By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: 'A Comedy of Errors' in Seven Acts
Author: Spokeshave (AKA Old Fogy)
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 "'A Comedy of Errors' in Seven Acts" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

public domain works from the University of Michigan Digital

Transcriber's Note: As far as possible, I have followed the
layout of the original book, which is somewhat irregular...
(T. N. cont. at end of book).



            SEVEN ACTS




             OLD FOGY




             OLD FOGY

            LUZON PRESS



_As many were not able to secure all the Acts of "A Comedy of Errors"
owing to the editions having been exhausted, and as numerous friends
have expressed a desire to secure it entire, the author has concluded
to publish it, supplemented by four more recent compositions._

_With malice towards none and charity to all, this modest booklet is
launched on the uncertain sea of literature._

_--Old Fogy._

_Manila, November 15th, 1914._



       *       *       *       *       *


Dramatis Personae

  _Caesar_ . . . _Ruler of the State._
  _Francos_  . . _Governor General of a Province._
  _Quezox_ . . . _Resident Delegate from the Province._

    _Scene: Throne Room at the Capitol_

_Caesar:_  Most noble Francos, I greet thee heartily.
           A function truly noble falls within thy grasp;
           And thou wilt with it deal as only sages can.
           The distant Isles are now crushed by the pow'r
           Of ruthless tyrants, who on plunder bent,
           Oppress a helpless, but a worthy race,
           Which groans beneath a yoke of foreign make,
           And hence it fitteth not the sable necks
           On which it now, relentless, firmly rests.
             'Tis well, we know, how, filled with visions vain,
             Our predecessor sought to stuff those minds
             With mental food fit only for those born
             To skins of whiter tint, and hence with grasp
             Of firmer structure, built by kindly Time,
             Who fashioned us in more ennobled mold;
             While power divine to cap the climax grand,
             With hand so deft, gave it its final touch.
           These men with vision faint who planned so vain
           Knew not the knightly thought bred in the south.
           The north winds chill and stunt the subtle power
           Which flourishes alone 'neath southern skies,
           To read unerring from the page of truth
           That God has fashioned some to mount aloft,
           While others grovel on a lower plane.
             Hence we must cherish ever in our hearts,
             The thought that pigment marks the subtle line;
             And so throw off a burden on us laid
             By those who blindly cast their shoulders down,
             To bear a load which deep ingratitude
             Alone will be the recompense for all our pains.
_Francos:_ My liege, I grasp the thought: a burden dark,
           Which now each year a golden tribute calls,
           Must be disposed of quickly, but so sly
           That watching nations may not fling a slur
           Upon our honor as we cast adrift
           This alien race to face the world alone.
_Caesar:_    Sweet Francos, truly thou hast quick discerned
             The thought which wisdom fathered in my mind.
             "Be wise as serpent, harmless as the dove,"
             Should be our watchword as we scuttle ship,
             For there be those who speak with venomed tongues
             Of serpents, as we cast them helpless off.
             But if we of politicos make use,
             And to their clamour lend approving smile,
             We may while coolly thrusting them aside,
             Meet with the thoughtless world's approving nod.
_Francos:_ Ha! Ha! methinks I see my path made clear
           'Twere wise to fellowship with only those
           Who, longing for the flesh pots, lend their aid
           To further us in this our deep design.
_Caesar:_    Hold! Francos, hold! The very walls have ears.
             Suspicion once aroused our game is up
             In silence let our worthy scheme mature;
             An utterance unwise may spell defeat.
_Francos:_ Most noble Caesar, thou at wisdom's fount
           Hast drunk until the fountain hath run dry.
           I ready stand to follow each command
           Ignoring every judgment of mine own.
_Caesar:_    When I before the gods did minister,
             I learned that strategy cured many ills;
             And when Parnassus high I made my throne,
             I found it well to wield an iron hand.
             And now to work our pleasure in these Isles,
             'Twere best to blend these methods in our scheme,
             Whilst thou with honeyed tongue shall words employ
             The callow forum shall my will obey.
             But silence! put a padlock on thy tongue;
             A word unspoken never worketh harm.
             While he who babbles layeth down his shield,
             And thus an enemy may work his death.
_Francos:_ Mine ears are open to thine every word,
           Would that they could but hear in distant Isles;
           For when I beard the lion in his den,
           Thy potent thoughts were then a healing balm.
_Caesar:_  Thou sayest well, Francos, but lend an ear;
           Avoid our enemies; they counsel ill.
_(To Page)_ But, page, entreat sweet Quezox to attend
           While we in converse measure every act.
_Enter Quezox:_ Most honored sire, I come at thy command,
           And wait your pleasure; if by any means
           My words, convincing, can this matter solve:
           The land that bore me bids me loud proclaim.
           So we consider wisely, let us call
           The Commoner, whose wisdom is renowned.
           That he may with us weigh each tangled point,
           And thus make our solution doubly sure.
_Caesar:_    Sweet Quezox, caution is a precious thing.
             And while 'tis known that council oft is wise,
             Yet it were better Wilhelm were left out
             For he hath visions which from tender plants
             To forest monarchs grow, with roots so deep
             Emplanted in the soil, that naught can stir.
             Beside, financial ills have him beset,
             And he now eager, filthy lucre seeks.
_Francos:_ Most honored sire, I would from Quezox learn
           What stern encounters I must early meet.
           He from the first did see the canker grow
           And hath a remedy, methinks, conceived.
_Caesar:_    Speak, Quezox, speak! and free thy surging mind.
             For well I know abuses rankle there.
             Our enemies politic, firm entrenched,
             Have borne with heavy hand upon thy race.
_Quezox:_  Ah noble sire, how well thy mind conceives
           The ills which bear my hapless people down.
           Much learning fits thee for the ruler's seat
           And keen discernment flashes from thine eye.
           There pigmies move within a circle charmed
           And fatten on rich spoils with cruel glee.
           They force their alien ways with tyrant hands
           Upon my people; and with cold disdain
           Refuse our council, when 'twere meet and wise.
           I beg thee, cast them out, both root and branch
           And clean official nests from grafty filth.
           Our patriots, able, then can claim their own
           And on the ruins build a blissful state.
_Caesar:_    Most noble Quezox, thou hast touched the sore.
             In Francos thou wilt find a helping hand,
             Council him wise for he the subtle wiles
             Of crafty scheming men may not discern.
_Quezox:_  Ah, noble sir, if I advice may breathe,
           It were to shun the brood of vultures well.
           They're skilled indeed to sing the siren's song,
           And play with flattery on honest minds.
           I feel 'twere well to journey to these Isles
           In company with Francos, at thy will,
           Thus guarding him from every idle tongue,
           Which might make impress on an open heart.
_Caesar:_    Sweet Quezox, thou art wise, it shall be done.
             And as you journey, meditate and plan
             To lop off every head that blocks thy way,
             Or lacks in sympathy for thy great work.
             For Francos hath been trained for civic life
             Where virtue reigns and intrigue hath no place.
             But with thine aid and to guide a fearless soul,
             And Tammany his pattern, all were well.
_Francos:_ Great Caesar, trust me well; I smell the rot
               that distance cannot smother, and will clean
           The halls of state, and there implant true men.
_Caesar:_    And silence! speak nor write not idle words,
             For they are often swords which cleave the soul;
             When enemies who wield a cunning hand
             Shall thrust them back, and laugh in gleeful scorn.
             E'en I regret what in an idle hour,
             I thoughtless paged regarding freedom's gift.
             And now they sting me, sting me to the soul.
             Oh that I ne'er had penned such childish thoughts!
             Hence hold thy tongue or honeyed words proclaim
             Which may mean little or perchance mean much.
             And now farewell, and hie thee on thy way:
             Again I say a padlock on thy tongue.
_Quezox and Francos moving backward, and making obeisances._
           Adieu, most noble Caesar, since the time
           When Washington first donned the regal crown.
           We'll smoke the woodchucks out and tan their hides
           And parchment make, on which, in words of gold,
           Shall be inscribed, so all the world may read:
           "Saturnine pleasure it to us doth give,
           To see them walk the plank from scuttled ship."
_Caesar:_    Ha Ha! but speak it not aloud, until 'tis done.
_Both:_      Whist! whist as mice! We'll oil the guillotine.
   _Exeunt both while Caesar washes his hands with
                       invisible soap._


Dramatis Personae

  _Francos_ . . . .  _Governor General of a Province._
  _Quezox_  . . . .  _Resident Delegate of the Province._
  _Seldonskip:_ . .  _Secretary to the Governor General._
                              _Capt of the Ship:_

_Scene: On shipboard_

_(Quezox, slowly walking the deck, soliloquizes.)_

           I feel a mighty task doth bear me down.
           When distance held the burden in its hand,
           It seemed, that, like a vessel on the stock,
           'Twould easy, when the holding blocks were moved,
           Slip gently down into the sea of states;
           But now that nearness stares me in the face,
           Wearing prophetic grin, methinks, I see
           Deep obstacles which bar the slippery ways,
           On which the ship must glide to waters deep.
             A ship to safely sail in troubled seas,
             Must boast a captain skilled in wat'ry lore.
             But he were helpless, if the vessel's crew
             Have not the cunning which of years is born.
             Alas, from out the black and threat'ning sky,
             One star alone of all the eyes of Night
             Doth faintly pierce the gloom and light our way
             To safe solution of the knotty point.
           If but the Captain wear a stately mien
           And walketh deck with slow and kingly tread,
           Lieutenants skilled, by filthy lucre bribed,
           May box the compass and so save the ship.
           But who shall Captain be? Ah there's the rub.
           There many be who fain would walk the deck,
           Though he who bears the burdens of day
           Forsooth should then be decked with laurel crown.
             But there be schemers, working in the dark,
             Who ready stand to grasp the hanging fruit
             While he who plants and watereth the tree
             With itching jaws may ne'er its fruitage taste.
             Caesar hath said that Francos aid will lend,
             To further us in working our designs,
             And yet fear whispers to mine anxious mind
             Honor hath made his soul its dwelling place.
           Hence "graft," even to aid his upward climb
           To higher honors, findeth not his ear.
           As he hath gold, methinks the chink of coin
           Charmeth him not; belike 'twould poorer men.
           As skilled musician fingereth the harp,
           So must I play upon his prejudice,
           Which finds no virtue in politic foes,
           And thus shall shrewdness do its perfect work.
           But Seldonskip? I love this hombre not.
           He looketh on our race with proud disdain,
           Hence I with poison must sour Francos' mind,
           That he but vileness in this boor shall see.
             Some men, I ween, would tread in virtue's path,
             Unless strong passion, born of love intense,
             Should goad them to stretch out a greedy hand,
             And grasp from beauty's bough forbidden fruit.
             For lechery, like plaster o'er the walls,
             They have no tolerance within their souls:
             But there are those who will stalk any game.
             Nor like myself, do they beauty demand.
             If matters not if but the figure wears
             Garb feminine, they'll ready take the scent,
             And like to well trained hounds leave not the trail
             Until the quarry is at length run down.
           And this I must apply to Francos' ear,
           Thus breeding deep contempt, clothed with distrust,
           For him who puketh up a sour disdain,
           From stomach filled with racial prejudice,
           That shall his downfall speed, helped by the spleen,
           Which pampered youth, fed with a golden spoon,
           Must ever show, whene'er its will is crossed.
             And thus will I proceed to "cook his goose,"
             Until the flesh shall cleave from off its bones.
             But as it seemeth to my anxious mind,
             I read uncertainty in Francos' eye,
             "The welfare of thy people" once he voiced,
             Such words make music not unto mine ear.
           "Thy people!" So it is that Francos speaks.
           Ah! little do the workings of his mind
           Discern that we who seek the pow'r to rule
           Feel not the Tao blood coursing our veins.
           For it by stain Caucasian is submerged;
           Still, we a ladder make of sable backs,
           To climb aloft into the chairs of state.
           Exampling thus: "The fittest must survive".
             A narrow man, though cast in honest mould,
             May mischief work, while conscience wears a smile.
             To Francos' I would dare not ope my heart,
             So I must feel my way with catlike tread,
             And strive with minor things to stuff him full,
             So points of import shall his mind escape.

_Francos (drawing near):_

           I bid thee happy morn, illustrious friend;
           A morn portending a most perfect day.


             'Tis thus our morn politic brightly breaks
             But storms, by Jove engendered, may e'er Night
             Enfolds her sable mantle for repose,
             Wither the budding dreams that fill our breasts,
             And deep within the cave of darkness cast
             Ambitions holy which now swell to burst.


           Good Quezox, why dost thou so deep despond?
           Methinks the future wears a gladsome smile,
           The children of thy race now spy a star
           Which like to that of Bethlehem may lead
           Them in the future to a state of bliss.

             Ah, noble sire, mayhap our children may,
             But what of us who years have now attained?

           Ah, Quezox, I did only figure use.
           Well dost thou know it rests upon their deeds;
           But demonstrate their worth and all were well,
           And then we'll speed us to our native land.
_Quezox:_    But, noble Francos, we now wend our way
             To meet the vermin which do suck our blood,
             And they with tongues which serpent-like can charm
             May fool thee with their tales of dire intent.
_Francos: (striking his breast):_
           Fear not, they soon shall feel how vain it were
           To seek to trick one who, in halls of state,
           Hath met the wiles of shrewd, self-seeking men,
           But to ward off attack with virtue's shield.
_Captain and Seldonskip approach._
_Captain:_ Most noble potentate, as I my rounds
           Of observation make, it pleasures me
           Most mightily, to make obeisance to
           The one so honored by his native land.
           As captain of a vessel may be judged
           By those subordinate to his command,
           So do I quick conception of thee form.
           By the broad mental gifts of Seldonskip
           Who were the hose, through which thy mind doth squirt
           Most sapient thought, for mankind's betterment.
_Seldonskip:_    You bet his wisdom squirts until I feel
             As if my think tank were about to bust.
_Francos:_ Good captain, greatly hast thou honored me
           And from such worthy source, I doubly feel
           The compliment were born from honor's womb;
           Anon, with thee would I more converse hold.
             _(Captain and Seldonskip move off.)_
_Francos to Quezox:_
             Good Quezox, this young squirt doth raise my bile,
             I fear some contretemps his tongue may raise.
_Quezox:_  Most noble sire, this youth hath long been bred,
           To gentle food which fits him ill to wage.
           Against his passions all sufficient strife,
           I fear lest close relation works you ill.

