Lennox Robinson.

Two plays: Harvest; The Clancy name online

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John. Oh, I don't know what — I must . . .

The Clancy Name 'j'j

Mrs. Clancy. I'll never bear it. 'Twill kill me, 'twill
kill me — they'll point at me as " the mother of John
Clancy, the murderer." They'll have me up in court,
and there'll be police about the house where I was always
proud to say no policeman ever put his foot. If you go
to the police, John, I'll never hold up my head again. . . .
And what good will it do you at all ? 'Twon't bring
Jamsey back to life to go telling the police. You'll
only kill me, and 'tisn't one murder but two that you'll
have on your soul.

John. It's — it's — for my own peace of mind. Mother,
let me go !

Mrs. Clancy {sobbing more des-peratdy). I couldn't
bear it. 'Twould kill me ! 'Twould kill me !

A 'pause. John looks round, wildly as if for some
means of escape. His mother rocks herself and sohs. At
last he gives in.

: John. All right, I suppose I can't then.
': Mrs. Clancy. Ah, that's right, be sensible. You'll
thank me for this some day when you'll be sitting happy
and contented by the fire and the little children playing

John. No, that I won't. I must go away, far away
where maybe I'll forget. His face . . . mother, if you'd
seen his face . . .

Mrs. Clancy. I declare I think you're mad. What do
you want going away, with a comfortable farm here for
you ? Besides, people will think there's something queer
if you go away now for no reason at all. Can't you . . .

John. Let them think what they like and be damned.
I must go away, I must go this minute. Give me some
money and I'll be off.

Mrs. Clancy. I'll give you no money.

John {snatching the bag on the table). Then I'll take it.
{Throws down bag when he finds it empty)

Mrs. Clancy. You'll get no money there. Can't you
sit down and be easy.

John. Easy ? With him rotting in the bog ?

78 The Clancy Name

Mrs. Clancy. Tell me where you're going anyway.

John. I don't rightly know. Over the hills and away —
away — ^where maybe I'll forget. Say good-bye to me,
mother, say you're sorry for me.

Mrs. Clancy. You're a disgrace, that's what you are, a
disgrace to the name of . . .

John. A disgrace am I ? 'Tis you're the disgrace.

Mrs. Clancy {as the figure of Mrs. Spillane passes
the windozv). For God's sake whisht, there's someone at
the door.

John looks round startled. They stand silently and
a little apart.

Mrs. Spillane {entering. I stepped up again, Mrs.
Clancy, ma'am, to say another word about Julia Tobin.
{John pushes roughly past her and goes out) What's the
matter with John, at all, I heard him shouting and I
outside the window ?

Mrs. Clancy. He — he's bothered about the farm.

Mrs. Spillane {curiously). And what's the disgrace ?

Mrs. Clancy (frightened). The disgrace .?

Mrs. Spillane. Yes, I heard him talking about a

Mrs. Clancy {trying to speak lightly). Oh, 'twas only
Jerry Brien's lambs, he was saying it was a disgrace the
way they w^ere trespassing on our land.

Mrs. Spillane. Oh ! I thought he had a dark look
on him when I and Eugene were waiting for you— and
he took me up so sharp and so sudden. Well, 'twasn't
about that I came to speak to you, it's about Julia. I've
a great liking to the girl myself, and not having a child
of my own I'm willing to give thirty pounds to the man
who marries her in addition to whatever Tom gives.

Mrs. Clancy {sitting down at the table as if she was too
weak to stand, dully). Thirty pounds.

Mrs. Spillane. Yes, and you may say now she'll be
bringing a nice bit of money along with her the day she's

Mrs. Clancy. Yes, ves . . ,

The Clancy Name 79

Mrs. Spillane. So now let you speak to John about
it. What ails you, Mrs. Clancy, you're all of a tremble ?

Mrs. Clancy. I hadn't a bit to eat since my breakfast,
and John had me annoyed with his talk. (Pulling herself
together) Thank you, Mrs. Spillane, and the blessing of
God on you for a generous woman, I'll speak to John
about JuHa. You'll forgive the hasty word I spoke.

Mrs. Spillane. Sure, what's that ? 'Twould be a pity
if a thing like that would spoil a match.

Mrs. Clancy. I'd like well to see John married to a
good girl this minute. {Half appealingly .) Marriage is
apt to steady a man, isn't it, Mrs. Spillane ?

Mrs. Spillane. To be sure it is — unless he's a wild mad
divil of a fellow altogether — and John was never that sort.

Mrs. Clancy. It keeps them from doing desperate
things. {Half to herself.) Yes, 'twould be a great thing
to have him married.

The noise of a car is heard outside.

