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Title: Nursery Comedies - Twelve Tiny Plays for Children
Author: Bell, Lady Florence Eveleen Eleanore
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 "Nursery Comedies - Twelve Tiny Plays for Children" ***

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http://www.pgdpcanada.net



NURSERY COMEDIES.

Twelve Tiny Plays for Children


  BY
  LADY BELL


  _NEW IMPRESSION_


  LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO.
  39 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON
  NEW YORK, BOMBAY, AND CALCUTTA
  1911



  TO
  Hugo, Elsa and Molly.



* Four of the following little plays, viz.: "Cat and Dog," "The Wigwam,"
"Rather a Prig," and "Foolish Jack" (from Grimm), are adapted from
the _Petit Théâtre des Enfants_, by the same author. Three of them,
"Cinderella," "The Golden Goose," and "What Happened to Henny Penny,"
are versions of well-known stories.



CONTENTS.

  PAGE

  I. WHAT HAPPENED TO HENNY PENNY              9

  II. LITTLE PETSY                            19

  III. RATHER A PRIG                          29

  IV. THE MONSTER IN THE GARDEN               37

  V. CAT AND DOG                              43

  VI. MISS DOBSON                             51

  VII. THE WIGWAM: OR, THE LITTLE GIRL FROM
        TOWN                                  59

  VIII. FOOLISH JACK                          69

  IX. QUITE BY OURSELVES                      75

  X. THE BEST CHILDREN IN THE WORLD           89

  XI. THE GOLDEN GOOSE                        99

  XII. CINDERELLA                            113

       *       *       *       *       *



WHAT HAPPENED TO HENNY PENNY.



CHARACTERS.

  HENNY PENNY.
  COCKIE LOCKIE.
  TURKY LURKY.
  DUCKY DADDLES.
  GOOSEY POOSEY.
  MR. FOX.



WHAT HAPPENED TO HENNY PENNY.


H. P.--Oh dear me! Oh dear me! What was it, I wonder? What could it have
been? I must scream for help. Help! Help!

     _Enter_ COCKIE LOCKIE.

C. L.--What's the matter? Henny Penny, what is happening?

H. P.--Oh dear me! I don't know what it was, that is the worst of it.

C. L.--You don't know what it was?

H. P.--How should I, when I never saw it? It fell on to my head.

C. L.--_What_ fell on to your head? What a stupid hen you are!

H. P.--I was under a beanstack pecking about, and suddenly something
fell from the top of the stack on to my head. I thought at first it was
a bean or a piece of stick, but now I think of it, I am sure it was
something much heavier--a piece of the sky, or something of that sort.

C. L.--A piece of the sky falling out! But, Henny, this is serious.

H. P.--Of course! That's what I feel. That's why I screamed at once for
help.

C. L.--You see, if the sky is coming to bits, I think the Queen of
England ought to know it.

H. P.--I think she ought. Let's go and tell her!

C. L.--Agreed! We'll start at once. I'll just crow first very loud that
everybody may know something is happening.

H. P.--Very well, and I'll cluck.

     (_They crow and cluck._)

C. L.--Now, then, we can start.

     (_A voice outside is heard._)

VOICE.--Hullo there! Cockie Lockie! Henny Penny!

C. L.--There's that stupid Ducky Daddles.

     _Enter_ DUCKY DADDLES.

C. L.--Well, Ducky Daddles, what do you want?

D. D.--I just wanted to come and have a chat. I saw you and Henny Penny
starting off for a pleasant walk together, and I thought I'd come too.

C. L.--Ah! but this is no common walk.

H. P.--Indeed it is not.

D. D.--Why, where are you going to?

C. L.--We're going to London to see the Queen.

D. D.--The Queen! What for?

H. P.--To tell her a most important piece of news.

C. L.--A great piece of the sky fell out close to Henny Penny's head,
and nearly killed her.

D. D.--Dear me! That is important. The Queen ought to know it at once.
I'll come with you.

C. L.--You! Do you think you can walk so far?

D. D.--Oh, dear, yes! Besides, I daresay, we shall find some place on
the road where we can get slugs or snails, or something of that sort,
in case I feel faint.

C. L.--Very well, then, are you ready? Now we'll start.

D. D.--Come on, then. I'll just quack first to let people know where I
am.

     (_Quacks. They prepare to start off arm in arm. A voice outside
     is heard._)

VOICE.--Hullo! Cockie Lockie! Henny Penny! Ducky Daddles!

C. L.--Now, what is it? We shall never get off at this rate.

D. D.--It is that silly Goosey Poosey.

     _Enter_ GOOSEY POOSEY.

G. P.--There you are, Ducky Daddles! I've been looking for you
everywhere!

C. L.--What do you want?

G. P.--I just wanted to see what you were doing, and have a chat. What
a horrid day it is! the roads are so dry there is no walking in them.

D. D.--Well, I am sorry I've not time to stay with you. I'm just off to
London to see the Queen.

G. P.--You, Ducky Daddles! Something very strange must have happened to
make you go so far.

D. D.--Indeed it has, and what do you think?

C. L.--Guess what fell on to Henny Penny's head.

G. P.--An acorn, or perhaps even a chestnut.

D. D.--A chestnut! Oh, if that were all! No, my friend. It was a piece
of the sky, a great, solid slab of blue sky, that fell _clump_ on to the
top of poor Henny Penny's head, and nearly killed her.

G. P.--Oh, how terrible! Have you sent for the police?

C. L.--No, we're going to London to tell the Queen. We think she ought
to know.

G. P.--Indeed she ought, and at once. I'll come with you to see what she
says.

C. L.--Very well! Only you must not keep waiting to splash about in all
the puddles, then.

G. P.--Of course not, when I'm out walking on business.

C. L.--Very well, then, we'll start without losing any more time.

G. P.--I'll just hiss first in case there's an enemy in the road.
(_Hisses._) Now, then, I'm ready.

C. L.--Then let us start.

     (COCKIE LOCKIE _arm in arm with_ HENNY PENNY. GOOSEY POOSEY
     _arm in arm with_ DUCKY DADDLES. _A voice outside is heard._)

VOICE.--Cockie Lockie! Henny Penny! Goosey Poosey! Ducky Daddles!

C. L.--Dear me! We shall never get to London.

G. P.--It's that gobbling Turky Lurky!

     _Enter_ TURKY LURKY.

T. L.--Ha! ha! my friends. This is very nice. Oho! Aha! Where are you
all off to so merrily?

C. L.--Not merrily, indeed! Our business is most serious.

T. L.--You make my feathers stand on end. What _is_ the matter?

G. P.--Haven't you heard? The most terrible thing has happened!

H. P.--One half of the sky fell on me as I was sitting under a haystack,
and we don't know what is going to happen next.

T. L.--Oh dear! This _is_ terrible! Suppose the other half were to come
down?

C. L.--Exactly! That's what we're afraid of. We're going to the Queen of
England to see what she can do.

T. L.--A very good thing to do! I'll come with you and explain it all to
her. Oho!

C. L.--Are you sure you're not too fat to walk so far?

T. L.--Too fat! Aha! On the contrary, I shall make you look respectable.
We shall be admitted to the Queen at once. I'll just gobble first to let
her know we're coming.

     (_Gobbles. They prepare to start as before_, TURKY _in front. A
     voice outside is heard._)

VOICE.--Stop! Stop! Good people, one moment, if you please.

D. D.--Why it's Mr. Fox!

H. P.--Is it safe to let him come?

T. L.--Oh dear, yes! There are quite enough of us to be a match for him.
Oho! Aha!

     _Enter_ MR. FOX.

MR. F.--Good afternoon, my friends. What a pleasant gathering you have
here! You look as though you were going to enjoy yourselves.

C. L.--Alas! No! Nothing so festive. We are going to London on most
serious business.

MR. F.--To London?

G. P.--Yes, indeed! The whole sky has got loose and is slipping about in
the most dangerous manner.

D. D.--It would have killed Henny Penny if she hadn't got under a
beanstack.

MR. F.--Oh how horrible! What shall we do?

C. L.--We're going to London to tell the Queen.

MR. F.--To London! Why, that is capital! I'm going there myself.

D. D.--Are you, indeed!

MR. F.--And what's more, I know a short cut to London, that will get
you there in less than half the time.

C. L.--Oh, then, pray show it to us. Every minute is precious.

MR. F.--You can't possibly mistake the road. Directly you get out of
here, you will see a dark path to the right, that looks rather like the
entrance to a cavern. However, you may be sure it leads to London, and
you'll find the Queen sitting at the other end of it.

T. L.--Ah! that's capital! Oho! Aha! Hurrah!

MR. F.--You all go on in front, and I'll bring up the rear, in case a
lion comes up behind us.

C. L.--We'll go in single file this time.

     (_Exit, each making his own noise._ FOX _follows, slyly
     dancing_.)

     (_After a minute all their voices heard together, then a
     pause._ FOX _re-enters covered with feathers. He crosses the
     stage silently, with a smile._)

MR. F.--Henny Penny was the nicest! The others were rather tough!

CURTAIN.



LITTLE PETSY.



CHARACTERS.

  MRS. SIMONDS.
  MRS. ROBERTS.
  PETSY.



LITTLE PETSY.


     MRS. ROBERTS _discovered, in walking things_.

MRS. R.--I wish Mrs. Simonds would appear! It is so rude to keep people
waiting in this way when they come to see you. (_Looks at books, etc._)
Well, I wonder how much longer she's going to be. I would not have come
if I had not wanted to explain to her about that bazaar we are getting
up.

     _Enter_ PETSY _with toys_.

Ah, how do you do, darling? How are you? Will you shake hands? (PETSY
_turns away_.) You don't know my name, do you?

P.--I do, then.

MRS. R.--You do? Who am I?

P.--You're Mrs. Roberts. I know it, because the maid came and told Mamma
so, and then Mamma said, "Mrs. Roberts, bother!" and she told me to come
and say she would be here in a minute.

MRS. R.--(_Aside._) Delightful child, this. (_Aloud._) Then as you know
my name, won't you shake hands?

P.--Shan't.

     (_Makes a face at_ MRS. R., _and turns her back to her_.)

     _Enter_ MRS. SIMONDS.

MRS. S.--Ah, my dear Mrs. Roberts, I am so glad to see you.

MRS. R.--(_Aside._) So I understand!

     (_They shake hands._)

MRS. S.--I am so sorry to have kept you waiting. I was just taking off
my things.

     (_Draws forward chair for_ MRS. R., _they sit_.)

MRS. R.--Oh, not at all. I've not been here very long.

MRS. S.--I sent down my little Petsy to amuse you.

MRS. R.--Oh, thank you, yes, she came.

MRS. S.--It is impossible to feel dull where she is. Such an original
child, so full of life!

MRS. R.--Oh, indeed! I came to see you, Mrs. Simonds, about the charity
bazaar at Wandsworth.

