Seeing the Elephant by Baker, George M. (George Melville)
ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE.
THE AMATEUR DRAMA.
SEEING THE ELEPHANT
BOSTON: GEO. M. BAKER & CO., 149 Washington Street.
KILBURN & MALLORY, Sr.]
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1873 by GEORGE M. BAKER, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
SEEING THE ELEPHANT.
BY THE AUTHOR OF
“Sylvia’s Soldier;” “Once on a Time;” “Down by the Sea;” “Bread on the Waters;” “The Last Loaf;” “Stand by the Flag;” “The Tempter;” “A Drop Too Much;” “We’re All Teetotallers;” “A Little More Cider;” “Thirty Minutes for Refreshments;” “Wanted, a Male Cook;” “A Sea of Troubles;” “Freedom of the Press;” “A Close Shave;” “The Great Elixir;” “The Man with the Demijohn;” “New Brooms Sweep Clean;” “Humors of the Strike;” “My Uncle the Captain;” “The Greatest Plague in Life;” “No Cure, No Pay;” “The Grecian Bend;” “The War of the Roses;” “Lightheart’s Pilgrimage;” “The Sculptor’s Triumph;” “Too Late for the Train;” “Snow-Bound;” “The Peddler of Very Nice;” “Bonbons;” “Capuletta;” “An Original Idea;” &c.
BOSTON: GEO. M. BAKER & CO. 149 WASHINGTON STREET.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1873,
BY GEORGE M. BAKER,
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
Stereotyped at the Boston Stereotype Foundry, 19 Spring Lane.
SEEING THE ELEPHANT
SILAS SOMERBY, a Farmer, occasionally addicted to the bottle. HARRY HOLDEN, his right-hand Man. BIAS BLACK, a Teamster. PAT MURPHY, a Laborer. JOHNNY SOMERBY, Silas’s Son. RACHEL SOMERBY, his Wife. SALLY SOMERBY, his Daughter.
SILAS, dark pants, short, thick boots, yellow vest, a towel pinned about his neck, gray wig, face lathered.
HARRY, gray pants, blue shirt, black neckkerchief, dark coat.
BIAS, thick boots, blue frock, woolly wig, black face, long whip.
PAT MURPHY, in shirt sleeves, blue overalls, cap, wig.
JOHNNY, close-cut hair, pants of his father’s, rolled up at bottom, drawn up very high with suspenders, thin coat, short and open, very broad brimmed straw hat.
RACHEL and SALLY, neat calico dresses.
SCENE.--_Room in SOMERBY’S House. Old-fashioned sofa, R.; table, C., laid for breakfast. HARRY seated R. of table, eating; rocking-chair, R. C. SALLY seated, L., shelling peas or paring apples. Entrances, R., L., and C._
“Roll on, silver moon, Guide the traveller his way, While the nightingale’s song is in tune; For I never, never more With my true love shall stray By the sweet, silver light of the moon.”
_Harry._ Beautiful, beautiful! “There’s music in _that_ air.” Now take a fresh roll, and keep me company while I take another of your mother’s delicious fresh rolls.
_Sally._ Making the sixth you have devoured before my eyes!
_Harry._ Exactly. What a tribute to her cooking! She’s the best bred woman in the country. Her pies are miracles of skill; her rolls are rolls of honor; her golden butter is so sweet, it makes me sweet upon her.
_Sally._ Well, I declare, Harry Holden, that’s poetry!
_Harry._ Is it? Then hereafter call me the poet of the breakfast table. My lay shall be seconded with a fresh egg.
_Sally._ Another? Land sakes! you think of nothing but eating.
_Harry._ Exactly, when I’m hungry. My hunger once appeased, I think of this good farm--the broad fields, mowing, haying, the well-fed cattle, and sometimes, when I am _very_ hungry, I think of the time when I leaned over the fence, and gazed enchanted upon the pretty girl milking her cow--whose name was Sally.
_Sally._ Eh--the cow?
_Harry._ Now, Sally, don’t destroy the poetry of my language.
_Sally._ Don’t be ungrammatical, Harry; and do stop talking nonsense.
_Harry._ I will, for my breakfast is finished, and I can talk to you no longer. I’m off. (_Sings._)
“For to reap and to sow, To plough and to mow, And to be a farmer’s boy.”
(_Rises._) Ah, I little dreamed, two years ago, when I was playing the fine gentleman at Squire Jordan’s,--a city swell, up in the country here on a vacation,--that I should soon become a farmer.
_Sally._ Are you sorry it is so, Harry?
_Harry._ (_Comes down, places a cricket beside SALLY, and sits on it._) Sorry, you gypsy, when it has made a man of me? No. It has been my salvation. I have a fortune left me, and was in a fair way of squandering it in all the vices of the city; had acquired a taste for hot suppers, fine wines, gambling, and all sorts of dissipation; was on the high road to ruin, when some good angel sent me up here. I saw you, and was saved.
_Sally._ And you are perfectly contented with your situation?
_Harry._ Well, no, I’m not. In fact, I’m getting very much dissatisfied.
_Sally._ Not with me, Harry?
