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Title: How to Become an Actor
Author: Warford, Aaron A.
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 "How to Become an Actor" ***

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

courtesy of the Digital Library@Villanova University

Transcriber’s Notes:

Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).

Additional Transcriber’s Notes are at the end.

       *       *       *       *       *


  Giving complete instructions as to the Duties of the Stage Manager,
  Prompter, Scenic Artist, Property Man, and how to make out a Scene
  Plot, Property Plot, etc. Also, how to make up for the Various
  Characters seen on the Stage.


  FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher
  24 Union Square

       *       *       *       *       *

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1900, by


in the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington, D. C.

       *       *       *       *       *




In placing this little book before the boys, and the public in
general, the author has endeavored to show up the mystic art of stage
performances as clearly as possible--explicitly enough to enable the
greenest amateur to erect a stage in his own drawing-room, and to place
before his friends the accompanying plays in a manner that shall give
entire satisfaction.

The growth of private theatricals has been very large of late years,
but the one cry has been: “How can we get up a home performance
properly, and with as little expense as possible?” Nothing easier,
say I; and if my reader will but follow the instructions herein after
given, I have not the slightest doubt that he will be fully able to do
all he desires in the home-circle in this mystic art; and with this
little prelude, we proceed at once to the work in hand.


If the room in which the performances are to be given is furnished with
folding doors there will be no need of a proscenium, but if not, any
enterprising lad can, by means of a few boards, rig up one to suit, and
drape it with colored muslin, to be bought for a few cents per yard at
any drygoods store. This done, a sheet may be tacked securely across
the top, with a heavy pole at the bottom to facilitate its falling.
Four rows of brass rings may next be sewed at intervals of a foot
apart, from the top of the curtain to the pole at the bottom. Strings
must then be fastened upon this pole, brought up through the lines of
rings, and attached to a larger piece of twine running horizontally
across the top, and passing through a screw-eye in the proscenium,
leaving a long end to dangle down, handy for the person who is to
attend to the rising and falling of the curtain. By simply pulling this
piece of twine, the drapery will be found to ascend in graceful folds,
and at the signal for descent, will drop easily by the weight of the
pole. In the following diagram _a_ is the upper cord, _b_ the rings
through which the others pass, _c_ the dangling end, _e_ the pole at
the bottom.


“Wings,” or side pieces, may be constructed by stretching muslin over
an ordinary frame of common wood, and braced by a stout stick to the
floor, thus completely obscuring the performers after they have made
their exits.

“Flats,” or scenes at the back, upon frames, to draw off and on, will
be found too difficult to use in drawing-rooms, as they necessitate the
use of grooves above for them to slide in; therefore, I would suggest
the use of “drops”--that is, scenes working after the manner of the
curtain, and when drawn up, concealed behind the “borders,” or straight
rows of muslin, tacked horizontally across the top, and forming the
ceiling of the scene, when completed.

In order that there shall be as little cost as possible in furnishing
the scenery, let one lad, who has a taste for drawing, stretch the
“drop” upon a bare floor (drawn tightly and tacked to the boards), and
then, take a wood, a garden, or a parlor, and with a piece of charcoal,
copy the trees, etc., upon the muslin, and then paint them in to the
best of his ability. The same plan should be followed with the “wings.”

Care should be taken, however, not to remove the paintings from the
floor until they are _quite dry_, and then stretch them over the frames
and fasten securely.

One set of “wings” should be braced firmly to the floor, and when a
change of scene is required, the “drop” may be drawn up and the other
“wings” slid in and rested against the braced ones. Lamps may be placed
on each side of the proscenium, and if footlights are desired, a board
may be put across before the curtain, with several lamps placed so as
to shine directly upon the stage, while the board prevents them from
glaring upon the audience.

The effect can be heightened by a board with a row of candles in tin
plates to catch the wax, behind each “border,” so that they may shine
down upon the actors; but this is both troublesome and dangerous, as
the ceiling is liable to be smutted, and a breath of air may blow the
dangling “borders” into the flame and produce a disastrous effect.

This done, the stage may be set as the play requires.

Should the action require a storm, peas may be shaken upon the head of
a drum to imitate the rain, a sheet of zinc will furnish thunder, and
the effect of lightning may be produced with no danger by filling an
ordinary putty blower with licopodium and blowing it into the flame of
a candle. (An article for doing this, and called the “flash-box,” is
used on the regular stage.)

Colored fires may be produced by following these directions:


  Nitrate of Barytes  62-1/2 parts.
  Sulphur             10-1/2 parts.
  Potash              23-1/2 parts.
  Orpiment             1-1/2 parts.
  Charcoal             1-1/2 parts.


  Strontia     8 ounces.
  Potash       4 ounces.
  Shellac      2 ounces.
  Licopodium  1/4 ounce.


  Nitre      8 ounces.
  Sulphur    3 ounces.
  Charcoal  1/2 ounce.
  Antimony    1 ounce.

These fires when used should be spread either upon a tin pan, or an
ordinary fire shovel, and ignited by means of a piece of cotton cord
soaked in oil, and forming a quick match. When lit, it should be raised
above the head, and will cast a brilliant tinge upon every object. A
pail of water should, however, be handy, so that immediately after
using it can be plunged into it, as the stench from the cinders is
by no means pleasant. The above recipes will furnish enough fire for
several performances, and if the trouble of making must be disposed of,
they can be bought in tins at all first-class drug-stores, or places
where fireworks are sold.

To represent breaking glass, rattle broken crockery in a closed basket;
breaking wood, place a few laths over a couple of bricks, lay a heavy
book upon them, and strike the volume with force enough to smash the

To imitate the sighing of the wind, draw a piece of silk--an old dress,
for instance--over the rough edge of a pine board, or make a wheel,
after the manner in which boys make water-wheels, and turn this, with
the silk hanging over it--the effect will be found good.


In dressing the characters, care should be taken to do it neatly and
securely, for to lose a portion of a costume, often turns the most
serious scene to ridicule; and besides, a drawing-room audience is one
of the most critical.

Ladies with light, airy dresses should not go too near to the
footlights, and those with long trains should be careful of the manner
in which they are swung around.

The gentlemen must not forget to remove their hats when entering a
parlor scene, unless the business of the play requires otherwise; and
on the other hand, care should be taken to wear them in exteriors,
unless, as before, there should be some reason. In making up the
costumes, glazed muslin of various colors will be found quite effective
and extremely cheap, and of this, with a few spangles and cheap gilt
braid, very tasteful dresses may be made for ancient dramas, Mexicans,
Gypsies, fairies, etc.


The great secret of the entire illusion is the art of making up

For a Mexican, or a Gipsy, the face should be reddened with vermilion,
the eyebrows made heavy and extremely black, heavy lines drawn under
the lower lashes of each eye, a line should be placed between the two
brows, and a rigid one from the corners of the lips. A wig with short
hair in front, and long, flowing locks behind, completes the make-up.

For old age, whiten the face with drop chalk, draw the “crow’s feet”
around the eyes and mouth with a camel’s hair pencil and India ink,
wrinkle the brow, and placing the pencil in the furrows, draw them
from temple to temple. The eyebrows should be chalked, and the upper
eyelids reddened considerably, although, be governed in all cases by
the nearness of your audience and the brightness of the lights. If a
white or gray wig is not to be gotten, chalk the hair in lieu, taking
care to wash it thoroughly after the performance. For grief, the
make-up is much the same as the former, with the cheeks sunken by a
slight application of burnt cork.

Mustaches and beards may be made of crape hair, to be bought of any wig
maker, and stuck on by an application of pulverized gum-arabic; or, on
the other hand, they may be deftly drawn before a glass, by a camel’s
hair pencil and a piece of India ink. Negroes should be made up with
burnt cork and glycerine, taking care to draw out the lips and eyes
before filling in.

To make what is termed a “pug nose,” blacken the sides, which gives the
appearance of an enlarged nostril and a decided upward turn.

To show the loss of teeth cover them with black wax, and from the
auditorium they will appear missing.

To enlarge the nose, or flatten the cheeks, gum on pieces of cotton
batting, and redden with vermilion.

In making up nicely, do not whiten the face _too much_, and blend the
colors neatly from the eyes to the cheeks by means of a hare’s foot, or
a “chalk rag.”

The true and legitimate way of making up is to study character,
that is, seek out a person like whom you wish to make up, mark down
the wrinkles, etc., and then spend a short time before your glass
practicing until you are perfect.

This will prove the surest and the truest teacher.


Expression of the face, form and voice is the main point in acting.
The former two may easily be acquired, but the latter will be utterly
ruined if the student places himself under the tutorship of an
elocutionist. They teach a drawly, too-perfect, sound of every vowel,
which is both harsh and unnatural, and above all, the student is as
apt to copy their faults as their perfections. Seek to imitate no
one--be something original--create the parts you play!

In expressing _grief_, the head is bent down, the eyes partially
closed, the mouth slightly open, the corners tightly drawn down, the
left hand is pressed upon the heart, and the right clenched at the side.

_Fear_ bends the body forward slightly, the wide open hands are held up
before the face, which is half averted, the eyes turned to the object
of terror. The lower jaw is dropped, the eyes wide open, showing the
ball to its fullest extent.

_Love_ parts the lips, makes the breathing irregular, the eyes gaze
fondly at the object of affection, but drop confusedly before hers. A
smile wreaths the lips, and the whole demeanor is gentle and tender.

_Hate_ protrudes the head, draws rigid the cords of the neck, shows the
eye-balls to their fullest extent, the lower lip is dropped, showing
the tightly-set teeth, the eyebrows knit with a heavy scowl, and the
hands, hanging by the sides, open and close with a convulsive movement,
as if longing to grip the object of hatred.

_Jealousy_ is hate subdued and less forcible, with a nervous twitching
of the lips.

_Pity_ clasps the hands, closes the lips in a half pout, drops the head
slightly to the left, and gazes longingly from beneath the brows.

_Joy_ opens the lips, radiates the face with a smile, widens the eyes,
and extends the hands eagerly.

_Passion_ contracts the brows, dilates the nostrils, draws the lips
tightly together, and flushes the face. Some practice will be needed
before the rise and fall of color can be completely mastered, however.
The body in this emotion is drawn fully up, and towers over the object
of its rage, while the hands, as in _hate_, open and close with a
convulsive grip.

_Hope_ is like _love_, but subdued.


One of the most artistic and catching points with an audience, is that
of falling properly.

Do not rise upon your toes when falling, but keep the feet tightly
together, let the body drop over to the left side, throw up the arms,
put back the head, and break the fall with the palms of the hands.

Do not put out the knee to break it as it ruins the effect of the fall,
and is apt to cause injury, if not a lifetime lameness, by maiming the

I would not advise the young student to try a back fall, for few actors
in a life-long practice can master the art of breaking the fall upon
the shoulder blades.

Fall well, fall heavily, and as the late Barney Williams used to say:
“Brace up, my boy, and let her rip.”


This, perhaps, is one of the hardest tasks in an amateur organization,
but the company must possess, as in a legitimate theater, its leading
man, leading lady, walking gent, walking lady, responsible man, utility
soubrette, to whom belongs the female comedy parts, (the soubrette
is often called the “chamber-maid,” as her parts usually are of that
sort), low comedian, juvenile man, juvenile lady, etc., and to these
the stage manager should assign the parts coming _in their line only_.

Order should be strictly enforced.

Allow no grumbling for better parts--make it a thorough business

In this way only can a creditable performance be brought about.

You may, if you choose, give a dance after the performance, and send
your audience home well pleased with the night’s entertainment.

With strict adherence to the things set down in this work, I have no
doubt but that from the latent talent in private circles, may yet
spring up actors and actresses who shall be a credit to that mimic
world, that mirror of nature--the stage.


In explanation of the terms hereinafter used, it will be necessary to
inform the student of their uses.

“Cleets” are little niches put on walls, etc., to facilitate climbing.
A “brace” is a long wooden implement having a hook on one end and a
circular hole at the other. These are used to sustain the vases in my
lady’s garden, or to steady the rocks in the mountain haunt of the
bloodthirsty robber who dares to defy the law.

The “Traveler” is a truck of wood and iron, elevated some distance
above the borders, and works in a grooved receiver. By this means,
and the aid of stout wires, fairies and demons are enabled to flit
hurriedly through the air from side to side, and the stout tree the
wood-man fells, to fall gracefully and naturally to the earth.