MRS. S.--The bazaar, yes.

P.--(_Loud._) Ma! Ma! How long is she going to stay?

MRS. S.--(_Smiling._) Oh, dear, dear, Petsy, Mrs. Roberts will be quite
shocked at you! She will really, won't you, Mrs. Roberts?

MRS. R.--(_Tries to smile._) Oh, dear no! Sweet child!

     (PETSY _goes on making a noise with drum, while_ MRS. ROBERTS
     _tries to speak_.)

MRS. R.--(_Obliged to shout._) It seems--there has been some
difficulty--about the hall.

MRS. S.--About the hall--yes. (_Looking round at_ PETSY.) She is such a
merry child, it makes one quite happy to see her!

MRS. R.--(_Aside._) I am glad it has that effect upon some one!

MRS. S.--You were saying about the hall--

P.--Ma! Mamma!

MRS. S.--Yes, darling, yes. About the hall--

P.--Ma! Ma! Ma!

MRS. S.--I don't know why there should be any difficulty--

P.--Ma! Ma!

MRS. S.--What is it, my dear one? What do you want?

P.--May I play with the silver inkstand?

MRS. S.--If you'll take great care of it, yes. (_To_ MRS. R.) Did you
ever hear such ideas as the child has? Such an active mind, never quiet!

MRS. R.--(_Aside._) Well, perhaps now she's got the inkstand she'll be
quiet.

MRS. S.--You have no idea what quaint things she says sometimes. You
must get me to tell you some of them next time we meet.

MRS. R.--Oh, thank you! Then you think we shall be able to get the hall?

P.--(_Goes up to_ MRS. ROBERTS _and pulls her cloak_.) Why do you wear
this ugly cloak?

MRS. S.--Oh, really, Petsy! I don't know what Mrs. Roberts will think!
Such a pretty cloak, too.

P.--No, it isn't. It's hideous, and so is her bonnet. It's like Miss
Jane's cloak in the poem.

MRS. R.--In the poem?

MRS. S.--Yes, that's a little poem she has learnt. You can't think what
a memory she has for that kind of thing. I should like you to hear her
recite it. You can't think how prettily she does it.

MRS. R.--Does she, indeed.

MRS. S.--Petsy, will you say your poetry to Mrs. Roberts?

P.--No, I shan't.

MRS. S.--Oh, now do! Mrs. Roberts would like it so much, wouldn't you?

MRS. R.--Oh, of all things.

MRS. S.--She stands on a chair and says it. You can't think how pretty
it looks. Come now, Petsy, won't you?

     (MRS. S. _puts her on a chair, PETSY jumps down and kicks away
     the chair_.)

MRS. R.--Well, never mind--don't worry her about it now.

MRS. S.--Oh, but I should so like you to hear her. Come, Petsy, you
needn't stand on a chair--stand there with your hands behind you. Now
begin: "Pretty Miss Jane----"

P.--I won't, then! (_Gives her mother a thump._) There!

MRS. S.--She's so unexpected, isn't she? (_To_ PETSY.) If you won't say
the poem to Mrs. Roberts, you will play the violin to her, won't you?

MRS. R.--(_Horrified._) The violin!

MRS. S.--Yes, she does show such talent! You'll be quite surprised.

MRS. R.--(_Aside._) Yes, I shall be quite surprised if she does.

MRS. S.--Of course, it's a little squeaky at times--but, after all,
she's such a child, it's a wonder she plays at all.

MRS. R.--It is indeed. (_Aside._) Especially to visitors who don't want
to hear her. (_Aloud._) I am sorry I can't stay to-day, I just came to
see about that hall.

MRS. S.--Ah, to be sure, the hall, yes--we've settled nothing. Do stay
and have tea with us.

MRS. R.--Tea.... I am afraid it is rather late.

MRS. S.--Oh, do stay, we shall be so snug, just we three--for Petsy
always comes in. There she sits in her high chair, and keeps me alive
with her prattle.

MRS. R.--(_Aside._) Ah, that quite decides me. (_Aloud._) I am afraid I
can hardly do that to-day. I have an appointment at five. (_Looking at
watch._)

P.--Ma! (_Twitching_ MRS. S.'s _gown_.) May I have butter as well as jam
on my toast?

MRS. S.--Oh, oh! my dear child! Really! (she knows her own mind, I
assure you!)

MRS. R.--(_Aside._) So it appears. (_Aloud._) I am afraid I can't stay
longer to-day. Good-bye.

MRS. S.--Good-bye. I'm so sorry you can't stay to tea.

P.--I'm _so_ glad!

MRS. S.--Oh! Oh! really, dear Petsy. She likes being alone with her
mother, that is the fact.

MRS. R.--No doubt. Then you will let me know about the bazaar, won't
you?

MRS. S.--Oh, of course, I will, and then you must come here that we may
have a good talk and settle everything--and we will persuade Petsy to
sing her song, and dance her dance! she dances like a fairy, I assure
you.

MRS. R.--I have no doubt of it. Good-bye.

MRS. S.--Good-bye.

P.--Good-bye, old Mother Roberts, good-bye!

MRS. S.--(_Playfully._) Oh, Petsy, little Petsy!

     (_Exit_ MRS. S. _showing_ MRS. R. _out_. PETSY _pulling_ MRS.
     S.'s _skirts to hold her back_.)

CURTAIN.



RATHER A PRIG.



CHARACTERS.

  ELEANOR.
  WALTER.



RATHER A PRIG.


ELEANOR.--(_Calling outside._) Walter! Walter! (_Running in._) Here you
are, at last! Do come and play in the garden!

WALTER.--(_Who is walking about with a book._) Certainly not! Don't you
see I am deep in study?

E.--But it's play-time.

W.--I dislike play-time.

E.--What a dull creature! Do you mean to say that you never play?

W.--As seldom as possible.

E.--What a pity! I have just got some new reins, and I wanted to play at
horses. I do love being a horse.

W.--That is a natural preference. The horse has ever been a favoured
companion of man. It is even on record that the Roman Emperor,
Caligula----

E.--I will not talk about Roman Emperors during play-time. Come along, I
will drag the cart and you shall drive standing up, if you like, as
they do at the circus.

W.--That is a custom which dates from the most remote antiquity.
Pictorial representations of standing charioteers are found on the
Assyrian friezes and the Egyptian tombs----

E.--(_Stopping her ears._) I _will not_ talk about the Egyptians during
play-time. Come, will you drive the cart?

W.--Certainly not.

E.--Then shall we skip? Look, I have a new skipping-rope, which my
father gave me last week.

W.--The hemp from which that rope was made was doubtless derived from
the flax grown in the province of Ulster, in Ireland, especially in the
county of Antrim, of which the principal towns are Belfast, Lisbon, and
Carrickfergus.

E.--Oh, bother the county of Antrim and the province of Ulster! I don't
care to know where the skipping-rope grew. I want to skip with it.

W.--That is quite a savage instinct; the remarkable agility of the South
Sea Islanders----

E.--I won't talk of the South Sea Islanders during play-time. You won't
skip, then?

W.--Certainly not.

E.--Then let's be soldiers. I love playing at soldiers.

W.--That is somewhat of an unfeminine instinct, although it is justified
by more than one example in history. Thus, Boadicea----

E.--Oh, shut up, or I will run you through with my sword! It's just like
a real one. It's made of the most beautiful steel.

W.--Then the blade probably came from the district of Cleveland in
Yorkshire, where the iron and steel industries may be seen in their
greatest development. You have, doubtless, heard of the steel works of
Eston, and the blast furnaces of Middlesborough?

E.--I don't know what a blast furnace is.

W.--Allow me to describe that ingenious construction to you.

E.--No, thank you, not in my play-time. I am going to get some daisies
to make a daisy-chain.

W.--You doubtless have a herbarium?

E.--No. I don't believe they grow in this garden.

W.--Oh, too ignorant girl! A herbarium is not a flower, it is a
collection of dried flowers and plants.

E.--Ah, well! I haven't one then.

W.--That is a mistake. You should carefully dry the plants and stick
them in a book, with a minute description of each specimen written on
the opposite page.

E.--I can't stick anything in a book, because Mamma doesn't like me to
use her gum, and I have only fish-glue.

W.--Fish-glue is, for certain purposes, a most valuable substance. It
has even been known to cure cecity or blindness. Thus, Tobit----

E.--Don't talk about Tobit. Are you coming to make a daisy-chain?

W.--Never.

E.--Shall we play at battledore? I have a heavy shuttlecock and a light
one, whichever you like best.

W.--That is because the density of cork varies in a very marked manner.
That brought from the West Indies----

E.--Don't talk about the West Indies during play-time. Are you coming to
play at battledore?

W.--On no account.

E.--Very well, then, you may stay with your Egyptians, your South Sea
Islanders, and your West Indies, while I go and play in the garden. I
think you are rather a prig. (_Exit._)

W.--(_Looking after her, surprised._) A prig! How odd! I wonder what
makes her say that? _Rather a prig!_

       *       *       *       *       *



THE MONSTER IN THE GARDEN.



CHARACTERS.

  JACK.
  JANET.
  MABEL.
  AUNT MARY.



THE MONSTER IN THE GARDEN.


JANET.--Come, I want to go into the garden.

MABEL.--We must have Tiny with us.

JAN.--Of course, where is he, I wonder? Tiny! Tiny!

M.--Tiny! Tiny! Stupid little dog! He is always away when one wants him.

JAN.--Perhaps he is in the garden already.

M.--Perhaps he is. We'll go and see.

JAN.--Ah! here is Jack, perhaps he has seen Tiny.

      _Enter_ JACK.

M.--Have you seen Tiny?

JACK.--Tiny? No, I haven't, indeed. Oh dear me! I am so frightened.

JAN.--What's the matter?

JACK.--I've seen the most terrible monster in the garden.

M. and Jan.--A monster!

JACK.--A monster, in the garden.

JAN.--Oh, Mabel, hold my hand! (_To_ JACK.) Did you see him?

JACK.--Well, I did not see him exactly, because he was inside that clump
of laurels, but I certainly heard him growl.

M.--(_Getting very close to_ JANET.) Growl? Oh dear!

JACK.--Then I believe I saw two great eyes looking at me.

M.--Two great eyes?

JACK.--Then I am certain I saw the point of a hairy ear, the sort of
point that a great monster's ear would be sure to have.

M.--Then, of course, now we won't go into the garden.

JAN.--I've just thought of the most terrible thing!

JACK.--What is it?

M.--What is it?

JAN.--(_Covering her face._) That Tiny is in the garden!

M.--And he will be eaten alive!

      (_Covering her face with her hands, and sobbing loudly._)

JAN.--What shall we do? We can't leave him to die.

JACK.--(_Valiantly._) No, we can't. I will go and save him.

M.--Oh, you brave boy! We'll come too.

JACK.--Come, then! I've got my knife.

