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Title: The Scarecrow; or The Glass of Truth - A Tragedy of the Ludicrous
Author: MacKaye, Percy
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.

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  Transcriber’s Notes:
  Underscores “_” before and after a word or phrase indicate _italics_
    in the original text.
  Small capitals have been converted to SOLID capitals.
  Old or antiquated spellings have been preserved.
  Typographical errors have been silently corrected but other variations
    in spelling and punctuation remain unaltered.
  Where double quotes have been repeated at the beginnings of
    consecutive stanzas, they have been omitted for clarity.
  Each act in the original had a full page identifying the act as well
    as a heading at the beginning of the act. The full page act numbers
    have been removed from this edition as being redundant.

                             THE SCARECROW


                         THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

                      NEW YORK · BOSTON · CHICAGO
                             SAN FRANCISCO

                        Macmillan & CO., LIMITED

                       LONDON · BOMBAY · CALCUTTA

                   THE MACMILLAN CO. OF CANADA, LTD.

                             THE SCARECROW
                           THE GLASS OF TRUTH

                      _A Tragedy of the Ludicrous_

                             PERCY MACKAYE

                                New York
                         THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

                         _All rights reserved_

                            COPYRIGHT, 1908,
                       BY THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.

Set up and electrotyped. Published February, 1908. Reprinted February,

This play has been copyrighted and published simultaneously in the
United States and Great Britain. All acting rights, both professional
and amateur, are reserved in the United States, Great Britain, and
countries of the Copyright Union, by Percy MacKaye. Performances
forbidden and right of representation reserved. Application for the
right of performing this piece must be made to The McMillan Company.
Any piracy or infringement will be prosecuted in accordance with the
penalties provided by the United States Statutes:—

“Sec. 4966.—Any person publicly performing or representing any
dramatic or musical composition, for which copyright has been obtained,
without the consent of the proprietor of the said dramatic or musical
composition, or his heirs or assigns, shall be liable for damages
therefor, such damages in all cases to be assessed at such sum, not
less than one hundred dollars for the first and fifty dollars for every
subsequent performance, as to the Court shall appear to be just. If the
unlawful performance and representation be wilful and for profit, such
person or persons shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction
be imprisoned for a period not exceeding one year.” U. S. Revised
Statutes, Title 60, Chap. 3.

                             Norwood Press
                 J. S. Cushing Co.—Berwick & Smith Co.
                         Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.

                               MY MOTHER
                        IN MEMORY OF AUSPICIOUS
                        “COUNTINGS OF THE CROWS”
                     BY OLD NEW ENGLAND CORN-FIELDS


But for a fantasy of Nathaniel Hawthorne, this play, of course, would
never have been written. In “Mosses from an Old Manse,” the _Moralized
Legend_ “Feathertop” relates, in some twenty pages of its author’s
inimitable style, how Mother Rigby, a reputed witch of old New England
days, converted a corn-patch scarecrow into the semblance of a fine
gentleman of the period; how she despatched this semblance to “play
its part in the great world, where not one man in a hundred, she
affirmed, was gifted with more real substance than itself”; how there
the scarecrow, while paying court to pretty Polly Gookin, the rosy,
simpering daughter of Justice Gookin, discovered its own image in a
looking-glass, returned to Mother Rigby’s cottage, and dissolved into
its original elements.

My indebtedness, therefore, to this source, in undertaking the
present play, goes without saying. Yet it would not be true, either
to Hawthorne’s work or my own, to classify “The Scarecrow” as a
dramatization of “Feathertop.” Were it intended to be such, the many
radical departures from the conception and the treatment of Hawthorne
which are evident in the present work would have to be regarded as so
many unwarrantable liberties taken with its original material; the
function of the play itself would, in such case, become purely
formal,—translative of a narrative to its appropriate dramatic
form,—and as such, however interesting and commendable an effort,
would have lost all _raison d’être_ for the writer.

But such, I may say, has not been my intention. My aim has been quite
otherwise. Starting with the same basic theme, I have sought to
elaborate it, by my own treatment, to a different and more inclusive

Without particularizing here the full substance of Hawthorne’s
consummate sketch, which is available to every reader, the divergence I
refer to may be summed up briefly.

The scarecrow Feathertop of Hawthorne is the imaginative epitome
or symbol of human charlatanism, with special emphasis upon the
coxcombry of fashionable society. In his essential superficiality he
is characterized as a fop, “strangely self-satisfied,” with “nobby
little nose thrust into the air.” “And many a fine gentleman,” says
Mother Rigby, “has a pumpkin-head as well as my scarecrow.” His hollow
semblance is the shallowness of a “well-digested conventionalism, which
had incorporated itself thoroughly with his substance and transformed
him into a work of art.” “But the clothes in this case were to be the
making of the man,” and so Mother Rigby, after fitting him out in a
suit of embroidered finery, endows him as a finishing touch “with a
great deal of brass, which she applied to his forehead, thus making it
yellower than before. ‘With that brass alone,’ quoth she, ‘thou canst
pay thy way all over the earth.’”

Similarly, the other characters are sketched by Hawthorne in accord
with this general conception. Pretty Polly Gookin, “tossing her
head and managing her fan” before the mirror, views therein “an
unsubstantial little maid that reflected every gesture and did all the
foolish things that Polly did, but without making her ashamed of them.
In short, it was the fault of pretty Polly’s ability, rather than her
will, if she failed to be as complete an artifice as the illustrious
Feathertop himself.”

Thus the _Moralized Legend_ reveals itself as a satire upon a
restricted artificial phase of society. As such, it runs its brief
course, with all the poetic charm and fanciful suggestiveness
of our great New Englander’s prose style, to its appropriate
_dénouement_,—the disintegration of its hero.

“‘My poor, dear, pretty Feathertop,’ quoth Mother Rigby, with a rueful
glance at the relics of her ill-fated contrivance, ‘there are thousands
upon thousands of coxcombs and charlatans in the world made up of just
such a jumble of worn-out, forgotten, and good-for-nothing trash as he
was, yet they live in fair repute and never see themselves for what
they are. And why should my poor puppet be the only one to know himself
and perish for it?’”

Coxcombry and charlatanism, then, are the butt of Hawthorne’s satire in
his _Legend_. The nature of his theme, however, is susceptible of an
application far less restricted, a development far more universal, than
such satire. This wider issue once or twice in his sketch he seems to
have touched upon, only immediately to ignore again. Thus, in the very
last paragraph, Mother Rigby exclaims: “Poor Feathertop! I could easily
give him another chance and send him forth again to-morrow. But no!
_His feelings are too tender—his sensibilities too deep._”

In these words, spoken in irony, Hawthorne ends his narrative with an
undeveloped aspect of his theme, which constitutes the starting-point
of the conception of my play: the aspect, namely, of the essential
_tragedy of the ludicrous_; an aspect which, in its development,
inevitably predicates for my play a divergent treatment and a different
conclusion. The element of human sympathy is here substituted for that
of irony, as criterion of the common absurdity of mankind.

The scarecrow Feathertop is ridiculous, as the emblem of a superficial
fop; the scarecrow Ravensbane is pitiful, as the emblem of human bathos.

Compared with our own ideas of human perfection, what human rubbish
we are! Of what incongruous elements are we constructed by time and
inheritance wherewith to realize the reasonableness, the power, the
altruism, of our dreams! What absurdity is our highest consummation!
Yet the sense of our common deficiency is, after all, our salvation.
_There_ is one reality which is a basic hope for the realization of
those dreams. This sense is human sympathy, which is, it would seem, a
more searching critic of human frailty than satire. It is the growth
of this sense which dowers with dignity and reality the hollowest and
most ludicrous of mankind, and becomes in such a fundamental grace of
character. In a recent critical interpretation of Cervantes’ great
work, Professor G. E. Woodberry writes: “A madman has no character; but
it is the character of Don Quixote that at last draws the knight out of
all his degradations and makes him triumph in the heart of the reader.”
And he continues: “Modern dismay begins in the thought that here is not
the abnormality of an individual, but the madness of the soul in its
own nature.”

If for “madness” in this quotation I may be permitted to substitute
_ludicrousness_ (or _incongruity_), a more felicitous expression of my
meaning, as applied to Ravensbane in this play, would be difficult to

From what has been said, it will, I trust, be the more clearly
apparent why “The Scarecrow” cannot with any appropriateness be deemed
a dramatization of “Feathertop,” and why its manifold divergencies from
the latter in treatment and motive cannot with any just significance
be considered as liberties taken with an original source. Dickon, for
example, whose name in the _Legend_ is but a momentary invocation
in the mouth of Mother Rigby, becomes in my play not merely the
characterized visible associate of Goody Rickby (“Blacksmith Bess”),
but the necessary foil of sceptical irony to the human growth of the
scarecrow. So, too, for reasons of the play’s different intent, Goody
Rickby herself is differentiated from Mother Rigby; and Rachel Merton
has no motive, of character or artistic design, in common with pretty,
affected Polly Gookin.

My indebtedness to the New England master in literature is, needless
to say, gratefully acknowledged; but it is fitting, I think, to
distinguish clearly between the aim and the scope of “Feathertop” and
that of the play in hand, as much in deference to the work of Hawthorne
as in comprehension of the spirit of my own.

                                                            P. M-K.
          December, 1907.

               Program of the play as first performed in
            New York, Jan. 17, 1911, at the Garrick Theatre

                        CHARLES FROHMAN, MANAGER

                        HENRY B. HARRIS PRESENTS
                             EDMUND BREESE

                               THE DEVIL

                             THE SCARECROW


        (NOTE—The following characters are named is the order in
                        which they first appear)

    BLACKSMITH BESS (Goody Rickby)                ALICE FISCHER
    DICKON, a Yankee Improvisation of
            the Prince of Darkness                EDMUND BREESE
    RACHEL MERTON, niece of the Justice           FOLA LA FOLLETTE
    RICHARD TALBOT                                EARLE BROWNE
    JUSTICE GILEAD MERTON                         BRIGHAM ROYCE
    LORD RAVENSBANE (The Scarecrow)               FRANK REICHER
            sister of the Justice                 MRS. FELIX MORRIS
    MICAH, a servant                              HAROLD M. CHESHIRE
    CAPTAIN BUGBY, the Governor’s secretary       REGAN HUGHSTON
    MINISTER DODGE                                CLIFFORD LEIGH
    MISTRESS DODGE, his wife                      ELEANOR SHELDON
    REV. MASTER RAND, of Harvard College          WILLIAM LEVIS
    REV. MASTER TODD, of Harvard College          HARRY LILLFORD
    SIR CHARLES REDDINGTON, Lieutenant Governor   H. J. CARVILL
                        }    his daughters    {
    AMELIA REDDINGTON   }                     {   GEORGIA DVORAK

    TIME—About 1690              PLACE—A town in Massachusetts

    ACT I.—The Blacksmith Shop of “Blacksmith Bess.” Dawn.
    ACTS II., III., and IV.—Justice Merton’s Parlor.
               Morning, afternoon, and evening.

          Produced under the direction of Edgar Selwyn

          Incidental and entre’act music by Robert Hood Bowers
          The portrait of Justice Merton, as a young man,
            by John W. Alexander

          Scenery designed and painted by H. Robert Law
          Costumes by Darian, from designs by Byron Nestor

      All of the music composed especially for this production,
            by ROBERT HOOD BOWERS

      OVERTURE—Devil’s Motif; Hymn; Love Motif;
          Ravensbane’s Minuet, etc.

      FIRST ENTRE’ACT—Ravensbane goes a-wooing.
          He is instructed in the art by the Devil.
          He aspires to Rachel’s hand.

      SECOND ENTRE’ACT—The challenge to the duel.
          The squire sends his second, the town dandy,
          to wait upon Ravensbane.

      THIRD ENTRE’ACT—Ravensbane’s crow song with
          its tragic ending. His despair.

                            DRAMATIS PERSONÆ

      GOODY RICKBY (“_Blacksmith Bess_”).
      LORD RAVENSBANE (“_Marquis of Oxford, Baron of Wittenberg,
          Elector of Worms, and Count of Cordova_”),
          _their hypothetical son_.
      DICKON, _a Yankee improvisation of the Prince of Darkness_.
      RACHEL MERTON, _niece of the Justice_.
      MISTRESS CYNTHIA MERTON, _sister of the Justice_.
      RICHARD TALBOT, _Esquire_, _betrothed to Rachel_.
      SIR CHARLES REDDINGTON, _Lieutenant Governor_.
                          } _his daughters_.
      CAPTAIN BUGBY, _the Governor’s Secretary_.
      MISTRESS DODGE, _his wife_.
      REV. MASTER RAND, _of Harvard College_.
      REV. MASTER TODD, _of Harvard College_.
      MICAH, _a servant of the Justice_.

            TIME.—_Late Seventeenth Century._
            PLACE.—_A town in Massachusetts._


      _The interior of a blacksmith shop. Right centre, a
          forge. Left, a loft, from which are hanging dried
          cornstalks, hay, and the yellow ears of cattle-corn.
          Back centre, a wide double door, closed when the
          curtain rises. Through this door—when later it is
          opened—is visible a New England landscape in the late
          springtime: a distant wood; stone walls, high elms, a
          well-sweep; and, in the near foreground, a ploughed
          field, from which the green shoots of early corn are
          just appearing. The blackened walls of the shop are
          covered with a miscellaneous collection of old iron,
          horseshoes, cart wheels, etc., the usual appurtenances
          of a smithy. In the right-hand corner, however, is an
          array of things quite out of keeping with the shop
          proper: musical instruments, puppets, tall clocks, and
          fantastical junk. Conspicuous amongst these articles
          is a large standing mirror, framed grotesquely in old
          gold and curtained by a dull stuff, embroidered with
          peaked caps and crescent moons._

      _Just before the scene opens, a hammer is heard
          ringing briskly upon steel. As the curtain rises
          there is discovered, standing at the anvil in the
          flickering light of a bright flame from the forge, a
          woman—powerful, ruddy, proud with a certain masterful
          beauty, white-haired (as though prematurely),
          bare-armed to the elbows, clad in a dark skirt (above
          her ankles), a loose blouse, open at the throat; a
          leathern apron and a workman’s cap. The woman is_
          GOODY RICKBY. _On the anvil she is shaping
          a piece of iron. Beside her stands a framework of iron
          formed like the ribs and backbone of a man. For a few
          moments she continues to ply her hammer, amid a shower
          of sparks, till suddenly the flame on the forge dies down._

                              GOODY RICKBY
      Dickon! More flame.

                                A VOICE
                             [_Above her._]
      Yea, Goody.
        [_The flame in the forge spurts up high and suddenly._]

                              GOODY RICKBY
      Nay, not so fierce.

                               THE VOICE
                            [_At her side._]
            _Votre pardon, madame._
                        [_The flame subsides._]
            Is that better?

                              GOODY RICKBY
            That will do.
        [_With her tongs, she thrusts the iron into the flame;
                        it turns white-hot._]
            Quick work; nothing like brimstone for the smithy trade.

           [_At the anvil, she begins to weld the iron rib
                       on to the framework._]

            There, my beauty! We’ll make a stout set of ribs for you.
          I’ll see to it this year that I have a scarecrow can outstand
          all the nor’easters that blow. I’ve no notion to lose my
          corn-crop this summer.

      [_Outside, the faint cawings of crows are heard. Putting
          down her tongs and hammer, Goody Rickby strides to the
          double door, and flinging it wide open, lets in the
          gray light of dawn. She looks out over the fields and
          shakes her fist._]

            So ye’re up before me and the sun, are ye?
                 [_Squinting against the light._]
            There’s one! Nay, two. Aha!
                            One for sorrow,
                            Two for mirth—
            Good! This time we’ll have the laugh on our side.
 [_She returns to the forge, where again the fire has died out._]
            Dickon! Fire! Come, come, where be thy wits?

                               THE VOICE
                      [_Sleepily from the forge._]
            ’Tis early, dame.

                              GOODY RICKBY
             The more need—
                        [_Takes up her tongs._]

                               THE VOICE

                              GOODY RICKBY
                          Ha! Have I got thee?

      [_From the blackness of the forge she pulls out with her
          tongs, by the right ear, the figure of a devil, horned
          and tailed. In general aspect, though he resembles
          a mediæval familiar demon, yet the suggestions of a
          goatish beard, a shrewdly humorous smile, and (when
          he speaks) the slightest of nasal drawls, remotely
          simulate a species of Yankee rustic._

      _Goody Rickby substitutes her fingers for the tongs._]

            Now, Dickon!

            _Deus!_ I haven’t been nabbed like that since St.
          Dunstan tweaked my nose. Well, sweet Goody?

                              GOODY RICKBY
                              The bellows!

                     [_Going slowly to the forge._]
            Why, ’tis hardly dawn yet. Honest folks are still abed.
                          It makes a long day.

                              GOODY RICKBY
              [_Working, while Dickon plies the bellows._]

            Aye, for your black pets, the crows, to work in.
          That’s why I’m at it early. You heard ’em. We must
          have this scarecrow of ours out in the field at his
          post before sunrise.
            So, there! Now, Dickon boy, I want that you should—

               [_Whipping out a note-book and writing._]
            Wait! Another one! “I want that you should—”

                              GOODY RICKBY
                      What’s that you’re writing?

            The phrase, Goody dear; the construction. Your New England
          dialect is hard for a poor cosmopolitan devil. What with _ut_
          clauses in English and Latinized subjunctives—You want that I

                              GOODY RICKBY
            Make a masterpiece. I’ve made the frame strong, so as to
          stand the weather; _you_ must make the body lifelike so
          as to fool the crows. Last year I stuck up a poor sham and
          after a day they saw through it. This time, we must make ’em
          think it’s a real human crittur.

