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´╗┐Title: A Parody Outline of History
Author: Stewart, Donald Ogden, 1894-1980
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Parody Outline of History" ***


By Donald Ogden Stewart

     Wherein may be found a curiously irreverent treatment of
     Imagining them as they would be narrated
     by American's most characteristic
     contemporary authors




Mr. H. G. Wells, in his "Outline of History," was of necessity forced to
omit the narration of many of the chief events in the history of these
United States. Such omissions I have in this brief volume endeavored
to supply. And as American history can possibly best be written by
Americans and as we have among us no H. G. Wells, I have imagined
an American history as written conjointly by a group of our most
characteristic literary figures.

Apologies are due the various authors whose style and, more
particularly, whose Weltanschauung I have here attempted to reproduce;
thanks are due The Bookman for permission to reprint such of these
chapters as appeared in that publication. I give both freely. D. O. S.


I INTRODUCTION: A Critical Survey of American History In the Manner of
William Lyon Phelps

II CRISTOFER COLOMBO: A Comedy of Discovery In the Manner of James
Branch Cabell

III MAIN STREET: Plymouth, Mass In the Manner of Sinclair Lewis

IV THE COURTSHIP OF, MILES STANDISH In the Manner of F. Scott Fitzgerald

V THE SPIRIT OF '75: Letters of a Minute Man In the Manner of Ring

VI THE WHISKY REBELLION In the Bedtime Story Manner of Thornton W.

VII HOW LOVE CAME TO GENERAL GRANT In the Manner of Harold Bell Wright

VIII CUSTER'S LAST STAND In the Manner of Edith Wharton

IX FOR THE FREEDOM OF THE WORLD: A Drama of the Great War Act I--In the
Manner of Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews Act 2--In the Manner of Eugene




In the Manner of William Lyon Phelps

On a memorable evening in the year 1904 I witnessed the opening
performance of Maude Adams in "Peter Pan". Nothing in the world can
describe the tremendous enthusiasm of that night! I shall never forget
the moment when Peter came to the front of the stage and asked the
audience if we believed in fairies. I am happy to say that I was
actually the first to respond. Leaping at once out of my seat, I shouted
"Yes--Yes!" To my intense pleasure the whole house almost instantly
followed my example, with the exception of one man. This man was sitting
directly in front of me. His lack of enthusiasm was to me incredible.
I pounded him on the back and shouted, "Great God, man, are you alive!
Wake up! Hurrah for the fairies! Hurrah!" Finally he uttered a rather
feeble "Hurrah!" Childe Roland to the dark tower came.

That was my first meeting with that admirable statesman Woodrow Wilson,
and I am happy to state that from that night we became firm friends.
When Mr. Wilson was inaugurated in 1913 I called on him at the White
House, taking with me some members of my Yale drama class. Each one of
us had an edition of the president's admirable "History of the American
People", and I am glad to say that he was kind enough to autograph each
of the ten volumes for all of us.

Early in Mr. Wilson's second term as president, just before the break
with Germany, I was sitting in the quiet of my library rereading
Browning's "Cristina". When I came to the third stanza I leaped to my
feet--the thing seemed incredible, but here before my eyes was actually
Browning's prophetic message to America in regard to the submarine

"Oh, we're sunk enough here, God knows! But not so sunk that
moments--etc." It is an extraordinary evidence of the man's genius that
in 1840 he should have perhaps foreseen prophetically the happenings
of seventy-six years later! Not only did Browning seem to know what was
bound to happen, but he told us the remedy. I sat right down and wrote
to my good friend the president, enclosing a marked copy of the poem. On
the sixth of April, 1917, war was declared.

May 7, 1912, was the one hundredth anniversary of the birth of Robert
Browning. On that memorable date I was traveling to Ohio at the request
of my dear friend Miss Jones to deliver an address at the Columbus
School for Girls. Curiously enough the name of my Pullman car was
Pauline. Not only did that strike me as remarkable, but I occupied upper
berth number 9 in car 11, two numbers which, added together, produced
the exact age at which Browning published the poem of that name. At once
I recited the opening lines, "Pauline, mine own, bend o'er me--thy soft
breast shall pant to mine--bend o'er me," to the porter.

I like to believe that the spirit of Browning arranged that entire
journey, for the other occupant of this well-omened berth was that
admirable statesman Warren G. Harding. When I sat down I noticed that
he was reading Henry Sydnor Harrison's "Queed", a book which was justly
popular at that time. I at once showed Mr. Harding an article I had
written in which I stated that not only was "Queed" a real novel, with
a real plot, and real characters, but that I believed the readers were
stimulated by the spiritual advance of the hero. The future president
agreed with me and said he thought that literature was a great thing.
Encouraged by this I confessed that I was on my way to deliver a lecture
on modern poetry. Mr. Harding replied that he thought poetry was a great
thing. "Splendid!" I cried, and taking a copy of Browning from my bag I
read him several selections. Mr. Harding said that of the American poets
he liked James Whitcomb Riley best. Personally, while I have for Mr.
Riley only wonder and praise, I think that the English poet strikes a
more inspiring, more eternal note.

I then read to Mr. Harding Browning's "Evelyn Hope". He said that he
knew a Mrs. Walter Hope in Marion, but that he was not sure her first
name was Evelyn. As I knew that Mr. Harding liked a good pun, I remarked
facetiously that "hope springs eternal", meaning that probably there
were in existence several families of that name.

I am happy to state that with that meeting began a friendship which
has lasted for many years. When Mr. Harding was nominated for the
presidency, I wrote at once, enclosing a copy of "The Advance of the
English Novel" which I had published in 1916. On the title-page I wrote,
"To the Hero of a Much More Spectacular Advance", meaning that the
progress made by the English novel was as nothing compared to Mr.
Harding's rapid and well-deserved rise. In reply I received the

                                      6 July, 1920. MY DEAR

Many thanks to you for your congratulations and your kindness in sending
me your brilliant, searching essays which I hope to be able to read in
the near future. WARREN G. HARDING.

Just as I am always glad that I am an American, so I think we should all
believe whole-heartedly in the glorious future which lies ahead of us.
We should all pay high tribute to the ideals and sincerity of those
great leaders Woodrow Wilson and Warren Harding. What a pity that some
people believe that there is any antagonism or essential difference in
the aims of those two worthy men. Both are absolutely sincere--both
try to make the world a better, more happy place. And to the critic of
history--as to the critic of art and literature--those are the essential
things. Viewing the past and glimpsing the future of American history I
cannot help feeling that Browning had us perhaps unconsciously in mind
when he wrote:

     God's in his heaven:      All's right with the world!

Chapter Two

CRISTOFER COLOMBO A Comedy of Discovery. In the Manner of James Branch

 In fourteen hundred ninety two  In the city of Genoa.
         --Old Song.

They of Genoa tell with a shrug how in the old days Cristofer Colombo
whom men called the Dreamer left Dame Colombo to go in search of the
land of his imagining.

And the tale tells how, on a twilight Thursday, Colombo walked alone
on the edge of a doubtful wood, and viewed many things not salutary
to notice. And there came to him one who was as perversely tall as
a certain unmentionable object and bearded in a manner it is not
convenient to describe.

But Colombo set about that which the stranger said was necessary and
when he had finished he drank the contents of the curious skull as had
been foretold on a certain All-Saints day. Then it was that the stranger

"Whom are you", said he, "to be thus wandering in the very unspeakable
forest of the very unnamable sorcerer Thyrston?"

Said Colombo, "I have heard of this Thyrston. And while I do not
criticize, yet I cannot entirely agree with your improper use of the
pronoun WHOM, and oh my dear sir", said Colombo, "those two VERYS would
surely--oh, most surely--be mentioned in 'The Conning Tower'."

"Eh!" said Thyrston, frowning.

"I allude", said Colombo, "to the scribbling of a certain Adams with
whom you are doubtless familiar, and of course, my dear Thyrston", said
Colombo, "I spoke only jestingly, for I am Cristofer Colombo whom men
call the Dreamer, and I go in search of the land of my imagining and
it is truly a pleasure to meet the greatest sorcerer since Ckellyr, and
how", said Colombo, "is dear Mrs. Thyrston?"

Then Thyrston showed Colombo what was written on the insecure parchment.
It frightened Colombo a little, but he assented. And when the sorcerer
had borrowed a silk hat and a gold watch he caused the skies to darken
and Colombo saw that which men refuse to believe.

"But, oh, now really sir", said Colombo, "that is indeed extremely
clever and I do wish that the children were here to see it and would you
mind, my dear Thyrston", said Colombo, "doing that egg trick again?"

Then Thyrston showed Colombo that he had nothing up either sleeve
and after an interval he consented to teach Colombo the secret of his

"Why now to be sure", said Colombo, after he had thoroughly mastered the
trick, "that is indeed quite simple and I am sorry I broke those four
eggs by mistake in your silk hat, and while I do not wish to appear
oversensitive, do you not think, my dear Thyrston", said Colombo, "that
the trick would go just as well without those abominable jokes about
married life?"

"My dear sir", said Thyrston, "those jokes have been used by every
conjurer since Merlin, and while perhaps without them your trick would
work, yet I have never heard of it being done and I have found", said
Thyrston, "that in sorcery the best results are obtained by doing the
customary thing."

"Which only goes to show", said Colombo, "that sorcery is somewhat akin
to business, and now that I think of it", said Colombo, "I believe that
the term wizard of industry is perhaps not entirely a misnomer."

Thus it was that Colombo took leave of Thyrston, and the tale tells
how on Walburga's Eve he came to the court of King Ferdinand and Queen
Isabel. And as he entered one met him who was not unpleasing to the eye,
and she was weeping. And, as it was somewhat dark, Colombo decided to
comfort her.

"Now, do you tell me, my dear", said Colombo, after an interval, "why
it is you weep, for I am Colombo whom men call the Dreamer, and I go in
search of the land of my imagining, and I think", said Colombo, "that
you have most remarkably lovely eyes."

"Oh messire", said the lady, "I weep because it is this evening that
I am to entertain the ladies of our Progress Literary Club, and Donna
Margarita whom men call the Spanish Omelet, but who really, messire, has
a lovely voice, was going to sing 'The Rosary' and now she has a cold
and cannot sing, and King Ferdinand is coming, and oh, messire, what",
said the lady, "shall I do?"

"Why now, truly", said Colombo, "in Genoa it was the judgment of all the
really musically intelligent ladies, except perhaps my wife, that I sang
not an unpleasing baritone, and while I do not know the song to which
you refer, yet I have devoted most of my life to the composition of a
poem concerning the land of my imagining which might well be sung and
besides that", said Colombo, "I can do a most remarkable egg trick."

So it was that Colombo became for a short time not undeservedly the life
of the Progress Literary Club party. And the tale tells how, after a
paper by Donna Violet Balboa on "Spanish Architecture--Then and Now",
Colombo sang to them the song of the land of Colombo's imagining. And
poignantly beautiful was the song, for in it was the beauty of a poet's
dream, and the eternal loveliness of that vision which men have glimpsed
in all ages if ever so faintly. And when he had finished, the eyes of
Colombo were wet with tears, for into this poem had he woven the
dreams of his disillusionment. And somewhat ironical to Colombo was the
applause of those fine ladies who did not at all understand.

"Now that is a pretty song", said King Ferdinand, "and do you tell us,
Colombo, how one may get to this land, so that I may extend the borders
of my most Catholic Kingdom and spread the teachings of the true faith,
for to bring the world under the blessed influence of my religion is my
only purpose, and really now", said King Ferdinand, "is there as much
gold there as you describe?"

"Ah, King Ferdinand", replied Colombo, "there is more gold than ever I
can tell, and I see only too plainly how grievously you suffer to think
that perhaps these people are living in ignorance of the true faith.
And I could ask nothing better than that King Ferdinand give me ships
in which I may sail to the westward and come at last to the land of my
imagining. This I would do in order that the blessed soldiers of
King Ferdinand who will follow me may show to the inhabitants of my
discovered land the grievous errors of their ways and bring them at last
to a realization of the true faith which has been so helpful to our own
dear Spain, and", added Colombo, "our gracious sovereign Ferdinand."

And droll it was to Colombo to think what might possibly happen were
King Ferdinand to take his dream seriously or were the King perhaps to
be informed as to the true meaning of Colombo's subtleties.

"Well, now", said King Ferdinand, "of course, to fit out such an
expedition would require great expense, my dear Colombo--great
expense. And, of course, you know, Colombo, that when investors can buy
Inquisition 4 1/4's for 89 it would be extremely difficult to raise the
money for such a speculative project--oh, extremely difficult. And then
you must consider the present depression--tell me now, Colombo", said
King Ferdinand, "how long do you think this depression will last, for I
seek, above all things, a return to healthy normalcy."

"Well, truly", replied Colombo, "that would be most difficult to say. I
note that on Rodigruez Babsyn's last chart--"

"I wish this Babsyn and his charts were in hell", said King Ferdinand,
"for it was he who advised me to sell Queen Isabel's silver holdings.
But it occurs to me, Colombo, that in connection with this land-of-gold
scheme of yours, you mentioned something about sailing to the westward.
Now Colombo, that would be a distinct disadvantage when it came to
marketing the bonds, for as you must already know, one cannot sail to
the west without encountering fierce and enormous monsters who swallow,
I am told, whole ships at a gulp."

"Now as to that", said Colombo, somewhat embarrassed at the turn of the
conversation for WEST had merely happened to better suit the rhymes of
his poem, "you may be right, and I should not go so far as to say you
are wrong, but still at the same time", said Colombo, "is there any
gentleman in the audience who can lend me an egg and a silk hat?"

And when an unmentionable egg and a doubtful silk hat had been produced
in a manner which it is not convenient to mention Colombo rolled up both
his sleeves and spoke the magic speech as he had learned it on a certain
Thursday from the sorcerer Thyrston.

"Ladies and gentlemen", said Colombo, "I have here a common household
egg which I shall now ask the ushers to pass among you so you may see
for yourself that there are no wires or strings attached. While this is
being done, ladies and gentlemen, I wish that three of you would step up
on the stage. Any three--don't be bashful girls--I won't hurt you. Won't
that couple over there kindly oblige me--that married couple--no, folks,
I guess they aren't married either--they look too happy."