_Francos:_   Alas 'tis true that soft environments,
             Take hold upon the child and grip him fast.
_Quezox:_  And yet if seeds of manhood there inhere
           'Twere time for them to sprout and outward shoot.
           I like not tattling tongues yet I must voice,
           A matter which hath cut me to the quick:
           On yester morn, I in sweet converse joined,
           With one who wears angelic form divine,
           When this presuming fop with jeering eye,
           Made bold to amble, with convenient ear.
           Till we, forsooth, were forced to silence woo.
           But let us turn awhile to pleasant thoughts.
           What has been fashioned for the glorious day
           When we shall thrust our journey in the past
           And meet rejoicing thousands at the pier?
_(Seldonskip approaches speaks)_
             Well, Governor, thy message hath on wings
             Of lightning sped its hurried way, and now
             Methinks the anxious throng which fears the ax,
             Will hustle mightily for stovepipe hats
             To fit surmount their trembling heads, and so
             Make happy pair with coat of Tam'ny cut.

           Ha! Well 'twere done; but art thou doubly sure
           That careless word of wrong import hath not
           Enwoofed itself within this note of state?
             You bet your life, the thing is all O. K.

           But, my good friend, what hast thou in thine hand?
           Is it design of some sweet maiden fair?
_(Looks at the picture and discovers Bryan)_
           Ha! Ha! I see, 'tis he who wrecked our choice.
           This Commoner hath but a shallow mind
           Which like a windmill moves a lively tongue.
_(Seldonskip moves off, replacing the picture close to his
     breast, muttering)_
          _My fighting cock, you're crowing mighty loud,
           But Bryan holds old Wilson in his hand._
_(Francos and Quezox walk the deck)_
_Quezox:_  Most noble sire, I marvel at the speech
           Which from the mouth of Seldonskip doth flow;
           For highest office, he no rev'rence feels
           And "slang" were but fit outflow of his mind.
_Francos:_   'Tis ever thus with those born to great wealth
             It swells them up and whale like they do spout.
             But gold hath pow'r and it were well indeed
             Not to seek combat with a foe so stout.
             'Twere best to pass their idle blust'ring by
             For it doth vanish like the dew at morn.
_Quezox:_  It vomits me to gulp the morsel down
           Yet I thy hint, subservient, will obey.
           _(But wisdom whispers keep thy bolo sharp
           And his fifth rib, perchance, may feel its prick.)_
_Francos:_ But Quezox, let us in the future delve,
           For time doth swiftly waft us to our port.
           Where I must Caesar's message loud proclaim
           And my strong obligation to you voice.
           Our noble functions must be so performed,
           That happy impress graves the rabble mind
           But thus to meet these vultures with a smile
           Doth like a colic make mine honor gripe,
           Machiavelian methods were in sooth
           The better physic for the patients' needs
           And I like good physician must the probe
           Thrust in and sound the ugly, gaping wound.
_Quezox:_  Most noble sire, if I may caution speak
             It were to all this filthy, croaking brood
             Ne'er lend an open ear, for in it they
             Will honey-coated poison quick distil.
_Francos:_ Trust me, good Quezox, I to every thrust,
           Of treach'rous blade, will offer ample shield.
           Methinks I'll place them on the waiting rack
           And while I promises sweet-coated make,
           Will gently turn the screw until their bones
           Do crack. And then to happy period make,
           The ax shall deftly lop some waiting head,
           With touch most skilful, mellowed by a smile.
_Quezox:_  And, noble sire, I pray thee hasten not
             But let it pleasure thee to so proceed
             That dire suspense may make the waiting wretch
             More keenly feel the act of justice stern.
             Sweet to my soul 'twill be to walk the street
             And meet prospective victims ere they fall.
             The secret, while a tonic to my soul,
             Prepays me mightily for past neglect.
_Francos:_ But Ha! The port is nigh and we must hie
_(The City in the distance)_
           Us to our cabins to enrobe with coats
           Of Tam'ny cut, and silken stovepipe hats--
           But, Quezox, tell me, shall we be beset
           By bugs and fleas and snakes and creeping things?
           And microbes? Are they floating in the air
           So that in speech I'll dare not ope my mouth?
_Seldonskip (aside) O, shucks! I should worry!_
_Quezox:_  Most puissant Sir, dread not the microbes!
           A charm, ecclesiastical, well blessed,
           Will ward them off; but what befears me most
           Is vermin which infest the offices.
_(Seldonskip wearing a plug hat, walks slowly along leering
                        at Quezox)._
_(Speaks)_ Oh Rats! Rats!! and then again more Rats!!!


Dramatis Personae

  _Caesar:_  . . . . . . _Ruler of the State._
  _Francos:_ . . . . . . _Governor General of a Province._
  _Quezox:_  . . . . . . _Resident Delegate from the Province._
  _Seldonskip:_  . . . . _Secretary to the Governor General._

    _Scene I. Throne Room at the Capitol._

                  _Caesar soliloquizing._

           'Tis done! The die indeed is safely cast.
           And Wisdom smiles, while seated on her throne.
           'Twere well to kill two birds with one shrewd fling
           Of fortune's stone, and thus from grievous ills
           Which close enwrapped by robes of custom, are
           Work freedom from the threats of cruel fate.
           Francos, whose mental woof is frail indeed,
           Stood for promotion to important post.
           Which might embarrass all the wheels of state,
           And so 'twere well within his itching hand
           To place commission for those distant Isles
           Where mild efficiency can work no harm.
           'Tis strange that Francos in the halls of state
           So long hath squatted, in a chair too big,
           But still much gold can smooth a thorny path
           And work discovery of hidden worth.
           With modest mental gifts, but gentle mien
           He ill is fitted for promotion here.
           But it were matter of but little weight
           With Quezox as a mentor at his side,
           What he shall fashion in his pigmy state,
           For squirt from wisdom's fount can quench each flame.
           But Quezox? Can I trust this sable knight?
           He speaketh soft, but lurking in each smile
           Methinks I spy a double meaning there.
           'Twere well to bring Dame Caution to the front
           And hold this fellow, as he runs, in leash;
           For he, while fat with wisdom, may of guile
           Be deeply feeding, and from stomach weak
           May spew deep discord when we least expect.
           I have it! well 'tis known that Wisdom's bird,
           While winging daily flight, hath hovered o'er
           Our foes politic, and hath often shunned
           To make her nest in Democratic boughs.
           'Twere well to seek from out the tricky foe
           One who shall balance, like the flying wheel,
           The various acts of Francos and his crew
           And so most shrewdly curb the critic tongues
           That wag within the jaws of foes most keen,
           Thus hiding well, from all the thoughtless world.
           The deep intent which labors in our breast.
           And which in time shall like the bird encased
           By brittle shell, break forth and fly aloft,
           Singing to startled worlds sweet freedom's song.
           But woe is me! My mem'ry playeth false,
           For he of ponderous girth, in Island home
           Seeketh to grow more fat on public swill.
           And he presumeth, justly too, on what
           His silver tongue did work to boost me on.
           But still, lean men are best for action keen,
           For too much fatness burdeneth the mind
           And speaks in trumpet tones of strong desire
           For pleasures, and mayhap for cards and wine.
           And so 'twere best to know this Falstaff not
           For pow'r politic ne'er can from his hand
           Against me work dire mischief, for his tongue
           Is locked securely by our party key.
           But I must call the lightning to mine aid,
           And order him who now bemoans his fate,
           To scan the bailiwick for pots and pans,
           That Francos no discomfort may incur.
           For he so long in Fate's kind lap hath lain,
           That he must ill be fitted to his task
           Unless luxurious easements smooth his way
           And jars discomforting wring not his soul.

                                               _Exit Caesar._

    _Scene 2. Ship on the Ocean._

              _Quezox and Francos walking the deck._

_Quezox:_  Most worthy Francos, so my mind hath cast
           A heavy load aside, and eager now, with hope,
           I long to meet the foe in combat fierce
           And pierce the varied joints his armor boasts.
_Francos:_ Sweet Quezox, hold! Methinks I read thy mind,
           Revenge is sweeter than the honeycomb.
           But let it not take mastery so strong
           That Reason totters on her wabbly throne.
           I fear me there are lions in the way,
           And we must not in open battle wage;
           But let our minds deep strategy conceive
           And thus achieve what otherwise might fail.
_Quezox:_  Most trenchant Francos, how thy words do prick;
           I fear unjust suspicion rears its head,
           For it is not the nature of our race
           To open deal, when stealth can compass well
           The object which our surging souls shall seek;
           For practice which necessity hath caused
           Hath built a cunning it were hard to meet;
           But when, impatient of long smould'ring wrongs,
           We open take the bolo in our hands,
           With bellies yearning for the blood of those
           Who long have winked a proud disdainful eye
           Beware! I say, beware! for mercy then is dead.
_Francos:_ But Quezox, hold! Water thy burning thoughts.
           'Twere well to bridle firm such wordy steed,
           For mayhap there be one with list'ning ear,
           Who wide would publish what were worthy thoughts;
           But which should covered be by mantle wise,
           Until time furnisheth the proper hour,
           To tongue them into words with cautious garb
           So they shall mellow sound a fiery thought.
_Quezox:_  Thy mind, sweet Francos, pregnant is, with thought,
           And well I ween, thou Caesar's words hast weighed.
           But patience is a burden hard to bear
           And oft it galls the back on which 'tis placed.
_Francos:_ But Quezox, listen. Speed thy mind beyond
           The present passing hour, and wise reflect
           That like a blanket on the jackass spread,
           Patience can guard against the chafing wound.
_Quezox:_  Ah, Francos, well I know that wisdom bears
           With weight of mountains on my retching soul.
           But I will set my shoulders like the gods,
           And bear the load as Atlas doth the skies.
_Francos:_ But, Quezox, I am filled with anxious thoughts
           Anent sweet Seldonskip, whose wandering eye
           Doth lecherous look upon each passing dame.
           The fire of youth that wanders through his veins
           May scandal breed, and it were well to look
           With watchful eye upon his every act
           Affairs of state with mighty import soar
           Above the intrigues of a callow youth,
           Hence we must owlish vigil constant keep
           And in good sooth, it might indeed be well
           To speak him fair, and warning subtle give
           Lest his distemper lead to grievous ill.
_Quezox:_  Alas I know the temptress doth beguile;
           Hence sympathy doth plead for helping hand.
           If 'tis thy wish, I in most guarded speech
           Will whisper caution in his youthful ear.
_Francos:_ 'Tis well. But still I fear me over much
           That he, like highly tempered steel, will bend
           Only to swift rebound, and further by
           Reaction go from paths of rectitude.
_(Seldonskip indolently approaches.)_
_Seldonskip:_  Most noble gentlemen, I greet thee sweet:
                 It tireth mightily, this placid sea.
                 Methinks a storm, a mighty, raging storm,
                 To break monotony would lend to life
                 A phlegm, and hence a tedious day become
                 More gladsome. Alack-a-day when I did leave
                 Those gilded halls where beauty did indwell.
                 On this good ship naught but uncertain age
                 Measures those forms divine to which we kneel.
_(Seldonskip walks slowly on.)_
_Quezox speaking to Francos._ Most noble sire, in wonderment
                I pause.
           If I may query put, what mental rheum
           Did cause selection of such vacuous mind
           To fill a post requiring mental grasp?
_Francos:_ Good Quezox, surely I was misinformed.
           Full well; his sire, I dreamed, was made of clay
           Much finer than is wont within the mold,
           And so I eager seized his proffered aid.
           But keen regret doth fill my troubled soul
           And fears prophetic, to the future point.
           But, noble friend, we'll let the matter drop
           If it hath weight to fall, which much I doubt.
_Quezox:_  Ha! Ha! I see! he hath so little force,
           That gravitation with him worketh not!
_Francos:_ Now, noble Quezox, we must quick devise
           Some method to surmount the vicious laws
           Of civil service, which with shrewd design
           Purpose to keep those vultures in their nests,
           While others long denied official posts,
           Shall wander in the wilderness, and ne'er
           Set wary foot within the promised land.
_Quezox:_  Most worthy sire, when guile hath strong intrenched,
           Guile of a firmer mould, should countermatch,
           And beat the bulwarks down; 'twere easy done.
           In sooth so easy that no glory crowns
           The working of a scheme so patent to
           An eagle eye, which hath discernment keen.
           To unmake offices, were quickly done.
           To lower stipends till the hungry mouth
           Shall to the belly say: "We must go hence
           Or else we perish," were a shrewd device.
           'Twere he who holds the money bags, must rule
           And we the golden sword hold in our grasp.
_Francos:_ Ah noble Quezox, thou hast clearly solved
           The riddle which hath cost me sleepless nights
           It shall be done. But who approacheth me?
_Quezox:_  Sire, heed him not! Let's to our state rooms hie.
           In truth methinks this man doth seek to spy,
           And it were wise indeed to guard each port.
           To pass an idle moment, it were well
           In converse to enjoin; but this man speaks
           Through eyes that warning give that he hath brains.
           Hence it were best to pass him idly by,
           And only mouth vain words with those who, dull,
           Can work no harm by mouthing what were said.
        _(Quezox takes Francos by the arm and moves off
               muttering to himself)_
           'Tis thus I guard this weakling from the throng.
           And hold his foolish ear unto myself.


Dramatis Personae

  _Francos:_ . . . . . . _Governor General of a Province._
  _Quezox:_  . . . . . . _Resident Delegate of the Province._
  _Seldonskip:_ . . . . _Secretary of the Governor General._
  _Halstrom:_  . . . . . _Aide to the Governor General._

    _Scene I. Garden of the Palace._

_Francos (Soliloquizes):_ Methinks the poet of the past who scrolled
           "Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown"
           Indeed were wise and kenned whereof he wrote.
           His keen imagination doth amaze
           And fill my mind with wonder at his full
           Discernment of the most unhappy lot
           Which great responsibility doth load
           Upon the shoulders of betroubled men
           Whom fate relentless hath before ordained
           To, like the pack-horse, patiently, each day,
           Upbear most galling burden, born of cares
           Which do encompass the affairs of state.
           When in the Nation's forum I did sit,
           Like to a minnow in a mighty pool,
           I did disport, and, nourishing no care,
           Found naught to mar the pleasures born each day.
           But now there looms before me mountain high
           Questions of mighty import to the state
           Which I must quickly and with wisdom solve
           Without the bell mare's chime to charm mine ear.
             On whose sound judgment dare I now rely?
             Whose honor, on grave issues, can I trust?
             Shall I use Quezox blindly as a staff
             On which to lean, as on my path I grope?
             Or shall I ope' mine ear to those entrenched
             Behind official desks, with knowledge armed
             And primed for combat, when I shall disclose
             The policy profound, by wisdom sired?
           Alas, I find that I must war with friends,
           Who seem enamored with the tricky foe,
           And by long contact they infected be
           By doctrines both heretical and vile.
             Of those who legal robbery do make
             A vehicle to stuff their bellies full
             I must beware; for it doth to me seem
             That long and double squinting at the law
             Impairs their moral sight for all but fees;
             Hence deep entanglements might be the goal
             To which their slimy tongues would shrewdly guide
             That from disturbance, they might profit reap.
           Alas, what to me seemed but pigmy state
           Now looms up mightily before mine eye,
           And like the feathered mother with her brood
           Must I my many cares each day enwing
           And from the circling hawk with hungry eye
           Protect and shelter, till mature, they grow.
           But this commission! We must shrewd select
           Such pliant men as will our pleasure work;
           For we ken not what yeast in working deep
           Within the inexperienced minds of those
           Foregath'ring soon to fashion laws to meet
           The pressing needs of our embarrassed state.
           I feel mayhap, that seeds of self were sown
           Within the willing hearts of those who long
           Have profit made at this poor State's expense;
           Which seeds have grown into a mighty tree
           That hides behind its fol'age justice sweet
           So deep within those shades that e'en the sun
           Of righteousness reveals its presence not.
           For such compassion's bowels ne'er should yearn,
           And yet mine eyes behold a handiwork
           Which were the offspring but of earnest zeal;
           Yet since example's perfect work is done,
           The pattern to oblivion's shades we'll cast.
           But I to mine uneasy couch will hie.
           The morrow's cares may feed upon their day!

