April Fools: A farce in one act for three male characters by Chapman, W. F.
Every effort has been made to replicate this text as faithfully as possible, including some inconsistencies of hyphenation.
This is very strange. Can there he a mis--
has been changed to
This is very strange. Can there be a mis--
Italic text has been marked with _underscores_. Bold text has been marked with =equals signs=. => and <= represent pointing hands.
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1. =ALL THAT GLITTERS IS NOT GOLD.= A comic drama in two acts. Six male, three female characters. Time, two hours.
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A FARCE IN ONE ACT FOR THREE MALE CHARACTERS
BY W. F. CHAPMAN
Copyright, 1890, by Harold Roorbach.
NEW YORK HAROLD ROORBACH PUBLISHER
CAST OF CHARACTERS.
MR. PETER DUNNBROWNE _A gentleman with several marriageable daughters._ MR. JAMES SMITH _Who wants to buy a horse._ MR. JOSEPH SMITH _An undertaker._
TIME OF REPRESENTATION--THIRTY MINUTES.
ARGUMENT OF THE PLAY.
MR. PETER DUNNBROWNE, a gentleman with several unmarried daughters on his hands, receives a note from MR. JOHN SMITH proposing for his daughter Fanny. Presently MR. JAMES SMITH calls, he having received a letter announcing that Mr. D's mare Fanny is for sale, and an amusing dialogue at cross purposes ensues. This disposed of, MR. JOSEPH SMITH, an undertaker, calls, he having been notified that Miss Fanny had suddenly died, and another puzzle follows. Finally it is discovered that the letters are all in the same handwriting, and that the receivers have all been made the victims of an April joke.
JAMES SMITH.--Very loud "horsey" dress. Carries hat and cane.
JOSEPH SMITH.--Shabby black suit, old black silk hat, black gloves, rusty old cotton umbrella.
Newspaper and several letters on table. Large black bordered letter for JOSEPH SMITH. One letter each for JAMES SMITH and DUNNBROWNE to produce. Bottle containing cold tea to represent wine, corkscrew and two glasses for DUNNBROWNE to bring on.
SCENE.--DUNNBROWNE'S parlor. Doors R. and L. Table C., with chairs R. and L. of it.
N. B.--A set scene is not essential, and may be dispensed with if preferred.
In observing, the player is supposed to face the audience. R. means right; L., left; C., centre; R. C., right of centre; L. C., left of centre; R. D., right door; L. D., left door; UP STAGE, towards the back; DOWN STAGE, towards the audience.
=Scene.=--_DUNNBROWNE'S parlor._ =Entrances= _R. and L. Table, C. Chairs R. and L. of table. Newspaper and letters on the table._
=Dunnbrowne.= (_without_) Well, good morning, my dears, (_shows himself in the doorway R._) Don't be away all the morning, and _do_ be merciful in your purchases. (_enters R._) Happy is the man who is not troubled with a trio of beautiful daughters, who are incessantly going out shopping. My daughters seem to take a delight in spending my money. I suppose they act upon the principle that, if a thing is worth doing at all it is worth doing well, and as shopping is their chief and only occupation, they strive, and I may add, succeed, to do it as well as any young ladies in this mundane sphere possibly could. (_sits R._) I find it of no use whatever to expostulate with them about what I consider their extravagance in dress, for they argue that as they do all the buying and I do all the paying, it is nothing but a right and proper division of labor. Now let me see what trouble has come to me through that prodigious engine of commerce, the post office, this morning. (_opens a letter_) Another bill from Messrs. Newshape and Whitestraw, the milliners! It is only two weeks since I paid them $25. (_looks at the bill_)--$37.50 for millinery! Enough to provide me with hats for twenty years. (_opens another letter_) More bills! This is Mrs. Goodfit's bill for dressmaking: forty dollars. (_throws the bill on the table_) Oh, this is going a little beyond all reason. The fact of the matter is, I shall be ruined if this sort of thing is not stopped. (_walks across the room two or three times--then pauses_) I wish some kind, upright and steady young men of affluent means would come forward and take one or two of my daughters off my hands. I'm sure they would make excellent wives. (_sits R.,--takes