      To fool the philosophers is my specialty, but the crows—hm!

                              GOODY RICKBY
         Pooh! That staggers thee!

            Madame Rickby, prod not the quick of my genius.
          I am Phidias, I am Raphael, I am the Lord God!—
          You shall see—
                    [_Demands with a gesture._]
          Yonder broomstick.

                              GOODY RICKBY
             [_Fetching him a broom from the corner._]
            Good boy!

                       [_Straddling the handle._]
            Haha! gee up! my Salem mare.
                 [_Then, pseudo-philosophically._]
            A broomstick—that’s for imagination!

      [_He begins to construct the scarecrow, while Goody Rickby,
          assisting, brings the constructive parts from various
          nooks and corners._]

            We are all pretty artists, to be sure, Bessie. Phidias, he
          sculptures the gods; Raphael, he paints the angels; the Lord
          God, he creates Adam; and Dickon—fetch me the poker—aha!
          Dickon! What doth Dickon? He nullifies ’em all; he endows the
          Scarecrow!—A poker: here’s his conscience. There’s two fine
          legs to walk on,—imagination and conscience. Yonder flails
          now! The ideal—the _beau idéal_, dame—that’s what we artists
          seek. The apotheosis of scarecrows! And pray, what’s a
          scarecrow? Why, the antithesis of Adam.—“Let there be
          candles!” quoth the Lord God, sitting in the dark. “Let there
          be candle-extinguishers,” saith Dickon. “I am made in the
          image of my maker,” quoth Adam. “Look at yourself in the
          glass,” saith Goodman Scarecrow.

           [_Taking two implements from Goody Rickby._]

            Fine! fine! here are flails—one for wit, t’other for
          satire. _Sapristi!_ I with two such arms, my lad, how thou
          wilt work thy way in the world!

                              GOODY RICKBY
            You talk as if you were making a real mortal, Dickon.

            To fool a crow, Goody, I must fashion a crittur
          that will first deceive a man.

                              GOODY RICKBY
                  He’ll scarce do that without a head.
                     [_Pointing to the loft._]
            What think ye of yonder Jack-o’-lantern? ’Twas
          made last Hallowe’en.

              Rare, my Psyche! We shall collaborate. Here!

      [_Running up the ladder, he tosses down a yellow
          hollowed pumpkin to Goody Rickby, who catches it.
          Then rummaging forth an armful of cornstalks, ears,
          tassels, dried squashes, gourds, beets, etc., he
          descends and throws them in a heap on the floor._]

          Whist! the anatomy.

                              GOODY RICKBY
               [_Placing the pumpkin on the shoulders._]

            _O Johannes Baptista!_ What wouldst thou have given for
          such a head! I helped Salome to cut his off, dame, and it
          looked not half so appetizing on her charger. Tut! Copernicus
          wore once such a pumpkin, but it is rotten. Look at his golden
          smile! Hail, Phœbus Apollo!

                              GOODY RICKBY
            ’Tis the finest scarecrow in town.

            Nay, poor soul, ’tis but a skeleton yet. He must
           have a man’s heart in him.

           [_Picking a big red beet from among the cornstalks,
               he places it under the left side of the ribs._]

                  Hush! Dost thou hear it _beat_?

                              GOODY RICKBY
            Thou merry rogue!

            Now for the lungs of him.
   [_Snatching a small pair of bellows from a peg on the wall._]
            That’s for eloquence! He’ll preach the black knaves a sermon
          on theft. And now—

      [_Here, with Goody Rickby’s help, he stuffs the framework
          with the gourds, corn, etc., from the loft, weaving the
          husks about the legs and arms._]

          here goes for digestion and inherited instincts! More corn,
          Goody. Now he’ll fight for his own flesh and blood!

                              GOODY RICKBY
            Dickon, I am proud of thee.

            Wait till you see his peruke.
       [_Seizing a feather duster made of crow’s feathers._]
       _Voici!_ Scalps of the enemy!

        [_Pulling them apart, he arranges the feathers on the
                 pumpkin, like a gentleman’s wig._]
            A rare conqueror!

                              GOODY RICKBY
                Oh, you beauty!

            And now a bit of comfort for dark days and stormy nights.

      [_Taking a piece of corn-cob with the kernels on
          it, Dickon makes a pipe, which he puts into the
          scarecrow’s mouth._]

            So! There, Goody! I tell thee, with yonder brand-new coat
          and breeches of mine—those there in my cupboard!—we’ll make
          him a lad to be proud of.

      [_Taking the clothes, which Goody Rickby brings—a pair
          of fine scarlet breeches and a gold-embroidered coat
          with ruffles of lace—he puts them upon the scarecrow.
          Then, eying it like a connoisseur, makes a few
          finishing touches._]

            Why, dame, he’ll be a son to thee.

                              GOODY RICKBY
            A son? Ay, if I had but a son!

            Why, here you have him.
                         [_To the scarecrow._]
            Thou wilt scare the crows off thy mother’s corn-field—
          won’t my pretty? And send ’em all over t’other side the
          wall—to her dear neighbour’s, the Justice Gilead Merton’s.

                              GOODY RICKBY
            Justice Merton! Nay, if they’d only peck his eyes out,
          instead of his corn.

            Yet the Justice was a dear friend of “Blacksmith Bess.”

                              GOODY RICKBY
            Ay, “Blacksmith Bess!” If I hadn’t had a good stout arm when
          he cast me off with the babe, I might have starved for all his
          worship cared.

            True, Bessie; ’twas a scurvy trick he played on thee—and on
          me, that took such pains to bring you together—to steal a
          young maid’s heart—

                              GOODY RICKBY
            And then toss it away like a bad penny to the gutter! And
          the child—to die!
                           [_Lifting her hammer in rage._]
            Ha! if I could get the worshipful Justice Gilead into my
          power again—
                           [_Drops the hammer sullenly on the anvil._]
            But no! I shall beat my life away on this anvil, whilst my
          justice clinks his gold, and drinks his port to a fat old age.
          Justice! Ha—justice of God!

            Whist, dame! Talk of angels and hear the rustle of their

                              GOODY RICKBY
     [_Turning, watches outside a girl’s figure approaching._]

            His niece—Rachel Merton! What can she want so early? Nay, I
          mind me; ’tis the mirror. She’s a maid after our own hearts,
          boy,—no Sabbath-go-to-meeting airs about _her_! She hath
          read the books of the _magi_ from cover to cover, and
          paid me good guineas for ’em, though her uncle knows naught
          on’t. Besides, she’s in love, Dickon.

                     [_Indicating the scarecrow._]
            Ah? With _him_? Is it a rendezvous?

                              GOODY RICKBY
                           [_With a laugh._]
            Pff! Begone!

                [_Shakes his finger at the scarecrow._]
                          Thou naughty rogue!

      [_Then, still smiling slyly, with his head placed
          confidentially next to the scarecrow’s ear, as if
          whispering, and with his hand pointing to the maiden
          outside, Dickon fades away into air._ RACHEL
          _enters, nervous and hesitant. Goody Rickby makes her
          a courtesy, which she acknowledges by a nod, half

                              GOODY RICKBY
            Mistress Rachel Merton—so early! I hope your uncle, our
          worshipful Justice, is not ill?

            No, my uncle is quite well. The early morning suits me
          best for a walk. You are—quite alone?

                              GOODY RICKBY
            Quite alone, mistress. [_Bitterly._] Oh, folks don’t
          call on Goody Rickby—except on business.

           [_Absently, looking round in the dim shop._]
            Yes—you must be busy. Is it—is it here?

                              GOODY RICKBY
            You mean the—

                     [_Starting back, with a cry._]
            Ah! who’s that?

                              GOODY RICKBY
            Fear not, mistress; ’tis nothing but a scarecrow.
          I’m going to put him in my corn-field yonder. The crows are
          so pesky this year.

                [_Draws her skirts away with a shiver._]
            How loathsome!

                              GOODY RICKBY
                          [_Vastly pleased._]
            He’ll do!

            Ah, here!—This is _the_ mirror?

                              GOODY RICKBY
            Yea, mistress, and a wonderful glass it is, as I told you.
          I wouldn’t sell it to most comers, but seeing how you and
          Master Talbot—

            Yes; that will do.

                              GOODY RICKBY
            You see, if the town folks guessed what it was, well—You’ve
          heard tell of the gibbets on Salem hill? There’s not many in
          New England like you, Mistress Rachel. You know enough to
          approve some miracles—outside the Scriptures.

            You are quite sure the glass will do all you say? It—never

                              GOODY RICKBY
            Ay, now, mistress, how could it? ’Tis the glass of
          truth—[_insinuatingly_] the glass of true lovers. It
          shows folks just as they are; no shams, no varnish. If your
          sweetheart be false, the glass will reveal it. If a wolf
          should dress himself in a white sheep’s wool, this glass would
          reflect the black beast inside it.

            But what of the sins of the soul, Goody? Vanity, hypocrisy,
          and—and inconstancy? Will it surely reveal them?

                              GOODY RICKBY
            I have told you, my young lady. If it doth not as I say,
          bring it back and get your money again. Trust me, sweeting,
          ’tis your only mouse-trap for a man. Why, an old dame hath
          eyes in her heart yet. If your lover be false, this glass
          shall pluck his fine feathers!

                          [_With aloofness_.]
            ’Tis no question of that. I wish the glass to—to amuse me.

                              GOODY RICKBY
            Why, then, it shall amuse you. Try it on some of your

            You ask a large price for it.

                              GOODY RICKBY
            I run risks. Besides, where will you get another?

            That is true. Here, I will buy it. That is the
          sum you mentioned, I believe?

      [_She hands a purse to Goody Rickby who opens it and
                      counts over some coins._]

                              GOODY RICKBY
            Let see; let see.


                              GOODY RICKBY
            Good: ’tis good. Folks call me a witch, mistress.
          Well—harkee—a witch’s word is as good as a justice’s gold.
          The glass is yours—with my blessing.

            Spare yourself that, dame. But the glass: how am I to get
          it? How will you send it to me—quietly?

                              GOODY RICKBY
            Trust me for that. I’ve a willing lad that helps me with
          such errands; a neighbour o’ mine.

            What! is he here?

                              GOODY RICKBY
            In the hay-loft. The boy’s an orphan; he sleeps there o’
          times. Ebenezer!

     [_A raw, dishevelled country boy appears in the loft,
            slides down the ladder, and shuffles up sleepily._]

                                THE BOY

                    [_Drawing Goody Rickby aside._]
            You understand; I desire no comment about this purchase.

                              GOODY RICKBY
            Nor I, mistress, be sure.

            Is he—?

                              GOODY RICKBY
              [_Tapping her forehead significantly._]
            Trust his wits who hath no wit; he’s mum.


                                THE BOY

                              GOODY RICKBY
            Yea, rumple-head! His job this morning is to bear yonder
          glass to the house of Justice Merton—the big one on the hill;
          to the side door. Mind, no gabbing. Doth he catch?

                                THE BOY
                       [_Nodding and grinning._]
            ’E swallows.

            But is the boy strong enough?

                              GOODY RICKBY
                       [_Pointing to the anvil._]

      [_The boy spits on his palms, takes hold of the anvil,
          lifts it, drops it again, sits on it, and grins at
          the door, just as Richard Talbot appears there, from


                              GOODY RICKBY
            Trust him. He’ll carry the glass for you.

            I will return home at once, then. Let him go quietly to the
          side door, and wait for me. Good morning.
                       [_Turning, she confronts Richard._]

            Good morning.

            Richard!—Squire Talbot, you—you are abroad early.

            As early as Mistress Rachel. Is it pardonable?
          I caught sight of you walking in this direction, so
          I thought it wise to follow, lest—
                         [_Looks hard at Goody Rickby._]

            Very kind. Thanks. I’ve done my errand.
          Well; we can return together.
                               [_To Goody Rickby._]
            You will make sure that I receive the—the article.

                              GOODY RICKBY
            Trust me, mistress.
            Squire Talbot! the honour, sir!

              [_Bluntly, looking from one to the other._]
            What article?

      [_Rachel ignores the question and starts to pass out.
          Richard frowns at Goody Rickby, who stammers._]

                              GOODY RICKBY
            Begging your pardon, sir?

            What article? I said.
                    [_After a short, embarrassed pause: more sternly._]

                              GOODY RICKBY
            Oh, the article! Yonder old glass, to be sure, sir.
          A quaint piece, your honour.

            Rachel, you haven’t come here at sunrise to buy—that thing?

            Verily, “that thing” and at sunrise. A pretty time for a
          pretty purchase. Are you coming?

                          [_In a low voice._]
            More witchcraft nonsense? Do you realize this is serious?

            Oh, of course. You know I am desperately mystical,
          so pray let us not discuss it. Good-by.

            Rachel, just a moment. If you want a mirror, you
          shall have the prettiest one in New England. Or I will
          import you one from London. Only—I beg of you—don’t
          buy stolen goods.

                              GOODY RICKBY
            Stolen goods?

                         [_Aside to Richard._]
            Don’t! don’t!

            At least, articles under suspicion.
                                   [_To Goody Rickby._]
            Can you account for this mirror—how you came by it?

                              GOODY RICKBY
             I’ll show ye! I’ll show ye! Stolen—ha!

            Come, old swindler, keep your mirror, and give
          this lady back her money.

                              GOODY RICKBY
            I’ll damn ye both, I will!—Stolen!

            Will you come?

            Look you, old Rickby; this is not the first time. Charm all
          the broomsticks in town, if you like; bewitch all the tables
          and saucepans and mirrors you please; but gull no more money
          out of young girls. Mind you! We’re not so enterprising in
          this town as at Salem; but—_it may come to it_! So look
          sharp! I’m not blind to what’s going on here.

                              GOODY RICKBY
            Not blind, Master Puritan? Oho! You can see through all my
          counterfeits, can ye? So! you would scrape all the wonder
          out’n the world, as I’ve scraped all the meat out’n my
          punkin-head yonder! Aha! wait and see! Afore sundown, I’ll
          send ye a nut to crack, shall make your orthodox jaws ache.
          Your servant, Master Deuteronomy!

                 [_To Rachel, who has seized his arm._]
            We’ll go.
                              [_Exeunt Richard and Rachel._]

                              GOODY RICKBY
                     [_Calls shrilly after them._]
            Trot away, pretty team; toss your heads. I’ll unhitch ye and
          take off your blinders.

                           THE SLOUCHING BOY
           [_Capering and grimacing in front of the mirror,
                      shrieks with laughter._]

                              GOODY RICKBY
                        [_Returning, savagely._]

            Yes, yes, my fine lover! I’ll pay thee for “stolen
          goods”—I’ll pay thee.
            Dickon! Stop laughing.

                                THE BOY
            O Lord! O Lord!

                              GOODY RICKBY
            What tickles thy mirth now?

                                THE BOY
            For to think as the soul of an orphan innocent,
          what lives in a hay-loft, should wear horns.

      [_On looking into the mirror, the spectator perceives
          therein that the reflection of the slouching boy is
          the horned demon figure of Dickon, who performs the
          same antics in pantomime within the glass as the boy
          does without._]

                              GOODY RICKBY
            Yea; ’tis a wise devil that knows his own face in the glass.
          But hark now! Thou must find me a rival for this
          cock-squire,—dost hear? A rival, that shall steal away the
          heart of his Mistress Rachel.

            And take her to church?

                              GOODY RICKBY
            To church or to Hell. All’s one.

            A rival!
                       [_Pointing at the glass._]
            How would _he_ serve—in there? Dear Ebenezer! Fancy
          the deacons in the vestry, Goody, and her uncle, the Justice,
          when they saw him escorting the bride to the altar, with his
          tail round her waist!

                              GOODY RICKBY
            Tut, tut! Think it over in earnest, and meantime take her
          the glass. Wait, we’d best fold it up small, so as not to
          attract notice on the road.

      [_Dickon, who has already drawn the curtains over the
          glass, grasps one side of the large frame, Goody
          Rickby the other._]


      [_Pushing their shoulders against the two sides, the frame
          disappears and Dickon holds in his hand a mirror about
          a foot square, of the same design._]

            So! Be off! And mind, a rival for Richard!

                      For Richard a rival,
                      Dear Goody Rickby
                      Wants Dickon’s connival:
                      Lord! What can the trick be?

                              [_To the scarecrow._]
            By-by, Sonny; take care of thy mother.

        [_Dickon slouches out with the glass, whistling._]

                              GOODY RICKBY
            Mother! Yea, if only I had a son—the Justice Merton’s and
          mine! If the brat had but lived now to remind him of those
          merry days, which he has forgotten. Zooks, wouldn’t I put a
          spoke in his wheel! But no such luck for me! No such luck!

      [_As she goes to the forge, the stout figure of a man
          appears in the doorway behind her. Under one arm he
          carries a large book, in the other hand a gold-headed
          cane. He hesitates, embarrassed._]

                                THE MAN
            Permit me, Madam.

                              GOODY RICKBY
            Ah, him!—Justice Merton!

                             JUSTICE MERTON
      [_Removing his hat, steps over the sill, and lays his
          great book on the table; then with a supercilious
          look, he puts his hat firmly on again._]

            Permit me, dame.

                              GOODY RICKBY

      [_With confused, affected hauteur, the Justice shifts from
          foot to foot, flourishing his cane. As he speaks,
          Goody Rickby, with a shrewd, painful expression, draws
          slowly backward toward the door left, which opens into
          an inner room. Reaching it, she opens it part way,
          stands facing him, and listens._]

                             JUSTICE MERTON

            I have had the honour—permit me—to entertain suspicions;
          to rise early, to follow my niece, to meet just now Squire
          Talbot, an excellent young gentleman of wealth, if not of
         fashion; to hear his remarks concerning—hem!—you, dame! to
         call here—permit me—to express myself and inquire—

                              GOODY RICKBY
            Concerning your waistcoat?

