The Merry Christmas of the Old Woman who Lived in a Shoe by Baker, George M. (George Melville)

THE MERRY CHRISTMAS

OF THE

OLD WOMAN WHO LIVED IN A SHOE.

BY THE AUTHOR OF

"Better than Gold," "Our Folks," "The Flower of the Family," "Enlisted for the War," "My Brother's Keeper," "The Little Brown Jug," "Above the Clouds," "One Hundred Years Ago," "Among the Breakers," "Bread on the Waters," "Down by the Sea," "Once on a Time," "The Last Loaf," "Stand by the Flag," "The Tempter," "A Mysterious Disappearance," "Paddle Your Own Canoe," "A Drop too Much," "A Little More Cider," "A Thorn Among the Roses," "Never Say Die," "Seeing the Elephant," "The Boston Dip," "The Duchess of Dublin," "Thirty Minutes for Refreshments," "We're all Teetotalers," "A Close Shave," "A Public Benefactor," "A Sea of Troubles," "A Tender Attachment," "Coals of Fire," "Freedom of the Press," "Shall Our Mothers Vote?" "Gentleman of the Jury," "Humors of the Strike," "My Uncle the Captain," "New Brooms Sweep Clean," "The Great Elixir," "The Hypochondriac," "The Man with the Demijohn," "The Runaways," "The Thief of Time," "Wanted, a Male Cook," "A Love of a Bonnet," "A Precious Pickle," "No Cure No Pay," "The Champion of Her Sex," "The Greatest Plague in Life," "The Grecian Bend," "The Red Chignon," "Using the Weed," "Lightheart's Pilgrimage," "The Revolt of the Bees," "The Sculptor's Triumph," "The Tournament of Idylcourt," "The War of the Roses," "An Original Idea," "Bonbons," "Capuletta," "Santa Claus' Frolics," "Snow-Bound," "The Merry Christmas of the Old Woman who Lived in a Shoe," "The Pedler of Very Nice," "The Seven Ages," "Too Late for the Train," "The Visions of Freedom," "Rebecca's Triumph," "Comrades," "Past Redemption," "Nevada," "Messmates," &c., &c.

BOSTON

[Illustration: Walter H. Baker & Co.]

THE

EXHIBITION DRAMA

COMPRISING

DRAMA, COMEDY AND FARCE

TOGETHER WITH

Dramatic and Musical Entertainments

FOR

PRIVATE THEATRICALS, HOME REPRESENTATIONS, HOLIDAY AND SCHOOL EXHIBITIONS

BY

GEORGE M. BAKER

_CONTAINING_

Enlisted for the War The Champion of Her Sex The Tournament of Idylcourt A Thorn among the Roses Never Say Die The Visions of Freedom A Christmas Carol The Merry Christmas of the Old Woman who Lived in a Shoe

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1874, by

GEORGE M. BAKER

in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts

Copyright, 1902, by Emily F. Baker (in renewal).

[Illustration]

THE MERRY CHRISTMAS

OF THE

OLD WOMAN WHO LIVED IN A SHOE.

CHARACTERS.

THE OLD WOMAN who lived in a Shoe. SANTA CLAUS, disguised as a Beggar. Ten or twelve CHILDREN, Boys and Girls of various ages.

SCENE.--_The exterior of "Copper Toe Shoe House," which is set at back of platform._

_Chorus (invisible); air, "Revolutionary Tea"_ (p. 194, "Golden Wreath").

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe; Of children she had a score: So many had she, to know what to do Was a question which puzzled her sore.

(_Head of_ CHILD _appears at 1_.)

To some she gave broth without any bread; But never contented were they, Till she whipped them all soundly, and put them to bed,

And then very happy were they, And then very happy were they.

(_Head appears at 2._)

"Now, mother, dear mother," the young ones would cry, As they dropped off with a nod, "To train up a child in the way to go, O mother, dear, ne'er spare the rod.

(CHILD'S _head appears at 3_.)

For broth without bread is a watery waste; And never contented are we, Till with your good stick it is thickened to taste;

(_Three heads appear at 4._)

And then, oh, how happy are we! And then, oh, how happy are we!"

_Enter_ OLD WOMAN, R. _Her costume, bodice, quilted petticoat, sugar-loaf hat, high-heeled shoes, and cane._

_O. W._ Aha! (_Heads disappear quick._)

Good gracious! can't I leave the house a minute, But what a head's at every window in it? Don't let me see the tip of a single nose; For, if you do, we'll surely come to blows. Poor dears! they want the air. Well, that is cheap And strengthening; for they live on air and sleep. Food is so high, and work is so unstiddy, Life's really wearing on this poor old widdy.

[Illustration: FRONT VIEW OF COPPER TOE SHOE HOUSE.

1. Split in the Heel.

2. Patch on the best Corn.

3. Copper Toe.

4. Lookout, or Observatory at top of House.]

(_Heads appear, one after the other, as before._)

Ah me! here's good old Christmas come again. How can I join in the triumphant strain Which moves all hearts? I am so old and poor, With none to aid me from their generous store.

