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Title: Makers of Madness - A Play in One Act and Three Scenes
Author: Hagedorn, Hermann, 1882-1964
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Makers of Madness - A Play in One Act and Three Scenes" ***

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MAKERS OF MADNESS



THE MACMILLAN COMPANY


NEW YORK . BOSTON . CHICAGO . DALLAS
ATLANTA . SAN FRANCISCO

MACMILLAN & CO., LIMITED
LONDON . BOMBAY . CALCUTTA
MELBOURNE

THE MACMILLAN CO. OF CANADA, LTD.
TORONTO



MAKERS OF MADNESS

A PLAY IN ONE ACT AND THREE SCENES

BY
HERMANN HAGEDORN

AUTHOR OF "FACES IN THE DAWN," ETC.


New York
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
1914

_All rights reserved_



COPYRIGHT, 1914

BY HERMANN HAGEDORN

Set up and electrotyped. Published November, 1914.

This play has been copyrighted and published simultaneously in the
United States and Great Britain. All acting rights, both professional
and amateur, are reserved in the United States, Great Britain, and
countries of the Copyright Union, by Hermann Hagedorn. Performances
forbidden and right of representation reserved. Application for the
right of performing this piece must be made to The Macmillan Company.
Any piracy or infringement will be prosecuted in accordance with the
penalties provided by the United States Statutes:

"Sec. 4966. Any person publicly performing or representing any dramatic
or musical composition, for which copyright has been obtained, without
the consent of the proprietor of the said dramatic or musical
composition, or his heirs or assigns, shall be liable for damages
therefor, such damages in all cases to be assessed at such sum, not less
than one hundred dollars for the first and fifty dollars for every
subsequent performance, as to the Court shall appear to be just. If the
unlawful performance and representation be willful and for profit, such
person or persons shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction
be imprisoned for a period not exceeding one year." U.S. Revised
Statutes, Title 60, Chap. 3.



Transcriber's Note: Where obvious, I added missing punctuation,
and changed the typo "psycholology" to "psychology".



TO
ADOLF GUNTHER HAGEDORN



    NIGHT! And a black and barren sky
      With a wet wind in from the coast.
    And only the kites to make reply
    To heaving body and pleading cry--
    Here where the lost battalions lie,
      I walked last night with a ghost.

    His face was gray, his hands were red,
      And a ghostly mare he rode,
    That wearily stepped, with drooping head,
    Over the shadowy lines of dead,
    And rolled her eyes, and shook with dread
      Under her foam-white load.

    The ghost turned not to left or right.
      But mutely he beckoned me,
    And moved like a pillar of livid light
    Through the humid dark of the foggy night,
    With eyes deep-sunken and greenly bright
      As phosphor on the sea.

    He led me where in ghostly files
      The dead slept with their toys.
    Miles, miles, and never-ending miles,
    Along the valley's mournful aisles,
    The voiceless, vague, misshapen piles
      Of men and golden boys!

    He led me up the gory hill
      By wood and sodden heath.
    Ravage! And faces, lone and chill,
    In the murmuring wash of the willow-rill!
    Slaughter! And voices, begging shrill
      The merciful grace of death.

    A waning moon broke, sickly pale,
      Through the muddy fog's disguising;
    And over the breadth of the ghastly vale
    The battle-wake like a steamer's trail,
    And a heaving as of waves in a gale,
      Rising and falling and rising!

    And out of the air, and up from the plain,
      The ancient battle-story!--
    Of stricken love and laughter slain,
    And hearts beneath the hoofs of pain--
    But not a breath of human gain,
      And not a word of glory.



MAKERS OF MADNESS



CHARACTERS

_In the Capital of Iberia_:

  THE KING
  THE PRIME MINISTER
  THE MINISTER OF WAR
  THE CHIEF OF STAFF
  A SECRETARY
  OFFICERS

_In the Capital of the Republic_:
  GROSVENOR, a contractor
  CONROY, a manufacturer of guns
  POLLEN, owner of a chain of newspapers
  SENATOR TANEY
  SENATOR HARRADAN
  REPRESENTATIVE MAYNARD
  A GENERAL IN THE ARMY
  A CAPTAIN
  CROWD
  PAGE

_In costuming this play, it is essential that the uniforms of the
Iberian officers in the first scene should not be conspicuously copied
after those of any of the armies of Europe. A compromise, grotesque to
the expert, would be better here than a misleading realism._



MAKERS OF MADNESS

SCENE I

_A room in the Ministry of War in the capital of Iberia._

_Evening._

_The_ MINISTER OF WAR, _a tall, stern, bearded man with
deep-set eyes and many furrows, is sitting at a large, mahogany
desk-table, Left._

_The_ CHIEF OF STAFF, _silent, motionless and watchful, stands
beside him with his hands resting on the table-top. He is thin, old and
emaciated, clean-shaven, firm-lipped, and looks startlingly like a bird
of prey. Right, stands a group of generals and other officers._


MINISTER OF WAR

[_Rising and speaking in a sharp, crisp bass voice._

I can only repeat, gentlemen, what his Excellency, the Chief of Staff,
has already made clear to you. Nothing has been decided. You have your
orders in your pockets. There may be war and there may not be war. I
understand, gentlemen, your natural impatience once more to draw the
naked steel for the glory of our country, and you may rest assured that
his gracious majesty, the King, will not forget that his fame and the
happiness of his people rests ultimately in your hands. Personally, as a
man of family and as a Christian, I hope to God that peace may be
preserved. But if God wills that our enemy, by his insolence, forces us
to draw the sword, I know that you will wield it with honor and will not
sheathe it until our enemy is crushed, root and branch, stock and
barrel, and brought so low that he will never raise his head again in
dishonorable defiance of our holy rights.

[_The_ OFFICERS _shout with enthusiasm, lifting their helmets
in air. The_ MINISTER OF WAR _sits down again._

That is all, gentlemen.

[_With a grim smile._

But I recommend that you do not send your service uniforms to the tailor
tonight. You may have need of them.

[_There is another cheer. The_ OFFICERS _stand about in groups
a minute or so, then file out through the double-door in the centre of
the rear wall. One elderly general, only, comes up quickly to the desk._


GENERAL

[_In a rasping voice, to the_ CHIEF OF STAFF.

Delay again? Aren't we ever going to get at their throats?


CHIEF OF STAFF

We are ready. But the King!

[_He shrugs his shoulders._

The peace propagandists are after him. Mediation is the magic word.
Mediation--by which the neutral nations block our legitimate road to
victory for their own benefit, in the name of civilization and progress.


GENERAL

Old women's talk.

[_With a swagger._

Give me a sword in my right hand again, I say! I'll break open a few
skulls yet, for all my sixty years. Eh? Mediation! Let those mediate, I
say, who are afraid to fight!


CHIEF OF STAFF

[_Calmly, dispassionately._

We are not mediating yet. You may tell that to your friends if they
become downhearted.


GENERAL

[_Saluting._

To command, your Excellency! It is good that some one looks out for the
honor of the army.

[_Saluting again._

Good night, gentlemen!

[_The_ MINISTER OF WAR _half rises and bows slightly. The_
CHIEF OF STAFF _nods. Exit the_ GENERAL.


CHIEF OF STAFF

[_With a flash in his old eyes._

Ha! Once more to have those fellows behind me. Think of it! Each man of
them represents fifty thousand. And behind them another million and
another! God! What a machine to handle.

[_He slaps his forehead._

And the old brain working still!


MINISTER OF WAR

[_Rising and crossing to a window, right forward, then speaking
thoughtfully._

I don't know, Clement. I am growing old. I think sometimes that war is
the most terrible matter in which we erring humans become engaged. I
have always thought that--at times.


CHIEF OF STAFF

[_Who has crossed to the Left and stands facing a map of the world,
covering half the wall._

So you are a sentimentalist, after all?