“The grooves” receive the flats and wings, and are all numbered, so
that when your plot calls for a scene in 1, the stage carpenter at
once knows that you mean one down by the footlights, which will enable
them to set the one behind ready to draw off at the proper cue. The
entrances between these grooves are all numbered as _R._ 1 _E._, _R._
2 _E._, _R. U. E._, etc., which means Right first entrance, Right
second entrance, and Right upper entrance; if left remove the “_R_”
and place “_L_” in its place. _D. F._ means door in flat. Prac. means
practicable--that which is used like a door or window. If we wish a
house on the right side we simply put, set house _R._; if a bridge
for characters to cross from _R_ to _L_ and come down on stage _L._,
you should write: “Steps and platform _R. U. E._ xing (crossing) to
_L. U. E._ and masked in by bridge with return _L._ masked in.” “The
Tormentors” are the first wings near the proscenium, and are usually
painted to represent pillars of marble draped with heavy curtains. They
are furnished with a swinging piece, which may shut off all view of the
stage from the actors in the wings, and thus derive their name.

After this explanation, I think I may venture to give a diagram of a
scene plot.

And so on each act is marked. Where there are no sets, place a mark as
in diagram on page following, thus ----.

  |                     “BLACK SLAYER.”                   |
  |                      _Scene Plot._                    |
  |                       ACT FIRST.                      |
  |SCENE|  | DESCRIPTION. |                    | GROOVES. |
  | 1.  |  | Landscape.   |     Flats in       | 4. |     |
  |     |  |              |                    |    |     |
  |     |  |              | Set house with     |    |     |
  |     |  |              | prac. door _R._    |    |     |
  |     |  |              | Steps and platform |    |     |
  |     |  |              | _L. U. E._ xing    |    |     |
  |     |  |              | to _R. U. E._      |    |     |
  |     |  |              | Masked in by       |    |     |
  |     |  |              | bridge Return _R._ |    |     |
  |     |  |              | masked in          |    |     |
  |     |  |              |                    |    |     |
  | 2.  |  | Kitchen      |        ----        | 1. |     |
  |     |  |              |                    |    |     |
  | 3.  |  | Wood         | Set tree _C._      | 3. |     |
  |     |  |              | Rock with platform |    |     |
  |     |  |              | and steps          |    |     |
  |     |  |              | _L._ 2. _E._       |    |     |
  |     |  |              |                    |    |     |
  | 4.  |  | Chamber      |        ----        | 1. |     |
  |     |  |              |                    |    |     |
  | 5.  |  | Wood         | Set tree _C._ to   | 4. |     |
  |     |  |              | fall at cue.       |    |     |


Making out a property plot is much the same as making a scene plot.
The number of each act and scene is placed upon it, as well as the aids
props, and the relative positions of larger ones, as follows:

  |                 “BLACK SLAYER.”                 |
  |                     PROPS.                      |
  |SCENE.|               ACT FIRST.                 |
  |  1.  | Purse for Ronaldo. Flagon and cups       |
  |      | in set house _R._ Bank _L._ covered with |
  |      | buffalo skin.                            |
  |      |                                          |
  |  2.  | Knife for Lady Eva.                      |
  |      |                                          |
  |  3.  | Written will for Leah, blank one, to     |
  |      | burn, for Rupert. Red fire.              |
  |      |                                          |
  |      |                CURTAIN.                  |

The end of each act is marked by the word “curtain,” but nothing at the
end of the scene.

The property man fashions everything, from a toothpick to an elephant.
If the heavy villain is to throw himself carelessly upon a couch of
skins, it is the property man’s duty to see that it is there. Again,
should the guards of my lord, the duke, close around him, and protect
him from the onslaught of the ruffians who are attacking him, the
property man fashions the spears they use, and to him should they be
returned at the end of the play.


In choosing plays, do not at first take those which call for extensive
stage setting and strong acting; rather let your first efforts be
confined to those of a lighter character; say, for instance, farces,
commediettas and one-act dramas. A pretty little play for home
performances, and one that can be done without scenery, is Simpson’s
“Dreams of Delusion.” I might also suggest such farces as “Turn Him
Out,” “My Turn Next,” and “Should This Meet the Eye.”


The prompter holds the book or MSS. during the performance, and at
every rehearsal, following the actors in their lines, explaining the
business to them, and whistling for the change of scene. When alone,
his duty is to make out the scene and property plot, but when he has an
assistant, it is


The call-boy acquaints the characters of the drama of the approach of
the time when they must appear upon the stage, and furnishes them with
“side-props,” or properties used in the drama, and not found upon the
stage. Such things as rings, vials, daggers, notes, and side props, as
they are carried on. Half an hour before the time for ringing up the
curtain, the call-boy descends to the dressing-rooms and shouts:


At a quarter of eight he again descends and announces:

“Fifteen minutes!”

Ten minutes after he makes the first call, which for “Romeo and Juliet”
would be:

“No. 1:

“Sampson, Gregory, Abram, Balthasar, Benvolio, Tybalt, Montague,
Capulet, Supers, etc. First act; everybody up to begin!”

Thus is the call-boy’s plot made out, and opposite each name is placed
the properties used by that person.

At the final rehearsal all these properties are used, and the calls
made just as at night. In making out a call-boy’s plot make as follows:
If there be but one call during each act, place the word “act” after
call; if for one scene, the word “scene;” if the person called makes an
exit and reappears, put “twice” after his name, thus:

  | CALL. |   FIRST ACT.  |     PROPS.     |  TIME. |
  | No. 1 | Count Rolando | Knife          | Act.   |
  |       |               |                |        |
  |  “    | Lady Maude    | Will           | 2d.    |
  |       |               |                |        |
  |  “    | Supers        | Loaded Gun     | Act.   |
  |       |               |                |        |
  |  “    | Marian        | Pistol         | Scene. |
  |       |               |                |        |
  |  “    | Juan          | ----           | 2d.    |
  |       |               |                |        |
  |  “    | Henry         | Purse          |  “     |
  |       |               |                |        |
  |  “    | Claude        | Purse          | Act.   |
  |       |               |                |        |
  |  “    | Harold        | Written Letter |  “     |


A Lively Negro Sketch, suitable for Parlor Representation.




SCENE.--_Ordinary room. Table, chairs, lounges, etc. Curtain rises,
disclosing_ Mr. _and_ Mrs. Skidmore _at table_. Mr. S., _reading_, Mrs.
S., _sewing_.

_Mr. S._ (_Puts down the book._) So, Mattie, we have been married a
whole week!

_Mrs. S._ Yes, George.

_Mr. S._ Are not you perfectly contented, darling, with your new life?

_Mrs. S._ Yes, George, but--[_Sighs._]

_Mr. S._ What, Mattie?

_Mrs. S._ I sort of miss my old home, and I sigh for the green fields
and the sparkling brook, and the old watch dog, and the cattle--there
was my dear old cow, Ella, who was----

_Mr. S._ Stuff! Your dear old cow, Ella! Mattie, you are in the city
now, folks will laugh at you if you talk about such things.

_Mrs. S._ I don’t care if they do. How I would love to see somebody
“just from home,” who could tell me all the news. Oh, I love the old
country village, even if it isn’t as fine as this great city, or----

[_Knock at the door._

_Mrs. S._ Who’s there?

_Billy._ (_Outside._) Me.

_Mr. S._ Deuced definite. Who’s me?

_Billy._ (_Outside._) Billy Buttercup.

_Mrs. S._ Billy Buttercup! Why, he is the negro who works at the hotel
at our village! [_Flies to door and opens it._] Come right in.

_Enter_ Billy. _Makes a low bow._

_Billy._ Is dis yere de place whar Mr. Skidmore lives?

_Mrs. S._ Don’t you know me, Billy?

_Billy._ Well, I swar! Youse kin strike me wid a cannon ball if dis
ain’t Mattie Clamjuice!

_Mr. S._ Mrs. Skidmore, sir.

_Billy._ Sure ’nuff. I done forgot, Mattie, dat you had married dat old
Turk yonder. Gracious, Mattie, you am looking as putty as a sunflower.
Getting hitched seems to agree wid youse, chile.

_Mrs. S._ Oh, Billy, I’m so glad to see you.

_Billy._ De mutuality ob de gladness am mutual. You see, I’ve come just
from home.

_Mrs. S._ Just from home? then you know all of the news?

_Billy._ Ebery bit, but----

_Mrs. S._ Well, what, Billy?

_Billy._ You see I is in training for a yacht race, an’ my trainer says
dat I must hab a ham-sandwich at eight o’clock ebery night, or----

_Mrs. S._ Go on, Billy.

_Billy._ It’s crowding onto eight, now. Tumble?

_Mrs. S._ What?

_Billy._ Has the sandwich snap struck you yet?

_Mrs. S._ Oh, you would like a sandwich?

_Billy._ I could make love to one beautifully.

_Mrs. S._ You shall have two, Billy, if you want them.

_Billy._ Well, make it three; three’s company; two ain’t.

_Mrs. S._ Certainly. George!

_Mr. S._ Well, my dear.

_Mrs. S._ Just go down into the kitchen, will you, and make some
sandwiches for this gentleman.

_Mr. S._ I like that, I must say. Me make sandwiches for a negro. Why
don’t he buy his own sandwiches?

_Mrs. S._ That’ll do, George; remember he is just from home.

_Billy._ Yes, George, remember that. And don’t be afraid of the
mustard. And I say, George, cut the bread fleshy.

_Mr. S._ Sir, you are insolent!

_Billy._ I am not. I am a South African Pasha!

_Mr. S._ Confound that negro! [_Exit R._ 1 _E._

_Mrs. S._ Now, Billy, he’s gone, we can have a nice talk. How is my

_Billy._ Bully. [_Both take seats on lounge._

_Mrs. S._ Did he send a message to me?

_Billy._ Oh, yes. Said he wanted five dollars, and sent you his love.
Nice old man, your father; folks all like him; going to light up the
town when he dies.

_Mrs. S._ And brother Willy?

_Billy._ He’s got a new boarding-house. Free clothes, free meals, don’t
charge a cent for your room, cuts your hair in the bargain. He stole a
ham; judge said thirty days; couldn’t make it less.

_Mrs. S._ Poor Willy! But how is sister Sue?

_Billy._ Youse didn’t hear about yer sistah Sue?

_Mrs. S._ Why, no.

_Billy._ Oh, big news!

_Mrs. S._ Oh, tell me! She isn’t dead?

_Billy._ Next to it. Married, and got eleven children.

_Mrs. S._ Impossible!

_Billy._ No, it ain’t. She scooped in a widower; children already made.
Dey’re coming down to eat you out ob de house pretty soon.

_Mrs. S._ I do declare. How are all the rest of the folks?

_Billy._ You know Squire Jawbone?

_Mrs. S._ Oh, yes.

_Billy._ He’s gone to join the band.

_Mrs. S._ What band?

_Billy._ De ole man’s skipped de golden gutter. He’s passed in his
checks, an’ got off de cars. He is dead!

_Mrs. S._ Squire Jawbone dead!

_Billy._ You’d think so, if you saw the undertaker’s bill.

_Mrs. S._ How did it happen?

_Billy._ He put some water in his whisky. Never had done it before,
broke up his constitution. De jury said dat he died ob internal

_Mrs. S._ How awful!

_Billy._ Youse kin gamble high dat it was. Allus take youse whisky
straight. Den youse know little Edwardo Pancake, his father works in a
laundry, blowing dirt off of collars?

_Mrs. S._ Know him well.

_Billy._ He’s in de hospital. All three of his arms broke off, backbone
knocked clear up into his mouth, and he can’t chew.

_Mrs. S._ You don’t say, Billy?

_Billy._ Yes, I do. I wouldn’t tell a lie for less than a dollar. Poor
Edwardo’s all broke up. They’ve got him gummed together with mucilage,
and it makes him awful stuck up, won’t notice anybody. But he’s in a
bad way. His little sister came in and called him a liar yesterday, and
he only had animation enough to kick one of her teeth out.

_Mrs. S._ How did it happen, Billy? What hurt him?

_Billy._ Youse see, he borrowed de meat-knife to clean his nails with.
He soon got tired ob dat, an’ thought dat he would carve his monogram
on de stern ob his father’s mule. He tried it! De mule braced right
up--whoosh!--bang!--Edwardo lived in Boston, an’ dey picked him up in
New Orleans.

_Mrs. S._ Too bad. How is the cow, Billy?