_Harry._ With you? Bless your dear little heart! you’re the only satisfaction I have. When I asked the old gentleman--your father--to give you to me, two years ago, he said, “No, young man. Though I’ve no doubt you love my Sally, you’ve got too much money. You never worked a day in your life. Suppose your wealth should take to itself wings some day, what’s to become of her? She shall be a farmer’s wife, or die an old maid. You say you would die for her. Go to work, learn to run a farm, bring out your muscle, get some color in that pale face, get rid of your vices, and then, if your money goes, you’ve the power to earn a living, and a smart wife to help you.”
_Sally._ That’s just what he said, and ’twas good advice.
_Harry._ It was, though I did not think so at the time. But I took it, hired out to him, and now thank my good fortune for the copy he set me.
_Sally._ And everybody says there’s not a more likely farmer in the neighborhood than you.
_Harry._ Much obliged to everybody. But, Sally, I think your father is a little selfish.
_Sally._ Don’t abuse father. He’s the most generous man--
_Harry._ I know. But I’ve grown valuable to him. And now, when I ask him to let me marry you, he “hems” and “haws,” and says, “Don’t be in a hurry. Have patience.” He knows that the moment you are my wife, I shall pack up and be off; and that’s what’s the matter.
_Sally._ It will all come right one of these days.
_Harry._ I suppose it will. But it don’t come right now. I tell you, Sally, I’m going to have an answer this very day, or to-morrow I’m off.
_Sally._ Off? And leave me?
_Harry._ O, no. Take you with me. You love me--don’t you, Sally?
_Sally._ You know I do, Harry.
_Harry._ Then marry me. I’ll make you the happiest woman in the world. I’ll carry you to an elegant home, and scatter money in every direction, to bring around you luxuries and enjoyments.
_Sally._ No, Harry; I could enjoy nothing, leaving my father without his consent. I have always tried to be a good daughter. He would be very angry, should I disobey him, and no good fortune would follow me. No, Harry. Be patient. There’s a good time coming.
_Harry._ Yes, it’s always _coming_. But I shall ask his consent to-day.
_Sally._ Do, Harry. I hope he’ll say yes, for you deserve it. (_Puts her arm about his neck._)
_Harry._ And you deserve the best husband in the world, you gypsy. (_Puts his arm round her waist, and kisses her._)
_Enter JOHNNY, C._
_Johnny._ Christopher Columbus! O, hokey! (_SALLY and HARRY jump up._) Did you hear it?
_Sally._ Hear what? Why don’t you frighten a body to death, and have done with it!
_Johnny._ Somebody fired off something close to my head. Blunderbuss, I guess. Did it hit you, Sally?
_Sally._ I didn’t hear anything.
_Johnny._ Didn’t you feel it? Must have hit yer right in the mouth. It’s awful red!
_Harry._ Come, Johnny, there’s enough of that. I don’t like it.
_Johnny._ Don’t you, though? Thought you did. Seemed to take to it nat’ral nuff. Where’s dad?
_Sally._ He is not up yet. (_Sits and resumes her work. HARRY goes to chair, back, and takes up his hat._)
JOHNNY. Guess he’s kinder sleepy after his jaunt to the city yesterday. Guess the coppers are hot! O, won’t he catch it?
HARRY. Why, what’s the matter?
JOHNNY. Matter? Say, thought you was goin’ down with me after that woodchuck this mornin’. Don’t see what a feller wants to fool away his time here with a gal for, when there’s a woodchuck to be got so handy.
_Enter MRS. SOMERBY, L._
_Mrs. S._ I’ll woodchuck yer! (_Taking him by the ear._) What d’ ye mean by keeping out er the way all the morning--hey?
_Johnny._ O! Quit, now! You hurt!
_Mrs. S._ Hope I do. You jest stir out er this room till I’ve done with yer, if you dare! (_Sits in rocking-chair, and rocks violently._) Sakes alive! It’s enough to drive one ravin’ distracted! There’s yer father sleeping like a log, and it’s arter eight o’clock! Where did you two critters go yesterday--hey?
_Johnny._ Went to the city, of course.
_Mrs. S._ Yes, yer did go to the city with a load of live and dead stuff; and there’s that man in there, with not a cent in his pocket to show for it. He’d a never got home at all if the brute in the shafts hadn’t known more than the brute in the wagon. Drunk clean through!
_Harry._ What! Has Mr. Somerby had another spree?
_Mrs. S._ I should think he had! They come thicker and thicker.--You young one! you speak up, and tell me what you know ’bout it, quick!
_Johnny._ Well, all I know, dad an’ I went to market. He sold off everything, and then sent me down to Scudder’s to git a new rake, and over to Jinks’s for some sugar, and round to Stevens’s to borry a screw-driver, cos something got loose.
_Mrs. S._ Somethin’ got loose! I should think so!
_Johnny._ Said he’d wait till I come back. When I got back, he hadn’t waited; so I went tearin’ round arter him. Man in a white hat said he saw him goin’ down onto the wharf to see the elephant; so I went down. Big crowd down there. They was a auctioneering off a lot of animals. Lion, tiger, and monkeys--Jemimy!--by the dozen. Purty soon I spied dad. He was sprung.
_Mrs. S._ Sprung? For the land sakes! what’s that? Not overboard?
_Johnny._ Sprung--over the bay.
_Mrs. S._ Over the bay? Thought he was on the wharf. Now, don’t yer lie, you young one!
_Harry._ He means he was in liquor.