MINISTER OF WAR

[_Looking out of the window._

No. Because there is something stronger in me, conquering the repulsion.
My temperament, character, destiny. I am impelled to war. A dozen
generations of soldiers in my blood press me on. My whole education
presses me on. My sympathies and my religious sense make me tremble
before the impending horror, but--I confess to you--I believe I want
this war.


CHIEF OF STAFF

[_Without turning._

So do we all. War is the soldier's work. And he does not want to play
all his life. Look. We land here and here and here.

[_He indicates places on the map with a paper-cutter, speaking with
growing excitement._

No defenses, except at this place--a masonry fort built thirty years
ago. Bad cement, moreover. Fraudulent contractor. Then--


MINISTER OF WAR

[_Returning to his desk, resolutely._

No, you old hawk, we're not going to do it. We'll be content to settle
ourselves in peaceful graves, you and I and the old Chief. No war, no
war!


CHIEF OF STAFF

[_Calmly._

That is sentiment. Here is fact. We land here and here and here. Then
march down here and up there, uniting the armies. Rich country. I've
never seen it, but I know it better than any letter-carrier in the
district. We live on the land, burning and pillaging if the inhabitants
don't give us what we want. A little dose will tame them. We'll sweep
all before us in six weeks.


MINISTER OF WAR

[_In mock protest._

Stop, man, stop! You make me want to try it.


CHIEF OF STAFF

I can't stop. It's a game with me. I play it all day in my thoughts and
all night I direct campaigns in my dreams. A great game. Only sometimes
I get tired of playing it on paper, and want to hear the real guns and
see the real battalions.

[_A_ SECRETARY _enters with a message._


SECRETARY

[_To Minister of War._

A message from the King sent over from the Foreign Office. The Prime
Minister was not there.


MINISTER OF WAR

Let me have it.

[_He takes the message and glances at it._

What?

[_With a gesture to the Secretary._

That will do.

[_Exit_ SECRETARY.


CHIEF OF STAFF

Well?


MINISTER OF WAR

[_Flaring up._

Look at this, look at it! The King is sending our national honor to the
dogs. He has secretly resumed communication with the Ambassador of the
Republic, instead of doing what was natural and constitutional, sending
the man to us. He is going to compromise. Pack up your tin soldiers, old
man. Take them home for your grandchildren to play with. Our country
evidently has no more use for them.


CHIEF OF STAFF

[_With compressed lips._

Show me.

[_He takes the paper and reads its contents aloud._

"The King desires to inform the Foreign Office that, in pursuance of
his well-known love of peace, he sent for the Ambassador of the Republic
this afternoon and outlined a plan that would satisfy the royal
government and at the same time yield certain points to the government
of the Republic. The Ambassador was courteous, but, although
acknowledging the generosity of the King's offer, regretted that he was
unable to consider any compromise before communicating again with his
government. The King replied that if his offers were refused he could
then have nothing further to say in the matter, but would have to turn
it over entirely to his Ministers.

"The King suggests to the Foreign Office that these facts be put before
our Ambassadors abroad, and, to pacify the public mind, be given at once
to the newspapers."

My God, and you want peace!


MINISTER OF WAR

[_Harshly._

Well, how do you like it?


CHIEF OF STAFF

He's backed down, he's backed down. All the world will be shouting
tomorrow how our King has backed down. _Christo!_ To accept defeat
before you've begun to fight!

[_He turns again to the map._

If this other plan should be frustrated by the enemy's navy, look, we
could land here and here and--

[_The door opens and the_ PRIME MINISTER _enters. He is a
stern, titanic figure in the sixties, sallow-skinned, gray-haired._


PRIME MINISTER

[_Standing in the doorway._

Good evening, gentlemen. Counting your battalions?


CHIEF OF STAFF

[_Absorbed._

And here, joining our armies at--


MINISTER OF WAR

Thank God, you're here. Where in sin have you been?


PRIME MINISTER

Home on my estates, saying good-bye to my family.

[_He smiles grimly, and with his cane makes a thrust in carte and
tierce._


MINISTER OF WAR

You think you are going to war?


PRIME MINISTER

I know.


MINISTER OF WAR

[_Taking up the paper the_ CHIEF OF STAFF _has let fall on the
desk._

Read that. It came from your office.


PRIME MINISTER

[_Takes it and begins to read._

Eh? The King? Mediation on his own hook?

[_With growing anger._

So? So? So?

[_He lets the paper flutter to the floor._

Very good. He can find a new Prime Minister. I resign.


CHIEF OF STAFF

[_Turning abruptly._

No, you don't!


MINISTER OF WAR

[_Hotly._

We stick together in this. You are not going to resign.


PRIME MINISTER

My good friends, I am going to resign.

[_He picks up the paper off the floor._

Give me your seat at the desk. On the back of this ignoble parley, my
resignation goes to him.


MINISTER OF WAR

You are the support of the army. We go to the dogs, if you leave us.


PRIME MINISTER

[_Sitting at the desk._

So? "The King suggests to the Foreign Office that these facts be put
before our Ambassadors abroad and, to pacify the public mind, be given
at once to the newspapers." He suggests. So do I suggest--something
different.


CHIEF OF STAFF

[_In front of the map again._

Three hundred thousand men here, turning the flank of a possible army
marching north with that ridge of mountains as a cover--If we can only
have the chance!


PRIME MINISTER

[_Studying the message, suddenly._

By Heaven! If--


MINISTER OF WAR

What is it? You look as if--


PRIME MINISTER

If nothing! Bring me some claret out of that inexhaustible cabinet of
yours.

[_He draws his pen through a section of the message. The_ MINISTER
OF WAR _goes to a cabinet in the rear wall and brings forth a
decanter of claret and glasses._


MINISTER OF WAR

[_Pouring a glassful for the_ PRIME MINISTER.

Here, dear old Titan.


PRIME MINISTER

[_Gulping it down._

Thanks. More. And cigars.

[_The_ MINISTER OF WAR _refills the glass and brings cigars.
The_ PRIME MINISTER _wreathes himself in smoke._


CHIEF OF STAFF

[_With his back still turned to the others._

I planned this campaign first some twenty years ago. But there was no
navy then to speak of, and no airships. It is more intricate now, but
very much more interesting as an intellectual problem.


PRIME MINISTER

[_Indicating his glass._

Another, good man.


MINISTER OF WAR

You're smelling blood when you drink like that.


PRIME MINISTER

[_Turning to the_ CHIEF OF STAFF.

Here! You old death's head! You are prepared, you say?


CHIEF OF STAFF

[_Calmly._

I have been making my plans for twenty years. The present plans have
been complete, except for slight revisions, for three years.


PRIME MINISTER

The army and navy are fully equipped?


MINISTER OF WAR

Down to the last shoe-string.


PRIME MINISTER

[_To_ CHIEF OF STAFF.

Would you say it would be better to wait a week or a month or even a
year--or to strike at once?


CHIEF OF STAFF

[_Firmly and quietly._

Strike at once.


MINISTER OF WAR

You dreamers, you theorists! How about the King's negotiations?


PRIME MINISTER

[_Rising, with the message in his hand._

Gentlemen, I have seen fit to abbreviate the King's message. I have not
altered a word nor added a word. I have merely omitted all that did not
seem to me pertinent or useful. The message reads as follows: "The King
sent for the Ambassador of the Republic this afternoon and outlined a
plan that would satisfy the royal government. The Ambassador regretted
that he was unable to consider any compromise. The King replied that
then he could have nothing more to say in the matter."


MINISTER OF WAR

There's ginger, by Heaven! The other was a dove-peep to a parley. This
is a trumpet call of defiance.


CHIEF OF STAFF

[_With quiet delight._

The Republic will never swallow that.


PRIME MINISTER

They are not supposed to. They will declare war, and then be the
aggressors.


