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Title: Dramatic Reader for Lower Grades
Author: Holbrook, Florence, 1860-1932
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Dramatic Reader for Lower Grades" ***

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Transcriber's note

Minor punctuation errors have been changed without notice. A printer
error has been changed and is listed at the end.






   COPYRIGHT, 1911,





These little plays--well-known stories done into dialogue--were written
for children who like to imagine themselves living with their favorite
characters in forest, in palace, or in fairyland.

It is hoped that you will enjoy these old friends in their new dress
almost as well as you loved them in the old. When you read the words of
bird or tree or prince or child, try to speak with the voice and manner
which you think that character would use. Thus you will make the reading
a joy to yourselves and a great satisfaction to your hearers.

To try to put oneself in the place of another is very good training for
the imagination. It also teaches us to be more kind to others and to
all living creatures. We learn that most persons are striving to do
better and to be better, and we grow in understanding and sympathy.

May these little plays help you to the enjoyment of the great dramas
which you will read when you are older.

                                           FLORENCE HOLBROOK



   LITTLE RED RIDING-HOOD                                     7

   GOLDILOCKS, OR THE THREE BEARS                            16

   THE BIRD WITH THE BROKEN WING                             26

   CORNELIA AND HER JEWELS                                   34

   CINDERELLA                                                39

   THE PIED PIPER                                            56

   MOTHER GOOSE'S PARTY                                      65

   LITTLE TWO-EYES                                           83

   THE DAYS OF THE WEEK                                     100

   HÄNSEL AND GRETEL                                        107

   KING ALFRED                                              125

   ROBIN HOOD AND THE SAD KNIGHT                            139

   WILLIAM TELL                                             152

   TIME AND THE SEASONS                                     162

   THE GINGERBREAD MAN                                      170

   THE GOOD FAIRY                                           178




SCENE I.--_At Red Riding-Hood's Home_

_Mother._ Would you like to go to grandmother's to-day, my child? The
sun is bright and the air is warm and pleasant.

_Little Red Riding-Hood._ Yes, mother, you know I always like to visit
dear grandmamma.

_Mother._ Then you may go. You may carry your little basket, and I'll
put some honey and a jar of butter in it for grandma.

_Little Red Riding-Hood._ Oh, that will be a nice present for her! And
may I take her some flowers?

_Mother._ Yes, dear child. Gather some of those you like best.

_Little Red Riding-Hood._ Here they are, mother--roses and pansies!
Aren't they pretty?

_Mother._ Very pretty and sweet. Now put on your little red cloak and
take the basket. Be very careful as you pass through the wood, and go
directly to grandma's house.

_Little Red Riding-Hood._ Yes, dear mother. Nothing will harm me. All
the birds and animals love me and I love them.

_Mother._ Good-by, little daughter. Give me a kiss and take my love to
dear grandmother.

_Little Red Riding-Hood._ Good-by, mamma: good-by!

SCENE II.--_In the Wood_

_Little Red Riding-Hood (singing)._

   Good morning, merry sunshine,
   How did you come so soon?
   You chase the little stars away
   And shine away the moon.
   I saw you go to sleep last night
   Before I ceased my playing.
   How did you get 'way over there,
   And where have you been staying?

How pretty it is here in the wood! Oh, what a lovely bed of moss! You
must come with me, pretty green moss, to grandma's house. Good morning,
pretty bird: will you sing to me this morning?

_Bird._ Yes, little Red Riding-Hood. I will sing to you because you love
all the birds and can understand my song. Soon I'll show you my little
birds who are just big enough to fly.

_Little Red Riding-Hood._ Thank you, dear bird, I shall be glad to see
the cunning little things. But now I must hurry to grandmother's with
the butter and the honey. Good-by!

_Bird._ Good-by, little friend! Chirp, chirp; chirp, chirp!

_Little Red Riding-Hood._ Now the little bird has flown away. I must put
this moss in my basket and then hurry along--

_Wolf._ Ugh, ugh!

_Little Red Riding-Hood._ Oh! how you frightened me, Mister Wolf! Where
did you come from?

_Wolf._ From my pretty cave, far, far in the dark wood, little girl.
What is your name?

_Little Red Riding-Hood._ Why, don't you know me? I'm little Red

_Wolf._ I'm a stranger in this place, little girl; but I shall know you
the next time I see you--ugh, ugh! What have you in your pretty basket,
little Red Riding-Hood? It smells like honey.

_Little Red Riding-Hood._ It _is_ honey, Mr. Wolf. I am taking it to my
dear grandmother.

_Wolf._ Are you all alone in the wood, my child? Isn't your mother with
you? Aren't you afraid?


_Little Red Riding-Hood._ Afraid? no, indeed! Why should I be afraid?
All the animals are my friends.

_Wolf._ Oh, yes, of course they are all your friends! But is it far to
your grandmother's house?

_Little Red Riding-Hood._ No, Mr. Wolf, only about half a mile. You go
down this path to the mill and then turn to the right, and the first
house you come to is my grandmother's. It's a little red house.

_Wolf._ Oh, that is very easy to find! But I know a shorter way through
the wood. Let us run a race and see who will get there first.

_Little Red Riding-Hood._ All right, Mr. Wolf. Good-by!

_Wolf._ Ugh, ugh; good-by!

_Little Red Riding-Hood._ How fast he runs! I know he will win the race.
How surprised dear grandma will be when Mr. Wolf knocks at the door! Now
I see the mill. I will sing the pretty mill song we learned in school
the other day.

[_Begins to sing, then stops suddenly._]

Oh, there is the miller. Good morning, Mr. Miller! Have you seen Mr.
Wolf go by?

_Miller._ No, little Red Riding-Hood. Have you seen a wolf in the wood?

_Little Red Riding-Hood._ Yes, Mr. Miller, and he said he would race
with me to my grandmother's house.

_Miller._ My dear child, I will call the men who are chopping trees in
the forest and they will catch Mr. Wolf. He is no friend of ours, and
you must not talk with him, for he is cruel and will do you harm.

_Little Red Riding-Hood._ Will he? Then I will never say another word to
him. But I must hurry on to dear grandmother's.

SCENE III.--_Grandmother's House_

_Little Red Riding-Hood._ Here I am at the door; I will knock. May I
come in, dear grandmother?

_Wolf_ (_in the house_). Open the latch and walk in.

_Little Red Riding-Hood._ Here I am, dear grandmother! I am so glad the
bad wolf did not get here first. Are you so sick you must stay in bed?
See the nice butter and honey that mother sent you. And see the pretty
flowers I've brought you.

_Wolf._ Thank you, my child.

_Little Red Riding-Hood._ How rough your voice is, grandmother!

_Wolf._ That's because I've such a bad cold.

_Little Red Riding-Hood._ But how bright your eyes are, grandmother!

_Wolf._ The better to see you, my child.

_Little Red Riding-Hood._ How long your arms are, grandmother!

_Wolf._ The better to hold you, my child.

_Little Red Riding-Hood._ And how big your teeth are, grandmother!

_Wolf._ The better to eat you--ugh! ugh!

[_The miller and the wood choppers rush in._]

_Mr. Miller._ Here's an end to you, Mr. Wolf! These men with their axes
will stop your cruel deeds.

[_The wolf runs out, followed by the men._]

Come, little Red Riding-Hood, don't be afraid. The wolf can't harm you
now. Here is your grandmother, who has just come home from the village.
She will take care of you.


_Little Red Riding-Hood._ Dear grandmother! I thought that the wolf was

_Grandmother._ Darling little Red Riding-Hood! How glad I am that you
are safe. Now you must stay with me till your mother comes, and we will
tell her how the brave men saved you and me from the hungry wolf. Won't
she be glad to see her little Red Riding-Hood again?



SCENE I.--_Goldilocks in the Garden with her Doll_

_Goldilocks._ O dear! I do wish mother would come home. I am going to
meet her. She told me not to go out of the garden lest I should get
lost; but if I keep in the road, I _can't_ get lost! Come, Dollie, you
and I will go just a little way to meet mamma.

How warm it is in the sunshine! I think we shall go into the shady wood
a little while. Let us pick some of these pretty flowers to make a
wreath--won't mother be surprised when I show her all these flowers.
Here is a lovely red one; and here's another like a daisy.

How dark it is here! I cannot see the road. I wonder if I'm lost! O
mamma, mamma! I'm afraid. Dear Dollie, I'm glad you are with me.

_Dollie._ But I'm afraid, too!

_Goldilocks._ Please, dear Dollie, don't be afraid. Why, there's nothing
to be afraid of--oh!

_Dollie._ What is the matter, Goldilocks?

_Goldilocks._ Look, what is that?

_Dollie._ I don't see anything.

_Goldilocks._ I thought I saw a bear.

_Dollie._ Well, I hope not. I don't like bears.

_Goldilocks._ But there is a little house. Isn't it a funny little
house? I wonder who lives there!

_Dollie._ Dear Goldilocks, please, don't you think we'd better go home?
I don't like strange little houses in the wood.

_Goldilocks._ Perhaps a kind fairy lives there who will show us the way

_Dollie._ Yes, or perhaps she is the Gingerbread Witch who will turn us
into gingerbread for her supper!

_Goldilocks._ Don't say such uncomfortable things, Dollie. She couldn't
turn you into gingerbread, anyway.

_Dollie._ Well, I know I'm made of sawdust, but she might make mush of
me for breakfast!

_Goldilocks._ I know you're fooling now, dear Dollie. Let's look in the
window. I don't see anyone. I'll knock at the door. No one answers.
Come, Dollie, we'll open the door and walk in. How nice and warm it is.
There is a good fire in the kitchen stove.

_Dollie._ Yes, and I smell something good to eat.

_Goldilocks._ Here it is on the table--what pretty bowls--one, two,
three! I'll taste the porridge in the big bowl first. O Dollie, it is
too hot! I burned my mouth.

_Dollie._ Try the next bowl. Perhaps the porridge in the middle-sized
bowl is not so hot.

_Goldilocks._ No, indeed, it isn't; but it is too cold.

_Dollie._ Aren't you hard to please? I'm so hungry I could eat anything.


_Goldilocks._ Now this in the little bowl is just right. Sit down,
Dollie, and we'll eat it all up.

_Dollie._ Do you think it is very polite for us to eat it all?

_Goldilocks._ You should have spoken of that before. It is too late now
when it is all gone. Come, let us go into the parlor.

_Dollie._ Don't you think we'd better go home?

_Goldilocks._ How can we when I don't know the way? I'm tired, and I
think I'll rest awhile in this nice big rocking-chair. But it's too
high; I can't get into it.

_Dollie._ Don't move it out of its place.

_Goldilocks._ Never mind! I'll try the middle-sized chair. I don't like
this, it is too low.

_Dollie._ Well, Goldilocks, you must not put chairs out of their places!


_Goldilocks._ Oh, it won't hurt them. Now let us try this pretty little
chair. Come, Dollie, I'll sing you a song:

   Rock-a-bye, Dollie, in the treetop,
   When the wind blows, the cradle will rock;
   When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall
   And down will come Dollie, cradle and all!

[_Chair breaks._]

_Dollie._ Well, something broke then!

_Goldilocks._ Yes, the cradle and all came down that time. Dear, O dear!
I wish I hadn't rocked you so hard. I wish I hadn't run away!

_Dollie._ Don't cry, dear Goldilocks. Let us see what we can find in the
next room. Perhaps some one is in there who will take us to your dear

_Goldilocks._ O Dollie! I'm a naughty girl not to mind my mother. If I'd
only stayed at home in the garden!

_Dollie._ Oh, see the big bed!

_Goldilocks._ I'm so tired I believe I'll climb in and go to sleep. But
I don't like it. This big bed is too hard.

_Dollie._ And this middle-sized one is too soft.

_Goldilocks._ But this little one is _just right_.

SCENE II.--_The Bear Family in the Wood_

_Father Bear._ Well, little son, aren't you about ready to go home?

_Sonny Bear._ Oh, no, father! Let me play just a little longer. Here are
such good places to hide in the shady wood.

_Mother Bear._ No, dear little sonny, we must go home now. It is getting
late. It's time for you to have your supper and go to bed.

_Sonny Bear._ All right, mother dear. I believe I am hungry, and your
porridge is always so good.

_Mother Bear._ Most children like porridge. Perhaps you can have a nice
red apple, too.

_Sonny Bear._ Oh, goody! Little sonny bears always like apples, don't
they, papa?

_Father Bear._ Yes, my dear. Mother, let me take your knitting basket.
What are you making now?

_Mother Bear._ A warm cap for sonny. Isn't it pretty?

_Father Bear._ Very pretty, and he should be very glad he has such a
good mother.

_Sonny Bear._ She _is_ a good mother, and you are a very good father,

_Father Bear._ Well, here we are at home again. But the door is open.
I'm certain I closed it when we went away. Who has been here?

_Mother Bear._ Let us take off our wraps and have our tea.

_Father Bear._ Why, somebody has been tasting my porridge.

_Mother Bear._ What? Let me see! Some one has left a spoon in my
porridge, too.

_Sonny Bear._ Oh, mamma! Look at my bowl! Some one has eaten my porridge
all up.

_Mother Bear._ Never mind, sonny boy, you may have some of mine. But I
wonder who has been here. Let us go into the parlor and see if anyone is

_Father Bear_. Who's been moving my chair?

_Mother Bear._ Some one has been sitting in my chair!

_Sonny Bear._ Look, mother! Some one has been rocking in my chair and
broken it all to pieces! O dear! my nice little chair!

_Father Bear._ Never mind, Sonny Bear; don't cry. I'll buy you another
chair at Mr. Wolf's store to-morrow.

_Mother Bear._ And now it is time for us to go to bed. Our little son is
tired and sleepy.

_Father Bear._ I'll carry him up stairs. Come, sonny, there you are up
on my shoulder.

   Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross
   To see an old woman ride on a white horse.
   With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,
   She shall have music wherever she goes!

Well, who's been in my bed, I'd like to know?

_Mother Bear._ Why, look at my bed. Some one has been lying on my bed!

_Sonny Bear._ Come quick, Mother! Father, come! Some one is in my bed.


_Goldilocks_ (_waking and frightened_). Oh, see the three Bears. Come,
Dollie, let us jump out of the window. [_Runs away._]

_Mother Bear._ The little girl has gone, dear. Now you must go to



SCENE I.--_In the Woods_

_The Oak._ See that flock of birds coming! The winter is near and they
are flying south.

_The Maple._ I hope they will not light on my branches; I like to keep
my leaves in order.

_The Willow._ So many birds will break my tender twigs. I am sure I do
not want them either. Here they come!

[_The birds fly over the trees._]

_Little Bird._ Oh, I can fly no farther! My wing is broken and I cannot
hold it up. I am so tired and cold and hungry! I must rest to-night in
this forest. I am sure some big strong tree will give me a resting
place. I will ask this tall Oak, he looks so strong and his leaves are
so thick and warm! May I rest in your branches to-night, great Oak Tree?
I am a poor little bird with a broken wing and I am cold and tired and

_The Oak._ I am sorry; but my branches are all engaged by the squirrels,
who are getting their acorns in for the winter. I have no room for
strange birds.

_Little Bird._ Oh! I am so lonely, so tired! Surely the handsome Maple
Tree will take me in. She has no acorns and so the squirrels will not be
in her branches. Kind, lovely Maple Tree, may I rest to-night in your
branches? I am a poor little bird with a broken wing. I will not harm
your pretty leaves.