_Billy._ What, de ole cow dat you an’ me used to ride bareback on?

_Mrs. S._ That’s the one.

_Billy._ Ki, didn’t we have fun?

_Mrs. S._ Lots.

_Billy._ ’Member how I used to grab hold ob her tail an’ try fo’ to
steer her? Golly, dat was fun.

_Mrs. S._ You and I used to be great friends.

_Billy._ Yes, indeedy. I’d neber steal a piece ob sponge-cake widout
I’d lay it on you; we used to slide up hill togedder, play rock on a
duck, shinny on you own side, let her fly, an’ all de other games. Tell
you what, youse folks were powerful disappointed, cos I wouldn’t hab

_Mrs. S._ Why, Billy!

_Billy._ Dat’s so. But say, Mattie, how much did de chance cost?

_Mrs. S._ What chance?

_Billy._ De chance at de raffle, dat you drew de riddle dat’s gone out
to juggle wid de sandwiches!

_Mrs. S._ Don’t speak of him that way, Billy. He’s a good husband.

_Billy._ I know it. One ob de kind dat come done up in bunches--ten
cents a bunch.

_Mrs. S._ But maybe I might have married better.

_Billy._ Ob course; me, for example.

_Mrs. S._ Nonsense--now there was Captain Charley.

_Billy._ I remember him. Used to wear his nose in joints, and had his
hair cracked in the middle. Nice gemmen.

_Mrs. S._ He was that, Billy. I should like to see him again.

_Billy._ So would the boss ob de hash-house where he boarded. Captain
skipped, and nebber paid a cent.

_Mrs. S._ But he loved me, Billy.

_Billy._ Ob course--it’s catching.

_Mrs. S._ And he would come and sit on the sofa by me, same as we are

_Billy._ (_Aside._) Oh, yum!

_Mrs. S._ He would draw closer to me.

_Billy._ (_Drawing closer to her. Aside._) You little rascal.

_Mrs. S._ He would reach my side.

_Billy._ (_Sitting by her._) Ain’t youse awful. Go way dah, or I’ll hit
youse wif a suspender.

_Mrs. S._ He would pass his arm around my waist.

_Billy._ (_Passing arm around her waist._) What do yer say? I should
blush if anybody should see me.

_Mrs. S._ And he would----

_Billy._ Would what?

_Mrs. S._ Kiss me.

[Billy _kisses her. She springs up in surprise._

_Enter_ Mr. S. _R._ 1 _E.--Throws sandwiches at_ Billy.

_Mr. S._ Aha, villain! you have kissed my wife. Your blood be on your

_Billy._ No, my hat. I guess it is about time for me to dust.

_Mr. S._ You will never leave this place alive.

[_Seizes_ Billy _by the collar; lively melee ensues. Finally_ Mr. S.
_gets_ Billy _on the floor, and draws a big pistol_.

_Mr. S._ Scoundrelly wretch--die!

[Mrs. S. _rushes forward and knocks up the pistol_.

_Mrs. S._ Spare him, George: for he’s----

_Billy._ Just from home!

[_Tableau. Flats close in._



A Burlesque German Stump Speech.


Mine Frendts:--At the earnest solicidation of several frendts of mine,
now in states brison, I have succeeded in getting permission to afflict
you mid dis lecdure. Dis lecdure vos written while I was demporarily
insane, and consequently everyding indo it vos displeasing.

The subject which I haf chosen is Lofe. As the poet says, “Lofe--lofe!
oh, vot vos lofe?” Id is a conundrum. My exberience of lofe--my brudder
vos engaged seventeen dimes--deaches me dat it vos someding in dis

Before you vos spliced your girl throws pop-corn balls at you, and
calls you “Daisy.” After you vos spliced she does the same ding; except
dat she uses stones und flad-irons instead of pop-corn balls, und calls
you “Devil.”

But lofe vos nice.

Oh, yes, vot can be nicer than to dake your girl oud for a ride in a
piano truck and visper tales of agony amongst her back hair. Und den
you dell her dat she lofes some other feller better than she does
yourself, and haf her tell you dat yot vos a liar. Oh, dat vos bully.

Courting, dough, dat is the best dime of a young man’s life.

Dot vos de period ven he puts herosene oil mit his hair, gets his
collar vhite-vashed, ties his father’s suspender around his neck for a
gravat, und polishes up his rubber boots mit stove-placking.

Den he goes out to mash his girl.

She has been leaning out of the garret vinder vatching for him for most
of the afternoon, but as soon as she sees him come around the corner
she goes down to the door, is much surprised to see him, und gifs him
liquorice to de effect dat she didn’t expect him for the next six
weeks, und vos shust coming oud to see dat somebody didn’t sdeal the

Then you go into the parlor und dake a seat on the mantel piece, und
you ax her vos her fader sick, vhether her mother had the group yet,
how long before her brudder vould come off the island, und so forth.

Den you carelessly insert your hand into your pocked und ask her does
she like rock candy.

She smiles und says yes.

Den you dell her you know vhere there vos a store vhere dey keep pully
rock candy, und den you pull avay your hand from oud of your pockeds
mit a cigar in it, und light it.

She don’t see the joke und gets mad und goes avay to the other end of
the beer saloon, vhile you dink vot a funny cuss you vos.

By-und-by she says dat she expegts other company; dat dere vos a young
man who vos rich und owned two chicken-houses in Hobogen vos coming to
see her, und dat if dere vos anybody dat vanted to see you, you had
petter not keep dem waiting.

Den you get mad.

You dell her dat dere vos sixdeen young ladies dat vos dying because
you von’t speak mit dem, und dat you von’t come into her old house
again if it vos to be struck mit thunder. After dat you get up und valk
like a funeral towards the door.

Dat fetches her.

She casts a glance at you und asks vhere you vos going, und you rebly
dat you vos going to drown yourself, or else go ’round und pick up
anodder mash.

She looks sad und remarks oud of the vinder dat you don’t lofe her, but
vos only playing her for a flat.

You say it vos a lie, und say dat you lofe her so much dat you could
pawn her vooden sleeves-buttons to buy yourself a Christmas present

Den she gets up und flies to your arms, und by-und-by you take her
around the corner and hang up the Italian for one plate of cream mit
two spoons. Ah, dat vos de panorama of lofe.

Let me say, my fellow drunkard, dat a veller who marries a girl for her
money is a scoundhrel, I vould villingly be a scoundhrel mineself, did
opportunity permit.

A man should lofe a girl for herself not for her relations, und if she
was born an orphan or her parents vos avay at her birth, so much the

Den when summer time comes he von’t haf to cart his vife, und her
sister, und her mother, und her bruther dat vos out of vork, to the
country, und haf the pleasure of paying all the bills.

Lofe it vos a funny ting.

Lofe vas vot makes a young man of America git six dollars a veek und
spend seven of it in buying collars. Lofe is vot makes him feel dat his
face vos never clean, dat his pants vas busted behind und dat his feet
are the size of tea chests.

Lofe is vot makes him clean his teeth mit the shoe-brush twelve dimes a
day, und wear a coffe-rose mit his button-hole every dime dat he passes
his sweedheart’s door.

But de vorst of lofe is ven id turns oud der best. Dat ish to say, ven
you ged married.

It vas nice to be a fader, some grazyman remarked, but I don’d see id.
Maybe it vos peyewtiful to dake de smallest kid up mit your arms, und
haf him tickle you under de chin as innocent as a fall sheep, und den,
five minutes lader, draw picters all over your new glean shird mit de
gravy-spoon. Some folks may like dat, but as for me, I pass id every

But ven de children ingrease, two or dree at a dime, den de picnic
begins. How nice id vos to ged up in de nighd mit de dwins, und valk
aroundt de plock mit dem, in your nighd shird, to keeb dem from keebing
avake. Dat is vot makes murderers oud of men.

But I dink dat I must conglude. I am a married man, und--vell, my vife
keebs de nighd-key, I might lose id, und--vell, however, those of you
who are married men, know how id vos yourselves, don’d id?

Thanking you all for the very kind vay in vich you haf been baying
attention to someding else during my remarks, I conglude, hoping to
come before you mit a new lecture before long.


An Amusing Negro Farce.


Performed by him at Tony Pastor’s, New York.



SCENE.--_A street._

_Enter all of the characters, arm in arm, R._ 2. _E., all singing_.

  “The club had a meeting to-night, love!
   Of business we had a great sight, love!
   Don’t think for a moment I’m tight, love!
    I’ve only been down to the club!”

_Stumpy._ See here, Alonzo.

_Alon._ Shout away.

_Stumpy._ Don’t you play that on me again.

_Alon._ Play what?

_Stumpy._ French brandy, twenty-five cents a glass. Do you take me for
the mint?

_Alon._ You said to take what I wanted.

_Stumpy._ Spozen you wanted the whole saloon, would you took that?
Hereafter, when you drink with me--lager, five cents.

_Alon._ All right. [_Laughs as if a thought had just struck him._] See
here, Augustus, I want to see you privately a minute. Gentlemen, excuse

_Stumpy and Alph._ Oh, certainly!

[Alonzo _takes_ Augustus _to one side of stage_. Stumpy _and_ Alphonso
_engage in conversation inaudibly at back_.

_Alon._ You know Charlie Gilsey, Augustus?

_Aug._ Charlie Gilsey, that belongs to our club?

_Alon._ Yes.

_Aug._ I know him well--he owes me a dollar.

_Alon._ Well, Charlie went on a regular old hurrah, the other night.
Got blind drunk, stole door-knobs and area gates, and he got run in by
the cops. Took him to the Tombs to await his trial. You see, it was an
awful disgrace. Charlie is one of the first families, when all the rest
are out of town, and it drove him off of his center.

_Aug._ Did what?

_Alon._ Sent him lending out brains. Made him crazy.

_Aug._ Poor fellow!

_Alon._ Oh, it was tough. Well, you know the warden liked Charlie; used
to grub him good. No use, Charlie wouldn’t eat anything. Just the other
day he sent a waiter up with a tray of broiled chicken.

_Aug._ Broiled chicken! oh, yum!

_Alon._ Yes, broiled chicken, with grape sauce. Charlie ups and kicks
the tray clean out of the waiter’s hands. Then he went for the waiter,
hit him under the ear, jumped on him, and so on. The waiter couldn’t
stand it. What do you suppose he did?

_Aug._ What?

_Alon._ Hit him, _so_. [_Slaps_ Augustus’ _face_, Augustus _staggers
back_. Alonzo _cocks hat over his eyes, and struts around stage_.]

_Alon._ ’Nother fellow sold! [_Laughs._

_Aug._ Bully joke!

_Alon._ Yah--yah--yah! You never tumbled.

_Aug._ I say, does that skeleton of Coney Island know anything about

_Alon._ No.

_Aug._ Then watch me slug him. [_Walks back and taps_ Alphonso _on the
shoulder_.] I’d like to see you for a moment, Alphonso; excuse him,

_Stumpy._ Oh, yes, tell him not to hurry back.

[Augustus _and_ Alphonso _walk over to front of stage_.

_Aug._ You know Charlie Gilsey?

_Alph._ Well; my mother washes for him.

_Aug._ The other night Charlie went out on a corker. Got full of
jig-water, felt uproarious, went around and stole a lot of front doors
and two or three sidewalks. By-and-by the police caught him, locked him
up in the Tombs. The disgrace drove Charlie cranky.

_Alph._ Cranky!

_Aug._ Yes, he went off of his caboose.

_Alph._ Oh, crazy.

_Aug._ Crazy’s the word. Now you know Charlie saw the warden, and the
warden treated Charlie kindly. Yesterday he sent a waiter up to Charlie
with an Erie Canal shad on a tray; Charlie up and kicked the tray out
of the waiter’s hand, and then he began to abuse the waiter; of course
the waiter wouldn’t stand that, and what do you suppose that he done?

_Alph._ What?

_Aug._ Biffed him--so! [_Hits_ Alphonso _a blow on the cheek_. _Biz of
strutting around by_ Augustus.

_Aug._ He bit like a fish. I guess I’ve broke his jaw.

_Alph._ Deuced nice story.

_Aug._ Funny, ain’t it?

_Alph._ Awful; but say, old fellow.

_Aug._ What?

_Alph._ Has the East river ghost heard anything of this?

_Aug._ Not a volume.

_Alph._ Then view me paralyze him. (_Walks over to_ Stumpy.) Say,
Stumpy, I’ve got a funny story to tell you.