CHILD _at 1_. Mother, I want a drum.

CHILD _at 2_. I want a doll!

CHILD _at 3_. Gimme a sword!

_Three_ CHILDREN _at 4_. Got presents for us all?

_O. W._ Aha! (_Heads disappear quick._)

Poor dears! if with the will I had the power, The choicest Christmas gifts should on them shower.

_Song:_ OLD WOMAN; _air_, "_Comin' through the Rye_."

If a widdy's with her biddies, Living in a shoe, If a widdy's work unstiddies, What'll widdy do?

(_Heads appear as before._)

Every mother loves her biddies; Many a one have I; But where get gifts to fill their fists, When I've no gold to buy?

Aha! (_Heads disappear quick._)

There is a sprite oft comes this night, Whom children love full well; But what's his name, and where's his hame, He does not always tell.

(_Heads appear as before._)

Lads and lassies know good Santa, With presents not a few; Would he were here, my chicks to cheer, Living in a shoe!

Aha! (_Heads disappear._)

Well, I'll get in, and make the children warm. Tucked in their beds, they're always safe from harm. And in their dreams, perhaps, such gifts will rise As wakeful, wretched poverty denies.

(_Disappears behind shoe._)

_Enter cautiously_, R., SANTA CLAUS; _his fabled dress is hidden by a long domino, or "waterproof;" he has, swung about his neck, a tin kitchen, on which he grinds an imaginary accompaniment to his song_.

_Santa._ "You'd scarce expect one of my age"-- For gray hair is the symbol of the sage-- To play at "hide-and-seek," to your surprise. Here's honest Santa Claus, in rough disguise. But 'tis all right, as I will quick explain, For I've a mystic project "on the brain." I've dropped down chimneys all this blessed night, Where warmth and comfort join to give delight; I've filled the stockings of the merry elves, Who, to fond parents, are rich gifts themselves; And now I've come, resolved to make a show In that old mansion with the copper toe, Where dwells a dame, with children great and small, Enough to stock a school, or crowd a hall.

If they are worthy of our kind regard, Christmas shall bring to them a rich reward. So I have donned for once a meaner dress, To personate a beggar in distress. If to my wants they lend a listening ear, The rough old shoe shall glow with Christmas cheer: If they are rude, and turn me from the door, Presto! I vanish, and return no more.

_Song:_ SANTA CLAUS; _air_, "_Them blessed Roomatics_."

My name's Johnny Schmoker, and I am no joker; I don't in my pockets no greenbacks perceive. For, what with high dressing in fashions distressing, I can't with a morsel my hunger relieve. My stomach so tender, that aches there engender; The whole blessed day I am crying out, "Oh!" Drat these grand fashions! they wakens my passions, A-nippin' and gnawin' my poor stomach so!

(_Heads appear as before._)

I've had the lumbager, dyspepsy, and ager, With tight-fitting veskits and pantaloons too; Highsterics and swimins, delirious trimins, St. Vestris's dance, and the tick dolly-oo. But not the whole gettin', one's body tight fits in, Is noffin' to this, which is drefful. Oh, oh! Drat these grand fashions! they wakens my passions, A-nippin' and gnawin' my poor stomach so!

(_Heads disappear._)

Now, there's a touching song to move the heart, Hark! what's that? I thought I heard them start.

_Song:_ CHILDREN, _outside; air_, "_Oh, dear, what can the matter be?_"

Oh, dear, what can the matter be? Dear, dear, what can the matter be? Oh, dear, what can the matter be? Somebody's groaning out there! A hungry old beggar has come here to tease us, By grinding an organ he knows will not please us. He hopes it may bring him a handful of pennies, To buy him a loaf of brown bread.

_Enter_ OLD WOMAN, _with_ CHILDREN, L., _from behind shoe. The largest hangs on to her skirts, the next in size to the largest, until they dwindle to the smallest; repeat song as they enter slowly, turn to_ R., _march across stage; turn to_ L., _march across again; turn to_ R., _and form across stage._

_O. W._ Now go away, old man. 'Tis very queer That you should seek to waste your sweetness here; For we've no money, not a cent, to pay For music; so you'd better up and move away.

_Santa._ Alas, alas! and can you be unkind To one who's been by Fortune left behind; Who has no friend, no money, and no clo'es; The hunted victim of unnumbered woes? Good dame, I ask not money: if you please, A simple crust my hunger to appease.

_O. W._ Good gracious! Starving! Children, do you hear? The old man's hungry: quickly disappear!

(CHILDREN _scamper behind shoe._)

_Santa._ She drives them in. To me 'tis very clear Old Santa fails to find a welcome here.

_O. W._ We're very poor, have fasted many a day, Yet from our door ne'er drove the poor away.