                   _(Slowly retires)_

    _Scene. Governor's office._

_Francos:_ Good Halstrom, to my mind uncertainty
           Is but a mental sore, which cancer like,
           Doth spread its roots until the surgeon's knife
           With sharp incision shall the curse remove.
           So must I cross the Rubicon and strike
           The foe in parts most vulnerable.
           Caesar, from the deep cavern of his mind,
           Hath fashioned, with a statesman's ready hand,
           A plan which we must now inaugurate,
           Amid the cruel jeers of all who long
           Have watched the workings of the dark hued mind
           Excepting only such as office seek.
_Halstrom:_ My Liege, thy look doth seem to answer woo
           And my stern schooling bids me to obey,
           But it were act from gross presumption born
           To, from my lowly post, advice bestow.
 Seldonskip:_ Well Gov'nor, standing just outside the door
           There are two chaps who loudly make the claim
           That they are sure expected at this hour
           To hobnob with you on some public stunt.
_Francos:_ Hold, Seldonskip! Thy tongue unruly wags
           Like to the shuttle on its weaving way
           To fashion fabric of but little worth
           'Twere well to throttle it or else belike
           A pebble small, in gear of great machine
           Disaster grave may work to wheels of state.

                  _(Seldonskip retires.)_

_Turns to
 Halstrom:_  Good Halstrom, quick I prithee do repair
           To outer chamber and with pleasant mien
           Escort these high officials with all state
           Unto our presence, when I will undo
           The mischief, by soft words clothed with a smile.
_(Enters Quezox: Speaks):_
           Most honored Francos, I had closed mine ear
           But Seldonskip like to a jackass brayed
           And I perforce did catch his words distraught,
           Which seemed to fling an insult in thy face.
           And cast contempt upon our worthy sons.
           If concord sweet shall lend us helping hand
           I fear me much this yokel must go hence
           For he doth gag us with his silly tongue!
_Francos:_   Patience, good Quezox. Heed no idle word;

           It falls upon thine ear, and then 'tis gone;
           'Tis but a breath of air which into naught
           Doth vanish. Can'st thou, thy finger on it
           Put and say 'tis here? Alas, it like a
           Heavenly orb doth shoot its comet way
           An then twere gone. It was, but now 'tis not!
           Hence it were folly, "Nothing," to pursue.
_Quezox:_    They keen philosophy falls on mine ear
           Like music, as it trickles from thy brain;
           But still the wound remains which venomed tongue
           Hath deeply stung upon my memory.
           But thou hast said: an uttered thought is dead.
           Perhaps 'tis so, but in the human heart,
           There lingers long a mem'ry, blessed indeed,
           Of those preceding us to that long home
           Where, be it utter darkness which prevails,
           Or light supernal with celestial ray,
           Yet death hath not erased from mental scroll
           The image which th' Eternal painted there.
_(Enters Halstrom):_ The twain are gone, my Liege, but to the page
           They for mañana did bespeak return.
_Francos:_ Tis well!
           Good gentlemen, my mind doth backward flit
           On wings of happy mem'ry to that hour
           When we, amid the plaudits of the hosts,
           Did well proclaim to all the happy words
           Which Caesar to expectant ears did send.
           My heart doth overflow, when I recall
           The ecstasy that spoke in thunder tones
           And like to period rhetorical
           Did ever punctuate each proper pause.
           Quick did I note in what well ordered ranks
           Our party friends did form before the stand.
_Quezox:_    But, noble Sire, methought I in each eye
           Discovered greedy looks which portend ill.
                _(Enters Seldonskip)_
           Unless their hungry hopes are satisfied
           By wellfilled bellies of official food.
           If this discernment doth not truth belie
           It points prophetic to a scramble sharp
           To wear the cast off shoes of those who now
           Do suck the life blood from our downtrod race.
_Seldonskip:_ You bet they'll scramble and they'll scramble hard,
           An why not tell me? 'Tis all in the game!
_(Francos to Seldonskip):_ Again that tongue, in thoughtless prattle wags.
           It seems that every opening of thy mouth,
           Doth point to utterance in words uncouth
           Which clothe some folly in a tattered garb.
_(Quezox to Francos):_ And yet most noble sire, my bowels of
           Discernment do fierce gripe me with the fear
           That in the rambling words this youth hath tongued
           Much bitter truth may deeply hidden be.
_Francos:_ Fear not! Caesar hath wise discerned that all
           Who long have on these Islands made their home
           Are blinded by self-interest, which doth,
           As colored glass speaks lies unto the eye,
           Befool their judgment; which may honest be.
           And hence 'twere better from abroad to bring
           More open minds to fill important posts
           For the brief time until we do depart
           And leave all matters in thy trusty hands
           Which will upbuild a strong, Yea! mighty state.

_(Seldonskip aside):_ A mighty state! Ha! Ho! I think I see
           The natives jumping round from tree to tree
           Feeding on coconuts and dressed with old
           Plug hats and wearing coats of Tam'ny cut!
_Quezox:_ 'Twere well! Those vultures who among us dwell,
           While pleading loving friendship, shrewdly plan
           Like to the feathered tribes, to gather down
_(Walks out):_ From careless wings to feather their own nests.
_(Francos turning to Seldonskip):_
           I must in candor voice my perturbed thoughts
           Anent the strained relation which doth seem
           To liken to a ship with cable taut
           Which surging waves are threat'ning quick to snap.
           Twixt thee and Quezox. Thou, mine eye doth speak,
           Art like dry powder, ready to ignite
           When Quezox looseth tongue which like a flint
           Doth spark the fuse to quick explosion work.
_Seldonskip:_ But on my life if he should touch the fuse
           He'd mighty quick know that there's "something doing."
_(Francos appealingly):_
           O, Peace, sweet Peace, I pray thee to draw near
           And hover o'er me, lest I go distraught.


Dramatis Personae

  _Francos_ . . . . . . _Governor General of a Province._
  _Quezox_  . . . . . . _Resident Delegate of the Province._
  _Bonset_  . . . . . . _Secretary of the Governor._
  _Halstrom_  . . . . . _Aide to the Governor._
  _Carpen_  . . . . . . _Executive Secretary._
                                     _Two Gentlemen._
                                 _Delegation of Englishmen._

    _First Scene: Governor Office._

_Francos:_ When, as we tread the varied path of life,
           Disaster dire demands a valued limb,
           We with the mood of Stoic bear the pain;
           While nagging tooth doth ever set us wild.
           'Tis vain on deep philosophy to call
           When stinging gnats, unseen, do us assail;
           A warring instinct urges us to kill,
           And we delay not, till Dame Reason speaks.
           'Twas but an automatic action of the mind
           When matter trivial late did rouse a phlegm
           Within my soul, which irritated sore,
           And on the instant I did stern resolve
           That, like the surgeon when an abscess ripe
           Action demands with operating knife,
           To sever bonds politic which did fast
           Within my family executive
           Hold Seldonskip and bid him hence to speed.
               But sometimes action swift doth breed regreet;
               An as I on the future cogitate,
               Methinks excuses which might satisfy
               Uninterested minds may weakly fail
               To ease paternal irritation, when
               Its offspring, bearing hence a varnished tale
               Of wrongs which from imagination's womb
               Were born and yet with specious sound do ring.
               Hence I must speedily with subtle skill
               Frame a dispatch which like to plaster kind
               May ease the irritation of the sore
               And thus mar not a happy intercourse.
           The mind of man can compass many things,
           But still, to reach perfection's dizzy height,
           It should be centered on some special point,
           Fathered by energy, to reach the goal.
           How can I soar, upheld by wings of hope,
           When various projects, all demanding skill,
           Before me loom, as do the clouds of night
           All threat'ning storm which well may wreck the craft
           Unless the captain calls unto his aid
           Lieutenants by long school of action trained
           To guard from danger's shoals which are unknown
           Except to those who long the chart have scanned?
               My predecessor who first ruled these Isles
               Did loud proclaim in optimistic tones
               The Philippines for Filipinos are,
               And so high expectations did arouse
               Which Time with all its mellowing pow'r did
               Dissapoint; and so at last Approval's
               Smile slowly did wane, and bitterest frown,
               Conceived from discontent, usurped its place.
           Alas! Am I to be the pliant tool
           To work a policy from chaos born?
           And on its failure, if perchance it fails,
           Will I too meet the cold and icy stare?
_Enter Halstrom; speaks:_
               My Liege, thy self-communion I would halt
               And usher to thy presence men of weight
               Who would discourse upon some pregnant facts
               Which may perchance to thee be quite unknown.
_Francos:_ Good Halstrom, tell me of their every mien.
           Didst thou in judgment fair, within their eyes
           Spy greedy look as if on plunder bent?
           If so, 'twere best preoccupation plead.
_Halstrom:_ I think, my Liege, 'twere safe to give them ear
               So that offense may rankle not their minds.
_Francos:_ Ha, thinkst thou so? Then hail them to my court.
           But stay! Wisdom doth hint that in each ear
           A caution should be breathed that concise speech
           Were best, for pressing matters constant urge.
_Halstrom:_ Thy words are uttered but to be obeyed.
               That time is precious I will firm impart. _(Retires
                 and ushers the visitors in.)_
               Most honored Sire, these gentlement would speak
               On matters of great import to the state.
_Francos:_ Welcome, sweet Gentlement, I greet thee well,
           And wait the import of the words ye bring.
           I beg thee speedily the burden ease
           From off thy overladen minds, that we
           May then in converse wise consider well
           The various phases of a matter new.
_Gentleman:_ Your Honor!--Please excuse the term, as I
           From pleading long before the bar have thus
           Familiar with this title grown, and so
           From 'tween my lips the word did careless slip.
_Francos (earnestly):_
           But honored Sir, I fain would ask what bar
           It wast before which thou didst earnest plead?
_Gentlemen:_ Ha! Ha! Methinks a subtle humor finds
           Its home within the mind of him who rules.
           But in all truth the point were taken well,
           For Caesar, rumor saith, disdains the cup
           Which doth inebriate and thus befool
           The mind of him who at it tarries long.
           But Sire, the business which doth urge us here
           Is of great import to our party's needs.
_Francos:_ I pray thee, hasten to the point, for time
           Hath wings that bear us swiftly on.
_Gentleman:_ Most noble Governor, I sore lament
           That from our noble South there be men here
           Who have deep sympathy for these, who in
           The past have fattened at the public crib,
           And find no sympathy for Caesar's plan
           To mould this commonwealth on model grand
           Perfected by the chivalry front which
           Both he and thou didst draw sweet childhood's milk.
           These men did quick condone the ev'ry act
           Which emanated from the Northern mind.
           Yearly were millions spent on bootless task
           Of feeding vacant minds on useless food
           Because unfitted to their various needs.
           "A little knowledge is a dang'rous thing"
           And doth unfit the plodding mass for toil,
           Which is their proper sphere; hence ev'ry thought
           Hard thrust within their skulls doth discontent
           Engender, and thus far stability
           Doth threathen for the ruling class, and so
           As in our "Sunny South" the specter grins
           Prophetic of grave danger to the State.
_Francos:_ The plea doth fall on sympathetic ears.
           Yet Caesar counseled in his parting words
           That discord here among our party friends
           Would breed distemper if 'twere not ignored.
_Both Gentlemen, despondingly:_
           Alas! 'Tis so, that we who burdens bore
           Are thrust aside when vict'ry crowns our work
           And renegades are placed on equal terms
           With loyal sons who ne'er a duty shirked.
                 _(Exeunt Gentlemen)._
_Francos:_ Ah! so it is. Each entity is filled
           With selfish impulse which doth ever hide
           Justice eternal from its clouded sight
           And pigmy self exalt to giant form.
_Bonset:_  But Sire, it were the common lot of man
           To seek preferment; and unless he doth,
           No other will lift hand to boost him on,
           Unless great wealth doth like a magnet draw
           Support from those who with a greedy eye
           Expect to feel most happy contact with
           The shining coin, which doth a lever prove
           To pry success from out the voting mob.
_Francos:_ But Bonset, see'st thou not that native worth
           And mental parts may overtower the gold
           And thus perforce attract attention from
           The ones who guide their party to success?
_(Bonset doublingly)_
           Perhaps, my Liege. But in the outer hall
           A deputation waits to greeting give
           And tokens of respectful homage show
           On the behalf of Briton's col'ny here.
                      _(Enter Quezox)_
_Francos:_ But Bonset, list! 'Twere well to let them wait:
           To quick respond will lower dignity.
           The British mind doth breed a rev'rence deep
           For form and etiquette which swift cognition
           Might debase, and thus we on their mental
           Vision might mayhap but feeble impress
           Make as envoys by most noble Caesar sent
           To rule these Isles with gravity and state.
_Quezox:_  Most noble Sire! If I might but suggest,
           'Twere well for Bonset to inquire each name
           And mental picture stamp upon his mind
           That he may fluent be when he presents
           Each sev'ral person as he shall proceed
           To pass before thee and his greeting voice,
           And when the proper waiting hath an end,
           I will speed forth and beck the conclave in.
_Francos:_ 'Tis well! And in the intervining time
           'Twere wise important matters to discuss.
                  _(Enter Carpen)_
           Ha! Carpen, thou hast long experience had
           In dealings intricate with this proud race,
           And thee alone from out the anchored host
           I trust to honest voice conditions here.
_Carpen:_  Sire! dost thou seek a true, unvarnished tale,
           Or rather wouldst a colored picture please?
_Francos:_ Truth is so hidden in her various garbs
           That nakedness alone presents her fair;
           Hence ornament and furbelow disdain,
           And Hebe-like unbedecked let her stand forth.
_Carpen:_  It were indeed a most stupendous mind
           Which, as the argonaut with mining pan
           Doth sift pure gold from ever present dross,
           Can Truth unmesh from Error's well spread net.
           Conditions intricate with taunting smile
           Of Fate's stern irony, have faced us here;
           But now the seething problem must be solved
           And vague uncertainty be swept aside.
           Shall the mestizos, as the ruling class,
           Be firm entrenched by our assisting hand,
           Or must we in the well marked path still tread
           And longer bear our burden which will bring
           No gratitude to recompense our pains?
_Quezox:_  Sire! Carpen well hath voiced mine ev'ry thought,
           We, who Caucasian blood boast in our veins
           Are numerous, and can uphold the state.
           The pure-blood Filipinos to us look
           For guidance and our ev'ry counsel take.
           To wait until the tao fills his skull
           With book lore were to see us in our graves
           And millions burden on thy native land.
           But Sire, I feel that time enow has flown
           To proper impress make on waiting minds.
           Hence it were well to bid them entrance speed
           That they may grave obeisance to thee make.
                          _(Exit Quezox)_

