


Sebastian. News! (Pause.) Austria has de-
clared war on Russia ! ( The peasants are dazed by
the suddenness of his announcement.) A squad of
soldiers has arrived. Russia has sent orders to every
man in the village.

Manka (r.). Orders! (She looks at Stach.)

Magda (r.). Orders! They will take you, Jusef?

Jusef (r., lifelessly). I do not know.

Sebastian (coming dozvn c, hands Pan M. a
folded paper). This was to be given to you.

(Pan M. reads.)

Wanda (dozvn l.). Not you, Father? They are
not taking you?

Pan M. (l. a). No. Only men worth killing —
men with tough sinews and young blood — men who
might one day rise against Russia. I am no good —
only to curse. No ! All the Russian Government
wants of me is that I shall open my doors to their
agent. (Slaps paper with the back of his hand.) I
am to take their recruiting officer under my roof and
feed him at my table — yes, at my table. It is specified

(Pan M. tears paper and flings pieces on floor, walks
to fireplace, hides his face on mantelpiece a mo-
ment and then takes up violin.)

Wanda (after look at father). Poor old Hanna !
Yes, you had better all go.

Tadeusz. What can I do?

Wanda (without hearing, to Hanna). Don't cry.

Tadeusz (up l., suddenly). I may be in the way.
I think I'll look after my horse.

(Exit Tadeusz, c.)

Bartoz. Let us go and gather together all the men
of the village, and seek to learn more news.

Hanna. Yes, come.

Basia (lifting Zosia into Jan's arms). Put your
arms round Daddy.


(Manka and Stach make up quarrel as they go.
Exit peasants, c.)

Pan M. I suppose this was to be expected. It was
to be expected that Russia should put in her front
ranks Poles, and Germany should put in her front
ranks Poles; but I wish this might happen to Russia.

(At the word "this" he scrapes his violin, till it
screams as if tortured.)

Wanda. Father !

Pan M. And this officer, their representative! I
am to sit with him, and break bread with him, or it
will be the worse for me! (Comes down l.)

Wanda (following). I — I — (catching her breath)
I shall not speak to him, Father. I shall spill salt
between us. I shall show him how I hate him.

Pan M. (looking at her, for the first time and
earnestly) . No. (He places hand on her shoulder.)
No. I shall expect you to take your place as hostess.

Wanda. Perhaps — I don't know — I'll try, but — but
I don't think I can.

(Enter Manka, c, tear-stained and breathless. Dur-
ing following conversation Pan M. goes and sits,
down l. )

Manka (running down l.). Pana Malewski!
Panienka ! x

Wanda. Why, Manka!

Manka. I have got by Pan Sebastian at last.
Panienka will pardon me?

Wanda. Indeed, yes. What is it?

Manka. Stach — they are taking Stach.

Wanda (smiling sadly). You have forgiven him,
Manka ?

Manka. Oh, yes. Panienka does not understand.
I loved him all the time.

Wanda (taking Manka's hands). Poor Manka!

Manka. I loved him all the time, and I have told

1 Panienka, Little Miss (pronounced Panyanka).


1 3

Online LibraryDorothea M HughesThe spirit of Poland → online text (page 1 of 3)