MINISTER OF WAR

[_Exultantly._

Our God of old lives yet and will not let us perish in disgrace!


CHIEF OF STAFF

[_Looking about._

My helmet. Damn it! Where is my helmet? I am going to dig at the plans
once more. If God lets me lead the armies in such a fight, the devil can
come when I'm through and fetch away the old carcass.


PRIME MINISTER

[_To_ MINISTER OF WAR.

Where's your Secretary?


MINISTER OF WAR

[_Crossing to door._

Secretary, here!

[SECRETARY _enters._


PRIME MINISTER

[_Handing him the paper._

To the telegraph-operator with this. It is to be sent to every news
bureau in the city and to all our embassies abroad.


MINISTER OF WAR

Tomorrow, the mobilization!


CHIEF OF STAFF

Tonight! I need those twelve hours for my plans.

[_The_ SECRETARY _holds the door open for the_ CHIEF OF
STAFF _who is about to go out when suddenly in the doorway appears
a young man of thirty, pale, dark, timid. He hesitates on the
threshold._


SECRETARY

[_Taken aback, bowing._

Your Majesty!


CHIEF OF STAFF

[_Drawing back._

My King!

[PRIME MINISTER _and_ MINISTER OF WAR _bow._


KING

[_Courteously._

I trust I am not breaking in upon a matter that does not concern me?


PRIME MINISTER

There is nothing that the King's servants may do that does not concern
the King.


KING

True. But sometimes the King is kept in ignorance nevertheless.

[_To the_ SECRETARY.

What paper is that you have there, if you please?


SECRETARY

[_With an uneasy glance at the others._

Here, your Majesty.


MINISTER OF WAR

[_Aside to_ SECRETARY.

Get out!

[_Exit_ SECRETARY.


PRIME MINISTER

It is the report of your Majesty's interview with the Ambassador.


KING

[_Glancing at the paper and speaking in quick, excited tones._

My message has been altered. It was conciliatory. It is a challenge now.
Who did this?


PRIME MINISTER

Your Majesty sees the culprit before you.


KING

Are you trying to make war?


PRIME MINISTER

I am trying, your Majesty, to save the country from the results of your
Majesty's indiscretion in calling the Ambassador to your palace without
consulting your Ministers. If we do not strike now we lose our prestige
as a great nation, our national honor is dragged in the dust. We have to
fight. We cannot afford to back down.


KING

[_Striding across the room, agitatedly._

But this is unholy, barbaric--this deliberate concoction of a great,
terrible war. I saw clearly this evening as I was talking with the
Ambassador how utterly without inner necessity this war-scare is. It is
a made thing from beginning to end, and I refuse absolutely to sanction
it.


CHIEF OF STAFF

[_Deliberately._

Your Majesty is an idealist. We are practical, and, I may say,
far-seeing men. And we are the three men, perhaps, who have given your
Majesty the chair you sit on and made your kingdom what it is.


KING

[_Drawing himself up._

I think I have not been ungrateful. But my people come first, and I will
not have my people plunged into misery for no valid and inevitable
necessity.


PRIME MINISTER

Your Majesty, I have served you for fifteen years and I served your
exalted father for twenty. You are right. This war may be avoided. In
two days this war-cloud could be so utterly dissipated that men would
laugh here and in the great Republic that for a day they had talked so
hotly of war. Dissipated. For a year, for two years. For always? No. The
war must come sooner or later. It is a matter, in the first place, of
prestige, of national honor. But, more emphatically, it is a question of
mathematics, birth-rate, death-rate, revenue, taxes, industries,
imports, exports.

[_Crossing to left._

There is a map of the world, your Majesty. This stretch of land there we
need as a safety-valve. If we get that we are safe. If we fail to get it
we explode. Not at once. But sooner or later. Our army and navy have
never been in better shape. These two gentlemen can give your Majesty
their word for that. But you can take mine, too. The enemy's army is
politically rotten, and enfeebled by sentimental peace propaganda. Their
defenses are inadequate and their navy likewise. Those things will
change. Strike today--and they never raise their heads again. Wait--and
it is you who may be crushed.


KING

[_Sharply._

That is a theory. Not a fact. Ten years may change the aspect of things
entirely, particularly if we use those ten years in preparations not for
war but for peace, honest at home and abroad, just, open, civil, to our
neighbors.


PRIME MINISTER

Your Majesty, I look farther than ten years, farther than ten times ten
years. And I have wrought for this moment, prepared for this moment,
this moment of our strength and our enemy's weakness. I have a right to
insist that I, who have brought your kingdom thus far, shall not have my
hands tied when the moment for stern action arrives.


KING

[_With a whimsical smile._

After all, my good Prime Minister, it is _my_ kingdom, you know.


PRIME MINISTER

[_Moved._

Your Majesty knows that what I have done I have done for your glory.
The liberals have cursed me for a reactionary through the length and
breadth of the kingdom; because I served you, and served you in all love
and devotion.


KING

I know your devotion. But give me a fresh example of it. Keep my kingdom
at peace with the world.


PRIME MINISTER

That I cannot do.


KING

You cannot? You _will_ not.


PRIME MINISTER

I could not face my conscience, or make my peace with God, if I weakened
now and allowed the golden opportunity to pass by. For your Majesty's
sake as well as for our country's.


KING

For mine?


PRIME MINISTER

Your Majesty has forgotten that your throne was built by war and rests
on force. Force only, military prestige only, can uphold you. The rebels
of labor have crept close to your throne now. Ten more years of peace,
and you are cast out overnight, to wander over Europe, a homeless
absurdity, a king without a chair to sit on.


KING

[_With flashing eyes._

We shall see!


PRIME MINISTER

[_Quietly._

May I ask your Majesty in all humility and devotion to give me back that
slip of paper?


KING

You have thought of our national honor, our prestige, our commercial
growth, our dynastic life. Have you given no thought at all to the men
you send to death to purchase these?


PRIME MINISTER

A man has no higher privilege than to die for his country. I beg your
Majesty--the paper?


KING

[_Tearing the paper once across._

And the women?


PRIME MINISTER

[_Grimly._

We'll find them new husbands, your Majesty. The paper, if you please.


KING

[_Tearing the paper into shreds._

I forbid this war!


PRIME MINISTER

[_With controlled anger._

My God, your Majesty! You are letting a sentiment master you. There are
worse things than war. There are possibilities in peace infinitely worse
than any war, or there would be no war. War may kill a million bodies,
but a wicked peace can snuff out unnumbered souls!


KING

I will take my chances with peace.


MINISTER OF WAR

It is for you we are fighting, your Majesty, but not for you only, not
for your glory only and the permanence of your House, but for the
permanence of the monarchical principle, which we know is better and
higher than the principle of democracy, since it is the earthly symbol
of God's singleness of rule, and comes direct from God.


CHIEF OF STAFF

[_Coolly._

Moreover, your Majesty, it works!


KING

This is a matter of war and peace, not a matter of monarchy or
democracy.


PRIME MINISTER

Your Majesty does not see far enough. Give us war, and we keep our
monarchy. Give us peace, and we plunge within ten years into the rapids
of revolution and democracy.


KING

[_Simply._

I will take my chances with peace.


PRIME MINISTER

[_Stern and cold._

Very good, your Majesty. Then you may paddle your bark alone. I resign.


MINISTER OF WAR

And I resign!


CHIEF OF STAFF

And I!


KING

[_Crossing to the window, where he stands with his back turned to the
others. His voice is uncertain._

I did not expect that of you.


PRIME MINISTER

[_Moved._

Oh, your Majesty! You know what my love has been--


KING

[_Turning._

Half the country will fall from me if you three desert me.


PRIME MINISTER

It is not desertion, your Majesty. It is loyalty to something even
higher than the King, the principle that makes him King.


KING

[_Perplexed._

Perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps I am sentimental--


MINISTER OF WAR

[_Gently._

Your Majesty is humane, but perhaps a deeper humanity demands a
hardening of the heart sometimes.