_Second Scene: Outer Room, where the deputation waits._

_Bonset:_  Good Gentlemen, a business of import
           Doth now engross His Highness, but forsooth
           When it is properly dispatched, he word
           Will by the mouth of Quezox speedy send.
_An English gentleman (brusquely)._
           But sir, no business enterprise hath brought
           Us here, and if His Highness careth not
           To give us audience, why we'll depart!
_Bonset:_  Tut, tut, Good friend Quezox will soon appear.
_(The Gentlemen uneasily pace the room and whisper)_
_Enter Quezox:_ Sweet Gentlemen, His Highness bid me hail
           You to his presence, there to converse join.
              _(All look at Quezox, disgusted)_
_Bonset:_  Fall in! Fall in! and form a proper line
           While Quezox doth precede us as we go!
_1st Gentleman (indignant)_
           Fall in! What doth such words portend?
           Are we but jail birds who at keeper's call
           Move into line, and then with lockstep march
           To face a judge who may us sentence give?
                   _(Puts up his hands)_
           I say, my friends, put up your "dukes" and I will show
           How Englishmen resent an insult gross.
               _(Friends interefere to prevent blows.)_
_Quezox:_  Hold! Hold! my friends, sweet Bonset means no ill,
           'Twere only lack of polish in his speech.
           We Spaniards sweetly phrase our ev'ry word
           E'en when we prick one sharply in the ribs.
_1st Gentleman (excitedly)_
           Well, who is this, with dignity enrobed
           Who like a fighting cock doth bravely strut?
_2nd Gentleman (whispers)_
           Whist, little friend, this is the mighty Quezox,
           Who doth within his hand hold destiny.
           Twere best for business purposes to yield
           Apparent homage, though we him disdain.
_1st Gentleman (turns to Quezox)_
           Ho! Ho! I did a mistake serious make
           In expectation that a mind so great
           Would find its home within a form most grand,
           But like mine own it chose a cottage small.
_Bonset:_  Well, Gentlemen, so you like not the line,
           Proceed to scramble in at your sweet will.

_All speak:_
           A trifling discord doth like sauce in soup
           Make betterment. Hence we my now declaim,
           In happy vein: "All's well that endeth well."



Dramatis Personae

  _Francos_ . . . . . . _Governor General of a Province._
  _Quezox_  . . . . . . _Resident Delegate from the Province._
  _Halstrom_  . . . . . _Aide to the Governor._
  _Carpen_  . . . . . . _Executive Secretary._
                                  _Filipino Gentlemen._

    _Scene I: A garden._

_Quezox sits in an arbor with lute in hand; sings._


           My lute doth troll the longings of my heart;
                       Deep-rooted there
                       Are forms so fair
           Whose mem'ry of my life doth form a part.


           But like the knights of old, when action calls,
                       My Lady fair,
                       With raven hair,
           Must be forgot till lovelit twilight falls.


           But then those forms angelic in each line,
                       With happy smile
                       Which doth beguile,
           Appear before me, whisp'ring love divine.

_Quezox soliloquizes:_
           But Venus, though enwrapped by passion's robe,
           Like mortals, tires and seeks her restful bow'r,
           While duties stern demanding thought profound
           So that the morrow's needs were ably met,
           Shall for the nonce supplant within my mind
           All dreams of those who, fairy-like, do waft
           Themselves unbidden to my mental home
           Unless most firm resolve doth bar them hence.
           But at the throne of Wisdom I must kneel
           And suppliant pray for light to guide my steps
           For there be deep entanglements to snare
           My feet, if circumspection aids me not.
           This Carpen hath a sleek and subtle mind
           Full well equipped for all stern duty's calls;
           Hence we who seek to tread in Freedom's path
           Find him a stumbling block to be removed.
           But we with clever strategy must work
           And hide our deep design in honey'd words,
           For he hath wisely kept his lips well sealed,
           Thus leaving us without just cause for plaint,
           Methinks 'tis hard to gauge this gentleman,
           For silence wise is oft misunderstood;
           Behind it Wisdom, hidden, may abide,
           Of Folly it may make her secret home.
           Of import weighty is the post he holds,
           But from it we must shrewdly pry him out,
           For he may Francos slyly misinform
           And so delay fruition of our hopes.
             _(Claps his hands; enter muchacho.)_
_Muchacho:_ What wouldst thou, sir; mine ears did hear the call,
           So quick I haste with "Scotch and soda" primed.
_Quezox:_  Go to, thou vermin, that shouldst dare presume
           To quick determine what shall quench my thirst.
           Hast thou not heard that vintage of the vine
           Since Caesar hath th' imperial crown assumed
           Is now become the only proper draught
           For those who in his favor high would stand?
           Hence "grape juice" bring, and speed thee, or the back
           Shall feel the stripes thy varlet hide demands.
_Muchacho:_ I beg, Señor, my feeble speech be heard:
           Methought that "grape juice" were a childish pap,
           But I will bring it and an orangeade,
           Thus heaping honors on two noble men.
                           _(Exit muchacho)_
_Quezox:_  But thought hath strayed like an unbridled steed,
           And I must harness it to work my will.
           This Bonset: Francos seems to love him well
           And may him thrust in Carpen's cast-off shoes;
           My bowels gripe me with suspicion dire
           That plans are rip'ning to this very end;
           Hence we must pour in an unwilling ear
           A weighty protest ere the scheme matures.
           An open opposition were not wise
           For Francos hath, I ween a stubborn streak
           Which might by irritation grow so big
           That naught could move it; while a flatt'ring tongue
           Might bend him, all unconscious to himself,
           To work our every will, while he doth dream
           That from his fertile brain the seeds do sprout;
           'Tis thus we'll plant our choice in Carpen's place.

_Muchacho (bearing grape juice and cigarettes approaches;

           Señor, an hombre at the portal knocks
           Who hath an oily tongue, which wagged desire
           To speack with thee, but I all unawere
           Of thy design, did ward him gently off.
_Quezox:_ 'Twere well, thus ever do when skins are white.
           But did this hombre show a mighty girth?
_Muchacho:_ In sooth he did, Señor; his leg like to
           A python gorged with infant carabao
           Did to his body make comparison.
_Quezox:_  Ha! bid him hence. I know this hombre well!
           Go twist thy tongue into a double knot
           So that his importuning I escape.

                        _(Exit muchacho)_

           The sacred writ doth tell of one who sat
           Upon the judgment seat to justice serve,
           And when a widow's importuning sore
           Did him annoy, to ease his troubled mind,
           He listened to her tale and justice gave,
           Fearing her sighs and tears, else ne'er would cease.
           Hence I must close mine ear lest eager plaints
           Should move my tender heart to grant his plea.
                 _(Enter muchacho, speacks:)_
           Most noble Señor, at the door do stand
           Three gentlemen whose color doth demand
           Cognition, hence I bade them patient wait
           While I acquaint thee of their anxious quest.
_Quezox:_  Thou sayest well; go bid them enter here,
           And then refreshments serve, at my command.
_Muchacho:_ Si, Señor, si; I grape juice will prepare,
_Quezox:_  Hold! These are men with red blood in their veins,
           Hence wine were fitting bev'rage for their needs,
           With cigarettes and black cigars galore,
           For we may lengthen speech till morning's sun
           Shall bid the anxious night give place to day.
                       _(Enter Gentlemen)_
_Quezox    (with outstretched hands):_
           Señores, ye I greet! All that is here is yours.
           'Tis said the walls have ears, hence it were wise
           To make this trellised bow'r our council house.
           For here no spy can crouch behind a screen
           And through his ears store up our treasured thoughts.
           But let us to the point, which magnet-like
           Did so resistless draw thee to this place
           To problem solve which doth much thought require.
_1st Gentleman:_
           Good Quezox, tell us, doth our plan seem ripe?
           And can we trust this Governor to do
           Our will, when Carpen shall be ousted from
           The nest in which he snuggles restfully?
_2d Gentleman:_
           The question were most apt, for we would name
           Him who shall hold the secrets of the state.
_3d Gentleman:_
           And sanitation! Should we not declare
           For one of our own blood, whose sympathy
           Doth bind him to our customs which we love
           And so uproot the follies of the past?
_Quezox:_  Señores, we as serpents must be wise.
           To quick reveal all hidden in our hearts
           Would long delay the time of which we dream;
           Hence we must center now on Carpen's case
           Our every energy and clear the path
           Of one who ever wields a mighty pow'r,
           And his fat place on one we trust, bestow,
           For thus we breach shall make within the wall.
           To speak of sanitation were unwise
           For Francos, in his heart, a mighty dread
           Doth feel, lest microbes in his castle hide;
           And so distempers of most deadly forms
           Engender; and great trust doth he repose
           In squirting medications through a hose
           So that these bugbears find no resting place,
           To propagate their kinds within his home.
_1st Gentleman:_
           But Quezox, this Governor hath Bonset
           Chosen, I do fear, to fill the place
           When Carpen doth step out, and all our plans
           May come to naught unless we sharp protest.
_2d Gentleman:_
           Mayhap 'twere best to earnest recommend
           Carpen and Bonset each for some fat berth
           Which carries not such import in its wake,
           Till time the opportunity may give
           To toss them overboard and clear the ship.
_Quezox    (Claps his hands and the muchacho appears);_
           Haste! For the inner man refreshments bring,
           For vino and cigars may clear our minds.
                       _(Exit muchacho)_
           My firm insistence did one cancer cure
           But when my mem'ry speaks of vandal hand
           Which once did throttle me in vulgar strife
           My vitals gripe me with a righteous wrath.
           I did presume that Seldonskip would feel
           A proper rev'rence for officials high,
           And fear on God's anointed, to bestow
           A mighty kick upon his nether parts
           But these Americanos know not fear
           And each one feels himself, belike, a king,
           Hence it were wise, by strategy and guile
           To circumvent them not by open strife.
           Ah, so it is: the Filipino gentleman,
           Unlike the boor, disdains to war with fists;
           But place a keen-edged bolo in his hand
           And he comports himself most gallantly.
_3d Gentleman:_
           We must with wisdom guard our every act
           Lest a suspicion dark fill Francos' mind.
           Thus far, he like a well trained niño, hath
           With rev'rence bowed assent, to our demands.
            _(Muchacho returns with refreshments)_
_Quezox:_  And flattery. Like child its mother's milk,
           He doth gulp down and eager cry for more;
           Hence dose him well; you'll puke his stomach not.
           But let's to bed, the morrow brings its cares,
           And we must freshened be to work our ends.
                       _(Exeunt omnes)_

_Scene 2: The Executive Room_

_Francos:_ Well gentlemen, I see insistence grows
           Anent the humble office Carpen holds.
           It seemeth to me that without his aid
           I like a desert wanderer am lost.
_Quezox:_  But Sire, a man of parts can fill his place
           And of the varied strings of business tie a knot
           Which will hold state affairs in proper place,
           For they depend not on an special one.
_1st Gentleman:_
           Sire, shall we, like the child, forever creep?
           It is not thus the limbs find strength to walk.
_2d Gentleman:_
           The mother thrusts her birdling from its nest
           And thus it learns to wing its heavenward flight.
_3d Gentleman:_
           The doting father who trusts not his son
           But anxious coddles him from ev'ry care
           Can never know what possibilities
           Do dormant lie within that stunted brain.
_Francos, hesitatingly:_
           But Quezox, when the father's anxious eye
           Doth quick discern some symptom which doth like
           The weather-cock, respond to ev'ry breeze
           Prudence would whisper, "It were well to wait."
_Quezox:_  Ah, Sire, Procrastination is a thief
           Which steals the treasure hidden in the brain,
           While if it were supplanted by stern acts
           Like to the sword 'twould ward off ev'ry foe.
_Francos:_ Ah lack-a-day! Uncertainty doth fill
           My mind. I would not aspirations block
           With idle fears, but still I must beware,
           Or when too late, these fears may take on life.
_All speak:_
           Fear is a coward word and always flees
           When Action shows himself armed cap-a-pie
           And thus prepared to wage aggressive fight.
           Hence, honored sire let's throw it to the dogs!
_Francos, fretfully:_
           Well, have it as thou wilt, and on thy heads
           Blame shall her thistled crown with pomp bestow
           If Failure thrusts her grim and wrinkled face
           With grinning smile to comment on our work.
_All:_     Thanks, and again more thanks, most noble Sire!
           The sun of Freedom shows her smiling face
           Above the horizon of discontent,
           Portending happy day so long delayed.
           _(Exeunt Quezox and Gentlemen to waiting room)_

    _Scene 3: Waiting Room._

_Quezox:_ 'Tis done, and, Gentlemen, this doth reveal
           Most aptly how sweet concert for the time
           Doth work our purpose on this pliant soul.
           So long as he from contact with his kind
           We can prevent by flattery and guile;
           He, like to wax within the moulder's hand,
           May form a figurehead of brave design,
           But statue-like it were an empty house.
_1st Gentleman:_
           I have a thought, sweet Quezox, and must voice
           It in thine ear. Soon, from that distant land
           Where our oppressors dwell, others will hie
           Them to our shores; and they may be of mould
           More stern, and thus impediments may prove
           To be 'gainst our designs; hence it were well
           That we should much accomplish while we may.
           These may prevent what they can ne'er undo.
_2d Gentleman:_
           Si, si, Señor; haste be the magic word,
           To thrust the vermin out must be our aim.
_3d Gentleman:_
           Well said. If we delay, "Mañana," fickle dame,
           May scorn our smiles and flirt with these, our foes.