_The Maple._ My leaves tremble to think of taking in strange birds! My
house is in perfect order and I cannot think of disturbing it. Please go

_Little Bird._ Oh, what shall I do? The Oak and the Maple are so unkind
and I am shivering with cold and weak with hunger. Surely _some_ tree
must be kind. Dear Willow, you are kind, are you not? Will you take me
upon your graceful branches just for to-night?

_The Willow._ Really, Mr. Bird with the broken wing, I think you should
have gone on with the other birds. I cannot take you in. I do not know
your name or anything about you. Besides, I am very sleepy, and so, good

_Little Bird._ Oh, my dear bird friends, how I wish some of you were
here! I shall perish with the cold if I must stay on the ground. Where
can I go? The Oak, the Maple, and the Willow have all turned me away and
the night is coming on.

_The Spruce._ Dear little bird with the broken wing, come to me! Can you
hop up into my branches if I hold them down to you? See, here I am! I am
not so handsome as the Maple tree, but my leaves grow thick and I'll
try to keep you warm through the night. Come!


_Little Bird._ Dear Spruce tree, how kind you are! I did not see you at
first. Yes, here I am, on your lowest branch. How cosy and warm I feel.
Oh, you are so good, and I was so tired and cold. Here I'll rest. I wish
I could ever thank you enough for your goodness.

_The Spruce._ Do not speak of that, dear little bird; I am ashamed of
the proud, selfish trees that would not shelter you. Should we not all
be kind and helpful to one another?

_The Pine._ Well said, sister Spruce. And I will do my best to help you.
I am not so strong as the Oak tree, little bird, but I will stand
between you and the cold north wind. Rest warm and safe in the branches
of the kind Spruce tree.

_Little Bird._ I thank you, tall Pine tree, for your kindness. You are a
good brother of the Spruce and I shall rest well while you are both
taking care of me.

_The Juniper._ I cannot keep the strong north wind from you, little bird
with the broken wing, but if you are hungry, you may eat of my berries.
Perhaps then you will rest better.

_Little Bird._ Thank you, dear Juniper tree. Why are you all so kind to
me? Your berries are good, and now I am cold and hungry no longer. I'll
go to sleep. Good night, dear trees!

_Trees._ Good night, little bird, and may you have sweet dreams!


SCENE II.--_Midnight in the Forest_

_Jack Frost._ Here I am in the great forest. How I dislike to touch all
these beautiful leaves; yet I must obey the orders of King Winter. Here
comes the Forest Fairy. Do you know why I have come, dear Fairy of the

_Forest Fairy._ Yes, Mr. Frost. I know that you must touch all the
leaves, turning them into brilliant hues of gold and crimson and brown.
I dislike to have them go, and yet you and I must obey the commands of
King Winter. But,--

_Jack Frost._ But what, dear Fairy? You speak as if you had some wish to
make--what is it?

_Forest Fairy._ I must tell you. Such a dear little bird came to the
forest this evening. He had a broken wing, and he was cold and very
tired. He asked shelter from the great Oak, the proud Maple, and the
graceful Willow,--and all refused. I was so ashamed of my trees!

_Jack Frost._ What! did all the trees refuse to help a poor, tired
little bird?

_Forest Fairy._ Listen! just as I was intending to speak to the trees,
I heard the Spruce tell him to come to her branches and she would give
him shelter. Then the Pine tree offered to keep the north wind from him,
and the Juniper gave him her berries to eat. Could you, dear Jack

_Jack Frost._ Yes, yes, I know what you would ask. Such kindness as this
should meet with some reward. The leaves of the proud Oak, the Maple,
and the Willow shall fall to the ground when the cold of winter comes;
but the Spruce, the Pine, the Juniper, and all their family shall keep
their leaves and they shall be green all through the year. They shall be
called the Evergreen Trees.



SCENE.--_Home of Cornelia_

_Nydia._ Madam, the lady Julia waits to salute you.

_Cornelia._ Bid her enter, I pray. It is not fitting to have her wait.

_Nydia._ She is at the door, gracious madam.

_Cornelia._ Welcome, thrice welcome, fair Julia.

[_Nydia carries Julia's casket._]

_Julia._ Thanks, dear Cornelia, for your kind greeting. May you and all
your household have peace and joy.

_Cornelia._ And may those blessings be yours also, dear Julia. But tell
me, what treasures have you in that charming casket?

_Julia._ A few poor jewels, fair friend. Bring me the casket, Nydia.
These are some presents my parents and husband have given me.

_Cornelia._ I am so glad you have brought them to show me. You are very
kind, for you know I greatly admire beautiful jewels.

_Julia._ See, here is a pearl necklace.

_Cornelia._ How lovely! Let me clasp it about your neck. It is very
becoming. And what other gems have you?

_Julia._ Here is a girdle my mother gave me for a wedding present. Isn't
it pretty?

_Cornelia._ Pretty! my dear, it is exquisite! Your mother showed much
good taste when she chose this for you.

_Julia._ And here are some rings from the far East. See these emeralds
and rubies; how they flash in the sunlight!

_Cornelia._ How well they look on your white hands! But I see something

_Julia._ Yes, this is my handsomest jewel, a diamond bracelet. This I
like best of all.

_Cornelia._ They are all lovely, my dear friend, and I am glad you have
such beautiful things.

_Julia._ But, dear Cornelia, where are your jewels? All Rome knows how
rich your famous father, Scipio, was, and surely he gave you many
handsome ornaments. Please show them to me.

_Cornelia._ Oh, no, dear friend. But hark! I think I hear my sons.
Nydia, tell them I wish to see them.

_Nydia._ Here are the children, madam.

_The Boys_ (_running in_). Dear mother! darling mother!

_Cornelia._ Tell me, my Caius, what did the pedagogue teach you to-day?

_Caius._ O mother! It was wonderful! He told us how Horatius kept the
bridge in the brave days of old. Wasn't that a great and noble deed,
mother mine?

_Cornelia._ Yes, my darling. And you, my Tiberius, have you been pleased
with your lessons?


_Tiberius._ Mother, how you must honor our grandfather, the noble
Scipio! Our teacher told the boys of his great campaigns in Africa and
how the Senate called him Africanus after the war was over.

_Cornelia._ Yes, my son, such work and such lives are lessons worthy of
study. They teach the young how they too may live and die for their
beloved country.

_Caius._ I shall try to be a brave man some day, too, dear mother.

_Tiberius._ And I, mother, shall try to be worthy of our noble family.

_Cornelia._ My dear, noble boys! Julia, these are my jewels.

_Julia._ How you shame my vanity, noble Cornelia! What are all the
precious stones in the world compared with these noble boys! Daughter of
the famous Scipio, the world will remember you through the great deeds
of your sons, and all mankind will honor you as CORNELIA, MOTHER OF THE



SCENE I.--_Cinderella's Home_

_Mother._ I am so glad we are all invited to the ball at the Prince's
palace. You know, my dear, that it will be a great pleasure for our

_Father._ Yes; and I suppose you will all have to buy new ball dresses.

_Katherine._ O mamma! isn't it lovely! May I have a blue silk dress?

_Elizabeth._ And may I have pink, dear mother? And shall we get them

_Mother._ Yes, my child; and you may both go with me to buy your dresses
and slippers.

_Cinderella._ Dear papa, may I go to the ball at the Prince's palace?

_Father._ You, my child! Aren't you too young for parties? Ask your

_Cinderella._ May I go to the ball, mother?

_Mother._ Nonsense, child! what are you thinking of? A ball is no place
for a child like you. You are better off at home by the kitchen fire.

_Cinderella._ But I'm fourteen. Sister Katherine, won't you coax mamma
to let me go?

_Katherine._ No, indeed, I'll not! What would you do at a ball? a silly
thing like you!

_Elizabeth._ Don't be a goose. Wait till you're older and better
looking. There's no room in the carriage for you, and you are too young,

_Mother._ Come, girls, it is time for us to go down town to buy our new
gowns. Cinderella, go to your lessons. Don't think any more about the
ball. You can't go, and so that's the end of it.

SCENE II.--_Cinderella's Home_

_Father._ Come, girls! aren't you ready yet? Is your mother coming?

_Katherine._ Yes, father, in just a minute.

_Mother._ Here we are, dear. Don't the girls look sweet?

_Father._ Yes, yes! but, come on, for we are late now.

_Mother._ Good night, Cinderella. Be a good girl and go to bed at nine

[_All go out, leaving Cinderella alone._]

_Cinderella._ Good-by!--Now they have gone and I am all alone. Oh, why
couldn't I go, too! How pretty they all looked! I would not take up much
room, and I don't like to be left here by myself when they are having
such a good time. Oh, dear! I believe I'm going to cry, but I can't help
it. [_Cries._]

[_Enter fairy godmother._]

_Fairy Godmother._ Why are you crying, Cinderella?

_Cinderella._ Who is that? I thought I heard some one speaking to me,
but I can't see anybody.

_Fairy Godmother._ What is the matter, Cinderella?

_Cinderella._ Oh, _lovely_ lady! who are you?

_Fairy Godmother._ I am your fairy godmother, my child, and I wish to
know why you are crying.

_Cinderella._ Oh, dear! I'm crying because they have all gone to the
ball; and I wanted to go, too, and they wouldn't take me!

_Fairy Godmother._ Never mind, my dear. Stop crying, and I will let you

_Cinderella._ Oh, dear fairy godmamma! will you, really? But how _can_ I
go in this old dress?

_Fairy Godmother._ You'll see. Tell me, Cinderella, have you a big
yellow pumpkin in the kitchen garden?

_Cinderella._ Yes, I think so. I saw one there yesterday.

_Fairy Godmother._ Go, get it for me.

_Cinderella_ (_runs out, and returns with the pumpkin_). I've found it!
Here it is!


_Fairy Godmother._ Yes, that is a fine pumpkin. I'll touch it with my
wand. What is it now?

[_The pumpkin is changed to a carriage._]

_Cinderella._ Oh! oh! how lovely! Such a beautiful, big, yellow coach!
Why, it is much finer than papa's black carriage.

_Fairy Godmother._ I am glad you like your coach. Now do you think
there are any rats in your rat trap?

_Cinderella._ I'll go see. Yes, here is the trap with two big rats in
it. What long tails they have!

_Fairy Godmother._ Wait till I touch them with my fairy wand. Now what
do you see?

_Cinderella._ Oh, dear godmother! what a wonderful wand to change rats
into great handsome horses with long manes and tails! You dear horses!
I'll get you some sugar to eat.

_Fairy Godmother._ Don't stop to pet them now, but fetch me the

_Cinderella._ Here it is with two cunning little mice in it. What will
you do with them?

_Fairy Godmother._ Touch them with my fairy wand and turn them into a
coachman and a footman. See, the coachman is on the box with the reins
in his hand, and the footman holds the door open for you. Will you step
in, Cinderella?

_Cinderella._ In _these_ clothes, dear godmother?

_Fairy Godmother_ (_laughing_). That wouldn't be nice, would it? Well,
let us see what my wand can do for you. Now look in the glass and tell
me what you see there.

_Cinderella._ Oh, what a pretty lady! Why, I do believe she is myself!
What a beautiful dress! And look, dear godmother! see my pretty glass

_Fairy Godmother._ Yes, my dear, you are all ready for the Prince's
ball. I want you to have a happy time, but remember this. You must start
for home when the clock strikes twelve or your pretty clothes will
change, your coach will turn into a pumpkin, your horses to rats, and
you will have to walk home.

_Cinderella._ I'll remember, dear godmother, and run away on the first
stroke. Thank you so much! Good-by!

[_Enters the coach and is driven away._]

SCENE III.--_The Prince's Palace_

_Cinderella._ Here I am at the palace. Please announce me as the Lady
from Far Away.

_Herald._ The Lady from Far Away!

_Prince._ What a lovely lady! she must be a princess. Tell me, fair
lady, are you a princess from the land of flowers?

_Cinderella._ I am not a princess, sir, but only a girl from the land of
happy thoughts.

_Prince._ You say well, fair lady, for no one can look upon you without
thoughts of love and joy.

_Cinderella._ And you, great Prince, have thoughts of great and noble
deeds, have you not?

_Prince._ Yes, I have thoughts of great deeds, of brave men and fair
ladies, of games and victories,--but now I have forgotten all but you.

_Cinderella._ Will you remember me to-morrow or shall I fade away like
the dreams of night?


_Prince._ No dreams could be fairer, but I hope you will not vanish as
they do. If you do, I am quite sure that I shall find you!

_Cinderella._ Don't be too sure, for I am not what I seem. I am a
princess only in your thoughts; really I am--

_Prince._ What? a flower, a star, a goddess?

_Cinderella._ No, only a woman--

_Prince._ The best of all, a woman! And now will the dream-woman dance
with me?

_Cinderella._ With pleasure; what lovely music!--and so many pretty
women. What beautiful rooms!

[_Cinderella, the Prince, her father, mother, sisters, and two gentlemen
dance the minuet._]

_Prince._ Will you not tell me your name and where you live?

_Cinderella._ Both are a secret.

_Prince._ It makes no difference to me, for I know you, and that is

_Cinderella._ I hear the clock! What hour is it striking?

_Prince._ Twelve--but that is early. You need not go?

_Cinderella._ Yes, I must, and quietly. Do not try to keep me,
Prince--good night!

_Prince._ She is gone! and I do not know where she lives. How can I find
her? I'll give another ball and hope she will come again.

[_All go out._]

SCENE IV.--_Cinderella's Home_

_Father._ Well, girlies, did you have a pleasant time at the ball?

_Katherine._ Oh, yes, papa, splendid! But did you see the lovely
princess that came so late?

_Elizabeth._ She was the prettiest girl there. I wonder who she is!

_Mother._ So do I. It seems to me I've seen her somewhere. Perhaps I've
met her in my travels; but I can't remember where it was.

_Father._ What is her name?

_Katherine._ I heard some one say she was Lady Far Away. But that's not
a real name.

_Elizabeth._ Perhaps she is a princess in disguise.

_Cinderella._ Tell me, sister, how this princess looked.

_Elizabeth._ Oh! she is lovely! Golden curls and blue eyes and such a
sweet smile!

_Katherine._ She wore a beautiful dress that shone like the moonlight.

_Elizabeth._ Did you notice her pretty slippers? They looked like

_Mother._ The Prince danced with her all the time.

_Father._ Why, here comes the Prince's herald. I'll see what he wants.
Here is a note. It is an invitation to go to the Prince's palace again
to-night. Do you all want to go?

_All._ Yes, yes, father, please!

_Father._ All right, we'll go!

_Cinderella._ Can't I go this time, mamma?

_Mother._ No, my dear. When you are a little older you can go, but not

SCENE V.--_At the Palace_

_Prince._ I wonder if my fairy princess will come to-night. I've been
looking for her for more than an hour. Oh, here she is! Dear lady, I've
been hoping you would come.

_Cinderella._ So you have not forgotten me?

_Prince._ No, and never shall. Will you go with me to see the flowers?

_Cinderella._ What lovely flowers! This is certainly the home of the
flower fairies. See the roses nodding at us. They almost ask us to love

_Prince._ May I give you this dainty pink one? It is the color of your

_Cinderella._ Remember I am from the land of Far Away and I must vanish
at midnight.

_Prince._ Tell me where your father lives that I may call upon him.