      [_Turning quickly, she snatches an article of apparel
          which hangs on the inner side of the door, and holds
          it up._]

                             JUSTICE MERTON
                         [_Starting, crimson._]

                              GOODY RICKBY
           You left it behind—the last time.

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            I have not the honour to remember—

                              GOODY RICKBY
            The one I embroidered?

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            ’Tis a matter—

                              GOODY RICKBY
            Of some two and twenty years.
                [_Stretching out the narrow width of the waistcoat._]
            Will you try it on now, dearie?

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            Unconscionable! Un-un-unconscionable witch!

                              GOODY RICKBY
            Witchling—thou used to say.

                             JUSTICE MERTON

            Pah! pah! I forget myself. Pride, permit me, goeth before a
          fall. As a magistrate, Rickby, I have already borne with you
          long! The last straw, however, breaks the camel’s back.

                              GOODY RICKBY
            Poor camel!

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            You have soiled, you have smirched, the virgin reputation of
          my niece. You have inveigled her into notions of witchcraft;
          already the neighbours are beginning to talk. ’Tis a long lane
          which hath no turning, saith the Lord. Permit me—as a witch,
          thou art judged. Thou shalt hang.

                               A VOICE
                            [_Behind him._]
            And me too?

                           JUSTICE MERTON
                      [_Turns about and stares._]
            I beg pardon.

                              THE VOICE
                          [_In front of him._]
            Not at all.

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            Did—did somebody speak?

                              THE VOICE
            Don’t you recognize my voice? _Still and small_, you know.
          If you will kindly let me out, we can chat.

                           JUSTICE MERTON
                 [_Turning fiercely on Goody Rickby._]
            These are thy sorceries. But I fear them not.
          The righteous man walketh with God.
             [_Going to the book which lies on the table._]
          Satan, I ban thee! I will read from the Holy Scriptures!

      [_Unclasping the Bible, he flings open the ponderous
                   covers.—Dickon steps forth in smoke._]

            Thanks; it was stuffy in there.

                           JUSTICE MERTON
                        [_Clasping his hands._]

                 [_Moving a step nearer on the table._]
            Hillo, Gilly! Hillo, Bess!

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            Dickon! No! No!

            Do ye mind Auld Lang Syne—the chorus that night, Gilly?

                  Gil-ead, Gil-ead, Gil-ead Merton,
                  He was a silly head, silly head, Certain,
                  When he forgot to steal a bed-Curtain!

            _Encore_, now!

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            No, no, be merciful! I will not harm her; she shall not
          hang: I swear, I swear it!
                                   [_Dickon disappears._]
            I swear—ah! Is he gone? Witchcraft! Witchcraft! I have
          witnessed it. ’Tis proved on thee, slut. I swear it: thou
          shalt hang.
                                     [_Exit wildly._]

                            GOODY RICKBY
            Ay, Gilead! I shall hang _on_! Ahaha! Dickon, thou
          angel! Ah, Satan! Satan! For a son now!

            _Videlicet_, in law—a bastard. _N’est ce pas?_

                            GOODY RICKBY
            Yea, in law and in justice, I should-a had one now. Worse
          luck that he died.

            One and twenty years ago?
                         [_Goody Rickby nods._]
            Good; he should be of age now. One and twenty—a pretty age,
          too, for a rival. Haha!—For arrival?—Marry, he shall arrive,
          then; arrive and marry and inherit his patrimony—all on his
          birthday! Come, to work!

                            GOODY RICKBY
            What rant is this?

            Yet, Dickon, it pains me to perform such an anachronism. All
          this Mediævalism in Massachusetts!—These old-fashioned flames
          and alchemic accompaniments, when I’ve tried so hard to be a
          native American product; it jars. But _che vuole_! I’m
          naturally middle-aged. I haven’t been really myself, let me
          think,—since 1492!

                            GOODY RICKBY
            What art thou mooning about?

                    [_Still impenetrable._]
            There was my old friend in Germany, Dr. Johann Faustus; he
          was nigh such a bag of old rubbish when I made him over. Ain’t
          it trite! No, you can’t teach an old dog like me new tricks.
          Still, a scarecrow! that’s decidedly local color. Come then; a
          Yankee masterpiece!

     [_Seizing Goody Rickby by the arm, and placing her before
          the scarecrow, he makes a bow and wave of introduction._]

            Behold, madam, your son—illegitimate; the future affianced
          of Mistress Rachel Merton, the heir-elect, through matrimony,
          of Merton House,—Gilead Merton second; Lord Ravensbane! Your
          lordship—your mother.

                            GOODY RICKBY
            Dickon! Can you do it?

            I can—try.

                            GOODY RICKBY
            You will create him for me?—
          and for Gilead!

            I will—for a kiss.

                            GOODY RICKBY
                       [_About to embrace him._]

                            [_Dodging her._]
            Later. Now, the waistcoat.

                            GOODY RICKBY
                            [_Handing it._]
            Rare! rare! He shall go wooing in’t—like his father.

     [_Shifting the scarecrow’s gold-trimmed coat, slips on the
                 embroidered waistcoat and replaces the coat._]

            Stand still, Jack! So, my macaroni. _Perfecto!_
          Stay—a walking-stick!

                            GOODY RICKBY
       [_Wrenching a spoke out of an old rickety wheel._]

            Here: the spoke for Gilead. He used to take me to drive in
          the chaise it came out of.

     [_Placing the spoke as a cane, in the scarecrow’s sleeve,
                  views him with satisfaction._]

            _Sic!_ There, Jacky! _Filius fit non nascitur._—Sam
          Hill! My Latin is stale. “In the beginning, was the—gourd!”
          Of these thy modest ingredients may thy spirit smack!

      [_Making various mystic passes with his hands, Dickon
          intones, now deep and solemn, now with fanciful shrill
          rapidity, this incantation_:]

          Flail, flip;
          Broom, sweep;
            _Sic itur!_
          And turnip, talk!
            Turn crittur!

          Pulse, beet;
          Gourd, eat;
            _Ave_ Hellas!
          Poker and punkin,
          Stir the old junk in:
            Breathe, bellows!

          And crow’s feather,
          End the job:
    Jumble the rest o’ the rubbish together;
          Dovetail and tune ’em.
          _E pluribus unum!_

             [_The scarecrow remains stock still._]

            The devil! Have I lost the hang of it? Ah! Hullo! He’s
          dropped his pipe. What’s a dandy without his ’baccy!

   [_Restoring the corn-cob pipe to the scarecrow’s mouth._]

            ’Tis the life and breath of him. So; hand me yon hazel
          switch, Goody.

                         [_Waving it._]
                         Brighten, coal,
                         I’ the dusk between us!
                         Whiten, soul!
                        _Propinquit Venus!_

     [_A whiff of smoke puffs from the scarecrow’s pipe._]
            _Sic! Sic! Jacobus!_
                       [_Another whiff._]
     [_The whiffs grow more rapid and the thing trembles._]

                            GOODY RICKBY
            Puff! puff, manny, for thy life!

            _Fiat, fœtus!_—Huzza! _Noch einmal!_ Go it!

      [_Clouds of smoke issue from the pipe, half fill the shop,
                and envelop the creature, who staggers._][A]

                            GOODY RICKBY
            See! See his eyes!

                 [_Beckoning with one finger._]

            _Veni, fili! Veni!_ Take ’ee first step, _bambino_!—

      [_The Scarecrow makes a stiff lurch forward and falls
          sidewise against the anvil, propped half-reclining
          against which he leans rigid, emitting fainter puffs
          of smoke in gasps._]

                            GOODY RICKBY
            Have a care! He’s fallen.


            Well done, Punkin Jack! Thou shalt be knighted for that!
                   [_Striking him on the shoulder with the hazel rod._]
            Rise, Lord Ravensbane!
                [_The Scarecrow totters to his feet, and
                     makes a forlorn rectilinear salutation._]

                            GOODY RICKBY
            Look! He bows.—He flaps his flails at thee. He smiles like
          a tik-doo-loo-roo!

          [_With a profound reverence, backing away._]
            Will his lordship deign to follow his tutor?
   [_With hitches and jerks, the Scarecrow follows Dickon._]

                            GOODY RICKBY
            O Lord! Lord! the style o’ the broomstick!

                [_Holding ready a high-backed chair._]
            Will his lordship be seated and rest himself?

      [_Awkwardly the Scarecrow half falls into the chair; his
          head sinks sideways, and his pipe falls out. Dickon
          snatches it up instantly and restores it to his

            Puff! Puff, _puer_; ’tis thy life.
                      [_The Scarecrow puffs again._]
            Is his lordship’s tobacco refreshing?

                            GOODY RICKBY
            Look now! The red colour in his cheeks. The beet-juice is
          pumping, oho!

                     [_Offering his arm._]
            Your lordship will deign to receive an audience?
                   [_The Scarecrow takes his arm and rises._]
            The Marchioness of Rickby, your lady mother, entreats leave
          to present herself.

                            GOODY RICKBY
                          [_Courtesying low._]
            My son!

        [_Holding the pipe, and waving the hazel rod._]
            _Dicite!_ Speak!

     [_The Scarecrow, blowing out his last mouthful of smoke,
        opens his mouth, gasps, gurgles, and is silent._]

            _In principio erat verbum!_ Accost thy mother!

      [_The Scarecrow, clutching at his side in a struggle
          for coherence, fixes a pathetic look of pain on
          Goody Rickby._]

                            THE SCARECROW

                            GOODY RICKBY
         [_With a scream of hysterical laughter, seizes both
                Dickon’s hands and dances him about the forge._]
            O Beelzebub! I shall die!

            Thou hast thy son.

         [_Dickon whispers in the Scarecrow’s ear, shakes his
                    finger, and exit._]

                            GOODY RICKBY
            He called me “mother.” Again, boy, again.

                            THE SCARECROW
            From the bottom of my heart—mother.

                            GOODY RICKBY
            “The bottom of his heart”—Nay, thou killest me.

                            THE SCARECROW
            Permit me, madam!

                            GOODY RICKBY
            Gilead! Gilead himself! Waistcoat, “permit me,” and all: thy
          father over again, I tell thee.

                            THE SCARECROW
                       [_With a slight stammer._]
            It gives me—I assure you—lady—the deepest happiness.

                            GOODY RICKBY
            Just so the old hypocrite spoke when I said I’d have him.
          But thou hast a sweeter deference, my son.

     [_Re-enter Dickon; he is dressed all in black, save for a
            white stock,—a suit of plain elegance._]

            Now, my lord, your tutor is ready.

                            THE SCARECROW
                          [_To Goody Rickby._]
            I have the honour—permit me—to wish you—good morning.

        [_Bows and takes a step after Dickon, who, taking a
              three-cornered cocked hat from a peg, goes toward
              the door._]

                            GOODY RICKBY
            Whoa! Whoa, Jack! Whither away?

                        [_Presenting the hat._]
            Deign to reply, sir.

                            THE SCARECROW
            I go—with my tutor—Master Dickonson—to pay my
          respects—to his worship—the Justice—Merton—to
          solicit—the hand—of his daughter—the fair
                         [_With another bow._]
            Permit me.

                            GOODY RICKBY
            Permit ye? God speed ye! Thou must teach him his tricks,

            Trust me, Goody. Between here and Justice Merton’s, I will
          play the mother-hen, and I promise thee, our bantling shall be
          as stuffed with compliments as a callow chick with

      [_As he throws open the big doors, the cawing of crows
             is heard again._]

            Hark! your lordship’s retainers acclaim you on your
          birthday. They bid you welcome to your majority. Listen!
          “Long live Lord Ravensbane! Caw!”

                            GOODY RICKBY
            Look! Count ’em, Dickon.

                         One for sorrow,
                         Two for mirth,
                         Three for a wedding,
                         Four for a birth—

            Four on ’em! So! Good luck on thy birthday!
          And see! There’s three on ’em flying into the
          Justice’s field.

                         —Flight o’ the crows
                         Tells how the wind blows!—

            A wedding! Get ye gone. Wed the girl, and sting
          the Justice. Bless ye, my son!

                            THE SCARECROW
                     [_With a profound reverence._]

            Mother—believe me—to be—your ladyship’s—
          most devoted—and obedient—son.

                        [_Prompting him aloud._]

                            THE SCARECROW
      [_Donning his hat, lifts his head in hauteur, shakes his
          lace ruffle over his hand, turns his shoulder, nods
          slightly, and speaks for the first time with complete
          mastery of his voice._]

           Hm! Ravensbane!

      [_With one hand in the arm of Dickon, the other twirling
          his cane (the converted chaise-spoke), wreathed in
          halos of smoke from his pipe, the fantastical figure
          hitches elegantly forth into the daylight, amid louder
          acclamations of the crows._]

[A] Here the living actor, through a trap, concealed by the smoke,
will substitute himself for the elegantly clad effigy. His make-up, of
course, will approximate to the latter, but the grotesque contours of
his expression gradually, throughout the remainder of the act, become
refined and sublimated till, at the _finale_, they are of a lordly and
distinguished caste.


      _The same morning. Justice Merton’s parlour, furnished and
          designed in the style of the early colonial period.
          On the right wall, hangs a portrait of the Justice
          as a young man; on the left wall, an old-fashioned
          looking-glass. At the right of the room stands
          the Glass of Truth, draped—as in the blacksmith
          shop—with the strange, embroidered curtain._

      _In front of it are discovered_ RACHEL _and_
          RICHARD; _Rachel is about to draw the

            Now! Are you willing?

            So you suspect me of dark, villainous practices?

            No, no, foolish Dick.

            Still, I am to be tested; is that it?

            That’s it.

            As your true lover.

            Well, yes.

            Why, of course, then, I consent. A true lover always
          consents to the follies of his lady-love.

            Thank you, Dick; I trust the glass will sustain your
          character. Now; when I draw the curtain—

                         [_Staying her hand._]
            What if I be false?

            Then, sir, the glass will reflect you as the subtle fox that
          you are.

            And you—as the goose?


            Very likely. Ah! but, Richard dear, we mustn’t laugh. It may
          prove very serious. You do not guess—you do not dream all the

               [_Shaking his head, with a grave smile._]

            You pluck at too many mysteries; sometime they may burn your
          fingers. Remember our first mother Eve!

            But this is the glass of truth; and Goody Rickby told me—

            Rickby, forsooth!

            Nay, come; let’s have it over.

    [_She draws the curtain, covers her eyes, steps back by
          Richard’s side, looks at the glass, and gives a joyous cry._]

            Ah! there you are, dear! There we are, both of us—just as
          we have always seemed to each other, true. ’Tis proved. Isn’t
          it wonderful?

            Miraculous! That a mirror bought in a blacksmith shop,
          before sunrise, for twenty pounds, should prove to be
          actually—a mirror!

            Richard, I’m so happy.

            [_Enter_ JUSTICE MERTON _and_ MISTRESS MERTON.]

                       [_Embracing her._]
            Happy, art thou, sweet goose? Why, then, God bless Goody

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            Strange words from you, Squire Talbot.

     [_Rachel and Richard part quickly; Rachel draws the
         curtain over the mirror; Richard stands stiffly._]

            Justice Merton! Why, sir, the old witch is more innocent,
          perhaps, than I represented her.

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            A witch, believe me, is never innocent.

     [_Taking their hands, he brings them together and kisses
                    Rachel on the forehead._]

            Permit me, young lovers. I was once young myself, young and

                           MISTRESS MERTON
                          [_In a low voice._]

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            My fair niece, my worthy young man, beware of witchcraft.

                           MISTRESS MERTON
            And Goody Rickby, too, brother?

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            That woman shall answer for her deeds. She is proscribed.

            Proscribed? What is that?

                           MISTRESS MERTON
                       [_Examining the mirror._]
            What is this?

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            She shall hang.

            Uncle, no! Not merely because of my purchase this morning.

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            Your purchase?

                           MISTRESS MERTON
                      [_Pointing to the mirror._]
            That, I suppose.

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            What! you purchased that mirror of her? You brought it here?

            No, the boy brought it; I found it here when I returned.

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            What! From her! You purchased it? From her shop? From her
          infamous den, into my parlour!
                              [_To Mistress Merton._]
            Call the servant.
                              [_Himself calling._]
            Micah! This instant, this instant—away with it! Micah!

            Uncle Gilead, I bought—

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            Micah, I say! Where is the man?

            Listen, Uncle. I bought it with my own money.

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            Thine own money! Wilt have the neighbours gossip? Wilt have
          me, thyself, my house, suspected of complicity with witches?
                   [_Enter_ MICAH.]
            Micah, take this away.

            Yes, sir; but, sir—

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            Out of my house!

            There be visitors.

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            Away with—

                           MISTRESS MERTON
                         [_Touching his arm._]

            Visitors, sir; gentry.

                           JUSTICE MERTON

            Shall I show them in, sir?

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            Visitors! In the morning? Who are they?

            Strangers, sir. I should judge they be very high gentry;
          lords, sir.


            At least, one on ’em, sir. The other—the dark
          gentleman—told me they left their horses at the inn, sir.

                           MISTRESS MERTON
               [_The faces of all wear suddenly a startled expression._]
             Where is that unearthly sound?

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            Is it in the cellar?

            ’Tis just the dog howling, madam. When he spied the gentry
          he turned tail and run below.

                           MISTRESS MERTON
            Oh, the dog!

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            Show the gentlemen here, Micah. Don’t keep them waiting.
                                    [_Exit_ MICAH.]
            A lord!
                                    [_To Rachel._]
            We shall talk of this matter later.—A lord!

     [_Turning to the small glass on the wall, he arranges his
                       peruke and attire._]

                            [_To Richard._]

            What a fortunate interruption! But, dear Dick! I wish we
          needn’t meet these strangers now.