_Stumpy._ What about?

_Alph._ Charlie Gilsey. You know Charlie?

_Stumpy._ Oh, yes, he’s one of Bricktop’s pals.

_Alph._ Well, this is a bully story. Make you laugh till you cry.

_Stumpy._ All right, I want to laugh. Spit her out.

_Alph._ You see Charlie went on a jamboree the other night; got full as
a goat on corn rock and whisky. He stole half a dozen hand-carts and a
grocery store, and the police collared him. Poor Charlie was locked up
in the Tombs. You know he was always awful sensitive.

_Stumpy._ Oh, awful! You never had to call him a liar over six times
before he would ask you what you meant.

_Alph._ Well, the disgrace of the thing muddled his brain box.

_Stumpy._ Sorter give him the jim-jams in his head.

_Alph._ Just so. But the warden was a friend of his, and tried to do
all he could for him. Yesterday he sent a waiter up with a pickled
ham on a tray for Charlie. Charlie ups and kicks it off. What do you
suppose the waiter did?

_Stumpy._ Eat the ham.

_Alph._ No; he slugged Charlie, so. (_Hits_ Stumpy. _Same biz as

_Alph._ Caught him again. I must have broke his ear.

_Stumpy._ Tell me some more; real nice story.

_Alph._ Grand joke, ain’t it?

_Stumpy._ Immense; but say, Hannah Rothschild, does that bald-headed
child-killer over there know the racket?

_Alph._ No; I’ve given it to you first.

_Stumpy._ Oh, ho! Strawberries and cream. Gaze upon me part his hair.
(_Walks over to_ Alonzo.) Say, old Morgue, I want to see you for five
or six years.

_Alon._ What for?

_Stumpy._ You know Charlie Gilsey?

_Alon._ Charlie Gilsey, the alderman’s niece?

_Stumpy._ That’s the cake.

_Alon._ Oh, I know him well.

_Stumpy._ I’ve got a tip-top joke to give you about him.

_Alon._ You don’t say.

_Stumpy._ Sure. You see Charlie got off on a screecher last week. Got
crammed full of bottle-stuffing. Oh, he got as drunk as a senator.
He went on a racket and stole a hotel and an elevated railroad and a
freight car, and some little things like that. He got arrested. Judge
made it two years. It broke Charlie’s heart. He wasn’t used to getting
more than six months at a time, and he got rats in his garret.

_Alon._ Did what?

_Stumpy._ Went off his nut--crazy.

_Alon._ Ah, I see.

_Stumpy._ You see, the warden was a friend of his, and he tried to
do all that he could for poor Charlie. Bought a piano and a washing
machine, and furnished up his room elegantly. Didn’t do any good.
Charlie kept crazy. Yesterday the warden sent a waiter up with a tray
containing a whole hog and some custard pie, and stewed whale, and some
more little delicacies. Charlie up and kicked the waiter out of the
tray’s hand.

_Alon._ Go ’way!

_Stumpy._ It’s so. But worse yet--Charlie went for the waiter.

_Alon._ Went for the waiter?

_Stumpy._ Terrible case. Hit him with the piano, jumped on his
nose--oh, raised the devil. And what do you suppose the waiter did in

_Alon._ Struck him--so! [_Raps_ Stumpy _on the face and knocks him
over. All of the other characters go for_ Stumpy _and knock him around
the stage. Flats close on general melee._


Irish Sketch in One Scene.




_Interior of kitchen furnished poorly. Stove C. Baby in cradle, L. Wash
tub, L. C. Table and chairs R. Ellen discovered at wash tub._

_Ellen._ Bad luck to the day I ever left my home and married Bernard
McFlynn; sure he’s not done a stitch of work for nine years, and it’s
only by me scrubbing my hands off at this wash tub that we’re able
to live at all, at all. [_Baby cries; goes to cradle and rocks._]
There--there, that’s a foine boy; don’t cry, darling--that’s the lad
who will be an honor to me. [_Looks at baby._] Sure and he’s the image
of John Morrissey, and who knows but that he’ll be an Alderman yet.
[_Returns to tub._] Sure and didn’t Mrs. Moriarity’s son, Shamus, get
a position on the horse cars, and he wasn’t named after John Morrissey
either. Well, as the blind man said: “We’ll see what we’ll see.”

[_Enter_ Bernard McFlynn, _C. D._]

[_Takes off coat and hat, hands them to_ Ellen.

_Ber._ Mrs. Elenore McFlynn, would you be so precipitate as to remove
this ulster and get me my dressing-gown and slippers; I have business
to attend to.

_Ellen._ Sure and I think it’s time you had; it’s been nine years since
you did attend to any.

_Ber._ Aisy now, Mrs. McFlynn, the business I have to attend to is of a
political nature.

_Ellen._ Oh, ho!

_Ber._ (_Sits at table._) Get me my writing imperials, the business is
of importance, and must be attended to immediately, if not sooner.

_Ellen._ (_Gets pen, ink and paper._) Sure, and is it _reading_ writing
you are going to do?

_Ber._ (_Biz of looking over a large pile of documents--calls_ Ellen
_to him_.) Ellen, come sit you down, and I’ll show you what position
I hold in political affairs. (Ellen _sits_, Bernard _reads letter in
a very pompous manner_.) “Hon. Bernard McFlynn--Sir, in appreciation
of your services in the late political struggle, you have been
unanimously appointed Engineer of the Morgue, a position of trust and
responsibility. The duties attending the office are light, the hours
of attendance being from 5 A. M. to 4 A. M. Report for duty at once.
Respectfully, Claude Mulligan, secretary.” Now, Ellen, that’s an easy
position; only an hour a day, from 5 to 4. (_Rises, takes hat and
coat._) Well, this business must be attended to at once (_starting

_Ellen._ (_Calling him._) How long will you be gone, Bernard? you know
we have nothing to eat in the house, and little Johnny Morrissey has
grown hump-back from the want of food.

_Ber._ When I return from the City Hall, Ellen, we will hold an
investigation as to the sanitary condition of the infant. [_Exit C. L._

_Ellen._ (_Comes down front._) Sure and it’s a nice job Bernard has
got, begorra. Engineer of the Morgue, and only has to work an hour a
day. (_Rearranges the table. Knock at door._) Come in!

[_Enter_ Landlord.]

_Land._ Mrs. McFlynn, this is the last time I will call on you for the
rent; I have been put off with promises once too often, and if you
don’t pay up to-morrow you will have to leave.

_Ellen._ Leave, is it? Sure and it’s that same thing we intend to do.
And it’s not heard you have of the position Bernard has got?

_Land._ Position! What position!

_Ellen._ Sure and he has been elected Engineer of the Morgue by a
large majority, and we intend to leave your dirty hovel and move up on
Lexicon avenue in the morning. Now, Mr. O’Grady, put that in your pipe
and smoke it.

_Land._ Perhaps you will and perhaps you won’t. Engineer or no
engineer, he can’t beat me.

_Ellen._ [_Jumping up excitedly._] Beat, is it? You want a beating?
Well, Mr. O’Grady, let me inform you that I can give you all the
beating you want myself.

[_Strikes at him. Biz ad lib. Throws loaf of bread at him._ O’Grady
_dodges it and it hits_ Bernard, _who is just entering C. D._

_Ber._ [_Tipsy._] And is this the way you amuse yourself during my
absence? Do you think I have nothing to do but buy bread for you to
be firing round in that way? After a while you will be wanting plum
pudding, or poie to be playing base ball with? What’s all this row
about, anyhow?

[_Staggers back and falls in the cradle. Baby cries._ Ellen _runs over
to cradle and takes up baby_.

_Ellen._ This dirty spalpeen came in here and insulted me.

_Ber._ [_Jumps up--goes to_ O’Grady.] Insulted you? insulted the wife
of Bernard McFlynn, Engineer of the Morgue! [_Takes off coat._] Sit you
down, Ellen. I will attend to this matter myself.

[_Fights with_ O’Grady; Ellen _joins in, and they throw him out of
the window_; Bernard _comes down, sits at table, and_ Ellen _prepares

_Ber._ Now, Ellen, get me my supper, and get me the black bottle from
under the piano. I’ll have to make a speech to-night, and I want my
throat clear. [_Reads paper; baby cries._] Damn that baby!

_Ellen._ Oh, Bernard, sure and the baby can’t help it; don’t be so
cross, and eat your supper, that’s a good man.

_Ber._ Supper, is it? And what have you got for supper?

_Ellen._ Well, I’ve got some nice pork, and----

_Ber._ (_Excitedly._) Ellen, do you think I’m a sausage machine, to be
grinding up pork every day? No, Mrs. McFlynn, I’ll not do it!

_Ellen._ Well, what would you like? How would some canary bird eyes and
pigeon milk suit you? Or would you rather have a bird of paradise on

[_Sits at table._

_Ber._ Don’t be so kleptomaniac in your remarks. I’ll have that bottle
a little more on my side of the table.

_Ellen._ Sure, and it’s my money that bought it, and I’ll keep it where
it is.

_Ber._ Ho, ho! You’re standing on your high horse to-day. I suppose
before long you’ll be wanting to celebrate your golden wedding, or
silver wedding, and be bringing all your poor relations here to live on

_Ellen._ Sure, an’ not one of my relations ever asked a thing of you,
and as to my celebrating my golden wedding, or silver wedding, or
whatever you call it, I celebrated my wooden wedding when I married a
_block head_, do you mind that now?

_Ber._ Ellen, if you cast any more of your conflections on me I’ll
brain you with this pitcher.

_Ellen._ (_Jumps up._) Well, I guess not, says Timothy Conner; I’m boss
of this house and I’ll do as I like. Sure it was my political influence
that got your position, and I’ll have you dismissed with impunity.

_Ber._ Ellen, the dignity of my position will not allow me to quarrel
with a woman; but if you say another word, I’ll knock you down with the

_Ellen._ (_Crying._) That’s right; go on--cry out so Mrs. McGillan and
the folks on the top flure can hear you. If my cousin Terrence was here

_Ber._ (_Jumps up, overturns table, etc._) Terrence, is it? the mean,
dirty blackguard, I’d----

_Ellen._ (_Hits him with coffee pot._) Take that, and that. [_Clinch,
struggle, fall over stove, baby cries._ Policeman _rushes in, they both
turn on him, and push him into cradle. Biz ad lib._






_Street scene._

_Enter_ McSwegan.

_McSwegan._ Well, I have just come into town to meet an old friend of
mine from the same place in Ireland as myself; but he has risen in the
world, and keeps a lager beer brewery in Koekuk, Iowa. I don’t see him,
so I will step down to McNally’s saloon. Probably he will come along
while I am gone. [_Exit._

_Enter_ Crossin.

_Crossin._ I wonder where McSwegan is? He promised to meet me here. As
I was coming around the corner a little girl looked at me in the face,
and says: “There’s General Grant.” I looked around and says: “You lie,
sis,” but I don’t think she seen the point. Another little fellow says:
“Stag the Mick with the lantern jaw.”

_Enter_ McSwegan.

_McS._ Good-morning, Barney.

_Cros._ Good-afternoon.

_McS._ What kept you so quick?

_Cros._ I couldn’t come any later.

_McS._ Have you had any trouble lately at your home?

_Cros._ Yes, we had a railroad accident.

_McS._ I didn’t hear anything about it. What was it?

_Cros._ Mary Ann O’Brien hung herself with her back hair.

_McS._ How do you make that out a railroad accident?

_Cros._ Why, her death was caused by a misplaced switch.

_McS._ It’s a wonder they didn’t put you up for a headlight.

_Cros._ If I had your mouth we might have used it for a tunnel.

_McS._ Well, are you working now?

_Cros._ No; I have not worked for three months.

_McS._ I can get you a fine job.

_Cros._ What doing?

_McS._ Why, a friend of mine wants to put you in an envelope; he wants
to send a valentine to a shoemaker.

_Cros._ Say, when you go home you want to eat all the salt you can get;
you are the freshest rooster I ever saw.

_McS._ Well, if you don’t like that job, put molasses on your whiskers,
and hire yourself out for fly paper.

_Cros._ Will you be doing anything to-morrow?

_McS._ No, I guess not. Why?

_Cros._ Well, I would like to have you come with me to a photograph
gallery; I want your picture.

_McS._ What do you want with my picture?

_Cros._ I want to give it to the police. I lost my monkey.