      (_Pulls his knife out of his pocket._)

JAN.--And I'll take my new scissors.

M.--And what shall I have? Oh, I'll take two large hairpins to stab him
with.

JACK.--That's right. We'll stab him through the heart.

      _Enter_ AUNT MARY.

AUNT MARY.--Why, my dear children! How warlike you look!

JACK.--And well we may! We're going into the garden to kill the most
terrible monster.

A. M.--Oh, I see, you are pretending to be warriors.

JAN.--No, indeed! We are not. It is a real monster in the garden. Jack
has seen him--part of him, at least.

A. M.--And what was he like?

JACK.--He's an enormous animal, with great flaring eyes, and long hairy
ears.

JAN.--And probably horns and tusks, but we're not quite sure, because he
was behind the bushes.

M.--And we are so dreadfully afraid he will kill Tiny.

A. M.--Oh no! He won't find Tiny--Tiny is hidden behind the laurels near
the conservatory, eating a mouse which he has just caught.

JACK.--Behind the laurels near the conservatory! Then he will certainly
be killed! The monster is there too! That is where the growls came from!

A. M.--Ha! ha! Now I see it all! Why, the monster that Jack saw and
heard, is simply Tiny, who was growling because he feared his mouse
would be taken away from him.

JACK.--Are you sure?

JAN.--Was the monster Tiny?

A. M.--Evidently. I've just seen him there myself.

M.--Oh, how delightful! let us go and tell Tiny there is no monster in
the garden!

      (_Exeunt running, followed by_ AUNT MARY.)

       *       *       *       *       *



CAT AND DOG.



CHARACTERS.

  TOWSER.
  PUSSY.



CAT AND DOG.


TOWSER.--What a night! I am tied up in the yard, and told to bark
if I hear a noise. Suddenly I hear a screeching and pecking in the
poultry-yard, fowls flapping about in all directions. Of course I bark
as loud as I can, my master comes out to see what it is about, he finds
one of the hens missing, and beats me as if I had killed it. I do call
that hard on a steady, respectable dog like me.

      _Enter_ PUSSY _without seeing_ TOWSER.

PUSSY.--Well, I do call it hard! Everything that is broken in the house,
they say is done by the cat. Now, this morning, again, a beautiful
Venetian looking-glass is broken, and so my mistress would not give me a
saucer of cream for breakfast.

T.--(_Seeing_ PUSSY.) Bow! Wow!

P.--Mew! Mew!

T.--Good-morning, Mistress Pussy.

P.--Good-morning, Mr. Towser. I hope you're well.

T.--I am very tired. I had to bark a great deal in the night.

P.--Really! I am sorry to hear that. You must do as I do, come and sleep
on the hearth-rug during the day.

T.--I only wish I could, but I am much too busy a dog for that.

P.--Are you? What do you do all day?

T.--First of all, I have to be ready to bite the postman's legs when he
comes at eight, and then to bark at him as he goes across the road.

P.--It must be difficult to bark--I am sure I should never manage it.

T.--It is very difficult indeed--I am the only person in the house that
can manage it. Then when the postman has gone, I go into the kitchen to
help the cook to get rid of the bones and scraps that are left.

P.--The worst of bones is, they are so dreadfully hard. I much prefer a
saucer of milk, or a fish's tail. Oh how delicious that is!

T.--Oh, I couldn't touch a fish's tail. Then when my master is at
breakfast, I have to beg, and that is very hard work, as I am on my
legs all the time, balancing things on my nose.

P.--If I were you, I would arch my back instead, and rub myself against
the master's legs.

T.--Of course I could arch my back if I wanted to do so, but I don't
care to. Then after breakfast, I have a few minutes' rest before the
fire.

P.--Oh, isn't that comfortable! Rolled round in a basket. It is so nice
to purr a little, and then gradually go off to sleep.

T.--To tell the truth, I don't care to purr, I think it is so stupid.
One might as well be a kettle or a bumble bee at once. What I like to
do is to come and scratch at the door, just after it has been shut, to
smell round the rug, to turn round two or three times, and then lie down
quietly.

P.--To curl round with one's head nestled in between one's fore-paws.

T.--Oh, I like to sleep with my paws straight out.

P.--The result is, you don't sleep nearly so long.

T.--Because I haven't time. Then when my mistress goes out driving, I
have to bark at the pony when he starts. And I have to go out with the
carriage, and pay visits, and I jump upon strange people's laps, and
make their dresses all muddy in front.

P.--That must be delightful! But I shouldn't care to go with the
carriage, I would rather stay at home and enjoy myself, and scratch the
visitors who come here. By the way, can you draw in your claws?

T.--Draw them in! Certainly not.

P.--You don't mean to say you can't do such a simple thing as that?

T.--Of course I could if I liked, but I don't choose. I think you ought
to make up your mind either to have claws, or not to have them: not to
be popping them in and out as you do.

P.--But it's so convenient when I walk about at night, to be able to
steal about gently and then shoot out my claws when I see a mouse.

T.--Oh, how tempting that sounds! Then it's always at night you hunt?

P.--Oh, always. There is no one to see or to disturb you.

T.--Exactly. Now, when I go out with my master, if I go after a hen or a
rabbit, I am beaten at once.

P.--Fancy being beaten for a hen!

T.--Isn't it absurd! Just for an idiotic bird like that!

P.--Who can't lap, or scratch!

T.--Nor bark, nor do anything!

P.--Never mind. I killed one last night, I am glad to say.

T.--You killed a hen?

P.--Certainly.

T.--Well, I do call that hard on me! My master beat me as hard as he
could because of that hen.

P.--Well! Were you beaten for that wretched, tough old hen? That _is_
funny!

T.--Yes, that is a good joke, madam, I dare say! But we shall see.

P.--Don't be angry about such a trifle.

T.--I will be revenged still more. I have already broken a Venetian
looking-glass, to show my indignation.

P.--Was it you who broke the looking-glass?

T.--Certainly it was.

P.--Then we are quits. My mistress insisted that I had broken it, and
would not give me my saucer of cream.

T.--Oh, that really is funny! We are quits, then. Shall we be friends
again?

P.--Certainly, if you like.

T.--And, as a proof of our friendship, next time you come to kill the
hens, I won't bark.

P.--That's a bargain. I'll steal two more to-night, and give you one.

T.--Oh, what a good plan! Let's go and choose them.

P.--Two nice fat ones!

      (_He offers her his arm. He says_ "Bow! Wow!" _She says_ "Mew!
      Mew!" _They go out._)

       *       *       *       *       *



MISS DOBSON.



CHARACTERS.

  BERTHA.
  EVA.
  DOROTHEA.
  FANNY.



MISS DOBSON.



      ALL _entering together_.

BERTHA.--Are we very late, Miss Dobson?

      (_Looking round them._)

DOROTHEA.--Why, there is nobody here!

FANNY.--Where can she be?

EVA.--Perhaps she is late.

B.--Miss Dobson is never late.

F.--What is that letter on the table? Why, it's her writing! It's a
letter from Miss Dobson!

F.--With our names written on it!

D.--It must be to say why she has not come.

B.--Quick! Let's open it.

E.--(_Snatches at it._) No, no, I'll open it.

D.--Let us all open it together, and read it at the same time.

ALL.--Capital!

      (_They all rush at the letter which they tear in two._)

D.--Now, then, what shall we do?

B.--We shall have so much less to read.

E.--Let us see what is on this piece.

ALL.--(_Reading together._) "My dear children, I am obliged to go off to
Clapham by the ten o'clock train, to see my mother who is ill."

D.--Go to Clapham!

F.--By the ten o'clock train!

B.--To see her mother who is ill!

E.--Oh, how delightful!

B.--How delightful that her mother should be ill?

E.--No, of course not. I mean, how terrible!

ALL.--Poor Miss Dobson's mother!

D.--Come, let us see what else she says.

ALL.--(_Reading._) "I shall not be back until the evening."

F.--She won't be back until the evening!

E.--We shall have a holiday then! (_All dancing round._) A holiday! A
holiday!

D.--Here's the other piece of the letter which we haven't read. (_They
pick it up and read it._)

D.--(_Reading._) "I hope you will be good children, and work by
yourselves."

ALL.--Work by ourselves!

D.--(_Reading._) "You can prepare your German, history, and geography,
and do some drawing and practising."

F.--I never heard such a thing.

B.--I do call that a shame!

D.--It's horrid doing one's lessons alone.

E.--But still, it's nice not being scolded when one makes mistakes.

F.--I am quite sure I can't do my geography alone, because I never can
find the additional towns on the map.

E.--Besides, Mamma does not like us to bend over the atlas, she says it
is bad for the eyes.

D.--As for the drawing, we certainly can't do it, because Miss Dobson
has got the key of the cupboard, where the soft pencils are.

B.--And as for the German, I never can find the words in the dictionary.

E.--And I certainly can't practise alone, because I never know where to
put my thumb in the scale of F sharp minor.

F.--And I never know where to put my little finger in the scale of B.

D.--Then the only thing we can do alone is the history.

B.--And there will be quite time enough for that this afternoon.

F.--Then, in that case, we have our whole morning free.

B.--Oh, how delightful!

E.--Let's play at hide-and-seek.

F.--You all hide, and I'll come and look for you.

      (_Hides her face in her hands. The others go towards the door. A
      bell is heard. They stop._)

F.--(_Uncovering her eyes._) A bell!

E.--Who can it be? (_They listen._)

E.--Suppose it were Miss Dobson!

B.--I'll go and see. (_Exit._)

F.--What shall we say if it is Miss Dobson?

D.--That we were going to play at hide-and-seek instead of doing our
lessons!

E.--The point is, what will she say!

D.--She'll say a good deal.

      _Re-enter_ BERTHA.

B.--It is Miss Dobson! Her mother is much better. Her sister sent a
telegram, and so she did not go to Clapham after all.

F.--What shall we do?

D.--Let's go and tell her how glad we are she has such good news.

B.--Yes, and let's ask for a holiday to celebrate her mother's recovery.

F.--Excellent! Let's go and meet her.

      (_They rush out to meet her, calling_, "Miss Dobson! Miss
      Dobson!")

       *       *       *       *       *



THE WIGWAM; or, THE LITTLE GIRL FROM TOWN.



CHARACTERS.

  ELSIE.
  MARY.
  FANNY.



THE WIGWAM: OR THE LITTLE GIRL FROM TOWN.


ELSIE.--Isn't it delightful that Fanny is coming from London to spend
the day with us.

MARY.--Indeed it is. We must show her everything as soon as she comes.

E.--Yes, directly--and the first thing must be the wigwam.

M.--Of course it must, and we will tell her all about it, and that it is
our own hut in the garden that we have arranged ourselves.

E.--Or shall we make her guess who made it?

M.--Oh yes! That would be lovely! We will take her there, and tell her
to shut her eyes quite tight.