            Would you really rather we were alone together?

              [_They chat aside, absorbed in each other._]

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            Think of it, Cynthia, a lord!

                           MISTRESS MERTON
        [_Dusting the furniture hastily with her handkerchief._]
        And such dust!

                        [_To Richard._]
            You know, dear, we need only be introduced, and then we can
          steal away together.

                          [_Re-enter_ MICAH.]

            Lord Ravensbane: Marquis of Oxford, Baron of Wittenberg,
          Elector of Worms, and Count of Cordova; Master Dickonson.

   [_Enter_ RAVENSBANE _and_ DICKON.]

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            Gentlemen, permit me, you are excessively welcome. I am
          deeply gratified to meet—

            Lord Ravensbane, of the Rookeries, Somersetshire.

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            Lord Ravensbane—his lordship’s most truly honoured.

            Truly honoured.

                           JUSTICE MERTON
                         [_Turning to Dickon._]
            His lordship’s—?


                           JUSTICE MERTON
                     [_Checking his effusiveness._]
            Ah, so!

            Justice Merton, I believe.

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            Of Merton House.—May I present—permit me, your lordship—my
          sister, Mistress Merton.

            Mistress Merton.

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            And my—and my—
                          [_Under his breath._]

   [_Rachel remains with a bored expression behind Richard._]

            —my young neighbour, Squire Talbot, Squire Richard Talbot

            Of nowhere, sir.


                           JUSTICE MERTON
            And permit me, Lord Ravensbane, my niece—Mistress Rachel

                             [_Bows low._]
            Mistress Rachel Merton.

            Lord Ravensbane.

 [_As they raise their heads, their eyes meet and are fascinated.
     Dickon just then takes Ravensbane’s pipe and fills it._]

            Mistress Rachel!

            Your lordship!
                      [_Dickon returns the pipe._]

                           MISTRESS MERTON
            A pipe! Gilead!—in the parlour!
                  [_Justice Merton frowns silence._]

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            Your lordship—ahem!—has just arrived in town?

            From London, via New Amsterdam.

            Is he staring at _you_? Are you ill, Rachel?


                           JUSTICE MERTON
            Lord Ravensbane honours my humble roof.

                     [_Touches Ravensbane’s arm._]
            Your lordship—“roof.”

                     [_Starting, turns to Merton._]
            Nay, sir, the roof of my father’s oldest friend bestows
          generous hospitality upon his only son.

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            Only son—ah, yes! Your father—

            My father, I trust, sir, has never forgotten the intimate
          companionship, the touching devotion, the unceasing solicitude
          for his happiness which you, sir, manifested to him in the
          days of his youth.

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            Really, your lordship, the—the slight favours which—hem!
          some years ago, I was privileged to show your illustrious

            Permit me!—Because, however, of his present infirmities—for
          I regret to say that my father is suffering a temporary
          aberration of mind—

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            You distress me!

            My lady mother has charged me with a double mission here in
          New England. On my quitting my home, sir, to explore the
          wideness and the mystery of this world, my mother bade me be
          sure to call upon his worship, the Justice Merton; and deliver
          to him, first, my father’s remembrances; and secondly, my
          mother’s epistle.

        [_Handing to Justice Merton a sealed document._]
            Her ladyship’s letter, sir.

                           JUSTICE MERTON
          [_Examining the seal with awe, speaks aside to
                        Mistress Merton._]
            Cynthia!—a crested seal!

            His lordship’s crest, sir: rooks rampant.

                           JUSTICE MERTON
                   [_Embarrassed, breaks the seal._]
            Permit me.

                   [_Looking at Ravensbane._]
            Have you noticed his bearing, Richard: what personal
          distinction! what inbred nobility! Every inch a true lord!

            He may be a lord, my dear, but he walks like a broomstick.

            How dare you!

     [_Turns abruptly away; as she does so, a fold of her gown
                      catches in a chair._]

                         [_To Justice Merton._]
            A word, sir.

                           JUSTICE MERTON
                    [_Glancing up from the letter._]
            I am astonished—overpowered!

            Mistress Rachel—permit me.
                     [_Stooping, he extricates the fold of her gown._]

            Oh, thank you.
                      [_They go aside together._]

                        [_To Mistress Merton._]
            So Lord Ravensbane and his family are old friends of yours?

                           MISTRESS MERTON
            I never heard the name before, Richard.

            Why! but I thought that your brother, the Justice—

                           MISTRESS MERTON
            The Justice is reticent.


                           MISTRESS MERTON
            Especially concerning his youth.


  [_To Rachel, taking her hand after a whisper from Dickon._]
          Believe me, sweet lady, it will give me the deepest pleasure.

            Can you really tell fortunes?

            More than that; I can bestow them.

                           JUSTICE MERTON
                         [_To Dickon._]
            But is her ladyship really serious? An offer of marriage!

            Pray read it again, sir.

                           JUSTICE MERTON

          “To the Worshipful, the Justice Gilead Merton,
             “Merton House.
          “My Honourable Friend and Benefactor:
            “With these brief lines I commend to you our
             son”—_our_ son!

            She speaks likewise for his young lordship’s father, sir.

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            Ah! of course.

            “In a strange land, I intrust him to you as to a father.”
          Honoured, believe me! “I have only to add my earnest hope that
          the natural gifts, graces, and inherited fortune”—ah—!

            Twenty thousand pounds—on his father’s demise.

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            Ah!—“fortune of this young scion of nobility will so
          propitiate the heart of your niece, Mistress Rachel Merton,
          as to cause her to accept his proffered hand in matrimony;”
          —but—but—but Squire Talbot is betrothed to—well, well, we
          shall see;—“in matrimony, and thus cement the early bonds of
          interest and affection between your honoured self and his
          lordship’s father; not to mention, dear sir, your worship’s
          ever grateful and obedient admirer,

                                             “Marchioness of R.”

            Of R.! of R.! Will you believe me, my dear sir, so long is
          it since my travels in England—I visited at so many—hem!
          noble estates—permit me, it is so awkward, but—

               [_With his peculiar intonation of Act I._]
            Not at all.

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            I—I confess, sir, my youthful memory fails me. Will you be
          so very obliging; this—this Marchioness of R.—?

                     [_Enjoying his discomfiture._]

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            The R, I presume, stands for—


            Dickon, my pipe!
                [_Dickon glides away to fill Ravensbane’s pipe._]

                           JUSTICE MERTON
                [_Stands bewildered and horror-struck._]
            Great God!—Thou inexorable Judge!

   [_To Mistress Merton, scowling at Ravensbane and Rachel._]
            Are these court manners, in London?

                           MISTRESS MERTON
            Don’t ask _me_, Richard.

   [_Dejectedly to Rachel, as Dickon is refilling his pipe._]
            Alas! Mistress Rachel is cruel.

            I?—cruel, your lordship?

            Your own white hand has written it.
                           [_Lifting her palm._]
            See, these lines: Rejection! you will reject one who loves
          you dearly.

            Fie, your lordship! Be not cast down at fortune-telling. Let
          me tell yours, may I?

      [_Rapturously holding his palm for her to examine._]
            Ah! Permit me.

                           JUSTICE MERTON
                  [_Murmurs, in terrible agitation._]
            Dickon! Can it be Dickon?

            Why, Lord Ravensbane, your pulse. Really, if I am cruel, you
          are quite heartless. I declare I can’t feel your heart beat at

            Ah! mistress, that is because I have just lost it.


            Dickon, my pipe!

            Alas! my lord, are you ill?

  [_Restoring the lighted pipe to Ravensbane, speaks aside._]

            Pardon me, sweet young lady, I must confide to you that his
          lordship’s heart is peculiarly responsive to his emotions.
          When he feels very ardently, it quite stops. Hence the use of
          his pipe.

            Oh! Is smoking, then, necessary for his heart?

            Absolutely—to equilibrate the valvular palpitations.
          Without his pipe—should his lordship experience, for
          instance, the emotion of love—he might die.

            You alarm me!

            But this is for you only, Mistress Rachel. We may confide in

            Oh, utterly, sir.

            His lordship, you know, is so sensitive.

                             [_To Rachel._]
            You have given it back to me. Why did not you keep it?

            What, my lord?

            My heart.

                           JUSTICE MERTON
                             [_To Dickon._]
            Permit me, one moment; I did not catch your name.

            My name? Dickonson.

                           JUSTICE MERTON
                       [_With a gasp of relief._]
            Ah, Dickonson! Thank you. I mistook the word.

            A compound, your worship.
                       [_With a malignant smile._]
                       [_Then jerking his thumb over his shoulder
                          at Ravensbane._]
            Both at your service.

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            If—if you can show pity—speak low.

            As hell, your worship?

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            Is he—he there?

            Bessie’s brat; yes; it didn’t die, after all, poor suckling!
          Dickon weaned it. Saved it for balm of Gilead. Raised it for
          joyful home-coming. Prodigal’s return! Twenty-first birthday!
          Happy son! Happy father!

                           JUSTICE MERTON


                           JUSTICE MERTON
            I will not believe it.

            Truth is hard fare.

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            What—what do you want?

            Only the happiness of your dear ones.
                       [_Indicating Rachel and Ravensbane._]
            The union of these young hearts and hands.

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            What! he will dare—an illegitimate—

            Fie, fie, Gilly! Why, the brat is a lord now.

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            Oh, the disgrace! Spare me that, Dickon.

          [_In a low voice to Rachel, who is talking in a
                    fascinated manner to Ravensbane._]
            Are you mad?

            What is the matter?
                          [_Laughing, to Ravensbane._]
            Oh, your lordship is too witty!

                           JUSTICE MERTON
                             [_To Dickon._]
            After all, I was young then.

            Quite so.

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            And she is innocent; she is already betrothed.

            Twiddle-twaddle! Look at her eyes now!
          [_Rachel is still telling Ravensbane’s fortune;
                and they are manifestly absorbed in each other._]
            ’Tis a brilliant match; besides, her ladyship’s heart is set
          upon it.

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            Her ladyship—?

            The Marchioness of Rickby.

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            I had forgotten.

            Her ladyship has never forgotten. So, you see, your
          worship’s alternatives are most simple. Alternative one:
          advance his lordship’s suit with your niece as speedily as
          possible, and save all scandal. Alternative two: impede his
          lordship’s suit, and—

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            Don’t, Dickon! don’t reveal the truth; not disgrace now!

            Good; we are agreed, then?

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            I have no choice.

            Why, true; we ignored that, didn’t we?

                           MISTRESS MERTON
            This young lord—Why, Gilead, are you ill?

                           JUSTICE MERTON
               [_With a great effort, commands himself._]
            Not in the least.

                           MISTRESS MERTON
            Rachel’s deportment, my dear brother—

            I am really at a loss. Your lordship’s hand is so very

            Ah! Peculiar.

            This, now, is the line of life.

            Of life, yes?

            But it begins so abruptly, and see! it breaks off and ends
          nowhere. And just so here with this line—the line of—of

            Of love. So; it breaks?


            Ah, then, that must be the _heart_ line.

            I am afraid your lordship is very fickle.

                           MISTRESS MERTON
            I tell you, Gilead, they are fortune-telling!

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            Tush! Tush!

                           MISTRESS MERTON
            Tush? “_Tush_” to _me_? Tush!

      [_Richard, who has been stifling his feelings at Rachel’s
          rebuff, and has stood fidgeting at a civil distance
          from her, now walks up to Justice Merton._]

            Intolerable! Do you approve of _this_, sir? Are Lord
          Ravensbane’s credentials satisfactory?

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            Eminently, eminently.

            Ah! So her ladyship’s letter is—

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            Charming; charming.

            To be sure; old friends, when they are lords, it makes such
          a difference.

                     True friends—old friends;
                     New friends—cold friends.

                 _N’est ce pas_, your worship?

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            Indeed, Master Dickonson; indeed!

  [_To Richard, as Dickon goes toward Ravensbane and Rachel_.]

            What happiness to encounter the manners of the nobility!

            If you approve them, sir, it is sufficient. This is your
                           [_He turns away._]

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            Your lordship will, I trust, make my house your home.

            My home, sir.

             [_To Dickon, who has spoken to her._]
                         [_To Justice Merton._]
            Why, uncle, what is this Master Dickonson tells us?

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            What! What! he has revealed—

            Yes, indeed. Why did you never tell us?

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            Rachel! Rachel!

                           MISTRESS MERTON
            You are moved, brother.

                     [_Laughingly to Ravensbane._]
            My uncle is doubtless astonished to find you so grown.

                   [_Laughingly to Justice Merton._]
            I am doubtless astonished, sir, to be so grown.

                           JUSTICE MERTON
                             [_To Dickon._]
            You have—

            Remarked, sir, that your worship had often dandled his
          lordship—as an infant.

                           JUSTICE MERTON
                       [_Smiling lugubriously._]
            Quite so—as an infant merely.

            How interesting! Then you must have seen his lordship’s home
          in England.

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            As you say.

                           [_To Ravensbane._]
            Do describe it to us. We are so isolated here from the grand
          world. Do you know, I always imagine England to be an
          enchanted isle, like one of the old Hesperides, teeming with
          fruits of solid gold.

            Ah, yes! my mother raises them.

            Fruits of gold?

            Round like the rising sun. She calls them—ah! punkins.

                           MISTRESS MERTON

                           JUSTICE MERTON
                     [_Aside, grinding his teeth._]
            Scoundrel! Scoundrel!

            Your lordship pokes fun at us.

            His lordship is an artist in words, mistress. I have noticed
          that in whatever country he is travelling, he tinges his
          vocabulary with the local idiom. His lordship means, of
          course, not pumpkins, but pomegranates.

            We forgive him. But, your lordship, please be serious and
          describe to us your hall.

            Quite serious: the hall. Yes, yes; in the middle burns a
          great fire—on a black—ah!—black altar.

            A Druidical heirloom. His lordship’s mother collects

            How fascinating!

            Quite fascinating! On the walls hang pieces of iron.

            Trophies of Saxon warfare.

            And rusty horseshoes.

                           GENERAL MURMURS

            Presents from the German emperor. They were worn by the
          steeds of Charlemagne.

            Quite so; and broken cart-wheels.

            Reliques of British chariots.

            How mediæval it must be!
                         [_To Justice Merton._]
            And to think you never described it to us!

                           MISTRESS MERTON
            True, brother; you have been singularly reticent.

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            Permit me; it is impossible to report all one sees on one’s

                           MISTRESS MERTON

            But surely your lordship’s mother has other diversions
          besides collecting antiques. I have heard that in England
          ladies followed the hounds; and sometimes—
                       [_Looking at her aunt and lowering her voice._]
          they even dance.

            Dance—ah, yes; my lady mother dances about the—the altar;
          she swings high a hammer.

            Your lordship, your lordship! Pray, sir, check this vein of
          poetry. Lord Ravensbane symbolizes as a hammer and altar a
          golf-stick and tee—a Scottish game, which her ladyship plays
          on her Highland estates.

                        [_To Mistress Merton._]
            What do you think of this?

                           MISTRESS MERTON
        [_With a scandalized look toward her brother._]
            He said to me “tush.”

           [_To Justice Merton, indicating Dickon._]
            Who is this magpie?

                           JUSTICE MERTON
                          [_Hisses in fury._]

            I beg pardon!

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            Satan, sir—makes you jealous.

                           [_Bows stiffly._]
            Good morning.
                 [_Walking up to Ravensbane._]
            Lord Ravensbane, I have a rustic colonial question to ask.
          Is it the latest fashion to smoke incessantly in ladies’
          parlours, or is it—mediæval?

            His lordship’s health, sir, necessitates—

            I addressed his lordship.

            In the matter of fashions, sir—
                     [_Hands his pipe to be refilled._]
            My pipe, Dickon!

      [_While Dickon holds his pipe—somewhat longer than
          usual—Ravensbane, with his mouth open as if about to
          speak, relapses into a vacant stare._]

      [_As he lights the pipe for Ravensbane, speaks suavely
          and low as if not to be overheard by him._]

            Pardon me. The fact is, my young pupil is sensitive; the
          wound from his latest duel is not quite healed; you observe a
          slight lameness, an occasional absence of mind.

            A wound—in a real duel?

            Necessitates his smoking! A valid reason!

            You, mistress, know the _true_ reason—his lordship’s heart.

            Believe me, sir—

          [_To Ravensbane, who is still staring vacantly
                          into space._]
            Well, well, your lordship.
                          [_Ravensbane pays no attention._]
            You were saying—?
                          [_Dickon returns the pipe._]
            in the matter of fashions, sir—?

         [_Regaining slowly a look of intelligence, draws
               himself up with affronted hauteur._]
            Permit me!
         [_Puffs several wreaths of smoke into the air._]
            I _am_ the fashions.

                   [_He pauses at the door._]

                           MISTRESS MERTON
                         [_To Justice Merton._]
            Well—what do you think of that?

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            Spoken like King Charles himself.

                           MISTRESS MERTON
            Brother! brother! is there nothing wrong here?

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            Wrong, Cynthia! Manifestly you are quite ignorant of the
          manners of the great.

                           MISTRESS MERTON
            Oh, Gilead!

                           JUSTICE MERTON
            Where are you going?

                           MISTRESS MERTON
            To my room.
                   [_Murmurs, as she hurries out._]
            Dear! dear! if it should be that again!

               [_Dickon and Justice Merton withdraw
                    to a corner of the room._]

                           [_To Ravensbane._]
          I—object to the smoke? Why, I think it is charming.

        [_Who has returned from the door, speaks in a low,
                       constrained voice._]


            You take quickly to European fashions.

            Yes? To what one in particular?

            Two; smoking and flirtation.