_Cinderella._ Not now; but sometime I may tell you about my fairy

_Prince._ There! I knew you must be a sister of the fairies. Does your
fairy godmother have a fairy wand?

_Cinderella._ Yes, and she does wonderful things with it--but my father
and mother do not know about her.

_Prince._ Of course not. Only very young people know about fairy
godmothers. But we know, don't we?

_Cinderella._ Hark! I hear the chimes ringing. It must be twelve
o'clock, and I must go.

_Prince._ Do not go, dear princess. Stay here in my palace, always.

_Cinderella._ The fairies are calling me and I am late. I must go.
Perhaps I can come again sometime. Oh, I am afraid--

_Prince._ Afraid of what?

_Cinderella._ Good-by, good-by!

_Prince._ She's gone! What was she afraid of? I cannot see her! Who is
that child running down the stairway? She must be one of the servants
who has been watching the dancers. I wish I could see my princess. What
is that shining thing on the stairs? She has lost one of her crystal
slippers. Now I know how I shall find her. To-morrow I shall send a
herald through the city to find the owner of this pretty little slipper.

SCENE VI.--_Cinderella's Home_

_Cinderella._ Mamma, mamma, here is a man on horseback who wants to see

_Mother._ What is your errand, sir?

_Herald._ I am sent by the great Prince of our country to find the owner
of this slipper. He says he will marry no one but the lady who can wear
this little crystal slipper.

_Mother._ I'll call my daughters. Katherine! Elizabeth! We were all at
the ball at the Prince's palace. Katherine, is this your glass slipper?
Try it on.

_Katherine._ Yes, mother. My, how small it is! I cannot get my foot in

_Elizabeth._ Perhaps it will fit me. My feet are smaller than yours. No,
I cannot push my foot in, no matter how long I try. It must be a magic

_Cinderella._ May I try on the slipper?

_Mother._ My dear child, why should you try on the slipper? It belongs
to the princess who went to the ball.

_Katherine._ And you were not at the ball, Cinderella!

_Elizabeth._ Your foot is too big for it, my dear little sister.

_Herald._ Pardon me, ladies, but the orders of the Prince are that every
lady, young or old, must try on the slipper, and when the owner is found
she must go with me to the palace.

_Cinderella._ Give it to me, please. See how easily it slips on my
foot--and here is the mate to the glass slipper in my pocket. Dear
Mother, I am the fairy princess you saw at the ball.

_Mother._ You, my dear! and I did not know you!

_Herald._ Now, lady, please come with me to the Prince's palace. You
shall be a princess.

_Cinderella._ Good-by, dear sisters! Good-by, dear mother! I am going to
the Prince's palace.



SCENE I.--_The Mayor's Office_

_Mayor and Councilmen, sitting around a table.--Citizens come in._

_First Citizen._ Our Mayor is a noddy!

_Second Citizen._ Look at our corporation sitting in the gowns we pay
for, and doing nothing!

_Third Citizen._ See here, how the rats made a nest in my Sunday hat!


_Fourth Citizen._ When I was cooking dinner the bold rats licked the
soup from my ladle!

_Fifth Citizen._ They are so bold they are always fighting with the dogs
and cats!

_Sixth Citizen._ Yes, and they kill them, too!

_Seventh Citizen._ My baby cried in his sleep, and when I went to him
there was a big rat in his cradle.

_Eighth Citizen._ What are you going to do about it, Mr. Mayor?

_Ninth Citizen._ You'd better wake up, sirs! Don't go to sleep over

_Tenth Citizen._ I tell you, you'll have to do something to save us from
this army of rats!

_First Councilman._ What _can_ we do?

_Second Councilman._ I'm sure we've tried everything, but every day the
rats grow worse and worse.

_Third Councilman._ I'm sure it isn't very pleasant for us to have the
city overrun with the creatures!

_Mayor._ I'd sell my ermine gown for a guilder! It is no easy thing to
be mayor and I wish I was a plowboy in the country! Try to think of
something to do.

_First Councilman._ It is easy to bid us rack our own brains!

_Second Councilman._ I'm sure my head aches trying to think.

_Third Councilman._ I've wondered and thought, till I've no thoughts

_Mayor._ Oh! if I only had a great big trap! Yes, a thousand big traps!
Bless us, what noise is that? Is it a rat?--Come in!


[_Enter Piper._]

_First Councilman._ Who is this who dares to come into the Mayor's
office without an introduction?

_Second Councilman._ Hasn't he a funny coat?

_Third Councilman._ But what a pleasant face! He smiles all the time.

_Mayor._ He looks like the picture of my grandsire. What is your name,
and your business, my man?

_Pied Piper._ Please your honors, my name is Pied Piper. My business is
to play upon my pipe. I can charm with the magic of my notes all things
to do my will. But I use my charm on creatures that do people harm, the
toad, the mole, and the viper, and rats--rats!

_Mayor._ Rats! Well, then, you're the man we want. We'll pay you a
thousand guilders if you'll free our town of rats.

_Piper._ A thousand guilders! Done! It's a bargain!

SCENE II.--_Same as Scene I. The Mayor and Councilmen looking out of

_Mayor._ There he goes down the street.

_First Councilman._ What a strange looking pipe he plays!

_Second Councilman._ I believe it must be a magic one.

_Third Councilman._ Do you hear the music? What is that other noise?

_Mayor._ Look, look at the rats! Did you ever see such a sight!

_First Councilman._ The streets are crowded with them! Big and little,
brown, black, and gray, they are tumbling over each other in their

_Second Councilman._ Sir! he is going toward the bridge.

_Third Councilman._ They must think he is playing a tune of apples and

_Mayor._ There they are at the river. They are plunging in! they will be

_First Councilman._ Good for the piper!

_Mayor._ Ring the bells for the people. Tell them to get long poles,
poke out the nests and block up the holes!

_Second Councilman._ Here comes the Piper.

_Third Councilman._ That was well done, Mr. Piper.

_Pied Piper._ Yes, all the rats are drowned and now I've come for my

_Mayor._ Pay! why what have you done? Just played a tune on your pipe.
You must be joking.

_Piper._ You promised--

_First Councilman._ You impudent fellow! You certainly don't think a
tune on your pipe is worth one thousand guilders? There is no work in

_Second Councilman._ The rats are dead and can't come to life again, I

_Mayor._ My friend, we are much obliged, of course. We are much obliged
and will gladly give you fifty guilders. You know your time is not worth

_Piper._ No trifling, pray. I'll have what you promised, or you may find
that I'll play a tune you do not like!

_Mayor._ What! do you threaten us, fellow? Do what you please. Do you
think we care? Play on your old pipe whatever tune you wish.

_Piper._ Listen, then, and look from your window when I play again in
the street below.

[_Goes out._]


_Mayor._ What does the lazy fellow mean by his threats?

_First Councilman._ Hear his wonderful music! Listen.

_Second Councilman._ Oh! what is he doing! See the children!

_Third Councilman._ They are following him. There is my son. Where are
you going, my boy? Come back!

_Mayor._ Let me see! O woe! there are my own three lovely children. Run,
some one, and stop them!

_Third Councilman._ I'll go; I'll go.

[_Runs out._]

_Mayor._ It is useless. Every child in our city is following the magic

_Second Councilman._ The music seems to say: "Come, children, to the
wonderful land of play. There flowers and fruits will welcome you. The
birds and beasts will play with you, and you will never be sad or sorry
in the wonderful land of play." No wonder the children follow the Piper.

_Third Councilman_ (_enters_). The children and the Piper have all
disappeared! A mountain opened and let them in!

_First Councilman._ The children, the blessed children, have gone! What
shall we do without the children?

_Mayor._ Oh, wicked man that I am! Why did I break my promise? Why did
I not give him the thousand guilders?

_Second Councilman._ Yes, we are all wicked men, and we are punished for
not keeping our word.

_Mayor._ Let us write this sad story on a column so that all may read;
and let us paint the picture of the Piper with our little ones following
him, on a church window, so that all men may know how our children have
been stolen away.

_First Councilman._ And may this sad story teach us all to keep our word
with every one.



SCENE I.--_Home of Mother Goose_

_Mother Goose._ I really think I must give a party. All my friends have
been so good to me and I have been entertained in so many homes!
Wherever I go I am sure to see one of my Mother Goose books, and the
children all seem to love it so much. Let me see! whom shall I invite? I
think I'll ask Old Mother Hubbard to take tea with me and we'll talk
about the party together. Jack, Jack!

_Jack_ (_enters_). Yes, mother dear, what is it?

_Mother Goose._ Jack Goose, I wish you to run over to Mother Hubbard's
house and ask her to take tea with me this afternoon. Now be nimble,
Jack,--be quick!

_Jack._ Yes, mother dear. See me jump over the candlestick! Isn't that
fine jumping?

_Mother Goose._ Very fine indeed, Jack. Now do your errand, and hurry

_Jack._ Yes, mother, I will. Good-by.

_Mother Goose._ Good-by.

SCENE II.--_House of Mother Hubbard_

_Jack_ (_knocking_). I wonder if Old Mother Hubbard is at home. Hark! I
hear her dog barking. Yes, and I hear her step. Here she is!

_Mother Hubbard_ (_opening the door_). Who is this knocking so loud? Oh,
it's you, little nimble Jack! Will you come in?

_Jack._ No, thank you, Mrs. Hubbard. My mother wishes you to come over
to our house for tea this afternoon. Will you come?

_Mother Hubbard._ Yes, thank you, Jack, I will. Tell your mother that
I'm just going to market to buy my poor doggie a bone.

_Jack._ O Mother Hubbard! _please_ let me play with your dog. He's such
a dear old doggie! Do you remember how he danced a jig the other day?

_Mother Hubbard._ Yes, Jack, I do; and I think you danced with him. You
are both nimble young things and both like to dance. Well, good-by, now.
Have a good time together and I'll bring you something little boys like.

_Jack._ Thank you! Good-by, good-by! Now, doggie, let's dance.

   Old Mother Hubbard, she went to the cupboard,
     To get the poor doggie a bone;
   But when she got there, the cupboard was bare,
     And so the poor doggie had none.

_Dog_ (_sadly_). Bow-wow, bow-wow, bow-wow!

_Jack._ Oh! you don't like that song! Never mind, old fellow! Mother
Hubbard has gone to the butcher's and she'll get you a bone, I'm sure.
Wait till she comes back.

_Dog_ (_gayly_). Bow-wow, bow-wow, bow-wow!

_Jack._ I thought you would like that. Here she comes now. We've had a
lovely dance, Mother Hubbard, and now I must hurry home.

_Mother Hubbard._ Thank you for staying and taking good care of my dog.
Here are some fresh Banbury buns for you.

_Jack._ Oh, thank you, Mother Hubbard. I'm very fond of Banbury buns.

_Mother Hubbard._ Good-by, Jack. Tell your mother I'll be over soon.

_Jack._ Bring your dog with you, and we'll have another dance. Good-by.

_Dog._ Bow-wow! bow-wow! bow-wow!

SCENE III.--_Mother Goose and Mother Hubbard at the Tea Table_

_Mother Goose._ I am pleased to see you, Mother Hubbard. I hear that
your cupboard is no longer bare and empty, and I am very glad you are
able to give your poor dog all the bones a good dog should have. Now for
our tea. Shall I put two or three lumps in your cup?

_Mother Hubbard._ Three, please. I like my tea very sweet. And now tell
me, Mother Goose, what is the reason you sent for me to-day?

_Mother Goose._ Well, I am going to give a party and I wish to ask your

_Mother Hubbard._ Indeed! Whom do you think of inviting?

_Mother Goose._ First, the dear Old Woman who lives in the shoe--

_Mother Hubbard._ What! and all her children?

_Mother Goose._ No, only the two eldest. You know the party is for my
son Jack, too, and we must have the young people as well as their
parents. Old King Cole will come and bring his fiddlers three to play
for the young folks who dance.

_Mother Hubbard._ I hope you won't invite Tom the Piper's Son, or My Son
John as his mother calls him,--or Humpty-Dumpty. They are not good boys
for your son Jack to play with!

_Mother Goose._ I suppose not; but I like them all, and I dislike to
leave out anyone. I don't wish to hurt their feelings.

_Mother Hubbard._ There are little Bo-Peep and Boy Blue, who are good
children, although rather silly; and there are little Miss Muffet and
Nancy Etticoat, both very pretty little girls; and there are Jacky
Horner and Tommy Tucker and the Man-in-the-Moon and Taffey and
Daffey-Down-Dilly and--

_Mother Goose._ I'll have to give a garden party if I invite all those!
I can't leave any out, and I think I'll have the party out-of-doors.

_Mother Hubbard._ That will be fine! I only hope it will be a pleasant
day. When will you give it?

_Mother Goose._ Two weeks from to-day, the first of May.

_Mother Hubbard._ That's May Day and a very good day for a party
out-of-doors. Well I must go home now. Good-by! If I can help you,
please call upon me.

_Mother Goose._ Thank you, Mother Hubbard! Good-by, and thank you again
for coming over.

SCENE IV.--_At the Party_

_Mother Hubbard._ What a lovely day you have for your party, Mother
Goose! The sun shines so bright and warm, and the flowers are lovely. Is
there anything I can do?

_Mother Goose._ No, thank you. I'm glad you came early. Have you seen
the tables?

_Mother Hubbard._ They are lovely! Where did you get such pretty

_Mother Goose._ From Mistress Mary, quite contrary. You know she has a

   With cockle shells, and silver bells,
   And pretty maids all in a row.

_Mother Hubbard._ I see some one coming.

_Mother Goose._ Why, how do you do, A-Dillar-a-Dollar! Are you always in
such good time?

_A-Dillar-a-Dollar._ I'm afraid not, Mrs. Goose. They call me

   A ten o'clock scholar,
   Why did you come so soon?
   You used to come at ten o'clock,
   And now you come at noon!

_Mother Goose._ And here comes Mary with her little lamb. Do you like
the lamb better than a Teddy Bear, Mary?

_Mary._ Yes, indeed, I do. Because the lamb loves me, you know.

   It followed me to school one day,
     Which was against the rule;
   It made the children laugh and play,
     To see the lamb at school.

_Mother Goose._ Here comes the Old Woman who lives in a shoe, and her
two oldest boys. Dear Mrs. Shoe-woman, I am very glad to see you! How
did you leave all of your children?

_Mrs. Shoe-woman._ Oh, dear, Mother Goose! I have so many children I
don't know what to do: when they are naughty I give them some broth
without any bread, and whip them all soundly and put them to bed.

_Mother Goose._ Here are all the children coming to the party! Come,
children, let us have a dance. All stand around the Maypole as I call
your names:

Little Miss Muffet and Boy Blue;

Little Bo-Peep and Jacky Horner;

Nancy Etticoat and Jack-be-nimble;

Mary and the little Boy who lives in the Lane.

All take ribbons and stand around the Maypole. Are you all ready?

_Children._ Yes, Mother Goose, we are all ready when the music begins.

_Mother Goose._ Old King Cole, will you have your three fiddlers play
for the dance?

_King Cole._ With pleasure, dear Mother Goose--and I'll sing:

   Hey diddle, diddle! the cat and the fiddle;
     The cow jumped over the moon;
   The little dog laughed to see such craft,
     And the dish ran away with the spoon.

_Children_ (_sing_).

   Old King Cole was a merry old soul;
     And a merry old soul was he;
   He called for his pipe and he called for his bowl,
     And he called for his fiddlers three.