_Mrs. S._ More likely liquor in him. Why don’t you say he was drunk, and have done with it?
_Johnny._ Well, he was pretty full; and when I got there, he was leanin’ up agin a hogshead, and biddin’ on an elephant.
_Mrs. S._ On an elephant! Why, he might have broke his neck!
_Johnny._ O, fush! He was a biddin’ for the elephant. He offered a hundred dollars. But I didn’t see it; so I jest took a hold er him, h’isted him inter the wagon, and drove back to Stevens’s. When I come out, the wagon and dad were out of sight, and I had to foot it ten miles. So I jest crept inter the barn when I got here, and had a snooze on the hay.
_Mrs. S._ Dear me! what capers! Two or three times a year he has these sprees, and they cost a mint of money. There was apples and cider, hens and chickens, eggs and butter, all gone. Dear me, what will become of us? If there’s anything in this world I detest, it’s a toper!
_Sally._ Poor mother, she’s in a fever of excitement. I’ll try and get her to lie down.
_Johnny._ I say, Mr. Holden, it’s purty hard sleddin’ for marm--ain’t it?
_Harry._ It is, indeed, Johnny; and don’t you make it any harder for her. Never touch a drop of liquor.
_Johnny._ O, don’t you fret about me. I feel bad enough to see dad on these times. I’m a purty rough boy, but it does make me feel mean to see dad, who’s such a smart old gent when he’s sober, let himself out in this way. I’ve never touched a drop of liquor, and you can bet your life I never will.
_Harry._ That’s right, Johnny. Drinking is the meanest kind of enjoyment, and the dearest, too. I’m going to try and reform the old gentleman.
_Johnny._ Are you? Well, you’ve got a big job.
_Harry._ Perhaps not. His bidding for the elephant has given me an idea.
_Johnny._ It gave me an idea he was purty far gone.
_Harry._ Yes. We will make him believe he bought the elephant.
_Johnny._ What good will that do?
_Harry._ I think we’ll turn the animal into a temperance lecturer. Come with me. Let’s see your mother and Sally, and arrange matters before your father appears.
_Johnny._ Yes. But I want ter go after the woodchuck.
_Harry._ Never mind him now. We’ve got bigger game--the elephant.
_Enter, slowly, R., SILAS, with a razor in his hand._
_Silas._ I’m in an awful state. My hand shakes so I can’t shave; my throat is all on fire, my head splitting, and I feel mean enough to steal. Wonder how I got home! Guess I’ve been and made a fool of myself. I ain’t got a copper in my pocket; and I know when I sold out I had over a hundred dollars in my wallet. (_Takes out wallet._) Looks now as though an elephant had stepped on it. An elephant? Seems to me I saw one yesterday in teown. Jest remember biddin’ for him at auction. Lucky I didn’t buy him. ’Twas that plaguy “Ottawa beer” set me goin’. Well, I s’pose I shall catch it from the old lady. But it’s none of her business. ’Twas my sarse and my live stock, and I’ve a right to jest what I please with it.
_Enter MRS. SOMERBY, L._
_Mrs. S._ Silas Somerby! are you a man, or are you a monster?
_Silas._ Hey? Ha, ha! Yes, I don’t look very spruce, that’s a fact. The water was cold, and the razor dull, and--and--
_Mrs. S._ And your hand shakes so you can’t shave. O, Silas, Silas! At your time of life! I blush for you!
_Silas._ O, bother, now! What are you frettin’ ’bout? I ain’t killed anybody, or robbed anybody’s house--have I?
_Mrs. S._ You’ve done somethin’ as bad. You’ve been on a spree, and squandered every cent you had in your pocket.
_Silas._ S’pose I did? Ain’t a hard-working man a right to enjoy himself once in a while, I’d like to know? Now you jest shet up! I’m the master of this farm, and if I choose to show a liberal spirit once in a while, and help along trade by spreading a little cash about, it ain’t for you to holler and “blush--”
_Mrs. S._ Silas Somerby!
_Silas._ Shet up! if you don’t, I’ll harness up old Jack, and clear out.
_Mrs. S._ For another spree? O, you wretch! ain’t you ashamed of yourself, to set sich an example to the young uns? And that critter you sent home! Do you want us to be devoured?
_Silas._ Critter! critter! What critter?
_Mrs. S._ O, you know well enough; and I guess you’ll find you’ve made a poor bargain this time. I always told you rum would be your ruin; and if you don’t see the poorhouse staring you in the face afore night, I’m very much mistaken.
_Enter HARRY, L._
_Silas._ What on airth are yer talking about? Are yer crazy, or have yer been drinking?
_Harry._ (_Comes down between them._) Hush! not a word! We must not let anybody know you are in the house!
_Silas._ Hey! what ails _you_? Got a touch of the old lady’s complaint?
_Harry._ Hush! Not so loud! We must be cautious. Sheriff Brown is looking for you; but I’ve put him off the scent.
_Silas._ Then oblige me by putting me on it. What’s the matter? Why is the sheriff looking for me?
_Harry._ Hush! Not so loud! It’s all about _him_. (_Pointing over his left shoulder._)
_Silas._ Him! him! Consarn his picter! who is _him_?