another letter_) I am almost afraid to open this one; but I may as well know the extent of my trouble at once--suspense is useless--so here goes. (_opens the letter_) What's this? (_reads it over rapidly in silence_) How opportune! This is precisely what I have long been wishing for. (_reads_) "Dear sir,--For a long period of time I have fondly and madly loved your daughter Fanny, with a passion that would require the prolific brain of a poet to describe, but I have never had the courage to declare my passion to her." Well, that _is_ astonishing. If I had known of this before I should have avoided paying some of her bills, for I would have had them married long ago. (_reads_) "My object in writing you is to inform you that I shall call upon you to-morrow morning, when I trust you will favor me with an interview." An interview! I'll favor him with forty interviews if he will only take one of my daughters off my hands. (_reads_) "My means are amply sufficient to justify my taking a wife, so I trust you will not throw cold water on my hopes, but make me eternally happy by giving your consent to our union." Throw cold water on his hopes! By no means. If _warm_ water will help to bring about the desired effect he shall have gallons of it. (_reads_) "Hoping you will carefully consider this matter and ultimately arrive at a favorable decision, I am yours respectfully, John Smith." (_folding the letter_) John Smith, umph! Now, the question that arises is, who _is_ this John Smith? John Smiths are almost as numerous as flies around a sugar-bowl, but _I_ don't happen to be acquainted with any of them. However, I shall not be any wiser by wondering who he is, so I shall wait patiently until he calls. In the meantime I will take a walk around the garden, (_goes to door R.--calls_) Jane, I am going into the garden. If anyone calls, show him in here and let me know immediately. (_goes to the table_) By-the-bye I must put these bills out of sight. If John Smith chances to see them they might set him thinking of what he will have to pay when he gets married, and be the means of making him alter his mind. (_puts the letters in his pocket_)
=Enter=, JAMES SMITH, R.
=Smith.= (_speaks at the entrance_) Very well. I'll find a seat if you will find your master. (=Enters=--_looks around--sits, R._) I wonder what sort of a fellow this Dunnbrowne is. I don't know anything about _him_, but he knows something about _me_ or how would he be aware of the fact that I am in want of a mare. I hope there is no blunder about the affair. I don't see how there can be, though. The letter is addressed to me all fair and square, and this is the address the letter is dated from (_takes a letter from his pocket and reads_) "2, Belverley Terrace, Hedgetown, March 31st. Mr. Smith. Dear sir,--A friend of mine informs me that you are in want of a good mare, so I take the liberty of writing you to say that I wish to dispose of my thoroughbred dark bay mare Fanny. She has splendid action, and is in good condition. If you think she may suit you, I shall be at home in the morning, and will be glad to see you and give you any information respecting her soundness, &c. Yours truly, Peter Dunnbrowne." Oh, it's all right. There cannot be any error about that--of course not. I am rather fond of the name of Fanny. I had a mare of that name some years ago, and she was a perfect stunner. (_replaces the letter in his pocket_) I wonder what price he wants for her. I am not particular to a few dollars if she's a good goer. (_takes up the newspaper_) What is there fresh in the paper this morning? Ah, another breach of promise case, I see. $500 damages. Poor fellow. Nobody will catch me at that game. Marriage is out of my line altogether. I always drive clear of the ladies. (_turns the paper over--reads_)
=Enter=, DUNN., L.
=Dunn.= (_aside_) So this is John Smith, my would-be son-in-law. He appears to make himself quite at home. (_coming to the front, aloud_) Good morning, sir. Mr. Smith, I presume. (_extending his hand. SMITH hastily puts the newspaper down--rises and shakes hands_)
=Smith.= Good morning, Mr. Dunnbrowne, how do you do, sir; how _do_ you do? Delighted to make your acquaintance, sir. Fine morning this, isn't it? _Very_ fine morning indeed.