_McS._ Well, if I thought there was a reward for you I would bring you
home again.

_Cros._ Did you hear the news?

_McS._ No; what is it?

_Cros._ It’s all over town.

_McS._ What?

_Cros._ Mud.

_McS._ That’s a very good joke.

_Cros._ It is. Will you have a cigar?

_McS._ I will.

_Cros._ Then go buy one.

_McS._ You are not smoking now, are you?

_Cros._ No, not at present.

_McS._ I see the mud has covered them up.

_Cros._ See here, do you know any conundrums?

_McS._ I don’t know what you mean.

_Cros._ I mean do you know anything I ought to give up?

_McS._ You ought to give up them two dollars you owe me.

_Cros._ Well, ask me some conundrum.

_McS._ All right. Which is the best way to make fish-balls without the

_Cros._ Why, send the potatoes home C. O. D. What looks most like the
half moon?

_McS._ Why, the other half.

_Cros._ Why is the mosquito a good poker player?

_McS._ Because every time he draws he fills.

_Cros._ Well, what chance have I got? Ask me one.

_McS._ All right. Which is the best way to keep a dog from going mad in

_Cros._ Shoot him in July.

_McS._ Which is the best way to find a young lady out.

_Cros._ Why, go around to see her some day when she is not in.

_McS._ Well, now ask me a hard one.

_Cros._ All right. Why are your two feet like an Italian organ grinder?

_McS._ I will give it up. Why are your two feet like an Italian organ
grinder? Because they carry a monkey around all day.

_Cros._ What makes a chicken go across the street? Because he wants to
get on the other side. Why didn’t you answer that, you bum?

_McS._ You didn’t give me a chance.

_Cros._ How long can a jackass stand on one leg?

_McS._ You get up and try it. [_Both exit._


A Dutch Declamation.


I haf been unvited dis evening, fellow drunkards, to speak to you on de
subject of demperance, by a large majority of demperance men who never
drink--unless dey vos asked.

I didn’t used to be a demperance man myself vonce. I vos a hard case,
and used to go into a beer saloon, rap against my umbrella mit de
gounter, und holler oud: “Gif me a lemonade straight--mid no water.”

But I haf seen de error of my vays.

Von night ven I vas in a hodel, swigging down cider und vichy, and
German seltzer, und all of dose thoroughbred drinks, und hafing lods of
fun mit de gang, a gentleman come ub to me.

He vos aboud half full, und dere vos a tear as big as a balloon on de
end of his nose as he caught me by de throat, und whispered:

“I vant to see you alone for aboud a veek.”

I said “all righd,” and he took me to one gorner of de room, and said:

“You vos a nice young man.”

I dold him he vos kerrect, dot vos vhat all de spielers said--dey said
dot I vos too sweet to live.

“It vos a shame,” he continued, mit emotion und beer in his voice, “to
see you ruining of yourself mit lemonade and such shadows of strong

I said dot I guessed so too.

“Vell,” he remarked, und he squeezed de punions on my hands, “swear
off!--drink only vhiskey and Old Tom gin.”

I schwore.

From dis day to dot I haf been a changed man; I never get sober ofer
dree dimes a week--agate measure.

Oh, I give it to you straight, my hearers, demperance vos a great
ding--for women and children.

I had a brudder vonce, a goot, nice, six for a penny leedle poy. He had
hair like roasted cheese und a complexion like strawberries mit gream
gakes. Ve all dought dat he vould grow ub to pe bresident of a pank,
skib avay to Canada und end his days universally respected.

But he vos led astray.

He got in mit an alderman’s son und a minister’s daughter, und dot
ruined him.

He vos goaxed to drink.

Fust vater mit orange peel, den soda vater, next veiss peer mit a glub
in it, after dot, brandy.

Ve dried to stop him in his vild career, but it vos N. G.--no use.

He vould come home newsbaber drunk efery night, und addract a growd
around the house mit his antics, und dere vosn’t a slate in the
neighborhood dot didn’t pear his autograph.

Und where is he now?

I repeat it to blush.

He is a congressman, und dey dalk of running him for bresident.

Und his poor mother, she is going to die of a broken heart shust as
soon as she can find dime.

It vos a noble poet who remarked; “Look de udder vay at de lager ven it
vas vhite.”

He vos righd.

Alvays let de lager settle; too much white und not enough red always
spoils a schooner.

I am glad to say dot my demperance lectures haf not been mitout dere

In von town vere I lectured dere vos only von liquor seller.

Now dere is six!

It is such driumphs as dis vich haf made me vot I used to be; de
greatest terrible example of dem all.

De udder night at a social party, I met a young man mit de bloom of
youth--fifty cents a bottle--on his cheek.

He vos de drunkest man I efer saw; in fact, he vos so drunk dot he dook
me for a gentleman, and asked me vould I haf someding.

I said “No!”--I vas full already.

Den I dook him around to a lamp-post on de next plock und gave him
taffy like a step-father.

“My friend,” I said, “you haf a mother?”

He replied dot dere vos a tradition to dot effect.

“Vell,” I recommenced, “vot vould your mother gif to see you in this

“She vould gif six dousand dollars,” he sobbed.

“Vot, to see you staggering?”

“Yes, she vos blind from her birth.”

Dot settled it--dot is to say, it settled dot branch of de subject--but
I vent for him on de demperance issue pald-headed.

He realized dot I vos not in fun, and he signed de pledge never to use
liquor, except as a beverage, until he died--or got married.

He has kept his word--it is aboud all he has to keep now--und is now
employed by the city as a plumber for de bird houses in de Central Bark.

But von thing I must speak on before I gonclude.

It vos about de ladies.

It is hard to resist de demptation to drink; not many haf de courage
like I haf, nefer to refuse.

But it is specially hard for a young man to refuse, when a young and
lovely lady presents a tomato-can full of Pilsener and sweetly says:

“Take a bath, George?”

But I must end.

My fire-insurance policy runs out to-night, und I wish to escape mit my

In conclusion let me say, never drink, young man, never drink--_alone_!


An Irish Family Sketch.




SCENE.--_Ordinary tenement house room. Stove, R. Table, C. Chairs by
table. Bureau, L., and cot. Curtain rises, disclosing_ Bridget _combing
her hair at bureau_.

_Brid._ Arrah, siven o’clock. Shure, it is time for Mary to arrive. But
she’s late to-night. Shure, since she’s been workin’ in the playin’
card factory it’s too high-toned she has become to ride up town on the
horse-car. It is on the back balcony av a truck that she rowls along.
Hark, I guess that that is her footstep now. [_Listens._

_Door opens, and_ Mary _enters, carrying lunch-box. Sets it on table._

_Mary._ Supper ready, mother?

_Brid._ Supper ready! It is not hungry yez are afther the ilegant lunch
that I put up for yez?

_Mary._ Ah, what are you giving us? Call that a nice lunch! Ham and
crackers! that’s a sweet tuck-out for a hard working girl, ain’t it?

_Brid._ That’ll do, miss. Perhaps yez would like charlotty ruse and
banana fritters wid egg sauce. Any girl that don’t like ham and
crackers is too fastidious to live.

_Mary._ Well, I don’t care; all the other girls have nice things to
eat. It gives you away to the gang to see me with such a curbstone

_Brid._ It gives me away to the gang, does it, ye hussy! I’ll give
yez to comprehend that divil a cint do I care for the gang. Mary Ann
Rebecca O’Rielly, sit right down on that chair and give your tongue a
rest, or I’ll lather ye over the head wid the ironin’ board.

_Mary._ (_Sitting down._) All right. But hurry up with supper, mother.

_Brid._ ’Pears to me you are in an awful hurry.

_Mary._ So I am. I want to go to the Hoolihan masquerade ball.

_Brid._ Yez want to go to the Hoolihan massacree ball? Divil a step do
you stir there to-night. No daughter av mine shall go to a massacree
ball and dance wid five-cent barbers. Do yez want to be set down as a

_Mary._ But I want to go awful bad. All the boys and girls are going to
take it in.

_Brid._ Yis; an’ the police will take thim in. Where is the ball to be
held, at the Academy of Sculpture?

_Mary._ No, ma’am, at Wulhalla Hall.

_Brid._ Wulhalla Hall? That’s a foine, noice, jinteel place for a young
girl to go to. Who are ye goin’ to go wid?

_Mary._ Denny Burns.

_Brid._ Who?

_Mary._ Denny Burns.

_Brid._ Niver! Do ye suppose that I would allow me daughter to go to a
ball wid such a pill as he? Dinny Burns is a foine young man----

_Mary._ Of course he is; he’s a masher.

_Brid._ I’ll mash his head if he comes foolin’ around here. A feller
that wears a soup dish hat and a pickadilly collar, and wears a bunch
of asparagus in his button-hole. Begorra, Mary Ann, next yez will be
asking me to allow yez to go down to Coney Island wid an alderman’s son.

_Mary._ Denny’s a real nice boy.

_Brid._ Ye are giving me taffy.

_Mary._ And he says that you are the freshest old daisy on this block.

_Brid._ And ye stood by and heard him insulting of yer mother widout
kicking him over?

_Mary._ Sure he meant it as a compliment.

_Brid._ Oh, he did, did he?

_Mary._ Yis, and he said that he couldn’t tell you from me widout a
telescope. He said that it was wonderful how you concealed your good

_Brid._ Well, there’s some good in the lad yet, and----

[_Enter_ Bernard O’Rielly _at door_.

_Ber._ Bridget?

_Brid._ Yis, Bernard.

_Ber._ Take off me ulster, and bring me me smokin’ jacket. [_Takes off
ragged coat and dons linen duster much worn, which_ Bridget _brings

_Brid._ Are yez hungry, ould man?

_Ber._ Hungry! Be Heaven, I could ate a plate ov mortar! What have yez
for supper?

_Brid._ Corn beef and cabbage.

_Ber._ Corn beef and cabbage.

_Brid._ Yis.

_Ber._ Woman, you’ll drive me mad. Corn beef and cabbage is nice food
for a hard working man. Why don’t yez have ice cream and pie?

_Brid._ Where’s the money to get it wid?

_Ber._ Buy a lottery ticket, me daisy. Bridget O’Rielly, if I come
home to-morrow night and find corn beef and cabbage for supper I’ll
slaughter yez.

_Mary._ Dad, why don’t you buy a new dicer?

_Ber._ Do what?

_Mary._ Strike a fresh kady.

_Ber._ Mary Ann, I wasn’t brought up in Frinch. Did that horse
car conductor that sint yez the boquet av peetoonias larn ye the
articulation? Yez’ll be settin’ up a Vienna Bakery next.

_Mary._ Oh, you can’t tumble for a cent. Why don’t you get a new hat?

_Ber._ A new hat! What’s the matter wid this? [_Takes off a battered
stovepipe_.] I’ve only worn it seventeen years. Next yez will be axin
me to purchase a pair av low-necked shoes, and some giddy socks.

_Mary._ That hat looks as if it was called in. Get a gun and shoot it.

_Ber._ I’ll get a cannon and stab you. Bridget, is the corn beef and
cabbage ripe?

_Brid._ Shure it is. Come take your sates at the table.

[Bridget _puts eatables on the table, and all sit down_. Bernard _picks
up a loaf of bread, bites it, and throws it at_ Bridget.

_Brid._ Bernard O’Rielly, are ye mad?

_Ber._ No, I’m insane. The next time ye buy bread, Bridget, see that it
isn’t stuffed wid bricks. I’ve left three of me teeth in the loaf.

_Brid._ Shure, it’s good.

_Ber._ Good for pavin the streets. If the Czar of Rushia had had cannon
balls as hard as that bread, he’d a licked the bloody Turks long ago.

_Brid._ Thin I’ll throw it away.

_Ber._ No, yez won’t. Save it, and I’ll kill a cat wid it. Pass me the

_Mary._ The butter’s strong enough to walk to ye.

_Ber._ No criticisms, young leddy; if the butter’s good enough for yer
ancistor, it is good enough for yez. What are ye all dressed up fur

_Mary._ I’m going to a ball.

_Ber._ What ball?

_Mary._ The Hoolihan’s masquerade ball.

_Ber._ Yez ain’t. Divil a one of the Hoolihan’s marquerade have got
money enough to buy their own chewin’ tobacco.

_Brid._ Let the girl go.

_Ber._ Niver; she can go around to church, and see them bury Pat
McGinness, if she wants relaxation. Who was she goin’ to the ball wid?