_Harry._ Hush! Not so loud! I’ve got him locked up in the barn. He got into the melon beds; they’re gone: then into the cucumbers; he’s pickled them all. But I’ve got him safe now.
_Enter JOHNNY, L._
_Johnny._ By Jinks! the critter’s hauled the sleigh down from the rafters; broke it all to smash!
_Enter SALLY, L._
_Sally._ O, mother, he’s stepped into your tub of eggs, and there ain’t a whole one left.
_Mrs. S._ I told you so. O, Silas, how could you?
_Silas._ Are you all crazy? Who has trampled the melons? Who has pickled the cucumbers? Who has smashed the sleigh? And who has sucked the eggs? I pause for a reply.
_All._ (_In chorus._) Your elephant!
_Silas._ My elephant? My elephant? Pooh! Nonsense! I don’t own any such critter.
_Johnny._ Say, dad, have yer forgotten the auction yesterday--the tiger, and the monkey, and the elephant?
_Silas._ What? Stop! O, my head! It must be so. Did I buy that elephant?
_Harry._ He is in the barn, Mr. Somerby.
_Silas._ I’m a ruined man! (_Sinks into chair L. of table._) Is he alive?
_Mrs. S._ He ought to be, with half a ton of hay inside him.
_Silas._ O, my hay! my hay!
_Johnny._ And a barrel of turnips.
_Silas._ O, ruin! ruin!
_Sally._ And a whole basket of carrots.
_Silas._ I’ll shoot him! I’ll shoot him!
_Johnny._ That’s easier said than done, dad. Them critters die hard; and we ain’t got the cannon to bombard him with.
_Harry._ Come, Johnny, let’s look after him. I’m afraid he will get into more mischief. Will you have a look at him, Mr. Somerby?
_Silas._ Look at him? Never! Find me a way to get rid of him, quick!
_Harry._ That’s not such an easy matter. Nobody would take the gift of him; and nobody but a fool would buy him.
_Mrs. S._ That’s a fact. O, my eggs! my eggs! Eighty dozen, all ready for market!
_Sally._ Law sakes! that elephant has made me forget the breakfast things. (_Clears away the table, carrying things off, L._)
_Harry._ I suppose you want him to have plenty of hay?
_Silas._ (_Fiercely._) Feed him till he splits, or dies of indigestion!
[_Exit HARRY, L._
_Johnny._ Say, dad, he’ll be grand, if we can only put him to the plough.
_Silas._ (_Fiercely._) Clear out, yer jackanapes!
[_Exit JOHNNY, L._
_Mrs. S._ I’ll go and look after the poultry. If he gets in among ’em, good by to Thanksgiving. It’s all right, Silas. It’s a pretty big critter to have about; but it shows “a liberal spirit”--don’t it?
_Silas._ Shut up! Clear out!--Wal, I guess I brought home a pretty big load last night, accordin’ to the looks of things. Now, what on airth set me on to buy that elephant? Must have been the Ottawa beer. What on airth shall I do with him? He’ll eat us out of house and home. If I kill him, there’s an end of it. No, the beginnin’, for we’d have to dig up the whole farm to bury him. But he must be got rid of somehow. O, Somerby, you’ve a long row to hoe here!
_Enter HARRY, L._
_Harry._ Now, sir, let us look this matter calmly in the face. (_Sits R. of table._)
_Silas._ What matter?
_Harry._ Well, suppose we call it “consequential damages.”
_Silas._ Call it what you like. It’s a big critter, and should have a big name.
_Harry._ You don’t understand me. I told you Sheriff Brown was looking for you. There are about a dozen complaints lodged against you already. This is likely to be a costly affair.
_Silas._ Sheriff Brown--complaints--costly affair! Why, what do you mean? Isn’t it bad enough to be caught with an elephant on your hands?
_Harry._ Well, your elephant, not being acquainted in this part of the country, got out of the road a little in travelling towards his present quarters. For instance, he walked into Squire Brown’s fence, and carried away about a rod of it.
_Silas._ You don’t mean it!
_Harry._ And, in endeavoring to get back to the road, walked through his glass house, and broke _some_ glass.
_Silas._ Goodness gracious!
_Harry._ Mr. Benson’s flower garden, being near the road, was hastily visited by his highness, and a few of the rare plants will flourish no more.
_Silas._ O, my head! Is that all?
_Harry._ No, for Mrs. Carter was on the road with her span. On the appearance of the great hay-eater, one of the horses dropped dead.
_Silas._ O, ruin, ruin! Why didn’t the elephant keep him company?
_Harry._ These parties have made complaint, and will sue you for damages. There are other disasters connected with the entry of your pet--
_Silas._ Don’t mention ’em. Don’t speak of any more. There’s enough now to ruin me. Broken fences, smashed hot-houses, ruined flower beds, and a dead horse!
_Harry._ Consequential damages.
_Silas._ Consequential humbugs! I am the victim of a conspiracy. I don’t own an elephant. I won’t own him. I never bought him. He’s escaped from a menagerie. Why should I buy an elephant?
_Harry._ That won’t do, Mr. Somerby. You were seen at the auction; you were heard to bid for the animal. I’m afraid you will have to suffer.
_Silas._ I won’t pay a cent. They may drag me to jail, torture me with cold baths and hot irons; but not a cent will I pay for the capers of that elephant.