E.--Then she won't be able to see the wigwam.

M.--No, that's true. Then she must have them shut all the way through
the garden.

E.--And when she gets there, we will say: "Open your eyes, and guess
whose wigwam this is".

M.--And, when she has guessed that, we will say: "Now guess who painted
it".

E.--And, when she has guessed that, we will say: "Now guess who
furnished it".

M.--And, when she has guessed that, we'll say: "Guess who papered it".

E.--She'll be rather stupid if she does not guess that time whose it is.

M.--But, you know, little girls from London are very often stupid, when
they come into the country.

E.--That's true. Do you remember when Amy came, she did not know the
difference between a goose and a duck?

M.--And she was afraid of the turkey-cock!

E.--And she looked at an oak, and said how very small the chestnuts
were!

M.--There's the door-bell. There they are! Now, mind, I am the eldest,
so I shall say: "Now, I am going to show you the wigwam" as soon as she
comes in.

E.--Before we shake hands?

M.--No! no! After we shake hands.

E.--I think I ought to say it too, you know.

M.--It would be absurd both saying it together, she won't understand.

E.--Oh, yes! she will, if we say it loud and slowly, like
this, now then you say it with me (_both together_):
We-are-going-to-show-you-the-wigwam!!

M.--Capital! There she is!

      _Enter_ FANNY.

E. and M.--(_Running round her._) How do you do? How do you do?

      (FANNY _smoothes her dress which they have crumpled_. ELSIE
      _and_ MARY _look at each other_.)

E. and M.--(_Together._) We are going to show you the wigwam. (_Very
loud and distinctly._)

      (FANNY _puts her hands over her ears_.)

F.--Oh, how loudly you talk! One at a time, if you please. It makes me
ill when you shout like that.

E.--We said we were going to show you the wigwam.

F.--What's that? I hate insects.

M.--It isn't an insect! it's a hut in the garden.

F.--That's not so bad. Dear me! how tired I am. (_Looks round for a
chair._)

E.--(_Giving her a chair._) What has tired you so much?

F.--Why, we walked all the way from the station.

M.--The station! Why, it's barely five minutes from here.

F.--I don't care how long it is, it tired me all the same.

E.--We'll go to the wigwam when you are rested.

F.--How far is it?

M.--Just across the garden, on the other side of the lawn.

F.--If I walk across the grass I shall get my feet wet.

E.--Then we'll go by the gravel walk, it's only a few seconds longer.

F.--If I walk on the gravel I shall spoil my kid boots.

M.--You ought to have strong boots like ours for the country.

F.--I can't bear those clumsy boots!

E.--Then how are you going to get to the wigwam?

F.--Why should we go there at all?

M.--Because we wanted to show it to you.

F.--Why?

M.--We want you to guess who furnished it.

F.--The carpenter, I suppose, or the upholsterer, or whoever does those
things.

M.--No, we did it.

F.--You!

M.--We papered and painted it all ourselves.

F.--Oh how disgusting!

E.--Disgusting! it was delightful. We did it with paste and with
Aspinall.

M.--I love Aspinall.

F.--I don't. I hate having paint on my fingers.

E.--And the paste is quite clean--it's only flour and water.

F.--Flour and water! Ugh! I can't bear things that make one's fingers
sticky.

E.--After all, it is very easy to wash off.

F.--I don't like to wash my hands too often, it spoils my skin.

E.--Besides, of course, _you_ need not touch either the paste or the
paint.

F.--What shall I do then?

E.--You shall sit down and look round you.

F.--Sit on what?

E.--On an old packing-case covered with chintz! You have no idea what a
comfortable seat it makes.

F.--A packing-case! I am sure there would be nails in it that would
catch on my dress. I would rather sit in the house on a proper chair.

E.--But you surely don't want to stay in all day, when the sun is
shining like this?

F.--That's just it, I don't like to sit in the sun. I shall get
freckled.

M.--Do you like to be out in the damp, then?

F.--Oh no, indeed! It takes the curl out of my hair.

M.--What shall we do, then? It's so dull sitting in here.

F.--Very! but I knew before I came it would be dull.

M.--(_Aside._) Isn't she rude!

E.--(_Aside._) Hush! (_To_ FANNY.) I'll tell you what we will do. We'll
go into the poultry-yard, it is shady there.

F.--Well, what is there to see in the poultry-yard?

E.--Oh, all sorts of things. We can look for eggs and bring in some for
breakfast.

F.--I think the servants ought to do that.

M.--Or we can feed the hens.

F.--I wouldn't for worlds! I hate things that come flapping and pecking
round my feet.

M.--Then let's go into the stable and we will show you our ponies.

F.--Oh, no! Stables are so smelly, I can't bear them.

E.--Well, is there anything you would like to do? What do you do in
London?

F.--I like driving through the streets in an open carriage and looking
at the shops.

M.--In that case, you had better have remained in London, as there are
no streets here and no shops.

F.--Very well! I shall go and tell my mother that I want to go back.

M.--You had better! (_Exit_ FANNY R.) Come, Elsie, let us go to the
wigwam. (_They go out_ L.)

       *       *       *       *       *



FOOLISH JACK.



CHARACTERS.


  JACK.
  HIS MOTHER.



FOOLISH JACK.


MOTHER.--(_Alone._) Jack! Jack! Where is the boy? He can never stay in
the house. He must always be running round to all the neighbours. Ah,
there he is at last!

      _Enter_ JACK.

J.--Well, mother, how are you?

M.--I was getting anxious about you. Where have you been all this time?

J.--Oh, I've been seeing the neighbours.

M.--I thought as much. Which neighbours?

J.--First I went to see Father Clumpylump.

M.--Indeed! Father Clumpylump! Honest man! And what did he say to you?

J.--He gave me a needle for a present.

M.--A most useful present! Where is it?

J.--I stuck it into a bundle of hay that was standing in a cart, and
then I could not find it again.

M.--I should think not, indeed! You ought to have stuck it into your
sleeve.

J.--That's just what Father Clumpylump said.

M.--And he was quite right. And then?

J.--Then I went to call on Goody Grumbles.

M.--Indeed! Goody Grumbles, dear, old soul! And what had she to say?

J.--Not much; but she gave me a knife.

M.--A knife! Another most useful present! Where is it, then?

J.--I stuck it into my sleeve, and it fell out on the way.

M.--Of course it did. You ought to have put it into your pocket.

J.--That's just what Goody Grumbles said.

M.--And she was quite right. And then?

J.--And then I went to see Uncle Crabstick.

M.--Uncle Crabstick! Did he give you anything?

J.--Yes, he gave me a lamb.

M.--A lamb! How delightful! Where is it, then?

J.--I crammed it into my pocket, and it was stifled.

M.--I should think it was! Into your pocket! Good heavens! Whoever
thought of putting a lamb into his pocket! You should have tied a rope
round its neck and led it carefully along.

J.--That's just what Uncle Crabstick said.

M.--I should think he did! And then?

J.--Then I went to see Auntie Jumblewig.

M.--That was quite right. Did she give you anything?

J.--She gave me a splendid ham.

M.--A ham! I _am_ glad. That _will_ come in useful. Where is it?

J.--I tied a rope to it, and led it carefully along the road, but some
dogs ate it up while I was not looking.

M.--Of course they did, you foolish boy! You should have carried it on
your head.

J.--That's just what Auntie Jumblewig said when she saw me start.

M.--Of course she did! and then?

J.--I went to see Cousin Peter.

M.--Cousin Peter! And what did the good man say to you?

J.--Not much; but he gave me a calf.

M.--A calf! How generous! Where is the calf then?

J.--I tried to carry it on my head, but he kicked my face, so I let him
go.

M.--Serve you right! How could you be so foolish as to carry a calf on
your head? You should have taken him to the cow-house and settled him in
a nice warm corner, with plenty of straw.

J.--That is just what Cousin Peter advised me to do.

M.--He was quite right. And then?

J.--I went to see Rose.

M.--I am glad you went there. Rose is a charming girl. Was she well
disposed towards you?

J.--Very. Indeed, she came here with me.

M.--Where is she, then?

J.--I took her to the cow-house, and settled her in a nice, warm corner,
with plenty of straw.

M.--In the cow-house! Rose! Wretched boy! You should have brought her
into the best parlour, and asked her to marry you.

J.--That's just what she said.

M.--And she was quite right. Quick! Quick! Let us fetch her.

J.--I should like that very much.

M.--Come, then, at once! Oh, you foolish Jack! (_Exeunt._)

       *       *       *       *       *



QUITE BY OURSELVES.



CHARACTERS.


  MRS. VERNON.
  JANET.
  RALPH.



QUITE BY OURSELVES.


MRS. VERNON.--(_Alone at writing table._) What a long time it is since
the children have been into the room! It must be nearly five minutes!
They don't seem to be having as many "good ideas" to-day as they
generally do. So I may as well do my accounts. (_Begins to add up._)
Ah! there they come.

      _Enter_ RALPH _and_ JANET, _hurriedly_.

JANET.--Mammy! Mammy!

RALPH.--We have such a good idea.

MOTHER.--(I thought so!) What is it?

J.--We're going to surprise you very much.

M.--Are you? How delightful!

R.--We're going to invite you to a tea party of our very own!

J.--We are going to get it ready and arrange it quite by ourselves!

R.--Isn't that a lovely idea?

M.--It is, indeed.

J.--And the surprise is going to be that you are going to receive an
invitation from us, just like the real invitations you get from your
friends.

M.--I see!

R.--But the thing that will surprise you most will be that we are going
to do it ourselves, won't it?

M.--(_Smiling._) Yes, I must say that will be the most surprising thing
of all.

R.--Then, first, here's the invitation.

M.--Oh, this is most exciting. (_Reads._) "Ralph and Janet request
the pleasure of your company at their very own tea-party on Wednesday
afternoon."

R.--Isn't that a surprise for you, Mammy?

M.--It is, indeed, most astonishing. Now I must answer this, I suppose?

J.--Of course you must, just as if you were writing to strangers, you
must end it "your loving Mrs. Vernon," or something stiff of that sort.

R.--Of course you mustn't put "your affectionate Mother," as you do when
you really write to us, you know.

M.--Not for worlds! Now, then, I had better write the letter, and then
do my accounts, while you get the tea ready.

R.--Oh, yes, that will be delightful.

      (_Goes to writing-table._ RALPH _and_ JANET _discuss in a low
      voice, looking round them helplessly_.)

R.--(_Aside to_ JANET.) We had better ask Mammy, I think.

J.--Much better.

R.--(_Aloud._) Mammy, there is just one thing we want to ask you.

M.--Yes? What is it?

J.--Where do you think we had better have tea?

M.--Wherever you like. What do you say to the dining-room?

R.--The dining-room is so common.

M.--You may have it in here if you like.

J.--Oh, that would be the very thing!

R.--What table shall we have it on?