Very painful it was to Colombo to hear these horrible jokes coming
from his mouth, but Thyrston had quoted the authority of all successful
sorcerers and not for anything would Colombo have had his trick a

"Now ladies and gentlemen", said Colombo, "I am going to ask this lady
and these two gentlemen if they will be so good as to see if they can
take this little egg and make it stand on end without any support."

And very droll it was to see the unsuccessful attempts which the three
made. Finally Colombo said:

"Now ladies and gentlemen, I want you to watch me closely. I put the
silk hat on my head--thus. And I take the egg in my right hand--thus.
Now, if this young lady will be kind enough to hold my left hand--I hope
that her best fellow doesn't mind letting such a pretty girl hold my
hand--it's lucky my wife can't see me, though--a friend said to me the
other day, 'Who was that lady I seen you with?' and I said, 'That wasn't
no lady, that was my wife'. Now ladies and gentlemen I take this egg,
and in order to make it stand upright I tap one end gently--thus against
the table until that end is flattened--and then, presto--the egg stands
upright. Ladies and gentlemen, I thank you one and all for your kind

Thus it was that Colombo impressed King Ferdinand and his court with his
profound knowledge of geography. Next the tale tells how there came to
Colombo on Michaelmas Eve one sent by Queen Isabel, And when Colombo had
buckled on his sword Impavide he followed the messenger through winding
corridors and came at last to the chamber of the Queen. And as he knelt
before her it seemed to Colombo that never before had he seen such
unforgettable beauty as shone in the eyes of Queen Isabel. Yes, truly,
this was the loveliest girl that Colombo had ever imagined.

"Now do you rise", said she, "and you and I shall have a nice chat alone
here together, and you can tell me all about geography of which I am
oh, frightfully ignorant. In truth", said she, "I have tried to
get Ferdinand to instruct me, but I fear", said Queen Isabel, "that
Ferdinand does not understand me."

So Colombo instructed Queen Isabel in the fundamentals of geography. And
after a while he spoke.

"Now many people", said Colombo, "believe that the earth is flat, but",
said Colombo, "such is not at all the case."

And after an interval Colombo said, "There, my dear, do you not see how
ridiculous it is to suppose that the earth is anything but round?"

"Why surely, sire", said Queen Isabel, "you make it appear very round.
And I wonder that I had not thought of that before. And I think", said
Queen Isabel, "that geography is a most fascinating subject and oh,
messire Colombo", said the Queen, "you must come and instruct me often."

Thus it was that Colombo became Royal Geographer. And the tale tells how
after a while various whisperings came to King Ferdinand of his queen's
curious enthusiasm for study.

"Now about this geography", said King Ferdinand one evening to the
Queen, "I am, my dear, indeed glad to see you take an interest in such
an important study and I have arranged", said the King, "to have your
tutoring in the future done by Father Bernadino who has had fifty-two
years' experience at the University, and your lessons", said the King,
"will commence tomorrow."

Said the Queen, "How can I thank you enough, dear Ferdinand, for your
untiring interest in my welfare. For I have been struggling along in
my study of geography with a horribly dull clod whose name", said the
Queen, "I cannot remember."

"Was it, by any chance, Colombo?" asked the King.

"Perhaps", said the Queen. "But I am oh so glad to be rid of him." And
indeed so great was the happiness of Queen Isabel that her pillow that
night was wet with tears.

But King Ferdinand was an unusually efficient king, and he spared no
pains in his craving for normalcy. So it was that the next day he called
to him the man who had chanced to be Royal Geographer before the coup
d'oeuf of Colombo.

"Now tell me", said the King, "is there any chance that a man who sails
to the westward will ever return?"

"None, your Majesty", said the ex-Royal Geographer. "For many have tried
and horrible are the tales which they tell of demons and monsters lying
in wait for the ships of men. And I should say definitely, oh King",
said he, "that whoever sails to the westward will never return."

And the tale tells how that afternoon Colombo stood before King
Ferdinand. And very strange to Colombo was the enthusiasm which burned
in the King's otherwise somewhat fishlike eye.

"For know you, Colombo", the King was saying, "that God has spoken to me
and commanded me to save from the fires of hell the inhabitants of those
golden lands of which you sang. And to you, my dear Colombo, is to
be given the chance which you so ardently desire. For I have this day
purchased three ships which await your command, and within a week you
should be well on your way on this glorious mission for God and for
Spain, and", said the King, "I might add that the Queen, too, is much
interested in this voyage and has even been persuaded to dispose of her
jewels in order that you may make haste."

"Such instant obedience to the will of God", said Colombo, "and such
fine enthusiasm to further His kingdom on earth, does your Majesties
great credit. And I shall indeed congratulate the inhabitants of this
to-be-discovered land for their good fortune in obtaining such a devout

And the tale tells how that night Colombo took leave of Queen Isabel.
"Now do not weep, oh Queen", said he, "for I am only Colombo whom men
call the Dreamer, and I go in search of the land of my imagining, and
perhaps", said Colombo, "I shall return." But they tell how Queen Isabel
refused to be comforted for many and many a day. And unexplainably
curious to Father Bernadino was his absolute and complete failure as
a royal instructor in geography, for Father Bernadino had taught for
fifty-two years at the University.

And so it was that Colombo sat alone in the cabin of the ship which
carried him towards the land of his imagining. And strange and somewhat
fearsome it was to the sailors to see their captain sitting thus
motionless night after night, for already had they left the Canaries far
behind and some there were who said that a madman commanded their ship,
and others who whispered of horrible monsters in these western seas.

And the tale tells how one night Colombo observed across his table
one who had not been sitting there a moment before and whose hair was
strangely red.

"Well now, truly, sir", said Colombo, "This is very curious. For I do
not remember seeing you among the crew nor were you ever at the court,
and on the whole", said Colombo, "your red hair and your sneering grin
interrupt my dreams, and dreams", said Colombo, "are all that I have

"For know you, sir", continued he to the stranger who did not speak,
"that on this earth man has been able to endure only by playing the ape
to his dreams. And in every generation", said Colombo, "there have been
those who dreamed of beautiful things and in every age there have been
those who caught some glimpse of that perfect beauty which the Greeks
call Helen, and to have seen Helen", said Colombo, "is to have been
touched with divine and unbearable madness."

And it became strangely quiet in the cabin as Colombo continued:

"And those authors who wrote perfectly of beautiful dreams", said he,
"will, perchance, endure, and those who saw only men as they are, will
perish--for so has it been in the past and so will it be in the future.
All of which", said Colombo, "is a rather tiresome and pedantic excuse
for the fact that I am about to read you my own poem."

And Colombo read to the stranger the dream of the land of Colombo's
imagining, and when he had finished the stranger smiled and shook his
head sadly.

"Come, now," said Colombo, somewhat hurt. "Do not, I pray you, pretend
to like it unless you really do. Of course it is not at all the kind of
thing that will sell, is it--and the metre must be patched up in places,
don't you think? And some of the most beautiful passages would never be
permitted by the censor--but still--" and Colombo paused hopefully, for
it was Colombo's poem and into it he had poured the heart of his life
and it seemed to him now, more than ever, a beautiful thing.

The stranger handed Colombo a book.

"There", said he, "is the land of your imagining", and in his eyes
gleamed a curious sardonic mockery.

And Colombo read the book. And when he had finished his face was grey
as are old ashes in ancient urns, and about the mouth of him whom men
called the Dreamer were curious hard lines.

"Now, by Heaven", said Colombo brandishing his sword Impavide, "you lie.
And your Gopher Prairie is a lie. And you are all, all contemptible,
you who dip your pens in tracing ink and seek to banish beautiful dreams
from the world."

But the red-haired stranger had vanished and Colombo found that he was
alone and to Colombo the world seemed cheerless and as a place that none
has lived in for a long time.

"Now this is curious", mused Colombo, "for I have evidently been
dreaming and a more horrible dream have I never had, and I think", said
Colombo, "that while all this quite certainly did not actually take
place, yet that grinning red head has upset me horribly and on the
whole", said Colombo, "I believe the safest course would be to put back
at once for Spain, for certainly I have no desire to take the remotest
chance of discovering anything which may in the least resemble that
Gopher Prairie."

And the tale tells that as Colombo started for the deck in order that
he might give the signal for the return to Spain, there came across the
water from one of the other ships the faint cry of a sailor. And the
sailor was waving his hat and shouting, "Land Ho!"

Thus it was that Cristofer Colombo became the discoverer of the land of
his imagining, and as he stood on the deck Colombo mused.

"Now this is a sorrowful jest and a very unfair jest that is happening,"
said he. "For I who have dreamed a beautiful dream of the land of my
imagining will quite probably henceforth be known only as the discoverer
of what will turn out to be merely one more hideous and stupid country."
And tears came to the eyes of Colombo, for on the waves behind him
floated the torn and scattered pages of the poem which sang the imagined
vision of Beauty of him whom men long and long ago called the Dreamer.

Thus it was in the old days.


There is a lesson for us all in this beautiful story of how Columbus
realized his ambition to be a great discoverer.

Men called Columbus a Dreamer--but that is just what folks once said
about Thomas A. Edison and Henry Ford.

The world has a place for Dreamers--if they are Practical Dreamers.

Columbus was ambitious. Ambition is a great thing if it is unselfish
ambition. By unselfish I mean for the greatest good of the greatest
number. Shakespeare, the great teacher, shows us in "Macbeth" what
happens to the selfishly ambitious man.

Columbus got ahead by paying attention to small details. Whatever he
did, he did to the best of his ability. Even when engaged in teaching
geography to the Queen, Columbus was the best geography teacher he knew
how to be. And before long he was made Royal Geographer.

In our daily lives let us all resolve to be good teachers of geography.
We may not all become Royal Geographers--but there will be to us the
lasting satisfaction of having done our best. And that, as a greater
than I has said, is "more precious than rubies--yea, than much fine

Chapter Three

MAIN STREET: Plymouth, Mass.

In the Manner of Sinclair Lewis



Late autumn.

The sour liver-colored shores of America.

Breaking waves dashing too high on a stern and rockbound coast.

Woods tossing giant branches planlessly against a stormy sky.

Cape Cod Bay--wet and full of codfish. The codfish--wet and full of

Standing on the deck of the anchored "Mayflower", gazing reflectively at
the shores of the new world, is Priscilla Kennicott.

A youthful bride on a ship full of pilgrims; a lily floating in a dish
of prunes; a cloissone vase in a cargo of oil cans.

Her husband joins her. Together they go forward to where their fellow
pilgrims are preparing to embark in small boats.

Priscilla jumps into the bow of the first of these to shove off.

As the small craft bumps the shore, Priscilla rises joyously. She
stretches her hands in ecstasy toward the new world. She leans forward
against the breeze, her whole figure alive with the joy of expectant

She leaps with an irrepressible "Yippee" from the boat to the shore.

She remains for an instant, a vibrant pagan, drunk with the joy of life;
Pan poised for an unforgettable moment on Plymouth Rock.

The next minute her foot slips on the hard, wet, unyielding stone.
She clutches desperately. She slides slowly back into the cold chill
saltness of Cape Cod Bay.

She is pulled, dripping and ashamed, into the boat. She crouches there,
shivering and hopeless. She hears someone whisper, "Pride goeth before
destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall."

A coarse mirthless chuckle.

The pilgrims disembark.



A year later.


She lay sleepless on her bed.

She heard the outside door open; Kennicott returning from prayer

He sat down on the bed and began pulling off his boots. She knew that
the left boot would stick. She knew exactly what he would say and how
long it would take him to get it off. She rolled over in bed, a tactical
movement which left no blanket for her husband.

"You weren't at prayer meeting," he said.

"I had a headache," she lied. He expressed no sympathy.

"Miles Standish was telling me what you did today at the meeting of the
Jolly Seventeen." He had got the boot off at last; he lay down beside
her and pulled all the blankets off her onto himself.

"That was kind of Miles." She jerked at the covers but he held them
tight. "What charming story did he tell this time?"

"Now look here, Prissie--Miles Standish isn't given to fabrication. He
said you told the Jolly Seventeen that next Thanksgiving they ought to
give a dance instead of an all-day prayer service."

"Well--anything else?" She gave a tremendous tug at the bedclothes and
Kennicott was uncovered again.

"He said you suggested that they arrange a series of lectures on modern
religions, and invite Quakers and other radicals to speak right here in
Plymouth and tell us all about their beliefs. And not only that but he
said you suggested sending a message to the Roman Catholic exiles from
England, inviting them to make their home with us. You must have made
quite a little speech."

"Well this is the land of religious freedom, isn't it? That's what
you came here for, didn't you?" She sat up to deliver this remark--a
movement which enabled Kennicott to win back seven-eighths of the bed

"Now look here Prissie--I'm not narrow like some of these pilgrims who
came over with us. But I won't have my wife intimating that a Roman
Catholic or a Quaker should be allowed to spread his heresies broadcast
in this country. It's all right for you and me to know something about
those things, but we must protect our children and those who have not
had our advantages. The only way to meet this evil is to stamp it
out, quick, before it can get a start. And it's just such so-called
broadminded thinkers as you that encourage these heretics. You'll be
criticizing the Bible next, I suppose."

Thus in early times did the pious Right Thinkers save the land from
Hellfire and Damnation; thus the great-grandfathers of middle-western
congressmen; thus the ancestors of platitudinous editorial writers,
Sitters on Committees, and tin-horn prohibitionists.

Kennicott got up to cool his wrath and indignation with a drink of
water. He stumbled over a chair, reached for the jug, took a drink, set
the jug down, stumbled over the same chair, and crawled back into bed.
His expedition cost him the loss of all bed covering; he gave up the

"Aside from dragging my own private views over the coals of your
righteousness, did you and your friends find anything equally pleasant
and self-satisfying to discuss this evening?"

"Eh--what's that? Why, yes, we did. We decided to refuse permission for
one of these traveling medicine shows to operate in Plymouth."