KING

[_To_ MINISTER OF WAR.

But you always detested war. You called yourself my Minister not of War,
but of Peace.


MINISTER OF WAR

[_Rigidly._

When the honor of our country is at stake--


KING

[_Impatiently._

But nobody is attacking our honor!


PRIME MINISTER

[_Bluntly._

The case is as I said. We need this war, and we must have it.


KING

[_Torn by his conflicting desires._

I cannot let you resign. There is no one else I can trust as I trust you
three. But not war, not war!


PRIME MINISTER

I am a lover of peace, but the time has come when we must have war.


MINISTER OF WAR

It is our sacred duty, your Majesty, to draw our swords for light and
justice when God calls!


CHIEF OF STAFF

And God has always been with us. God will be with us now!


KING

[_White and tense._

You are three strong men against me. I want peace, but I am helpless
without you three. For I am an anachronism. Not nature but human force,
fighting against nature, keeps me on my throne. If you must have war,
have it. But I tell you this: God has no part in it. Leave God out of
the game!

[_He sinks into the chair by the desk._


PRIME MINISTER

[_To_ MINISTER OF WAR.

Call your Secretary!

[MINISTER OF WAR _goes to the door. The_ SECRETARY
_enters. The_ PRIME MINISTER _takes a paper out of his pocket._

Here. It is a copy of the message I directed you to send to the news
bureaus and embassies. Transmit it at once.

[_The_ SECRETARY _bows and goes out. The_ KING _falls
forward on the desk, sobbing. At his side, straight and stern, the_
PRIME MINISTER _Stands. To_ MINISTER OF WAR.

Give orders for immediate mobilization.

[_The stage is slowly darkened._



SCENE II


_As the lights rise again they reveal a small, comfortably furnished
clubroom, with a wide window opening on a balcony in the back, and doors
right and left. It is evening and the electric lamps are lit._


GROSVENOR, _a man of fifty-odd, large, sleek, unctuous,
well-groomed, is discovered in an arm-chair, surrounded by newspapers.
He glances with feverish interest at one after the other. A cheer is
heard outside, then the sound of fifes and drums. He rises excitedly and
throws open the French window. The tramp, tramp of a regiment is heard._
TWO OFFICERS _in uniform, a_ GENERAL _and a_ CAPTAIN, _enter left._


GENERAL

[_A strongly-built man in middle age, with a firm, resolute face._

Evening, Grosvenor. Not poaching on your rights if we come in here a
minute? The other windows were crowded.


GROSVENOR

Not at all, General, not at all. We're all making way for the khaki
today, sir. And proud to have the chance.

[_With overdone politeness to the Captain, a handsome man of the
romantic type._

Take my place, Captain.


CAPTAIN

Thanks. Great tune that, eh? Stirs up a man's vitals, eh?


GROSVENOR

Yes, indeed; yes, indeed.


CAPTAIN

Wait till we put that into the repertory of the enemy's bandmasters.

[_Leaning out of the window._

Come. They're a fine-looking lot, eh?


GENERAL

Fine! Fine! The pick of the land. Fighters to a finish, every one of
'em.


CAPTAIN

And say, but they're thanking God tonight for the war-scare that's
brought 'em back from manoeuvres.


GROSVENOR

[_Eagerly._

They are, eh?


CAPTAIN

Manoeuvres are too tame. They're crazy to get into a real fight.


GROSVENOR

[_In excited, subdued tones._

Then you think--there'll be war?


GENERAL

[_Turning._

The President expects to hear from our Ambassador any minute about the
private interview he wired he was about to have with the King.


GROSVENOR

[_Taking up the papers._

Seen the latest?


GENERAL

[_Picking out one paper with a particularly flaring headline._

"Iberia planning secret attack," eh? That man Pollen knows more things
that aren't so than a college graduate.


CAPTAIN

[_Taking another paper._

He's entertaining enough, though. I daresay he has some influence.


GROSVENOR

I pray to God that we may keep peace, but we must not let ourselves be
walked over--we must not--


CAPTAIN

[_Laughing._

Exactly. The nation is at last to see what it spends its army and navy
appropriations for. Eh?


GENERAL

No sane man wants war, but if--


CAPTAIN

I'm sane. And I want war. I want to go out and help lambaste those
infernally cocksure armies of that jelly-and-cream King. We've parleyed
long enough. Now we'll fight. Force is the only convincing argument
after all.


GROSVENOR

As our Master said, "I bring a sword"--


GENERAL

[_At the window again._

Fine fellows those. Look at that boy there, third from the end. And that
lieutenant. Strapping, wonderful fellows--with brains! That's the great
thing. Give me five hundred thousand of those and I'll hold off all
comers.


GROSVENOR

[_With nervous acuteness._

How long d'ye think it'll last?


GENERAL

Six months. Maybe a year.


GROSVENOR

[_Tentatively._

You couldn't, I suppose--say--more exactly?


GENERAL

[_With a glance of suspicion._

How should I--before it's even begun?


GROSVENOR

[_Hastily._

Oh--er--just a matter of curiosity.


CAPTAIN

[_Laughing._

At any rate, we'll be back in time for the next presidential election.
We're coming back with the General on our shoulders, and when we drop
him it'll be through the skylight of the President's house.


GENERAL

[_Self-consciously._

Don't talk nonsense.


CAPTAIN

There's nothing like a war to make a man President.

[_At window._

More and more and more of 'em. Bully lines. Not natty enough to be a
joke, just straight and trim. Those fellows'll carry you into the
presidency, General, if anyone can. A few of 'em'll have to choke first,
but that's fisherman's luck.


GENERAL

[_Turning._

That'll do, Dave.

[_A_ PAGE _enters Right._


PAGE

[_Crossing the room._

Mr. Grosvenor? Mr. Grosvenor?


GROSVENOR

[_Eagerly._

Here.


PAGE

[_Handing him a telegram._

Any answer?


GROSVENOR

Wait.


CAPTAIN

[_Still watching the soldiers._

They _are_ happy.

[_Pause._

I wonder which of 'em'll come back, and which won't.


GROSVENOR

[_Who has torn open the yellow envelope, sinks back in his chair. To_
PAGE.

No answer.

[_He mops his brow in utter dejection. The officers by the window do not
see him as he studies the telegram and studies it again as though he
could not believe his eyes._


CAPTAIN

[_Turning._

Any news, Mr. Grosvenor?


GROSVENOR

[_Thickly._

A plot, a damned Stock Exchange plot.

[_He hands the_ CAPTAIN _the message._


CAPTAIN

[_After a glance at the message._

Hello! Say, General, look at this.


GENERAL

[_Turning._

What's up?


CAPTAIN

The State Department has just had news from our Ambassador to Iberia.
Delightful interview with the King. Evident willingness to meet us half
way.


GENERAL

[_Coolly._

Is this straight? It sounds fishy.


CAPTAIN

They're trying to gain time. I don't believe it.


GROSVENOR

It's a damned plot.


GENERAL

Looks to me like a blind to stop our preparations. I'm going over to
the War Department. Coming, Captain?


CAPTAIN

It's that crafty Prime Minister over there playing us tricks, eh?


GROSVENOR

[_Hotly._

It's a plot!


GENERAL

Something's queer! Good night, Grosvenor!


GROSVENOR

[_Effusively._

Good night, General, good night. God be with us all in these dark days,
I say!


GENERAL

[_Solemnly._

Amen to that!


CAPTAIN

[_Saluting carelessly._

Good night.


GROSVENOR

Good night, good night.

[_The_ OFFICERS _go out._ GROSVENOR _strides excitedly
up and down._

It's a plot, it's a damned plot--

[_He goes toward the rear and picks up a telephone instrument on a desk
by the window._

Can you get me the House? Mr. Maynard. Yes. Making a speech? Never mind.