_Enter BIAS BLACK, L._
_Bias._ Hay! What’s dat? Am yer gwine to ’pudiate, Massa Somebody? Gwine back on de ber--ber--bullephant--am yer?
_Silas._ What’s the matter with you, Bias Black?
_Bias._ Wal, I speck a heap, Massa Somebody. Dat ar bullephant of yourn has driben dis indervideral inter bankrupturicy. Dar’s been a reg’lar smash up ob his commercial crisis, and de wabes ob affliction are rollin’ into dis yer bussom.
_Silas_. Now, yeou black imp, talk English, or walk Spanish, quick! What do yeou want?
_Bias._ Want damages, heavy damages; dat’s what I want, Massa Somebody.
_Silas._ Damages for what?
_Bias._ Wal, hold yer hush, an’ I’ll tell yer. Las’ night I was gwine along de road, see, wid my hoss and wagon chock full, an’ ole Missey Pearson sittin’ alongside ob me--picked her up in de road. Pore ole lady! Guess she won’t ax any more rides! An’ jes’ when I got by Square Jones’s door, den dar was an airthquake, by golly! Somethin’ took right hole ob de tail-board. Felt somethin’ h’ist. Knowed ’twas a shock; and de nex’ ting I knowed, I was up in a tree! Missey Pearson was h’isted onto de fence, an’ dat ar bullephant was a chasin’ dat ar hoss ober de wagon, an’ a trampin’ round an’ chawin’ up things fine, I tell yer. Golly! such a mess! Dat’s what de matter. Lost eberyting. Wouldn’t a taken sebenty-five dollars for dat ar wagon. An’ dat ole lady, guess she’s shook all to pieces.
_Silas._ And you expect me to pay for this!
_Bias._ Ob course, ob course. If old gents will sow dar wild oats wid bullephants, dey must expect to pay for de thrashin’. Sebenty-five dollars for de wagon, sixty-seben dollars and ninepence for de goods, an’ about fifty dollars for de scare to dat pore ole hoss. I’ll trow de ole lady in.
_Silas._ I’ll throw yeou inter the horse-pond, yeou black imp! Not a dollar will yeou get from me.
_Bias._ Hey! You won’t pay? Den I’ll hab de law. Yes, sir. I’ll hab a jury set onto you, an’--, an’--an’--a judge, and two or three habus corpuses. You can’t fool dis chile. Dar want no muzzle on de bullephant, an’ it’s agin de law.
_Silas._ Well, go to law. I shan’t pay a cent.
_Enter PAT MURPHY, L._
_Pat._ Where’s the kaper of the brute, I’d like to know? Where’s the hathin that sinds wild bastes a rarin’ an’ a tarin’ into the paceful quarthers of the globe?
_Silas_. What’s the matter with yeou, Pat Murphy?
_Pat._ Aha, owld gint, ’tis there ye are. It’s a mighty foine scrape yer in this time, wid yer drinkin’ an’ rollickin’.
_Silas._ Come, come, Pat Murphy, keep a civil tongue in your head.
_Pat._ O, blarney! It’s an ondacent man ye are, by me sowl! Wasn’t I sittin’ on my own doorstep last night, a smokin’ my pipe genteelly, wid de childers innercently amusin’ theirselves a throwin’ brickbats at one another, an’ Biddy a washin’ in the yard (as beautiful a picture of domestic felicity as ye don’t often say), when an oogly black snout kim over the fence, an’, afore ye could spake, away wint the fence, an’ away wint Biddy into the tub, an’ the childers into the pig-pen, an’ mesilf ilevated to the top of the woodshed by that same oogly black baste!
_Harry._ Ah, the elephant on another frolic!
_Pat._ Frolic--is it? Bedad, it must be paid for, ony how. An’ so, owld gint, I’ll jist throuble yez for the damages--to mesilf, a broken constitution, Biddy, a wake’s washin’ intirely spoiled, and the childers, bliss their dirthy faces! for a scare, an’ the fright to the pig, an’ the broken fence. Come down, owld gint. Them as jig must pay the piper.
_Bias._ Das a fac’, das a fac’. Down wid de dust, ole gint, for de dust dat ar bullephant kicked up.
_Silas._ Never! Not a cent! Get out of my house! You’re a pair of knaves. There is no elephant about here. It’s all a lie. I won’t be swindled. Get out, I say!
_Pat._ Knave! Look to yersilf, owld gint. It’s not dacent for the likes of yez to call names. A lie? Troth, I’ll jist bring Biddy and the childer to tistify to the truth--so I will.
_Silas._ Shut up! Clear out! If you want damages, you can have them. I’m getting my dander up, and shall sartinly damage both of yer.
_Bias._ Don’t you do it, don’t you do it. De law will fix you, old gent.
_Pat._ Begorra, I’ll spind me intire fortune, but I’ll have justice.
_Silas._ Are you going?
_Pat._ To a lawyer, straight. I blush for yez, owld gint, I blush for yez.
_Bias._ Dat ar wagon, and dat ar hoss, and dem ar goods, and de ole lady must be repaired. So de law will tell yez, Massa Somebody. Das a fac’, das a fac’.
_Harry._ This looks like a serious business, Mr. Somerby.
_Silas._ Confound it, so it does! What can I do? Must I pay all these damages?