            Of an idiot? I hope not. Manners differ, however. Your
          confidences to his lordship have evidently not included—your
          relation to me.

            Oh, our relations!

            Of course, since you wish him to continue in ignorance—

            Not at all. He shall know at once. Lord Ravensbane!

            Fair mistress!

            Rachel, stop! I did not mean—

                           [_To Ravensbane._]
            My uncle did not introduce to you with sufficient
          elaboration this gentleman. Will you allow me to do so now?

            I adore Mistress Rachel’s elaborations.

            Lord Ravensbane, I beg to present Squire Talbot,
          _my betrothed_.

            Betrothed! Is it—
                        [_Noticing Richard’s frown._]
          is it pleasant?

                            [_To Richard._]
            Are you satisfied?

                      [_Trembling with feeling._]
            _More_ than satisfied.

                         [_Looking after him._]
            Ah! Betrothed is _not_ pleasant.

            Not always.

            Mistress Rachel is not pleased?

                [_Biting her lip, looks after Richard._]
            With him.

            Mistress Rachel will smile again?



            Ah! if she would only smile once more! What can Lord
          Ravensbane do to make her smile? See! will you puff my pipe?
          It is very pleasant.
                                      [_Offering the pipe._]

            Shall I try?
                  [_Takes hold of it mischievously._]

                           JUSTICE MERTON
                         [_In a great voice._]

            Why, uncle!

                             JUSTICE MERTON
          [_From where he has been conversing in a corner with Dickon,
                approaches now and speaks suavely to Ravensbane._]

            Permit me, your lordship—Rachel, you will kindly withdraw
          for a few moments; I desire to confer with Lord Ravensbane
          concerning his mother’s—her ladyship’s letter;
                    [_Obsequiously to Dickon._]
          —that is, if you think, sir, that your noble pupil is not too

            Not at all; I think his lordship will listen to you with
          much pleasure.

       [_Bowing to Justice Merton, but looking at Rachel._]

            With much pleasure.

            And in the meantime, if Mistress Rachel will allow me, I
          will assist her in writing those invitations which your
          worship desires to send in her name.

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            Invitations—from my niece?

            To his Excellency, the Lieutenant Governor; to your friends,
          the Reverend Masters at Harvard College, etc., etc.; in brief,
          to all your worship’s select social acquaintance in the
          vicinity—to meet his lordship. It was so thoughtful in you to
          suggest it, sir, and believe me, his lordship appreciates your
          courtesy in arranging the reception in his honour for this

                         [_To Justice Merton._]
            This afternoon! Are we really to give his lordship a
          reception this afternoon?

            Your uncle has already given me the list of guests; so
          considerate! Permit me to act as your scribe, Mistress Rachel.

            With pleasure.
                      [_To Justice Merton._]
            And will it be here, uncle?

                      [_Looking at him narrowly._]
            Your worship said _here_, I believe?

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            Quite so, sir; quite so, quite so.

                      [_Aside to Justice Merton._]
            I advise nothing rash, Gilly; the brat has a weak heart.

            This way, Master Dickonson, to the study.

                      [_As he goes with Rachel._]
            I will write and you sign?

            Thank you.

                  [_Aside, as he passes Ravensbane._]
            Remember, Jack! Puff, puff!

      [_To Ravensbane, who stretches out his hand to her with a
                   gesture of entreaty to stay._]
            Your lordship is to be my guest.
            Till we meet again!

                             [_To Rachel._]
             May I sharpen your quill?

                    [_Faintly, looking after her._]

                             JUSTICE MERTON
                  [_Low and vehement to Ravensbane._]

                     [_Still staring at the door._]
            She is gone.

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            You at least shall not play the lord and master to my face.


                             JUSTICE MERTON

            I know with whom I have to deal. If I be any judge of my own
          flesh and blood—permit me—you shall quail before me.

            She did not smile—
            She smiled!

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            Affected rogue! I know thee. I know thy feigned pauses, thy
          assumed vagaries. Speak; how much do you want?

            Betrothed,—he went away. That was good. And then—she did
          not smile: that was not good. But then—she smiled! Ah! that
          was good.

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            Come back, coward, and face me.

            First, the great sun shone over the corn-fields, the grass
          was green; the black wings rose and flew before me; then the
          door opened—and she looked at me.

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            Speak, I say! What sum? What treasure do you hope to bleed
          from me?

            Ah! Mistress Rachel!

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            Her! Scoundrel, if thou dost name her again, my innocent—my
          sweet maid! If thou dost—thou godless spawn of
          temptation—mark you, I will put an end—

      [_Reaching for a pistol that rests in a rack on the
          wall,—the intervening form of Dickon suddenly
          appears, pockets the pistol, and exit._]

            I beg pardon; I forgot something.

                             JUSTICE MERTON
                                               [_Sinking into a chair._]
            God is just.
                     [_He holds his head in his hands and weeps._]

           [_For the first time, since Rachel’s departure,
                         observes Merton._]
            Permit me, sir, are you ill?

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            What art thou?


            I am Lord Ravensbane: Marquis of Oxford, Baron of
          Wittenberg, Elector of Worms, and—

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            And my son!
                       [_Covers his face again._]

             Shall I call Dickon?

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            Yea, for thou art my son. The deed once done is never done,
          the past is the present.

               [_Walking softly toward the door, calls._]

                             JUSTICE MERTON
                         [_Starting up._]
            No, do not call him. Stay, and be merciful. Tell me: I hate
          thee not; thou wast innocent. Tell me!—I thought thou hadst
          died as a babe.—Where has Dickon, our tyrant, kept thee these
          twenty years?

                       [_With gentle courtesy._]
            Master Dickonson is my tutor.

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            And why has thy mother— Ah, I know well; I deserve all. But
          yet, it must not be published now! I am a justice now, an
          honoured citizen—and my young niece— Thy mother will not
          demand so much; she will be considerate; she will ask some
          gold, of course, but she will show pity!

            My mother is the Marchioness of Rickby.

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            Yes, yes; ’twas well planned, a clever trick. ’Twas skilful
          of her. But surely thy mother gave thee commands to—

            My mother gave me her blessing.

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            Ah, ’tis well then. Young man, my son, I too will give thee
          my blessing, if thou wilt but go—go instantly—go with half
          my fortune, go away forever, and leave my reputation

            Go away?
                    [_Starting for the study door._]
            Ah, sir, with much pleasure.

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            You will go? You will leave me my honour—and my Rachel?

            Rachel? Rachel is yours? No, no, Mistress Rachel is mine. We
          are ours.

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            Consider the disgrace.

            No, no; I have seen her eyes, they are mine; I have seen her
          smiles, they are mine; she is mine!

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            Consider, one moment consider—you, an illegitimate—and
          she—oh, think what thou art!

               [_Monotonously, puffing smoke at the end._]
            I am Lord Ravensbane: Marquis of Oxford, Baron of
          Wittenberg, Elector of Worms, and Count—

                             JUSTICE MERTON
      [_Wrenching the pipe from Ravensbane’s hand and lips._]
            Devil’s child! Boor! Buffoon!
                    [_Flinging the pipe away._]
            I will stand thy insults no longer. If thou hast no heart—

              [_Putting his hand to his side, staggers._]
            Ah! my heart!

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            Hypocrite! Thou canst not fool me. I am thy father.

     [_Faintly, stretching out his hand to him for support._]

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            Stand away. Thou mayst break thy heart and mine and the
          devil’s, but thou shalt not break

            Mistress Rachel is mine—
      [_He staggers again, and falls, half reclining, upon a chair._]

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            Good God! Can it be—his heart?

         [_More faintly, beginning to change expression._]
            Her eyes are mine; her smiles are mine.
                          [_His eyes close._]

                             JUSTICE MERTON
               [_With agitated swiftness, feels and listens
                               at Ravensbane’s side._]
            Not a motion; not a sound! Yea, God, Thou art good! ’Tis his
          heart. He is—ah! he is my son. Judge Almighty, if he should
          die now; may I not be still a moment more and make sure. No,
          no, my son—he is changing.
            Help! Help! Rachel! Master Dickonson! Help! Richard!
          Cynthia! Come hither!
                      [_Enter Dickon and Rachel._]


                             JUSTICE MERTON
            Bring wine. Lord Ravensbane has fainted.

                       [_Turning swiftly to go._]
            Micah, wine.

                        [_Detaining her._]
            Stay! His pipe! Where is his lordship’s pipe?

            Oh, terrible!
    [_Enter, at different doors, Mistress Merton and Richard._]

                            MISTRESS MERTON
            What’s the matter?

                             JUSTICE MERTON
                             [_To Rachel._]
            He threw it away. He is worse. Bring the wine.

                            MISTRESS MERTON
            Look! How strange he appears

                      [_Searching distractedly._]
          The pipe! His lordship’s pipe! It is lost, Master Dickonson.

      [_Stooping, as if searching, with his back turned, having
          picked up the pipe, is filling and lighting it._]

            It must be found. This is a heart attack, my friends; his
          lordship’s life depends on the nicotine.

             [_Deftly he places the pipe in Rachel’s way._]

            Thank God! Here it is.

      [_Carrying it to the prostrate form of Ravensbane, she
          lifts his head and is about to put the pipe in his

            Shall I—shall I put it in?

            No! not you.


            Let his tutor perform that office.

               [_Lifting Lord Ravensbane’s head again._]
            Here, my lord.

                       RICHARD AND JUSTICE MERTON

            You, too, uncle?

            Pardon me, Mistress Rachel; give the pipe at once. Only a
          token of true affection can revive his lordship now.

         [_As Rachel puts the pipe to Ravensbane’s lips._]
            I forbid it, Rachel.

                     [_Watching only Ravensbane._]
            My lord—my lord!

                            MISTRESS MERTON
            Give him air; unbutton his coat.
                [_Rachel unbuttons Ravensbane’s coat,
                      revealing the embroidered waistcoat._]
            Ah, heavens! What do I see?

                             JUSTICE MERTON
    [_Looks, blanches, and signs silence to Mistress Merton._]

            See! He puffs—he revives. He is coming to himself.

                            MISTRESS MERTON
          [_Aside to Justice Merton, with deep tensity._]
            That waistcoat! that waistcoat! Brother, hast thou never
          seen it before?

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            Never, my sister.

                  [_As Ravensbane rises to his feet._]
            At last!

            Look! he is restored.

            God be thanked!

            My lord, Mistress Rachel has saved your life.

                       [_Taking Rachel’s hand._]
            Mistress Rachel is mine; we are ours.

            Dare to repeat that.

                         [_Looking at Rachel._]
            Her eyes are mine.

                  [_Flinging his glove in his face._]

            And that, sir, is yours. I believe such is the proper
          fashion in England. If your lordship’s last duelling wound is
          sufficiently healed, perhaps you will deign a reply.

            Richard! Your lordship!

    [_Stoops, picks up the glove, pockets it, bows to Rachel, and
                      steps close to Richard._]
            Permit me!

       [_He blows a puff of smoke full in Richard’s face._]


     _The same day. Late afternoon. The same scene as Act II._

      RAVENSBANE _and_ DICKON _discovered at table, on which are
          lying two flails. Ravensbane is dressed in a costume
          which, composed of silk and jewels, subtly approximates
          in design to that of his original grosser composition.
          So artfully, however, is this contrived that, to one
          ignorant of his origin, his dress would appear to be
          merely an odd personal whimsy; whereas, to one
          initiated, it would stamp him grotesquely as the
          apotheosis of scarecrows._

      _Dickon is sitting in a pedagogical attitude; Ravensbane
          stands near him, making a profound bow in the opposite

            Believe me, ladies, with the true sincerity of the heart.

            Inflection a little more lachrymose, please: “The
          _true_ sincerity of the _heart_.”

            Believe me, ladies, with the _true_ sincerity of the

            Prettily, prettily! Next!

      [_Changing his mien, as if addressing another person._]
            Verily, sir, as that prince of poets, the immortal
          Virgil, has remarked:
               “Adeo in teneris consuescere multum est.”

            Hm! Act up to the sentiment.

            Verily, sir, as that prince—

            No, no; _basta_! The next.

               [_With another change to courtly manner._]
            Trust me, your Excellency, I will inform his
          Majesty of your courtesy.

            His Majesty more emphatic. Remember! You must impress all of
          the guests this afternoon.

            _His Majesty_ of your courtesy.

            Delicious! O thou exquisite flower of love! How thy natal
          composites have burst in bloom: The pumpkin in thee to a
          golden collarette; thy mop of crow’s wings to these raven
          locks; thy broomstick to a lordly limp; thy corn-silk to these
          pale-tinted tassels. Verily in the gallery of scarecrows, thou
          art the Apollo Belvedere! But continue, Cobby dear: the retort
          now to the challenge.

                         [_With a superb air._]
            The second, I believe.

            Quite so, my lord.

            Sir! The local person whom you represent has done himself
          the honour of submitting to me a challenge to mortal combat.
          Sir! Since the remotest times of my feudal ancestors, in such
          affairs of honour, choice of weapons has ever been the
          prerogative of the challenged. Sir! This right of etiquette
          must be observed. Nevertheless, believe me, I have no selfish
          desire that my superior attainments in this art should assume
          advantage over my challenger’s ignorance. I have, therefore,
          chosen those combative utensils most appropriate both to his
          own humble origin and to local tradition. Permit me, sir, to
          reveal my choice.
                        [_Pointing grandly to the table._]
          There are my weapons

                        [_Clapping his hands._]
            My darling _homunculus_! Thou shouldst have acted in
          Beaumont and Fletcher!

            There are my weapons!

            I could watch thy histrionics till midnight. But thou art
          tired, poor Jacky; two hours’ rehearsal is fatiguing to your

            Mistress Rachel—I may see her now?

            Romeo! Romeo! Was ever such an amorous puppet show!

            Mistress Rachel!

            Wait; let me think! Thou art wound up now, my pretty
          apparatus, for at least six and thirty hours. The wooden angel
          Gabriel that trumpets the hours on the big clock in Venice is
          not a more punctual manikin than thou with my speeches. Thou
          shouldst run, therefore,—

                     [_Frowning darkly at Dickon._]
            Stop talking; permit me! A tutor should know his place.

                         [_Rubbing his hands._]
            Nay, your lordship is beyond comparison.

                        [_In a terrible voice._]
            She will come? I shall see her?
                                [_Enter_ MICAH.]

            Pardon, my lord.

                     [_Turning joyfully to Micah._]
            Is it she?

            Captain Bugby, my lord, the Governor’s secretary.

            Good. Squire Talbot’s second. Show him in.

                [_Flinging despairingly into a chair._]
            Ah! ah

                 [_Lifting the flails from the table._]
            Beg pardon, sir; shall I remove—

            Drop them; go.

            But, sir—

            Go, thou slave!
                          [_Exit Micah._]

                       [_In childlike despair._]
            She will not come! I shall not see her!

                        [_Handing him a book._]
            Here, my lord; read. You must be found reading.

             [_Flinging the book into the fireplace._]
            She does not come!

            Fie, fie, Jack; thou must not be breaking thy Dickon’s
          apron-strings with a will of thine own. Come!

          Mistress Rachel

            Be good, boy, and thou shalt see her soon.

            I shall see her?
                           [_Enter_ CAPTAIN BUGBY.]

            Your lordship was saying—Oh! Captain Bugby?

                             CAPTAIN BUGBY
                         [_Nervous and awed._]
            Captain Bugby, sir, ah! at Lord Ravensbane’s service—ah!

            I am Master Dickonson, his lordship’s tutor.

                             CAPTAIN BUGBY
            Happy, sir.

                           [_To Ravensbane._]
            My lord, this gentleman waits upon you from Squire Talbot.
                         [_To Captain Bugby._]
            In regard to the challenge of this morning, I presume?

                             CAPTAIN BUGBY
            The affair, ah! the affair of this morning, sir.

         [_With his former superb air—to Captain Bugby._]
            The second, I believe?

                             CAPTAIN BUGBY
            Quite so, my lord.

            Sir! the local person whom you represent has done himself
          the honour of submitting to me a challenge to mortal combat.
          Sir! Since the remotest times of my feudal ancestors, in such
          affairs of honour, choice of weapons has ever been the
          prerogative of the challenged. Sir! this right of etiquette
          must be observed.

                             CAPTAIN BUGBY
            Indeed, yes, my lord.

            Pray do not interrupt.
                           [_To Ravensbane._]
            Your lordship: “observed.”

          —observed. Nevertheless, believe me, I have no selfish desire
          that my superior attainments in this art should assume
          advantage over my challenger’s ignorance. I have, therefore,
          chosen those combative utensils most appropriate both to his
          own humble origin and to local tradition. Permit me, sir, to
          reveal my choice.
                    [_Pointing to the table._]
            There are my weapons!

                             CAPTAIN BUGBY
                        [_Looking, bewildered._]
            These, my lord?


                             CAPTAIN BUGBY
            But these are—are flails.


                             CAPTAIN BUGBY
            Flails, my lord?

            There are my weapons.

                             CAPTAIN BUGBY
            Lord Ravensbane—I—ah! express myself ill—Do I understand
          that your lordship and Squire Talbot—


                             CAPTAIN BUGBY
            But your lordship—flails!

            My adversary should be deft in their use. He has doubtless
           wielded them frequently on his barn floor.

                             CAPTAIN BUGBY
            Ahaha! I understand now. Your lordship—ah! is a wit. Haha!

            His lordship’s satire is poignant.

                             CAPTAIN BUGBY
            Indeed, sir, so keen that I must apologize for laughing at
          my principal’s expense.
                                [_Soberly to Ravensbane._]
            My lord, if you will deign to speak one moment seriously—


                             CAPTAIN BUGBY
            I will take pleasure in informing Squire Talbot—ah! as to
          your _real_ preference for—

            For flails, sir. I have, permit me, nothing further to say.
          Flails are final.
                             [_Turns away haughtily._]

                             CAPTAIN BUGBY
            Must I really report to Squire Talbot—ah!—flails?