[Illustration: MOTHER GOOSE'S PARTY]

_Mother Goose._ These are very good songs, but they will not do for a
Maypole dance. Here, Little Tommy Tucker, sing for your supper.

_Tommy Tucker._ All right, Mother Goose.

   Handy Spandy, Jack-a-dandy,
   Loved plum cake and sugar candy;
   He bought some at a grocer's shop,
   And out he came, hop, hop, hop.


   Little Tommy Tucker, sings for his supper;
   What shall he eat? White bread and butter;
   How shall he eat it without any knife?
   How shall he marry without any wife?

[_Dance about the Maypole._]

_Mother Goose._ Why, who can that man be? He is tumbling down in a very
queer way! Who are you?


   I'm the Man in the Moon,
   Come down too soon
   To ask the way to Norwich.
   I went by the south,
   And burnt my mouth,
   Eating cold pease-porridge.

Are Jack and Jill here?

_Jack._ Here I am, Mr. Moon-Man.

_Jill._ Oh, dear Mr. Moon-Man, where is your dog and your bundle of

_Jack._ Tell us what the children play in your country, the Moon!

_Children._ Please do, Mr. Moon-Man!

_Moon-Man._ Well, children, I can tell you how they learn to count. They
all say--

   One, two; buckle my shoe;
   Three, four; shut the door;
   Five, six; pick up sticks;

and then they all pick up sticks and put them on the fire.

_Tom._ I don't think that is much fun!

_Children._ Of course you don't. You don't like sticks.

   Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son,
   Stole a pig and away he run!
     The pig was eat,
     And Tom was beat,
   And Tom ran roaring down the street!

_Mistress Mary._ Now, children, let us sit in a circle and play games
and sing songs. Little Bo-Peep, you may sing your little song first.

_Little Bo-Peep._

   Little Bo-Peep, she lost her sheep,
     And doesn't know where to find them;


   Leave them alone and they will come home
     Bringing their tails behind them.

_Mistress Mary._ Now Jack and Jill--

_Jack and Jill._ Shall we go up the hill to get a pail of water?


   Jack and Jill went up the hill
     To get a pail of water.
   Jack fell down and broke his crown,
     And Jill came tumbling after.


   Up Jack got and home did trot
     As fast as he could caper;
   He went to bed to mend his head,
     With vinegar and brown paper.


   Jill came in and she did grin,
     To see his paper plaster;
   Her mother, vexed, did spank her next
     For laughing at Jack's disaster.

_Mistress Mary._ Now, I'll sing a song and then help Mother Goose with
the supper. [_Sings._]

   Sing a song a sixpence,
     Pocket full of rye;
   Four-and-twenty blackbirds
     Baked in a pie.
   When the pie was opened
     The birds began to sing,
   Wasn't that a dainty dish
     To set before the king?

_Mother Goose._ Now I must have some children to help me.

_Jack Goose._ I'll take the bean porridge hot and bean porridge cold,
mother, and Tommy Tucker can go with me and pass the white bread and

_Mother Goose._ That's my good Jack. Now Tom the Piper's Son may take
the roast pig and Mary may pass the Banbury cross buns.

_Miss Muffet._ Dear Mother Goose, may I pass the curds and whey?

_Mother Goose._ Yes, my dear child, but be careful not to spill any.
Then for the last course Jack Horner will pass the Christmas pie and
give every child a big fat plum.

_Children_ (_sing_).

   Little Jacky Horner
   Sitting in a corner
   Eating a Christmas pie
   He put in his thumb
   And pulled out a plum
   And said--What a great boy am I?

_Old King Cole._ Mother Goose, you have given us a beautiful party and
we have had a lovely time. We hope you will live to give many more to
your friends and the children.

_Children._ Yes, Mother Goose, your party was just lovely!

_Mother Goose._ Thank you, dear children.

_King Cole._ Now, little folks, let us sing a good-by song to Mother

_The girls_ (_bowing to King Cole_).

   The king was in the counting room,
     Counting out his money.

_The boys_ (_bowing to Mother Goose_).

   The queen was in the parlor,
     Eating bread and honey.


   The maid was in the garden

(_To Mistress Mary_)

     Hanging out the clothes,
   Along came a blackbird
     And nipped off her nose!

_Mother Goose._ And that story means that night is coming and putting
the day to sleep.

_King Cole._ So it does, and you see the sun is fast going down behind
the western hills. Say good-by, children, for it is time to go home.

_Children._ Good night, Mother Goose.

_Mother Goose._ Good night, dear children, and don't forget your old
Mother Goose.

_Children._ Forget dear Mother Goose? Never! Good-by, good-by!

_Mother Goose._ Good-by.




SCENE I.--_Dining Room at Little Two-Eyes' Home_

_Mother._ Come to dinner, little One-Eye and little Three-Eyes. Here is
some good soup and white bread for you. Little Two-Eyes, you can have
what your sisters do not want.

_Little Three-Eyes._ Here's a crust for you. That is enough for a girl
with only two eyes.

_Little One-Eye._ What a shame to have a sister with two eyes! You look
just like other people! Little Three-Eyes and I are very different.

_Little Three-Eyes._ Here little Two-Eyes, take this bowl. I don't want
any more and you can have what is left.

_Mother._ Now, children, run away and play. Little Two-Eyes, take the
goat and go out to the hillside. You must stay till it begins to get
dark, and then you may come home. You must work, because you have two
eyes like other people, but my little One-Eye and Three-Eyes may stay at
home and play.

SCENE II.--_On the Hillside_

_Little Two-Eyes._ Come, little goat, here is some green grass for you
to eat. I wish that my sisters loved me and that my mother was not
ashamed of me. Oh, why do I have two eyes just like all other people? I
am so hungry, Oh, dear! Oh, dear! (_Cries._)

_Wood Fairy._ My child, why do you cry?

_Little Two-Eyes._ Because I have only two eyes, and my mother and my
sisters treat me badly. I don't have enough to eat and I am so hungry.
My dress is old, and my sisters have nice dresses and pretty ribbons.
But who are you?

_Wood Fairy._ I am the little Old Woman who lives on this hill. I have
come to help you. Listen, little Two-Eyes! You need never be hungry
again. Say to your little goat:

   Little goat, bleat!
   Little table, rise!

Then a table will rise before you with all the food you can eat. When
you have finished eating, you must say:

   Little goat, bleat!
   Little table, away!

and it will disappear before your eyes. Good-by, dear little Two-Eyes. I
must go now, but remember what I have told you.

_Little Two-Eyes._ Why, where has that queer looking little woman gone?
I am so hungry I'll try now if what she said can be true.

   Little goat, bleat!
   Little table, rise!

_Goat._ Bla-a! Bla-a! Bla-a!

_Little Two-Eyes._ Oh, look, little goat! what a pretty table! and how
good the food looks. Now we shall have all we want to eat. Here is
something for you, and here are oranges and meat and pudding for me!
Dear little woman! How can I thank her? Now I can eat no more.

   Little goat, bleat!
   Little table, away!

_Goat._ Bla-a! Bla-a! Bla-a!

_Little Two-Eyes._ There, it is gone. Aren't we happy, little goat? But
see, it is time to go home. Come, little goat.

SCENE III.--_At Home_

_Mother._ Here, little Two-Eyes, here are the crusts your sisters saved
for you.

_Two-Eyes._ Thank you, mother, but I don't care for any crusts. I'm not

_Mother._ Not care for them? You are not hungry? You have always eaten
them before now and asked for more! You didn't eat any supper last
night, either. What does this mean? What did you have to eat to-day?

_Two-Eyes._ I cannot tell you, mother.

_Mother._ You cannot? Then, little One-Eye, you shall go to the hillside
with little Two-Eyes and find out why she is no longer hungry.

_Little One-Eye._ I don't want to go! The walk is too long, and I shall
get tired!

_Mother._ Just this once, my dear! You will not have to go again. But we
must learn the secret.

_Little Two-Eyes._ Come, sister. Come, little goat.

SCENE IV.--_The Hillside_

_Little Two-Eyes._ Now we are almost there. Are you tired, little

_Little One-Eye._ Oh! I am so tired, and my feet hurt so I can hardly

_Little Two-Eyes._ I have to walk this far every day.

_Little One-Eye._ Yes, but you have two eyes like other people and you
must expect to work. I cannot go any farther. I'll lie down here and

_Little Two-Eyes._ I'll sing you a pretty song:

   Are you awake, little One-Eye?
   Are you asleep, little One-Eye?

Yes, you are asleep, little One-Eye, and now I can have my dinner.

   Little goat, bleat!
   Little table, rise!

_Goat._ Bla-a! Bla-a! Bla-a!

_Little Two-Eyes._ Here is the little table again! Oh, how thankful I am
for the good food. Dear little old woman, you are very good to send me
such nice things to eat. Here is some for you, little goat. Now I have
had enough.

   Little goat, bleat!
   Little table, away!

There, it is gone. Little One-Eye, wake up! It is time to go home.

_Little One-Eye._ Did I go to sleep?

_Little Two-Eyes._ Indeed, you did, and now we must hurry home. Come,
little goat!

SCENE V.--_At Home_

_Mother._ Well, little One-Eye, tell us what you have seen. Why doesn't
little Two-Eyes eat the food we have for her?

_Little One-Eye._ I don't know, mother. The way was so long and I was
so tired; I fell asleep; and when I woke up it was time to come home.

_Mother._ It was a hard walk for you, my dear; but we must find out who
is giving little Two-Eyes something to eat. To-morrow you must go,
little Three-Eyes.

_Little Three-Eyes._ I'll find out, mother. If anyone dares to give food
to little Two-Eyes, I'll tell you all about it.

_Mother._ Yes, my dear, I know you won't go to sleep. I can trust you to
find out everything.

SCENE VI.--_On the Hillside_

_Little Two-Eyes._ Come, sister, we must go on, for it is a long way to
the top of the hill.

_Little Three-Eyes._ I'm not going any farther, I'm too tired! I'll rest
a little here.

_Little Two-Eyes._ All right, little Three-Eyes. I'll sing you a song.

   Are you awake, little Three-Eyes?
   Are you asleep, little Two-Eyes?

Yes, you are asleep, and now I'll have my dinner.

   Little goat, bleat!
   Little table, rise!

_Goat._ Bla-a! Bla-a! Bla-a!

_Little Two-Eyes._ Here is our dinner again, little goat. See this fresh
lettuce and cabbage and good bread and butter. Here is some honey, too,
and cake. Isn't this a good dinner?

   Little goat, bleat!
   Little table, away!

_Goat._ Bla-a, bla-a, bla-a!

_Little Two-Eyes._ Now it is gone. Three-Eyes, wake up! It is time home.

_Little Three-Eyes._ How long I have slept! What will my mother say? But
I think I have a surprise for you, little Two-Eyes!

SCENE VII.--_At Home_

_Mother._ Well, little Three-Eyes, did you go to sleep, too?

_Little Three-Eyes._--Yes, mother, but only with two eyes. Little
Two-Eyes sang to me,

   "Are you awake, little Three-Eyes?
    Are you asleep, little Two-Eyes?"

and so two of my eyes went to sleep, but one stayed awake and watched.

_Mother._ What did you see? Tell me quickly, dear little Three-Eyes.

_Little Three-Eyes._ First she said,

   "Little goat, bleat!
    Little table, rise!"

and the goat said, "Bla-a, bla-a, bla-a!" Then a table came up out of
the ground. Oh! it was such a pretty little table with a white cloth
over it and all kinds of good things on it. No wonder little Two-Eyes
doesn't eat any of our common food. It isn't good enough for her! She
has food fit for a queen,--nuts and cake, and candy, too!

_Mother._ So that is why little Two-Eyes doesn't eat the crusts we save
for her! Well, I'll see if she is going to have better food, than we
have. Bring me the long sharp knife.

[_Goes out and soon returns._]

There, now the goat is dead. Little Two-Eyes, perhaps you'll eat the
food we give you now!

_Little Two-Eyes._ Oh, my poor little goat! What shall I do without it!

_Mother._ Go to bed, and to-morrow morning you shall go to the hillside
alone. And you must stay there all day, too.

SCENE VIII.--_On the Hillside_

_Little Two-Eyes._ Oh, dear! Oh, dear! my poor goat is dead! Now I shall
be hungry and lonely too! Where shall I go, and what can I do?

_Little Wood Fairy._ Little Two-Eyes, why are you weeping?

_Little Two-Eyes._ Because my mother has killed my poor goat, and she
has sent me here to stay all alone, and I am so hungry and thirsty

_Little Wood Fairy._ Little Two-Eyes, let me tell you what to do. Ask
your sisters to give you the heart of your goat. Bury it in the ground
before the house door. Watch, and to-morrow a wonderful tree will come
up out of the ground.

_Little Two-Eyes._ Thank you, dear little woman! I'll go home and do as
you have told me.

SCENE IX.--_At Home_

_Little Two-Eyes._ Little One-Eye and little Three-Eyes, please let me
have the heart of my goat!

_One-Eye._ Certainly, if that is all you want.

_Three-Eyes._ Here it is, but I don't see what you want it for!

_Little Two-Eyes_ (_goes to door_). Now I'll plant it as the little
woman told me. I wonder what kind of a tree will appear to-morrow? Poor
little goat, I'm so sorry you have gone! Now I must go into the house
and try to sleep.

SCENE X.--_In the Garden_

_Little One-Eye._ Mamma, mamma, look here! Come quickly! Isn't this a
wonderful tree!

_Mother._ Why, how strange! This tree was not here yesterday. I wonder
how it came! I never saw such a beautiful tree before!

_Little One-Eye._ Do you see the golden apples on it? O mamma! may we
have some? Please, mother!

_Mother._ Yes, dear little One-Eye. You are the oldest, climb up into
the tree and pick some golden apples for us.

_One-Eye._ That will be fun. Here I go!

_Mother._ Why don't you get the apples, little One-Eye?

_Little One-Eye._ They all get away from me. When I try to pick one it
springs back!


_Mother._ Come down, little One-Eye. Now little Three-Eyes, you can see
better with your three eyes, than your sister with her one eye. You may
climb up and get some apples for us.

_Little Three-Eyes._ I'll pick a lot of them and throw them down for you
to catch. Why, how funny they act! I almost get one and it always
springs away!

_Mother._ Come down and let me try. I never heard of fruit that would
not be picked. Now children, I'll get some of the lovely apples for you.
There! Why, what is the matter? I can't reach a single apple.

_Little Two-Eyes._ Let me try; perhaps I can pick some.

_Mother._ You, with your two eyes! How can you expect to get them if we

_Little Two-Eyes._ Please let me try, mother.

_Mother._ Well, I suppose you can try, but I know you can't get them.

_Two-Eyes._ Here they are. Catch them, mother; catch them, little
One-Eye! Oh, mother! I see a young man on horseback coming along the
road. He looks like a prince.

_Mother._ Hurry down, little Two-Eyes! He must not see you,--a girl with
two eyes! I'm ashamed of you. Hide under this barrel!

[_The prince rides up._]

_Prince._ Good morning, ladies, what a lovely tree you have here! She
who gives me a branch shall have whatever she wishes.

_Little One-Eye._ The tree is ours, Great Prince; but when we try to get
its fruit, it slips away from us.

_Prince._ It is strange, if the tree belongs to you, that you cannot get
the fruit! But where do these apples come from?