"Medicine shows?"

"Yes--you know--like a fair in England. This one claims to come from
down south somewhere. 'Smart Set Medicine Show' it's called, run by
a fellow named Mencken. Sells cheap whisky to the Indians--makes them
crazy, they say. He's another one of your radical friends we don't want

"Yes, he might cut in on your own trading with the Indians."

"Oh, for heaven's sake, Prissie--hire a hall."

Silence. He began to snore.

She lay there, sleepless and open-eyed. The clock struck eleven.

"Why can't I get to sleep?"

("Did Will put the cat out?")

"I wonder what this medicine show is like?"

"What is the matter with these people?"

("Or is it me?")

She reached down, pulled the blankets from under her, spread them
carefully over the sleeping Kennicott, patting them down affectionately.

The next day she learned what the medicine show was like. She also
learned what was the matter with the pilgrims.



A fog horn.

A fog horn blowing unceasingly.

At breakfast Kennicott pointed with his fork in the direction of the
persistent sound.

"There's your Smart Set medicine show," he said glumly. "He doesn't seem
to care much whether we give him a permit or not." Then, a minute later,
"We'll have to let him stay. Won't do to have the Indians down on us.
But I tell you this, Priscilla, I don't want you to go."

"But Will--"

"Prissie, please! I'm sorry I said what I did last night. I was tired.
But don't you see, well, I can't just exactly explain--but this fog horn
sort of scares me--I don't like it--"

He suddenly rose and put both hands on her shoulders. He looked into her
eyes. He leaned over and kissed her on the forehead. He picked up his
hat and was gone. It was five minutes before Priscilla noticed that his
breakfast had been left untouched.

A fog horn, sounding unceasingly.

She listlessly put away the breakfast dishes. She tried to drown out
the sound by singing hymns. She fell on her knees and tried to pray. She
found her prayers keeping time to the rise and fall of the notes of that
horn. She determined to go out in the air--to find her husband--to go to
church, anywhere--as far as possible from the Smart Set medicine show.

So she went out the back door and ran as fast as she could toward the
place from which came the sound of the fog horn.


An open space on the edge of the forest.

In the centre of the clearing a small gaudily-painted tent.

Seated on the ground in a semicircle before the tent, some forty or
fifty Indians.

Standing on a box before the entrance to the tent, a man of twenty-five
or fifty.

In his left hand he holds a fog horn; in his right, a stein of beer.

He puts the horn to his lips and blows heavy blast.

He bellows, "Beauty--Beauty--Beauty!"

He takes a drink of beer.

He repeats this performance nine times.

He takes up some mud and deftly models the features of several
well-known characters--statesmen, writers, critics. In many cases
the resemblance is so slight that Priscilla can hardly recognize the

He picks up a heavy club and proceeds to beat each one of his modeled
figures into a pulp.

The Indians applaud wildly.

He pays no attention to this applause.

He clears his throat and begins to speak. Priscilla is so deafened by
the roar of his voice that she cannot hear what he says. Apparently he
is introducing somebody; somebody named George.

George steps out of the tent, but does not bow to the audience. In
one hand he carries a fencing foil, well constructed, of European
workmanship; in his other hand he holds a number of pretty toy balloons
which he has made himself.

He smiles sarcastically, tosses the balloons into the air, and cleverly
punctures them one by one with his rapier.

At each "pop" the announcer blows a loud blast on the fog horn.

When the last balloon has been punctured George retires without
acknowledging the applause of the Indians.

The next act is announced as Helen of Troy in "Six Minutes of Beauty".
Priscilla learns from the announcer that "this little lady is out of
'Irony' by Theodore Dreiser".

"All ready, Helen--"

The "little lady" appears.

She is somewhat over six feet six in height and built like a
boilermaker. She is dressed in pink tights.

"Six Minutes of Beauty" begins when Helen picks up three large iron
cannon balls and juggles them. She tosses them in the air and catches
them cleverly on the back of her neck.

The six minutes are brought to a successful conclusion when Helen,
hanging head downward by one foot from a trapeze, balances lighted lamp
on the other foot and plays Beethoven's Fifth Symphony on the slide

The announcer then begins his lecture. Priscilla has by this time gotten
used to the overpowering roar of his voice and she discovers that once
this difficulty is overcome she is tremendously impressed by his words.

She becomes more and more attracted to the man. She listens, fascinated,
as his lecture draws to a close and he offers his medicine for sale. She
presses forward through the crowd of Indians surrounding the stand. She
reaches the tent. She gives her coin and receives in return a bottle.
She hides it in her cape and hurries home.

She slips in the back way; she pours some of the medicine into a glass;
she drinks it.


A terrible overwhelming nausea. Vomiting, which lasts for agonizing
minutes, leaving her helpless on the floor.

Then cessation.

Then light--blinding light.


At 3:10 Priscilla drank the Mencken medicine; at 3:12 she was lying in
agony on the floor; at 3:20 she opened her eyes; at 3:21 she walked
out of her front door; and at 3:22 she discovered what was wrong with
Plymouth and the pilgrims.

Main Street. Straight and narrow. A Puritan thoroughfare in a Puritan

The church. A centre of Puritan worship. The shrine of a narrow theology
which persistently repressed beauty and joy and life.

The Miles Standish house. The house of a Puritan. A squat, unlovely
symbol of repression. Beauty crushed by Morality.

Plymouth Rock. Hard, unyielding--like the Puritan moral code. A huge
tombstone on the grave of Pan.

She fled home. She flung herself, sobbing, on the bed. She cried,
"They're all Puritans that's what they are, Puritans!"

After a while she slept, her cheeks flushed, her heart beating


Late that night.

She opened her eyes; she heard men's voices; she felt her heart still
pounding within her at an alarming rate.

"And I told them then that it would come to no good end. Truly, the Lord
does not countenance such joking."

She recognized the voices of Miles Standish and Elder Brewster.

"Well--what happened then?" This from Kennicott.

"Well, you see, Henry Haydock got some of this Mencken's medicine from
one of the Indians. And he thought it would be a good joke to put it in
the broth at the church supper this evening."


"Well--he did it, the fool. And when the broth was served, hell on
earth broke loose. Everyone started calling his neighbor a Puritan, and
cursing him for having banished Beauty from the earth. The Lord knows
what they meant by that; I don't. Old friends fought like wildcats,
shrieking 'Puritan' at each other. Luckily it only got to one table--but
there are ten raving lunatics in the lockup tonight.

"It's an awful thing. But thanks to the Lord, some good has come out of
this evil: that medicine man, Mencken, was standing outside looking in
at the rumpus, smiling to himself I guess. Well, somebody saw him and
yelled, 'There's another of those damned Puritans!' and before he could
get away five of them had jumped on him and beaten him to death. He
deserved it, and it's a good joke on him that they killed him for being
a Puritan."

Priscilla could stand no more. She rose from her bed, rushed into the
room, and faced the three Puritans. In the voice of Priscilla Kennicott
but with the words of the medicine man she scourged them.

"A good joke?" she began. "And that is what you Puritan gentlemen of God
and volcanoes of Correct Thought snuffle over as a good joke? Well,
with the highest respect to Professor Doctor Miles Standish, the Puritan
Hearse-hound, and Professor Doctor Elder Brewster, the Plymouth Dr.
Frank Crane--BLAA!"

She shrieked this last in their faces and fell lifeless at their feet.

She never recovered consciousness; an hour later she died. An overdose
of the medicine had been too much for her weak heart.

"Poor William," comforted Elder Brewster, "you must be brave. You will
miss her sorely. But console yourself with the thought that it was for
the best. Priscilla has gone where she will always be happy. She has at
last found that bliss which she searched for in vain on earth."

"Yes William," added Miles Standish. "Priscilla has now found eternal



Smug saints with ill-fitting halos and imitation wings, singing
meaningless hymns which Priscilla had heard countless times before.

Sleek prosaic angels flying aimlessly around playing stale songs on
sickly yellow harps.

Three of the harps badly out of tune; two strings missing on another.

Moses, a Jew.

Methuselah, another Jew. Old and unshaven.

Priscilla threw herself on a cloud, sobbing.

"Well, sister, what seems to be the matter here?"

She looked up; she saw a sympathetic stranger looking down at her.

"Because you know, sister," he went on, "if you don't like it here you
can always go back any time you want to."

"Do you mean to say," gasped Priscilla, "that I can return to earth?"

"You certainly can," said the stranger. "I'm sort of manager here, and
whenever you see any particular part of the earth you'd like to live in,
you just let me know and I'll arrange it."

He smiled and was gone.


It was two hundred years before Priscilla Kennicott definitely decided
that she could stand it no longer in heaven; it was another hundred
years before she located a desirable place on earth to return to.

She finally selected a small town in the American northwest, far from
the Puritan-tainted Plymouth; a small town in the midst of fields of
beautiful waving grain; a small town free from the artificiality of
large cities; a small town named Gopher Prairie.

She made known her desire to the manager; she said goodby to a small
group of friends who had gathered to see her off; she heard the sound
of the eternal harp playing and hymn singing grow gradually fainter and
fainter; she closed her eyes.

When she opened them again she found herself on Main Street in Gopher


From the "Heavenly Harp and Trumpet":

Mrs. Priscilla Kennicott, one of our most popular angels, left these
parts last Tuesday for an extended visit to the Earth. Mrs. K. confided
to Ye Editor that she would probably take up her residence in Gopher
Prairie, Minn., under the name of Carol Kennicott. The "Harp and
Trumpet" felicitates the citizens of Gopher Prairie on their acquisition
of a charming and up-to-date young matron whose absence will be keenly
regretted by her many friends in the heavenly younger married set. Good
luck, Priscilla!



Five years later.

The monthly meeting of the Celestial Browning Club.

Seated in the chair reserved for the guest of honor, the manager.

The meeting opens as usual with a reading by Brother Robert Browning
of his poem "Pippa Passes"; as he proclaims that "God's in his heaven,
all's right with the world", the members applaud and the manager rises
and bows.

The chairman announces that "today we take up a subject in which I am
sure we are all extremely interested--the popular literature of the
United States".

The members listen to selected extracts from the writings of Gene
Stratton-Porter, Zane Grey, and Harold Bell Wright; at the conclusion
they applaud and the manager again bows.

"I am sure", says the chairman, "that we are all glad to hear that
things are going so nicely in the United States." (Applause.) "And now,
in conclusion, Brother Voltaire has requested permission to address us
for a few minutes, and I am sure that anything Brother Voltaire has to
say will be eminently worthwhile."

Brother Voltaire rises and announces that he has listened with interest
to the discussion of American literature; that he, too, rejoices that
all is well in this best of all possible United States; and that he
hopes they will pardon him if he supplements the program by reading
a few extracts from another extremely popular American book recently
published under the name of "Main Street".


At the next meeting of the Celestial Browning Club it was unanimously
voted that the privileges of the club be denied Brother Voltaire for the
period of one year, and that the name of Priscilla Kennicott be stricken
from the list of non-resident members of heaven.



In the Manner of F. Scott Fitzgerald

This story occurs under the blue skies and bluer laws of Puritan New
England, in the days when religion was still taken seriously by a great
many people, and in the town of Plymouth where the "Mayflower", having
ploughed its platitudinous way from Holland, had landed its precious
cargo of pious Right Thinkers, moral Gentlemen of God, and--Priscilla.

Priscilla was--well, Priscilla had yellow hair. In a later generation,
in a 1921 June, if she had toddled by at a country club dance you would
have noticed first of all that glorious mass of bobbed corn-colored
locks. You would, then, perhaps, have glanced idly at her face, and
suddenly said "Oh my gosh!" The next moment you would have clutched the
nearest stag and hissed, "Quick--yellow hair--silver dress--oh Judas!"
You would then have been introduced, and after dancing nine feet
you would have been cut in on by another panting stag. In those nine
delirious feet you would have become completely dazed by one of the
smoothest lines since the building of the Southern Pacific. You would
then have borrowed somebody's flask, gone into the locker room and
gotten an edge--not a bachelor-dinner edge but just enough to give
you the proper amount of confidence. You would have returned to the
ballroom, cut in on this twentieth century Priscilla, and taken her and
your edge out to a convenient limousine, or the first tee.

It was of some such yellow-haired Priscilla that Homer dreamed when he
smote his lyre and chanted, "I sing of arms and the man"; it was at the
sight of such as she that rare Ben Johnson's Dr. Faustus cried, "Was
this the face that launched a thousand ships?" In all ages has such
beauty enchanted the minds of men, calling forth in one century the
Fiesolian terza rima of "Paradise Lost", in another the passionate arias
of a dozen Beethoven symphonies. In 1620 the pagan daughter of Helen of
Troy and Cleopatra of the Nile happened, by a characteristic jest of the
great Ironist, to embark with her aunt on the "Mayflower".

Like all girls of eighteen Priscilla had learned to kiss and be kissed
on every possible occasion; in the exotic and not at all uncommon
pleasure of "petting" she had acquired infinite wisdom and complete
disillusionment. But in all her "petting parties" on the "Mayflower" and
in Plymouth she had found no Puritan who held her interest beyond the
first kiss, and she had lately reverted in sheer boredom to her boarding
school habit of drinking gin in large quantities, a habit which was not
entirely approved of by her old-fashioned aunt, although Mrs. Brewster
was glad to have her niece stay at home in the evenings "instead", as
she told Mrs. Bradford, "of running around with those boys, and really,
my dear, Priscilla says some of the FUNNIEST things when she gets a
little er--'boiled', as she calls it--you must come over some evening,
and bring the governor."

Mrs. Brewster, Priscilla's aunt, is the ancestor of all New England
aunts. She may be seen today walking down Tremont Street, Boston, in
her Educator shoes on her way to S. S. Pierce's which she pronounces
to rhyme with HEARSE. The twentieth century Mrs. Brewster wears a
highnecked black silk waist with a chatelaine watch pinned over her left
breast and a spot of Gordon's codfish (no bones) over her right. When
a little girl she was taken to see Longfellow, Lowell, and Ralph Waldo
Emerson; she speaks familiarly of the James boys, but this has no
reference to the well-known Missouri outlaws. She was brought up on
blueberry cake, Postum and "The Atlantic Monthly"; she loves the Boston
"Transcript", God, and her relatives in Newton Centre. Her idea of a
daring joke is the remark Susan Hale made to Edward Everett Hale about
sending underwear to the heathen. She once asked Donald Ogden Stewart
to dinner with her niece; she didn't think his story about the lady
mind reader who read the man's mind and then slapped his face, was very
funny; she never asked him again.