_Harry._ I see no way for you to escape.
_Silas._ What a fool I have been! For a few hours’ fun I’ve got myself into this scrape. Why, ’twill ruin me. I can never raise the money.
_Harry._ O, yes, you can, Mr. Somerby. I have plenty. You’d better settle this matter at once, and draw on me freely for money.
_Silas._ Draw on you? What right have I to do that?
_Harry._ Give your consent to my marriage with Sally, and I shall consider you have the right. More, I will hunt up these claims, and settle them at once.
_Silas._ Will you? You’re a splendid fellow! Help me out, if you can; and, if I can get rid of that elephant--
_Harry._ On one condition I will take him off your hands.
_Silas._ Take him off my hands? Name your condition.
_Harry._ That you will give me your solemn promise never to touch liquor again.
_Silas._ What! Give up my freedom?
_Harry._ No; _be_ free. You are now the slave of an old custom, “more honored in the breach than the observance.” Don’t let it master you again. Don’t let my wife blush for her father.
_Silas._ I won’t! There’s my hand. Sally is yours; and I solemnly promise never to break (_smash of crockery, L._)--Hullo! What’s that?
_Mrs. S._ (_Outside, L._) O, the monster! Drive him out!
_Sally._ (_Outside, L._) He won’t go. Run, mother, run! (_Crash._)
_Mrs. S._ (_Outside, L._) He’s sp’ilt my best dishes! O, the beast! (_Enter, L._) O, Silas, this is all your work. That hateful critter’s got into the kitchen.
_Enter SALLY, L._
_Sally._ O, mother! Harry! father! He’s coming this way! Save us, save us! (_Gets under table._)
_Mrs. S._ Goodness gracious! he’ll set the house afire! (_Gets behind sofa._)
_Enter JOHNNY, L._
_Johnny._ Help! murder! O, I’ve had a h’ist! He’s breaking up housekeeping--you bet!
_Harry._ Be calm, be calm. There’s no danger.
_Mrs. S._ We shall all be eaten alive. O, the monster!
_Silas._ Confound him, I’ll pepper him! Let me get my gun! (_Going, R._)
_Harry._ No, no. ’Twould be dangerous to shoot.
_Johnny._ Let him have a dose, dad.
_Harry._ No, no. Silence! He’s here!
_Enter, L., PAT and BIAS, as the elephant. [For description of its manufacture, see note on page 92.] It enters slowly, passes across stage at back, and exit, R._
_Mrs. S._ O, the monster!
_Sally._ He’s gone straight into the parlor. He’ll smash everything. O, my vases, my vases!
_Silas._ (_Aside._) Confound the critter, I’ll have one shot at him.
_Harry._ (_To SALLY._) It’s all right, Sally. I’ve got his promise.
_Sally._ And we shall be married! Ain’t it jolly?
_Mrs. S._ But how on airth are you going to git out of this scrape?
_Harry._ Leave that to me. Hush! he’s here.
_Enter SILAS, R., with gun._
_Silas._ I’ve had jest about enough of that air critter’s society; and if I don’t pepper him, my name’s not Silas Somerby.
_Harry._ A gun! (_Aside._) This will never do. (_Aloud._) Mr. Somerby, your life’s in danger if you fire that gun.
_Silas._ My dander’s up, and I’m goin’ in.
_Mrs. S._ Silas, don’t you shoot off that gun. I can’t bear it.
_Sally._ No, no, father; you must not.
_Johnny._ Don’t mind ’em, dad; blaze away. (_Aside._) By jinks, that’ll be fun! (_They all come forward._)
_Silas._ I’m going to have a shot at the critter, if I die for it. Here he comes again. (_Raises gun._)
_Mrs. S._ Mercy sakes, Silas, you’ll kill somebody!
_Harry._ You must not shoot, I tell you!
_Sally._ O, father, don’t! Please don’t! (_They all seize him._)
_Johnny._ Blaze away, dad! Give him fits!
_Silas._ (_Breaking away from them._) Stand back, I say. (_Raises gun._)
_Enter the elephant, R._
_Silas._ There, darn you! (_Fires. SALLY and MRS. S. scream._)
_Pat._ O, murther, murther! I’m kilt intirely!
_Bias._ Oo, oo, oo! I’m a gone darky! (_The elephant falls, rolls over, and from the debris BIAS and PAT emerge, looking very much frightened._)
_Pat._ (_Shaking his fist at SILAS._) More damages, be jabers! (_To HARRY._) I didn’t bargain for this at all.
_Bias._ Look--look er here, old gent; I ain’t game, no how. Golly! I’m full ob lead!
_Silas._ What’s this? Have I been duped?
_Johnny._ Sold again, dad.
_Silas._ So, so, you’ve been conspiring against me. There’s no damages, and no elephant. This is your work, Harry Holden.
_Harry._ It is, Mr. Somerby. I freely confess my sin. But I did it for a good purpose. ’Tis true there is no elephant, save the imitation I have manufactured for the occasion; but please remember we came very near having one.
_Johnny._ Yes, dad, you bid a hundred dollars.
_Silas._ I breathe again. You’re right. All this might have been true, had my folly had its way. Thanks to Johnny, I was saved. But you carried the joke a little too far. That gun was loaded.
_Johnny._ Only with powder. I left a charge in it last Fourth, for the blamed thing kicked so I was afraid of it.