            Lord Ravensbane’s will is inflexible.

                             CAPTAIN BUGBY
            And his wit, sir, incomparable. I am sorry for the Squire,
          but ’twill be the greatest joke in years. Ah! will you tell
          me—is it—
                      [_Indicating Ravensbane’s smoking._]
          is it the latest fashion?

            Lord Ravensbane is always the latest.

                             CAPTAIN BUGBY
            Obliged servant, sir. Aha! Such a joke as—O lord! flails!

                      [_Returning to Ravensbane._]
            Bravo, my pumpky dear! That squelches the jealous betrothed.
          Now nothing remains but for you to continue to dazzle the
          enamoured Rachel, and so present yourself to the Justice as a

            I may go to Mistress Rachel?

            She will come to you. She is reading now a poem from you,
          which I left on her dressing-table.

            She is reading a poem from me?

            With your pardon, my lord, I penned it for you. I am
          something of a poetaster. Indeed, I flatter myself that I have
          dictated some of the finest lines in literature.

            Dickon! She will come?

            She comes!
                 [_Enter_ RACHEL, _reading from a piece of paper._]
            Hush! Step aside; step aside first. Let her read it.
                                 [_Dickon draws Ravensbane back._]

            Once more,
            “To Mistress R——, enchantress:

                    If faith in witchcraft be a sin,
                    Alas! what peril he is in
                    Who plights his faith and love in thee,
                    Sweetest maid of sorcery.

                    If witchcraft be a whirling brain,
                    A roving eye, a heart of pain,
                    Whose wound no thread of fate can stitch,
                    How hast thou conjured, cruel witch,
                    With the brain, eye, heart,
                    and total mortal residue of thine enamoured
                                                  JACK LANTHORNE,
                                                      [LORD R——.”]

            Now to leave the turtles alone.

            “To Mistress R——, enchantress:

                      If faith in witchcraft be—”

            “To Mistress R——.” R! It _must_ be. R—— must mean—

                     [_With passionate deference._]

            Ah! How you surprised me, my lord.

            You are come again; you are come again.

            Has anything happened? Tell me, my lord. Has Squire Talbot
          been here?

            No, Mistress Rachel; not here.

            And you have not—Oh, my lord, I have been in such terror.
          But you are safe.—You have not fought?

            No, Mistress Rachel; not fought.

            Thank God for that! But you will promise me—promise me that
          there shall be—no—duel!

            I promise Mistress Rachel there shall be no duel.

            Your lordship is so good. You do not know how gratefully
          happy I am.

            I know I am only a thing to make Mistress Rachel happy. Ah!
          look at me once more. When you look at me, I live.

            It is strange indeed, my lord, how the familiar world, the
          daylight the heavens themselves have changed since your

            This is the world; this is the light; this is the heavens
          themselves. Mistress Rachel is looking at me.

            For me, it is less strange perhaps. I never saw a real lord
          before. But you, my lord, must have seen so many, many girls
          in the great world.

            No, no; never.

            No other girls before to-day, my lord!

            Before to-day? I do not know; I do not care. I was not here.
          To-day I was born—in your eyes. Ah! my brain whirls!


                  “If witchcraft be a whirling brain,
                   A roving eye, a heart of pain,—”

                           [_In a whisper._]
            My lord, do you really believe in witchcraft?

            With all my heart.

            And approve of it?

            With all my soul.

            So do I—that is, innocent witchcraft; not to harm anybody,
          you know, but just to feel all the dark mystery and the
          trembling excitement—the way you feel when you blow out your
          candle all alone in your bedroom and watch the little smoke
          fade away in the moonshine.

            Fade away in the moonshine!

            Oh, but we mustn’t speak of it. In a town like this, all
          such mysticism is considered damnable. But your lordship
          understands and approves? I am so glad! Have you read the
          “Philosophical Considerations” of Glanville, the
          “_Saducismus Triumphatus_,” and the “Presignifications
          of Dreams”? What kind of witchcraft, my lord, do you believe

            In all yours.

            Nay, your lordship must not take me for a real witch. I can
          only tell fortunes, you know—like this morning.

            I know; you told how my heart would break.

            Oh, that’s palmistry, and that isn’t always certain. But the
          surest way to prophesy—do you know what it is?

            Tell me.

            To count the crows. Do you know how? One for sorrow—

            Ha, yes!—Two for mirth!

            Three for a wedding—

            Four for a birth—

            And five for the happiest thing on earth!

            Mistress Rachel, come! Let us go and count five crows.

            Why, my lord, how did _you_ ever learn it? I got it
          from an old goody here in town—a real witch-wife. If you will
          promise not to tell a secret, I will show you.—But you must

            I promise.

            Come, then. I will show you a real piece of witchcraft that
          I bought from her this morning—the glass of truth. There!
          Behind that curtain. If you look in, you will see—But come;
          I will show you.
                 [_They put their hands on the cords of the curtain._]
          Just pull that string, and—ah!

                 [_Stepping out through the curtain._]
            Your pipe, my lord?

            Master Dickonson, how you frightened me!

            So excessively sorry! I was observing the portrait of your
          uncle. I believe you were showing his lordship—

                      [_Turning hurriedly away._]
            Oh, nothing; nothing at all.

                         [_Sternly to Dickon._]
            Why do you come?

            [_Handing back Ravensbane’s pipe filled._]
            Allow me.
            ’Tis high time you came to the point, Jack; ’tis near your
          lordship’s reception. Woo and win, boy; woo and win.

            Leave me.

            Your lordship’s humble, very humble.

            Oh! he is gone. My dear lord, why do you keep this man?

            I—keep this man?

            I cannot—pardon my rudeness—I cannot endure him.

            You do not like him? Ah, then, I do not like him also. We
          will send him away—you and I.

            You, my lord, of course; but I—

            You will be Dickon! You will be with me always and light my
          pipe. And I will live for you, and fight for you, and kill
          your betrothed.

                           [_Drawing away._]
            No, no!

            Ah! but your eyes say “yes.” Mistress Rachel leaves me; but
          Rachel in her eyes remains. Is it not so?

            What can I say, my lord! It is true that since my eyes met
          yours, a new passion has entered into my soul. I have
          felt—your lordship will laugh at me—I have felt an
          inexpressible longing—but ’tis so impertinent, my lord, so
          absurd in me, a mere girl, and you a nobleman of power—yet I
          have felt it irresistibly, my dear lord,—a longing to help
          you. I am so sorry for you—so sorry for you! I pity you
          deeply.—Forgive me; forgive me, my lord!

            It is enough.

            Indeed, indeed, ’tis so rude of me,—’tis so unreasonable.

            It is enough. I grow—I grow—I grow! I am a plant; you give
          it rain and sun. I am a flower; you give it light and dew; I
          am a soul, you give it love and speech. I grow. Towards
          you—towards you I grow!


            My lord, I do not understand it, how so poor and mere a girl
          as I can have helped you. Yet I do believe it is so; for I
          feel it so. What can I do for you?

            Do not leave me. Be mine. Let me be yours.

            Ah! but, my lord—do I love you?

            What is “I love you”? Is it a kiss, a sigh, an embrace? Ah!
          then, you do not love me.—“I love you”: is it to nourish, to
          nestle, to lift up, to smile upon, to make greater—a worm?
          Ah! then, you love me.
                     [_Enter_ RICHARD _at left back, unobserved._]

          Do not speak so of yourself, my lord; nor exalt me so falsely.

            Be mine.

            A great glory has descended upon this day.

            Be mine.

            Could I but be sure that this glory is love—Oh, _then_!
                                        [_Turns toward Ravensbane._]

                       [_Stepping between them._]
            It is _not_ love; it is witchcraft.

            Who are you?—Richard?

            You have indeed forgotten me? Would to God, Rachel, I could
          forget you.

            Sir, permit me—

                             [_To Rachel._]
            Against my will, I am a convert to your own mysticism; for
          nothing less than damnable illusion could so instantly wean
          your heart from me to—this. I do not pretend to understand
          it; but that it is witchcraft I am convinced; and I will save
          you from it.

            Go; please go.

            Permit me, sir; you have not replied yet to flails!

            Permit _me_, sir.
                         [_Taking something from his coat._]
            My answer is—bare cob!
                         [_Holding out a shelled corn-cob._]
            Thresh this, sir, for your antagonist. ’Tis the only one
          worthy your lordship.
                        [_Tosses it contemptuously towards him._]

            Upon my honour, as a man—

            As a _man_ forsooth! Were you indeed a man, Lord
          Ravensbane, I would have accepted your weapons, and flailed
          you out of New England. But it is not my custom to chastise
          runagates from asylums, or to banter further words with a
          natural and a ninny.

            Squire Talbot! Will you leave my uncle’s house?

            One moment, mistress:—I did not wholly catch the import of
          this gentleman’s speech, but I fancy I have insulted him by my
          reply to his challenge. One insult may perhaps be remedied by
          another. Sir, permit me to call you a ninny, and to offer
                         [_Drawing his sword and offering it._]

            Thanks; I reject the offer.

                     [_Turning away despondently._]
            He rejects it. Well!

                            [_To Richard._]
            And _now_ will you leave?

            At once. But one word more. Rachel—Rachel, have you
          forgotten this morning and the glass of truth?



            Call it a fancy now if you will. I scoffed at it; yes. Yet
          _you_ believed it. I loved you truly, you said. Well,
          have I changed?


            Will you test me again—in the glass?

            No. Go; leave us.

            I will go. I have still a word with your aunt.

                            [_To Richard._]
            I beg your pardon, sir. You said just now that had I been a

            I say, Lord Ravensbane, that the straight fibre of a true
          man never warps the love of a woman. As for yourself, you have
          my contempt and pity. Pray to God, sir, pray to God to make
          you a man.
                                         [_Exit, right._]

            Oh! it is intolerable!
                           [_To Ravensbane._]

            My dear lord, I do believe in my heart that I love you, and
          if so, I will with gratitude be your wife. But, my lord,
          strange glamours, strange darknesses reel, and bewilder my
          mind. I must be alone; I must think and decide. Will you give
          me this tassel?

 [_Unfastening a silk tassel from his coat and giving it to her._]
            Oh, take it.

            If I decide that I love you, that I will be your wife—I
          will wear it this afternoon at the reception. Good-by.
                                                 [_Exit, right._]

            Mistress Rachel!—
            God, are you here? Dear God, I pray to you—make me to be a
                                           [_Exit, left._]

             [_Appearing in the centre of the room._]
            Poor Jacky! Thou shouldst ’a’ prayed to t’other one.

                [_He disappears. Enter, right_, RICHARD
                        _and_ MISTRESS MERTON.]

                            MISTRESS MERTON
                       [_Pointing to the wall._]
            That is the portrait.

            Indeed! The design is very like.

                            MISTRESS MERTON

            ’Tis more than like, Richard; ’tis the very same. Two and
          twenty years ago she embroidered it for him, and he would
          insist on wearing it for the portrait he was then sitting for.

            That same Goody Rickby!

                            MISTRESS MERTON
            A pretty girl!—and a wild young man was my brother. The
          truth comes hard to tell thee, Richard; but he was wild,
          Gilead was wild. He told me the babe had died. But God worketh
          His own righteousness. Only—he must be saved now; Rachel must
          be saved; we must all be saved.

            You feel sure—very sure, Mistress Merton?

                            MISTRESS MERTON
            Yea, that waistcoat; ’tis the very one, I know it too well.
          And you see it accounts for all,—this silly impostor lord; my
          brother’s strange patronage of him; the blackmail of this
          Master Dickonson—

            But who is _he_?

                            MISTRESS MERTON
            Nay, heaven knows! Some old crony perchance of Gilead’s
          youth; some confederate of this woman Rickby.

            O God!—And Rachel sacrificed to these impostors; to an
          illegitimate—your brother would allow it!

                            MISTRESS MERTON
            Ah! but think of his own reputation, Richard. He a
          justice—the family honour!

            ’Tis enough. Well, and I must see this Goody Rickby, you

                            MISTRESS MERTON
            At once—at once. My brother has invited guests for this
          afternoon to meet “his lordship”! Return, if possible, before
          they come. She dwells at the blacksmith shop—you must buy her
          off. Oh, gold will buy her; ’tis the gold they’re after—all
          of them; have her recall both these persons.
                                                   [_Giving a purse._]
          Take her that, Richard, and promise her more.

            Keep it, Mistress Merton. I have enough gold, methinks, for
          my future wife’s honour; or if not, I will earn it.

                            MISTRESS MERTON
            Richard! Ah, the dear lad, he should have taken it.

                            [_Enter_ MICAH.]

            The minister and his wife have turned into the gate, madam.

                            MISTRESS MERTON
            The guests! Is it so late?

            Four o’clock, madam.
                        [_Going to the table._]
            Shall I remove these?

                            MISTRESS MERTON
            Flails! Flails in the parlour? Of course, remove them.

                            [_At the door._]
            Madam, in all my past years of service at Merton House, I
          never waited upon a lord till to-day. Madam, in all my future
          years of service at Merton House, I trust I may never wait
          upon a lord again.

                            MISTRESS MERTON
            Micah, mind the knocker.

            Yes, madam.
     [_Exit at left back. Sounds of a brass knocker outside._]

                            MISTRESS MERTON
            Rachel! Rachel!
      [_Exit, right. Enter, left,_ JUSTICE MERTON _and_ DICKON.]

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            So you are contented with nothing less than the sacrifice of
          my niece?

            Such a delightful room!

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            Are you merciless?

            And such a living portrait of your worship! The waistcoat is
          so beautifully executed.

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            If I pay him ten thousand pounds—
                              [_Enter_ MICAH.]

            Minister Dodge, your worship; and Mistress Dodge.

[_Exit. Enter the_ MINISTER _and his_ WIFE.]

                             JUSTICE MERTON
                 [_Stepping forward to receive them._]
            Believe me, this is a great privilege.—Madam!

                             MINISTER DODGE
                          [_Taking his hand._]
            The privilege is ours, Justice; to enter a righteous man’s
          house is to stand, as it were, on God’s threshold.

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            Amen, amen. Permit me—ah! Lord Ravensbane, my young guest
          of honour, will be here directly—permit me to present his
          lordship’s tutor, Master Dickonson; The Reverend Master Dodge,
          Mistress Dodge.

                             MINISTER DODGE
                         [_Offering his hand._]
            Master Dickonson, sir—

              [_Barely touching the minister’s fingers,
                   bows charmingly to his wife._]
            Madam, of all professions in the world, your husband’s most
          allures me.

                             MISTRESS DODGE
            ’Tis a worthy one, sir.

            Ah! Mistress Dodge, and so arduous—especially for a
          minister’s wife.
                               [_He leads her to a chair._]

                             MISTRESS DODGE
                        [_Accepting the chair._]
            Thank you.

                             MINISTER DODGE
            Lord Ravensbane comes from abroad?

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            From London.

                             MINISTER DODGE
            An old friend of yours, I understand.

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            From London, yes. Did I say from London? Quite so; from
                            [_Enter_ MICAH.]

            Captain Bugby, the Governor’s secretary.

      [_Exit. Enter_ CAPTAIN BUGBY. _He walks with a
          slight lameness, and holds daintily in his hand a
          pipe, from which he puffs with dandy deliberation._]

                             CAPTAIN BUGBY
            Justice Merton, your very humble servant.

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            Believe me, Captain Bugby.

                             CAPTAIN BUGBY
            Ah, Master Dickonson! my dear friend Master Dickonson—this
          is indeed—ah! How is his lordship since—aha! but discretion!
          Mistress Dodge—her servant! Ah! yes,
              [_Indicating his pipe with a smile of satisfaction._]
          the latest, I assure you; the very latest from London. Ask
          Master Dickonson.

                             MINISTER DODGE
                     [_Looking at Captain Bugby._]
            These will hatch out in the springtime.

                             CAPTAIN BUGBY
                     [_Confidentially to Dickon._]
            But really, my good friend, may not I venture to inquire how
          his lordship—ah! has been in health since the—ah! since—

            Oh! quite, quite!

          [_Enter_ MISTRESS MERTON; _she joins Justice Merton
                         and Minister Dodge._]

                             CAPTAIN BUGBY
            You know, I informed Squire Talbot of his lordship’s
          epigrammatic retort—his retort of—shh! ha haha! Oh, that
          reply was a stiletto; ’twas sharper than a sword-thrust, I
          assure you. To have conceived it—’twas inspiration; but to
          have expressed it—oh! ’twas genius. Hush! “Flails!” Oh! It
          sticks me now in the ribs. I shall die with concealing it.

                             MINISTER DODGE
                        [_To Mistress Merton._]

            ’Tis true, mistress; but if there were more like your
          brother in the parish, the conscience of the community would
          be clearer.

                            [_Enter_ MICAH.]

            The Reverend Master Rand of Harvard College;
            the Reverend Master Todd of Harvard College.

       [_Exit. Enter two elderly, straight-backed divines._]

                             JUSTICE MERTON
                           [_Greeting them._]
            Permit me, gentlemen; this is fortunate—before your return
          to Cambridge.

      [_He conducts them to Mistress Merton and Minister Dodge,
          centre. Seated left, Dickon is ingratiating himself
          with Mistress Dodge; Captain Bugby, laughed at by both
          parties, is received by neither._]

                             CAPTAIN BUGBY
                 [_Puffing smoke toward the ceiling._]

            Really, I cannot understand what keeps his Excellency, the
          Lieutenant Governor, so long. He has two such charming
          daughters, Master Dickonson—

                         [_To Mistress Dodge._]
            Yes, yes; such suspicious women with their charms are an
          insult to the virtuous ladies of the parish.