M.--(_Looking round._) Let me see--would that one do?

R.--Oh, beautifully. Thank you so much, Mammy.

      (_They pull out the table and open it, while the mother
      writes._)

J.--Now, what next?

R.--The cloth, of course.

J.--I wonder where we can get one.

R.--Mammy!

M.--Well?

R.--What about a table-cloth?

M.--Hadn't you better ask Susan for one of the dining-room ones?

R.--Susan is always cross when we ask her for that kind of thing, she
seems to think we make jam and cocoa stains on the table-cloths.

M.--Dear me, I wonder what can make her think that?

R.--I think it must be because Janet always spills the jam at breakfast.

J.--You needn't talk, for once you dropped a whole cutlet on to your
knicker-bockers.

R.--But as we are not going to have cutlets, you needn't talk about it
now.

M.--I don't think people ought to quarrel when they're giving a
tea-party.

R.--No, we'll quarrel after tea, we're too busy now.

J.--Much!

R.--Well, what about the table-cloth, then?

M.--If you don't want to ask Susan I might lend you that embroidered
five o'clock tea-cloth which I bought at the bazaar the other day.

R.--Oh, that would be the very thing! May we have it?

M.--Yes, if you like, it is in that drawer.

R.--Which drawer?

M.--The bottom one.

      (RALPH _opens the top one_. JANET _and he look in and look
      wonderingly at each other, and then shake their heads_.)

R.--Mammy, we can't find it.

M.--Are you quite sure you are looking in the right drawer?

R.--Quite. You said the top drawer, didn't you?

M.--No. I said the bottom drawer.

R.--Oh, I thought you said the top drawer. (_They look in. To_ JANET.)
I wonder where it can be! (_After a moment._) Mammy, I am so very
sorry--we can't find it.

M.--(_Gets up._) How very odd. I saw it there yesterday. Why, there it
is just at the top, you little noodles!

R.--Oh, so it is, I hadn't seen it.

J.--Nor had I.

R.--Thank you so much, Mammy. (_She goes back to her writing. To_
JANET.) Now, we must have our own cups and saucers out of the toy
cupboard.

      (_They open the toy cupboard, and they both sit down on the
      ground._ JANET _takes out a trumpet and_ RALPH _a drum. They
      blow the trumpet and beat the drum._)

M.--(_Looking round._) My dear children, is that how you are laying the
table?

R.--Oh, Mammy, I am so sorry! I forgot we were getting out our cups and
saucers. (RALPH _takes out cups and saucers and gives them to_ JANET.)
Here they are, three cups and three saucers.

J.--Now I'm Susan!

      (JANET _arranges the cups and saucers close together at one side
      of the table_.)

R.--You stupid girl, that is not how they ought to be arranged. Susan
always put them quite apart from each other, and the tea-pot at one end
of the table like this.

J.--Do let me have the tea-pot in front of me.

R.--Certainly not, it must be in front of me.

J.--Mammy, don't you think I ought to have the tea-pot in front of me?
because I am a girl.

R.--No, I'll have it in front of me, because I am a boy.

M.--Suppose you put it in the middle of the table where you can both
reach it. I shall sit at the side like a guest, and you can take turns.

R.--That will be delightful. We will put the tea-pot here, then.

J.--Where is the tea-pot?

R.--That's true, yes, we haven't got one of our own. Mammy, what tea-pot
are we to have?

M.--Won't you have the one we always have at tea?

R.--No, it's too common. It won't seem like our own tea-party, then.

J.--I suppose we mightn't have one of the beautiful little tea-pots out
of the china cupboard, just for once?

M.--Just for once, you may, if you take care of it.

      (RALPH _goes out_ L. _Then comes back._)

R.--I am afraid I am not tall enough to reach the cupboard.

J.--You don't think, I suppose, you could come into the next room and
get it for us?

M.--(_Getting up._) I daresay I might.

J.--You see it is not our fault if we are not as tall as you, is it?

M.--Not quite, I daresay.

      (_She goes out. They watch her through the door._)

R.--Isn't Mammy tall when she stands on a foot-stool!

J.--I mean to be just the same size as Mammy is when I grow up.

R.--That's just like a girl, to say that sort of stupid thing. You
don't know in the least how tall you will be when you grow up.

J.--Well, if girls are stupid, they are not so rude as boys.

R.--Girls are rude sometimes. It was very rude of you to talk about my
dropping the cutlet into my lap.

M.--(MOTHER _coming in with two tea-pots_.) You don't mean to say you
are still discussing that cutlet! Now, which of the tea-pots is it to
be?

R.--Oh, Mammy, I have such a good idea! Let's have them both, one at
each end, and then we can both pour out tea.

M.--Very well.

      (_They put tea-pots on table. They walk round the table looking
      at them. The_ MOTHER _goes on writing_.)

R.--Oh, this is capital. Now, we must get the things to eat. We shall
want milk and sugar.

J.--And bread and butter and biscuits.

R.--And jam and cakes, perhaps--because, as it is our own tea-party, it
ought to be a grand one.

J.--Of course.

R.--I've got some sugar that I put in my pocket this morning for the
raven.

      (_Feels in his pocket, and brings out string, knife, etc.,
      finally four lumps of sugar, one at a time._)

J.--Four lumps, will that be enough?

R.--I wonder how many Mammy will want. Mammy, do you like your tea very,
very sweet?

M.--No, I don't like sugar in it at all.

R.--Oh, that's capital. Now, Janet, we can have two lumps each, one in
each cup of tea. You can't have more. It's horrid to be greedy, you
know.

J.--(_With a sigh._) Well, I suppose that will have to do.

R.--Now, there's the milk, we'll ask the cook for that.

J.--And we shall want some spoons and knives.

R.--Susan will get out those.

J.--I should like to have some toast, too.

R.--We'll ask nurse to make that, they make such nice toast in the
nursery.

J.--And then the biscuits.

R.--And the jam. We must ask Mammy what we may have. Mammy!

M.--What is it now?

R.--We may have some biscuits and some cakes, as well as bread and
butter, mayn't we?

M.--Oh yes, you may look in the dining-room cupboard for what you want,
if you don't take too much.

R.--Oh, how delightful! Come, Janet.

M.--(_Alone._) Perhaps in the meantime I shall be able to add up my
accounts!

      (_Writes intently. After a minute the children burst in again,
      carrying spoons, and knives, and plates._)

R.--Oh, Mammy, there are such a lot of things in the dining-room
cupboard, we don't know which to choose.

J.--I wish you would come and help us.

R.--I suppose you're too busy, aren't you?

M.--Oh, I daresay I can manage it. (_Gets up._)

R.--(_Who is laying the table._) You know really, Mammy, the best thing
would be that you should look into the dining-room cupboard, while Janet
and I finish the table; we are so very busy, you see.

M.--(_Smiling._) I will go and look in the cupboard and see what I can
find. (_Exit_ MOTHER.)

R.--Now, this is getting on splendidly, isn't it Janet? Let me see, have
we remembered everything?

J.--I think so. The cook is making the tea and getting the milk.

R.--Susan is cutting the bread and butter.

J.--Nurse is making the toast.

R.--Mammy is choosing the cakes and the jam. I must say I do feel proud
of doing it all by ourselves, without giving anybody extra trouble.

J.--Yes, it makes me feel as if we were such good children.

R.--So it does me.

J.--I should like to feel like this every day.

R.--Oh, I think one would soon get tired of it, you know. Oh, here comes
Mammy! (_They both run up to her as she comes in._) Well, Mammy, well?

M.--Well, you had better go into the dining-room and see if you approve
of my choice.

R.--Oh, thank you. Now we must have some plates to put the cakes upon.

J.--Mammy, may we just for once have those beautiful little plates out
of the china cupboard?

M.--Just for once then, if you take good care of them.

R.--Then, Mammy, I think you had better get them out for fear we should
break them.

M.--Very well, let's go and get them.

      (_She gives a hand to each._)

J.--Oh, are you not pleased with us for arranging our tea-party all by
ourselves! (_They go out._)

CURTAIN.



THE BEST CHILDREN IN THE WORLD.



CHARACTERS.


  MRS. MONTGOMERY.
  HARRY.
  PHŒBE.



THE BEST CHILDREN IN THE WORLD.


MRS. MONTGOMERY.--(_With her bonnet on, putting on her gloves, etc._
HARRY _and_ PHŒBE _playing on the floor_.) Good-bye, my children, I
shall be back soon. (HARRY _and_ PHŒBE _get up_.)

HARRY.--Where are you going, Mammy?

MRS. M.--Only to pay two visits.

PHŒBE.--How long will that take?

MRS. M.--About three-quarters of an hour, if the people are at home.

P.--You would be very sorry if they weren't at home, wouldn't you?

MRS. M.--Oh, of course.

H.--What stupid questions Phœbe asks, doesn't she!

MRS. M.--Well, never mind, everybody is stupid sometimes. What are you
going to do while I am away?

H.--We are going to play, I suppose.

MRS. M.--Hadn't you better go to the nursery then?

H.--Oh no, Mammy! it's so babyish to stay in the nursery! It's much
nicer to stay in the drawing-room by ourselves, as if we were you and
Pappy.

MRS. M.--Only Pappy and I don't get into mischief when we are left in
the drawing-room.

H.--We won't either. You tell us what we mustn't do in here, and we will
be the best children in the world.

MRS. M.--Well, now, let me see: you are not to have a pillow fight with
the sofa cushions.

H.--Of course not.

P.--What an idea!

MRS. M.--You are not to play with my reels of cotton, or to throw them
about.

P.--Certainly not.

MRS. M.--You are not to build houses with the books, or to drop them on
the ground.

H.--No, we won't.

MRS. M.--And, above all, you are not to touch that box.

H.--Why mustn't we touch that box?

MRS. M.--Never you mind that.

H.--Oh Mammy! is it a great secret?

MRS. M.--Perhaps it is. Now, mind you remember all I've told you.

H.--Of course we will. Good-bye, dear Mammy. (_They kiss._)

MRS. M.--Good-bye.

P.--Look at us out of the window. (_They go and stand at the window and
wave their handkerchiefs._)

H.--(_Turning from the window._) Now, what shall we do?

P.--I think it's rather dull staying in the drawing-room. Let's go into
the nursery.

H.--No, that's so babyish--you talk as if we were little children. Let
us stay here, and do exactly what Pappy and Mammy do.

P.--Very well--I'll sit here and work, and you sit in that chair with
your legs crossed, and read the newspaper to me.

      HARRY _sits and crosses his legs, takes a newspaper_.

P.--I wish I had some work to do. I wonder if I may do some of Mammy's?

H.--I should think so. She didn't say anything about her work, she only
said you weren't to play with the reels of cotton, you know.