_Brid._ Denny Burns.

_Ber._ A young thafe that gets fifty cints a week playin’ policy. Mary
Ann, if I catch that hypothecation around this chateau, I’ll break his
neek, do you savvy?

_Mary._ Then I can’t go wid him?

_Ber._ No, me leddy. Stay at home and read yez hymn-book, so that yez
will be able to sing, “Hould me Foat,” when the time comes for the
torch-light picnics. Bridget, take off this overdress of mine, and
bring me me spring overcoat.

_Brid._ Shure, we’re using your spring coat for a tablecloth.

_Ber._ I suppose so. And I’ve been carryin’ the tablecloth around all
day for a chest-protector. But I must away.

_Brid._ Where are yez goin’?

_Ber._ I have siven cints, and I am goin’ down to Casey’s to buy a
dhrink. If either of yez are out of the house whin I come back I’ll
kill yez both. Do yez moind?

[_Exit_ Bernard. Mary _and_ Bridget _both get up from the table and
advance front_. Mary _puts on her bonnet_.

_Brid._ What are yez puttin’ on your tra-la-la hat for?

_Mary._ To go to the ball with.

_Brid._ Didn’t yez hear your father tell yez to stay at home?

_Mary._ Oh, father’s an ould stick-in-the-mud. He can’t boss me.

_Brid._ He’ll paralyze every sinew in your body.

_Mary._ I ain’t afraid. If he tries any of his lugs on me Denny will
put a head on him. Da--da, mother.

_Brid._ If yez get killed at the ball it ain’t my fault.

_Mary._ All right. Over the sewer, skip the gutter, cross the river,
mother. [_Exit at door._

_Brid._ There she goes with her Latin conversation. Bedad, I guess I’ll
take a nap.

[_Blows out candle on table. Stage darkens._

[_Enter_ Bernard _at door_.

_Ber._ Eleven o’clock, and Bridget is asleep. Be the Heavens, I
will wake her up; too much repose is injurious to the system.
Bridget--Bridget! wake up, or I’ll kick your eyes open.

_Brid._ (_Getting up from cot._) What’s the matter? Where’s the fire?

_Ber._ Ye are slothful, Bridget O’Rielly. Where is Mary?

_Brid._ Asleep. [_Aside._] May St. Peter pardhon me for the loie!

_Ber._ It is well. If she had gone a-spielin’ to the Hoolihan
masquerade I would have got a divorce from her.

_Mary._ (_Outside._) I didn’t try to mash the Dutch cucumber-peddler,

_Ber._ Bridget, you have deceived me. That is Mary’s voice.

_Brid._ I didn’t mane to, Bernard, but----

_Ber._ No buts; be fastidious in your defense. Madam, on to-morrow I
may be in the prisoner’s dock at the court-house.

_Den._ (_Outside._) Go ’way, Mary Ann, you know you was tryin’ to shake
me all the while.

_Mary._ (_Outside._) Speak low, or you’ll wake up father.

_Den._ (_Outside._) What d’yer ’spose I care for that ould gas-house

_Ber._ Bridget, get me the carvin’ knife. I will go out and cut that
villain’s liver out! Do you hear the epithet he’s fastenin’ on me?

_Brid._ Be aisy; listen.

_Den._ (_Outside._) Your old woman, hey? Who cares for her, the ould
dish-wrastler? When we get married, Mary, I’m goin’ to shoot her if she
ever comes around the house.

_Brid._ Shoot me! Blessed virgin, d’ye hear it? Bernard, where’s the
ax? Give it to me till I chop the assassin up!

_Mary._ (_Outside._) Come into the room, Denny. The old folks have all
gone to bed.

_Brid._ The spalpeen’s comin’ into the room, d’ye moind it?

_Ber._ Whist! hide, and we’ll give him ballyglory.

[Bridget _hides under table_, Bernard _behind bureau_.

_Enter_ Mary _and_ Denny _at door_.

_Mary._ We have had a good racket, ain’t we, Denny?

_Den._ Yez are givin’ it ter me straight. Did yer see me mash that son
of cross-eyed McCarty for saying that yez had a foot like a giraffe?

_Mary._ Did you kill him?

_Den._ No; but I broke the sucker’s jaw. Where are the two old

_Mary._ What figger-heads?

_Den._ Those old flannel-mouths--yer father and mother.

_Ber._ (_Jumping out from bureau._) Oh, yez rapscallion! Bridget, hurl
yerself out and we’ll salt this fresh herrin’.

_Brid._ (_Jumping out._) Othello, we have yez now. Slug him, Bernard.

_Den._ What’s this, anyhow?

_Ber._ Young man, yez have alluded disrespectfully to the great
O’Rielly family. Be Heaven, yez must die!

_Den._ What are yez slinging me--tacks?

_Ber._ We’ll be afther slingin’ yez out av the window when the morgue
comes along. Whoof! hit him, Bridget!

[Bridget _rushes at_ Denny. _He knocks her down._

_Ber._ Yez have raised yer fist against a daisy. Beware, I am coming.
[_Biz of fight between_ Bernard _and_ Denny. Denny _finally knocks_
Bernard _under the table. Table falls on him._ Denny _seizes_ Mary
_in his arms and menaces_ Bridget _with the teapot. Flats close in on



A Plantation Comedy.




SCENE.--_Full stage. Cottage R. U. E. with window and door of paper
same color as cottage._

_Enter_ Pete _and_ Ike _R. and L._ (_They shake hands._)

_Pete._ Why, Ichabod, I’se totally surprised for to see you. Whar you
gwine at this lateness ob de hour?

_Ike._ (_Putting his thumbs in armholes of vest and assuming “bad”
position._) Dat depends on sarcumstances. If I recognize dis locality
aright, I hab reached de finale ob my predestination.

_Pete._ (_In astonishment._) Do tell!

_Ike._ Do you see dat brownstraw roofed mansion yonder? Dar’s whar I

_Pete._ What brings you ’round yere; business or pleasure?

_Ike._ Well, principally business. Do you know any one ’round yere by
de name ob Clara?

_Pete._ No; but I’m acquainted wid a personage whose antecedent
cognomen is Rebecca.

_Ike._ Well, it is more than presumable that our own prefatory
incomprehensibility is based on its peculiar sanitary enfranchisement.
Don’t you think so?

_Pete._ Yes, I guess you’re about right; we’re both on the same lay.

_Ike._ Dat’s English; and now to business.

[_Walks right and left about the stage, and advances and sings as

AIR:--_Big Fat Nance_.

  Now, we’ve come out for a moonlight ramble,
   To meet de gals dat we adore;
  (_Pete._) My own Rebecca, (_Ike_) And my Clara;
   And both our hearts wif love are sore;
  In yonder cottage dey reside,
   Dey promised to meet us here to-night,
  Dese charming wenches are our pride;
   Two raspberry blondes, our heart’s delight.


  Den hearken to de music’s rapture,
   Wid love our hearts begin to ache,
  And since of us dey made a capture
   We’ll show you how to make a break.


_Ike._ Say, Pete, don’t you think it ’bout time dose festive shemales
made deir appearance?

_Pete._ Ob course; but if dey didn’t hear us, what are we gwine to do?

_Ike._ I dunno. [_Scratches his head._] Suppose we get a brick and
throw it at de house; dat’ll bring dem out, and we will gib dem de
grand surprise.

_Pete._ Dat’s so. [_They retire R. and L., and producing imitation
bricks throw them at the cottage. Music soft_; Pete _and_ Ike _retire
R. and L. Enter_ Rebecca _and_ Clara _from cottage. Pick up bricks._

_Reb._ Oh, it’s a shame?

_Clara._ Dat’s what I say; it’s a shame. De idea ob dose dog-goned
niggers throwing a quarry at de house to make us aware of deir

_Reb._ Oh, it wasn’t your lover dat trew da brick; you needn’t growl.

_Clara._ No, I don’t tink it was; I guess it must ha’ been your Pete;
he’s so strong he could trow it wif his breff. Dere!

[_She throws the brick at_ Rebecca’s _foot_. Rebecca _hits her on the
head with the brick she had. They each pick up the bricks to throw them
at each other, when_ Pete _and_ Ike _appear_. Rebecca _and_ Clara _spy
them and throw the bricks at them, hitting them_. Pete _and_ Ike _howl
and retire_.

_Clara._ Ha--ha! did you see me hit him?

_Reb._ I guess dat ought to teach dem to be more civil to deir

_Clara._ Yes; dey said dey’d gib us de grand surprise. I don’t tink dey

_Reb._ (_Tearfully._) Yes; but I forgib dem. You know how I love Peter
Holloway. [_Covers her face with apron._

_Clara._ (_Clasping her._) ’Deed I do, Rebecca. I can sympathize with
you. [Rebecca _cries loudly_.] Listen to ecstasy, Rebecca. Wake up,
chile. Rouse yo’self.

[Rebecca _wipes her eyes, and both bend low, listening to the music.
They walk around with hands upraised, and advance to stage front,
singing the following_:

  Oh, we’re in love wid two spruce darkies,
   Who ebry night at de hour ob nine,
  Do wend deir way unto our homestead;
   An’ to-night dey are both on time;
  Dey call us dear and tender names,
   In de canebrake down by yonder lane;
  By deir handsome forms an’ winning ways,
   We’re “gone,” but we are not to blame.


  Den hearken to de music’s rapture,
   For a dance our feet begin to ache,
  An’ since of us dose coons make a capture,
   We’ll show you how to make a break.


[_Meanwhile_ Pete _and_ Ike _come on and make remarks on the dancing.
At the end of dance the girls spy the negroes and angrily walk towards
them._ Pete _and_ Ike _produce large razors and chase the girls. They
shout, and_ Clara _dives through window of cottage_, Rebecca _walking
through the door_. Pete _and_ Ike _put up their razors and call for the
girls; they at length come out slowly_.]

_Reb._ (_To_ Pete.) What for you try to carve me wid a razor, eh? Fo’
fifty dollahs I’d strike you so hard dat you wouldn’t eben hab time to
dream of anoddah hen roost.

_Pete._ Who dreams about hen-roosts, eh? I tink I know considerable ob
your private experience, anyway. I guess as how I know who took de duck
eggs from Jim Barker’s hen coop. You can’t teach me ’bout de honesty ob
some people.

_Reb._ Well, I can learn to forgib you, Pete Holloway; but I advise you
neber again to gib such an exasperating shock to my nerves. You know
I’m tender.

[_They make up and clasp each other. Meanwhile_ Ike _and_ Clara _have
not approached each other_.

_Clara._ (_Mildly._) I should neber hab tought it ob you, Ichabod
Fitzsimmons, neber.

_Ike._ (_Excitedly._) Well, no one cares. I’m satisfied, if no one
else is. I guess I can do as I please. Dar’s just as good coons in dis
village as eber you were. I neber cared much fo’ de place, anyway.

[_Indignantly he proceeds to walk across and off the stage._ Clara
_rushes at him, and knocking him down, puts her foot on him and
flourishes a small (imitation) ax over him_. Pete _and_ Rebecca _run
towards her, and take the ax from her. They form a tableau._ Ike
_exclaims tragically_: “_Saved--saved!_”

_Pete._ You deserved dat, an’ you came widin a hair’s breadth of
gettin’ scalped. You’d better forgib her.

[_They make up, and joining arms walk R. and L. up the stage, and
advance, and sing the following_:

  _Reb._    Now, Pete, you mashed and dead gone nigger,
             Quit your foolin’ an’ join de rhyme.

  _Pete._   Why, bless you, honey, I’m all attention,
             An’ willin’ to dance an’ keep in time.

  _Clara._  Ichabod, say you love me still,
             And neber go back on your sugar plum.

[_They clasp._

  _Ike._    Forgib me, honey, an’ take me to your bosom,
             For what we did was all in fun.

  _R. & C._ Den join us in de song and dance,
             Whenever you may come around.

  _All._    We’ll drive dull care by slinging our shoe,
             For dat is where we all grab ground.


            Den hearken to de music’s rapture,
             For a dance our shoes begin to shake,
            And since ob us you made a capture,
             We’ll execute a heavy break. (_Dance._)



An Ethiopian Sketch.


SCENE.--_A Street. Enter_ Pompey, _R. H., with saw and sawbuck_.