_Song; air, "Balm of Gilead," by the_ CHILDREN, _who march in as before, carrying sticks, on which are stuck apples, potatoes, crusts of bread, turnip, carrot, "beat," &c. They move around the stage, singing as they pass_ SANTA; _the last time, pitch their potatoes, &c., into his tin kitchen. He stands_ L. _of stage_; OLD WOMAN, R.

Oh, you sha'n't be hungry now, Oh, you sha'n't be hungry now, Oh, you sha'n't be hungry now, Down at Copper Toe Shoe. Cold potato--tato, Cold potato--tato, Cold pota--to, Down at Copper Toe Shoe.

(_No interlude._)

Oh, you sha'n't be hungry now, Oh, you sha'n't be hungry now, Oh, you sha'n't be hungry now, Down at Copper Toe Shoe. Crusts for breakfast--breakfast, Crusts for breakfast--breakfast, Crusts for break--fast, Down at Copper Toe Shoe.

Oh, you sha'n't be hungry now, Oh, you sha'n't be hungry now, Oh, you sha'n't be hungry now, Down at Copper Toe Shoe. Broth for supper--supper, Broth for supper--supper, Broth for sup--per, Down at Copper Toe Shoe.

Oh, you sha'n't, &c.

_Santa._ Well, well, I'm puzzled! Here's a grand surprise. Bless me, the tears are dropping from my eyes! Thank you, my children. This is quite bewitchin'; With eatables you've nearly filled my kitchen. Ah, little ones! you've learned the better part. They are the poor who lack the kindly heart; And they the rich, the noble, and the high, Who never willing pass the sufferer by. Now comes my triumph. Children, speak up bright:

What day is this?

_All._ Christmas.

_Little Girl._ No; 'tis Christmas night!

_Santa._ That's true. Now tell me who, against the laws, Drops down the chimneys?

_All._ Why, old Santa Claus!

_Santa._ Bless me! how bright and nice these children are! Each eye doth sparkle like the evening star. Now, then, suppose I were that ancient sprite, What would you ask, to give you most delight?

_Child 1._ I'd have a sled.

_Child 2._ A doll.

_Child 3._ A kite for me.

_Child 4._ Something still better.

_Santa._ What?

_Child 4._ A Christmas tree!

_All Children._ Oh, my! Good gracious! Wouldn't that be grand?

_O. W._ Too grand, my chicks, for you to understand. Why, such a tree within our old shoe spread, Would from their fastenings tear out every thread; Make every peg to start from out its socket, And send the buckle flying like a rocket.

_Santa._ Good, good! there's fun beneath that wrinkled phiz. At playing Santa Claus, let's make a biz. Suppose me Santa Claus. I bless you all: Then from my waistcoat let this oven fall,

(_Takes off kitchen._)

Throw off this mantle with a sudden jerk,

(_Throws off disguise, and appears as_ SANTA CLAUS.)

And in an instant set myself to work.

_Children._ 'Tis Santa Claus!

_Santa._ You're right. I am the man, Yours to command. I'll serve you if I can; For I have found, good dame, that honest worth Can burrow in the lowliest spot on earth; That sweet compassion's ne'er so poorly fed, But what she finds an extra crust of bread. Now, to reward your generous hearts, my chicks, Into the earth these magic seeds I sticks; These cabalistic words in Hebrew mutter,-- "Ene, mene, moni, suti, sutter;" Presto! appear! and, glittering bright and free, Beams on your sight the mystic Christmas tree.

(_Shoe divides, and disappears_ R. _and_ L. _Curtains at back open, disclosing tree._)

_Song_: "_We'll gather round the Christmas Tree._" SANTA CLAUS _and_ OLD WOMAN _distribute presents to the company_. _Curtain falls._

[Illustration: REAR VIEW OF COPPER TOE SHOE HOUSE.]

NOTE.--This entertainment was prepared for a Sunday school's Christmas Eve, and was arranged as follows: A stage, fourteen feet square, was fitted with a "roll-up" curtain in front. Drapery was hung at the sides and back; a Christmas tree, filled with presents, was placed well back on the stage, and hidden by curtains arranged to separate in the middle. In front of these was placed "Copper Toe Shoe House." The rear view represents the frame made of wood, in two pieces, to separate in the middle, of the following dimensions: ten feet from toe to heel, five feet and one half from heel to top, four feet and one half across top, heel about twenty inches long, eight inches high. Cover front, in two separate sections, with black cambric; for toe, copper tinsel paper; for sole and patch, brown cambric; for buckle, silver tinsel paper; the patch fastened only at bottom. A curtain, of same material or color as back stage, should be hung in rear of shank, that children standing behind may not be seen. A settee is placed behind it, on which the children in the dwelling stand. 1, 2, and 3 lie upon the stage, and stick their heads out when required. The characters can pass between the curtains at back, to their places. When the tree is disclosed, all the characters are in front, the settee is removed, the braces unfastened, and, at a signal, two boys run off the shoe, and others draw the curtains.

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Transcriber's Notes

Minor punctuation and printer errors repaired.

Italic text is denoted by _underscores_ and bold text by =equal signs=.