The action of this story all takes place in MRS. BREWSTER'S Plymouth
home on two successive June evenings. As the figurative curtain rises
MRS. BREWSTER is sitting at a desk reading the latest instalment of
Foxe's "Book of Martyrs".

The sound of a clanking sword is heard outside. MRS. BREWSTER looks up,
smiles to herself, and goes on reading. A knock--a timid knock.


(Enter CAPTAIN MIKES STANDISH, whiskered and forty. In a later
generation, with that imposing mustache and his hatred of Indians,
Miles would undoubtedly have been a bank president. At present he seems
somewhat ill at ease, and obviously relieved to find only PRISCILLA'S
aunt at home.)

MRS. BREWSTER: Good evening, Captain Standish.

MILES: Good evening, Mrs. Brewster. It's--it's cool for June, isn't it?

MRS. BREWSTER: Yes. I suppose we'll pay, for it with a hot July, though.

MILES (nervously): Yes, but it--it is cool for June, isn't it?

MRS. BREWSTER: So you said, Captain.

MILES: Yes. So I said, didn't I? (Silence.)

MILES: Mistress Priscilla isn't home, then?

MRS. BREWSTER: Why, I don't think so, Captain But I never can be sure
where Priscilla is.

MILES (eagerly): She's a--a fine girl, isn't she? A fine girl.

MRS. BREWSTER: Why, yes. Of course, Priscilla has her faults but she'd
make some man a fine wife--some man who knew how to handle her--an older
man, with experience.

MILES: Do you really think so, Mrs. Brewster? (After a minute.) Do you
think Priscilla is thinking about marrying anybody in particular?

MRS. BREWSTER: Well, I can't say, Captain. You know--she's a little
wild. Her mother was wild, too, you know--that is, before the Lord spoke
to her. They say she used to be seen at the Mermaid Tavern in London
with all those play-acting people. She always used to say that Priscilla
would marry a military man.

MILES: A military man? Well, now tell me Mrs. Brewster, do you think
that a sweet delicate creature like Priscilla--

A VOICE (in the next room): Oh DAMN!

MRS. BREWSTER: That must be Priscilla now.

THE VOICE: Auntie!

MRS. BREWSTER: Yes, Priscilla dear.

THE VOICE: Where in hell did you put the vermouth?

MRS. BREWSTER: In the cupboard, dear. I do hope you aren't going to
get--er--"boiled" again tonight, Priscilla. (Enter PRISCILLA, infinitely
radiant, infinitely beautiful, with a bottle of vermouth in one hand and
a jug of gin in the other.) PRISCILLA: Auntie, that was a dirty trick to
hide the vermouth. Hello Miles--shoot many Indians today?

MILES: Why--er er--no, Mistress Priscilla.

PRISCILLA: Wish you'd take me with you next time, Miles. I'd love to
shoot an Indian, wouldn't you, auntie?

MRS. BREWSTER: Priscilla! What an idea! And please dear, give Auntie
Brewster the gin. I--er--promised to take some to the church social
tonight and it's almost all gone now.

MILES: I didn't see you at church last night, Mistress Priscilla.

PRISCILLA: Well I'll tell you, Miles. I started to go to church--really
felt awfully religious. But just as I was leaving I thought, "Priscilla,
how about a drink--just one little drink?" You know, Miles, church
goes so much better when you're just a little boiled--the lights and
everything just kind of--oh, its glorious. Well last night, after I'd
had a little liquor, the funniest thing happened. I felt awfully good,
not like church at all--so I just thought I'd take a walk in the woods.
And I came to a pool--a wonderful honest-to-God pool--with the moon
shining right into the middle of it. So I just undressed and dove in and
it was the most marvelous thing in the world. And then I danced on the
bank in the grass and the moonlight--oh, Lordy, Miles, you ought to have
seen me.

MRS. BREWSTER: Priscilla!

PRISCILLA: 'Scuse me, Auntie Brewster. And then I just lay in the grass
and sang and laughed.

MRS. BREWSTER: Dear, you'll catch your death of cold one of these
nights. I hope you'll excuse me, Captain Standish; it's time I was going
to our social. I'll leave Priscilla to entertain you. Now be a good
girl, Priscilla, and please dear don't drink straight vermouth--remember
what happened last time. Good night, Captain--good night, dear.

(Exit MRS. BREWSTER with gin.)

PRISCILLA: Oh damn! What'll we do, Miles--I'm getting awfully sleepy.

MILES: Why--we might--er--pet a bit.

PRISCILLA (yawning): No. I'm too tired--besides, I hate whiskers.

MILES: Yes, that's so, I remember. (Ten minutes' silence, with MILES
looking sentimentally into the fireplace, PRISCILLA curled up in a chair
on the other side.)

MILES: I was--your aunt and I--we were talking about you before you came
in. It was a talk that meant a lot to me.

PRISCILLA: Miles, would you mind closing that window?

(MILES closes the window and returns to his chair by the fireplace.)

MILES: And your aunt told me that your mother said you would some day
marry a military man.

PRISCILLA: Miles, would you mind passing me that pillow over there?

(MILES gets up, takes the pillow to PRISCILLA and again sits down.)

MILES: And I thought that if you wanted a military man why--well, I've
always thought a great deal of you, Mistress Priscilla--and since my
Rose died I've been pretty lonely, and while I'm nothing but a rough
old soldier yet--well, what I'm driving at is--you see, maybe you and I
could sort of--well, I'm not much of a hand at fancy love speeches and
all that--but--

(He is interrupted by a snore. He glances up and sees that PRISCILLA has
fallen fast asleep. He sits looking hopelessly into the fireplace for a
long time, then gets up, puts on his hat and tiptoes out of the door.)


PRISCILLA is sitting alone, lost in revery, before the fireplace. It is
almost as if she had not moved since the evening before.

A knock, and the door opens to admit JOHN ALDEN, nonchalant,
disillusioned, and twenty-one.

JOHN: Good evening. Hope I don't bother you.

PRISCILLA: The only people who bother me are women who tell me I'm
beautiful and men who don't.

JOHN: Not a very brilliant epigram--but still--yes, you ARE beautiful.

PRISCILLA: Of course, if it's an effort for you to say--

JOHN: Nothing is worthwhile without effort.

PRISCILLA: Sounds like Miles Standish; many things I do without effort
are worthwhile; I am beautiful without the slightest effort.

JOHN: Yes, you're right. I could kiss you without any effort--and that
would be worthwhile--perhaps.

PRISCILLA: Kissing me would prove nothing. I kiss as casually as I

JOHN: And if you didn't breathe--or kiss--you would die.

PRISCILLA: Any woman would.

JOHN: Then you are like other women. How unfortunate.

PRISCILLA: I am like no woman you ever knew.

JOHN: You arouse my curiosity.

PRISCILLA: Curiosity killed a cat.

JOHN: A cat may look at a--Queen.

PRISCILLA: And a Queen keeps cats for her amusement. They purr so
delightfully when she pets them.

JOHN: I never learned to purr; it must be amusing--for the Queen.

PRISCILLA: Let me teach you. I'm starting a new class tonight.

JOHN: I'm afraid I couldn't afford to pay the tuition.

PRISCILLA: For a few exceptionally meritorious pupils, various
scholarships and fellowships have been provided.

JOHN: By whom? Old graduates?

PRISCILLA: NO--the institution has been endowed by God--

JOHN: With exceptional beauty--I'm afraid I'm going to kiss you. NOW.

(They kiss.)

(Ten minutes pass.)

PRISCILLA: Stop smiling in that inane way.

JOHN: I just happened to think of something awfully funny. You know the
reason why I came over here tonight?

PRISCILLA: To see me. I wondered why you hadn't come months ago.

JOHN: No. It's really awfully funny--but I came here tonight because
Miles Standish made me promise this morning to ask you to marry him.
Miles is an awfully good egg, really Priscilla.

PRISCILLA: Speak for yourself, John. (They kiss.)


JOHN: Again--and again. Oh Lord, I'm gone.

(An hour later JOHN leaves. As the door closes behind him PRISCILLA
sinks back into her chair before the fireplace; an hour passes, and
she does not move; her aunt returns from the Bradfords' and after a
few ineffectual attempts at conversation goes to bed alone; the candles
gutter, flicker, and die out; the room is filled of sacred silence. Once
more the clock chimes forth the hour--the hour of fluted peace, of dead
desire and epic love. Oh not for aye, Endymion, mayst thou unfold the
purple panoply of priceless years. She sleeps--PRISCILLA sleeps--and
down the palimpsest of age-old passion the lyres of night breathe forth
their poignant praise. She sleeps--eternal Helen--in the moonlight of
a thousand years; immortal symbol of immortal aeons, flower of the gods
transplanted on a foreign shore, infinitely rare, infinitely erotic.[1])

[1] For the further adventures of Priscilla, see F. Scott Fitzgerald's
stories in the "Girl With the Yellow Hair" series, notably "This Side
of Paradise," "The Offshore Pirate," "The Ice Palace," "Head and
Shoulders," "Bernice Bobs Her Hair," "Benediction" and "The Beautiful
and Damned."




In the Manner of Ring Lardner

Friend Ethen--

Well Ethen you will be surprised O. K. to hear I & the wife took a
little trip down to Boston last wk. to a T. party & I guess you are
thinking we will be getting the swelt hed over being ast to a T. party.
In Boston.

Well Ethen if you think that why you will be a 100 mi. offen the track
because Ethen I and Prudence sent the kind that gets a swelt hed over
being ast any wares like some of are naybers up here when they are ast
any wares so you see Ethen even if we had been ast any wares we wouldnt
of had no swelt hed. On acct of being ast any wares.

Well last Thurs. I and Prudence drove old Bessy down to Boston Bessy is
are horse see Ethen which is about 13 mi. from here Boston I mean Ethen
as the crow flys only no crow would ever fly to Boston if he could
help it because all the crows that ever flew to Boston was shot by
them lousie taverin keepers to make meals out of Ethen I never tast
it nothing so rotten in my life as the meals they give us there & the
priceis would knock your I out. 3 shillings for a peace of stake about
as big as your I, and 4 pence for a cup of coffy. The streets sent the
only thing about Boston thats crook it. Them taverin keepers is crook it
to I mean see Ethen.

After supper I & her was walking a round giving the town the double O
when we seen that Fanny Ewell Hall was all lit up like Charley Davis on
Sat. night & I says to Prudence lets go inside I think its free and
she says I bet you knowed it was free al right befor you ast me & sure
enough it was free only I hadnt knowed it before only I guess that
Prudence knows that when I say a thing it is generally O. K. Well Fanny
Ewell Hall was pack jam full of people & we couldnt see nothing because
there was a cockide stiff standing right in front of us & jumping up &
down & yelling No T. No T. at the top of his lunges & Prudence says well
why dont you take coffy or milk & for Gods sake stay offen my foot & he
turns to her & says maddam do you want T. & slavery & she says no coffy
& a hot dog just kidding him see Ethen & he says maddam no T. shall ever
land & she says no but my husbend will in a bout 1 min. & I was just
going to plank him 1 when the door behint us bust open & a lot of
indyans come in yelling every body down to Grifins worf there is going
to be a T. party only Ethen they wasnt indyans at all but jest wite men
drest up to look like indyans & I says to a fello those aint indyans &
he say no how did you guess it & I says because I have seen real indyans
many a time & he says to a nother fello say Bill here is a man who says
them sent real indyans & the other fello says gosh I dont believe it
& they laffed only the laff was on them Ethen because they wasnt real
indyans & that is only tipical of how you cant tell these Boston swelt
heds nothing & I guess if they had ever seen a real indyan they would of
known better than to laff. Well I and Prudence follered the crowd down
to Grifins worf & them indyans which was only wite men drest up clumb
onto a ship there & begun throwing the cargo into Boston harber & I says
to a fello what is in them boxes & he says T. & I says well why are they
throwing it away & he says because they do not want to pay the tacks
which is about as sensable Ethen if I was to rite a lot of letters &
then as fast as I rote I would tare it up because I did not want to pay
for a stamp. Well I says somebody ought to catch he--ll for this & he
says are you a torie & I seen he was trying to kid me & I says no I am
a congregationalis & a loyal subject of king Geo. Rex & he says o I
thought you was a torie & a lot of fellos who was with him give him the
laff because he hadnt been abel to kid me. Well after a whiles he says
the indyans seem to be about threw & I says yes only they sent indyans
& the laff was on him again & he seen it wasnt no use to try & kid me &
Prudence says come on lets beat it & on the way home I says I bet them
Boston birds will feel small when they find out that those wasnt indyans
at all & she act it like she was mad about something & says well they
cant blame you for not trying to tell them & its a wonder you didnt hire
Fanny Ewell Hall while you was about it & I says o is it & I might know
youd get sore because I was the 1st to find out about the indyans being
wite men in disgised & she says yes I suppose if somebody was to paint
stripes on a cow you would make a speech about it & say that you had
discovered that it wasnt no tiger & I wish I had been 1 of them indyans
tonight because I would of loved to of beened you with a Tommy Hawk & I
says o you would would you & she seen it wasnt no use to argue with me
& anyway Ethen nobody would be fool enough to paint stripes on a cow
unless maybe they was born in Boston. Well Ethen thats the way it goes
& when you do put one over on the wife they want to hit you with a Tommy
Hawk with best rgds. Ed.