P.--Well, of course, I shan't do that. (_Takes a piece of embroidery._)
Oh dear, I've unthreaded the needle! I shall never be able to work with
this thick thread, I must get a finer reel. (_Gets out two or three
reels which she puts in her lap. Tries to thread the needle._)

H.--Now, I'll tell you what, I'll read out loud just as Pappy does.
(_Begins to read._) "The threatening aspect of the political outlook has
undergone no recent modification--" what on earth does that mean?

P.--I don't know in the least what modication means.

H.--It isn't modication, you stupid! mod-_i_-_fi_-cation.

P.--Well, what's the difference?

H.--How should I know?

P.--Then you are as stupid as I am.

H.--No, I am not. Boys are never as stupid as girls. But I'll look it
out in the dictionary.

      (_Puts a sofa cushion on a chair and stands on it to get down
      the dictionary. Jumps down and knocks down chair, and falls down
      with books._)

P.--Great clumsy creature you are!

H.--You are not to call me names.

      (_Throws the sofa cushion at her._)

P.--Naughty boy!

      (_Jumps up, reels fall off her lap, and picks up the cushion.
      He tries to drag it away from her. While struggling, they knock
      over the box their mother told them not to touch. It drops. It
      is full of sugar plums. They are all spilt on the ground._)

H.--Now look what you've done!

P.--Sugar plums!

H.--That's the box Mammy told us not to touch.

P.--We must pick them up as quickly as possible, and put them in again.

      (_They begin putting them in again._)

H.--I wonder whether they are really sugar plums?

P.--I'll tell you what. Let's lick the outside of one and see if it's
sweet.

H.--(_Licks it._) Yes, they are sugar plums.

P.--(_Licking one._) Are you quite sure?

H.--Yes, I think so. I'll just lick it again to be quite certain. Oh
yes, they are sugar plums, there's not a doubt. (_They put them into the
box._)

P.--I think it's rather horrid to put them back into the box again after
we have licked them.

H.--I think it is. Let us take out the ones we licked, and eat them.
That will be cleaner, won't it?

P.--But they are all mixed! I don't know which they are now!

H.--Oh, you are a stupid girl! Well, we must eat all that are in the
box, there is no help for it.

P.--I really think that would be the safest plan.

      (_Their mother comes in while they are sitting on the floor
      eating the sugar plums._)

MRS. M.--I've come back for my card-case which I have forgotten. Why,
what have you been doing? Oh, Harry! Oh, Phœbe! I thought you were going
to be so good!

P.--So we were! We were trying to be very, very good.

H.--Awfully good.

MRS. M.--Good, indeed! I told you not to play with my work-basket, or
the books, or the sofa cushions, or that box, and you have disobeyed me
in everything! My reels are on the floor, my books on the floor, the
sofa cushion on the floor, the box that I particularly asked you not to
touch upset and emptied! I must say I think you have been very naughty.

H.--Dear Mammy, I am so sorry! We really didn't mean to play with any of
the things. We were going to be like you and Pappy. So I began to read
the paper to Phœbe.

P.--While I did your work.

MRS. M.--(_Horrified._) My work!

H.--And, then, because I didn't understand what we were reading about, I
got a dictionary to look out the words, and I dropped it, and Phœbe said
I was clumsy.

P.--So then he threw a sofa cushion at me.

H.--Only because she called me names, you know. It wasn't a pillow fight
in the least.

P.--And I jumped up, and the reels rolled off my lap, and I tried to
take the cushion away from him, and somehow we knocked over the box.

H.--But we didn't mean to in the very least. It was quite by accident.

MRS. M.--Then, how did those sugar plums get into your mouths? That was
by accident too I suppose.

H.--No, that was because we thought it was so dirty to put back the
sugar plums we had licked.

P.--We just licked them to make sure they were sugar plums.

MRS. M.--I see. Well, those sugar plums were for you. Your uncle sent
them, and I was going to give them to you this evening, but now I shall
throw them away instead.

H.--Throw them away! Oh, Mammy, what a pity!

MRS. M.--Yes, it is a pity I can't trust two children of six and seven
years old in a room by themselves. Come, let me see you safely in the
nursery before I go out again.

P.--It _is_ a pity, just when we were trying to be the best children in
the world! (_They go out._)

       *       *       *       *       *



THE GOLDEN GOOSE.

A PLAY IN FOUR SCENES.



CHARACTERS.


  A WOODCUTTER.
  HIS WIFE.
  TOM.  }
  JACK. } _Their Sons._
  THE LITTLE GREY MAN.

Two hours elapse between Scenes I. and II. Twenty-four hours between
Scenes II. and III. An hour between Scenes III. and IV.



THE GOLDEN GOOSE.


SCENE I. FATHER, MOTHER, TOM, _and_ JACK. _A room in a cottage._


FATHER.--What a bore it is I sprained my ankle in the wood.

MOTHER.--Aye! That indeed it is. If you can't manage to go and sell some
more fagots at the market, we shall soon be starving.

F.--One of the boys will go instead of me.

JACK.--I'll go, Father, willingly.

TOM.--You, you stupid! what do you know of wood-cutting? you will be
cutting down blackberry plants, or something, to make firewood of.

F.--Tom can go.

M.--What! Send that precious boy to stand in a damp wood all day!

T.--I must have a good lunch, then, to take with me. A mutton cutlet, a
sausage, an apple tart--a hamper full of nice things.

M.--Of course you shall, my pretty dear.

F.--Well, I don't think there will be much work done--he will be much
too busy with his sausage and apple tart.

T.--Well, Father, you don't want me to starve, I suppose!

F.--I think it would do you a great deal of good.

M.--Oh, fie! How can you be so cruel with the darling child!

F.--We'll wait and see how much work he can do, and if he doesn't
succeed, Jack will have to go.

M.--Ah, Jack, it is a great pity you're too stupid to make yourself
useful, or else you might have gone, and saved your dear brother the
trouble.

J.--I could do it quite well.

M.--No, you wouldn't, you are a great deal too stupid. (_To Tom._) Come,
let me lace your boots for you, darling.

CURTAIN.


SCENE II. _A wood._ TOM _alone, a large hamper by his side_.

T.--Well, this isn't such bad fun after all, as long as one can rest. I
haven't chopped much wood yet, I thought I'd do it after luncheon. I
shall feel so much stronger then, and be able to work twice as hard.
Let me see, it must be time to lay the table. (_Opens lid of hamper and
looks in._) Ah, this does look good! Sausage rolls, chicken sandwiches,
a salad, jam tarts, all kinds of nice things! I am so glad there is no
one to share it with me! I How much nicer it is to lunch by one's self.

VOICE.--Ahem! (_From behind the tree._)

      (TOM _shuts the lid of the hamper quickly, and looks round_.)

T.--What's that?

      (_The sound is repeated. He looks round. A little old man,
      dressed all in grey, with a pointed hat, appears._)

GREY MAN.--Good morning, young sir.

T.--Good morning, old creature.

G. M.--You seem to be having a picnic all by yourself.

T.--Yes, fortunately I am all alone. I don't like picnics with other
people.

G. M.--That's a pity. I was just going to ask if I might join you.

T.--You!

G. M.--Yes, the fact is I am a long way from my home, and I am hungry,
and seeing that large hamper I thought you might be able to spare some
food for the tired wayfarer.

T.--Well, I am sorry to say I can't; there happens to be just enough for
myself in that hamper.

G. M.--What, can you not even spare me a crust of bread?

T.--No, I shall have to eat it up all myself in order to keep up my
strength while I am cutting wood this afternoon.

G. M.--(_Lifting up his hand and speaking in a loud, warning tone._)
Take care, young man, lest your meal and your wood-cutting come to an
untimely end. (_He goes away._)

T.--Tiresome old creature! He's gone, at any-rate. Now I can lunch in
peace. (_Opens lid of hamper. Starts._) Oh, what has happened? Where has
everything gone? My beautiful luncheon has disappeared! The sausage
rolls have turned to sticks! (_Throws out sticks, leaves, etc., as he
speaks._) The salad into dead leaves! The chicken sandwiches and jam
tart into brown paper! Oh, what an unfortunate youth I am! Now I shall
have no luncheon. It is all because of that horrid grey man. He was an
enchanter, I suppose, or a fairy of some kind. Why didn't he say so at
once? Then I might have given him a piece of chicken. Well, it's too
late now, I suppose. Perhaps I had better cut some wood, there's nothing
else to do. There's a tree that would be easy enough.

      (_Goes out_ R. _carrying his axe over his shoulder_. _A cry is
      heard._)

Oh, dear! Oh, dear me! (_Comes in again holding his arm._) Oh, I've
chopped my hand nearly off! Oh, what a day of misfortunes this is! I
must go home and send for the doctor, while my mother makes me some
jelly and arrowroot.

      (_Ties handkerchief round his neck as a sling. Puts left hand
      into it. Exit carrying hamper and axe._)

CURTAIN.


SCENE. III. _The same._

_Enter_ JACK _with a small basket_.


J.--Ah, now I think I'll sit down and have my luncheon. Working so hard
has made me rather hungry. (_Looks off_ L.) That's a great heap of wood,
I must say, to have cut in two hours. I wonder what my mother has put
into the basket? Tom took such good things away with him yesterday--but
my mother said she had nothing for me except some bones the dog had
left, and some stale pieces of crust that had been thrown away. (_Looks
into basket._) Never mind, a good appetite and a good conscience make
everything taste well. So here goes!

      (_Sits down. Draws handkerchief over his knees._)

VOICE (_Heard behind him._)--Ahem!

J.--(_Looks round._) What's that? Somebody about? I am going to have a
companion it seems.

G. M.--(_Coming out._) Good morning, young gentleman.

J.--(_Getting up and taking off his hat._) Good morning, sir.

G. M.--What! Were you picnicking alone in the wood?

J.--I was, yes.

G. M.--Do you object to be joined by a companion?

J.--On the contrary, I should like it--the more the merrier.

G. M.--To tell you the truth, I am very hungry. I have been out all day,
and am far from my home.

J.--I only wish I had some food for you more worthy of your
acceptance--but such as it is, you are heartily welcome to it. Pray take
it all. There is not much, but what there is you are quite welcome to
have--I can wait till I get home again.

G. M.--Generous youth! Your kindness of heart shall be rewarded. Look
again at the contents of your basket, and you will find them better than
you imagined.

J.--(_Looking into the basket._) Oh, how exciting! What do I see? Mutton
cutlets, cold partridge, cheese-cakes, grapes, bananas! Oh, how
delightful! Now you will share with me, won't you?

      (_Holds out the basket to the old man._)

G. M.--No, my dear boy. I only asked you for some to prove you--and
seeing how deserving you are, I will reward you still further. (_Points
off_ L. _at the wood_.) Take your axe and cut down that tree. You will
find a bird at the root: she is yours. Farewell, and luck go with you.
(_Exit._)

J.--Why, he must be a magician! What a delightful person to meet! I must
go and cut down that tree at once. I'll just have a cheese-cake to keep
me going.