_Little Three-Eyes._ We have another sister, but she has only two eyes
and we are ashamed of her; so we hid her under this barrel, and she has
rolled the apples out to you.

_Prince._ Little Two-Eyes, come out. Can you get me a branch from this
wonderful tree?

_Little Two-Eyes._ Yes, Prince; here is a branch with many golden apples
on it.

_Prince._ And what is your wish, little Two-Eyes?

_Little Two-Eyes._ O Prince! My mother and my sisters are ashamed of me
and do not treat me well. They do not give me enough to eat and they do
not like to have me near them. Please take me away where I can be happy
and free!

_Prince._ Come with me, little Two-Eyes; you shall go to my father's
palace and be a little princess. There you will be happy and free and
never be hungry or lonely again.




_Monday._ Well, I am glad to be here at last. Certainly my work is very
important. As the first working day of the week, I begin all business;
and I have always heard that if a thing is well begun, it is half done.
People call me Moon-day--isn't that a pretty name, the day of the moon?
How beautiful the moon is, riding in her silver chariot across the dark
blue sky! I am proud of my name. The moon is constantly changing and I
like change. I like brightness and cleanliness too, and good housewives
wash their clothes on Monday. How white and clean they look hanging on
the line! The sun and wind play hide and seek and help to cleanse the
clothes. School begins on Monday and the little children run and laugh
on their way to school. Every one seems happy that another week has


_Tuesday._ I am named for Tui, the god of war. In the countries of the
north I am greatly honored by all the people. Soldiers when going to war
call on Tui for help, and they like to begin a battle on Tuesday. Monday
likes to begin work, but I like to make some progress. The children
always know their lessons better on Tuesday, and are happier than on
Monday. The white clothes are sprinkled and rolled, and now the maids
iron the pretty baby dresses and the house linen. They sing and laugh
over their work. The world is all running smoothly on Tuesday, and I
think I like my work the best.


_Wednesday._ I should be the best of days, for I am named for Woden, or
Odin, the king of the gods. The hardest work of the week is finished
when I come, and there is time for a rest. Perhaps mother will bake a
special cake for dinner. To-day the children take their music lessons,
and the boys go for a lesson in swimming or gymnastic exercise. This is
the day young people choose for their wedding day, and you don't know
how glad I am to be a part of their happiness. I believe I have more
sunshine than the other days, for Woden likes to have clear skies and
health-giving breezes. I would not change with any of my sister days.


_Thursday._ I bring the thunder and the lightning, and I cleave the dark
clouds with my rapid flashes. I glory in a storm, for Thor, the god of
thunder, has chosen me for his day, and I bear his name. A life of ease
and quiet has no charms for me. I like the din and crash of war, the
noise and hurry of business. The fury of the heavens, the crash of
falling trees, the roaring of waters,--what can give greater pleasure?
Business thrives on Thursday. Men rush to and fro, buying and selling,
building great houses, digging in the mines, and sailing the seas. Life
and action are my delight. Hurrah for Thor's day!


_Friday._ After the bustle and work of the week I come to clean and
settle all disturbances. Now dirt and dust must disappear under the
broom and brush. How the windows shine and how spotless is the hearth!
Children rake up the leaves and burn them; all rubbish must be cleared
away. Order and neatness I love; and so does Freya, for whom I am named.
She is the goddess of beauty, and there is no beauty where neatness and
order are absent. Some say that I am an unlucky day, but that is a
mistake. See what wonderful things have happened on my day, what great
men have been born on Friday! I am the last school day of the week, and
to-day the children may forget lessons and play outdoors a little
longer. To-day the family gather for a story at the twilight hour, and
all is rest and happiness.


_Saturday._ I am the jolly day of the week. "School is out!" the
children cry, and all day long they sing and call to each other in their
games. To-day I smell the cakes and pies cooking in the range, for
Saturday is baking day. How the little children love to watch mother
stirring the cake and frosting, and how they beg to clean the sweet
stuff out of the bowl. Father comes home earlier to-day, and all go for
a walk in the woods or park. All men need a holiday, for "all work and
no play makes Jack a dull boy." The boys play ball and run and shout in
their joy. The girls have little parties, and cook gives them some fresh
cakes. I am named for Saetere, god of the harvest, and he is always
merry. So I wish all people to be happy on Saturday, the play day of the


_Sunday._ You have all spoken well, my sisters, and each one has some
claim to be the best day of the week. How fine it is that every day
holds some special joy in work or play! But you all know the highest joy
is mine. I am named for the golden sun that gives light to the world. On
Sunday men think of the inner light that makes them love the good and
the true and persuades them to do right. To-day the family is united,
and in the morning with fresh garments and happy faces they seek the
knowledge of a higher life. Around the dinner table they talk happily
together of their work and play, and they plan how they may do better
work during the next week. Love and peace are in all hearts. A desire to
help the weak and poor and sad is in every soul. I am happy and blest to
be Sunday.



SCENE I.--_In the Cottage_

_Hänsel._ I wish mother would come home! I'm cold and hungry. I'm tired
of bread. I want some milk and sugar.

_Gretel._ Hush, Hänsel; don't be cross!

_Hänsel._ If we only had something good to eat: eggs, and butter and
meat. Oh, dear!

_Gretel._ Dear Hänsel, if you will stop crying, I'll tell you a secret.

_Hänsel._ Oh, what is it? Something nice?

_Gretel._ Yes, indeed. Look in this jug! It is full of milk. Mother will
make us a pudding for supper.

_Hänsel._ Goody, goody! How thick the cream is! Let me taste it.

_Gretel._ Aren't you ashamed, you naughty boy! Take your finger out of
the cream. We must go back to work. When mother comes she will be cross
if you have not finished the broom.

_Hänsel._ I'll not work any more. I want to dance.

_Gretel._ So do I. I like to dance better than to work. Come, let us
dance and sing.

   Brother, come and dance with me,
   Both my hands I offer thee;
       Right foot first,
       Left foot then,
   Round about and back again.

_Hänsel._ I can't dance. Show me what I ought to do.

_Gretel._ Look at me. Do this.

   With your foot you tap, tap, tap!
   With your hands you clap, clap, clap!
       Right foot first,
       Left foot then,
   Round about and back again.

_Hänsel_ (_dancing_).

   With your hands you clap, clap, clap!
   With your foot you tap, tap, tap!
       Right foot first,
       Left foot then,
   Round about and back again.

_Gretel._ That is fine, brotherkin! Soon you will dance as well as I.
Come, try again.

   With your head you nick, nick, nick!
   With your fingers click, click, click!
       Right foot first,
       Left foot then,
   Round about and back again.


   O Gretel dear, O sister dear,
     Come dance and sing with me.


   O Hänsel dear, O brother dear,
     Come dance and sing with me.
       Tra, la, la, tra, la, la,
       La, la, la, la, tra, la, la.

[_Knocks down the milk._]


_Mother_ (_enters_). What is all this noise?

_Gretel._ 'Twas Hänsel. He wanted--

_Hänsel._ 'Twas Gretel. She said I--

_Mother._ Hush, you noisy children! What work have you done? Gretel,
your stocking is not done yet; and where are your brooms, you lazy Hans?
You have knocked over the milk too! What shall we have for supper? Lazy
folks can't stay in my house. Take the basket and go to the woods for
strawberries. And don't dare to come back without them! Off with you!
and be quick too!

[_The children go out. Mother sits weeping._]

Oh! I am so tired and hungry. Nothing in the house to eat. What shall I
do for the poor hungry children--Oh, dear, what can I do!

[_Goes to sleep, crying._]

_Father_ (_enters, singing_).

   Hillo, hilloo, hillo, hilloo,
   Little mother, where are you?

_Mother_ (_looking up_). Who is singing and making so much noise?

_Father._ I called you, for I am hungry and want my supper.

_Mother._ Your supper! with nothing in the house to eat and nothing to

_Father._ Let us see. Open your eyes and look in my basket. Cheer up,

_Mother._ What do I see? Ham and butter and flour and sausage! Where did
you get all these good things, father?

_Father._ Hurrah, won't we have a merry time, won't we have a happy
time? I sold so many brooms at the fair that I could buy you all these
good things and some tea besides.

_Mother._ Tea! how good it smells and how glad I am! Now I will cook the

_Father._ But where are the children? Hänsel! Gretel! Where are they?

_Mother._ Oh, the bad children! They did no work and they were singing
and dancing and spilled the milk, so I sent them to the woods to pick
some strawberries for supper.

_Father._ Laughing and dancing! Why should you be angry? Where have they

_Mother._ To the mountain.

_Father._ To the mountain! the home of the witch!

_Mother._ What do you mean? The witch?

_Father._ Yes, the old witch of the mountain turns all children to
gingerbread and then she eats them.

_Mother._ Eats them! Oh, my children, my pretty little children! Come,
we must find them! Hänsel, Gretel, where are you?

[_Runs out._]

_Father._ I will go with you, mother. Don't cry! we will surely find

[_Goes out._]

SCENE II.--_In the Forest_


_Gretel._ See, my wreath is nearly done.

_Hänsel._ And the basket is filled with strawberries. Won't mother be
pleased? We will have them for supper.

_Gretel._ Let me put the wreath on you!

_Hänsel._ No, no! boys don't wear wreaths. Put it on your own head. You
shall be queen of the woods.

_Gretel._ Then I must have a nosegay, too.

_Hänsel._ Now you have a scepter and a crown. You shall have some
strawberries, too. Don't they taste good?

_Gretel._ Let me feed you.

_Hänsel._ And I'll feed you. Don't be greedy!

_Gretel._ Oh, Hänsel, the berries are all gone. What naughty children we
are! We must pick some more now for mother.

_Hänsel._ I don't care, I was so hungry. But it is too late to pick
strawberries now. Let us go home.

_Gretel._ Let us hurry; it is dark and I'm afraid.

_Hänsel._ Pooh, _I'm_ not afraid. But I can't see the way. Gretel, we're

_Gretel._ What was that?

_Hänsel._ What?

_Gretel._ That shining there in the dark!

_Hänsel._ Pshaw, don't be afraid! That is a birch tree in its silver

_Gretel._ There, see! a lantern is coming this way.

_Hänsel._ That is a will-of-the-wisp with its little candle.

_Gretel._ I'm frightened, I'm frightened! I wish I were home!

_Hänsel._ Gretelkin, stick close to me! I'll take care of you.

_Gretel._ See! what is that little man in gray?

_Hänsel._ I see him, too. I wonder who he is!

_Sandman_ (_comes_).

   With my little bag of sand
   By every child's bedside I stand.
   Then little tired eyelids close,
   And little limbs have sweet repose.
   Then from the starry sphere above
   The angels come with peace and love.
   Then slumber, children, slumber,
   For happy dreams are sent you
   Through the hours you sleep.

[_Goes away._]

_Hänsel._ I'm sleepy. Let us go to sleep.

_Gretel._ Let us say our prayers first.


   When at night I go to sleep
   Fourteen angels watch do keep:
   Two my head are guarding,
   Two my feet are guiding,
   Two are on my right hand,
   Two are on my left hand,
   Two who warmly cover,
   Two who o'er me hover,
   Two to whom 'tis given
   To guide my steps to Heaven.

_Gretel._ Good night, dear brother.

_Hänsel._ Good night, dear sister. Don't be afraid. I'll take care of

[_They sleep._]

SCENE III.--_In the Wood--Morning_

_Hänsel._ Wake up, dear little sister! The birds are singing and it is
time to get up!

_Gretel._ I'm awake, dear brother. Come, let us hurry home.

_Hänsel._ Here is a path! Oh, Gretel, look at the pretty house!

_Gretel._ A cottage all made of chocolate creams!

_Hänsel._ The house seems to smile!

_Gretel._ It looks good enough to eat.

_Hänsel._ Let's nibble it!

[_A voice within the house._]

   Nibble, nibble, manikin!
   Who's nibbling at my housekin?

_Hänsel._ Oh, did you hear?

_Gretel._ It's the wind!

_Hänsel._ Never mind, let us eat the cake. I'm hungry. Take a bite!
Isn't it good?

_Gretel._ Yes, and look at the candy! What a funny fence this is! It
looks like little boys and girls made of gingerbread with sugar
trimmings. I wonder who lives in this house?

[_The Gingerbread Woman comes out of the house and speaks._]


   You've come to visit me, that is sweet,
   You charming children, so good to eat!

_Hänsel._ Who are you, ugly one? Let me go!

_Gretel._ Take your arms away from me!

_The Gingerbread Witch._ Come into my house, little children! You may
have sugarplums and peaches and cherries and candies and everything nice
that little folks like!

_Hänsel._ No, I won't! I don't want to go into your house. I want to go

_Gretel._ I don't like you, Mrs. Gingerbread! You aren't nice like my
mother. I want to go home to my own mother!

_The Gingerbread Witch._ Come, dear little Gretel. You must go in with
me. We'll leave Hänsel in this little house outside. He must get fatter,
so we will give him many good things to eat. Get in, Hänsel. I must lock
you in!

_Hänsel._ What are you going to do with me?

_The Gingerbread Witch._ I'll fatten you up nicely and then you will
see! Now I'll go inside for some sugarplums. You wait here, Gretel,
until I come back. Hocus, pocus, malus locus! now you can't move!

[_Goes in._]

_Hänsel._ Listen, Gretel! Watch the old witch and see everything she
does to me. Hush, she's coming back!

_The Gingerbread Witch._ Now, Hans, eat this raisin. It will make you
fat! Now, Gretel, you have stood still long enough.

   Hocus, pocus, elder bush!
   Rigid body loosen, hush!

Then, Gretel, you must come with me, but Hans cannot move until he gets
nice and fat like you. Run in, little daughter, and get some more nuts
and raisins for him. I like plump little bodies like yours!

[_Gretel goes in._]

_Hänsel._ Please let me out, Mrs. Gingerbread.

_The Gingerbread Witch._ When you are fatter. Now I must look to my
fire. It is burning well, and the oven will soon be hot enough to bake
my dinner. When I change my gingerbread I'll pop little Gretel in and
shut the door.

[_Gretel comes in very quietly and goes to Hans._]


   Hocus, pocus, elder bush!
   Rigid body loosen, hush!

_The Gingerbread Witch._ What are you saying?

_Gretel._ Oh, nothing,--only,--

_The Gingerbread Witch._ Only what?

_Gretel._ Only, much good may it do to Hans!

_The Gingerbread Witch._ Poor Hans is too thin, but I hope the raisins
and nuts will be good for him. But, you, my plump little Gretel, are
just fat enough--come, peep in the oven and see if the gingerbread is

_Hänsel_ (_softly_).

   Sister dear, have a care;
   She means to hurt you, so beware!

_Gretel_ (_shyly_). I don't understand what I am to do!

_The Gingerbread Witch._ Do? Why, open the oven door!

_Hänsel._ Sister dear, now take care!

_Gretel._ I'm such a goose, I don't understand.

_The Gingerbread Witch._ Do as I say, it's only play! This is the way.

[_Opens the door and looks in oven. Hans and Gretel run and push her

_Children sing._ One little push, bang goes the door, clang! Now, let us
be happy, dancing so merrily. Hurrah! Hurrah!

_Hänsel._ Why, see the children, Gretel. The fence is moving! The
gingerbread children are _real_ children, but their eyes are shut!

_The Children._ We are saved! We are saved!