Mrs. Spillane. Maybe that's Eugene's brother ;
he promised to give us a Hft home. {Looks out. Mrs.
Clancy remains sitting at the table) 'Tis Eugene's
brother right enough and he driving the divil's
tilt down the hill. God Almighty, he's mad drunk, he's
lashing the mare and she plunging and rearing. Come
here, Mrs. Clancy, he's not fit to follow a horse. Wisha,
look at the child playing in the road. 'Twill be kilt.
Oh, God in Heaven, why doesn't it move ? There's
a man rushing out — he's pushed the child into the
ditch; but. Blessed Virgin, why doesn't he move out
of the horse's way — he's standing still. Oh, God !
He's knocked in the road. Who is it at all, at all ?
Look at the people around him. {Mrs. Clancy comes
to the door) Isn't that a fright now. {Goes hack to the
table for her shawl)

Mrs. Clancy {at the door). They've lifted him up off
the road; they're making . . . they're making for the
bohereen . . .

Mrs. Spillane. What bohereen ?

8o The Clancy Name

Mrs. Clancy. The one up here.

Mrs. Spillane. Yerra, what would they be doing that
for, unless maybe this is the nearest house to bring him
to. {Coming to the door)

Mrs. Clancy. They are bringing him up.

Mrs. Spillane. They are so— 'tis Jerry Brien and
Dempsey are carrying him— they'll be bringing him in
here, we'd better clear a place for him. ^

Mrs. Clancy. Will they bring him in then .? Show,
and we'll clear the bench ; or maybe they'd take
him into the bedroom.

Mrs. Spillane. Let them lay him on the bench.

Begins to clear it. Mrs. Clancy brings her basket into
the inner room, ^wo m.en, Jerry Brien and Michael
Dempsey, carry in John ; he is covered with dust and
appears lifeless. Eugene Roche and Mary Brien follow.

Mrs. Spillane. Lay him down here. Who is it at all ?

Jerry. Hush ! Is herself here ?

Mrs. Clancy {coming back). Who is it ?

Jerry {laying John down on the bench). He's not hurt at
all, Mrs. Clancy, and don't you be distressing yourself . . .

Mrs. Clancy {pushing forward and suddenly seeing
the body clearly). John ! God in Heaven, it's dead
he is.

Michael. Whisht, woman, he'll be all right, he's only
half stunned like.

Eugene. When I seen him on the road and the
horse . . .

Mary. And 'tis only this morning I told Jerome not
to be playing on the road ...

Jerry. Father Mahony ought to be here in a minute ;
'tis lucky he was with old Tom Cullinane. Give me
the towel, ma'am, till I wipe his face. Oh, wasn't he
the fine young man.

Mrs. Clancy {in a fairly calm voice). But— but how
did it all happen, it's not one minute since he
was here ?

Michael. Eugene and I were standing on the road

The Clancy Name

talking to Mary Brien, and Patsey's trap came down the hill
as if hell and all was after it, and Jerome . . .

Mary. And I t o 1 d Jerome.

Michael. Ah sure, telUng ! What does a child mind ?
Well, he was playing in the middle of the road and he
didn't mind at all, and your son was just after coming
down the bohereen and he rushed out and pushed the
child away.

i Eugene. Into the ditch.

• Michael. Yes, into the ditch, and then he stood still
in the middle of the road, and sure he could easily have
got away.

Mrs. Spillane. He could so, I saw it myself.

Jerry. The car was ten yards off.

Michael. But he stood there, half dazed like.

Eugene. And with a sort of smile on his face . , . and
the car — oh ! when I seen it coming . . .

Jerry. I saw the mare knock him down.

Mary. And the wheel of the car went over his chest.
(Bursts into uncontrolled sobs)

Mrs. Clancy. And he's dead ?

Mrs. Spillane. Oh, no, ma'am, please God he'll do
many a day's work yet. God would never kill him and
he your only one. Lift up his head again, Jerry, and
maybe we'll get a drop down.

7 he men try to force some whiskey dozen JohiCs throat,

Mrs. Clancy. 'Tis no use. {A pause).

Michael. He's moving.

Mrs. Clancy. What ?

Michael. He's moving; his lips are moving.

Mrs. Clancy {quickly). He'll be raving, he won't
know what he's saying.

Jerry. He is moving, surely.

Michael. Yes, yes ; his lips are moving, he's trying
to speak.

Mrs. Clancy {imploringly to them all). It's raving mad
he'll be, don't anyone of you mind a word he's saying, he
won't have his senses at all, he . . .

82 The Clancy Name

Michael. Whisht, ma'am.

John struggles and half raises hi?nself, supported by Jerry.

John. Let me go — mother — let me go— don't — hold
— me — I must — the police . . .

Mrs. Clancy {desperately). Whisht, John, whisht, be
quiet, be easy, can't you ? Oh, God help me, he hasn't
his senses at all ; be quiet, do. {John sinks back again.)

Michael. Faith, senses or no senses, he's right, and
Patsey should be in the hands of the police this minute,
and he falling off the car with the drink.

Jerry. I wish the priest would come.

John. Mother, will — you let — me — go to the — priest.

Mrs. Clancy. Yes, yes, of course, why should I stop
you ; be quiet though, don't speak a word only shut your
eyes and get a bit of sleep, don't mind at all, only quiet

Mrs. Spillane. God help her, the creature.

John {loudly^ and as if in terrible pain). Oh !

Eugene. What is it at all .? Lift him higher, Jerry,
maybe he'd get more ease that way. (Jerry raises him.)