    _Scene 4: Governor's Room._

_Francos:_ Good Quezox, it doth seem the more I grant,
           The more dost thou demand. I at thy word
           Did to a list'ning throng declare that thou
           With mighty hand, did boost me to this place.
           'Twas done to firm impress on public mind
           Thy worth in fields politic, and by this
           To expedite our plans which will in time
           An era new inaugurate; but thou,
           Like "Twist" of old, cry'st "More!" and ever "More!"
_Quezox:_  But Sire, the time is short. Soon I must hie
           Me to the halls of state, and I would fain
           Depart with mind at ease on matters here,
           For there be few who safely may advise.
              _(Exit Quezox. Enters Carpen)_
_Francos:_ Ha! Carpen, is it so; these varlets who
           Do thoughts imprint, have o'er my head direct
           Appealed to those who may dire action take,
           And thus belittlement on me bestow?
_Carpen:_  My Liege, 'tis so. From words which from thy mouth
           Did flow, discouragement arose, and so,
           To guard their welfare, they did quickly act
           And to their order did make strong appeal.
_Francos:_ Carpen disloyalty to those in pow'r
           Shall meet its proper penalty, and they
           Who voiced it must forthwith before me come
           And explanation make, which doth ring clear.
_Carpen:_  I'll quick despatch a message to their chief,
           That he at once before thee shall appear.
_Francos (walks the room, soliloquizing):_
           Fortune is often kind, and to our hand
           A weapon ready forged and sharpened fits.
           A strong presentment lurketh in my mind
           That she hath now perchance befriended me.
           But Carpen, is this chief most proper named?
           Its sound implies that blood's his proper food,
           And that he sucks it from this people's veins.
_Carpen:_  I think your voiced suspicions are unjust.
           He seemeth to me but a proper man
           Possessing skill anent his chosen crat.
           So it was published when he here was sent.
_Francos:_ Ah, well I know the arts political
           Our foes did practice when they filled a nest
           Fit for an eagle with a vulture mean
           And covered their deceit by mouthing words.
_Carpen:_  But Sire, I bear no brief in his behalf.
           To me this matter little import bears.
_Francos:_ Good Carpen, from thy tone I fear me much
           Thou implication on thy part inferred.
           I pray thee, disabuse thine erring mind
           Of such suspicion, for it hath no ground.
                       _(Enter Quezox)_
_Quezox:_  Most noble Sire, mine ears have heard a tale
           Which, if from fountain of eternal truth,
           Doth cheer me mightily. It in good sooth
           Reveals the treachery which thee surrounds.
_Francos:_ Remain, good Quezox, I would witness have
           Who shall upon the scroll of memory
           Inscribe each word which shall be uttered here
           When the expected one shall soon appear.
_Quezox:_  Sire, thy request, or rather thy command
           Is head but to obey. _(A side)_ Methinks I see
           A smiling picture which doth clear portray
           Heads falling, as the bolo sure doth swing
           Sire, loyalty should ever be the test
           Of those who feed from out the public trough.
                      _(Exit Francos)_

_(All join hands and sing as they dance the Tammany slide.)_
           "Loyalty, Loyalty, Loyalty to what?
           Why Loyalty to him who ladles out the swill.
           Loyalty, Loyalty, Loyalty or not?
           If not, go home to Dad and the fatted calf he'll kill."


Dramatis Personae

_Caesar_  . . . . . . _Ruler of the State._
_Francos_ . . . . . . _Governor General of a Province._
_Printus_ . . . . . . _Head of a Bureau._
_Quezox_  . . . . . . _Resident Delegate from the Province._
_Somnolent_ . . . . . _Head of a Bureau._
_McDuff_  . . . . . . _A Publican._

    _Scene I. Caesar's Room at the Capitol._

_Caesar soliloquizing:_
           Life is a problem intricate to solve:
           With outstretched arms to grasp, we know not what
           From out the future hidden by a veil
           With woof too dense for eye of man to pierce;
           Yet doth imagination pictures forms
           Which, when we would embrace, evade our touch
           And vanish into nothingness; while still
           We vain pursuit ever persistent make.
             Euclid from chaos order did evolve
             And on the scroll of Fame hath writ those laws
             Which Time, relentless, ne'er can thence efface.
             For Truth, immutable, is there entombed.
             But he, in flawless mental armor robed,
             Did crusade make where Science hath her home,
             And from her vaults where Truth was close entombed
             He raped their locks and brought the treasure forth.
           Long mankind groped in darkness, nor did dream
           That laws harmonious could measure space
           And count the cycles that should hail return
           Of each recurring comet on its round.
           Thus deep uncertainty enrobeth man:
           He comes like morning bringing with him light;
           He goes like evening, ent'ring portals dark
           Where none can track him to his final doom
           And know that Immortality's kind arms
           Shall hug him to her breast and bear him on
           To Fields whose verdure wears a brighter hue,
           Or whether Entity shall on the wings
           Of fickle Fate be borne to final rest,
           Who shall the mystery of being solve?
             We see the birdling break from prison shell
             And dream that we have found the source of life.
             Vain thought! the egg were but a cunning mask
             Which Nature wears to hide her handiwork.
           The spark electric issues from its cell
           Clothed with a pow'r the jealous gods might crave;
           But when or how it entity conceived,
           Is hid within creation's caverns deep.
             Now, in the realm of pow'r politic, reigns
             The God of Chaos anchor'd to his throne,
             And it remains for one of giant mind,
             Well disciplined in all scholastic lore,
             To break the chains which hold that anchor fast,
             And crush the Pow'r disordered seated there.
           Am I the instrument designed by Fate
           To, Euclid-like, from this anarchic whole
           Evolve the laws which shall Disorder deep
           Within the grave entomb and on that throne
           The God of Order seat, and in his hand
           Imperial scepter place, to rule the world
           Politic, as it on its axis rolls,
           Unharmed by venomed darts of turpitude?
             I dreamed of formulating certain laws
             Which economic matters would control.
             The midnight lamp, companion of my toil,
             Has burned in vain. Alas, I see it now.
             When the great "Commoner," of wisdom full,
           A plank within our platform did insert
           That our good ships which coastwise trade would ply
           Should float as free as sea-gull on the wing
           Through that deep channel, by our cunning wrought,
           Which links Pacific's waters to the Gulf,
           I, fool-like, did him earnestly applaud!
           Again my soul in bitterness doth surge
           Because from distant Isles the lightning brings
           Dire words of sour complaint from either clan,
           Which like to gladiators in the ring
           Seem but prepared to battle to the death.
             I listened to the frail but honeyed words
             Of one who held a judgeship in that clime,
             Only to find disgruntlement their source;
             And now it shames me, who have been cock-sure,
             That I should failure see emblazoned there.
             How could I prudence thus have cast aside
             And now my stomach fill with humble pie?
             Alas! my dreams that fed on self-esteem
             Are vanished as the dew before the sun.
_(With energy)_
           Another plank I'll wrench with giant hand.
           And wreck the platform, "if I bust a gut."
    _(Exit to drink an orangeade to quiet his nerves.)_

    _Scene II: The Governor's room._

_Quezox:_  My Liege this Printus stands without the door,
           And seeks admission that he may explain
           His conduct. Shall I, bid him enter here?
_Francos:_ In sooth, good Quezox, doth my spirit yearn
           To quick despatch my business with this man.
            _(Quezox retires and fetches Printus)_
_Quezox:_  Most noble Sire, this gentleman attends?
_Francos:_ Sir, from thy mouth I explanation ask
           As to the import of a message sent
           To high officials of some labor bund
           Voicing complaint anent my conduct here.
_Printus:_ In truth, I little know of this affair.
           These men a grievance feel, for they did come
           At my behest on weighty promise made
           To fill positions which experts alone
           Are proper occupants; and now they fear
           Their stipends may be cut with pruner's knife,
           Which to them each important loss portends
           And dire discomfort work on those they love.
_Francos:_ Hold, Printus, hold! Thy words were idle chaff.
           Dost thou deny the allegation made
           That to the message thy consent wast had?
_Printus:_ I no participation in it took!

_Francos,  (severely:)_
           Thy words do seem to have a double ring.
           But hie thee hence, while I investigate.
           The Democratic creed doth only know
           Complete submission on the henchman's part
           To him who momentary at the helm
           Doth guide the ship of state through calm and storm.
           To think in words, disloyalty proclaims;
           But act subservient fealty do prove.
                     _(Exit Printus)_
_Quezox:_  Most noble Sire, thy courage I admire
           But Somnolent doth wait without the door.
_Francos:_ Ha! He doth quickly to my call respond,
           But bid him enter. I will quick despatch
           The matter which thy urgent hopes demand.
               _(Enter Quezox and Somnolent)_
_Quezox:_  Sire, here is he who holds our wide domain
           Within the hollow of his cunning hand.
_Francos:_ Sweet sire, an era new we usher in,
           And knowing well that thou dost entertain
           Oposing views upon a vital point,
           Twere best for thee to cast the mantle off.
_Somnolent:_ In sooth, good sir, I find our minds as one.
           If Quezox's methods shall perchance obtain,
           'Twere better that some henchman of his choice
           Should do untieing of his fiscal knots.
                       _(Exit Somnolent)_
_Quezox:_  Sire, in the anteroom doth stand McDuff,
           With bearing like a criminal of state,
           Sustained by stubborn pride as he doth walk
           With measured, kingly step unto the block.
_Francos:_ Go bid him enter, and on thy return,
           Take precedence; twere well to demonstrate
           The high esteem which Caesar for thee feels
           And give his party pride a parting dig.
                _(Enter Quezox and McDuff)_
_Quezox:_  My Liege, McDuff, who fills a council seat
           Within the party which has long controlled
           Affairs politic in these tropic Isles,
           Would fain resign the office he now holds.
_Francos, consolingly:_ Events march on, and as the whirligig
           Of time revolves, so 'tis with politics.
           To-day one soars aloft on Vict'ry's wings;
           Tomorrow Fate those pinions proud may clip.
           'Tis here Philosophy a cooling draught
           Kindly present to him who, from his seat,
           Is thrust by Fortune's hand, which killeth not,
           But only girds our loins for battles new.
_McDuff:_  Sir Governor, thy words with wisdom teem.
           I threw the gauge of battle in the ring,
           And for each thrust the enemy did give
           I parried, and with vigor did return
           Each lunge in kind, and now my
           Medicine I gulp and whimper not.
           But look ye, sir! the wheel that now hath turned
           May grind us all between it cruel cogs.
                        _(Exit McDuff)_
_Quezox to Francos, exultingly:_
           A mighty day! a glorious day is here!
           But, Sire, the cleansing work is but begun.
           A joyful paean swells within my breast,
           And I must mouth it, else this heart will burst!
           We'll smite the grafters; smite them hip and thigh;
           Our motto shall be ever, "Do or die."
             We've got 'em on the run,
             And with every rising sun,
             We'll oil the new machine;
             Its blade we'll sharpen keen.
           Revenge shall fill the goblet to the brim,
           And "Pleasure saturnine" shall be our hymn.
_Francos, applauding:_
           'Twere well, sweet Quezox! Thou in happy tone
           Hast voiced a noble sentiment in rhyme.
           But lurking in my mem'ry it doth seem
           That I recall in part those words so apt.
                 _(Francos and Quezox embrace and retire.)_


       *       *       *       *       *


_Scene: A room at No. ... A. Mabini._

Dramatis Personae

_Sir Windbag_ ... _A high official._
_Count Luie_ ..... _Another windbag._

             SIR WINDBAG, _(to Count Luie):_
               "Oh that mine enemy would write a book."
               A wise man in the past hath shrewdly said,
               Knowing full well that when one's thoughts are paged
               They like foul spirits menace peace of mind.
           Alas! 'tis so, when tongue shall like a bird
           Take wing, soaring aloft, and as the wind
           Fly aimless over mountain, hill and dale,
           Until tired nature doth demand repose,
               Why did I Roosevelt as a pattern take
               And boast his doctrines as the wisdom's fount
               From which I drank as a disciple might
               Who worships blindly at his idol's shrine?
           And now these varlets point with taunting grin
           At what my demigod hath ordered here,
           And oh, ye sages, what shall I reply?
           For now his work I purpose to undo.
               When I with eloquence did picture draw
               Of tyranny which from above did flow,
               And with convincing tongue did loud proclaim
               That pow'r should ever from below take root;
               I little dreamed that subtle minds would carp
               And inconsistency against me charge
               For earnest effort which eventuates
               In placing pow'r within the crafty hands
               Of those who long have under Spanish rule
               Imbibed the time clad notion that the few
               Who by the accident of happy birth,
               May make a gold mine of the hapless poor.
           They voice in cutting words that I who late
           Have cast my lot in these downtrodden Isles
           Should study well conditions e'er I speak
           As cock-sure as a teacher to his class.
               I, in triumphant tone, did voice the truth
               That in our homeland stinking graft prevails,
               But, ah! I overlook the damning fact
               That ignorance among our foreign born
               Hath been the hotbed whence this thistle grew,
               And that our Governor did get his boost
               Into the forum through that rotten host
               Which proudly boasts a "Tammany" as its god.
           And do the people of our Empire State
           Evolve the doctrine which I loud proclaimed?
           No! in the dire extremity they laid
           Restraining hand upon the venal mob,
           Sternly refusing "what they know they want"
             But now strong opposition draws the veil,
           And I behold, to me, the starting fact,
           That human minds oft vain illusions hug
           Which time alone hath pow'r that grasp to loose;
           And only then through friction with the world
           Will freedom from provincial slavery
           And mental lassitude be e'er attained.
             When I my glorious deeds with savage tribes
           Did iterate before the gaping throng,
           It seemed to me as to the schoolboy raw
           That ne'er before had such superb exploits
           E'er been achieved by knightly mortal man.
           But now 'tis said my predecessor wrought
           Like wounders in a less ostentious way
           And mine are but a copy of his acts.
           Within my brain indeed are many wheels
           That heretofore have whirled me into place,
           But they ne'er buzzed the fact that in these Isles
           Abode Americans who dare to speak
           In plain derision of officials high;
           Forsooth, I dreamed they at the public trough
           Did feed; but, lo! an army, small but brave,
           Hath thrown its skirmishers into the field
           And offered battle with a cold disdain
           That maketh chills run down my weakening spine
           And causeth question whether my defy
           Was born from Wisdom's or from Folly's womb.
           Quick in my logic's dome where thought doth dwell
           Those wheels whirled out these brilliant, burning words:
           "These varlets have no place within these Isles
           And quick should speed them to their native land;"
           But mem'ry doth recall the "pine-tree" wilds
           Where fate decreed that I should have my birth,
           Only to later bid me wander forth
           And seek asylum in the "Empire State."
               Indeed, it seems that in man dwells a force
               That doth impel adventure from the spot
               Where nature willed that he should ope an eye
               In childish wonder at God's handiwork:
               So here again I, like to hair spring gun
               In careless hand, went off, alas, "half cocked,"
               And now I fear to ope my babbling mouth
               Lest I should put my clumsy foot therein.

           My honest frend, for so I speak thee fair,
           Since thou hast from thy shoulders ever cast
           That damning cloak, Republican in woof.
           And armor of Democracy hast donned,
           Fear not that words so deep an import bear.
           The mob applauds today, but quick forgets.
           I once, before we kenned our party's stand,
           Did lightly tongue imperialistic thoughts.
           The throng did loud applaud my eloquence,
           Which made demand that Filipinos here
           Should be debarred, when they procession form,
           From proudly marching 'neath their flag of state.
               And now my tender bowels do me gripe
               As I reflect that this tyrannic act
               Runs counter to the doctrines thou dost teach,
               Because, you bet, "they know just what they want."