_Gretel._ Who are you? Why do you keep your eyes shut? You're sleeping
and yet you are talking!

_The Children._ O touch us, we pray, that we may awake!

_Hänsel._ The witch has changed them into gingerbread children. I know
what to do. Let us say what the witch said to you, and what you said to

_Hänsel and Gretel._

   Hocus, pocus, elder bush!
   Rigid body loosen, hush!

_The Children._ (_Opening their eyes and running toward Hänsel and
Gretel._) We thank you, we thank you both!

_Gretel._ Oh, I am so glad!

_The Children._ The spell is broken and we are free. The witch can do us
no more harm. Come, let us shout for glee!


   Come, children all, and form a ring,
   Join hands together, while we sing.

_Gretel._ Oh, Hänsel dear, I wish father and mother were here!

_Hänsel._ Look, Gretel! There they are!

[_Father and Mother enter._]

_Father._ Why, mother, the children are here! Come, my dear Hänsel and
Gretel! How glad I am we have found you safe and well!

_Hänsel._ Oh, father, we must tell you all about the Gingerbread Witch!

_Mother._ My dear children, were you frightened?

_Gretel._ Yes, mother, I was. But, mother, Hänsel comforted me, and we
said our prayers and went to sleep.

_Mother._ The good angels watched over you and brought you back! Come,
let us go to the village and take all these dear children to their
mothers. Won't they be surprised and happy to see their dear children

_Father._ Come, children!




SCENE I.--_In the Castle_

_Ethelbald._ Tell us a story, lady mother.

_Ethelbert._ Yes, tell us a story.

_Ethelred._ I wish it would stop raining, so that we might take our
hawks for a hunt!

_Queen._ I have something to show you, my princes. Is not this a
beautiful book?

_Alfred._ How lovely the red velvet, and see, the clasp is of gold!

_Ethelred._ And there are jewels in the clasp!

_Queen._ It is well bound, as so precious a volume should be; but the
binding is the least valuable part of the book. Shall we look within?

_Ethelbald._ Pray show us, lady mother!

_Queen._ Observe the forms of mighty warriors, fair ladies, and royal
chiefs of the olden times in bright and glowing colors.

_Ethelbert._ How brave they look! Who are they? Tell us of them, dear

_Queen._ These pictures are beautiful and appeal to the eye, but neither
they nor the velvet and gold of the binding give the joy which is

_Alfred._ What do you mean, dear lady mother?

_Queen._ This is a book I greatly enjoy, for it is full of the tales of
the mighty King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. You will like
to hear me read these brave stories when you are tired with your day's
work, or on rainy days when you can neither hunt nor ride. Then you know
not how to amuse yourselves and time is heavy on your hands, since you
can neither read nor play upon the musical instruments that give us so
much pleasure.

_Ethelred._ The book is so lovely. Let me take it, lady mother!

_Queen._ I would that the children of my royal husband could read the

_Ethelbald._ Our father does not think much of books and music. He likes
to hunt and fight, and so do I.

_Ethelred._ And I love to hunt, but I love to hear the stories of great
kings and warriors, too.

_Alfred._ To which of us wilt thou give the book, lady mother?

_Queen._ I will bestow it on him who shall first learn how to read it.

_Alfred._ Will you really, dear mother?

_Queen._ Yes, upon the faith of a queen, I will. I will not give it to
one who cannot read it. Books are meant for the learned and not for the
ignorant. The sons of a king should cease to play with toys.

_Alfred._ May I take the book a little while?

_Queen._ Yes, you may take the precious volume, Alfred, for I know you
will not injure it, and I hope you will soon learn how to make its
wisdom your own.

_Alfred._ Thank you, lady mother. I shall study the book and learn to
read, for I wish to know all about the brave knights of Arthur's court.

SCENE II.--_Years later, when Alfred is King_


_Alfred._ All the others have gone back to their homes. In no other way
can ye serve me. Wherefore do ye go about to weep and break my heart?

_Oscar._ We weep, royal Alfred, because thou hast forbidden us to share
thy fortunes; as if we were the swarm of summer flies, who follow only
while the sun shineth.

_Alfred._ My valiant Oscar, and you my faithful Odulph, listen to me. I
do not despair. The time is not ripe now for further war. Our foes the
Danes have conquered us for a time. I trust that the time will come when
we shall drive them from our land. But we must do that which seems best
for the present and seek to be more successful in the future. We must
not sit down and weep; no, this rather shall you do. Go back to your own
people and keep me in their memory. When the Dane rules most cruelly,
then rise up and cry aloud in the ears of the people, "Alfred the king
yet liveth!" Then gather the soldiers and I shall come to lead them to

_Oscar._ Thou shalt be obeyed, my royal lord. I will return to my men
and do as thou hast said. But let my son Odulph stay with thee, if only
as thy servant.

_Odulph._ Well will I serve thee, my royal lord. It is not well for the
king to fare alone.

_Alfred._ I am well content to serve myself, or even to be servant to
others, until a happier time shall come. If Odulph desires to serve me,
it shall be by bringing good tidings of your success with my people.
When the time comes that we may again fight for our country, let him
bring me the welcome message. Then we will free our country from the
Danish yoke.

_Oscar._ Farewell, my royal master, since thou wilt have it so.

_Odulph._ And may the time soon come when I shall bring the message to

_Alfred._ Farewell, my loyal friends. All will be well.

SCENE III.--_In the Peasant's Home_


_Alfred._ Save you, good father! May a Saxon stranger, whom the Danish
robbers have made homeless, share a lodging with thy master's cattle for
the night?

_Cudred._ Wilt thou swear to me that thou art not a Dane in disguise?

_Alfred._ I say to thee, my friend, I am no Dane, but a true Saxon.

_Cudred._ Then thou shalt share the calf's crib to-night. Perchance thou
art hungry, too?

_Alfred._ To say truth, father, I have not broken my fast to-day;
neither have I had aught to drink save from these marshy streams. I
shall be right thankful for some food, even a crust of coarsest rye

_Cudred._ Rye bread, forsooth! Thou talkest of dainties indeed! Thou
wilt get nothing better than flat oaten cakes here.

_Alfred._ I have always wished to taste an oaten cake.

_Cudred._ Follow me, then, and thou shalt have thy desire. Switha,

_Switha._ Well, I hear thee!

_Cudred._ Switha, I have brought thee home a guest who will be glad to
partake of our supper.

_Switha._ A guest! And thinkest thou I've naught better to do than broil
fish and bake cakes for all the vagabonds who roam the land?

_Cudred._ Patience, good Switha. I have not asked thee to cook for a
vagabond. This is an honest Saxon whom it will be charity to feed and
shelter for the night.

_Switha._ Let me hold the torch and see this Saxon guest. Thou lookest
like a guest of fashion, sorry fellow!

_Cudred._ Cease thy scolding talk, woman! I see by this light that our
guest hath not been used to beg for charity from such as thou. Why be so
hard of heart and by thy rude taunts make bitter the food he must
receive from our hands?

_Switha._ I have heard that charity begins at home, and I am sure we are
poor enough.

_Cudred._ Not poor enough to refuse food to the hungry, such as it is.
Here is fish, and here an oaten cake which you wish to taste.

_Alfred._ Thanks for your goodness, kind host. Indeed, I am hungry.

_Switha._ You eat like a hungry wolf.

_Alfred._ And now I am hungry no longer. I thank you both for a good
supper, and I hope you will never be sorry you have given charity to a
stranger. Now, Cudred, I shall be glad to sleep.

_Cudred._ This way, then, to the bed of straw. Now, tell me truly, art
thou not some mighty earl in disguise?

_Alfred._ I am Alfred, thy king--I know from thy goodness to me when
thou thoughtest me a beggar that thou art a good man, therefore I
confide in thee. I know thou wilt not betray thy king.

_Cudred._ Not all the gold of Denmark should tempt me to commit so base
a crime, but we must not let Switha know who thou art, my royal master.

_Alfred._ I shall be careful. Soon, I hope, my friends will bring me
word that my army awaits me, when I shall again try to set my country

SCENE IV.--_In the Peasant's Hut_


_King Alfred._ It rains so hard to-day that I cannot hunt, so will mend
my bow and make some new arrows. May I sit by your fire, good dame

_Switha._ Yes, and as I have made a good batch of cakes you might watch
them bake.

_Alfred._ Gladly will I watch them. Show me what I must do.

_Switha._ Turn them often before the fire, thus, so that they will not
burn. Now I will go for more wood for the fire.

_Alfred._ How long, I wonder, must I remain in hiding. It is very hard
to wait. If only I knew how my people were faring. Will the time never
come when I can rule over England and unite my people? So many plans
have I for their happiness and progress. Schools we must have. The Bible
must be translated for the people to read. Roads must be built and the
country made safe for all. How long must I sit in Cudred's cottage
mending arrows when my heart wishes to help my suffering people!

_Switha_ (_running in_). I thought I smelled them burning! Oh, thou
lazy, useless fellow! Thou art ready enough to eat the cakes, but too
lazy to keep them from burning. No wonder thou hast no home, idle as
thou art.

_Alfred._ I pray thee, good dame, forgive me. I was lost in thought of
happier days and forgot my duty. Really I am sorry.

_Switha._ Ay, ay, that is always the way with thee. That smooth tongue
of thine is better to thee than silver or gold; for it obtains for thee
food, lodging, and friends, and softens all the wrath thy faults
provoke. However, I shall set by all the burnt cakes for thy portion of
the week's bread, I promise thee; and thou shalt have no other till they
are all eaten.

_Alfred._ My good mistress, here comes a pilgrim boy to ask thy charity.
May I bestow one of these cakes on him?

_Switha._ Thou mayest do what thou wilt with thine own, man! but do not
presume to give away my property to idle fellows like thyself.

_Alfred._ But, mistress, may I not give him that which was to have been
my portion for dinner?

_Switha._ No, indeed! I have enough to do with feeding one vagrant
without adding all the lazy pilgrims who pass by.

_Alfred._ See, mistress, my amulet! I will give thee this jewel, Switha,
if thou wilt permit me to feed this poor pilgrim.

_Switha._ Very well, then. Give him thy portion while I go and hide the

[_Goes out as Odulph enters._]

_Alfred._ Welcome, Odulph! Tell me thy tidings. I hunger for good news.

_Odulph._ My tidings, royal Alfred, are these: Hubba, the Dane, the
terror of England, is slain, and his banner of the Raven waves in my
father's hall!

_Alfred._ What? Is thy father's castle in the possession of the Danes?

_Odulph._ Not so, my royal master; but the banner of the Danes, captured
by your victorious Saxons, hangs in his hall. We were pent up in the
castle by the Danes till our provisions failed. When the last loaf was
eaten, and our archers had launched their last arrows, my valiant father
led the garrison in an attack upon the foe.

_Alfred._ Brave Oscar! And you defeated them!

_Odulph._ Yes, because of the carelessness of the Danes. They believed
they had us in their power, and they never dreamed we would leave the
castle walls. Few as we were, we fell upon them and slew their chiefs.
The soldiers fled, and left our men victorious. Then my father raised
the cry, "Alfred the king!" All the country is calling, "Alfred the

_Alfred._ The time is ripe. I thank you, Odulph. Your father is a noble
man, and I shall know how to show a king's gratitude to you both. Shall
we go?

_Odulph._ Lead on, King Alfred, England is ready. Soon you shall head
your army shouting, "Long live King Alfred!"



SCENE I.--_In the Greenwood._

[_Robin Hood and his men making arrows._]

_Robin Hood._ This feather is too short. Give me another, Little John.
This is a better one.

_Midge._ Making arrows is not a simple thing, is it, my master?

_Robin Hood._ Indeed, no; if the feathers be too short, the arrows will
not keep true to their course; and if the feathers be too long, the
arrows will not fly swiftly.

_Little John._ If all men knew how to make arrows, their skill in
shooting would seem greater. Look to your arrows, say I, before you

_Will Scarlet._ We should thank the gray goose for the even growth of
her feathers, which carries our arrows straight to the mark.

_Robin Hood._ First the strong bow that bends to our hand, then the
straight arrow, tough and trim, and the feathers that wing it to its
mark. But best of all the steady hand and keen eye that direct our
winged shaft. But you have worked well this morning, my men, and now we
may rest awhile. Sing us a song, Will Scarlet, while we lie beneath the
friendly oak.

_Will Scarlet_ (_sings_).

   The hunt is up! the hunt is up!
     And it is well-nigh day;
   And Harry our king has gone hunting
     To bring his deer to bay.

   The east is bright with morning light,
     And darkness, it is fled;
   And the merry horn wakes up the morn
     To leave his idle bed.

   Awake, all men! I say again
     Be merry as you may!
   For Harry our king is gone hunting
     To bring the deer to bay.

_Little John._ This song is well enough in its way, but for me, I should
much prefer a good dinner. The morning's work has given me a fine
appetite and I long for food.

_Robin Hood._ It is good to eat, but not before we find some rich
traveler to pay the bill. Ride out, my man, and find us a host. Willing
or unwilling, bid him come.

_Little John._ With right good will, my master; and may I soon meet with

_Robin Hood._ Remember well, no farmer shall you bring. He works for
what he gets and shall live in peace. And the laborer who toils for wife
and child you must not harm. Only those who oppress the poor and weak,
those who are selfish and unkind, who play while others weep, these
shall you bring to me.

_Will Scarlet._ But look, my master, what sorrowing knight rides there?
His garments are rich and his horse gayly decked, but his countenance is
sad and he rides slowly, careless of the way.

_Little John._ Hail, gentle knight; my master awaits you and fain would
have your company at dinner.

_The Knight._ At dinner,--in the wood! Who is your master?

_Little John._ Robin Hood is he: and here he is to bid you welcome.

_Robin Hood._ Welcome, Sir Knight, thrice welcome art thou, for I have
fasted beyond the dinner hour. Pray you, dismount.

_The Knight._ God save you and all your company!

_Midge._ The dinner is served, my master.

_Robin Hood._ Will you join us, Sir Knight? Here are pheasants and swans
and meat of the deer.

_The Knight._ Such a good dinner, with so many brave men, I have not
eaten for many a day. If I come again to this country, I will make thee
as good a dinner. But Heaven knows when that will be!


_Robin Hood._ Thanks for your kind offer. But in the greenwood our
guests must pay for their food. A yeoman does not pay for a rich knight!

_The Knight._ Sorry am I that you must call me poor. I would that I
could pay you, but in my saddlebags are no more than ten shillings.

_Robin Hood._ Is that indeed the truth, Sir Knight? Look carefully,
Little John; if the knight speaks truly, he shall keep the ten
shillings, but if not--

_Little John._ Indeed, my master, the knight speaks truly, for this is
all the money I can find.

_Robin Hood._ How comes it, noble knight, that thou art so poor? Come,
tell me the story. Mayhap I can help thee.

_The Knight._ I am Sir Richard of Lea, and my ancestors have been
knights for a hundred years. A year ago I had plenty of money to spend
as I would. But now I have nothing for my wife and my children, who weep
for my absence from them.

_Robin Hood._ But how did you lose all your money?

_The Knight._ Perhaps you will think I lost it in a foolish way. My son,
whom I dearly love, is a manly youth. Well can he shoot and joust fairly
in the field. But once, in a quarrel, he slew a youth, and to save him,
I pledged all my lands. Unless I redeem them by All Saints Day I shall
lose them all.

_Robin Hood._ What is the sum you are bound to pay?