=Dunn.= (_aside_) He doesn't seem at all bashful.
=Smith.= I beg your pardon? Ah, I thought you were speaking. You _are_ well, I suppose?
=Dunn.= Ye--yes, I am quite well, thank you, Mr. Smith, how are you?
=Smith.= I'm _very_ well, sir, very well indeed; in fact I am never troubled with any complaint excepting the complaints of my groom, and he is always full of them--servants usually are.
=Dunn.= (_aside_) Groom! he keeps a horse, then. He must be pretty well to do. (_aloud_) Take a seat, sir. (_they both sit, DUNN., L., SMITH, R._)
=Smith.= Thanks. So you are desirous of disposing of Fanny, Mr. Dunnbrowne?
=Dunn.= (_aside_) Disposing of her! (_aloud_) Well er--that is _one_ way of putting it, but I scarcely like to----(_pause_)
=Smith.= Oh, I quite understand your feelings, sir. You have grown quite fond of her, and now you find it rather hard to part with her; but you'll soon get over that. I've parted with several in my time. Excuse my asking, sir, but what are your reasons for parting with her? Do you find her too expensive?
=Dunn.= Well er--rather; and as I have three of them to keep I----(_pause_)
=Smith.= I see--you thought you could possibly spare one of them. Well now, what are her good points? Is she good at jumping walls or fences?
=Dunn.= (_aside_) Walls! Fences!
=Smith.= Can she clear a five-barred gate nicely?
=Dunn.= (_smiling_) Well, er--I really could not answer that question. Jumping is an accomplishment that I----(_pause_)
=Smith.= Perhaps you never tried her at that sort of thing. You ought to, sir, it's fine sport. The last I had was a perfect stunner at it.
=Dunn.= (_aside_) The last he had! He has been married before, then--a widower, evidently.
=Smith.= She turned a little stubborn occasionally, though, and has thrown me over her head two or three times.
=Dunn.= (_aside_) Bless me! what a powerful woman she must have been.
=Smith.= I cured her of that nasty trick after she had repeated it a time or two, I did so. I gave her the lash pretty freely.
=Dunn.= (_aside_) Why, the man is nothing less than a wife-beater.
=Smith.= She soon found out who was master. There's nothing so effective as the whip to cure stubbornness, sir, nothing at all.
=Dunn.= I suppose not; but don't you think that kind of treatment is rather too harsh?
=Smith.= Oh, dear no; on the contrary, I think a little now and again does them a power of good.
=Dunn.= (_aside_) What a hard hearted fellow he must be. He will have to alter his opinions before he marries my daughter, that he will. (_aloud_) I may tell you, Mr. Smith, that if I thought you would ill-treat Fanny at all, I should not allow you to take her.
=Smith.= Don't be afraid of that, my dear sir. I should not ill-treat her if it were not necessary. Does she shy at all when she is out?
=Dunn.= Shy! That is a peculiar question to ask about a----
=Smith.= Not at all, Mr. Dunnbrowne. I like to know what I am getting. If I take her from you and find that she shies at anything I shall get rid of her without delay. I shall indeed.
=Dunn.= (_aside_) Well, that _is_ cool. He has the impudence to tell me that he would "get rid" of my daughter. I am beginning to dislike this fellow.
=Smith.= You see, Mr. Dunnbrowne, I want one who will go ahead in the face of everything--a regular fast one that's the sort.
=Dunn.= (_aside_) What peculiar taste some men have!
=Smith.= Is Fanny ever troubled with corns?
=Dunn.= Corns, sir, _corns_? No!
=Smith.= I am glad of that. I don't care to see them walking lame in the slightest. It quite spoils their appearance. Is she quite sound in every other respect?
=Dunn.= Well, yes, I never heard her complain. (_aside_) What odd questions he asks!