Friend Ethen--

No matter what a married man does in this world he gets in wrong &
I suppose if I was to die tonight Prudence would bawl me out for not
having let her know I was going to do it & just because I joined the
minit men the other eve. she has been acting like as if I had joined the
Baptis Church & I bet you are saying what in the h--ll is a minit man.
Well Ethen I will tell you. The other night I says to Prudence I think I
will drive over to Lexington to get Bessy shodd. Bessy is are horse see
Ethen. Well she says you will do nothing of the kind because all you
want to do in Lexington is get a snoot ful & if you think I am going to
wate up all night while you get boiled well you have got another guess
coming. She says the last time you had Bessy shodd the naybers are
talking about it yet & I says do you mean because I & Charley Davis was
singing & having a little fun & she says no because nobody wouldnt call
that singing & do you call it a little fun when you brought Bessy up
stares with you to show me how well she had been shodd at 3 A. M. in the
morning answer me that which is only her way of exagerating things Ethen
because we didnt bring Bessy only as far as the stares & I only did it
because Charley had been drinking a little to much & I didnt want to
iritate him because the way to handel drunks is to not iritate them they
are only worse only you cant tell a woman that & they think the way
to handel drunks is to look him in the eye & say arent you ashamed of
yourselves which only iritates him the moar. Well I says I am not going
to half no horse of mine going a round 1/2 shodd al the time & Prudence
says well I am not going to half no husband of mine going a round 1/2
shot al the time & I says I will not go near Charley Davis this time
because I have lernt my lesson & she says al right if you will promise
to not go near Charley Davis you can go & when I got to Lexington I
thought I would stop in the taverin a min. just to say hulloh to the
boys because if a fello doesnt stop in the taverin to say hulloh to the
boys who are just as good as he is they are lible to say he has a swelt
hed & is to proud to stop in the taverin to say hulloh to the boys. Who
are just as good as he is. Well I didnt have any i dear that Charley
Davis would be there because I had told Prudence I wasnt going to go
near him & just because I said that I cant be expect it to sneek into
toun like as if I was a convick can I Ethen. Well the taverin was crowd
it & they had all got a good start & the long & the short of it was
that the 1st person I seen was Charley Davis & he says hulloh there
pink whiskers you are just in time to join the minit men which is only a
nicked name he has for me because my whiskers are red brown. No I says I
cannot join anything tonight fellos because I must go right back home
& he says if you dont join the minit men now some day you wont have no
home to go home to & I says what do you mean I wont have no home to go
home to & he says because the Brittish are going to burn down all the
homes of we farmers because we will not sell them any food but first
you had better have a drink. Well Ethen a fello dont like to be a sissey
about taking 1 drink does he & then I says now fellos I must go home
& then a couple of more fellos come in & they said Ed you wont go home
till we have brought you a drink & elect it you to the minit men will
you & I said no but I must go home right after that. Well then we got to
singing & we was going pretty good & after a while I said now fellos I
must go home & Charley Davis says to me Ed before you go I want to have
you shake hands with my friend Tom Duffy who is here from Boston & he
will tell you all about the minit men & you can join tonight but look
out or he will drink you under the tabel because he is the worst fish in
Boston & I says sure only I have got to be going home soon because
you remember what hapend last time & I would like to see any body from
Boston drink me under the tabel & bet. you & I Ethen if that fellow is a
fish then my grandmother is the prince of whales & let me tell you what
hapend. After we had drank about 4 or 5 I seen he was getting sort
of wite & I says well Boston lets settle down now to some good steady
drinking & he says listen & I says what & he says listen & I says what &
he says do you know my wife & I says no & he says listen & I says what &
he says shes the best little woman in the world & I says sure & he says
what did you say & I says when & he says you have insult it my wife the
best little woman in the world & he begun to cry & we had only had a
bout 1 qt & wouldnt that knock you for a cockide gool Ethen, only I
guess you arent surprised knowing how much I can holt without feeling
any affects. Well I was feeling pretty good on acct. of drinking the
pride of Boston under the tabel & not feeling any affects only I was
feeling good like a fello naturely feels & the fellos kind of made a lot
of fuss on acct. me drinking him under the tabel so I couldnt very well
of gone home then & after a while Charley Davis made a speech & well
comed me into the minit men & so I am a minit man Ethen but I cant
exackly explain it to you until I see Charley again because he didnt
make it very clear that night. Well after a while we woke the Boston
fish up & we all went home & I was feeling pretty good on acct. it being
such a nice night & all the stars being out & etc. & when I got home I
said Prudence guess what hapend & she says I can guess & I says Prudence
I have been elect it a minit man & she says well go on up stares & sleep
it off & I says sleep what off & she says stop talking so loud do you
want the naybers to wake up & I says whos talking loud & she says o go
to bed & I says I am talking in conversational tones & she says well
you must be conversing with somebody in Boston & I says o you mean that
little blond on Beecon St. & Ethen she went a 1,000,000 mi. up in the
air & I seen it wasnt no use to try & tell her that the reason I was
feeling good was on acct. having drank a Boston swelt hed to sleep
without feeling any affects & I bet the next time I get a chanct I am
going to get snooted right because a fello gets blamed just as much if
he doesnt feel the affects as if he was brought home in a stuper & I
was just kidding her about that blond on Beecon St. Some women dont know
when they are well off Ethen & I bet that guy from Bostons Tom Duffy
I mean wife wishes she was in Prudences shoes instead of her having
married a man what cant holt no more than a qt. without being brought
home in a stuper. Best rgds. Ed.

Friend Ethen--

Well Ethen this is a funny world & when I joined the minit men last mo.
how was I to know that they called them minit men because they was lible
to get shot any minit. & here I am riteing to you in a tent outside
Boston & any minit a canon ball is lible to knock me for a continental
loop & my house has been burnt & Prudence is up in Conk Cord with her
sister the one who married that short skate dum bell Collins who has
owed me 2 lbs. for a yr. & 1/2 well Ethen it never ranes but it pores &
you can be glad you are liveing in a nice quiet place like Philly.

Well the other night I and Prudence was sound asleep when I heard some
body banging at the frt. door & I stuck my head out the up stares window
& I says who are you & he says I am Paul Revear & I says well this is a
h--ll of a time to be wakeing a peaceiful man out of their bed what do
you want & he says the Brittish are comeing & I says o are they well
this is the 19 of April not the 1st & I was going down stares to plank
him 1 but he had rode away tow wards Lexington before I had a chanct
& as it turned out after words the joke was on me O. K. Well who is it
says Prudence Charley Davis again because you might as well come back
to bed if it is & I says no it was some Boston smart alick trying to be
funny & I guess they are soar down there on acct. what hapened to their
prize fish up here last mo. & are trying to get even do you know a Paul
Revear & she says yes there was a boy at school named Paul Revear who
was crazy about me was he dark well Ethen if all the fellos she says has
been crazy about her was layed end to end they would circum navygate the
globe twicet & I says no he was yello & that had her stopt so we went
back to sleep only I couldn't help laffing over the way I had slipt it
across. About Revear being yello. Well along a bout A. M. there was a
lot of gun firing tow wards Lexington & Prudence grabed me & says whets
the shooting for & I says probably that fello Revear who was so crazy
a bout you has got funny oncet to oft ten & it will teach them Boston
doodes a lesson. Well Ethen I was wrong for oncet & the firing kept
getting worse & I hitcht up old Bessy & drove over to Lexington Bessy is
are horse & Ethen there was the h--ll to pay there because the g--d
d--m Brittish redcotes had marcht nup from Boston & had fired on the
Lexington fellos & Charley Davis had been shot dead & a lot of the other
fellos was wooned it & they said you had better get your wife to the
h--ll out of your house because the g--d d--m Brittish redcotes are
coming back & they will burn everything along the rode the ---- I guess
you know what word goes there Ethen & I was so d--m mad at those g--d
d--m Brittish redcotes on acct. shooting Charley Davis dead that I said
give me a gun & show me the ---- who done it & they says no you had
better get your wife to a safe place to go to & then you can come back
because the ---- will be along this way again the ----. Well I drove as
fast as I could back to the farm & somebody had already told Prudence
what had hapend & as soon as I drove into the yd. she come out with my
muskit & hand it it to me & says dont you worry about me but you kill
every d--m redcote you can see & I says the ----s has killed Charley
Davis & she says I know it & here is all the bullits I could find. Well
when I got back to Lexington the redcotes was just coming along & Ethen
I guess they wont forget that march back to Boston for a little whiles
& I guess I wont either because the ----s burnt down my house & barn
& Prudence is gone to stay with her sister in Conk Cord & here I am
camping in a tent with a lot of other minit men on the out skirts of
Boston & there is a roomer a round camp that to morrow we are going to
move over to Bunker Hill which is a good name for a Boston Hill Ill say
& Ethen if you was to of told me a mo. ago that I would be fighting to
get Boston away from the Brittish I would of planked you 1 because they
could of had Boston for all I cared. Well Ethen I must go out and drill
some more now & probably we will half to listen to some Boston bird
makeing a speech they are great fellos for speeches about down with
Brittish tirrany & give me liberty or give me death but if you was
to ast me Ethen I would say give me back that house & barn what those
lousie redcotes burnt & when this excitement is all over what I want to
know is Ethen where do I get off at. Yrs                Ed.

Chapter Six


In the Bedtime Story Manner of Thornton W. Burgess

"Just the DAY for a Whisky Rebellion," said Aunt Polly and off she ran,
lipperty-lipperty-lip, to get a few shooting rifles.

"Oh goody goody," cried little Emily. "Now we can all shoot at those
horrid Revenue Officers," for the collectors of internal revenue were
far from popular with these kindly Pennsylvania folk and Aunt Polly
Pinkwood had often promised the children that if they were good some day
they would be allowed to take a shot at a Revenue Officer.

Soon she returned, bearing in her arms a number of bright shiny new
guns. The children crowded around in glee and soon all were supplied
with weapons except little Frank who of course was too young to use a
gun and was given a two-gallon jug of nice, old whisky to carry. Jed
hitched up old Taylor, the faithful farm horse, and as quick as you
could say Jack Robinson the little ones had piled into the old carryall.
Round Mr. Sun was just peeping over the Purple Hills when the merry
little party started on its way, singing and laughing at the prospect of
the day's sport.

"I bet I kill five Revenue Officers," said little Edgar.

"Ha Ha Ha--you boaster, you," laughed Aunt Polly. "You will be lucky if
you kill two, for I fear they will be hard to find today."

"Oh do you think so, Aunt Polly?" said little Elinor and she began to
cry, for Elinor dearly loved to shoot.

"Hush dear," said Miss Pinkwood with a kindly pat, for she loved her
little charges and it hurt her to see them unhappy. "I was only joking.
And now children I will tell you a story."

"Oh goody goody," cried they all. "Tell us a true story."

"All right," said Aunt Polly. "I shall tell you a true story," and she

"Once there was a brave handsome man--"

"Mr. Welsbach," cried the children with one voice, for it was well
known in the neighborhood that Aunt Polly had long been sweet on Julius
Welsbach, the popular superintendent of the Sabbath School and the best
whisky maker for miles around.

"Hush children," said Aunt Polly blushing in vexation. "Of course not.
And if you interrupt me I shall not tell my story at all." But she was
not really angry.

"And one day this brave handsome man was out making whisky and he had
just sampled some when he looked up and what do you suppose he saw?"

"Snakes," cried little Elmer whose father had often had delirium
tremens, greatly to the delight of his children.

"No, Elmer," said Miss Pinkwood, "not snakes."

"Pink lizards," cried little Esther, Elmer's sister.

"No," said Aunt Polly, with a hearty laugh, "he saw a--stranger. And
what do you suppose the stranger had?"

"A snoot full," chorused the Schultz twins. "He was pie-eyed."

"No," replied Miss Pinkwood laughing merrily. "It was before noon. Guess
again children. What did the stranger have?"

"Blind staggers," suggested little Faith whose mother had recently been
adjudged insane.

"Come children," replied Aunt Polly. "You are not very wide awake this
morning. The stranger had a gun. And when the brave handsome man offered
the stranger a drink what do you suppose the stranger said?"

"I know," cried little Prudence eagerly. "He said, 'Why yes I don't care
if I do.' That's what they all say."

"No, Prudence," replied Miss Pinkwood. "The stranger refused a drink."

"Oh come now, Aunt Polly," chorused the boys and girls. "You said you
were going to tell us a true story." And their little faces fell.

"Children," said Miss Polly, "the stranger refused the drink because he
was a Revenue Officer. And he pointed his gun at the brave handsome man
and said he would have to go to jail because he had not paid the tax on
his whisky. And the brave handsome man would have had to have gone to
jail, too; but fortunately his brother came up just at the right time

"Shot the Revenuer dead," cried the children in glee.

"Yes children," said Miss Polly. "He shot the Revenue Officer dead."

"Oh goody goody," cried all. "Now tell us another story. Tell us about
the time your father killed a Revenue Officer with an ax."

"Oh you don't want to hear that again, do you children?" said Aunt

"Oh yes--yes--please," they cried, and Aunt Polly was just going to
begin when Jed the driver stopped his horses and said:

"This hilltop is as good a place to shoot from as I know of, Miss
Pinkwood. You can see both roads, and nobody can see you."

"Thank you, Jed," said Aunt Polly giving him a kindly smile, and without
more ado the children clambered out of the carryall and filled their
guns with powder and bullets.

"I get first shot," proudly announced Robert, the oldest boy, and
somewhat of a bully.

"Robert!" said Aunt Polly severely, and she looked almost ready to cry,
for Aunt Polly had tried hard to teach the boys to be true knights of
chivalry and it hurt her to have Robert wish to shoot a Revenue Officer
before the girls had had a chance. Robert had not meant to hurt Aunt
Polly's feelings but had only been thoughtless, and soon all was
sunshine again as little Ellen the youngest made ready to fire the first

The children waited patiently and soon they were rewarded by the sight
of a Revenue Officer riding on horseback in the distant valley, as
pretty a target as one could wish.

"Now do be careful, dear," whispered Miss Pinkwood, "for if you miss, he
may take alarm and be off." But little Ellen did not miss. "Bang" went
her gun and the little Merry Breezes echoed back and forth, "She got
him. She got him", and old Mother West Wind smiled down at the happy
sport. Sure enough, when old Mr. Smoke had cleared away there was a nice
dead Revenue Officer lying in the road. "Well done, Ellen," said Miss
Pinkwood, patting her little charge affectionately which caused the
happy girl to coo with childish delight.