_Silas._ It’s all right. Sally is yours, Harry, and I’ll keep my other promise. I suppose these gentlemen were hired for the occasion.
_Pat._ By me sowl, not to be peppered at all, at all.
_Bias._ By golly, dat ar charge almost took away my head.
_Harry._ So, boys, you got a little more than you bargained for; but I’ll fix that all right.
_Silas._ I’ll pay all damages there, glad to get off so easily in my adventure with the elephant. I’ve one request to make. Don’t let this story spread.
_Harry._ You can rely upon my silence.
_Mrs. S._ Marcy sakes, Silas, it ain’t much to boast on!
_Sally._ It shall be a family legend.
_Pat._ Be jabers, I wouldn’t blab till I was deaf and dumb!
_Bias._ Dis yer pusson can hold his hush.
_Silas._ Thank you. And you (_to audience_), can I depend upon you? The old man begins late, but he is bound to reform; and, if you but give your approbation, there is no fear of his backsliding.
_Johnny._ I say, dad, hadn’t you better put a postscript to that?
_Silas._ Well, what is-- (_JOHNNY whispers to him._) Exactly. There is no fear of his backsliding, unless, at your request, he should some time set out for the purpose of “Seeing the Elephant.”
NOTE. _The Elephant._ For this trick a well-known comical diversion can be introduced. Bias and Pat personate the elephant; one represents the fore, the other the hind legs. The two characters bend over, placing themselves one behind the other, as represented in the engraving. A blanket, doubled three or four times, is placed on their backs, with the addition of long cushions, if handy; these serve to form the back of the elephant. Two blankets or shawls are placed over this, the end of one twisted to represent his trunk, the end of the other twisted to represent his tail. Two paper cones enact the tusks, and the elephant is complete.
SPENCER’S UNIVERSAL STAGE.
_A Collection of COMEDIES, DRAMAS, and FARCES, adapted to either Public or Private Performance. Containing a full description of all the necessary Stage Business._
_PRICE, 15 CENTS EACH. No Plays exchanged._
1. =Lost in London.= A Drama in Three Acts. 6 Male, 4 Female characters.
2. =Nicholas Flam.= A Comedy in Two Acts. By J. B. Buckstone. 5 Male, 3 Female characters.
3. =The Welsh Girl.= A Comedy in One Act. By Mrs. Planche. 3 Male, 2 Female characters.
4. =John Wopps.= A Farce in One Act. By W. E. Suter. 4 Male, 2 Female characters.
5. =The Turkish Bath.= A Farce in One Act. By Montague Williams and F. C. Burnand. 6 Male, 1 Female character.
6. =The Two Puddifoots.= A Farce in One Act. By J. M. Morton. 3 Male, 3 Female characters.
7. =Old Honesty.= A Comic Drama in Two Acts. By J. M. Morton. 5 Male, 2 Female characters.
8. =Two Gentlemen in a Fix.= A Farce in One Act. By W. E. Suter. 2 Male characters.
9. =Smashington Goit.= A Farce in One Act. By T. J. Williams. 5 Male, 3 Female characters.
10. =Two Heads Better than One.= A Farce in One Act. By Lenox Horne. 4 Male, 1 Female character.
11. =John Dobbs.= A Farce in One Act. By J. M. Morton. 5 Male, 2 Female characters.
12. =The Daughter of the Regiment.= A Drama in Two Acts. By Edward Fitzball. 6 Male, 2 Female characters.
13. =Aunt Charlotte’s Maid.= A Farce in One Act. By J. M. Morton. 3 Male, 3 Female characters.
14. =Brother Bill and Me.= A Farce in One Act. By W. E. Suter. 4 Male, 3 Female characters.
15. =Done on Both Sides.= A Farce in One Act. By J. M. Morton. 3 Male, 2 Female characters.
16. =Dunducketty’s Picnic.= A Farce in One Act. By T. J. Williams. 6 Male, 3 Female characters.
17. =I’ve written to Browne.= A Farce in One Act. By T. J. Williams. 4 Male, 3 Female characters.
18. =Lending a Hand.= A Farce in One Act. By G. A. A’Becket. 3 Male, 2 Female characters.
19. =My Precious Betsy.= A Farce in One Act. By J. M. Morton. 4 Male, 4 Female characters.
20. =My Turn Next.= A Farce in One Act. By T. J. Williams. 4 Male, 3 Female characters.
21. =Nine Points of the Law.= A Comedy in One Act. By Tom Taylor. 4 Male, 3 Female characters.
22. =The Phantom Breakfast.= A Farce in One Act. By Charles Selby. 3 Male, 2 Female characters.
23. =Dandelions Dodges.= A Farce in One Act. By T. J. Williams. 4 Male, 2 Female characters.
24. =A Slice of Luck.= A Farce in One Act. By J. M. Morton. 4 Male, 2 Female characters.
25. =Always Intended.= A Comedy in One Act. By Horace Wigan. 3 Male, 3 Female characters.
26. =A Bull in a China Shop.= A Comedy in Two Acts. By Charles Matthews. 6 Male, 4 Female characters.
27. =Another Glass.= A Drama in One Act. By Thomas Morton. 6 Male, 3 Female characters.