           But will the rabble not thy words recall,
           And like to mud, flung from the grutter deep,
           Will they not sore disfigure and besmirch
           Thy reputation for consistency?

           Fear not; we who do ornament the bar
           Can twist and turn as doth the shuttle-cock,
           And in our mouths today words have a ring
           Which changes with tomorrow's rising sun.

           I quick discern the import of thy speech,
           And in the past have seen it verified.
           If mem'ries of the people were not short,
           Disaster to us patriots would befall.
               When like a parson one can slip the tongue
               And speed it like a race-horse on its course,
               'Tis well; but let some ill-bred boor
               Bold interruption make, in query's form,
               The discourse of its symmetry is shorn,
               While bond of sympathy 'twixt him who speaks
               And those who list receives a brutral shock,
               Which doth demand dexterity to soothe.
           Thus, when I wisdom spouted at the club,
           A man most pestulent did query put
           Anent the spreading of our civic rule
           O'er Moros, if it proved to be the case
           That they demur and, "knowing what they want,"
           Prefer to rule themselves in custom's groove.
               I, loyal to the ethics of our craft
               Tried to becloud the query, and declared
           That Moros loved the Filipinos well.
           But this persistent boor did pin me down
           Until imprudently I answered, "No!"
           And this unwisdom now doth trouble me.

           But, gentle Windbag, these were idle words
           Which on the record have no place. 'Twere well
           To quick erase them from the memory:
           Words only spoken vanish into air.

           Thou dost console me, Luie, and I feel
           A kindred spirit fills thy giant form;
           But tell me, from among thy many friends
           Are hearts that for me beat in sympathy?

COUNT LUIE, _(eying the ceiling):_
           Good Windbag, a searching introspection
           Finds but few, excepting only those
           Who office hold or look with longing eyes
           For vacancies the future may disclose.

           But when "the Man of God" his voice doth raise
           In ecstasy to praise my every word,
           Will not his former flock follow the bell
           Which in the past hath led to pastures green?

               Alas, I fear their memories will point
               To former words, which voiced another song,
               When he did nurse at theologic teat
               And softly chant imperialistic creed.

SIR WINDBAG, _(eagerly):_
           But may not my convincing words have caused
           Conversion to the views of "Era New?"

COUNT LUIE, _(doubtfully):_
           'Twere wiser to ascribe his recent "flop"
           To strong desire to hold a paying job!

           But this Sandixo seems a proper man,
           Who boasts a heart welling with gratitude.
           He eloquent approved my every word,
           And lays his duty wholly at my feet.
           His words do ring as from an honest mould,
           Yet rumor whispers divers ugly tales.
           Thou knowest how his record truly reads:
           How far should confidence extend her hand?

COUNT LUIE, _(hesitatingly):_
           Friend Windbag, if to thee I ope my heart,
           'Twere in strict confidence 'twixt man and man
           For publication I would loud proclaim
           "This man a patriot with noble aims."
               If for opinion private thou dost ask,
               I will a tale unfold much to the point.
               One Quezox, holding now a place of pow'r,
               With tongue of silver did to me extend
               A promise to advance my ev'ry plan
               For preferment to an exalted place.
               Alas! he turned me down with sweet disdain.
               Eating his words, whilst I did gulp down "crow."

           Ah Ha! I see! The game, not fairly played,
           Doth lose its zest, and confidence once lost,
           Like to a maiden's virtue, ne'er can be
           Restored. 'Tis sad, yet though 'tis sad, 'tis true.
               But, honored sir, the hint you give will keep.
               Perhaps this man may look with greedy eye
               Upon some high official post, which we
               Must give because "he knows just what he wants."

           But softly, friend, if this thy doctrine be,
           'Twere best to pack thy grip and ready stand
           To get thee hence; for in these lovely Isles
           There be not seats of honor to go round.

           Ha! Think you this politico aspires
           To _me_ supplant _my_ important post?

           A royal flush; he doth, for in time past,
           'Neath Aguinaldo, he that chair did fill!

           But tell me, is this not a pliant race
           Which skilful hand may at its pleasure mould?

           'Tis said the serpent warming on the breast
           With sting doth ever show its gratitude!

           Thou by enigma seemingly imply
           That all our labors here are but in vain.
           Methought within thy heart dwelt confidence
           In the ability of this proud race
           To guide their ship of state on troubled seas,
           And trim its sails to meet each threat'ning storm.
           But now thy cynicism breeds a fear
           That thy past words do bear "Pickwickian sense."

           Sir Windbag, thou unto our party grand
           Art but a convert new, and needs must learn
           That platforms are the Bible which we read,
           And to them we do blindly pin our faith.
           If one has doubts, he, like a Christian true,
           Must stifle them and reason throw aside,
           'Tis thus we from the Sunny South do act,
           When facts run counter to our party creed.

           Alas! I in my innocence did deem
           The words you uttered in the last campaign
           Did true portray the situation here,
           But now I fear they were but party gush.
               But, ah! "The pen is mightier than the sword."
               These venomed quills must be from porcupine;
               For deeper do they bore, as I reflect
               That I invited all their smarting wounds.
               I sought to give their idol Worcester but
               His proper place by "damning with faint praise;"
               And now they prod me as the muleteer
               Doth goad his jackass when he thoughtless brays.

           But, sir, remember that the ass can kick,
           And that when kicking, asses never bray,
           So gird your armor on and lop each head
           Who hath at your dilemma dared to scoff.

           But Riggs! he hath in beaten trail proclaimed
           What the old regimen hath always mouthed.
           While I the "Era New" did bold announce,
           And now my head is crowned with pricking thorns.

COUNT LUIE, (_reflectively_):
           Thine adversaries, though at vantage now,
           Should be subdued by strategy and guile.
           I from sore strait triumphant did emerge
           Through trenchant pen of a compatriot.
               This noble scion of Democracy
               Did wield a telling blow in my behalf
               And thrust the adversary 'neath the rib,
               Laying him low in controversial dust.

SIR WINDBAG, (_eagerly_):
           His name? his name? that I may quick engage
           This champion to bolster up my cause.

COUNT LUIE, (_whispers mysteriously_):
           He is but small in stature, but, ye goods,
           His valor fits his name, which is, La Mutt.



Dramatis Personae

_Francos:_ . . . . . _High Cockalorum._
_Sir Higgs:_ . . . . _First High Councillor._
_Sir Henmart:_ . . . _Second Councillor._
_Sir Windbag:_ . . . _Third Councillor._

_Scene: Official Residence._

           I greet thee, gentlemen, to conclave sweet.
           Wisdom hath whispered in mine willing ear
           That we uncumbered by the darker tint
           Of those who meet us at official board
           Could better sound the depths of special woes
           Which daily do beset us as we toil
           With earnest hearts to boost the public weal
           By filling vacant posts with Democrats!

           But, Francos, list; a more disturbing mob,
           Whose crop is filled with discord and contempt,
           On which they daily feed, I ne'er have sized.
           'Twere well to laws enact to hold in curb
           These brainless cubs who wield a pricking quill
           And words indite with vitriol for an ink,
           Which burns the meaning into quiv'ring brain
           And leaveth scars which time can ne'er efface.
           A son of Erin in official place
           Did eulogize my effort at the club;
           And I, elated, loaned it to the press
           For publication if the writer willed;
           But scruples seemed to fill his vacuous mind,
           Hence it was hidden from the public gaze.
           Now it hath disappeared, and Rumor saith
           'Tis to be published in a stealthy way.
           Zounds! 'tis enough to cause the blood to course
           Like mercury adown the burning veins.
           Could I but lay my eager hands upon
           The thiefly neck, I'd wring it with good zest.

           But, Windbag; why didst thou thy tongue unloose,
           And set it wagging vaporings and froth?
           Thou mightest have known the foe didst ready stand
           To thrust thy words adown thy choking throat.
           Imprudence on its shoulders ever bears
           A burden which may crush its author down;
           'Twere best to keep the pen in constant leash,
           For, words, indited not, work little harm.

           But softly, Sire, Thy record is not clean,
           If but tradition wears a truthful garb.
           Plug hats and coats of a latest Tammany style
           And "pleasure saturnine" did figure cut
           When first thy mouth did voice the burning thoughts
           That trickled from a brain much overwrought
           By meditation on conditions here
           Which bore so heavy on this downtrod race.

           Alas! 'tis true. Indoctrined by the words
           So eloquently voiced by one who long
           Hath dwelt within this city, where before
           The bar he wondrous reputation gained,
           I waited not to form a judgment sound,
           But leaning on a faith of fiction born,
           Awoke to find selfseeking underneath
           Each silver work this vampire spouted forth.

           Francos, indeed thou hast my sympathy
           For this fat prophet wore an honest mien
           So that e'en I who boast a subtile brain
           Did fall before his wordy blandishments.
           'Tis well! we then are quits. But why this call?
           What matter of great import draws us here?

FRANCOS: _(to Windbag)_
           The welfare of our party is at stake.
           "Our" is the word, for thou the Rubicon
           Hast crossed, and henceforth--lest thou bolt again--
           Deep in our councils, e'er thy duty calls.

           Most honored sirs, why this entanglement?
           Both, through the want of deep experience,
           Have, as the sacred writer once did say,
           "Over the whiffle trees foolishly kicked."

           Ha, Ha! Sir Higgs, the Bible saith not so!
           But but let it pass. We politicians read
           The party platform more than sacred word,
           And make it standard for our daily lives.

           But, sirs, the matter pertinent this hour
           Involves the honor of our party's name.
           When first I reached these shores, one Seldonskip,
           As scrivener, did bear me company.
           Alas! he captive fell to woman's wiles
           And with a former gallant measured arms
           Hence I was forced, if peace were to be kept,
           To send him "kiting" to his distant home.
           This strippling came of Democratic stock,
           Hence, to protect our party from dire shame,
           I tried to keep the cause of his deport
           A secret close, within official halls.
           But emissaries from the spying press
           Did quick discern the matter and did blaze
           It on the pages of their various sheets
           And point with scorn at Democratic worth!

           But, Sire, 'tis in the past, and what have we
           To do with fool gyratings of this callow youth?
           In Kansas we do low within the grave
           Deep bury memories that prove unkind.

           Ah, sir, thy words deep meaning ever bear,
           And if the past were all I'd bid it sleep.
           But now a new distemper hath appeared;
           For one who was selected for his worth
           And whom I boasted as a model man,
           Within whose veins did course a newer blood,
           Hath fool-like fallen on his knees before
           The goddess Venus, and to Bacchus fell
           A willing victim; while his babbling mouth
           Did spew dire boastings of official pull,
           While Folly's goblet filled unto the brim
           Slopped over, when in wordy contest, he
           With _green_-winged parrot did engage, and fain
           Its neck would there have wrung because its hue
           Proclaimed not sympathy with those who bear
           The orange flag when they procession make!
           The guardsmen of the peace should ever soar
           On wings of probity and moral worth
           As Erin's Isle had furnished many such
           I deemed I'd found a jewel in the rough;
           But when there trickled through the spying press
           A literary effort from his pen,
           Wherein he said a woman "clumb" a wall
           My faith in his attainments quick did fade.

           But, Sire, this dire misfortune comes in trail
           Of boosting all who wear the party tag.
           If I should speak the promptings of my heart,
           'Twould to be give this fool a parting kick.

           But there be may in this bristling mob
           Who slur at all who from proud Caesar's hand
           Have gladly licked the crumbs his bounty gave
           To soothe the hunger of his starving host.

           Ha! Thou hast hit the nail upon the head,
           These bumpkins must not have a new made food
           For laughter at our misadventure here,
           Hence it were wise to send this fellow off
           As if he in the path of duty treads.
           Nor must we breathe but that his quick return
           Will fill expectant hearts with honest joy,
           Thus may we darken shades of memory.

           But did this officer a contest wage,
           With her whose heart went out unto her bird?

           What! hast thou heard, on wings of rumor borne,
           This matter in full detail free discussed?

           Sir, 'tis but common chatter on the streets.
           And naught can hide it from the public gaze.

           Alas, there is one remedy in view
           We all must strong denial ever make.
           Oh, that one of the scum so strong entrenched
           Had by his conduct rendered me a chance!
           I would his vileness on the nonce have voiced,
           But now 'twere best to cloud this matter well.

           Methinks this scuttling goes too far by half
           In ousting tried officials from their posts.
           'Twere wise to zeal politic well repay,
           But still, efficiency should ever bring
           Reward. And this, indeed, involves us all,
           For dire distempers in the tropics breed:
           Hence it were best to kindly caution woo.

           Sir Higgs, indeed thou ever reasonst well.
           Sore ills encompass us on every side
           And now do pests my happy home invade,
           Bearing dire fevers on their pigmy wings,
           Alas, the song they sing rejoiceth that
           Efficient doctors, who did battle wage
           Against them, are removed and in their place
           Incompetents installed. Indeed, their stings
           Convincing plea do ever make that we
           Should quick return to paths trodden before
           And wage crusade against the swarming pests
           Until their songs are legends of the past.

           But hold, sweet Francos: did not God design
           That e'en the insect should his life enjoy?
           Indeed, his joyous song of gratitude
           Doth only cease that he may puncture make
           To meet requirements which God hath ordained.
           Hence it were well to nature's laws obey,
           For e'en this insect, as it wings its way,
           Hath fond desire, and "_knows just what it wants_."

FRANCOS, SIR HIGGS and HENMART (_in concert:_)
           Oh Rats! Rats!! Rats!!!



Dramatis Personae

_Francos_ . . . . . _High Cockalorum._
_Sir Henmart_ . . . _Vice Cockalorum._
_Sir Higgs_ . . . . _Councillor._
_Sir Windbag_ . . . _Councillor._
_Col. Toady_  . . . _Grand Enumerator._

_Scene: Executive Chamber._

           Ah! woe is me, my gentle councillors.
           Again has treason shown its slimy head;
           And from its source, I fear me, it doth bode
           But ill to us, who God's anointed are.
           If pedagogues may raise disdainful voice
           And gross abuse on the elect bestow
           Can safety from vituperation vile
           From out this rotten mob be e'er assured?

           Good Francos, as this matter emanates
           From out the sphere of my prerogative,
           I feel a special sorrow doth becloud
           The sunny pathway which I late have trod.
           I find it difficult to blaze my way;
           The competent among my teaching corps
           Are those who dare opinions firm to form;
           If loyalty alone shall be test,
           'Twill leave us but a small unthinking host,
           And then efficiency will find its grave
           Within the tomb of our official rage.

           But Caesar grieveth that his mighty star,
           Which in the human firmament doth shine
           So brightly that it lighteth up the world,
           Should be bespattered by this inky mud.

           Ah, it were sacrilege to thus befoul
           The mighty soul whose penetration deep
           Hath by selection brought this galaxy
           Of excellence to lead this groping state
           In paths which lead to freedom and to pow'r.