_Pompey._ Well, I has been trabblin’ up de street, and trabblin’ down
de street, all day long, and hasn’t had a single job yet, and ain’t got
de fust red cent. I do’ know how I’ll get a quarter to go to de grand
bobilition ball to-night; dere isn’t much chance for a nigger to git
any wood to saw dese hard times. Dare’s too many ob dem Dutch fellars
dat ’nopolize de bisness--works under price, and all dat. Dat won’t do
for dis child. I tink I’ll leabe de carpenter bisness fur a while, and
maybe I may be ’pointed to de office ob inspector ob wood-sawyers. But
I’se bound to go to de ball to-night, anyhow. [_Enter_ Jim Brown, _L.
H., who walks across the stage past_ Pompey, _and is going off_. Pompey
_sees him_.] Hello, Jim! How is you to-day?

_Jim._ Look here, colored man, don’t be too familiar, if you please.
’Tis accessory dat you should know one ting prebious to your succeeding
any furder in your observations.

_Pom._ What is dat?

_Jim._ I will instruct you to know dat I hab been appointed to office.
I am ’pointed trabblin’ agent fur de Bobilition Society.

_Pom._ Trabblin’ agent? Well, s’pose dat means to go
afoot--ha--ha--ha--ha! Dare’s one ting mighty sartin, honey--you won’t
trabble bery fast if you tote dem _heels_ wid you!

_Jim._ Look here, Pompey, I has always had considerable respect for
you, ’cause I beliebe you has some literary ’quirements; but you
’sociates too much wid dem low class ob white folks. You see, I’se one
ob dem kind ob colored indiwiduals who tinks dat a white man’s just as
good as a nigger so long as he behabe himself.

_Pom._ De Lord!--has you spoke? Jim, I guess you changed yer ’pinion de
odder night when dat white fellar knocked you off de sidewalk.

_Jim._ Yes, I have a striking remembrance. I sued dat fellar, I did;
and if I’d had a good witness, dey would ha’ fined him for manslaughter.

_Pom._ Ha! ya! Honey, I was to de trial, and I seed mighty soon how
’twas a goin’ wid _you_. When de judge axed de fellar what knocked you
down: “What for you knocked dat colored man down?” de man didn’t say
noffin, but he gib de judge de sign; and when I seed dat, I knowed he
was one ob dem mason fellars; and when he gib de judge de high sign, de
judge let him go free gratis fur noffin’. Look here, Jim, you goin’ to
de bobolition ball to-night?

_Jim._ Yes, sir; widout prevarication.

_Pom._ Well, I s’pose you will take some ob de fair sex wid you?

_Jim._ Yes, sah; I will hab de extreme honor of perambulating dar wid
de lubly Miss Araminta Peachblossom.

_Pom._ I s’pose de young lady will take her heels wid her, won’t she?
Just you take my advice, Mr. Jim Brown, and when you’re dancing, jus’
mind how you swing dem comers, or you’ll trip up eberybody dat comes
widin free feet ob you. Ha, yah! [_Exit laughing, L. H._ Jim _is going
off, R. H., when he is met by some negroes, who thrust him off, L. H.,
crying: “Come, go ’long; we is gwine to de ball, we is!”_

SCENE II.--_Another Street, or a Park, with set House, L. H._

[_Enter_ Jim, _R. H., with banjo_.

_Jim._ Hang dese low niggers! dey are always in de way ob dere
superiors. [_Looks at his watch._] My gracious! it’s nearly time to get
ready fur de ball; so I’ll just slamanade Miss Araminta a little before
I go.

[_Sings._ AIR.--“_Oh, hush._”

  Lubly Araminta, Brown is come,
  And sings to you with his thrum, tum;
  So open de door an’ let me in,
  For de way I love you is a sin!
    Clar de kitchen, old folks, young folks, etc.

[Araminta _appears at a window and sings_.

  Dandy Jim, when last we parted,
  You to me did prove false-hearted;
  It’s Whitewash Sall you want to see,
  And she ain’t one bit better than me.
    Clar de kitchen, etc., etc.

[_Scene changes, as_ Jim _is kneeling and_ Araminta _is closing the
window to a plain room_.

[_Enter_ Pompey, _L. H., cautiously_.

_Pom._ Nobody here--dat’s good. Ha--ha! golly, I got into dis ball
pooty cheap. I come up to de door, and I didn’t see nobody dar; so
I toted myself right in. Dar’s nobody come yet, so I’ll just sing a

[_Sings._ AIR.--“_Brave Old Black Oak._”

  A grin fur de oak, de ole black oak,
   Who’s trunk I’se sawed so long;
  Here’s a laugh all round, for his skin so brown,
   An’ his forty-five legs so strong,
         He shakes all round
         When he’s chopped down,
    An’ de coons cut dirt all about;
         He gives fire an’ light
         Ob a long cold night,
    When de old nor-easters shout.

_Pom._ (_Voices heard outside._) Hello! here comes de guests to de
ball. I’ll just step out ob de way, until some ob dem come in. [_Exit
R. H. Enter a number of wenches and sing; then_ Pompey _comes in_.] How
are you gen’lemen and ladies? I hope I see you all ’joyin’ good health.
[_Looks off, R. H._] Hello! here comes Mr. Jim Brown, Esquire, as he
told me to call him; and he’s got Miss Peachblossom wid him.

[_Enter_ Jim Brown _and_ Araminta. _They are the bon-ton; all the
characters bow to them, and shake hands after business. Four dance,

_Jim Brown._ [_To_ Pompey.] Pompey, I tole you once dat I was a

_Pom._ A what?

_Jim._ A fernologist.

_Pom._ What’s dat?

_Jim._ Tell de bumps on de head.

_Pom._ No! but are you?

_Jim._ Yes, sir. Just you sit down and I’ll ’zamine you.

_Pom._ Bery well. [_Sits in C._

_Jim._ All ready?

_Pom._ Yes.

[_Recites the following lecture_:

_Jim._ You know as the tree is bent so is the twig inclined. In de fus
place, fustly, dis little nigga’s head am like a monkey’s, only de
monkey’s head am much littler dan dis, and dis am as much biggerer dan
de monkey’s, consequently dey must both be ob de same size. In de fust
place, secondly, I’se gwan as far forward as de back part ob de head,
dat dey call de frontal bone; ’tain’t because it is all bone--oh,
no, ’tain’t that--but because it is as far from de mouf as de calf of
de shin, and dat is why dey call it de frontal bone. Dar--dar, dar’s
a bump; dat’s what dey call de bump of combativeness; under dat bump
dere is a large bladder ob dandriff, and when de nigga gets a little
’zaggerated, de bladder splodes; de cold air rushes into de vacum,
and de nigga gradually subsides into his former situation. Dar, dar’s
anoder bump--oh, golly, what a big bump!--dat’s what dey call de bump
ob music; any nigga dat has dat bump any way permanent or largely
deweloped, can play any tune on de fiddle--dat is, if he know’d how to
play it afore. And now I hope I’ve satisfied you dat I know something
about dis science. For de present, _Ecce sigmum, hoc vobis cum, quantum

_Pom._ Well, you can suffer just as much as you please, but I won’t let
you make me suffer; so just take dat!

[_Hits_ Jim.

_Jim._ A blow! and from a low wood-sawyer!

_Pom._ Yes, sir-ee! And dar’s anoder! [_Both fight._ Pompey _floors_
Jim; _wenches faint, and a regular Sixth Ward fight all around, as the
curtain goes down_.


A Rattling Irish Farce.



SCENE.--_Ordinary room. Tables and chairs, L. Wash-tub, C, by door.
Cradle, R, and churn. Curtain rises. Discloses_ Bridget _at table_.

_Bridget._ Shure, an’ it’s the terrible loife I’m lading. There’s me
husband, Patrick Grady, always off av a night to Casey’s, getting blind
drunk, an’ rowling an’ cavortin’ a home in the morning, a swearing
that he’s in wid the gang, an’ that they’re goin’ for to run him for
alderman. A foine alderman it is that he will make, with his shirt
paping out av his coat, an’ divil a sock to his fut. Faith, I belave
he’s goin’ ter the bad, intirely. He’s gettin’ so mighty high chuned
av late that he’ll soon be a riding down town in a stage, instead av
standing on the rear end av a truck. Oh, bad cess to the day that ivir
I married him.

[_Enter_ Denis.

_Den._ Well, Bridget?

_Brid._ It isn’t well at all, brother Denis.

_Den._ Where’s Patrick?

_Brid._ Ax me something aisier. Down to Casey’s, I suppose, setting on
top av a beer keg an’ swaring that he’s the man that’s going to put
Cleveland out av the White House.

_Den._ On a drunk again?

_Brid._ Whin isn’t he on a drunk? Shure I’d be afther fearing that he
was ill if he should come home sober.

_Den._ It’s a bad business, Bridget.

_Brid._ Ye are right. Ye see he’s got his head crammed wid politics.

_Den._ Politics, is it?

_Brid._ Yis; he went an’ pawned the stove to raise a banner wid. Shure
he thinks that he’ll be Congressman afore long, an’ ruin the prospects
av his childer intirely.

_Den._ Will he be home soon?

_Brid._ I’m expecting him every moment. Oh, Denny, I wish ye would
rayson wid him.

_Den._ So I will, Bridget. His conduct, be heaven, is scandalous in the

_Brid._ But don’t be too hard wid him. Patrick manes well.

_Den._ I’ll thrate him dacent. [_Aside._] I’ll kick the devil’s left
lung out av him if he gives me any av his unpolite conversation.

[_Noise outside. Enter_ Patrick, _staggering. Throws hat on floor, and
reels front._

_Pat._ May I inquire, Missus Grady, who’s a been putting grease on the
front piazzy?

_Brid._ Nobody, Patrick.

_Pat._ (_Severely._) Don’t yer lie to me, Missus Grady. I may be
suffering undher a fit av despair, but I am not drunk, and I have me
feelings. Shure, an’ I fell complately down on that front piazzy.

_Brid._ Ye don’t know what ye are saying, Patrick.

_Pat._ (_Looking at_ Denis.) How long since you have been buying cigar
signs to stick up in your drawing-room, Missus Grady?

_Brid._ Why, that’s your brother Denis.

_Pat._ (_Advancing._) Faith, an’ it is! Denny, me boy, give me your
flipper. Have ye a Henry Mud consaled wid you?

_Den._ I don’t smoke.

_Pat._ Yer don’t? Yer a Murphyite, are ye? An’ may I ax what sent ye

_Brid._ He heard what a drunken husband his sister had, and he came
down to see about it.

_Pat._ Ah--ha! he did? Well, it’s my opinion, Missus Grady, that he’s
drunk as an owl himself, and isn’t agreeable company for gintlemin like

_Den._ I never drink, an’ it would be better, Patrick, if you never
touched the whisky.

_Pat._ Nayther I do. It’s a nob that I am. A gallon bottle of dam
shame, an’ put it down on the slate.

_Den._ Well, I mane it would be a dale better if ye left alcoholic
stimulants alone.

_Pat._ Alcoholic stimulants, is it? Missus Grady, are ye aware that yer
brother spakes Frinch? It’s the great temperance man that he is who
praches for love an’ not money.

_Den._ But, Patrick, think av the shame it causes your wife for you to
walk home intoxicated every night av your life.

_Pat._ I niver walk home. Bedad Assemblyman Murphy pushed me around to
me residence this avening in his barouche--he peddles oranges out av
it in the daytime. Ah, the assemblyman’s a great man. He’s got a pull
in the ward, and he’s going to get me a political job a kaping the
sparrows from flying away wid the City Hall.

_Den._ But your wife and children are a-starving in the manewhile.

_Brid._ That’s so, Patrick.

_Pat._ Will yer shut up, Bridget? yer want ice-crame and sponge cake
fer lunch, I suppose. The next thing yer’ll be sinding out afther
broiled quail in a box afther yer get to bed. It’s too toney, you’re
getting, entirely.

_Den._ Is that the way to spake to your wife?

_Pat._ Whose wife is she?

_Den._ Yours, worse luck; but she’s my sister.

_Pat._ Shure, it wasn’t her fault, poor thing. Perhaps yer would be
plased to have me buy her a pianny an’ get her a velocipede to amuse
herself wid while I’m at work?

_Den._ You’re drunk, Patrick, and yer can’t see me argyment.

_Brid._ That’s thrue.

_Pat._ Will ye be still, Bridget? I’m drunk, am I, Mister Hallorahan?
Av coorse I am; it’s elated wid joy that I am, because of the war in
Europe. It’s agoin’ to mend the times in this country, an’ we’ll all
git paid for being gentlemen, every man of us. Oh, I have the head for
a senator.