Mary had next shot and soon all were popping away in great glee. All
the merry wood folk gathered near to watch the children at their sport.
There was Johnny Chuck and Reddy Fox and Jimmy Skunk and Bobby Coon and
oh everybody.

Soon round Mr. Sun was high in the Blue Sky and the children began to
tire somewhat of their sport. "I'm as hungry as a bear," said little
Dick. "I'm as hungry as two bears," said Emily. "Ha Ha Ha," laughed Miss
Pinkwood, "I know what will fix that," and soon she had spread out a
delicious repast. "Now children," said Miss Pinkwood when all had
washed their faces and hands, "while you were busy washing I prepared
a surprise for you," and from a large jug, before their delighted gaze,
she poured out--what do you think? "Bronxes," cried little Harriet. "Oh
goody goody." And sure enough Aunt Polly had prepared a jug of delicious
Bronx cocktails which all pronounced excellent.

And after that there were sandwiches and olives and pie and good three
year old whisky, too.

"That's awfully smooth rye, Aunt Polly," said little Prudence smacking
her two red lips. "I think I'll have another shot."

"No dear," said Miss Pinkwood, pleased by the compliment, but firm
withal. "Not now. Perhaps on the way home, if there is any left," for
Aunt Polly knew that too much alcohol in the middle of the day is bad
for growing children, and she had seen many a promising child spoiled by
over-indulgent parents.

After lunch those children who could stand helped Aunt Polly to clear
away the dishes and then all went sound asleep, as is the custom in

When they awoke round Mr. Sun was just sinking behind the Purple Hills
and so, after taking a few more scattered shots at Revenue Officers,
they piled once more into the carryall and drove back to town. And
as they passed Mrs. Oliphant's house (Aunt Polly's sister) Aunt Flo
Oliphant came out on the porch and waved her handkerchief at the merry

"Let's give her a cheer," said Fred.

"Agreed," cried they all, and so twelve little throats united in three
lusty "huzzahs" which made Auntie Flo very happy you may be sure.

And as they drove up before the Pinkwoods' modest home twelve tired but
happy children with one accord voted the Whisky Rebellion capital fun
and Aunt Polly a brick.



In the Manner of Harold Bell Wright

On a brisk winter evening in the winter of 1864 the palatial Fifth
Avenue "palace" of Cornelius van der Griff was brilliantly lighted with
many brilliant lights. Outside the imposing front entrance a small group
of pedestrians had gathered to gape enviously at the invited guests of
the "four hundred" who were beginning to arrive in elegant equipages,
expensive ball-dresses and fashionable "swallowtails".

"Hully gee!" exclaimed little Frank, a crippled newsboy who was the only
support of an aged mother, as a particularly sumptuous carriage drove
up and a stylishly dressed lady of fifty-five or sixty stepped out
accompanied by a haughty society girl and an elderly gentleman in
clerical dress. It was Mrs. Rhinelander, a social leader, and her
daughter Geraldine, together with the Rev. Dr. Gedney, pastor of an
exclusive Fifth Avenue church.

"What common looking people," said Mrs. Rhinelander, surveying the crowd
aristocratically with her lorgnette.

"Yes, aren't they?" replied the clergyman with a condescending glance
which ill befit his clerical garb.

"I'm glad you don't have people like that dans votre eglise, Dr.
Gedney," said young Geraldine, who thought it was "smart" to display her
proficiency in the stylish French tongue. At this moment the door of the
van der Griff residence was opened for them by an imposing footman in
scarlet livery and they passed into the abode of the "elect".

"Hully gee!" repeated little Frank.

"What's going on to-night?" asked a newcomer.

"Gee--don't youse know?" answered the newsboy. "Dis is de van der
Griffs' and tonight dey are giving a swell dinner for General Grant. Dat
lady wot just went in was old Mrs. Rhinelander. I seen her pitcher in
de last Harper's Weekly and dere was a story in de paper dis morning dat
her daughter Geraldine was going to marry de General."

"That isn't so," broke in another. "It was just a rumor."

"Well, anyway," said Frank, "I wisht de General would hurry up and
come--it's getting cold enough to freeze the tail off a brass monkey."
The onlookers laughed merrily at his humorous reference to the frigid
temperature, although many cast sympathetic looks at his thin threadbare
garments and registered a kindly thought for this brave boy who so
philosophically accepted the buffets of fate.

"I bet this is him now," cried Frank, and all waited expectantly as a
vehicle drove up. The cabman jumped off his box and held the carriage
door open.

"Here you are, Miss Flowers," he said, touching his hat respectfully.

A silver peal of rippling laughter sounded from the interior of the

"Why Jerry," came in velvet tones addressed to the coachman, "You
mustn't be so formal just because I have come to New York to live.
Call me 'Miss Ella,' of course, just like you did when we lived out in
Kansas," and with these words Miss Ella Flowers, for it was she, stepped
out of the carriage.

A hush fell on the crowd as they caught sight of her face--a hush of
silent tribute to the clear sweet womanhood of that pure countenance.
A young man on the edge of the crowd who was on the verge of becoming
a drunkard burst into tears and walked rapidly away to join the nearest
church. A pr-st---te who had been plying her nefarious trade on the
avenue, sank to her knees to pray for strength to go back to her aged
parents on the farm. Another young man, catching sight of Ella's pure
face, vowed to write home to his old mother and send her the money he
had been expending in the city on drinks and dissipation.

And well might these city people be affected by the glimpse of the
sweet noble virtue which shone forth so radiantly in this Kansas girl's
countenance. Although born in Jersey City, Ella had moved with her
parents to the west at an early age and she had grown up in the open
country where a man's a man and women lead clean sweet womanly lives.
Out in the pure air of God's green places and amid kindly, simple, big
hearted folks, little Ella had blossomed and thrived, the pride of
the whole country, and as she had grown to womanhood there was many a
masculine heart beat a little faster for her presence and many a manly
blush of admiration came into the features of her admirers as she
whirled gracefully with them in the innocent pleasure of a simple
country dance. But on her eighteenth birthday, her parents had passed on
to the Great Beyond and the heartbroken Ella had come East to live with
Mrs. Montgomery, her aunt in Jersey City. This lady, being socially
prominent in New York's "four hundred", was of course quite ambitious
that her pretty little niece from the West should also enter society.
For the last three months, therefore, Ella had been feted at all the
better class homes in New York and Jersey City, and as Mrs. van der
Griff, the Fifth Avenue social leader, was in the same set as Ella's
aunt, it was only natural that when making out her list of guests for
the dinner in honor of General Grant she should include the beautiful
niece of her friend.

As Ella stepped from the carriage, her gaze fell upon little Frank, the
crippled newsboy, and her eyes quickly filled with tears, for social
success had not yet caused her to forget that "blessed are the weak".
Taking out her purse, she gave Frank a silver dollar and a warm look of
sympathy as she passed into the house.

"Gee, there went an angel," whispered the little cripple, and many who
heard him silently echoed that thought in their hearts. Nor were they
far from wrong.

But even an angel is not free from temptation, and by letting Ella
go into society her aunt was exposing the girl to the whisperings of
Satan--whisperings of things material rather than things spiritual. Many
a girl just as pure as Ella has found her standards gradually lowered
and her moral character slowly weakened by the contact with the
so-called "refined" and "cultured" infidels one meets in fashionable
society. Many a father and mother whose ambition has caused them to have
their daughter go out in society have bitterly repented of that step as
they watched the poor girl gradually succumbing to the temptation of the
world. Let her who thinks it is "smart" to be in society consider that
our brothels with their red plush curtains, their hardwood floors and
their luxurious appointments, are filled largely with the worn out
belles and debutantes of fashionable society.

The next minute a bugle call sounded down the street and up drove a team
of prancing grays. Two soldiers sprang down from the coachman's box and
stood at rigid attention while the door of the carriage opened and out
stepped General Ulysses S. Grant.

A murmur of admiration swept over the crowd at the sight of his manly
inspiring features, in which the clean cut virility of a life free from
dissipation was accentuated by the neatly trimmed black beard. His erect
military bearing--his neat, well fitting uniform--but above all his
frank open face proclaimed him a man's man--a man among men. A cheer
burst from the lips of the onlookers and the brave but modest general
lowered his eyes and blushed as he acknowledged their greeting.

"Men and women," he said, in a voice which although low, one could see
was accustomed to being obeyed, "I thank you for your cheers. It makes
my heart rejoice to hear them, for I know you are not cheering me
personally but only as one of the many men who are fighting for the
cause of liberty and freedom, and for----" the general's voice broke a
little, but he mastered his emotion and went on--"for the flag we all

At this he pulled from his pocket an American flag and held it up so
that all could see. Cheer after cheer rent the air, and tears came to
the general's eyes at this mark of devotion to the common cause.

"Wipe the d--d rebels off the face of the earth, G-d d--'em," shouted a
too enthusiastic member of the crowd who, I fear, was a little the worse
for drink. In an instant General Grant had stepped up to him and fixed
upon him those fearless blue eyes.

"My man," said the general, "It hurts me to hear you give vent to those
oaths, especially in the presence of ladies. Soldiers do not curse, and
I think you would do well to follow their example."

The other lowered his head shamefacedly. "General," he said, "You're
right and I apologize."

A smile lit up the general's handsome features and he extended his hand
to the other.

"Shake on it," he said simply, and as the crowd roared its approval of
this speech the two men "shook".

Meanwhile within the van der Griff house all were agog with excitement
in expectation of the arrival of the distinguished guest. Expensively
dressed ladies fluttered here and there amid the elegant appointments;
servants in stylish livery passed to and fro with trays of wine and
other spirituous liquors.

At the sound of the cheering outside, the haughty Mrs. Rhinelander
patted her daughter Geraldine nervously, and between mother and daughter
passed a glance of understanding, for both felt that to-night, if ever,
was Geraldine's opportunity to win the handsome and popular general.

The doorbell rang, and a hush fell over the chattering assemblage;
then came the proud announcement from the doorman--"General Ulysses S.
Grant"--and all the society belles crowded forward around the guest of

It had been rumored that the general, being a soldier, was ignorant of
social etiquette, but such proved to be far from the case. Indeed, he
handled himself with such ease of manner that he captivated all, and for
each and every young miss he had an apt phrase or a pretty compliment,
greatly to their delight.

"Pleased to know you"--"Glad to shake the hand of such a pretty
girl"--"What a nice little hand--I wish I might hold it all
evening"--with these and kindred pleasantries the general won the way
into the graces of Mrs. van der Griff's fair guests, and many a female
heart fluttered in her bosom as she gazed into the clear blue eyes of
the soldier, and listened to his well chosen tactful words.

"And how is the dear General this evening?"--this in the affected tone
of old Mrs. Rhinelander, as she forced her way through the crowd.

"Finer than silk," replied he, and he added, solicitously, "I hope you
have recovered from your lumbago, Mrs. Rhinelander."

"Oh quite," answered she, "and here is Geraldine, General," and the
ambitious mother pushed her daughter forward.

"Comment vous portez vous, mon General," said Geraldine in French, "I
hope we can have a nice tete-a-tete to-night," and she fawned upon her
prey in a manner that would have sickened a less artificial gathering.

Were there not some amid all that fashionable throng in whom ideals
of purity and true womanhood lived--some who cared enough for the
sacredness of real love to cry upon this hollow mockery that was being
used to ensnare the simple, honest soldier? There was only one, and she
was at that moment entering the drawing room for the purpose of being
presented to the general. Need I name her?

Ella, for it was she, had been upstairs busying herself with her toilet
when General Grant had arrived and she now hurried forward to pay her
homage to the great soldier. And then, as she caught sight of his face,
she stopped suddenly and a deep crimson blush spread over her features.
She looked again, and then drew back behind a nearby portiere, her heart
beating wildly.

Well did Ella remember where she had seen that countenance before, and
as she stood there trembling the whole scene of her folly came back to
her. It had happened in Kansas, just before her parents died, on one
sunny May morning. She had gone for a walk; her footsteps had led her to
the banks of a secluded lake where she often went when she wished to be
alone. Many an afternoon had Ella dreamed idly away on this shore, but
that day, for some reason, she had felt unusually full of life and not
at all like dreaming. Obeying a thoughtless but innocent impulse, with
no intention of evil, she had taken off her clothes and plunged thus
n-k-d into the cool waters of the lake. After she had swum around a
little she began to realize the extent of her folly and was hurriedly
swimming towards the shore when a terrific cramp had seized her lower
limbs, rendering them powerless. Her first impulse, to scream for help,
was quickly checked with a deep blush, as she realized the consequences
if a man should hear her call, for nearby was an encampment of Union
soldiers, none of whom she knew. The perplexed and helpless girl was in
sore straits and was slowly sinking for the third time, when a bearded
stranger in soldier's uniform appeared on the bank and dove into the
water. To her horror he swam rapidly towards her--but her shame was soon
changed to joy when she realized that he was purposely keeping his eyes
tight shut. With a few swift powerful strokes he reached her side, and,
blushing deeply, took off his blue coat, fastened it around her, opened
his eyes, and swam with her to the shore. Carrying her to where she had
left her clothes he stayed only long enough to assure himself that she
had completely recovered the use of her limbs, and evidently to spare
her further embarrassment, had vanished as quickly and as mysteriously
as he had appeared.

Many a night after that had Ella lain awake thinking of the splendid
features and, the even more splendid conduct of this unknown knight who
wore the uniform of the Union army. "How I love him," she would whisper
to herself; "but how he must despise me!" she would cry, and her pillow
was often wet with tears of shame and mortification at her folly.

It was shortly after this episode that her parents had taken sick and
passed away. Ella had come East and had given up hope of ever seeing her
rescuer again. You may imagine her feelings then when, on entering the
drawing room at the van der Griffs', she discovered that the stranger
who had so gallantly and tactfully rescued her from a watery grave was
none other than General Ulysses S. Grant.