      (_Crams a cheese-cake into his mouth and goes out. Sounds of
      chopping heard._ JACK _rushes in again with a golden goose in
      one hand and a nest with golden eggs in the other_.)

J.--It was a golden goose, sitting on a nest of golden eggs! Oh, how
splendid! Now my father need never cut wood again--we shall all be rich.
I must rush home, and show them what I have found. (_Exit hurriedly with
the goose and the nest._)

CURTAIN.


SCENE IV. Same as Scene I.

FATHER, MOTHER, TOM (_lying on a couch_).


M.--How are you, my dear boy? Feeling better?

T.--A little better. I think I could eat a jam puff now, and some
almonds and raisins.

M.--You shall have them at once.

F.--In the meanwhile, I hope Jack is cutting more wood than you did, or
I don't know what will happen.

M.--It's very unlikely that Jack should do anything better than Tom. If
he has, it will be the first time it has ever happened.

      _Enter_ JACK.

F.--I think I hear him. Well, have you brought us back any wood?

J.--Indeed, I have. But first, I must show you this glorious bird--my
golden goose!

M.--A golden goose! Where did you find it?

J.--It was sitting at the root of a tree I cut down.

M.--Why, Tom, how was it you didn't find it?

T.--Because of my accident, of course. If I hadn't hurt my hand I
certainly should have found it in another minute.

J.--It was a little grey man with a pointed cap who told me where to
look for it.

T.--(_Aside._) Horrid little creature! I wish I had offered him some
luncheon! (_Aloud._) He told me all about it. He intended it for me, so
you had better hand it over.

      (TOM _grasps at the goose_. JACK _pulls it away_. TOM _gets up
      with it_.)

T.--What has happened to the thing? I can't get away from it!

M.--Oh, my dear boy, what can have happened!

      (_Tries to drag_ TOM _away, but sticks_.)

T.--Go away, Mother. Don't hold on to me any more.

M.--I can't get away. (FATHER _tries to drag them away_.)

M.--Go away, Father!

F.--I can't, I'm stuck fast.

M.--I knew something stupid would happen if Jack went into the wood!
bringing birds you stick to like fly-paper instead of proper faggots.

J.--(_Smiling._) You shouldn't have tried to take my goose away from me.

T.--Well, now, you have had your joke, call your goose off, please.

J.--I can't call it off! I don't know how.

      (_Enter_ GREY MAN.)

G. M.--I am the only person who can do it, because I am a powerful
magician, and that golden goose is mine.

M.--Yours!

G. M.--Yes, and I gave it to Jack to reward him for a good,
hard-working, generous boy, instead of being a lazy, selfish, unmannerly
one like his brother yonder.

T.--Of course, if I had known who you were, I should have been civil to
you.

G. M.--I daresay, yes, but you will find it more useful as you go
through life to be civil to strangers, even when you don't know who
they are. And now Jack, come with me and you shall live in a beautiful
palace, where you shall marry a princess. As for you, you may let go
the golden goose for ever (_they all fall back_), for you will remain
humble wood-cutters all your lives. And, remember, it is only the
deserving--especially the polite--who find the Golden Goose.

CURTAIN.



CINDERELLA.

A PLAY IN FOUR SCENES.



CHARACTERS.


  THE MOTHER.
  THE FAIRY GODMOTHER.
  MABEL.
  THE PRINCE.
  LUCY.
  HERALD.
  PEGGY (called CINDERELLA).
  LORDS and LADIES at BALL, etc.



CINDERELLA.


SCENE I.

(_The mother sitting with daughters._)


MOTHER.--(_To_ LUCY.) What are you reading, my darling child? How sweet
you look, lying there, buried in your book.

LUCY.--Yes Mamma, I thought I did. It's the story of a beautiful prince.

M.--Delightful, my dear! The story of a prince--yes, just the story for
you to read. (_To_ MABEL.) And you, my poppet, what is it you are doing?

MABEL.--I am thinking, Mamma.

M.--Thinking? Yes, that is just like you. Ah, you were always so clever,
my chickabiddy. (_To_ PEGGY.) As for you, what are you doing here,
plain, stupid girl, wasting the time, when you ought to be doing your
work?

PEGGY.--I am very sorry, I thought there was nothing to do at this
present moment.

M.--Nothing to do indeed! A pretty story! Is all the house-work done?

P.--Everything.

L.--Are the buttons sewn on my long white gloves, for the ball to-night?

P.--Yes, they are.

MAB.--And is my beautiful ball-dress laid out on the bed?

P.--Everything is ready.

M.--Very well, my children, you had better go and dress.

L.--(_Jumping up with joy._) Oh, how delightful! Come along, Mabel!

MAB.--(_Delighted._) Oh, what fun it will be!

M.--Now, Peggy, what are you doing? Go and help them to dress, you know
their frocks lace behind.

P.--(_Going._) Very well. (_Stopping at door._) Mamma!

M.--Well, what is it? What a long time you waste in chattering always!

P.--I suppose I might not go to the ball for a little while?

M.--You, Peggy, you at the ball? (_Laughs._) I never heard anything so
absurd.

L.--And what would you wear, pray? A dish-cloth, trimmed with dusters?

MAB.--No, no, my dear girl, you are very well in your place--that is,
the chimney-corner. I would stay there if I were you.

M.--Now, come along, stupid, and don't forget the safety-pins.

P.--Oh, I wish I were going too!

CURTAIN.


SCENE II. _The Same._

(PEGGY _alone_.)


P.--I had better go to bed, I suppose--there is nothing else for me to
do. Well, I do think it is a shame to leave me here alone, while they
are enjoying themselves at the ball! I should so like to have a smart
gown that laced behind--it would make one feel so grand to have a gown
one couldn't fasten one's self. But, alas! that is a pleasure I shall
never know. (_Hides her face in her hands._)

      _Enter_ GODMOTHER.

GODMOTHER.--Why Peggy, you little Cinderella! What's the matter now?

P.--Oh!

G.--Do you know who I am?

P.--I am sorry to say I don't.

G.--Well, I'll tell you presently who I am. In the meantime, you tell me
why you are sitting all by yourself in this way, looking into the fire
in that dismal manner.

P.--I am unhappy because I am not at the ball. I should like to have a
fine dress, and drive off in a coach with the others.

G.--Nothing is easier. I'll manage that for you in five minutes.

P.--You! Oh, how delightful! Is it possible?

G.--Certainly. I am your fairy godmother, so I can give you anything you
wish for.

P.--Oh, how enchanting! Then, the first thing I wish for is a beautiful
dress.

G.--You shall have it. Go inside that dark cupboard, close your eyes,
then turn round three times, while I repeat a spell--and come out and
see what has happened.

P.--Well, this is exciting! (_Goes into cupboard._)

      (GODMOTHER _waves her wand and repeats verse_.)

  Wavy, wavy, Wando Wum,
  Fairy powers hither come,
  Come to turn the world about,
  Topsy-turvy, inside out,
  Turn the darkness into light,
  Turn the rags to silver bright.
  Wavy, wavy, Wando Wum,
  Fairy powers quickly come.

      (CINDERELLA _comes out in a beautiful dress_.)

P.--Oh, am I not like a princess?

G.--You are indeed! Now, what next?

P.--Next, I must have a coach to go to the ball in.

G.--Of course. Look out of the window, and tell me what you see, and if
there is anything we can make a coach of.

P.--I'm afraid not. I can only see a pumpkin lying on the ground, and
two large brown rats behind it, and six little mice darting in and out.

G.--The very thing! That will do perfectly. Now, I am going to repeat
another spell, and while I wave my wand, you look out of the window and
tell me what happens.

      (_Repeats last two lines of spell and waves wand._)

P.--Oh, Godmother! Quick! The pumpkin has turned into a beautiful, glass
coach!

G.--I thought it would! (_Waves wand again._) Anything else?

P.--Yes! Yes! The two brown rats have changed into a coachman and
footman.

G.--(_Waves wand._) Anything else?

P.--Yes! Yes! The little mice have turned into six beautiful horses with
long tails and harness shining with silver.

G.--Well, will that do to drive you to the ball, do you think?

P.--Oh, Godmother, how delightful! Let me get into it and drive off!

G.--One moment, Cinderella! I must make a condition before you start.
You must promise not to remain at the ball after midnight. If you are
there after the last stroke of twelve, your beautiful silver clothes
will disappear, and you will have on your rags again.

P.--Oh, I promise, dear Godmother. Of course I will leave before twelve.

G.--Then come, Princess Cinderella! your glass coach stops the way.

CURTAIN.


SCENE III.

_A ball-room. People walking about._ LUCY _and_ MABEL, _in ball-dresses,
sitting one on each side of their mother_.


L.--How very odd it is that nobody comes and asks us to dance!

MAB.--I can't understand it at all.

L.--It isn't as if we were not beautiful.

MAB.--It seems so strange we are not singled out.

M.--My dear girls, the fact is, you are so beautiful, and so well
dressed, that people don't dare to ask you. I am sure that is what it
is.

L.--I saw the prince looking longingly at me a little while ago, but
just as he was going to invite me to dance, he was called away to meet a
foreign princess.

MAB.--Of course, if she were a princess, he couldn't help going to meet
her. I wonder who she was? She had on the most beautiful silver shoes.

M.--Here is the Court herald, passing through the hall, ask him her
name. Oh, sir! I beg your pardon!--

      (HERALD _stops_.)

Can you tell me who the lady in silver was, who was dancing with the
prince just now?

HERALD.--She was announced as the Princess of the Silver Mountain.

M.--The Princess of the Silver Mountain! Indeed!

L.--She looked like it, I am sure.

M.--The reason why I ask is, the prince had been going to dance with my
daughter, and he was obliged to leave her for this lady.

H.--Oh, indeed!

L.--So, you see, I have no partner in consequence.

H.--What a pity!

M.--My girls are both passionately fond of dancing.

H.--Indeed! that is a charming taste.

MAB.--It is not surprising we should like it, we dance very beautifully.

H.--I congratulate you. I hope I shall have an opportunity of seeing
your performance.

      (_Bows and passes on._)

L.--Oh, what a very rude man!

MAB.--I can't understand it at all. I quite thought we should have been
the belles of the ball.

M.--Then suppose, my children, we go to the refreshment-room and have
some ices? Perhaps we may find some partners there. (_Gets up._)

L.--Come, then.

M.--Oh, here comes the princess, leaning on the prince's arm.

      (_Enter the_ PRINCE _and_ CINDERELLA. LUCY, MABEL, _and the_
      MOTHER _make sweeping curtseys_.)

CINDERELLA.--What strange-looking ladies!

      (_Mother and daughters start._)

PRINCE.--They are, indeed! But let us talk of yourself, princess. (_They
go on speaking in low voices._)

MAB.--Did you hear her, Mother? Did you hear those insulting words?

M.--Never mind, it's no good quarrelling with princes. Come and have
some strawberry ice.