[_He hangs up the receiver and presses a button on the wall. Then he
quickly writes a message on the back of the telegram and encloses it in
an envelope. The_ PAGE _enters._


PAGE

Ring, sir?


GROSVENOR

Yes. Take this to the House at once. To Mr. Maynard. See that he gets it
himself. Here's a dollar.


PAGE

[_Touching his cap._

Thank you, sir.

[_Exit._


GROSVENOR

[_Taking up the telephone again._

Give me the Senate. Mr. Taney. Saw him go out?

[_He hangs up the receiver impatiently._

Isn't anyone on the job?

[_He strides up and down._

A damned plot!--

[_Enter, right, hurriedly,_ SENATOR TANEY_, a stout, red-haired
man, clean-shaven._


TANEY

[_Puffing._

Hello, Grosvenor.


GROSVENOR

Thank God, you're here.


TANEY

Only got a minute. Hell's loose in the Senate.


GROSVENOR

I've been nearly crazy waiting for news.


TANEY

God, man. Perhaps you think I ain't been busy rounding up a lot of
on-the-fence-men? It seems to me pretty nearly everybody was on the
fence. No decided opinions at all. But they're coming, they're coming.


GROSVENOR

How 'bout that report about the King over there wanting peace?


TANEY

That's what the row's about. The highbrows an' the peace people are
shouting hurrahs all over the place, an' the rest of us has to do what
we can to drown 'em out.


GROSVENOR

[_Restlessly moving about the room._

If it's true about the King, can you--work it--anyway?


TANEY

How do I know?


GROSVENOR

Got any figures? For or against?


TANEY

Yes. It's about an even go.


GROSVENOR

[_Disappointed._

You can't give me anything more definite?


TANEY

What's up, anyway? You look nervous.


GROSVENOR

I am. This business is cutting into my sleep. My last cent is tied up,
and I've got a good many other people's last cents as well. Damn it,
Taney, this is worse than Monte Carlo. You're dealing with cold-blooded
chance there, but here you're dealing with sentiments, emotions. It's
exhausting. War is a terrible thing, Taney. It worries me day and night.
Think of the lives! And yet we need this war, we need it for the good of
the nation. And now that we're ready, it would be a calamity if--


TANEY

[_Turning to go._

Don't you worry about that.


GROSVENOR

[_Nervously._

How's the House going?


TANEY

Don't know anything about the House. But I guess your man Maynard is
doing his job. I'm off to see Cottrell. Another man that wants news. Be
back in ten minutes.


GROSVENOR

Keep me posted, for God's sake. You know--I'm not ungrateful. You shan't
lose by your efforts, Taney. You know I'm a liberal man.


TANEY

[_Quietly, but with emphasis._

Look here. You're not Conroy and you're not Pollen. They're the whales
in this pond. You're only a nervous minnow. I'm working with bigger men
than you. And perhaps I've got some convictions of my own, had 'em for
years. If I hadn't, no money of yours would buy me. I believe the people
want this war to settle once and for all whether that wishy-washy King
or us is going to direct the universe, and if the people want it, it's
my business to see that they get it. If that means any money in your
pocket, it's none of my business. But I'm not your slave, Grosvenor. And
don't you forget it.


GROSVENOR

You'll keep me posted? If anything goes wrong, I've got to have time to
get from under. You'll surely keep me posted?


TANEY

Get your man Maynard on the string. I'm hanged if I'll be your office
boy.


GROSVENOR

[_Beseechingly._

Taney--

[TANEY _goes out._ GROSVENOR _takes a step toward the
door, stops, and drawing a cigar from his pocket, begins chewing the end
nervously. Then he turns quickly, and crossing to the right, picks up
the telephone instrument again._

Office of the "Morning Bulletin," please.

[_Pause._

Mr. Pollen, please. Out? This is Mr. Grosvenor. On his way to the Club?
Thanks.

[MR. CONROY _enters, right. He is a short, stockily-built man
with a belligerent chin covered by a close-cropped, grizzled beard._


CONROY

Hello, Grosvenor.

[_With a sharp glance and not entirely pleasant smile._

I might have known that I'd find you on the job. What is it this
time--canned goods, uniforms, hospital supplies--or just general
enthusiasm?


GROSVENOR

A little business, but mainly enthusiasm. A great time to be alive,
Conroy! Any news?


CONROY

Maynard's making a rousing speech. Spread eagle. Our honor as a nation.
The dearest, sweetest flag that ever waved over a noble, invincible
people. Damned rot. But the brethren from the rural districts lap it up
like cider in October. He's gaining votes. Protégé of yours, ain't he?


GROSVENOR

Yes. Used to be my office boy. Clever chap. Has a sensible view of
things. Realizes that our national honor and our property must be
defended at all hazards.


CONROY

[_Sitting down at the desk and beginning to write. With a cynical
laugh._

You mean _property_. You don't give a damn about national _honor_. You
know you don't. What's the use of trying to fool me?


GROSVENOR

Conroy, do you mean to impugn my patriotic motives?


CONROY

[_Without looking up, good-naturedly._

Grosvenor, we've known each other thirty years. I don't try to bluff you
because I know that you know too much about me. You made the beginnings
of your pile out of one big war and you've been playing up a lot of
little republics against each other ever since, harvesting a neat
little fortune every time. Now it's a real world-war you're after. If it
comes, you're made, if it don't, you're broke. It's a cinch. Mind you,
I'm not throwing stones. Only I don't want you to think you can pull the
noble patriotic guff on me.


GROSVENOR

I have certain investments, of course, which might possibly be promoted
by a war. But I am not thinking of that. I am thinking of the honor of
my country, that honor which has never yet been stained, and shall not
be stained if I can do aught by my own efforts and by my prayers to God,
to keep it pure.


CONROY

[_Rising._

You carry it off well. I couldn't bluff the way you can. I haven't your
religious feeling. I know why I want war. It's because I'm a
manufacturer of guns. Everybody knows my business, and they know that if
there wasn't war or a fear of war constantly, I and my wife and children
would starve. War is my work and it's been my work most of my life. And
I've worked for this war because it was the biggest thing in sight. I've
worked for it with all the brains I've got, just as I'd have worked for
two-hundred-egg hens if I'd been a chicken farmer. I'm not a
sentimentalist. Besides, war's a good thing occasionally. I believe that
absolutely. It quiets down your socialists, cuts down your superfluous
population, increases the moral stamina of the nation. A lot of this
talk of war being hell is mush. A few people get shot up, but no one
forced 'em to go. It's their own funeral.


GROSVENOR

No, Conroy, no. I don't agree with you. I may possibly not lose
financially by this war, but nevertheless, war is terrible, awful. The
Christian sense balks at it. Only, I feel this way, sometimes when the
honor of the nation demands--


CONROY

You damn bluff!


GROSVENOR

[_Confronting him._

Conroy! If you please!

[POLLEN, _a tall, thin man in the late forties, enters left.
He has an impassive, intellectual face, interesting though
unsympathetic. His manner is calm and quietly alert, suggestive of
reserve power._


POLLEN

[_Without cordiality._

Hello, Conroy. Hello, Mr. Grosvenor.


GROSVENOR

[_Obsequious at once._

Mr. Pollen!


CONROY

I was just going to send a note round to you, Pollen. Couldn't get you
on the phone. What d'ye think? Yes or no?


POLLEN

[_With a faint, ironic smile._

Yes.


GROSVENOR

[_Excitedly._

What?


CONROY

[_Deliberately._

Are you sure?


GROSVENOR

How can you be sure?


POLLEN

I have two reasons. One, because the biggest banker in the country told
me so. That's unimportant. He may have been lying. The other, because--

[_He smiles quietly._

my papers tell me so.

[_He picks up one of the papers off the floor._

I see you have been honoring me by reading them. Don't my papers tell
you that there's going to be war?