The poor girl was torn by a tumult of contrary emotions. Suppose he
should remember her face. She blushed at the thought. And besides what
chance had she to win such a great man's heart in competition with these
society girls like Geraldine Rhinelander who had been "abroad" and spoke

At that moment one of the liveried servants approached the general with
a trayful of filled wine glasses. So engrossed was the soldier hero
in talking to Geraldine--or, rather, in listening to her alluring
chatter--that he did not at first notice what was being offered him.

"Will you have a drink of champagne wine, General?" said Mrs. van der
Griff who stood near.

The general raised his head and frowned as if he did not understand.

"Come, mon General," cried Geraldine gayly, "We shall drink a votre
succes dans la guerre," and the flighty girl raised a glass of wine on
high. Several of the guests crowded around and all were about to drink
to the general's health.

"Stop," cried General Grant suddenly realizing what was being done, and
something in the tone of his voice made everyone pause.

"Madam," said he, turning to Mrs. van der Griff, "Am I to understand
that there is liquor in those glasses?"

"Why yes, General," said the hostess smiling uneasily. "It is just a
little champagne wine."

"Madam," said the general, "It may be 'just champagne wine' to you,
but 'just champagne wine' has ruined many a poor fellow and to me all
alcoholic beverages are an abomination. I cannot consent, madam, to
remain under your roof if they are to be served. I have never taken
a drop--I have tried to stamp it out of the army, and I owe it to my
soldiers to decline to be a guest at a house where wine and liquor are

An excited buzz of comment arose as the general delivered this
ultimatum. A few there were who secretly approved his sentiments, but
they were far too few in numbers and constant indulgence in alcohol had
weakened their wills so that they dared not stand forth. An angry flush
appeared on the face of the hostess, for in society, "good form" is more
important than courage and ideals, and by his frank statement General
Grant had violently violated the canons of correct social etiquette.

"Very well, Mr. Grant," she said, stressing the "Mr."--"if that's the
way you feel about it----"

"Stop," cried an unexpected voice, and to the amazement of all Ella
Flowers stepped forward, her teeth clenched, her eyes blazing.

"Stop," she repeated, "He is right--the liquor evil is one of the worst
curses of modern civilization, and if General Grant leaves, so do I."

Mrs. van der Griff hesitated for an instant, and then suddenly forced a

"Why Ella dear, of course General Grant is right," said she, for it was
well known in financial circles that her husband, Mr. van der Griff, had
recently borrowed heavily from Ella's uncle. "There will not be a drop
of wine served to-night, and now General, shall we go in to dinner? Will
you be so kind as to lead the way with Miss Rhinelander?" The hostess
had recovered her composure, and smiling sweetly at the guest of honor,
gave orders to the servants to remove the wine glasses.

But General Grant did not hear her; he was looking at Ella Flowers. And
as he gazed at the sweet beauty of her countenance he seemed to feel
rising within him something which he had never felt before--something
which made everything else seem petty and trivial. And as he looked into
her eyes and she looked into his, he read her answer--the only answer
true womanhood can make to clean, worthy manhood.

"Shall we go a la salle-a-manger?" sounded a voice in his ears, and
Geraldine's sinuous arm was thrust through his.

General Grant took the proffered talon and gently removed it from him.

"Miss Rhinelander," he said firmly, "I am taking this young lady as my
partner," and suiting the action to the word, he graciously extended his
arm to Ella who took it with a pretty blush.

It was General Grant's turn to blush when the other guests, with a few
exceptions, applauded his choice loudly, and made way enthusiastically
as the handsome couple advanced to the brilliantly lighted dining room.

But although the hostess had provided the most costly of viands, I am
afraid that the brave general did not fully appreciate them, for in his
soul was the joy of a strong man who has found his mate and in his heart
was the singing of the eternal song, "I love her--I love her--I love

It was only too apparent to the other guests what had happened and to
their credit be it said that they heartily approved his choice, for
Mrs. Rhinelander and her scheming daughter Geraldine had made countless
enemies with their haughty manners, whereas the sweet simplicity of
Ella Flowers had won her numerous friends. And all laughed merrily when
General Grant, in his after dinner speech, said "flowers" instead of
"flour" when speaking of provisioning the army--a slip which caused both
the general and Miss Flowers to blush furiously, greatly to the delight
of the good-natured guests. "All the world loves a lover"--truer words
were never penned.

After dinner, while the other men, according to the usages of best
society, were filling the air of the dining room with the fumes of
nicotine, the general, who did not use tobacco, excused himself--amid
many sly winks from the other men--and wandered out into the

There he found Ella.

"General," she began.

"Miss Flowers," said the strong man simply, "Call me Ulysses."

And there let us leave them.



In the Manner of Edith Wharton

It was already late afternoon and the gas street lamps of the Boul'
Mich' were being lighted for Paris, or at least for Paris in summer, by
a somewhat frigid looking allumeur, when Philip Custer came to the
end of his letter. He hesitated for an instant, wrote "Your----," then
crossed that out and substituted "Sincerely." No, decidedly the first
ending, with its, as is, or, rather, as ordinarily is, the case in
hymeneal epistles, somewhat possessive sense, would no longer suffice.
"Yours truly"--perhaps; "sincerely"--better; but certainly not "Your
husband." He was done, thank God, with presences.

Philip sipped his absinthe and gazed for an instant through the Cafe
window; a solitary fiacre rattled by; he picked up the result of his
afternoon's labor, wearily.

"Dear Mary," he read, "When I told you that my employers were sending
me to Paris, I lied to you. It was, perhaps, the first direct lie that I
ever told you; it was, I know now, the last. But a falsehood by word of
mouth mattered really very little in comparison with the enormous lie
that my life with you had become."

Philip paused and smiled, somewhat bitterly, at that point in the
letter. Mary, with her American woman's intuition, would undoubtedly
surmise that he had run off with Mrs. Everett; there was a certain
ironical humor in the fact that Mary's mistaken guess would be sadly
indicative of her whole failure to understand what her husband was, to
use a slang expression, "driving at."

"I hope that you will believe me when I say that I came to Paris to
paint. In the past four years the desire to do that has grown steadily
until it has mastered me. You do not understand. I found no one in
America who did. I think my mother might have, had she lived; certainly
it is utterly incomprehensible to father."

Philip stopped. Ay, there was the rub--General Custer, and all that he
stood for. Philip glimpsed momentarily those early boyhood days with his
father, spent mainly in army posts; the boy's cavalry uniform, in which
he had ridden old Bess about the camp, waving his miniature sabre; the
day he had been thrown to the ground by a strange horse which he had
disobediently mounted, just as his father arrived on the scene.
Philip had never forgotten his father's words that day. "Don't crawl,
son,--don't whine. It was your fault this time and you deserved what you
got. Lots of times it won't be your fault, but you'll have to take
your licking anyway. But remember this, son--take your medicine like a

Philip groaned; he knew what the general would say when the news of his
son's desertion of his wife and four year old boy reached him. He knew
that he never could explain to his father the absolute torture of the
last four years of enervating domesticity and business mediocrity--the
torture of the Beauty within him crying for expression, half satisfied
by the stolen evenings at the art school but constantly growing stronger
in its all-consuming appeal. No, life to his father was a simple problem
in army ethics--a problem in which duty was "a", one of the known
factors; "x," the unknown, was either "bravery" or "cowardice" when
brought in contact with "a". Having solved this problem, his father
had closed the book; of the higher mathematics, and especially of those
complex problems to which no living man knew the final answer, he had no
conception. And yet----

Philip resumed his reading to avoid the old endless maze of subtleties.

"It is not that I did not--or do not--love you. It is, rather, that
something within me is crying out--something which is stronger than
I, and which I cannot resist. I have waited two years to be sure.
Yesterday, as soon as I reached here, I took my work to the man who is
considered the finest art critic in Paris. He told me that there was a
quality to my painting which he had seen in that of no living artist; he
told me that in five years of hard work I should be able to produce work
which Botticelli would be proud to have done. Do you understand that,

"But no, forgive me. My paean of joy comes strangely in a letter which
should be of abject humility for what must seem to you, to father, and
to all, a cowardly, selfish act of desertion--a whining failure to face
life. Oh dear, dear Mary if you could but understand what a hell I have
been through--"

Philip took his pen and crossed out the last line so that no one could
read what had been there.

"Materially, of course, you and little George will be better off; the
foolish pride with which I refused to let your parents help us now
no longer stands in their way. You should have no difficulty about a

"You can dispose of my things as you see fit; there is nothing I care
about keeping which I did not bring.

"Again, Mary, I cannot ask you to forgive, or even to understand, but I
do hope that you will believe me when I say that this act of mine is
the most honest thing I have ever done, and that to have acted out the
tragi-comedy in the part of a happy contented husband would have made of
both of our lives a bitter useless farce. Sincerely,        Philip."

He folded the pages and addressed the envelope.

"Pardon, Monsieur"--a whiff of sulphur came to his nose as the waiter
bent over the table to light the gas above him. "Would Monsieur like
to see the journal? There is a most amusing story about---- The bill,
Monsieur? Yes--in a moment."

Philip glanced nervously through the pages of the Temps. He was anxious
to get the letter to the post--to have done with indecision and worry.
It would be a blessed relief when the thing was finally done beyond
chance of recall; why couldn't that stupid waiter hurry?

On the last page of the newspaper was an item headlined "Recent News
from America." Below was a sub-heading "Horrible Massacre of Soldiers by
Indians--Brave Stand of American Troopers." He caught the name "Custer"
and read:

"And by his brave death at the hands of the Indians, this gallant
American general has made the name of Custer one which will forever be
associated with courage of the highest type."

He read it all through again and sat quietly as the hand of Polyphemus
closed over him. He even smiled a little--a weary, ironic smile.

"Monsieur desires something more, perhaps"--the waiter held out the

Philip smiled. "No--Monsieur has finished--there is nothing more."

Then he repeated slowly, "There is nothing more."

* * * * *

Philip watched his son George blow out the twelve candles on his
birthday cake.

"Mother," said George, "when I get to be eighteen, can I be a soldier
just like grandfather up there?" He pointed to the portrait of Philip's
father in uniform which hung in the dining room.

"Of course you can, dear," said his mother. "But you must be a brave

"Grandfather was awful brave, wasn't he father?" This from little Mary
between mouthfuls of cake.

"Yes, Mary," Philip answered. "He was very, very brave."

"Of course he was," said George. "He was an American."

"Yes," answered Philip, "That explains it.--he was an American."

Mrs. Custer looked up at the portrait of her distinguished

"You know Philip, I think it must be quite nice to be able to paint a
picture like that. I've often wondered why you never kept up your art."




Act I: In the Manner of Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews

Act 2: In the Manner of Eugene O'Neill


(Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews)


 A principal street of an American city in the spring of 1918.

At the rear of the stage, representing the opposite sidewalk of the
street, are gathered many people come to bid farewell to the boys of the
Blankth regiment who are soon to march past on their way to France.

Extending across the "street", from footlights to "sidewalk", is a large
white plaster arch, gayly decorated with the Allied colors.

On this arch is the inscription "For the Freedom of the World."

At the rising of the curtain, distant march music is heard (off stage,
right); this constantly grows louder during the ensuing dialogue which
takes place between three elderly women crowded together at the edge
of the sidewalk. These women, although, before the war, of different
stations in social rank, are now united, as are all mothers in the
Allied countries, by the glorious badge which each proudly wears pinned
over her heart--the service star.

The Professor's Wife--I hear them coming.

The Street-cleaner's Wife--So do I. I hope my boy Pat sees me.

The Pawnbroker's Wife--I told my Jean where to look.

The approaching music and the cheering of the spectators drowns out
further conversation.

Enter (right) the regimental band playing the "Stars and Stripes
Forever." They march through the arch and exit left. Following them
comes the flag, at the sight of which all the male spectators (young
boys and men too old to fight) remove their hats. After the colors come
the troops, splendid clean faced fellows, in whose eyes shines the light
of civilization's ideals, in whose ears rings the never forgettable cry
of heroic France and brave little Belgium. The boys are marching four
abreast, with a firm determined step; it is as though each man were
saying to himself "They shall not pass."

After the first few squads have marched through the arch and off left,
the command is issued off-stage "Company--HALT." A young lieutenant
repeats this order to his men, and the column comes to a stop. The men
stand at attention until given the command "Rest", when they relax and
a murmur of conversation arises from the ranks, in which characteristic
sentences "German ideals are not our ideals" and "Suppose it was your
own sister" show only too well what the boys are thinking of day and

As the column halts, the three service star mothers rush out from the
curb and embrace their sons who happen to be in this company. At the
same time a very attractive girl runs up to the young lieutenant.

   The Lieutenant--Ellen!
   His Fiancee--John!
   The Professor's Son}
   The Streetcleaner's Son } Mother!
   The Pawnbroker's Son }

   The Professor's Wife }
   The Streetcleaner's Wife } My Boy!
   The Pawnbroker's Wife }
   Voice off stage--Company--Atten SHUN!

The farewells are said, the men come to attention.

Voice off stage--Forward--MARCH

The Lieutenant--(Pointing with his sword to the inscription on the
arch)--Forward for the Freedom of the World--MARCH.

The men's teeth click together, their heads are thrown back, and with a
light in their eyes that somehow suggests Joan of Arc the Crusaders move


 Three months later.

A section of an American front line trench now occupied by the Blankth

It is early morning and the three soldiers mentioned in Scene 1 are
conversing together for perhaps the last time, for soon they are to be
given the chance which every American man desires more than anything in
the world--the opportunity to go "over the top".

The Professor's Son--Well fellows, in a few minutes we shall be able to
show the people at home that their boys are not cowards when the fate of
civilization is at stake.

The Pawnbroker's Son--Here's a newspaper clipping mother sent me. It's
from a speech made the other day in Congress. (He reads) "And we and our
children--and our children's children will never forget the debt we owe
those brave boys who are now in France."

The Streetcleaner's Son--That makes a fellow feel pretty good inside,
doesn't it? It makes me glad I'm doing my bit--and after the war I hope
the ideals which have inspired us all will make us better citizens in a
better world.