                             CAPTAIN BUGBY
            How, sir!

                             MISTRESS DODGE
            And to think that she should actually shoe horses herself!

            It is too hard, dear Mistress Dodge; too hard!

                             MISTRESS DODGE
            You are so appreciative, Master Dickonson.

                             CAPTAIN BUGBY
                     [_Piqued, walks another way._]

                            REV. MASTER RAND
                         [_To Justice Merton._]
            It would not be countenanced in the college yard, sir.

                            REV. MASTER TODD
            A pipe! Nay, _mores inhibitae_!

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            ’Tis most unfortunate, gentlemen; but I understand ’tis the
          new vogue in London.

                            [_Enter_ MICAH.]

            His Excellency, Sir Charles Reddington, Lieutenant Governor;
          the Mistress Reddingtons.

                             CAPTAIN BUGBY
            At last!

                            MISTRESS MERTON

         [_Micah goes to her. Enter_ SIR CHARLES,

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            Your Excellency, this is indeed a distinguished honour.

                              SIR CHARLES
                           [_Shaking hands._]
            Fine weather, Merton. Where’s your young lord?

                             THE TWO GIRLS
            Justice Merton, Mistress Merton.

        [_To Mistress Merton, as he is going out, right._]
            I will speak to them, madam.

                             CAPTAIN BUGBY
            Oh, my dear Mistress Reddington! Charming Mistress Amelia!
          You are so very late, but you shall hear—hush!

                          MISTRESS REDDINGTON
                         [_Noticing his pipe._]
            Why, what is this, Captain?

                             CAPTAIN BUGBY
            Oh, the latest, I assure you, the very latest. Wait till you
          see his lordship.

            What! isn’t he here?
            La, Captain! Do look at the man!

                             CAPTAIN BUGBY
            Oh, he’s coming directly. Quite the mode—what? Ah! but,
          ladies, you shall hear.
                     [_He talks to them aside, where they titter._]

                              SIR CHARLES
                             [_To Dickon._]
            What say? Travelling for his health?

            Partially, your Excellency; but my young pupil and master is
          a singularly affectionate nature.

                             THE TWO GIRLS
                         [_To Captain Bugby._]
            What! flails—really!
                       [_They burst into laughter among themselves._]

            He has journeyed here to Massachusetts peculiarly to pay
          this visit to Justice Merton—his father’s dearest friend.

                              SIR CHARLES
            Ah! knew him abroad, eh?

            In Rome, your Excellency.

                             MISTRESS DODGE
                         [_To Justice Merton._]
            Why, I thought it was in London.

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            London, true, quite so; we made a trip together to
          Lisbon—ah! Rome.

            Paris, was it not, sir?

                             JUSTICE MERTON
                         [_In great distress._]
            Paris, Paris, very true; I am—I am—sometimes I am—

              [_Enter_ MICAH, _right._]

            Lord Ravensbane.

 [_Enter right_, RAVENSBANE _with_ RACHEL.]

                             JUSTICE MERTON
                       [_With a gasp of relief._]
            Ah! his lordship is arrived.

      [_Murmurs of “his lordship” and a flutter among the girls and
          Captain Bugby._]

                             CAPTAIN BUGBY

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            Welcome, my lord!
                            [_To Sir Charles._]
            Permit me, your Excellency, to introduce—

            Permit me; Mistress Rachel will introduce—

            Sir Charles, allow me to present my friend, Lord Ravensbane.

                          MISTRESS REDDINGTON
                          [_Aside to Amelia._]
            Her _friend_—did you hear?

                              SIR CHARLES
            Mistress Rachel, I see you are as pretty as ever. Lord
          Ravensbane, your hand, sir.

            Trust me, your Excellency, I will inform his Majesty of your

                             CAPTAIN BUGBY
                 [_Watching Ravensbane with chagrin._]
            On my life! he’s lost his limp.

                          [_Apart to Rachel._]
            “A great glory has descended upon this day.”

            My lord!

            Be sure—O mistress, be sure—that this glory is love.

                              SIR CHARLES
  [_Watching the two, whispers a loud aside to Justice Merton._]
            Hoho! is it congratulations for your niece?

                             JUSTICE MERTON
             Not—not precisely.

                   [_Aside to Justice Merton._]
            Why so, Gilly?

                              SIR CHARLES
            My daughters, Fanny and Amelia—Lord Ravensbane.

                             THE TWO GIRLS
            Your lordship!

                              SIR CHARLES
            Good girls, but silly.

                             THE TWO GIRLS

            Believe me, ladies, with the _true_ sincerity of the

                          MISTRESS REDDINGTON
            Isn’t he perfection!

                             CAPTAIN BUGBY
            What said I?

            I can’t help thinking of flails.

                          MISTRESS REDDINGTON
            Poor Squire Talbot! We must be nice to him now.

            Oh, especially _now_!

         [_Whom Rachel continues to introduce to the guests;
                          to Master Rand._]
            Verily, sir, as that prince of poets, the immortal Virgil,
          has remarked:
               “Adeo in teneris consuescere multum est.”

            Just a word, your worship.

                             JUSTICE MERTON
                          [_Going with him._]

                            REV. MASTER TODD
            His lordship is evidently a university man.

                            REV. MASTER RAND
            Evidently most accomplished.

                             JUSTICE MERTON
                          [_Aside to Dickon._]
            A song! Why, it is beyond all bounds of custom and decorum.

            Believe me, there is no such flatterer to win the maiden
          heart as music.

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            And here; in this presence! Never!

            Nevertheless, it will amuse me vastly, and you will announce

                      [_To Minister Dodge._]
            My opinion is simple: In such matters of church government,
          I am inclined toward the leniency of that excellent master,
          the Rev. John Wise, rather than the righteous obduracy of the
          Rev. Cotton Mather.

                             MINISTER DODGE
            Why, there, sir, I agree with you.
                             [_Aside to his wife._]
            How extremely well informed!

                             MISTRESS DODGE
            And so young, too!

                             JUSTICE MERTON
    [_With hesitant embarrassment, which he seeks to conceal._]

            Your Excellency and friends, I have great pleasure in
          announcing his lordship’s condescension in consenting to
          regale our present company—with a song.

                             SEVERAL VOICES
        [_In various degrees of amazement and curiosity._]
            A song!

                            MISTRESS MERTON
            Gilead! What is this?

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            The selection is a German ballad—a particular favourite at
          the court of Prussia, where his lordship last rendered it. His
          tutor has made a translation which is entitled: “The
          Prognostication of the Crows,” and I am requested to remind
          you that in the ancient heathen mythology of Germany, the crow
          or raven, was the fateful bird of the God Woden.

                             CAPTAIN BUGBY
            How prodigiously novel!

                             MINISTER DODGE

                              SIR CHARLES
            A ballad! Come now, that sounds like old England again.
          Let’s have it. Will his lordship sing without music?

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            Master Dickonson, hem! has been—persuaded—to accompany his
          lordship on the virginals.

            How delightful!

                            REV. MASTER RAND
                           [_Aside to Todd._]
            Shall we remain?

                            REV. MASTER TODD
            We must.

                             [_To Rachel._]
            My tassel, dear mistress; you do not wear it?

            My heart still wavers, my lord. But whilst you sing, I will

            Whilst I sing? My fate, then, is waiting at the end of a

            At the end of a song.

                     [_Touches Ravensbane’s arm._]
            Your lordship.

                  [_Starting, turns to the company._]
            Permit me.

      [_Dickon sits, facing left, at the virginals. At first,
          his fingers in playing give sound only to the soft
          tinkling notes of that ancient instrument; but
          gradually, strange notes and harmonies of an aërial
          orchestra mingle with, and at length drown, the
          virginals. The final chorus is produced solely by
          fantastic symphonic cawings, as of countless crows,
          in harsh but musical accord. During the song Richard
          enters. Dickon’s music, however, does not cease
          but fills the intervals between the verses. To his
          accompaniment, amid the whispered and gradually
          increasing wonder, resentment, and dismay of the
          assembled guests, Ravensbane, with his eyes fixed upon
          Rachel, sings._]

                   Baron von Rabenstod arose;
                     (The golden sun was rising)
                   Before him flew a flock of crows:
                     Sing heigh! Sing heigh! Sing heigh! Sing—

                  “Ill speed, ill speed thee, baron-wight;
                     Ill speed thy palfrey pawing!
                   Blithe is the morn but black the night
                     That hears a raven’s cawing.”

                             Caw! Caw! Caw!

                             MISTRESS DODGE
                      [_Whispers to her husband._]
            Did you hear them?

                             MINISTER DODGE

                            [_Sotto voce._]
            What _can_ it be?

                             CAPTAIN BUGBY
            Oh, the latest, be sure.

            You note, my friends, the accompanying harmonics; they are
          an intrinsic part of the ballad, and may not be omitted.


                   The baron reckèd not a pin;
                     (For the golden sun was rising)
                   He rode to woo, he rode to win;
                     Sing heigh! Sing heigh! Sing heigh! Sing—
                   He rode into his prince’s hall
                     Through knights and damsels flow’ry:
                  “Thy daughter, prince, I bid thee call;
                     I claim her hand and dowry.”

   [_Enter Richard. Mistress Merton seizes his arm nervously._]

                            MISTRESS MERTON

            Gold will not buy her. She defies us.

                              SIR CHARLES
                         [_To Captain Bugby._]
            This gentleman’s playing is rather ventriloquistical.

                             CAPTAIN BUGBY
            Quite, as it were.

                            REV. MASTER TODD
            This smells unholy.

                            REV. MASTER RAND
                              [_To Todd._]
            Shall we leave?

                             JUSTICE MERTON
           [_Sternly to Richard, who has attempted to talk
                          with him aside._]
            Not now.

            Pardon me—it _must_ be now.

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            Squire Talbot—

                             [_Very low._]
            Sir—I come from Goody Rickby.

                             JUSTICE MERTON
                           [_They go apart._]


                  “What cock is this, with crest so high,
                     That crows with such a pother?”
                  “Baron von Rabenstod am I;
                     Methinks we know each other.”
                  “Now welcome, welcome, dear guest of mine,
                     So long why didst thou tarry?
                   Now, for the sake of auld lang syne,
                     My daughter thou shalt marry.”

                             JUSTICE MERTON
                            [_To Richard._]

            What! you will sacrifice her?

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            What can I do?

            Tell her the truth at least.

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            Never, Richard, no, no, never that!

                             [_To Bugby._]
            And he kept right on smoking!

                             MINISTER DODGE
         [_Who, with Rand and Todd, has risen uneasily._]
            This smacks of witchcraft.

                            REV. MASTER RAND
            The Justice seems moved.


                   The bride is brought, the priest as well;
                     (The golden sun was passing)
                   They stood beside the altar rail;
                     Sing ah! Sing ah! Sing ah! Sing—
                  “Woman, with this ring I thee wed.”
                     What makes his voice so awing?
                   The baron by the bride is dead:
                     Outside the crows were cawing.

     [_Which grows tumultuous, seeming to fill the room with the
                         invisible birds._]

                             Caw! Caw! Caw!

   [_The guests rise in confusion. Dickon still plays delightedly,
                 and the strange music continues._]

                             MINISTER DODGE
            This is no longer godly.—Justice Merton!

                         [_To Justice Merton._]

            I told you, sir, that witchcraft, like murder, will out.
          If you want further proof, I believe I can provide it.

                             MINISTER DODGE
            Justice Merton, sir!

         [_To Rachel, who holds his tassel in her hand._]
            Ah! and you have my tassel!

            See! I will wear it now. You yourself shall fasten it.

            Rachel! Mistress!

            My dear lord!

      [_As Ravensbane is placing the silken tassel on Rachel’s
          breast to fasten it there, Richard, by the mirror,
          pulls the curtain back._]

            Lovers! This is the glass of truth. Behold yourselves!

    [_Looking into the glass, screams and turns her gaze fearfully
                         upon Ravensbane._]
            Ah! Do not look!

      [_Who, having turned round from the virginals, has leapt
          forward, now turns back again, biting his finger._]

            Too late!

      [_In the glass are reflected the figures of Rachel and
          Ravensbane—Rachel just as she herself appears, but
          Ravensbane in his essential form of a scarecrow, in
          every movement reflecting Ravensbane’s motions. The
          thing in the glass is about to pin a wisp of corn-silk
          on the mirrored breast of the maiden._]

            What is there?

          [_Looking again, starts away from Ravensbane._]
            Leave me! Leave me!—Richard!

                [_Gazing at the glass, clings to Rachel
                      as though to protect her._]
            Help her! See! It is seizing her.

                   [_She faints in Richard’s arms._]

            Fear not, mistress, I will kill the thing.

      [_Drawing his sword, he rushes at the glass. Within, the
          scarecrow, with a drawn wheel-spoke, approaches him at
          equal speed. They come face to face and recoil._]

            Ah! ah! fear’st thou me? What art thou? Why, ’tis a glass.
          Thou mockest me? Look, look, mistress, it mocks me! O God, no!
          no! Take it away. Dear God, do not look!—It is I!

                       [_Rushing to the doors._]
            Witchcraft! Witchcraft!

      [_As Ravensbane stands frantically confronting his abject
          reflection, struck in a like posture of despair, the
          curtain falls._]


      _The same. Night. The moon, shining in broadly at the window,
          discovers_ RAVENSBANE _alone, prostrate before the mirror.
          Raised on one arm to a half-sitting posture, he gazes
          fixedly at the vaguely seen image of the scarecrow
          prostrate in the glass._

            All have left me—but not thou. Rachel has left me; her eyes
          have turned away from me; she is gone. And with her, the great
          light itself from heaven has drawn her glorious skirts,
          contemptuous, from me—and they are gone together. Dickon, he
          too has left me—but not thou. All that I loved, all that
          loved me, have left me. A thousand ages—a thousand ages ago,
          they went away; and thou and I have gazed upon each other’s
          desertedness. Speak! and be pitiful! If thou art I,
          inscrutable image, if thou dost feel these pangs thine own,
          show then self-mercy; speak! What art thou? What am I? Why are
          we here? How comes it that we feel and guess and suffer? Nay,
          though thou answer not these doubts, yet mock them, mock them
          aloud, even as there, monstrous, thou counterfeitest mine
          actions. Speak, abject enigma!—Ah! with what vacant horror it
          looks out and yearns toward me. Peace to thee! Thou poor
          delirious mute, prisoned in glass and moonlight, peace! Thou
          canst not escape thy gaol, nor I break in to thee. Poor
          shadow, thou—

                         [_Recoiling wildly._]

          Stand back, inanity! Thrust not thy mawkish face in pity
          toward me. Ape and idiot! Scarecrow!—to console me! Haha!—A
          flail and broomstick! a cob, a gourd and pumpkin, to fuse and
          sublimate themselves into a mage-philosopher, who puffeth
          metaphysics from a pipe and discourseth sweet philanthropy to
          itself—itself, God! Dost Thou hear? Itself! For even such am
          I—I whom Thou madest to love Rachel. Why, God—haha! dost
          Thou dwell in this thing? Is it Thou that peerest forth _at_
          me—_from_ me? Why, hark then; Thou shalt listen, and
          answer—if Thou canst. Hark then, Spirit of life! Between the
          rise and setting of a sun, I have walked in this world of
          Thine. I have gazed upon it, I have peered within it, I have
          grown enamoured, enamoured of it. I have been thrilled with
          wonder, I have been calmed with knowledge, I have been exalted
          with sympathy. I have trembled with joy and passion. Power,
          beauty, love have ravished me. Infinity itself, like a dream,
          has blazed before me with the certitude of prophecy; and I
          have cried, “This world, the heavens, time itself, are mine to
          conquer,” and I have thrust forth mine arm to wear Thy shield
          forever—and lo! for my shield Thou reachest me a mirror—and
          whisperest: “Know thyself! Thou art—a scarecrow: a tinkling
          clod, a rigmarole of dust, a lump of ordure, contemptible,
          superfluous, inane!” Haha! Hahaha! And with such scarecrows
          Thou dost people a planet! O ludicrous! Monstrous! Ludicrous!
          At least, I thank Thee, God! at least, this breathing bathos
          can laugh at itself. At least this hotch-potch nobleman of
          stubble is enough of an epicure to turn his own gorge. Thou
          hast vouchsafed to me, Spirit,—hahaha!—to know myself. Mine,
          mine is the consummation of man—even self-contempt!

          [_Pointing in the glass with an agony of derision._]
                    Scarecrow! Scarecrow! Scarecrow!

                         THE IMAGE IN THE GLASS
                       [_More and more faintly._]
                    Scarecrow! Scarecrow! Scarecrow!

      [_Ravensbane throws himself prone upon the floor, beneath
          the window, sobbing. There is a pause of silence, and
          the moon shines brighter.—Slowly then Ravensbane,
          getting to his knees, looks out into the night._]

            What face are you, high up through the twinkling leaves? Why
          do you smile upon me with such white beneficence? Or why do
          you place your viewless hand upon my brow, and say, “Be
          comforted”? Do you not, like all the rest, turn, aghast, your
          eyes away from me—me, abject enormity, grovelling at your
          feet? Gracious being, do you not fear—despise me? To you
          alone am I not hateful—unredeemed? O white peace of the world,
          beneath your gaze the clouds glow silver, and the herded
          cattle, slumbering far afield, crouch—beautiful. The slough
          shines lustrous as a bridal veil. Beautiful face, you are
          Rachel’s, and you have changed the world. Nothing is mean, but
          you have made it miraculous; nothing is loathsome, nothing
          ludicrous, but you have converted it to loveliness, that even
          this shadow of a mockery myself, cast by your light, gives me
          the dear assurance I am a man. Yea, more, that I too, steeped
          in your universal light, am beautiful. For you are Rachel, and
          you love me. You are Rachel in the sky, and the might of your
          serene loveliness has transformed me. Rachel, mistress,
          mother, beautiful spirit, out of my suffering you have brought
          forth my soul. I am saved!