           Alas, 'twas ever thus. I, in the past,
           Have suffered from the pricks of nagging quills,
           And all who mount aloft on fortune's wing
           Must bear with ripe philosophy such ills.

           But loyalty! In Tammany I learned
           That duty meek, subservient, should mark
           The underlings, who but a stairway make
           By which capacity doth climb to pow'r.
           Efficiency! it were an idle word,
           And rings not soundly on politic ear;
           Obedience, the watchword e'er should be.
           To do and not to think we must demand.
           The welfare of our party e'er should be
           Our slogan even in this wilderness;
           And he who doth as critic act a part
           Should quickly feel the headsman's shining blade.

           But, sire, from signs I read on every hand
           If such a policy were long pursued
           We must import from out our native land
           More Loyal Democrats, who longing wait
           To most efficiently infuse "new blood"
           Where now stagnation makes the veins turn blue.

           Right, right you are! I know an anxious host
           Who long have languished from the want of pap,
           And once were they turned loose, the energy
           So long stored up would vivify this state,
           But this fool civil service bars the way--
           It should be thrust aside for party's good.

           Thy words do to my willing ear appeal,
           But our politic foes are strong entrenched,
           While mockish sentiment doth strongly point
           To danger, if we cast the scoundrels out.

           But, sire, in Washington they work a plan
           Which, while it seems to vindicate the law,
           Roots out the vermin by _demoting_ them,
           And thus our Southern veterans find a place.

           But, friends, doth prudence warrant such a step?
           Already inefficiency doth creep
           Into each bureau till our revenues
           Do warning give that we must now beware.

           But, gentlemen, our salaries are sure;
           If needs must be, cut down and slyly pare
           Along the line where least resistance lies,
           And on our predecessors throw the blame.

           But Caesar an accounting will demand
           Should this frail craft be wrecked or run aground,
           For he doth wish to cast it soon adrift
           With crew well drilled to threatening shoals avoid.

           Here wisdom surely speaks in trumpet tones,
           And hence we must adventure wisely make
           To guide the vessel on its way with care
           And launch it as a well-manned sturdy craft;
           Then, whatsoe'er befalls them, we can wash
           Our hands, for they by importunity
           Most strong, will then have ventured on the cruise
           In unknown seas where dangers dark do dwell.

           Ha! well we know the course the ship will take
           With men of color standing at the helm;
           But let them reap the tares which they have sown,
           We care not if they cut each other's throats.

           But, gentle sir, if they desire to war,
           Why should we hinder such a sportive game?
           They own those isles, and why should we debar
           Them pastimes, for "they know just what they want."

           But, sirs, we wander from the vital point.
           I called this conclave to impress with force
           The import great of sifting from our ranks
           Those evil-minded men, whose loyalty
           Is doubtful, and may bring lasting reproach
           Upon our policies, and thus besmirch
           The reputation of that Jove-like pair
           That rules the destiny of our great state.

           Ha, thou hast said! In all the universe,
           No other souls, like these, can quick discern
           Great worth combined with mental attributes
           Which qualify for high official place:
           When in these isles a census must be made
           Their eagle eyes discerned my hiding place
           And then perceiving qualities most rare
           Demanded that I serve the public weal!

           And me! Hid in my happy prairie home,
           They tore me thence, all for the nation's good!

SIR WINDBAG (_striking his manly breast_):
           I, too, inherent qualities possess
           Which caused those mental eyes to hunt me out!

           But, gentlemen, this state is honeycombed
           With treason dark unto the pow'rs that be.
           Even our party men, with cold disdain,
           Look on our policy with covert sneer.
           Some few there are who grovel in the mire,
           But most deport themselves with silent mien;
           These should be watched, and when the moment comes
           Where opportunity her hand extends,
           We should her aid accept, and lop those heads
           Which placed on shoulders square with spine erect
           Dare in the privacy of social life
           To breathe disloyalty to us who rule.

           Ah, sire, sweet music to mine ears thy words
           Do make. Within my university
           Some loyal souls have in epistles sweet
           Breathed loyalty. Such should the passport be.
           And if this document cannot be shown
           It were sure proof that in the rebel heart
           Treason doth lurk and only hides its head
           To firmly hold position, at our hands.

           But, Windbag, dost thou not perceive that the
           Vile press, which here opinion seems to form,
           Would placard on its pages with great glee
           That civil service hath been swept aside?
           No! we must, with the Indian's guile, our track
           Cover insinuatingly, and wise.
           But vigilance should be our slogan now
           That we may spy out each disloyal rogue.

           This civil service is a brittle shield
           When pure Democracy doth wield the sword,
           And were it strong, the rebel that it guards
           Can be unhorsed by stabbing in the back.

           O happy thought! within my secret heart
           I long have cherished it. Now to your posts--
           And for the conflict buckle on the sword.
           Disloyalty to Tinio avenge!

           While I'll take little part in this crusade,
           Still it doth pleasure me most mightily
           When I reflect that every head lopped off
           Affords much joy to some good Democrat.
           'Twere wise to little say unto the mob
           For it each idle word will subtile twist,
           But smile, and smile, yet keep the guillotine
           Well oiled and ready for its cleaning work.

_All sing with great gust except Sir Higgs who beats time
with a baton presented by the Secretary of War:_

           "We're living in a hotbed of sedition;
           These "rats" have been infected by tradition.
           If we can't smoke them out
           And give our friends a place,
           We'll plug the rat holes up
           And thus we'll save our face,
           Hence we must wage the battle stern and hearty;
           These posts must serve as flagstaffs for our party."

           "Hip, Hip, Hurrah! Hip, Hip, Hurrah!! Hip, Hip, Hurrah!!!
                                 and a
                             Tammany Tiger!"

                                                OLD FOGY.



Dramatis Personae

_Count Luie_
_Tightwad Twins_
_A Band of Minstrels_

_Scene: A Garden Bower_

           The day hath shed its gauzy veil of light,
           As evening's sable gown usurps its place.
             Hear the night bird sweetly singing
             While through space her way she's winging,
             Melody she's gaily flinging
             Peace and joy with twilight bringing
           If Care's dull day, while beck'ning to the night,
           Hath us depressed let Joy now show his face.

           Son of Arion, from Castalia's fount
           Where melody divine doth bubble forth,
           Thou must thy thirst have slaked with copious drafts
           For gods alone inspire such sounds divine.

           'Twere well the cares of day to toss aside
           And welcome evening's quiet with a smile,
           But we who here in solemn conclave meet
           Can squander moment few to court the Muse;
           Stern duty calls, and to each patriot ear
           'Tis music sweet, to which he quick responds,
           Then to the council board let us repair
           And these the mysteries of state evolve.

           Time swiftly flies with heading on her wings.
           From out the eastern skies where Caesar dwells,
           The lightnings flash reports that should rejoice
           Each loyal heart within this island realm.
           Soon, senators with dignity enrobed
           Will grace the halls of our enfranchised state,
           And then the padlock which our lips now close
           Shall like a useless toy to be cast side.
           Then can we voice unto the list'ning world
           Those noble aspirations long confined
           Lest their frank utterance should work us ill
           And closer seal the bonds which hold us fast.
           For, what concessions our oppressors make,
           Can never be withdrawn; and when they see
           That folly prompted all, 'twill be in vain,
           And we can their discomfort laugh to scorn.

           O, for the days when under Spanish rule
           _Costumbre_ firmly anchored on her throne
           Disdainfully did innovation block
           Whene'er it threatened danger to our peace;
           Then every _tao_ in his wonted place
           Was taught that sweet contentment with the lot
           Which his creator had to him assigned
           Epitome of virtue did proclaim.
           But now dire discontent doth stalk abroad
           And with a vitriol tongue disturbance make
           Through pedagogues, imported from a land
           Which recognizes not distinction wise.

           Thou hast my thoughts in happy words expressed.
           When once the _tao_ has his A B C
           Well hammered in his stupid mulelike skull
           He ever looks on toil with proud disdain
           And even for _zapatos_ fondly yearns,
           While now that Francos hath the fashion set
           By proclamation as he neared our isles
           These callow youths may covet stove pipe hats.

           Alas, I fear these happy days when we
           Can loll in cooling shades while others toil
           For us, on stipends which like widow's mite
           Are small: will in the future disappear.
           These men who prate of slavery in these isles
           Do know full well that witness false they bear.
           We buy not souls and on the record place
           Their names among the chattels which we own,
           But their life's labor for a certain sum
           We purchase, when in times of sorry stress
           They fain prefer it thus, rather than starve;
           But slavery! The Orient knows it not.

           And usury! 'Tis an offensive word:
           Our enemies, like arrow from the bow,
           Are aiming it to pierce our very heart
           While 'tis a practice which _costumbre_ shields.
           The slothful servant, so the Good Book says,
           Was he who in a napkin hid his gold;
           But he who shrewdly other talents made
           The Master praised, and to him also gave
           The unused talent which he wisely took
           From him who slothfully no effort made
           To double that which in his care was placed,
           And thus by usury much wealth amass;
           Yet the _Americanos_ from this learn
           No wisdom, but forthwith condemn
           The teachings of the Savior of Mankind
           Which we with thrift and energy apply.

           And so again the Bible aptly says
           That he who careth for his family not
           Is worse than he who infidelity
           Doth to his breast with loving arms enfold.

           Alas, 'tis innovation they enthrone
           Within the halls of science where they steal
           Our trusty dogs to torture in the name
           Of progress, while our hearts indignant burn.

           Again, in terms opprobrious they mouth
           Anent our noble elevating sport
           Where our illustrious citizens do meet
           And in the cockpit spend a happy hour.

           And while we read that patriarchs of old
           Did revel in the arms of beauty fair,
           But now when we _queridas_ do embrace
           Like lions caged _Americanos_ roar:
           Our customs sacred made by hand of time
           Are most irrev'rent treated by these men.
           O, for the day when Spain did rule supreme,
           For they, the "haughty Dons," did sympathize
           With us in taste, and in our native sports
           Joined with a hearty zest which proved them men;
           But now, where'er we turn, obstacles rise
           To curb and mar, until our lives seem drear.

           Alas, our beardless youths seem satisfied
           With club in hand to pass at fleeting ball
           Or chase it, monkey-like, in open field
           Thus throwing dignity unto the winds.

           And those who from the hand of Boreas filched
           Congealment's art, which did _dinero_ put
           Within their well filled purse, as day by day
           They fattened on the appetites of those
           Who loved a cooling draft more than the pelf
           Which is alas the seed that germinates
           To form a mighty tree which time enfruits
           With greed which sours the eager mouth it feeds.
           We did a statute draw with cunning hand
           To guard this enterprise of worthy aim,
           But now the enemy hath broke our guard
           And Ice a gold mine now no longer is;
           Hence we must hedge our various rights about
           With laws, as soon as Jones hath made his play.
           No Filipino hunts the hills for gold.
           _Americanos_ show this vulgar greed,
           And so we'll tax them: _tax them till they squeal_!
           Then they may in disgust depart this land,
           While we, just for a song, may gobble up
           The claims which they so long uncertain sought.

           Francos is honest, hence were easy fooled;
           But we suspicion in his mind must plant.
           We are but few who hold the purse strings here,
           And union sweet: we to our aid must call
           Those who have tarried long within our walls.
           The saints, be praised, are weak and pow'rless now,
           For Francos stubbornly disdains them all,
           And hence our scheming he will ne'er discern.

           Well said: the vultures which are nested here
           Have eyes that cat-like pierce the deepest shades,
           And were these men in high official place
           'Twere vain attempt to work our deep laid plans.

           We long have profit made from rentals high
           And quiet sat, while, like the cormorant
           We gulped sweet morsels from their quiv'ring flesh;
           But soon we must their very forms devour.

           But we must ever wear engaging smile
           While poisoned chalice off'ring to their lips;
           Hence we should caution woo, lest she doth warn
           Him who the offered cup would fool-like taste.

_Count Luie: Enter: with fanfare: bowing right and left._

           But honor ever should be kept in view--
           No spot should tarnish her encircling robe.

COUNT LUIE (_grandiloquently_):
           But what is honor? 'tis a slip'ry word
           Which oft is used vile turpitude to hide;
           She smiles on those who Mount Parnassus climb;
           On those who fail, she casts disdainful frown.
           O, fickle world, which kneels before success
           No matter how its Idol was enthroned!
           Hence, one to pow'r attain should scruple not,
           For it were balm which cureth ev'ry ill.

                        _Great Sensation_

           Here speaks a friend of those who do aspire
           To build a nation from these many isles;
           His mind doth soar above all selfish thoughts;


           But Windbag, at the club, with honeyed tongue
           Did seem to love the Filipinos well,
           But when a high official his support
           Did need, rumor doth says, a scowling face
           He turned upon him, and he e'en did threat
           That prosecution might be his stern fate;
           And had not Francos wisely intervened
           This noble _Ilustrado_ might e'en now
           Be close entombed in Bilibid!

           But here Americanos showed their hand
           And were disloyal to their bureau chief:
           But had escribiente's of our race
           Unseated been, then all indeed were well.

           But, friends, this Windbag is no Democrat--
           In school Republican, he hath been trained.
           That spark divine of loyalty to friends
           He knoweth not, else he had Francos-like
           O'erlooked with kindly eye the trifling graft
           Of scheming for the welfare of his friends.
           That perquisites of office do allow
           Much freedom is a Democratic creed.

           But Windbag said they know just what they want
           And strongly urged that our desires be met.

           But friends, he like all converts new, did try
           To prove his loyalty to his new creed.
           Those words were only chosen to arraign
           His predecessors at the homeland bar;
           Thus politics doth in its various forms
           Seem quite erratic to the layman's mind.
           _But trust in ME!_ I from my southern home
           Have come to dwell in this God-favored land,
           And when those men have hied them to their homes
           I still will like a rock breast every wave
           And on my judgment clear, in state affairs,
           The grateful Filipinos may depend.

           Ah, here's a man who boasts a mighty mind
           That doth compare unto his giant form;
           Long Live Count Luie! When the tide shall turn
           Our grateful hearts will hasten his reward.

COUNT LUIE: (_assuming a pose of great dignity_):
           Thanks, noble friends, my heart with gratitude
           Doth well, like gutter after April show'r.


               _It's like taking candy from the baby._


                      _"THE POLITICO'S ODE"_

              _(To the tune that the Old Cow died on)_

_Count Luie hums the air an octave lower with a self-satisfied
             smile, thinking he is singing bass:_


           We Filipinos are a noble race,
           With aspirations soaring to the sky;
           The love of country glows on every face,
           And philanthropic love from every eye.
           The life God gave, we know how to enjoy;
           If left alone, 'twere bliss without alloy,
           But these _Americanos_ come along
           And try to make us think that right is wrong:


           They say we ought to toil from morn till night,
           And seem to think fiestas are all wrong;
           They kick because we let our roosters fight.
           And make Work! Work!! the burden of their song.
             But why should we be toiling,
             What need our hands of soiling,
             While plenteous fruits are growing;
             With bounteous Nature flowing?