The Professor's Son--Not only will we be better citizens--not only will
the torch of liberty shine more brightly--but also each one of us will
go back to his job with a deeper vision.

The Pawnbroker's Son--That's right I am a musician--a pianist, you
know--and I hope that after the war I shall be able to tell America,
through my music, of the glory of this holy cause.

The Professor's Son--I didn't know you were a pianist.

The Pawnbroker's Son--Yes--ever since I was a boy--I have had no other
interest. My father tried to make me go into his shop but I couldn't
stand it. He got angry and refused to support me; I had a hard time
until I won a scholarship at a New York musical college. Just before the
war I had a chance to play the Schumann concerto with the Philharmonic;
the critics all said that in another year I would be--but fellows--you
must think me frightfully conceited to talk so, and besides what matters
my musical career in comparison with the sacrifice which everyone is

The Streetcleaner's Son--And gladly making, too, for it is easy to give
up all, as did Joan of Arc, for France. Attention, men! here comes one
of our officers.

 The three stand at attention.

Enter the Lieutenant.

The Lieutenant--Well, men, do you feel ready?

The Three--More than ready, sir--eager.

The Lieutenant--Brave men! (To the Professor's Son) Come here a minute,
Keating. I have something to ask you before we go over the top.

The Professor's Son and the Lieutenant go to one side.

The Lieutenant--(To the other two in a kindly manner)--At ease!

The Streetcleaner's Son--Thank you, sir.

They relax from their rigid posture of "attention".

The Lieutenant--(To the Professor's Son)--Keating, when we "go over",
we--may--never come back, you know. And I want to ask a favor of you.
I am engaged--to a girl back home--here is her picture (he draws a
photograph from his inner breast pocket and shows it to the Professor's

The Professor's Son--She is beautiful, Sir.

The Lieutenant--(Putting the photograph back in his pocket)--Yes very
beautiful. And (dropping his eyes)--I love her. If--if I should "go
west" I want you to write her and tell her that my last thoughts were of
my country and--her. We are to be married--after the war--if (suddenly
clearing his throat). Her name is Ellen Radcliff--here, I'll write the
address down for you.

He does so, and hands the slip of paper to the Professor's Son, who
discreetly turns away.

The Lieutenant--(Brusquely)--That's all, Keating.

A bugle sounds.

The Lieutenant--Attention men! At the next bugle call you go over the
top--remember that you are Americans and that Americans know how to
fight and die in the cause of liberty and for the freedom of the world.
The Three Soldiers--We are ready to make the supreme sacrifice if need

 The bugle sounds.

The Lieutenant--(Climbing up the ladder to the top of the
trench)--Follow me, men--

The Three Soldiers--(Climbing up after him)--Lafayette--we come, though
poppies bloom in Flanders field.

They go "over the top".


 A section of a Hun trench a minute later.  Two Hun soldiers are
conversing together; another Hun is reading a copy of Nietzsche.

First Hun Soldier--And then we cut the hands off all the little
children--oh it was wonderful.

Second Hun Soldier--I wish I had been there.

 A Hun Lieutenant rushes in.

The Hun Lieutenant--(Kicking the three men and brandishing his
revolver)--Swine--wake up--here come the Americans.

 The three spring to their feet and seize their guns. At the top
of the trench appears the American lieutenant, closely followed by the
three soldiers.

The American Lieutenant--(Coolly)--We come to avenge the sinking of the

The Hun Lieutenant--Hoch der Kaiser! Might is stronger than right!

 He treacherously tries to shoot the American but the Professor's
Son disarms him with his bayonet. The three Hun soldiers offer a show of

The Streetcleaner's Son--(To first Hun soldier)--Your hands are unclean
with the murder of innocent women and children.

First Hun Soldier--(Dropping his gun)--Kamerad!

The Pawnbroker's Son--(To the other Hun soldiers)--Prussianism has
destroyed the Germany of Bach and Beethoven and you fellows know it,

Second and third Hun Soldiers--(Dropping their guns)--Kamerad!

The American Lieutenant--Men--you have kept the faith. I am proud of
you. Forward!

 An explosion (not too loud to annoy the audience) is heard off
stage right.

The Professor's Son--(Sinking to the ground) Fellows, I'm afraid they've
got me.

The Streetcleaner's Son--What a shame!

The Lieutenant--Is there anything we can do to ease the pain?

The Professor's Son--(Weakening rapidly) No--go on, boys, carry
the--banner of--civilization's ideals--forward--without me--Tell mother
I'm glad--I did--my bit--for the freedom--of the world--fellows, the
only--thing--I regret--is that I won't--be able to be with you--when
you--go back--to enjoy the gratitude--of America--good-bye, fellows, may
you drink--to the full--the rewards of a grateful nation.

He dies. The others regretfully leave him behind as they push on after
the fleeing Huns.

The stage is slowly darkened--the noise of battle dies away.

Enter an Angel in the uniform of the Y.M.C.A. She goes up to the fallen
hero and taking him in her arms tenderly carries him off the stage.




(Eugene O'Neill)


 The bedroom of a bachelor apartment in New York City in the Fall
of 1920.

There is about the room an air of neglect, as though the occupant did
not particularly give a damn whether he slept in this room or in hell.
This is evidenced in a general way by the absence of any attempts at
decoration and by the presence of dirty laundry and unopened letters
scattered about the room.

The furniture consists of a bed and a bureau; at the foot of the former
is a trunk such as was used by American army officers in the recent war.

Although it is three in the morning, the bed is unoccupied. The electric
light over the bureau has been left lighted.

The lamp flickers and goes out for a minute; when it again flashes on,
the Angel and the Professor's Son are seen standing in the room, as
though they had come there directly from the close of the preceding act;
the Angel, however, has completely removed all Y.M.C.A. insignia and
now has a beard and chews tobacco; from time to time he spits out of the

The angel--Why the hell weren't you satisfied to stay in heaven?

The Professor's Son--Well, I just wanted to see my old buddies once
more--I want to see them enjoying the gratitude of the world.

The Angel--Hmmmm--well, this is where your Lieutenant now lives--and I
think I hear him coming.

 They step behind a curtain.  The noise of a key rattling in a
lock is heard, then a light flashes on in the next room. The sound of
unsteady footsteps--a vase is knocked over--a curse--then enter the

He wears a dinner-coat, one sleeve of which hangs empty. His face is
white, his eyes set, his mouth hard and hopeless. He is drunk--not
hilariously--but with the drunkenness of despair.

He sits down on the bed and remains for several minutes, his head in his

The Lieutenant--God, I'm drunk--(after a pause)--drunk again--well,
what of it--what the hell difference does it make--get drunk if I want
to--sure I will--get drunk--that's the dope DRUNK--oh Christ--!

He throws himself on the bed and after lying there a few minutes sits

The Lieutenant--Gotta have another drink--can't go sleep, God
damn it--brain too clear--gotta kill brain--that's the dope--kill
brain--forget--wipe out past--

He opens the trunk in his search for liquor. He suddenly pulls out his
lieutenant's coat and holds it up.

The Lieutenant--There's that God damn thing--never wanted to see it
again--wound stripes on right sleeve, too--hurrah for brave soldier--arm
shot off to--to make world safe for democracy--blaa--the god damn
hypocrites--democracy hell--arm shot off because I wasn't clever enough
to stay out of it--ought to have had sense enough to join the--the
ordinance department or--or the Y.M.C.A.

He feels aimlessly through the pockets of the coat. Suddenly, from the
inside breast pocket he draws out something--a photograph--

The Lieutenant--Ellen! Oh God!

He gazes at the picture for a long time.

The Lieutenant--Yes, Ellen, I should have joined the Y.M.C.A. shouldn't
I?--where they don't get their arms shot off--couldn't marry a man with
one arm, could you?--of course not--think of looking at an empty
sleeve year after year--children might be born with only one arm,
too--children--oh God damn you, Ellen, you and your Y.M.C.A. husband!

 He tears the picture in two and hurls it into the trunk. Then he
sinks onto the bed, sobbing drunkenly. After a few minutes, he walks
over to the trunk and picks up one half of the torn picture. He turns it
over in his hand and reads the writing on the back.

The Lieutenant (Reading)--"I'm waiting for you, dear--when you have done
your bit 'for the freedom of the world'."

He smiles, wearily, and reaches down to pick up the other half of the
picture. His eye is caught by something shiny; it is his army revolver.
He slowly picks it up and looks at it for a long time.

The Lieutenant--For the freedom of the world--

He quickly opens his top bureau drawer and takes out a box of
cartridges. One of these he inserts in a chamber of his revolver.

The Lieutenant--For the FREEDOM--

He laughs.

As the curtain falls he presses the revolver against his temple and


 A bare room in a boarding house.  To the left is a bed, to the
right a grand piano--the latter curiously out of keeping with the other
cheap furnishings. The room is in partial darkness.

The door slowly swings open; the Angel and the Professor's Son enter.

The Angel--And here you have the room of your friend the Pawnbroker's
Son--the musical genius--with a brilliant future.

They hide in a closet, leaving the door partly open.

Enter Jean, the Pawnbroker's Son. He has on a cutaway suit--a relic
of his first and last public concert before the war. His shoulders sag
dejectedly and his face is drawn and white. He comes in and sits on the
bed. A knock--a determined knock--is heard at the door but Jean does not
move. The door opens and his landlady--a shrewish, sharp faced woman of
40--appears. He gets up off the bed when he sees her and bows.

The Landlady--I forgot you was deef or I wouldn't have wasted my time
hitting my knuckles against your door.

Jean gazes at her.

The Landlady--Well Mr. Rosen I guess you know why I'm here--it's pay up
today or get out.

Jean--Please write it down--you know I cannot hear a word you say. I
suppose it's about the rent.

The landlady takes paper and pencil and writes.

The Landlady--(Reading over the result of her
labor)--"To-day--is--the--last day. If you can't pay, you must get out."

She hands it to Jean and he reads.

Jean--But I cannot pay. Next week perhaps I shall get work--

The Landlady--(Scornfully)--Yes--Next week maybe I have to sell another
liberty bond for seventy dollars what I paid a hundred dollars for, too.
No sir I need the money NOW. Here--

 She writes and hands it to him.

Jean (Reading)--Sell my piano? But please I cannot do that--yet.

The Landlady--A lot of good a piano does a deef person like you. That's
a good one--( She laughs harshly). The deef musician--ho ho--with a

Jean--Madam, I shall pay you surely next week. There has been some delay
in my war risk insurance payment. I should think that you would trust a
soldier who lost his hearing in the trenches--

The Landlady--That's old stuff. You soldiers think just because you
were unlucky enough to get drafted you can spend the rest of your
life patting yourselves on the back. Besides--what good did the war do
anyway--except make a lot of rich people richer?

She scribbles emphatically "Either you pay up tonight or out you go."

Handing this to Jean with a flourish, she exits.

 He sits on the bed for a long time.

Finally he glances up at the wall over his bed where hangs a cheap photo
frame. In the center is a picture of President Wilson; on one side of
this is a crude print of a soldier, on the other side a sailor; above is
the inscription "For the Freedom of the World."

Jean takes down the picture and looks at it. As he replaces it on the
wall he sees hanging above it the bayonet which he had carried through
the war. He slowly takes the weapon down, runs his fingers along the
edge and smiles--a quiet tired smile which does not leave his face
during the rest of the scene.

He walks over to the piano and plays the opening chords of the Schumann
concerto. Then shaking his head sadly, he tenderly closes down the lid
and locks it.

He next writes a note which he folds and places, with the key to the
piano, in an envelope. Sealing and addressing the envelope, he places
it on the piano. Then, walking over to the bed, he picks up the bayonet,
and shutting his eyes for an instant, he steps forward and cuts his
throat as the curtain falls.


 Same as Act 1, Scene 1 except for the changes made in the city
street by a year or more of peace.

The arch across the thoroughfare still stands, although it has become
badly discolored and dirty; the inscription "For the Freedom of the
World" is but faintly visible. As the curtain rises workmen are busy at
work tearing the arch down.

 Enter the Angel and the Professor's Son.

The Angel--Stand over here, out of the way, and you'll see the last of
your cronies--Pat, the Streetcleaner's Son--enjoying the gratitude of
the world.

The Professor's Son does not answer.

 Enter Pat.  He has on an old pair of corduroy trousers, with his
brown army shirt, and shoes out at the heel.

He looks as if he had not slept for days certainly he has not shaved for
a week. He approaches one of the workmen.

Pat--Say buddy any chance for a job here?

The Workman--Hell no. They was fifty applicants yesterday. (Looking
at his army shirt) Most of them ex-soldiers like you. Jobs is mighty

Pat--I'll tell the world they are. I'd almost join the army again,
except for my wife and kid.

The Workman--God--don't do it.

Pat--Why--was you across?

The Workman--Yes, God damn it--eight months. Next war I'll let somebody
else do the fighting.

Pat--Same here. The wise guys were them that stayed at home and kept
their jobs.

The Workman--I'll say they were.

Pat--(Growing more excited)--And while we was over there fighting,
nothing was too good for us--"brave boys," they said, "we shall never
forget what you have done for us." Never forget--hell! In about a year
everybody forgot there ever was a war and a fellow has a hell of a time
getting a job--and when you mention the war they just laugh--why God
damn it, I've been out of work for six months and I ain't no loafer
either and my wife has had to go back to her folks and I'm just about
all in--

 During this speech the work on dismantling the arch has steadily
progressed. Suddenly there comes a warning cry--"Look out"--as the
supports unexpectedly give way. Pat is too engrossed in his tirade to
take heed, and as the center portion of the arch falls it crushes him
beneath its weight. After the cloud of dust clears, he is seen lying
under the mass. By a curious twist of fate he has been crushed by the
portion of the arch bearing the inscription "For the Freedom of the
World." His eyes open for an instant--he reads, through the mist of
approaching death, the words, and he laughs--

Pat--For the Freedom of the World--Oh Christ!

His mocking laughter is interrupted by a severe fit of coughing and he
sinks back dead.

The Professor's Son--Oh God--take me somewhere where I can't ever see
the world.

The angel--Come to heaven.


*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Parody Outline of History" ***

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