CONROY

No one pretends, Pollen, that your papers are wonders of undecorated
truth.


POLLEN

Well, this time, trust them. What if they do lie about facts
occasionally? I am not interested in facts. Facts are always misleading.
But I know something about psychology--


CONROY

And you're sure?


GROSVENOR

How can you be sure?


POLLEN

[_Standing at the window._

Because the people are smelling blood. That's why. And now they won't
let up till they're satisfied. I've watched the war-feeling growing for
a year. I tried 'em out on headlines and editorials, first little mild
fellows to set them thinking. Then, when their thoughts were set toward
trouble, well, we increased the percentage of oxygen.

[_Thoughtfully._

It's been extremely interesting. The psychology of crowds is one of the
most satisfying subjects I have ever studied. Say, fifteen, twenty
millions, that individually hate you, but as a crowd, a body of readers,
unconsciously, perhaps, even against their will, do exactly what you
say. We're going to have war, because the people have now got to a state
in which they believe that nothing short of war will save them from
utter ruin. They want war. I know it. The circulation of my papers has
mounted by the hundred thousand daily. And it isn't only because the
people want the news. They want the excitement. It's the gambling
instinct in them. They've seen the ball rolling, and they can't keep out
of the game. The very bigness of the thing lures them on; the bigger the
issue, the bigger the fascination. The millions of men and the billions
of dollars--that lures them. And the awfulness--the dead, the wounded,
the horrors, that lures them like nothing else. There was one thing
missing until tonight.


GROSVENOR

[_Fascinated._

What was that?


POLLEN

Fear. They were too cocksure. But I gave them fear in the eight o'clock
extra. There was a rumor that the rest of Europe would take part.


GROSVENOR

[_With a malicious glance._

That looks well for your business, Conroy.


CONROY

I'm not complaining.


POLLEN

We're playing the thing up in the late editions all over the country.
It'll give the people a queer catch in the throat. They'll see the
possibility of a fierce struggle, even of defeat. There'll be a
wonderful wave of patriotism. You watch. The people'll rise right up. In
twenty-four hours there won't be a man in the country that'll be able to
tell black from white. All they'll see will be red.

[_Pointing out of the window._

Look at the people out there, standing round. They can't stay indoors.
They're waiting for the extras. They won't believe 'em when they read
'em, but they can't resist the excitement. Well, the bonfire's ready.
Nothing lacking now except the match.


GROSVENOR

[_Striding up and down._

That's all very well, Mr. Pollen. But suppose the King over there backs
down?


POLLEN

He won't. The people won't let him.


CONROY

_His_ people? They don't want war.


POLLEN

Not _his_ people.

[_Pointing._

Ours. I tell you, they've smelt blood.

[_From a distance, faintly, but growing louder, boys are heard calling,
"Extra! Extra!"_


GROSVENOR

[_Excitedly._

Extra! I wonder--


CONROY

[_Going to the balcony, and calling down._

Here, boy!


POLLEN

[_Laughing softly._

There you go.

[_He presses a bell-button on the wall, bends over the writing-desk and
writes a line which he encloses in an envelope._

You're easy. And there are a hundred million like you. When it comes to
war, reason goes to sleep. You both of you knew perfectly well that I
had absolutely no later news than you, but you let yourself be
hypnotized like children. I can do anything I want with you.

[_Enter_ PAGE.


PAGE

Ring, sir?


POLLEN

Take this to the news-stand in the hall.


PAGE

Yes, sir.

[_Exit._


POLLEN

[_At the window again._

The edition is going like hotcakes. It has Maynard's speech in it. Did
either of you hear it?


CONROY

Yes. Damned rot, but effective.


POLLEN

He keeps the patriotism hot.


GROSVENOR

[_Proudly._

I trained that young man in patriotism.

[_Enter_ REPRESENTATIVE MAYNARD, _left; a young man, conceited
and with a swagger._


MAYNARD

Good evening, gentlemen.


GROSVENOR

Maynard!


CONROY

Great boy!

[_They all clap him on the shoulder and shake his hand._


POLLEN

A wonderful speech, my boy. We're playing you up for Governor of the
State in tonight's late editions.


MAYNARD

I'll sweep the State. It's patriotism, it's the flag, that gets the
rubes. You should have seen the whiskers of the rural sections waving in
the wind!

[_Shouts of newsboys outside: "Bulletin! War! All about the war!"_


CONROY

Eh?


MAYNARD

[_To Pollen._

Any news I've missed?


GROSVENOR

How's that? They're shouting "War" already.


POLLEN

[_Calmly._

I told 'em to. That was the message I sent down. That shout gave you a
thrill, didn't it? Well, that was what I was after. If I don't hold you
down in your chair you'll rush out to buy a copy, even though I should
stand here all night, shouting in your ears that it's a fake.


GROSVENOR

[_Shocked._

You are inflaming the people!


POLLEN

Exactly. There have been people unkind enough to assert that that was my
business. What's yours, Grosvenor?


GROSVENOR

Eh?

[_Hotly._

What d'ye mean?


CONROY

You're livin' in a crystal palace, Grosvenor. Don't you go and forget
that.


GROSVENOR

[_Indignantly._

I--


MAYNARD

[_To Grosvenor._

I've got to get back to the House, Mr. Grosvenor. I just came over to
see if you had any--suggestions?


GROSVENOR

[_Testily._

No. Only keep me posted. That's all.

[_Expanding again._

And remember, our honor as a nation is at stake.


MAYNARD

They're not forgetting our honor while I'm on the floor.


CONROY

[_Drawing_ MAYNARD _aside as he is about to go out, and
whispering._

Need any--ready money?


MAYNARD

[_Grinning._

There were a half dozen brethren on the steps as I came out, who
implied they were broke, and wouldn't object to a loan.


CONROY

[_Taking a wallet from his pocket and handing it to Maynard, after he
has made sure that Grosvenor and Pollen are not looking._

Here. Help the poor devils along.


MAYNARD

Thanks. I will.

[PAGE _enters right, with a card on a salver._


PAGE

Senator Taney?


MAYNARD

No.

[_Taking up the card._

Who wants him?

_[He whistles softly._

Harradan! No, son, Senator Taney is not here.

[_Exit_ PAGE, _left._


GROSVENOR

[_Excitedly._

Harradan's smelling a rat. He's getting after Taney!


POLLEN

[_Quietly._

Don't you worry. I can finish Harradan up in black-faced letters
tomorrow morning. He'll think he's reading his own tombstone.

[TANEY _enters, right._


TANEY

Hello, Pollen. Hello, Conroy. Well, Grosvenor, Cottrell is as jumpy as
you are.


GROSVENOR

Have you seen Harradan?


TANEY

Have I seen Harradan? I should say I had! He's leading the peace party
in the Senate. Fighting like a fiend.

[_Clearing his throat._

That man has nearly cost me my vocal chords.

[_Ruefully._

To see him you wouldn't connect him with the word "peace."


GROSVENOR

He's in the club. He's asked for you.


CONROY

Come on, Grosvenor. This is no place for an honest business-man to be
found conversing with a Senator.


GROSVENOR

[_Nervously._

Quite right.


TANEY

[_With a grin._

Well, Maynard, they don't seem to think we're safe company for good
little boys. Suppose we get back on the job?

[_They move toward the right._ POLLEN _remains standing, calm
and imperturbable, by the window._


POLLEN

You people act as though you had a bad conscience. I don't think I'd let
a mere Senator interfere with the freedom of my movements, if I were
you.

[SENATOR HARRADAN _enters, left. He is a soldierly-looking man
in the seventies._


HARRADAN

Good evening, gentlemen.

[_Pause._

I seem to have tumbled into headquarters.


TANEY

Hello, Harradan. Looking for me?


HARRADAN

Yes.


TANEY

You know these gentlemen?


HARRADAN

[_Coolly._

Sufficiently.