_The Knight._ Four hundred pounds. The day is near and I have nothing.

_Robin Hood._ But what canst thou do if thou losest thy land? What wilt
thou do?

_The Knight._ I will sail far away over the seas. I cannot remain in

_Robin Hood._ It is a small sum. Hast thou no friends to help thee in
thy need?

_The Knight._ Many friends had I when I had money and lands. Now when I
need their help they turn away and know me not.

_Robin Hood._ By my faith, gentle knight, thou shalt not want for a
friend. Little John, go to the chest and count out four hundred pounds.

_Will Scarlet._ Shall he not have cloth for a coat, gentle master? He is
thinly clad.

_Robin Hood._ Well said, Will Scarlet; go, get three measures of every
kind, that he may be warmly and gayly clad.

_Little John._ Here is the money, Robin Hood, and good measure.

_Robin Hood._ And what will you give, Little John, who are so generous
with my money?

_Little John._ A pair of golden spurs, that he may ride fast to his
castle and redeem his lands.

_The Knight._ Many thanks, Little John, and to you, my good friend. Tell
me, Robin Hood, when shall I come to return the money you so kindly lend

_Robin Hood._ This day twelvemonth; and a happy year may it be! We will
meet under this trysting tree. Till then, be merry!

_The Knight._ I shall be with you a year from to-day. Farewell.

SCENE II.--_In the Abbot's Hall_


_The Abbot._ This day a year ago Sir Richard Lea borrowed four hundred
pounds from me. He promised to pay in a year or lose his land. If he
does not return to-day, the land will be mine.

_The Prior._ The day is now far spent. Perhaps he will come yet.

_The Abbot._ I am sure I hope he will not. I trust he has left England.

_The Prior._ The land is worth much more than four hundred pounds. It
were a pity if he did not redeem it.

_The Abbot._ Thou art ever crossing me! Speak no more about it! Where
is the Lord Justice?


_Lord Justice_ (_enters_). Here I am. I have just come from London to do
justice on that Knight. Where is he?

_The Abbot._ The Knight has failed to come with the money and this is
the day when the land falls to me.

_Lord Justice._ I dare swear he will not come and thou shalt have his
lands. I now declare that the knight, Sir Richard Lea, has failed to
keep his promise and his lands are--

_The Knight_ (_entering and kneeling before the Abbot_). Rejoice with
me, Sir Abbot. I am come to keep my day.

_The Abbot._ What dost thou say? Hast brought the money?

_The Knight_ (_to try the Abbot_). Not a penny, but--

_The Abbot._ What dost thou here without the money?

_The Knight._ To ask your kindness and patience, Sir Abbot, for a longer

_Lord Justice._ The day has come. Thou losest thy land, Sir Knight,
since thou canst not pay.

_The Knight._ Good Lord Justice, help me against my foes! I will surely
pay, but must have more time.

_Lord Justice._ I am sorry for thee, Sir Richard, but the law is plain.
Either pay your debt or lose your land.

_The Knight._ Sir Abbot, I pray thee, have pity.

_The Abbot._ Get the land when thou canst, thou gettest no pity from me.

_The Knight._ By my faith, then, if I get not my land again, thou shalt
pay dearly for it.

_The Abbot._ Get thee gone, false knight! Darest thou threaten me?

_The Knight._ False knight I am not, for I have fought well for my king.

_Lord Justice._ Sir Abbot, the day is not yet gone. What wilt thou give
the knight to hold his peace?

_The Abbot._ A hundred pounds.

_Lord Justice._ Make it two hundred.

_The Knight._ No, nor nine hundred. Ye shall not have my land! Here, Sir
Abbot, are the four hundred pounds. Had you been less covetous, I would
have given interest. Now, get you gone, all of you; and learn to deal
more justly and kindly with those in need. [_They go out._]

_Lady Lea_ (_entering_). Oh, my dear husband! how glad I am to hear your
voice again.

_The Knight._ Happy am I to see you and to be at home again. I must tell
you how kind Robin Hood has been to me.

_Lady Lea._ Robin Hood your friend? Is he not the outlaw of the forest?

_The Knight._ Yes; but he is kind to all who are unhappy or oppressed.
He saved me from leaving England and gave me money to redeem my land.

_Lady Lea._ How I long to thank him for his goodness to you.

_The Knight._ In a year we will go to him and repay the four hundred

_Lady Lea._ I shall be glad to see him and his merry men, and try to
thank them all.




SCENE I.--_At Tell's Home_

_Albert._ Lewis, doesn't the quail smell good?

_Lewis._ Yes, I wish I could have some of it!

_Lalotte._ Hush! the quail is for your father.

_Albert._ I know that, Lalotte; but I am hungry, and I like quail.

_Lalotte._ Your father will be cold and hungry, for he has been on a
long journey.

_Albert._ But perhaps he will not come. Mother, mother! may we have the
quail if father is late? It is done now, and it will not be good if it
is cooked any more.

_Lalotte._ Hush, you greedy boy! If I were your mother, I would send
you to bed for thinking of such a thing.

_Albert._ You are not the mistress. You are not the mistress, and I
shall not go to bed because you say so!

_William Tell_ (_at door_). But you shall go to bed, young man, if your
Cousin Lalotte tells you to do so. Take them to bed, Lalotte.

_Albert._ Oh, father! We were only joking.

_Lewis._ Please, father, don't send us to bed.

_William Tell._ I must, my boy, because it is late, and I have news for
your mother. Good night, my sons.

_Boys._ Good night, dear father.

[_They go out with Lalotte._]

_William Tell._ Thy father's news is not for young ears.

_Annette._ There is a sadness in thy voice, and trouble in thy face!
Tell me what has happened to thee! Wilt thou not trust me?

_William Tell._ Yes, my Annette! Thou hast ever been a good wife and
faithful friend. Why should I conceal my deeds from thee?

_Annette._ What hast thou done, my husband?

_William Tell._ Perhaps thou wilt blame me.

_Annette._ Nay, for thou art a good man, and whatever thou doest is
right in my eyes.

_William Tell._ Thou knowest how our foreign rulers oppress the good
people of Switzerland?

_Annette._ I do, but why should we poor peasants worry over the affairs
of the nobles?

_William Tell._ But they are our troubles, too. So to-night I have met
with three and thirty men, brave and loyal hearts, who have sworn to
resist our oppressors and free our land from tyranny.

_Annette._ But how can three-and-thirty men think to conquer the armies
of foreign tyrants?

_William Tell._ Sometimes great events are brought about by small means.
All the people in their hearts hate the false ruler of our poor country,
and many of these will willingly die for her sake.

_Annette._ Thou art brave, my husband, but what can so few do?

_William Tell._ Think of it! The father of one of our band has just been
put to a cruel death. No man knows where the tyrant will strike next.
Perhaps Gessler will pick me out for the next victim.

_Annette._ Thee! What charge could he bring against thee?

_William Tell._ He could say that I am the friend of my country, which
in the tyrant Gessler's mind is a crime.

_Annette._ But Gessler will never hear of us, humble peasants. He is too
far above us to care what we think.

_William Tell._ Not so, my dear wife. Gessler will not permit us to
hold our thoughts in secret. He has a plan to discover our inmost

_Annette._ What plan can he make to read our minds?

_William Tell._ A clever plan to tell a freeman from a slave. In
Altdorf, our capital city, he has set up a pole. Upon the top of this
pole he has put the cap of the Austrian king and has ordered every man
to take off his hat as he passes by, to show that he yields to the
Austrian rule. Is not this a brave plan? He who obeys the tyrant is a
slave. Wouldst thou have thy husband doff his cap to his country's

_Annette._ Never! I should despise thee, couldst thou do it!

_William Tell._ That is my own brave wife! Thou speakest as a free
woman, the mother of free children, should speak. And our children shall
be free! When I go to Altdorf I shall refuse to obey the order of
Gessler and all Switzerland shall know that William Tell will not bow to
a foreign tyrant.

_Annette._ But why go to Altdorf, my husband? Thou knowest the power of
Gessler and his cruelty!

_William Tell._ Wouldst have me a coward? No, dear wife. When my
business calls me to Altdorf I shall go and in all ways act as a free
man, loyal to my country and afraid of no one.

_Annette._ Thou art a brave man, my husband, and I honor thee.

SCENE II.--_Altdorf: The Market place_


_William Tell._ Come, my son, I have sold the chamois skins, and now I
must buy the things your mother wished me to get for her.

_Albert._ And, father, please buy some toys for little Lewis.

_William Tell._ You are a good boy, Albert, to remember your little
brother. We will go to the shop across the square and look there for

_Soldier._ Halt, man! Salute yonder cap!

_William Tell._ Why should I salute a cap of cloth?

_Soldier._ It is the cap of our emperor. If you do not honor the cap,
you are a traitor.

_William Tell._ I am no traitor, and yet I will not bow down to an empty
cap. I am a true Swiss and love my country.

_Gessler._ Ha, ha! Then we have a traitor here who will not yield to our
emperor! Arrest him, my men; and we will teach him his manners. Who is
this man?

_Soldier._ His name is William Tell, my lord.

_Gessler._ Insolent traitor! Bind him well.

_Albert._ Oh, father, I am afraid. Do not let the soldiers take me.

_William Tell._ Be calm, my son. No harm will come to thee.

_Gessler._ Indeed, and is this your son? Has he come to mock the cap of
our royal master, too? Seize the boy and bind him to yonder tree.

_William Tell._ What will you do with the boy? Does a captain war with a

_Gessler._ We shall see. I hear you are a famous shot, William Tell, and
handle well the bow and arrow. We shall soon know your skill. Have you a
good arrow in your quiver? Perhaps you can shoot an apple from the head
of your child.

_Soldier._ Where shall I bind the boy, my captain?

_Gessler._ To yonder tree. If his father shoots the apple from his
child's head, he shall go free. If he fails he must die. Are you ready?

_William Tell._ Rather would I die than risk killing my eldest son. Let
him go, and take my life.

_Gessler._ That I shall not do. You must both die unless you save your
lives as I have said. Will you try the shot or are you afraid?


_William Tell._ Bind the boy's eyes, I beg. He might move if he saw the
arrow coming, and my skill would be in vain.

_Gessler._ I am willing, for well I know you cannot cleave the apple at
that distance.

_William Tell._ Tyrant! I cannot fail now, when my son's life depends
upon me. Stand perfectly still, my brave boy, and father will not hurt
you. Now I pray for strength--my trusty arrow must not fail me! There!
[_He shoots._]

_Soldier._ See, my captain! The apple is split! That was a fine shot!

_Gessler._ Yes, it was a good shot, and I did not believe anyone could
make it. I suppose I must set you free. But why have you that other
arrow in your hand?

_William Tell._ To shoot you with it had I killed my darling boy.

_Gessler._ Seize him, my men!

_William Tell._ Never! Come, Albert! This arrow for him who stops me!

_Soldiers._ He has escaped!


_Father Time._ I must call my children together and give them orders for
the New Year. Open the door, my servants, and let the Seasons appear.

_Spring_ (_entering_). Here I am, Father Time. What are your commands
for your youngest daughter?

_Father Time._ Welcome, my dainty Spring! It is your duty to call the
gentle rains to fall upon the thirsting ground. Yours is the pleasant
task to paint the blades of young grass a delicate green. You call the
birds back from the south and rouse all nature from her winter sleep.
The winds blow freshly over the earth; the clouds move here and there,
bringing the rain; and the bulbs, hidden under the soil, slowly push
their leaves into the sunlight. What flowers will you bring to deck
the earth?

[Illustration: TIME AND THE SEASONS]

_Spring._ O Father Time! Look here upon my pretty flowers! Here is the
snowdrop, so white and brave. It pushes its head up through the snow,
which is no whiter than its own petals. And here I have a bunch of
crocuses, blue, yellow, white, and of many colors. Aren't they pretty
amid the grass? Then the gorgeous tulips, holding their heads so high,
making the earth brilliant with their gay, bright colors. I think the
golden daffodils and sweet narcissus are my favorite flowers, though I
am very fond of what the children call spring beauty.

_Father Time._ I see, my daughter, that you love all your flower
children, and that is right. All are beautiful, each in its own way. And
now tell me what joys do you bring to the little children of the earth?

_Spring._ All the children love me. They hunt for the first flowers,
they welcome the first birds returning from the south, and they prepare
the garden for the seeds of flowers and vegetables. The boys play
marbles everywhere, and run and laugh, filling their lungs with my
life-giving air. The organ grinder plays for the children and they dance
on the sidewalks, singing and calling out in delight. The trees put
forth their tender leaves. The sun fills the air with golden warmth, and
the world seems full of promise.

_Father Time._ Well done, my daughter. And now, my daughter Summer, tell
me your plans for the year.

_Summer._ Dear father, I delay my coming until Spring has prepared the
way. The air must be soft and warm to please me, and the earth must be
prepared by the rains and the warm rays of the sun. The colors of my
flowers are deeper and richer than those of sister Spring. I bring the
lilies, the peonies, and the poppies. Best of all, the glowing roses
open at my call, and fill the air with perfume.

_Father Time._ And the children, my fair daughter, what do you bring to

_Summer._ The dear children! I think they all like my sunny days and the
long time for play. For July and August in many countries are given to
the school children for their play time. Then they go to the seashore
and play in the water and the sand; or to the country, where the green
grass, the farmyard animals, and all the country games delight them.

_Father Time._ Children are so fond of play and the long summer days
out-of-doors that I wonder what they think of you, my older daughter,

_Autumn._ Children do like to play and I am glad they get so well and
strong with the vacation my sister, Summer, gives them. Yet all children
like to learn, too. We must not forget that. What joy it is to read the
beautiful stories that great men and women have written for them. What
delight they have in learning to write, to sing, to draw, and to make
pretty objects of paper, clay, and wood.

_Father Time._ Yes, that is true, but have you no pleasures out-of-doors
for them?

_Autumn._ Some people say my days are the most pleasant of the year. The
gardens have many beautiful flowers, and the fruits are ripening in the
orchards and vineyards. The apples hang red on the boughs, and children
like to pick them and eat them, too! I have the harvest moon, the time
when the farmers bring home the crops ripened by August suns, and the
earth seems to gather the results of the year's work, the riches of
field, orchard, and meadow. The squirrels gather their hoard of nuts and
hide them away for their winter's food. Gay voices of nutting parties
are heard in the woods, and all the air is filled with songs of praise
and thanksgiving for the bounty of the year.

_Father Time._ Your work is surely one of worth and I rejoice with you,
my daughter, in your happiness. You are a true friend of men, showing
them that honest effort and its work will always bring proper reward.
Now, my merry laughing child, what have you to tell us?

_Winter._ Some people think I am your oldest daughter, Father Time, but
they forget that two of my months are always in the New Year. Although
my hair and garments are white, the cold is only outside; my heart is
warm. Have I not jolly St. Nicholas who never grows old? I cover the
earth with my warmest blanket of softest snow, softer and whiter than
ermine, and all the tender flowers sleep cozily and warm until sweet
Spring awakes them. The children get out their sleds and skates, and the
merry sleigh bells ring. What fun it is to build the snow man, and even
if the hands get cold, the eyes shine brighter than in warm days and the
cheeks are rosy as the reddest flower. "Hurrah for Winter!" shout the
boys. The merriest holidays I have when all hearts are gay and filled
with loving care for others. I would not change, dear Father Time, with
any of my sisters. I say good-by to the passing year and welcome the new
year. If the old year has had troubles and sorrows, all the people turn
with hope to the new, and call to one another the wish, "A Happy New
Year to all!"