      (_They go out._)

P.--Now, tell me about this wonderful place where you live, for I have
not heard of it before. The Silver Mountain! What an enchanting spot it
sounds! It must be Fairy-land!

C.--It is, indeed, in Fairy-land!

P.--I was sure of it--a fit abode for so ethereal a being as yourself.
You were nourished, I feel sure, on no mortal food--your dainty,
beautiful clothes were woven by no mortal hands--they were spun by elves
and fairies in some enchanted, far-away spot.

C.--Indeed, I believe they were.

P.--Adorable creature! Come, tell me where this Silver Mountain is,
that I may find my way to it over every obstacle.

C.--But there is the music beginning again! We should be dancing, your
highness.

P.--What delicious simplicity! Are you then so fond of dancing?

C.--I love it, but I so seldom get a chance.

P.--Of course, yes, you are hedged in, I daresay, by the etiquette of
your court.

C.--Precisely.

      (_Dancers waltz in._)

P.--Come, then, let us join the dance too.

      (_They dance._ _The_ MOTHER, LUCY, _and_ MABEL _look enviously
      at the dancers_. _They curtsey as the_ PRINCE _passes them_.
      _The clock begins to strike twelve._ CINDERELLA _starts_.)

P.--What, tired already!

C.--No, no, but I must go at once! instantly!

      (_She rushes out, leaving a slipper behind her._)

P.--What! she has gone! and in such haste, that she has left one of her
dainty slippers behind her. I must fly to restore it to her. Princess!
Adored one! come back! (_Rushes out._)

CURTAIN.


SCENE IV.

_Room in the cottage, same as in_ SCENES I. _and_ II.


MAB.--(_Yawning._) Oh dear, I am so tired!

L.--I do wish you would leave off saying that. That is the ninth time
you have yawned during the last five minutes.

M.--My dears, going to a ball doesn't seem to have improved your temper.

MAB.--I don't quite see why it should.

C.--I suppose it was dancing so much that tired you?

L.--Of course it was--we had to dance the whole time, from the moment we
entered the room.

MAB.--There were many people we were obliged to refuse, and they were
heart-broken.

L.--But, of course, when the prince asked us, we were obliged to throw
over the others.

C.--(_Smiling aside._) And the prince danced with you a great deal,
then?

L.--Indeed, he did, nearly all the time, till a strange princess came,
then he was obliged to leave us.

C.--A strange princess! What was she like?

M.--Now I think of it, she was something like you--was she not, girls?

MAB.--(_Laughing._) Ha! ha! so she was!

L.--Only she was beautiful, and you are very ugly.

MAB.--And she had beautiful silver clothes.

C.--I should like to wear silver clothes.

M.--Peggy, do not let me hear you say such foolish things again. It's
all very well for your step-sisters to wear such clothes, but for you!!

      (_A sound of a trumpet heard._)

MAB.--Why, what can that be?

      (_Mother and daughters rush to back to look out of window._)

C.--(_Aside._) Oh, if it were the prince!

M.--It is a magnificent herald--the herald we saw last night! He is
reading a proclamation to the people, and the prince is behind him!

C.--The Prince!! (_Waves to_ PRINCE, _unseen by the others_.)

      (_The_ HERALD _stops outside the window_.)

H.--(_In a loud voice._) "Be it known to all the loyal subjects of
Prince Charming, our lord and master, that yesterday evening, at the
ball, an embroidered silver slipper was picked up. The prince has
commanded that the said slipper shall be carried through the length and
breadth of his dominions, until he finds the owner of it. When the
owner of it is discovered, that said owner shall become the Princess
Charming, and shall share our lord and master's throne."

M.--My dear girls, what a chance for you! If you can put on the shoe,
you will become the princess.

MAB.--The herald is stopping before this door. Quick! quick! Let us sit
in pretty attitudes.

      (LUCY _and_ MABEL _group themselves picturesquely_.)

L.--But Peggy must not be here, Mother! Go away, Peggy, quick!

M.--Rush, child, rush! Don't let any one see you.

C.--May I not stay to see the silver shoe?

M.--You! Of course not! Why the very look of you would spoil all our
chances. (_Pushing her._) Quick! quick! they are just coming in.

      (_Bundles_ PEGGY _out of door_ L. _just as the_ HERALD _comes
      in_ R. _He blows trumpet._)

H.--His Royal Highness, Prince Charming.

      (_Enter_ PRINCE. MOTHER, LUCY, _and_ MABEL _curtsey_.)

M.--Oh, your highness, this is too kind, pray sit down.

      (_She advances a chair. The other two curtsey, one on each side
      of him._)

H.--We wish to know if any lady in this house lost a shoe at the ball
last night? For, if so, her shoe has been found.

M.--(_Eagerly._) What a singular thing! Now you mention it, one of my
daughters lost a shoe--indeed, they both did.

H.--Indeed! Is it anything like this? (_Produces shoe._)

L.--Why, that looks to me like the very one.

P.--Try it on, please, madam.

L.--(_Holding out her foot, making faces while the_ HERALD _puts it
on_.) Why, of course, that is mine, it fits me exactly.

M.--It fits the darling girl as if it had been made for her. Walk round
the room in it, my love.

      (LUCY _hobbles round the room, limping violently_.)

M.--Oh, there is no doubt, your highness, that that is hers.

P.--Didn't I notice a slight limp as she walked?

M.--Oh dear no, your highness, I don't think so.

P.--All the same, I think she had better take it off.

M.--And you, Mabel, didn't you say you had lost one of your shoes?

MAB.--Yes! I remember when I undressed noticing that I had lost it.

M.--Then, of course, it must be yours.

      (_The_ HERALD _kneels beside her, tries to force on the shoe,
      while_ MABEL _makes faces of agony_.)

MAB.--Oh, not a doubt, that is mine. (_Stands up._)

H.--Your heel is quite out of it still.

MAB.--That is how I always wear my shoes.

M.--That is what gives her such a springy, graceful walk.

      (MABEL _tries to walk round the room, clattering the shoe behind
      her_.)

P.--No, I am afraid that won't do at all.

MAB.--(_Shaking it off._) It's very hard not being allowed to have my
own shoe back again.

P.--(_To the_ MOTHER.) Are there no more young girls in this house, whom
the shoe would be likely to fit?

M.--Alas, these two fair ones are my only joys.

P.--Yet, I thought, as I passed the window, I saw another.

M.--Oh, your highness, I beg your pardon--that was only our scullion,
looking out to see you. Naughty thing!

P.--I wish to see her.

L.--Oh, really, your highness!

MAB.--She is a most unprepossessing girl!

P.--Send for her instantly, or I will have you all beheaded.

M.--(_Quickly._) Anything, anything, to oblige your highness.

      (_Calls_ PEGGY.)

      (CINDERELLA _appears in the doorway, with her eyes cast down_.
      PRINCE _jumps up and bows very low_. LUCY, MABEL, _and_ MOTHER,
      _turn away their eyes in disgust_.)

H.--Sit down here, fair maiden, and try on this silver shoe.

P.--Nay, no one shall kneel here but me. (_Kneels in front of_
CINDERELLA, _who puts on the shoe without difficulty_.) There, I think,
is the foot it fits, there is no doubt about that.

M.--I fear your highness is being imposed upon--that shoe could never
have belonged to that ragged Cinderella.

C.--Indeed it did--I have the fellow to it.

      (_Pulls the other out of her pocket. Gets up and dances round in
      it._)

P.--There is no doubt to whom the slipper belongs. Come, Princess
Charming, let me lead you to your palace!

M.--One moment, if you please, your royal highness! the girl is a
scullion!

L.--You have only to look at her clothes!

MAB.--Mine would be far fitter to adorn a throne!

      _Enter_ FAIRY GODMOTHER.

G.--The clothes are my business--I will see that Princess Charming is
not dressed like a scullion.

C.--My fairy godmother!

ALL.--Her fairy godmother!

G.--The same. So, Cinderella, if you will step into that dark cupboard
while I recite a magic spell, you shall be changed into a beautiful
princess.

      (CINDERELLA _enters the cupboard_. _The_ FAIRY GODMOTHER
      _recites spell, waves wand_. CINDERELLA _comes out dressed as
      she was at the ball_. _Mother and daughters start._)

G.--Now, my child, no one can say you look like a scullion.

L. and M.--The Princess of the Silver Mountain!

G.--The same, whom you left sitting in the ashes, but who went to the
ball after all--

P.--And was the most beautiful princess there.

      (_Bows and kisses her hand._)

M.--I wish, my darlings, I had chosen a fairy for your godmother,
instead of those silly aunts of yours.

L.--I must say, it is very hard on us that a chit like that should have
the best of everything.

G.--Come, if you say one word more, I will repeat my spell backwards
over you, and then all your clothes will change to rags.

M.--Come, then, my pretty poppets, come away with me, you are not
appreciated here as you deserve.

L.--No, we are not admired as we ought to be.

P.--Pray, madam, do not let us turn you out, as we are going ourselves.
Come, my princess.

      (_Offers his hand._)

H.--(_Loudly._) Bring forward the princess's golden coach!

G.--(_Waving wand._) Be happy, my Cinderella!

CURTAIN.


THE ABERDEEN UNIVERSITY PRESS LIMITED.



_By the same Author._

      =Chamber Comedies.= A Collection of Plays and Monologues for the
      Drawing-room. Crown 8vo, 5_s._ net.

      =Fairy Tale Plays, and How to Act Them.= With 91 Diagrams and 52
      Illustrations. Cr. 8vo, 3_s._ net.

      =Rumpelstiltzkin.= A Fairy Play in Five Scenes (Characters, 7
      Male; 1 Female). From "Fairy Tale Plays and How to Act Them".
      With Illustrations, Diagrams and Music. Cr. 8vo, 6_d._

      =Petit Théâtre des Enfants.= Twelve Tiny French Plays for
      Children. Fcap. 8vo, 1_s._ 6_d._

      =Théâtre de la Jeunesse.= Twelve Little French Plays for
      Schoolroom and Drawing-room. Fcap. 8vo, 2_s._ 6_d._


      LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO.,
      LONDON, NEW YORK, BOMBAY, AND CALCUTTA



TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE


Missing punctuation has been silently added. The publisher's advertising
was moved to the end. Three substantive changes were made to the text:

In LITTLE PETSY, "MRS. S." was changed to "MRS. R." in the stage
direction  in the following passage:

     MRS. S.--If you'll take great care of it, yes. (_To_ MRS. R.) Did
     you ever hear such ideas as the child has? Such an active mind,
     never quiet!

In MISS DOBSON, "ace" was changed to "face" in the following stage
direction:

     (_Hides her face in her hands. The others go towards the door. A
     bell is heard. They stop._)


In FOOLISH JACK, "That" was changed to "That's" in the passage:

     That's just what Goody Grumbles said.





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