                         THE IMAGE IN THE GLASS
            A very pretty sophistry.

   [_The moonlight grows dimmer, as at the passing of a cloud._]

            Ah! what voice has snatched you from me?

                               THE IMAGE
            A most poetified pumpkin!

            Thing! dost thou speak at last? My soul abhors thee.

                               THE IMAGE
            I _am_ thy soul.

            Thou liest.

                               THE IMAGE

            Our Daddy Dickon and our mother Rickby begot and conceived
          us at sunrise, in a Jack-o’-lantern.

            Thou liest, torturing illusion. Thou art but a phantom in a

                               THE IMAGE
            Why, very true. So art thou. _We_ are a pretty phantom
          in a glass.

            It is a lie. I am no longer thou. I feel it; I am a man.

                               THE IMAGE
               And prithee, what’s a man? Man’s but a mirror,
               Wherein the imps and angels play charades,
               Make faces, mope, and pull each other’s hair—
               Till crack! the sly urchin Death shivers the glass,
               And the bare coffin boards show underneath.

            Yea! if it be so, thou coggery! if both of us be indeed but
          illusions, why, now let us end together. But if it be not so,
          then let _me_ for evermore be free of thee. Now is the
          test—the glass!

          [_Springing to the fireplace, he seizes an iron cross-piece
                from the andirons._]

            I’ll play your urchin Death and shatter it. Let see what
          shall survive!

          [_He rushes to strike the glass with the iron._ DICKON
                _steps out of the mirror, closing the curtain._]

            I wouldn’t, really!

            Dickon! dear Dickon! is it you?

            Yes, Jacky! it’s dear Dickon, and I really wouldn’t.

            Wouldn’t what, Dickon?

            Sweep the cobwebs off the sky with thine aspiring
          broomstick. When a man questions fate, ’tis bad digestion.
          When a scarecrow does it, ’tis bad taste.

            At last, _you_ will tell me the truth, Dickon! Am I
          then—that thing?

            You mustn’t be so sceptical. Of course you’re that thing.

            Ah me despicable! Rachel, why didst thou ever look upon me?

            I fear, cobby, thou hast never studied woman’s heart and
          hero-worship. Take thyself now. I remarked to Goody Bess, thy
          mother, this morning, as I was chucking her thy pate from the
          hay-loft, that thou wouldst make a Mark Antony or an Alexander
          before night.

            Thou, then, didst create me!

            Appreciate the honour. Your lordship was designed for a
          corn-field; but I discerned nobler potentialities: the courts
          of Europe and Justice Merton’s _salon_. In brief, your
          lordship’s origins were pastoral, like King David’s.

            Cease! cease! in pity’s name. You do not know the agony of
          being ridiculous.

            Nay, Jacky, all mortals are ridiculous. Like you, they were
          rummaged out of the muck; and like you, they shall return to
          the dunghill. I advise ’em, like you, to enjoy the interim,
          and smoke.

            This pipe, this ludicrous pipe that I forever set to my lips
          and puff! Why must I, Dickon? Why?

            To avoid extinction—merely. You see, ’tis just as your
          fellow in there
                    [_Pointing to the glass._]
          explained. You yourself are the subtlest of mirrors, polished
          out of pumpkin and pipe-smoke. Into this mirror the fair
          Mistress Rachel has projected her lovely image, and thus
          provided you with what men call a soul.

            Ah! then, I have a soul—the truth of me? Mistress Rachel
          has indeed made me a man?

            Don’t flatter thyself, cobby. Break thy pipe, and
          whiff—soul, Mistress Rachel, man, truth, and this pretty
          world itself, go up in the last smoke.

            No, no! not Mistress Rachel—for she is beautiful; and the
          images of beauty are immutable. She told me so.

            What a Platonic young lady! Nevertheless, believe me,
          Mistress Rachel exists for your lordship merely in your
          lordship’s pipe-bowl.

            Wretched, niggling caricature that I am! All is lost to

            “Paradise Lost” again! Always blaming it on me. There’s that
          gaunt fellow in England has lately wrote a parody on me when I
          was in the apple business.

           [_Falling on his knees and bowing his head._]
            O God! I am so contemptible!

      [_Enter, at door back_, GOODY RICKBY; _her
          blacksmith garb is hidden under a dingy black mantle with
          peaked hood._]

            Good verse, too, for a parody!

   [_Ruminating, raises one arm rhetorically above Ravensbane._]

                                      “Farewell, happy fields
                Where joy forever dwells! Hail, horrors; hail,
                Infernal world! and thou, profoundest Hell,
                Receive thy new possessor.”

                              GOODY RICKBY
                          [_Seizing his arm._]

            Hullo! You, Bess!

                              GOODY RICKBY
            There’s not a minute to lose. Justice Merton and the
          neighbours have ended their conference at Minister Dodge’s,
          and are returning here.

            What! coming back in the dark? They ran away in the daylight
          as if the ghosts were after ’em.

                              GOODY RICKBY
                           [_At the window._]
            I see their lanterns down the road.

            Well, let ’em come. We’re ready.

                              GOODY RICKBY
            But thou toldst me they had discovered—

            A scarecrow in a mirror. Well? The glass is bewitched;
          that’s all.

                              GOODY RICKBY
            All? Witchcraft is hanging—that’s all! Come, how shall the
          mirror help us?

            ’Tis very simple. The glass is bewitched. Mistress
          Rachel—mind you—shall admit it. She bought it of you.

                              GOODY RICKBY
            Yea, of me; ’twill be me they’ll hang.

            Good! then the glass is bewitched. The glass bewitches the
          room; for witchcraft is catching and spreads like the
          small-pox. _Ergo_, the distorted image of Lord
          Ravensbane; _ergo_, the magical accompaniments of the
          ballad; _ergo_, the excited fancies of all the persons in
          the room. _Ergo_, the glass must needs be destroyed, and
          the room thoroughly disinfected by the Holy Scriptures.
          _Ergo_, Master Dickonson himself reads the Bible aloud,
          the guests apologize and go home, the Justice squirms again in
          his merry dead past, and his fair niece is wed to the pumpkin.

            Hideous! Hideous!

                              GOODY RICKBY
            Your grateful servant, Devil! But the mirror was bought of
          me—of me, the witch. Wilt thou be my hangman, Dickon?

            Wilt thou give me a kiss, Goody? When did ever thy Dickon
          desert thee?

                              GOODY RICKBY
            But how, boy, wilt thou—

            Trust me, and thy son. When the Justice’s niece is thy
          daughter-in-law, all will be safe. For the Justice will
          cherish his niece’s family.

                              GOODY RICKBY
            But when he knows—

            But he shall _not_ know. How can he? When the glass is
          denounced as fraudulent, how will he, or any person, ever know
          that we made this fellow out of rubbish? Who, forsooth, but a
          poet—or a devil—_would_ believe it? You mustn’t credit
          men with our imaginations, my dear.

            Mockery! Always mockery!

                              GOODY RICKBY
            Then thou wilt pull me through this safe?

            As I adore thee—and my own reputation.

                              GOODY RICKBY
                           [_Hurrying away._]
            Till we meet, then, boy.

            Stay, marchioness—his lordship!

                              GOODY RICKBY
            His lordship’s pardon! How fares “the bottom of thy heart,”
          my son?

            My lord—your lady mother.

            Begone, woman.

                              GOODY RICKBY
                    [_Courtesying, laughs shrilly._]
            Your servant—my son!
                                [_About to depart._]

            Ye lie! Both of you! Ye lie—I was born of Rachel.

            Tut, tut, Jacky; you mustn’t mix up mothers and prospective
          wives at your age. It’s fatal.

                              GOODY RICKBY
            They’re coming!

                         [_Calling after her._]
            Fear not; if thou shouldst be followed, I will overtake

            She is coming; Rachel is coming, and I may not look upon

            Eh? Why not?

            I am a monster.

            And born of her—Fie! fie!

            O God! I know not; I mock myself; I know not what to think.
          But this I know, I love Rachel. I love her, I love her.

            And shalt have her.

            Have her, Dickon?

            For lover and wife.

            For wife?

            For wife and all. Thou hast but to obey.

            Ah! who will do this for me?


            Dickon! Wilt make me a man—a man and worthy of her?

            Fiddlededee! I make over no masterpieces. Thy mistress shall
          be Cinderella, and drive to her palace with her gilded

            It is the end.

            What! You’ll not?


            Harkee, manikin. Hast thou learned to suffer?

                        [_Wringing his hands._]
            O God!

           _I_ taught thee. Shall I teach thee further?

            Thou canst not.

            Cannot—ha! What if I should teach Rachel too?

            Rachel!—Ah! now I know thee.


            Devil! Thou wouldst not torment Rachel?

            Not if my lord—

            Speak! What must I do?

          _Not_ speak. Be silent, my lord, and acquiesce to all I

            I will be silent.

            And acquiesce?

            I will be silent.

      [_Enter_ MINISTER DODGE, _accompanied by_ SIR CHARLES REDDINGTON,
          CAPTAIN BUGBY, _the_ REV. MASTERS RAND _and_ TODD, _and
          followed by_ JUSTICE MERTON, RICHARD, MISTRESS MERTON, _and_
          RACHEL. _Richard and Rachel stand somewhat apart, Rachel
          drawing close to Richard and hiding her face. All wear their
          outer wraps, and two or three hold lanterns, which, save the
          moon, throw the only light upon the scene. All enter solemn
          and silent._]

                             MINISTER DODGE
            Lord, be Thou present with us, in this unholy spot.

                          SEVERAL MEN’S VOICES

            Friends! Have you seized her? Is she made prisoner?

                             MINISTER DODGE
            Stand from us.

            Sir, the witch! Surely you did not let her escape?

            The witch!

            A dame in a peaked hood. She has but now fled the house. She
          called herself—Goody Rickby.

            Goody Rickby!

                            MISTRESS MERTON
            She here!

            Yea, mistress, and hath confessed all the damnable art, by
          which all of us have lately been so terrorized, and his
          lordship, my poor master, so maligned and victimized.


                             JUSTICE MERTON
            What confessed she?

                             MINISTER DODGE
            What said she?

            This: It appeareth that, for some time past, she hath
          cherished revengeful thoughts against our honoured host,
          Justice Merton.

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            Sir! What cause—what cause—

            Inasmuch as your worship hath ever so righteously condemned
          her damnable faults, and threatened them punishment.

                             MINISTER DODGE

            Thus, in revenge, she bewitched yonder mirror, and this very
          morning unlawfully inveigled this sweet young lady into
          purchasing it.

                              SIR CHARLES
            Mistress Rachel!

                             MINISTER DODGE
                             [_To Rachel._]
            Didst thou purchase that glass?

                          [_In a low voice._]

                             MINISTER DODGE
            From Goody Rickby?


            Sir—the blame was mine.

                          [_Clinging to him._]
            O Richard!

            Pardon, my friends. The fault rests upon no one here. The
          witch alone is to blame. Her black art inveigled this innocent
          maid into purchasing the glass; her black art bewitched this
         room and all that it contained—even to these innocent
         virginals, on which I played.

                             MINISTER DODGE
            Verily, this would seem to account—but the image; the
          damnable image in the glass?

            A familiar devil of hers—a sly imp, it seems, who wears to
          mortal eyes the shape of a scarecrow. ’Twas he, by means of
          whom she bedevilled this glass, by making it his _habitat_.
          When, therefore, she learned that honour and happiness were
          yours, Justice Merton, in the prospect of Lord Ravensbane as
          your nephew-in-law, she commanded this devil to reveal himself
          in the glass as my lord’s own image, that thus she might wreck
          your family felicity.

                             MINISTER DODGE

            Indeed, sir, it was this very devil whom but now she stole
          here to consult withal, when she encountered me, attendant
          here upon my poor prostrate lord, and—held by the wrath in my
          eye—confessed it all.

                              SIR CHARLES
            Thunder and brimstone! Where is this accursed hag?

            Alas—gone, gone! If you had but stopped her.

                             MINISTER DODGE
            I know her den—the blacksmith shop.

                              SIR CHARLES
            Which way?

                             MINISTER DODGE
            To the left.

                              SIR CHARLES
            Go on, there.

                             MINISTER DODGE
            My honoured friend, we shall return and officially destroy
          this fatal glass. But first, we must secure the witch. Heaven
          shield, with her guilt, the innocent!

                                THE MEN
                         [_As they hurry out._]

                              SIR CHARLES
            Go on!

      [_Exeunt all but Richard, Rachel, Justice Merton, Mistress
                  Merton, Dickon, and Ravensbane._]

       [_To Justice Merton, who has importuned him, aside._]
            And reveal thy youthful escapades to Rachel?

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            God help me! no.

            So then, dear friends, this strange incident is happily
          elucidated. The pain and contumely have fallen most heavily
          upon my dear lord and master, but you are witnesses, even now,
          of his silent and Christian forgiveness of your suspicions.
          Bygones, therefore, be bygones. The future brightens—with
          orange-blossoms! Hymen and Felicity stand with us here ready
          to unite two amorous and bashful lovers. His lordship is
          reticent; yet to you alone, of all beautiful ladies, Mistress

                         [_In a mighty voice._]

            My lord would—

            Silence! Dare not to speak to her!

                          [_Biting his lip._]
            My babe is weaned.

                   [_Still at Richard’s side._]
            Oh, my lord, if I have made you suffer—


      [_Approaching her, raises one arm to screen his face._]

            Gracious lady! let fall your eyes; look not upon me. If I
          have dared remain in your presence, if I dare now speak once
          more to you, ’tis because I would have you know—O forgive
          me!—that I love you.

            Sir! This lady has renewed her promise to be my wife.

            Your wife, or not, I love her.


            Forbear, and hear me! For one wonderful day I have gazed
          upon this, your world. The sun has kindled me and the moon has
          blessed me. A million forms—of trees, of stones, of stars, of
          men, of common things—have swum like motes before my eyes;
          but one alone was wholly beautiful. That form was Rachel: to
          her alone I was not ludicrous; to her I also was beautiful.
          Therefore, I love her. You talk to me of mothers, mistresses,
          lovers, and wives and sisters, and you say men love these.
          What is love? The sun’s enkindling and the moon’s quiescence;
          the night and day of the world—the _all_ of life, the
          all which must include both you and me and God, of whom you
          dream. Well then, I love you, Rachel. What shall prevent me?
          Mistress, mother, wife—thou art all to me!

            My lord, I can only reply for Mistress Rachel, that you
          speak like one who does not understand this world.

            O God! Sir, and do you? If so, tell me—tell me before it be
          too late—why, in this world, such a thing as _I_ can
          love and talk of love. Why, in this world, a true man and
          woman, like you and your betrothed, can look upon this
          counterfeit and be deceived.

                           RACHEL AND RICHARD

            Me—on me—the ignominy of the earth, the laughing-stock of
          the angels!

            Why, my lord. Are you not—


                             JUSTICE MERTON
                           [_To Ravensbane._]
            Forbear! Not to her—

            My lord forgets.

            Are you not Lord Ravensbane?

            Marquis of Oxford, Baron of Wittenberg, Elector of Worms,
          and Count of Cordova? No, I am _not_ Lord Ravensbane. I
          am Lord Scarecrow!
                      [_He bursts into laughter._]

                          [_Shrinking back._]
            Ah me!

            A nobleman of husks, bewitched from a pumpkin.

            The image in the glass was true?

            Yes, true. It is the glass of truth—thank God! Thank God
          for you, dear.

                             JUSTICE MERTON
            Richard! Go for the minister; this proof of witchcraft needs
          be known.
                       [_Richard does not move._]

            My lord, this grotesque absurdity must end.

            True, Dickon! This grotesque absurdity must end. The laugher
          and the laughing-stock, man and the worm, possess at least one
          dignity in common: both must die.

                           [_Speaking low._]
            Remember! if you dare—Rachel shall suffer for it.

            You lie. She is above your power.

            Still, thou darest not—

            Fool, I dare.
                         [_Turning to Rachel._]
            Mistress, this pipe is I. This intermittent smoke holds, in
          its nebula, Venus, Mars, the world. If I should break
          it—Chaos and the dark! And this of me that now stands up will
          sink jumbled upon the floor—a scarecrow. See! I break it.

      [_He breaks the pipe in his hands, and flings the pieces
          at Dickon’s feet in defiance; then turns, agonized, to

            Oh, Rachel, could I have been a man—!

        [_Picking up the pieces of pipe, turns to Rachel._]
            Mademoiselle, I felicitate you; you have outwitted the
             [_Kissing his fingers to her, he disappears._]

                            MISTRESS MERTON
             [_Seizing the Justice’s arm in fright._]

                             JUSTICE MERTON

            Richard! Richard! support him.

                 [_Sustaining Ravensbane, who sways._]
            He is fainting. A chair!

              [_Placing a chair, helps Richard to support
                        Ravensbane toward it._]
            How pale; but yet no change.

            His heart, perhaps.

            Oh, Dick, if it should be some strange mistake! Look! he is
          noble still. My lord! my lord! the glass—

      [_She draws the curtain of the mirror, just opposite which
          Ravensbane has sunk into the chair. At her cry, he
          starts up faintly and gazes at his reflection, which
          is seen to be a normal image of himself._]

            Who is it?

            Yourself, my lord—’tis the glass of truth.

           [_His face lighting with an exalted joy, starts
               to his feet, erect, before the glass._]
            A man!
                  [_He falls back into the arms of the two lovers._]
                              [_He dies._]

            Richard, I am afraid. Was it a chimera, or a hero?



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