John (Joudly, but with frightful difficulty of articulation^
staring straight in front of hirri). The blood — across — his
— forehead ! Oh, Jesus ! {S>inks back)

Jerry. What's he saying ?

Mrs. Clancy (recovering herself quickly). Wipe his fore-
head, didn't you hear him complaining of it ?

Mary (to Eugene). What was it he said ?

Mrs. Clancy (loudly). He was saying that his face was
destroyed with the blood.

Mrs. Spillane (to Michael). Try and get another drop
back in him.

Michael. I can't ; he's dead. Look at the froth on
his lips the same as a dead dog.

Mrs. Clancy (who has been looking at John closely).
'Tis no use, he's dead. Look at his teeth clenched on his
lip. He'll never speak again, never again, not unless
God sent down an angel from Heaven and made him

The Cki'icy Name 83

speak — ^and that'll ne^cr be.^' {With a terrible quiet

Mrs. Spillane. Ah, now . . .

Eugene. Hush ! Here's Father Mahony,

Enter a priest, followed by a couple of men.

Father Mahony. Now, now, be quiet everyone, there's
too much noise. This is a terrible business, where is he ?

Eugene. Here, your reverence, {^hey all move aside)

Father Mahony makes a short examination of the body.
Inhere is silence, except for a few stifled whispers. After a
minute Father Mahony straightens himself and turns round.

Father Mahony. I'm afraid there's no hope ; he's
quite dead.

Mary Brien breaks into wild sobbing. The men look at
each other with low exclamations.

Mrs. Clancy. Quite dead ?

Father Mahony (laying a soothing hand on her arm).
Yes, quite dead, poor woman.

Mrs. Clancy. He'll never speak again ?

Father Mahony. Never again.

Mrs. Clancy {to herself). Never again.

Mary. And her only one.

Mrs. Spillane. Yes, indeed, the last of the
Clancys. Not a chick nor child left to carry on the
name, and . . .

Father Mahony. No matter. Ah, Mrs. Clancy, 'tis
you should be the proud woman this day. I know well
how proud you are of the Clancy name — you're a
Clancy yourself — and how sorry you are to think your
son has left no one to carry it on. But of all the
Clancys, and they're a great family and a respected
family, I venture to say that in years to come the
greatest and most respected member of them will be
your son, John Clancy, who gave his life to save a
little child.

Mrs. Clancy {in a low voice, kneeling at John's side).
I'm sure it's very good of your reverence to say such

84 The Clancy Name

things ; I thank God neither I nor mv son, have ever
brought disgrace on the Clancy name.

Father Mahony. You haven't indeed, Mrs. Clancy.
You should be proud this day to be the mother of John
Clancy. {A short pause. He looks round on the little
crowd of men and women). Let us pray for the soul of
John Clancy. {Tlhey all jail on their knees.)



Harvest was first frodvced on May igth, 19 lo,
Abhgy Theatre with the following cast: —


Jack Hurley . .
Mildred Hurley
Bridget Twomey
Maggie Hannigan
Timothy Hurley
Maurice Hurley
William Lordan
Mary Hurley . .

Fred. O^Donovan
Sara Allgood
Eileen O^Doherty
Eithne Magee
J. A. O'Rourke
7. M. Kerrigan
Arthur Sinclair
Maire O'Neill

The first version of " The Clancy Name " was produced
in the Abbey Theatre on October %th^ 1908. The present
version was produced on September ^oth, 1909, with the
following cast :

Mrs. Clancy . .

John Clancy, her son
Mrs. Spillane . .
Eugene Roche
Jerry Brien
Mary Brien
Father Murphy
Michael Dempsey

Sara Allgood

Arthur Sinclair

Maire O'Neill

Fred. O'Donovan

J. A. O'Rourke

Eileen O'Doherty

J. M. Kerrigan

Sydney J. Morgan


PUBLISHERS of Books by Irish Writers and Books
-*■ about Ireland, invite enquiries for their catalogue
which includes works by J. M. Synge, in Library and
Pocket editions ; Lady Gregory's plays ; the Abbey
Theatre series of Irish Dramatists ; Plays by George
Moore, T. C Murray, Lennox Robinson, St. John
G. Ervine, Johanna Redmond, Padraic Colum,
Rutherford Mayne, and Seumas O'Kelly. Poetry
and Belles Lettres by John Eglinton, Seumas
O'SuLLivAN, Charles Weekes, James Stephens, Joseph
Campbell, James H. Cousins, Padraic Colum,
T. W. Rolleston, a. P. Graves, and others. Fiction
by George A. Birmingham, Stephen Gwynn, M.P.,
Lynn Doyle, and others. Pohtical, Sociological and
Descriptive Books by Stephen Gwynn, M.P., Mons.
Paul Dubois, Prof. Kettle, " Pat," Sydney Brooks,
Sir Horace Plunkett, " ^E," and others


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JUN 1 4 2001

APR 7 2005


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Online LibraryLennox RobinsonTwo plays: Harvest; The Clancy name → online text (page 6 of 6)