_Father Time._ I am glad you are contented with the work you have to do.
And now, my daughters, I must send you out upon your travels all over
the world. May your coming bring peace; joy, and prosperity to all



SCENE.--_Home of Little Old Woman_

_Little Old Woman._ Now all my housework is done I think I will make
some gingerbread. There is nothing quite so good for lunch as warm
gingerbread and a glass of milk, or a cup of hot tea. I can make pretty
good gingerbread, too, all of my friends say. Here is the flour and
butter and molasses and milk. Now it is all ready to put into the pan.
But I made too much this time. What shall I do with it? Nothing must be
wasted in a good cook's kitchen. Oh, I know! I'll make a cunning
gingerbread man for the little boy who lives next door.

Where is my knife? Now roll the dough very thin, cut out the round
little head, then the neck, now the two arms, now the little fat body,
and last the legs with high heels on the shoes. Well, this certainly is
a fine little gingerbread man. I think I'll make a little hat with a
wide brim. Now I'll put two currants for his eyes, two for his nose,
three for his cute little mouth, and six for the buttons on his coat.

Then I'll sprinkle sugar and cinnamon over him and put him in the oven
to bake.

Let me look at the clock. It is half past eleven. At twelve the
gingerbread man will be baked, ready for the little boy when he comes
home from school.

Well, I've washed the dishes, and set the table for my lunch, and it is
now just twelve o'clock. I'll open the oven door and see if my
gingerbread man is ready.

Oh! what was that! Why, it is the gingerbread man!

_Gingerbread Man._ Yes, it is the gingerbread man, and now I'll go and
see the world.

_Little Old Woman._ Go! you mustn't go! You belong to me.

_Gingerbread Man._

   Ah, ha! ah, ha! catch me, if you can!
   You can't catch me, I'm a gingerbread man!

_Little Old Woman._ There he goes, out of the door, just as if he were
really a little boy, and not made of something good to eat! Come back;
come back!

_Gingerbread Man._

   Ah, ha! ah, ha! catch me, if you can!
   You can't catch me, I'm a gingerbread man!

_Little Old Woman._ I know I can't run as fast as he can. There he goes
out of the gate. There are some men who are working in the street. I'll
ask them to catch him. Help! help me catch the gingerbread man!

_Men._ Yes, ma'am. Where is he? Oh, there he is, the little rascal!
We'll catch him.

_Gingerbread Man._

   Ah, ha! ah, ha! catch me, if you can!
   You can't catch me, I'm a gingerbread man!

_Men._ Well, there he goes and he does run fast! Come, let us run after

_Little Old Woman._ Oh, I know the men can't run as fast as he can, and
they will never catch my gingerbread man! Here are the children coming
from school. I'll call them. Children, children!

_Children._ Yes, little old woman, here we are. What did you call us

_Little Old Woman._ Oh, my dear children, see the gingerbread man I made
for the little boy next door! There he goes running as fast as he can,
and I can't catch him!

_Boy._ And the men are running after him, and they can't catch him
either. Just watch me, little woman, I'll catch him for you.

_Gingerbread Man._

   Ah, ha! ah, ha! catch me, if you can!
   You can't catch me, I'm a gingerbread man.

_Girl._ I have my roller skates on. Perhaps I can catch him!

_Little Old Woman._ I'm sure you can, my child.

_Girl._ I'll try. Look out, Mr. Gingerbread Man!

_Gingerbread Man._

   Ah, ha! ah, ha! catch me, if you can!
   You can't catch me, I'm a gingerbread man!

_Little Old Woman._ There he goes, and none of them can catch him. Now
he is near some farmers. I'll call on them to help me. Farmer, farmer,
will you please help me catch the gingerbread man? There he goes over
your wheat field.

_Farmer._ Yes, indeed, we'll help you. Here, you gingerbread man, keep
out of my wheat field! Come, men; run after him and catch him.

_Men._ We'll catch him before he gets to the fence.


_Gingerbread Man._

   Ah, ha! ah, ah! catch me, if you can!
   You can't catch me, I'm a gingerbread man!

_Little Old Woman._ Oh, dear! Oh, dear! there he goes into the wood, and
no one can run fast enough to catch him.

_Farmer._ I'm sorry, madam, but we must go back to our work on the farm.

_Boy._ Hark! listen! don't you hear the little gingerbread man calling?

_Gingerbread Man._

   Ah, ha! ah, ha! catch me, if you can!
   You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man!

_Little Old Woman._ Yes, he is calling to us from the wood. I thank you,
children, and now we will go home.

_Gingerbread Man_ (_in the wood_). Ah, ha! and they didn't catch me! and
now I am free to play in the wood. What a pleasant place!

_Mr. Fox._ Well, what sort of a funny little man is this?

_Gingerbread Man._

   Ah, ha! ah, ha! catch me, if you can!
   You can't catch me, I'm a gingerbread man!

_Mr. Fox._ Can't I? Well, I _have_ caught you; and now let me see if you
are good to eat. First, I'll try one of your arms. That tastes good!

_Gingerbread Man._ I'm going!

_Mr. Fox._ And now the other arm!

_Gingerbread Man._ I'm going!

_Mr. Fox._ Now for the leg.

_Gingerbread Man._ I'm going!

_Mr. Fox._ Really, Mr. Gingerbread Man, I think you are very good eating
for a hungry fox. Now I'll taste the other leg.

_Gingerbread Man._ I'm going!

_Mr. Fox._ Now for your round little body.

_Gingerbread Man._ I'm going!

_Mr. Fox._ There is not very much left. Just your head for the last

_Gingerbread Man._ I'm gone!

_Mr. Fox._ Yes, you're gone; and a very nice meal, Mr. Gingerbread Man.


SCENE I.--_In the Wood_

_The Good Fairy._ At last I am in this wood where I must save the Lady
Alice from danger. How dark it seems here after the bright light of my
skyey home. Surely I shall be glad to return to the courts of fairyland.
Yet it is pleasant to be of service to the young and innocent, to those
who are good and true. Some there are on earth who do not love the
truth, who do not do the things that are honest and kind, and they must
be punished. Kind and gentle deeds must be rewarded with our help.

Here in this dark grove dwells Comus, an evil spirit, who loves not the
good. Here he finds the unlucky traveler and takes him to his court.
There he offers him food and a pleasant drink. But in the glass is a
potion which drives memory from the mind and makes one forget home and
friends. Then the unhappy traveler loses his human head and must have
the head of some animal or bird. Comus enjoys seeing his victims act
like wild and foolish animals or the forest.

In this dangerous wood the Lady Alice and her brothers are wandering,
and my duty it is to protect them from the evil Comus. Hark! I think I
hear the noisy band. Here will I hide and listen.

[_Comus and his crew enter; men and women with animal heads._]

_Comus._ Now the sun has gone from the western heavens and the star of
night shines over us. This is the hour we love the best. All the
serious, wise old people who love the day and its work are weary now and
have gone to bed. We who love fun and a merry dance, we wake when the
sky is flecked with golden stars. Now the moon calls the fairies from
brook and fountain to play their merry games and sing. These are the
joys of night in our dark and secret grove. Come, make a merry ring and
dance. No care have we nor fear. We will dance and sing until the first
ray of light is seen in the east.

[_They dance until Comus speaks._]

_Comus._ Break off! break off! I hear a footstep not our own approaching
this place. Run to your places lest you frighten the traveler whoever it
may be.

[_They disappear._]

I believe some maiden approaches. I will weave my spells and appear to
her in the dress of a shepherd and she will not be afraid. Here she
comes. I will step aside and learn how she happens to be alone in my

[_Comus hides._]

_Lady Alice_ (_entering_). I thought I heard the sound of noisy
merrymaking,--with music as if many were dancing. Here was the sound,
but here I see no one. Alas! I should be sorry to meet rude youths, but
where can I go, what can I do, left alone in this dark and gloomy wood?
O my brothers, where are you? When they saw me wearied, unable to go
farther, they left to find me nourishment and shelter, promising soon to
return. Truly they must be lost in this vast forest. O dark night, why
have you stolen the way from them and left me alone and helpless?
Helpless? No, not helpless, for the good mind has helpers ever present
in pure-eyed Faith and white-handed Hope. I will pray to God, who will
send me a guardian to guide me to my home. What is that light I see? My
brothers seek me and I will sing to them. Perhaps they are not far away
and will hear my voice.

   Sweet Echo, sweetest nymph, that liv'st unseen
     Within thy airy shell,
   Canst thou not tell me of a gentle pair
     That likest thy Narcissus are?
   O if thou have
     Hid them in some flowery cave,
   Tell me but where,
   Sweet Queen of Parley, Daughter of the Sphere!

_Comus_ (_to himself_). What sweet song is this? Can any mortal sing
with such charm and beauty? Such sacred and home-felt delight I never
heard till now. I'll speak to her, and she shall be my queen.

_Comus_ (_dressed as a shepherd_). Hail, fair goddess! for you must be
more than mortal, to sing such sweet and wondrous strain.

_Lady Alice._ Nay, gentle shepherd. I sang not as loving my own voice,
and praise is lost that falls on unattending ears. Stern necessity
compelled my song.

_Comus._ How comes it, Lady, that you are thus alone?

_Lady Alice._ My brothers left me upon a grassy turf. Darkness came
upon the grove, and I fear they are lost.


_Comus._ Were they men full grown or still young?

_Lady Alice._ Young and fair my brothers are.

_Comus._ Two such I saw, so lovely in their youthful grace I thought I
looked upon some fairy scene. If these are the lads you seek, we can
easily find them.

_Lady Alice._ Gentle villager, quickly tell me the shortest way to them!

_Comus._ Due west it lies.

_Lady Alice._ To find it out, good shepherd, would be too difficult in
this darkness to a stranger.

_Comus._ I know every step, fair lady, for I live close by and daily
tread the path in caring for my sheep. Gladly will I conduct you and
find your brothers if they are still in this grove. Till daybreak you
can rest in a cottage near by, where you will be safe until you wish to
travel on.

_Lady Alice._ Kind shepherd, I take your word, and gladly go to the
shelter you mention. Kindness is often found in lowly homes. Lead on,
and I will follow.

_Comus._ This way, fair lady!

SCENE II.--_Another Place in the Forest_

_Elder Brother._ How our steps are stayed by the darkness of the night
and of the forest. Would that the moon and stars would pierce the
clouds! If only we could see some faint glimmer of a candle in some
lowly hut that would guide us on our way.

_Second Brother._ Or hear the folded flocks, or sound of village flute
or song, or if the cock would crow the watches of the night! Where can
our dear sister be now? Does she wander in the deep grove, or against
the rugged bark of some broad elm lean her head in fear? Perhaps even
while we speak she is the prey of some savage beast!

_Elder Brother._ Cease, brother, to dream of evils that may not be. No
good can come from false alarms. I do not believe my good sister has
lost herself in fear. Her faith will keep her calm.

_Second Brother._ I do not fear the darkness and the fact that she is
alone. But I do fear some harm may come to her from rude wanderers in
the wood.

_Elder Brother._ Yet I believe she is so good and true that evil has no
power to harm her. All powers of good surround her and drive evil away.
But list! Some faint call sounds on my ear.

_Second Brother._ Yes, I hear it now. What should it be?

_Elder Brother._ Either some one lost in this wood, like ourselves, or
else some roving woodman, or perhaps some robber calling to his fellows!

_Second Brother._ God save my sister!

_Elder Brother._ Who comes here? Speak! Advance no further!

_Spirit_ (_as a shepherd_). What voice is that? Speak once again.

_Second Brother._ O brother! 'tis my father's shepherd, sure.

_Elder Brother._ Are you Thyrsis? How could you find this dark,
secluded spot? Why did you come?

_Spirit._ To find out you. But where is your lovely sister? Why is she
not with you?

_Elder Brother._ Without our fault we lost her as we came.

_Spirit._ Alas, then my fears are true!

_Elder Brother._ What fears, good Thyrsis?

_Spirit._ I have long known that this wood was held in the power of an
evil spirit, and this evening as I sat me down upon a bank I heard most
lovely strains as if an angel sang. Listening, I knew it was your
sister's voice. I hastened to her and heard her tell Comus of you whom
she had lost. To you I came that we may save her from the evil spirit of
the wood.

_Elder Brother._ Let us hasten to attack him with our swords.

_Spirit._ Alas! Your bravery I praise, but it is vain. The evil charm
of Comus can be broken only by a wondrous plant. See, I have it here.
With this will we overcome his fairy spells.

_Elder Brother._ Thyrsis, lead on! And some good angel bear a shield
before us!

SCENE III.--_The Palace of Comus_

_Comus._ Drink, Lady, of the wine. You are faint and weary, and this
will refresh you. Do not refuse!

_Lady Alice._ Never will I drink the potion in that glass. You may
control the body, but my free mind you can never bind.

_Comus._ Why are you angry, Lady? Here is a place filled with all

_Lady Alice._ Is this the cottage you told me of, the place of safety
where I could rest. None but good men can offer good things. I will
never drink what you offer. What monsters are these? I pray Heaven guard


_Comus._ Dear Lady, stay with me and be my queen. Here may you reign
over all my kingdom. See what royal robes are mine, what jewels, what
costly tables and shining gold and silver. No sorrow shall you know,
but only joy and pleasure.

_Lady Alice._ Cease your words. You cannot move the mind guided by
honesty and truth. You cannot frighten me, for well I know goodness is
stronger than evil, truth is more powerful than falsehood. The pure
heart cannot be harmed.

_Comus._ Cease, cease! all this is foolishness. Be wise and taste. All
trouble will be forgotten. Come, I insist!

[_The brothers rush in and drive Comus and his crew away. But Lady Alice
is entranced and cannot move._]

_Spirit._ Have you let him escape? You should have seized his wand.
Without that he has no power, but now we must have help to release your
sister from his wicked power. The goddess of our river Severn, the
lovely Sabrina, has power over all the enchantments of Comus. Her will I

   Sabrina fair,
   Listen, where thou art sitting,
   Goddess of the silver lake,
   Listen and save.

Come from your home in the coral caves of the sea and help this lovely
maiden in distress.

_Sabrina_ (_entering_).

   From off the waters fleet,
   Thus I set my printless feet
   O'er the cowslip's velvet head
   That bends not as I tread;
   Gentle swain, at thy request
   I am here!

_Spirit._ Dear goddess, we implore your powerful aid to undo the charm
wrought by the enchanter on this maiden.

_Sabrina._ 'Tis my greatest joy to help the pure and good. Gentle Lady,
look on me. Thrice upon thy finger tips, thrice upon thy lips, I
sprinkle drops from my pure fountain. Then I touch this marble seat and
break the spell. All is well. Farewell.

_Spirit._ Fair Sabrina, for this aid I pray that all the pretty rills
will never cease to flow into your broad river. May your banks ever be
fair with groves and meadows sweet, while all men shall praise you for
your gentle deeds. Farewell. Now, Lady, let us hasten from this grove.
Your parents await their dear children, and we must hasten ere they
become alarmed over your delay. Thanks to your pure heart and the aid of
the fair Sabrina, you have come safely through the enchanter's wood.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note

The following change has been made to the text:

Page 25: "Dolly" changed to "Dollie".

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