           Taft says we are artistic, which is true;
           We see no need of everlasting toil,
           Our minds have higher things always in view
           Than delving in the black and dirty soil.
             To be assemblymen is our desire,
             Or, failing that, we want some office high'r.
             That's why we want th' _Americano_ band
             Hustled, forthwith, from out our suff'ring land:


           We want America to guard our state,
           Because we couldn't do it all alone;
           We want the offices at any rate
           We'll eat the meat and let them pick the bone
             While they are us defending;
             With chicken fights unending
             We'll pass our days in pleasure;
             We'll drink from joy's full measure.



Dramatis Personae

_Count Luie:_ . . . . . _A Democratic Wheel-horse (Toast Master)._
_Sir Obreon:_ . . . . . _A Counsellor._
_Sir La Mutt:_  . . . . _A Literatus._
_Filipino Ilustrados and Politicos._
_Several died-in-the-wool Democrats._

                 _Scene: Hotel de Francosa._

           Noble compatriots, I greet thee well.
           When war's ensanguined plain in tears of blood
           Weeps for the fallen in a worthy cause,
           'Twere well for us bereaved to sing their praise
           And thus commemorate their sacrifice.
             In all great battles, triumph oft doth hinge
             On questions small, but oft of great import;
             No matter if the sacrifice be great,
             So long as victory doth greet our clan.
           We trembled at the clamours of the mob
           And feared results, from its prophetic tone;
           But now we laugh to scorn their idle boasts,
           For we from out the fleshpots still can feed.
             And now in concert we would fain rejoice,
             While mourning for the fallen in the fray.
             Hence, if some loyal soul can requ'em voice,
             'Twere fit and proper in this fun'ral hour.
           One consolation, disappointment soothes:
           With fewer numbers in our shattered ranks,
           Appointments to positions are the same,
           And so each patriot holds a _flusher hand_.

                     _(Enthusiastic applause.)_

           But, sire, it were a sacrifice most vain.
             Had renegades from out our glorious clan
             Not pictured formerly in public mind
             That rule Republican indeed were wise.
             And so dissatisfaction, like to yeast,
             Deep in the thoughtless mob did swell to burst
             Because our party purposed to at once
             Enfranchise this unhappy down-trod race.

           But should we here our dirty linen air,
           And so a weapon place in varlet hand?
           Methinks 'twere wise to bury in the past
           Those petty broils and bravely forward march.

             Ah! it were easy for a looker-on
             To counsel peace between a man and wife,
             But were he in the broil himself involved,
             Philosophy were physic all too weak
             To cure the wounds made by a rasping tongue,
             Which time doth canker as the cancer grows
             Until at last the surgeon with his knife
             Alone can the distemper dire outroot.

           Count Louie, thou hast voiced my very thought!
           Traitors who fellowship with filthy graft
           And find one single virtue in the creed
           Of these Republicans who long have ruled
           These Islands with despotic, cruel hand,
           Until their tyranny doth smell to Heav'n,
           Indeed should find no place to lay their heads
           Within the bounds of Democratic fold.

             Ah, lack-a-day! If thus we fail to rise
             Above the narrow prejudice whose birth
             Took place, alas, beneath warm southern skies,
             Then we must be content to walk the plank
             When two years hence the people seal our doom.
             Success, indeed, should be our only aim;
             Hence bury childish griefs deep in the grave.

           Enough, my friends, enough! But we did come
           To mingle joy and grief o'er the results
           That follow combat at the public polls:
           Grief for the vanquished, joy for party spoils.

             But Sire, why should we mourn for those who fell?
             Those turncoats of the money-loving North
             Deserve the fate that traitor e'er should know.
             We of the South did loyally uphold
             Our honor in the combat, for but one
             Did fall before the golden calf, and he
             Deep in Louisiana's shades did dwell,
             Where sugar sweet did blind the public eye.

           And can it be that thou dost not discern
           That else we from the North do draw support,
           Our party will, as in the dreary past,
           From out the pale in vain with hungry eyes
           Behold our enemies safely entrenched
           Lapping with greedy tongue successe's broth
           From out the flesh-pets, which we, fool-like, placed
           Before them by our squabling party feuds.

           Sir Obreon, methinks thy mental grasp
           Of things politic is indeed but dim.
           The "Constitution" is a weapon grand.
           The Democratic party when in war,
           To closer weld the bonds which held the slave,
           E'en then did show earnest solicitude
           Lest the cold-blooded North should not observe
           That sacred instrument, but it should break
           By sending men of war from out their states
           To subjugate us of the knightly South.
             Our party hath indeed a record grand.
             Its _flexibility_ to all demands
             Doth admiration claim from all the world.
             Today it loud proclaims "sixteen to one;"
             Tomorrow to the golden calf it kneels.
             Today those stars we worship in our flag
             As emblematic of each sovereign state;
             Tomorrow we demand the "stars and bars"
             Supplant them as Imperialistic sign.

           But would not that involve the speedy death
           Of that grand song which we have learned to love,
           The song which doth demand that those bright stars
           Shall wave in triumph through the ages long?

             Oh we could substitute for it our hymn
             Which fired paternal hearts in sixty-one;
             The "Bonny Blue Flag" doth have a smoother ring,
             Or "Dixy" might supplant the time-worn song!

           Ah "Dixie" were indeed a noble air
           And caryeth upon its varied strains
           Our mun'ries back to those embattled days
           When our forebears did war a vandal host.

A DEMOCRAT (_with wool not deeply dyed_)
           I fear the people's hearts in northers climes
           Are wedded to the flag as it did wave
           When they were battling for the nation's life
           And ne'er such innovation would approve.

             When we like game-cocks strut and fiercely crow,
             These men _for sake of peace_ e'er knuckle down
             Fear not, for we are in the saddle now,
             And so the charger yieldeth to the spur.

COUNT LOUIE: (_continues earnestly_)
           And when the debt gigantic which was made
           To war our fathers till they bit the dust,
           Matured, our party instinct did invent
           A method to repudiate the claim
           By paying greenback printed nice and clean,
           But which with gold would never be redeemed.
           Alas! those Yankee soldiers called the bluff
           And once again encompassed our defeat.
             While principles unchanging we declare,
             Yet what, indeed, is it that changeth not?
             Why, every Democrat should early know
             That to obtain the offices is but
             The one unchanging principle at stake,
             And every effort that we these attain.
             Should spur us on; like as "Toreador"
             Doth flaunt his robe to blind unreas'ning eyes,
             So we the "Constitution" e'er should wave,
             Attention to distract from tender points
             Of history which forward not out cause.

           Sir Count, what should we hide from public gaze?
           I and the President came from a stock
           Which helped to build a mighty common wealth.
           'Tis true, in time of stress our father stood
           In serried ranks to tear the structure down
           And on its ruins build a fairer state
           With negro slavery its cornerstone.
             Alas! the northern "mudsills" did prevail,
             And now the white supremacy is held
             By shrewdly circumventing vicious laws,
             We Southerners within this tropic clime
             Do sympathize with these illustr'ous men
             Who here to night their presence happ'ly lend
             To join us in our tears and in our joys
_(Turning to the Filipinos.)_
           We are your friends; Republicans, your foes,
           For they indeed would raise the tao up
           And fill his head with notions most unwise,
           Just as they seek to place on equal terms
           Our "servants" in the sunny southland clime.
           There lurks one serpent in our city leal
           Of whom beware! for he is full of guile.
           But once when he Count Luie did attack
           I counter-thrust did give with my deft pen;
           And though I flayed him in my treachant style,
           He, being slow of wit, did know it not;
           And as "Old Fogy" he doth often spout
           His forthy nonsense in the daily press.
             But now I speak in no uncertain terms
             Of our great President; for I and he
             Are intimates as only those can be
             We meet on terms of mental equity.
           Hence trust in me! For I will quick advise
           Him as to matters in these lovely Isles.
           Sweet friends, there is a bond which holds us fast:
           You aimed your guns to riddle that old flag
_(Points to the stars and stripes dramatically, drawing up
                     his commanding figure.)_
           And while we Democrats it ne'er assailed
           _(Rises on his toes and with a baseball voice.)_
           Yet know ye, that our fathers did the same.
     _(Great applause by some, others hang their heads.)_

             With gratitude I do at once recall
             When good La Mutt did to my aid repair.
             And he so scared mine adversary then
             That I in pity did not e'en retort.
             For there are times when with a cold disdain
             One soars aloft and sees a pigmy not.
             Twere vain to argue with a half-fledged mind,
             Thus casting pearls before ignoble swine.

           But victory still sitteth on our perch,
           And yet we ratify in pensive tones.
           Let joy now reign, let vain regrets depart,
           And for small favors thank the God of Hosts.

             A good majority sits in the house,
             Enough to give us independence still,
             Then what eventuates _without our land_
             We care not so we grasp the reigns of state.

           After refreshments (_smacks his lips_) we will then adjourn,
           And if some Southern gentleman desires,
           We will repair unto a private room
           And in a game of poker spend the night,
           Thus celebrating in a proper way
           A victory indeed of doubtful cast.
             But to our joy affix a deep regret,
             For that proud list of eighty warring knights
             Who fell with faces always to the front
             Yet ready stand to wage anew the fight
             Whene'er their ears close to their mother earth
             Shall hear the call to office once again.
      For once a politician wins the race,
      He like an warhorse smells the battle far
      And to his dying day doth live in hope
      That grateful country may make its demand.
_(Close by singing an ode to the air;
            "Hark, from the Tomb a Doleful Sound")_
      Sleep! martyrs, sleep! till resurrection morn,
        When sounding trump shall call to office sweet;
      Republicans may grin with silent scorn,
        But we like hungry pigs still smell the teat.


Transcriber's Note (continued), and Errata

Transcriber's Note:

There has been a suggestion that this book may have been
self-published; the style and layout are not necessarily consistent.
Some of the round brackets (stage directions) are italicised, along
with their contents; others are not. Different fonts were used for
headings, and there were a couple of letters which were not the same font
or size as the rest of the word. There was even one letter 'o' which
appeared to be upside down, or, perhaps, a mirror-image.

Italic words or phrases are enclosed in _ and _. (An _italic phrase_.
_This is an italic sentence._)

Errata--old typos:

I have corrected only the blatantly obvious old typos; less obvious
ones I have retained. (e.g. 'They', which could be 'Thy'; 'Tis', which
should be ''Tis'; 'Twere', which is sometimes ''Twere'; 'gentlement'
(for whatever reason ...); Dissapoint, for disappoint; 'Oposing' for
'Opposing' (well, maybe he couldn't spell). )

Page 21: 'showly' corrected to 'slowly'. (Seldonskip walks slowly on.)

Page 22: 'throug' corrected to 'throng'. ('Tis thus I guard this
weakling from the throng.)

Page 26: corrected 'solt' to 'soft'. (... soft words clothed with a

Page 28: 'Freeding on coconuts'...: [sic]

Page 28: 'He'd mightyq uick' corrected to 'He'd mighty quick'.

Page 29: comma corrected to period. (Secretary of the Governor.)

Page 29: corrected 'sometinies' to 'sometimes'. (But sometimes action
swift doth breed regreet; [sic])

Page 31: 'bo' corrected to 'be'. (... to be obeyed.)

Page 35: 'Genileman' corrected to 'Gentleman' (1st Gentleman (indignant))

Page 35: ',dukes" corrected to "dukes". (... put up your "dukes" ...)

Page 35: 'whspers' corrected to 'whispers'. (2nd Gentleman (whispers))

Page 40: 'conncil' corrected to 'council'; 'behin' corrected to
'behind'; 'ot' corrected to 'of'.

Page 42: 'gallanthy' corrected to 'gallantly'.

Page 44: 'monlder' corrected to 'moulder'.

Page 45: 'crat' [sic] ... error for 'craft'? or, possibly, the generic
suffix used as a noun (e.g. bureaucrat)?

Page 45: 'bath' corrected to 'hath'. (... for it hath no ground).

Page 48: 'ef' corrected to 'of'. (... the mystery of being ...).

Page 49: 'wiht' corrected to 'with'. (With energy).

Page 49: 'Seene' corrected to 'Scene'. (Scene II).

Page 49: 'Mest' corrected to 'Most'. (Most noble Sire ...).

Page 50: 'eacn' corrected to 'each'. (... each important loss ...).

Page 50: 'Franco' corrected to 'Francos'.

Page 50: comma corrected to period. (... without the door.)

Page 51: 'May grind us all between it cruel cogs' [sic] its?

Page 52: 'ffll' corrected to 'fill'. (Revenge shall fill the goblet ... ).

Page 52: 'wolds' corrected to 'words'. (... those words so apt.).

Page 52: 'aud' corrected to 'and'. (... embrace and retire.).

Page 53: 'erafty' corrected to 'crafty'. (the crafty hands).

Page 54: 'looso' corrected to 'loose'.

Page 54: 'io' corrected to 'to'. (... who dare to speak).

Page 54: 'wounders' [sic].

Page 55: 'rund' corrected to 'run'. (... run down my weakening spine).

Page 55: 'men'ry' corrected to 'mem'ry'. (But mem'ry doth recall ...).

Page 55: 'adverturc' corrected to 'adventure'. (... doth impel
adventure from the spot).

Page 55: 'Good's' corrected to 'God's'. (In childish wonder at God's

Page 55: 'imperialistsc' corrected to 'imperialistic'. (...
imperialistic thoughts.)

Page 60: 'goods' [sic] error?, or deliberate? (... but, ye

Page 64: " corrected to ' ('Twould to be give ...).

Page 76: 'opprobious' corrected to 'opprobrious'. (in terms
opprobrious they mouth).

Page 76: 'Amevicanos' corrected to 'Americanos'. (Like lions caged
_Americanos_ roar)

Page 80: 'nuending' corrected to 'unending' (With chicken fights

Page 81: 'Democratric' corrected to 'Democratic' (A Democratic Wake)

Page 82: 'Louile' corrected to 'Luie'. (COUNT LUIE:).

Page 82: 'to' corrected to 'too'. (Philosophy were physic all too weak

Page 82: 'Oreron' corrected to 'Obreon'. (SIR OBREON:)

Page 83: 'successe's' [sic].

Page 83: 'flesh-pets' corrected to 'flesh-pots'. (From out the
flesh-pots ...).

Page 83: 'slaim' corrected to 'claim'. (Doth admiration claim from all
the world.).

Page 84: 'Whem' corrected to 'When' (When our forebears did war a
vandal host.).

Page 84: comma corrected to period. (And ne'er such innovation would

Page 86: 'dails' corrected to 'daily'. (... in the daily press.).

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "'A Comedy of Errors' in Seven Acts" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.