TANEY

I'm due back at the Senate. I'll talk with you till the cock crows after
we adjourn. Will that do?


HARRADAN

I should like to talk to you now.


MAYNARD

In that case, I'll go back to the House.


GROSVENOR

We won't intrude--


CONROY

The Senators have the floor--

[_They are about to beat a retreat._


HARRADAN

I wish you'd stay, gentlemen.


GROSVENOR

[_Looking at his watch, nervously._

I'm sorry I--


HARRADAN

You'll please stay, Mr. Grosvenor. You, too, Mr. Conroy.


CONROY

I'm hanged if I'll be dictated to.


HARRADAN

[_Quietly._

Do as you please. But if you don't stay, I'll have you both under arrest
in fifteen minutes.


CONROY

[_In disgust._

Oh, come off!


GROSVENOR

[_Indignantly._

What do you mean, Senator?


HARRADAN

[_Fiercely._

My God, man, don't make me mad. I'm twenty years older than you, but I
could wipe the floor up with you yet!


GROSVENOR

[_Nervously lights a cigar and during the ensuing scene shifts it with
his lips from one corner of his mouth to the other in extreme
agitation._

I don't know what you're talking about.


MAYNARD

Well, you don't need me.


HARRADAN

I do.

[MAYNARD _sits down, chewing his lips._


POLLEN

[_With an amused, patronizing smile._

You haven't expressed yourself about me yet, Senator. Am I invited to
the party?


HARRADAN

You may stay or not as you like.


POLLEN

Thanks.

[_Deliberately._

Do you know, if I were you, I don't think I'd detain these other
gentlemen just now.


HARRADAN

[_Calmly._

Go to the Devil to whom you belong, Mr. Pollen. I'll do as I see fit.


POLLEN

I merely advise you. It isn't always considered patriotic when the
people want war, for a Senator to want peace too hard. I shall strive to
point that out to twenty million people or so tomorrow morning. Make
your will, Senator. The avalanche is coming. You'll be the loneliest
voice that ever came out of the wilderness. I prophesy your swift
demise.


HARRADAN

This is wartime. Most of us are ready to die, if necessary. Only some of
us would rather die in the service of peace than in the service of war.
You're a very powerful man, Mr. Pollen. I don't doubt at all that you
can kill me if you put your mind on it. You have poisoned the whole
nation. You are at liberty to kill me outright, but I won't let you
slow-poison me.

[_Turning._

Taney, I've got information against you, and you've got to listen. You,
too, Maynard.


POLLEN

[_At window._

Am I out in the cold again? I'm listening intently.

[_He goes to the telephone and takes up the receiver._

News-stand, please.


HARRADAN

[_Pleadingly._

Taney--


POLLEN

[_At the telephone._

That you, Burke? Liven up your youngsters outside. They've gone to
sleep.

[_He hangs up the receiver, and complacently lights a cigarette._


HARRADAN

We were friends in the past, Taney. I always knew you were a jingo, but
I thought there was hope. I came here because I still thought so. I
didn't know you had lined up with the buzzards.


TANEY

See here, Harradan. What are you talking about anyway?


HARRADAN

We all know why Grosvenor and Conroy and their kind are here. And a few
of us have been wondering who were pulling the wires for them.


GROSVENOR

You've got me mixed up with somebody else. I'm here attending to--to my
regular business.


CONROY

[_Bluntly._

And why shouldn't we be down here? I'm in a legitimate business. Guns.
And I'm looking after my interests. I'm not declaring war. But if there
is a war I don't see any reason why I should get left in the scramble.


HARRADAN

War! God, do you know what the word means? I've been in two wars. I've
seen and heard and--smelt battlefields. And I've seen women and children
waiting at home--and waiting.


POLLEN

I'll give you a thousand dollars, Senator, for a thousand-word article
on the horrors of war. You can't make it strong enough.


MAYNARD

[_Laughing._

That's one on you, Senator.


HARRADAN

Taney, you're a man of sense, and you love your country. Now--


TANEY

Good night, gentlemen, I'm going.

[_He turns toward the door._


MAYNARD

Same here.


HARRADAN

[_Turning swiftly._

No, you're not. I want a list of names. I want a list of all the people
who are paying you to shout for war. Understand?

[_Fiercely._

I want that list now.


TANEY

[_Coolly._

Hell may grow buttercups, Harradan. But you don't get any names out o'
me.

[_Quickly._

Besides, I ain't got any to give. And I'll have you up for defamation of
character for saying that there's anybody can buy me!


HARRADAN

[_After a pause, quietly._

Taney, you've always been a business-man. You look at things just one
way. You aren't bothered much by imagination. Perhaps you don't know
what you're doing. War, man! Dead men by thousands, wounded men
shrieking for some one to put them out of their misery, fire, ruin,
starvation! For what good, for what good, ever?


POLLEN

I raise my offer, Senator. Make it two thousand.


TANEY

You ought to go into vaudeville, Senator. Subject, "The Horrors of War."

[_The others laugh._


HARRADAN

God, the country stands on the verge of the greatest calamity in its
history and you can't do anything but laugh!


MAYNARD

You're an inspiration, Senator. Just like that dago or Dutchman or
whoever he was who tried to smash up the windmills. But you haven't a
sense of humor.


HARRADAN

[_With quiet dignity._

No. My sense of humor died during our last war. Will you give me those
names that are going to help me kill this satanic craving for war? Are
you?


MAYNARD

You're talking through your hat, Senator. I don't know anything about
any names.


HARRADAN

Very well.

[_Turning to go._

I have five names. They'll do until to-morrow. God willing, they'll
bring Congress back to its senses. I thank my God that I found you
buzzards out in time. I'll fling your names across the Senate
tonight--yours, Conroy, and yours, Grosvenor, and yours, Taney, and
yours, Pollen, and yours, Maynard! By Heaven, the country shall hear
them from end to end. And there'll be less talk of war then! You and
your kind are stirring up the millions to dream of war, to shout about
defending our national honor--What honor is there in murder?--stirring
their blood with the fifes and drums of your rhetoric! Through your
newspapers, you are turning the thoughts of our children to war, our
children who should be to us the symbol of a nobler, purer future
rising out of the sordid wreckage of the present--you make them drunk
with your cant about national glory--_glory!_--until their innocent
faces glow feverishly up to you, hungry for battle. You will not rest
until you hear the terrible savage cry from their lips--War, war! You
shall not hear it if I can prevent it! I am going to the Senate now. In
fifteen minutes your names shall be a byword and a hissing among the
nations. The best you can do is to take your vile guns and turn them on
yourselves!

[_A great shout is heard outside. Then the fifes and drums again. The_
PAGE _enters excitedly._


PAGE

Message for Senator Taney.


TANEY

Here, quick.

[_He takes the paper._

Gentlemen, listen to this from the Iberian Foreign Office to the
Associated Press: "The King sent for the Ambassador of the Republic this
afternoon and outlined a plan that would satisfy the royal government.
The Ambassador regretted that he was unable to consider any compromise.
The King replied that he could have nothing further to say in the
matter."

[GROSVENOR _and the others jump to their feet with excited
exclamations._



HARRADAN

[_Quickly._

The thing's not true. There's a mistake somewhere. It doesn't fit in
with what went before.



MAYNARD

Fit in? Who cares? It's a challenge! They've insulted us!


GROSVENOR

They've challenged our national honor!


CONROY

Now, by God, they can pay!


HARRADAN

[_Rushing to the telephone._

Give me the Department of State.

[_There are more shouts outside and more bands. Suddenly the door,
left, is burst open by a crowd of men, some in dress clothes, some in
uniform, shouting "War!"_


TANEY

For God's sake, what's up?


AN OFFICER

[_Delightedly._

We're off!


GROSVENOR

What d'ye mean?


A CIVILIAN

They've declared war!


HARRADAN

[_Turning._

Who has?