_Brid._ You’re looney, Pat.

_Pat._ Missus Grady, if ye don’t shut up I’ll be forced to be on the
lookout fur another wife, on account av yer suddent death.

_Brid._ Patrick, your cruel words will drive me wild with grief.

_Pat._ Thin we’ll send ye to play Hamlet.

_Den._ Talk gently to your wife, Pat; she’s a woman.

_Pat._ Yer don’t mane it. Well, did yer imagine I didn’t know that? I
have frequent opportunities av seeing women afore. There’s Widow Leary,
for occasion.

_Brid._ Widdy Leary, she’s a fine crathur! A female skeleton, that
paints herself up like a brick house, an’ hasn’t the shape av a barrel.

_Pat._ The Widow Leary recognizes a fine man when she sees him. She
tould Father Riordan that I had the natest fut av any man for blocks

_Brid._ She did, did she?

_Pat._ I’m a givin’ it to ye wid directness, Bridget.

_Brid._ When I catch her I’ll kill her. Thrying to intice me lawful
wedded husband away, the cork-legged ould scarecrow.

_Pat._ That will do. Ye ought to be elated to think that ye have sich a
voluptuous-appearing husband, and ought to be continted to humor him,
especially whin he’s got sich influence wid the bys. Do ye know the
“Garvey Musketeers,” Denis?

_Den._ Yis.

_Pat._ Shure, they’ve axed me to turn out wid them to carry their
target instead of a nagur. Perhaps yer would condescind to ax me for a
place in the post office now?

_Brid._ Are ye goin’ to turn out wid those blaggards?

_Pat._ Don’t yer be after alluding to the Garvey Musketeers as
blaggards, Missus Grady. They are gintlemen; divil a wan av them works
for a living.

_Brid._ They’re not off av the Island long enough.

_Pat._ Perhaps they are not cheeney enough for yer.

_Brid._ They’re a lot of rowdies, Pat. Why don’t you join the Father

_Pat._ Would ye hear the woman? she’s putting on frills enough for an
inspector’s wife. Wouldn’t yer like me to buy meself a little white
apron an’ turn out wid the masons?

_Den._ Pat, can’t you listen to rayson?

_Pat._ Av coorse.

_Den._ Is it sensible or raysonable for you to be flying around wid the
boys and laving your poor wife at home? Suppose some man should run off
wid her.

_Pat._ Begorra, I’d jump on his chest till he spit blood, so I would.

_Den._ Now promise me you’ll stay at home more nights.

_Brid._ Yes, Pat, do, and jine the T. A. B’s.

_Pat._ Shure, Casey would drape his saloon in black if I did.

_Brid._ The curse of St. Patrick light on Casey. [_She rises and
approaches_ Pat, _tickles him under the chin_.] Then, Patsey, darlint,
sign the pledge.

_Pat._ But it will spoil me hould in the ward. Who ever heard av a
temperance politician.

_Den._ Drop politics an’ stick to bricklaying, Pat.

_Pat._ Well, I believe I will. From this hour Pat Grady, Iskwire,
drinks no more! [_Aside_--at his own expense.] Bridget, shoulder that
broom an’ we’ll give the leddies an’ jintlemen in front “Sons of
Temperance,” T. A. B., and yer, Denis, jine in the chorus.

(All form group at front of stage and sing. At end of song flat closes



A Short Burlesque.




SCENE.--Interior. _Tables, L. Two chairs, C. Door at rear._

[_Enter_ Lena, _R._ 1. _E._

_Lena._ Vell, at last the day’s vork vos done, the mistress has gone
oud for the evening, an’ I haf the room to mineself. But I don’t
better believe dot I vill haf it long, for there vos a leetle Dutch
boy--vouldn’t he pe mad if he heard me call himself boy--who vos apt to
drop in mit purpose by accident, to see me evenings, und I haf an idea
dot he vill pe here right avay gwick pretty soon. I vonder vat he pring
me--he alvays prings me sometings nice--de last dime it vos seven yards
of sourkraut done up mit blue paper an’ a hay rope. I feel shust as
light hearted as a rooster hen, an’ I guess dot I vill sing a leetle.


AIR.--_Pretty as a Picture._

  My heart vos gone,
  I vos all forlorn,
  Such a pretty boy has von me,
  Such a nobby boy,
  De Deitcher’s joy----

_Hannis._ (_Outside._) Lena.

_Lena._ Vell, Hannis.

_Han._ May I stay oud?

_Lena._ Of course. Open de latch, spring de door, an’ coom in.

[_Enter_ Hannis.

_Han._ Lena, you vos lookin’ as nice as a rosebud mit the catarrh.

_Lena._ Oh, Hannis!

_Han._ Dat vos drue. Vos dat you singing, Lena?

_Lena._ It vos.

_Han._ Vhy, I thought dat it was somebody shoveling coal. [Lena _hits
him a slap in the face_. Hannis _makes a wry face_.

_Han._ There, you hab cracked the spine of my jaw.

_Lena._ Then vhy vill you dry to be funny? But come, sit down on
yourself, Hannis.

_Han._ What on--a moonpeam?

_Lena._ On a chair, stupid. [_Brings chair to front of stage and both
take seats._] Vot vos it you brought me?

_Han._ You like candy, Lena?

_Lena._ You know dot I do.

_Han._ Then what made you ask me? But it vosn’t candy. Candy vos
unhealdy. So I hab brought you a dog.

_Lena._ A dog! vot vill I do mit a dog?

_Han._ Shoot him; you see he vos a nice dog; he vos the image of you.

_Lena._ Oh, Hannis!

_Han._ Und I thought dot mebbe you might wear him in your locket, or
haf him stuffed into a pracelet or something like dot.

_Lena._ You vos joking.

_Han._ Shust you go und tell dot dog dot he vos a liar. You vill see
vedder I vos joking.

_Lena._ An’ is a dog all dat you haf bringed me?

_Han._ No, Lena, I have brought you somedings else.

_Lena._ Vell, vot?

_Han._ I don’t vant to tell you.

_Lena._ Why not?

_Han._ You wud make fun of me, tell me dot I vos too fresh, und had
petter go wash my mouth oud with salt.

_Lena._ No I von’t.

_Han._ Promise id.

_Lena._ Yes.

_Han._ Vell, dear, I vill gif mineself avay. Lena, you vos a nice
leetle Yarman girl.

_Lena._ Dot fact vos gray-headed.

_Han._ Und, Lena, I lofe you.

_Lena._ Oh, my, vasn’t you ashamed.

_Han._ Yes, I vos plushing beneath my bosom protector. But for all dot
I lofe you. Lena, nod----

[_Enter_ Byron Smith _L._ 2 _E. Stalks tragically forward. Halts and
points finger at_ Hannis _and_ Lena.

_Byron._ Ha--ha! what is this that looms before my vision!

  ’Tis love’s young dream!
  ’Tis Cupid’s victory won.
  Two hearts with but a single thought,
  Two souls that beat as one!

_Han._ Is this a lunatic asylum, Lena?

_Lena_. Oh, no, dot vas only the poet dot board mit the mistress. How
you vas dis evening, Mr. Smith?

_Byron._ Fair maiden, I stoop to kiss your snow-white hand.

_Han._ No, sir, not dis week. Dis vos my girl, I do all her kissing by
gontract. Shust you mind your pisness and I’ll mind yours.

_Byron._ My nut-brown sylph, tell me, I pray, who this uncouth
barbarian is?

_Han._ (_Jumping up._) Hold my coat, Lena.

_Lena._ Vot for?

_Han._ He has insulted you. I vill preak his fist wit mine head. He
called you a nut-brown maid. You vas a white Dutch girl. By Shumping
Shadrach I will pull out his teeth with mine boot.

_Lena._ Shust you sit on an ice-box, Hannis, he means no harm.

_Byron._ You are right, my starry-eyed gazelle.

_Han._ Vhy don’t you call her a plack-eyed camel, und be done wid id?

_Byron._ Presumptuous meddler, I am a poet.

  Away with dross, with sordid gold,
  I would not be a miser old;
  But with my pen, my rapid pen,
  I’m sure I’ll charm the hearts of men!

_Han._ Haf you been drinking vhisky, my friendt?

_Lena._ Don’t make fun of him, Hannis; dot vos peyewtiful poetry.

_Han._ I know von man dot would gif a thousand dollars to hear dot.

_Lena._ You do?

_Han._ Yes; he vos stone deaf in poth eyes. But I say, Mr. Poet.

_Byron._ Say on, Lucullus.

_Han._ My name vos Hannis, not Bluecollars. But as I vos saying--don’t
you think, Mr. Poet, dot three vos company, two vos a crowd?

_Byron._ What does the gifted bard of Avon say about that? Ah, now I

  Two lovers alone in silent joy,
  A blue-eyed maiden, a black-haired boy;
  It might be better, it could be worse,
  Another person would be a curse.

_Han._ Then vhy don’t you dake a tumbles and fly avay mit yourself?

_Byron._ I do not understand you.

_Lena._ Don’t mind him, Mr. Smith; I love your poetry.

_Byron._ Thanks; shall I give you another specimen?

_Han._ For heaven’s sake; hush!

_Lena._ Please do, Mr. Smith.

_Byron._ This is the seventeenth stanza of my lovely dirge, “Life.”
There are three thousand and two more verses:

  Life is a mockery,
  Life is a cheat----

  _Han._ (_Interrupting._) Ven ve vos hungry,
                           There’s nothing to eat!

_Byron._ What mean you, sir, by basely changing my lines?

_Han._ Pring an almanac und find oud. There vos a nice dog outside, Mr.

  _Byron._ A dog--a dog--a little dog,
            A puppy small, but sharp,
           Watching in all of puppyish glee,
            His master’s Hebrew harp.

_Han._ No, sir; he vosn’t vatching any harp. Just yer go oud und feel
of his teeth to see how oldt he vos.

_Byron._ I am happy here.

_Han._ I vosn’t. Say, Mr. Poet, von day there vas a feller coom to see
his gal.

  _Byron._ Come to ask her would she marry,
           Begged her to no longer tarry,
           Love had marked her for his quarry.

_Han._ Dot vos id. Vell, there vos anudder veller.

_Byron._ Ah, yes:

  A sneaking rival, hump-backed, old.
  With broad acres and heaps of gold.

_Han._ I could schwear to it. The sucker that I vas delling about,
looked as if he vosn’t rich enough to puy a pound of air. Vell, he kept
coming in und boddering dem lovers all the dime.

_Byron._ Base hell-hound.

_Han._ Dat might haf peen his name. But vot vould you haf done to dot
Canarsie cod-fish?

_Byron._ I would have clutched him by the neck.

   And hauled him down--down--down!
   And when they asked me where he was,
   Like the tempest’s howlings I’d repeat,
  “Down--down in hell! ’Twas there I sent him!”

_Han._ You vould do dot?

_Byron._ Assuredly.

_Han._ Mr. Gall, I vill take your vord at you! (_Jumps up and seizes_
Byron.) I pounced him up--up--up! Und vhen dey send me a postal card
asking vhere he vos, I repeaded like a dempest howl: “Send him a linen
duster, he need it.” [_Biz. of struggle._ Hannis _gets_ Byron _down,
and stands on him_. Lena _rushes forward, sinks on her knees by his

_Lena._ Spare him, Hannis.

_Han._ Queen Elizabeth Tilton, interceding for the life of Owen Murphy.

[Illustration: THE END.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber’s Notes:

The author for this book is listed in other sources as Aaron A. Warford.

Some advertising is likely missing from this transcription because the
source copy was missing its back cover.

Punctuation has been made consistent.

Variations in spelling and hyphenation were retained as they appear in
the original publication, except that obvious typographical errors have
been corrected.

The following changes were made:

The notation 1 2 for fractions was changed to 1/2.

p. 9: Sentence was moved to this page from p. 13 (_Hope_ is like
_love_, but subdued.)

p. 12: Table labled “‘BLACK SLAYER.’ _Scene Plot._ ACT FIRST.” was
moved to this page from p. 13.

p. 13: Table labled “‘BLACK SLAYER.’ PROPS.” and the paragraphs
immediately above and below the table were moved to this page from
pp. 10-11.

p. 45: _Pete._ changed to (_Pete._) ((_Pete._) My own Rebecca,)

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