28. =Bowled Out.= A Farce in One Act. By H. T. Craven. 4 Male, 3 Female characters.
29. =Cousin Tom.= A Commedietta in One Act. By George Roberts. 3 Male, 2 Female characters.
30. =Sarah’s Young Man.= A Farce in One Act. By W. E. Suter. 3 Male, 3 Female characters.
31. =Hit Him, He has No Friends.= A Farce in One Act. By E. Yates and N. H. Harrington. 7 Male, 3 Female characters.
32. =The Christening.= A Farce in One Act. By J. B. Buckstone. 5 Male, 6 Female characters.
33. =A Race for a Widow.= A Farce in One Act. By Thomas J. Williams. 5 Male, 4 Female characters.
34. =Your Life’s in Danger.= A Farce in One Act. By J. M. Morton. 3 Male, 3 Female characters.
35. =True unto Death.= A Drama in Two Acts. By J. Sheridan Knowles. 6 Male, 2 Female characters.
36. =Diamond cut Diamond.= An Interlude in One Act. By W. H. Murray. 10 Male, 1 Female character.
37. =Look after Brown.= A Farce in One Act. By George A. Stuart, M. D. 6 Male, 1 Female character.
38. =Monseigneur.= A Drama in Three Acts, By Thomas Archer. 15 Male, 3 Female characters.
39. =A very pleasant Evening.= A Farce in One Act. By W. E. Suter. 3 Male characters.
40. =Brother Ben.= A Farce in One Act. By J. M. Morton. 3 Male, 3 Female characters.
41. =Only a Clod.= A Comic Drama in One Act. By J. P. Simpson. 4 Male, 1 Female character.
42. =Gaspardo the Gondolier.= A Drama in Three Acts. By George Almar. 10 Male, 2 Female characters.
43. =Sunshine through the Clouds.= A Drama in One Act. By Slingsby Lawrence. 3 Male, 3 Female characters.
44. =Don’t Judge by Appearances.= A Farce in One Act. By J. M. Morton. 3 Male, 2 Female characters.
45. =Nursey Chickweed.= A Farce in One Act. By T. J. Williams. 4 Male, 2 Female characters.
46. =Mary Moo; or, Which shall I Marry?= A Farce in One Act. By W. E. Suter. 2 Male, 1 Female character.
47. =East Lynne.= A Drama in Five Acts. 8 Male, 7 Female characters.
48. =The Hidden Hand.= A Drama in Five Acts. By Robert Jones. 10 Male, 7 Female characters.
49. =Silverstone’s Wager.= A Commedietta in One Act. By R. R. Andrews. 4 Male, 3 Female characters.
50. =Dora.= A Pastoral Drama in Three Acts. By Charles Reade. 5 Male, 2 Female characters.
51. =Blanks and Prizes.= A Farce in One Act. By Dexter Smith. 5 Male, 2 Female characters.
52. =Old Gooseberry.= A Farce in One Act. By T. J. Williams. 4 Male, 2 Female characters.
53. =Who’s Who.= A Farce in One Act. By T. J. Williams. 3 Male, 2 Female characters.
54. =Bouquet.= A Farce in One Act. 2 Male, 3 Female characters.
55. =The Wife’s Secret.= A Play in Five Acts. By George W. Lovell. 10 Male, 2 Female characters.
50. =The Babes in the Wood.= A Comedy in Three Acts. By Tom Taylor. 10 Male, 3 Female characters.
57. =Putkins: Heir to Castles in the Air.= A Comic Drama in One Act. By W. R. Emerson. 2 Male, 2 Female characters.
58. =An Ugly Customer.= A Farce in One Act. By Thomas J. Williams. 3 Male, 2 Female characters.
59. =Blue and Cherry.= A Comedy in One Act. 3 Male, 2 Female characters.
60. =A Doubtful Victory.= A Comedy in One Act. 3 Male, 2 Female characters.
61. =The Scarlet Letter.= A Drama in Three Acts. 8 Male, 7 Female characters.
62. =Which will have Him?= A Vaudeville. 1 Male, 2 Female characters.
63. =Madam is Abed.= A Vaudeville in One Act. 2 Male, 2 Female characters.
64. =The Anonymous Kiss.= A Vaudeville. 2 Male, 2 Female characters.
65. =The Cleft Stick.= A Comedy in Three Acts. 5 Male, 3 Female characters.
66. =A Soldier, a Sailor, a Tinker, and a Tailor.= A Farce in One Act. 4 Male, 2 Female characters.
67. =Give a Dog a Bad Name.= A Farce. 2 Male, 2 Female Characters.
68. =Damon and Pythias.= A Farce. 6 Male, 4 Female characters.
69. =A Husband to Order.= A Serio-Comic Drama in Two Acts. 5 Male, 3 Female characters.
70. =Payable on Demand.= A Domestic Drama in Two Acts. 7 Male, 1 Female character.
_Price, 15 cents each. Descriptive Catalogue mailed free on application to_
GEO. M. BAKER & CO.,
149 WASHINGTON ST., BOSTON.
* * * * *
Italic text is denoted by _underscores_ and bold text by =equal signs=.
The page of advertisements preceding the title page has been moved to the end of this book.
Variations in spelling remain as in the original unless noted below.
Page 74, “woodchuek” changed to “woodchuck.”