OFFICER

Congress!


TANEY

Senator, you're left.


HARRADAN

[_With a sob._

God! You buzzard! You buzzard!

[_A band in the distance strikes up the national anthem._ GROSVENOR,
CONROY, POLLEN, TANEY _and_ MAYNARD _stand._
HARRADAN _sinks into a chair._


MAYNARD

Senator, it's the national anthem. Haven't you got _any_ patriotism?

[GROSVENOR _opens the windows. The notes of the anthem are
drowned out by shouts and cries and the calls of newsboys._


VOICES OF THE CROWD

War! War!

[_The anthem sounds loud and clear, but_ HARRADAN _buries his
face in his hands. The stage is gradually darkened. The music grows
fainter as if the band were marching away; and now and then the shouts
of the crowd make themselves heard above it. These subside, too, into a
low, muffled roar, sullen and ominous._



SCENE III


[_The stage grows light again. In the foreground, a black group of trees
may be dimly discerned; beyond are indistinct hills and the last glow of
a bloody sunset. Smoke and dust blacken the scene. Even before the cloud
breaks to reveal the valley for a moment, the low roar is suddenly
broken by the rattle of musketry, followed by the booming of artillery
and the drumming sound of the machine guns. A trumpet sounds the charge.
The dust cloud breaks. A thickly crowded mass of men is vaguely seen
through the twilight charging with cries and curses. The rear ranks
press over the fallen, waver, shout and fall back. The rattle of
musketry continues. The men return to the charge, are repulsed once more
with awful slaughter and again return. The dust cloud passes over the
scene. It is night now. The wounded are tossing on the field, shrieking.
Ghouls prowl about. A flock of buzzards flies across the moon. In the
distance is heard a shout of victory, then the national anthem once
more, played by a trumpeter. A thousand voices seem to rise out of the
ground, moaning, drowning out the music. Then a woman's voice, clear and
distinct._



VOICE

How long, O Lord? How long?

[_Cries and wailings answer the cry. Silence. Again the bugle, drowned
out by cries, cries, cries._



CURTAIN



The following pages contain advertisements of books by the same author,
and other poetry



BY THE SAME AUTHOR

Faces in the Dawn
By HERMANN HAGEDORN
_Cloth, 12mo, $1.35 net_

A great many people already know Mr. Hagedorn through his verse. "Faces
in the Dawn" will, however, be their introduction to him as a novelist.
The same qualities that have served to raise his poetry above the common
level help to distinguish this story of a German village. The theme of
the book is the transformation that was wrought in the lives of an
irritable, domineering German pastor and his wife through the influence
of a young German girl and her American lover. Sentiment, humor, and a
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     "A Christmas story, unusual and welcome.... All the people in the
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Poems and Ballads
_New Edition. Cloth, 12mo, $1.00 net_

     "We can see from this volume that Mr. Hagedorn is a truly
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     "Hermann Hagedorn's work suggests a keynote for all future
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     " ... contains an unusual amount of pure poetry."--_New York
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JOHN MASEFIELD'S NEW VOLUME
Philip the King, and Other Poems
BY JOHN MASEFIELD
Author of "The Tragedy of Pompey," "The Everlasting Mercy,"
"The Daffodil Fields"
_Cloth, 12mo, $1.25 net_

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PERCY MACKAYE'S NEW POEMS
The Present Hour
By PERCY MACKAYE
Author of "The Scarecrow," "Sappho and Phaon," etc.
_Cloth, 12mo, $1.25 net_

     "The Present Hour" is a vital expression of America in themes of
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RABINDRANATH TAGORE'S NEW DRAMA
The King of the Dark Chamber
By
RABINDRANATH TAGORE

Nobel Prizeman in Literature, 1913; Author of "Gitangali," "The
Gardener," "The Crescent Moon," "Sadhana," "Chitra," "The Post-Office,"
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     "The real poetical imagination of it is unchangeable; the allegory,
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     _The London Globe._



_NEW POEMS AND PLAYS_


The Congo and Other Poems BY VACHEL LINDSAY. Cloth, 12mo. $1.25
net.

     In the readings which he has given throughout the country Mr.
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     In this book are presented a number of Mr. Lindsay's most daring
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     It is believed that the volume will be one of the most discussed of
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Borderlands and Thoroughfares
BY WILFRID WILSON GIBSON,
Author of "Daily Bread," "Fires,"
"Womenkind," etc. Cloth, 12mo. $1.25 net.

     With the publication of _Daily Bread_ Mr. Gibson was hailed as a
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Plaster Saints
BY ISRAEL ZANGWILL. Cloth, 12mo. $1.25 net.

     A new play of deep social significance.

The Melting Pot
BY ISRAEL ZANGWILL. Revised edition. Cloth, 12mo.

     This is a revised edition of what is perhaps Mr. Zangwill's most
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Sword Blades and Poppy Seed
BY AMY LOWELL, Author of "A Dome of Many-Coloured Glass."
Boards, 12mo. $1.25 net.

     Of the poets who to-day are doing the interesting and original
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Earth Triumphant and Other Tales in Verse
BY CONRAD AIKEN
_Cloth, 12mo, $1.25 net_

     Conrad Aiken is one of the first American writers to choose to tell
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Van Zorn: A Comedy in Three Acts
BY EDWIN A. ROBINSON
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A LIST OF PLAYS


+Leonid Andreyev's+ Anathema                               $1.25 net
+Clyde Fitch's+ The Climbers                                 .75 net
  Girl with the Green Eyes                                  1.25 net
  Her Own Way                                                .75 net
  Stubbornness of Geraldine                                  .75 net
  The Truth                                                  .75 net
+Hermann Hagedorn's+ Makers of Madness                      1.00 net
+Thomas Hardy's+ The Dynasts. 3 Parts. Each                 1.50 net
+Henry Arthur Jones's+
  Whitewashing of Julia                                      .75 net
  Saints and Sinners                                         .75 net
  The Crusaders                                              .75 net
  Michael and His Lost Angel                                 .75 net
+Jack London's+ Scorn of Women                              1.25 net
  Theft                                                     1.25 net
+Mackaye's+ Jean D'Arc                                      1.25 net
  Sappho and Phaon                                          1.25 net
  Fenris the Wolf                                           1.25 net
  Mater                                                     1.25 net
  Canterbury Pilgrims                                       1.25 net
  The Scarecrow                                             1.25 net
  A Garland to Sylvia                                       1.25 net
+John Masefield's+ The Tragedy of Pompey                    1.25 net
  Philip the King                                           1.25 net
+William Vaughn Moody's+
  The Faith Healer                                          1.25 net
+Stephen Phillip's+ Ulysses                                 1.25 net
  The Sin of David                                          1.25 net
  Nero                                                      1.25 net
  Pietro of Siena                                           1.00 net
+Phillips and Carr.+ Faust                                  1.25 net
+Edward Sheldon's+ The Nigger                               1.25 net
  Romance                                                   1.25 net
+Katrina Trask's+ In the Vanguard                           1.25 net
+Rabindranath Tagore's+ The Post Office                     1.00 net
  Chitra                                                    1.00 net
  The King of the Dark Chamber                              1.25 net
+Edwin A. Robinson's+ Van Zorn                              1.25 net
+Sarah King Wiley's+ Coming of Philibert                    1.25 net
  Alcestis                                                   .75 net
+Yeats'+ Poems and Plays, Vol. II, Revised Edition          2.00 net
  Hour Glass (and others)                                   1.25 net
  The Green Helmet and Other Poems                          1.25 net
+Yeats and Lady Gregory's+ Unicorn from the Stars           1.50 net
+Israel Zangwill's+ The Melting Pot, New Edition            1.25 net
  The War God                                               1.25 net
  The Next Religion                                         1.25 net
  Plaster Saints                                            1.25 net



THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
Publishers      64-66 Fifth Avenue       New York





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