=Smith.= She does not cough or wheeze, Mr. Dunnbrowne, does she? She is not broken-winded at all, is she?
=Dunn.= Broken-winded! I don't understand you, Mr. Smith. Why do you ask so many absurd questions about her? You are not obliged to have her if you don't choose to.
=Smith.= I am perfectly aware of that, sir. I am simply asking fair questions. As I said before, I want to know what I am getting. I don't want to make a blind bargain. Can I see her now?
=Dunn.= Not at present--she is out.
=Smith.= Taking exercise, I suppose. Well now, Mr. Dunnbrowne, I'll tell you what I will do. I will take her a month on trial.
=Dunn.= You'll what, sir? You--you'll take her a month on trial! What the dickens do you mean? How _dare_ you propose such a thing to me, sir! (_rises_)
=Smith.= Simply because I consider that it is the fairest way of dealing in transactions of this sort. (_DUNN. walks across stage_) You have no occasion to be vexed at my proposal. I give you my word that I will treat her kindly and pay all expenses during the month, and if she does not suit me I will return her. That is fair and square for both parties, don't you think so?
=Dunn.= No, sir, I do _not_ think so. If you have a notion that I--the parent of three blooming daughters--am willing to permit you to trifle and play with the affections of the eldest of them in the manner you have so basely proposed, I must ask you to dispel that notion at once and forever, for you never labored under a greater mistake in your life, never.
=Smith.= Now there is just a little bit of sentiment in that speech, and I must admit that you delivered it in a fair dramatic style, Mr. Dunnbrowne, but you see the general effect is marred by my not knowing what you are driving at. What _do_ you mean?
=Dunn.= Mean, sir, mean? I _think_ I explained myself sufficiently.
=Smith.= Scarcely. You volunteer some remarks about your daughters. Now, with all the respect that is due to those young ladies, I must ask you to put your parental feelings aside for a short time, and proceed with the business we have on hand. Ladies are out of my line altogether. Between you and me, Mr. Dunnbrowne, I am not a marrying man.
=Dunn.= Not a marrying man! Then what under the sun did you write me that letter for respecting your love for my daughter, eh?
=Smith.= Write you? Why, I never heard your name before this morning.
=Dunn.= (_aside_) This is very strange. Can there be a mis--(_aloud_) Your name _is_ Smith, is it not?
=Smith.= Yes, that is my name.
=Dunn.= Ah! (_takes a letter from his pocket and unfolds it_) Now tell me, Mr. Smith, on your honor as a gentleman, did you or did you not write that letter to me? (_giving the letter to SMITH_)
=Smith.= (_reads_) "Dear sir,--for a long period of time I have fondly and madly loved your daughter Fanny with--" Oh, rubbish! On my honor as a gentleman, Mr. Dunnbrowne, I never loved _any_ man's daughter, much less wrote this letter; besides, it is signed John Smith and my name is _James_. (_returns the letter_)
=Dunn.= (_aside_) I cannot understand this at all. (_aloud_) As you are _not_ the Mr. Smith I took you for, and have _not_ come to see me about my daughter, perhaps you will inform me what you _did_ come for.
=Smith.= What I came for? Well, that's not bad for you after listening to all I have said. Have you forgotten that you wrote me saying you had a mare to dispose of?
=Dunn.= Wrote you about a mare!
=Smith.= What a forgetful man you must be. (_takes letter from his pocket--opens it and gives it to DUNN., who looks it over_) That is the letter; perhaps it will recall the circumstance to mind.
=Dunn.= I have not written this, sir. (_keeps the letter in his hand_)
=Smith.= You have not? On your honor as a gentleman?
=Dunn.= On my honor as a gentleman.
=Smith.= That's curious. Have you not got a mare to dispose of?
=Dunn.= No; more than that I never possessed one or a horse either.
=Smith.= Then why did you not say so before? You answered my questions about the mare Fanny and----
=Dunn.= Because I thought you were speaking of my daughter. You see I am expecting a Mr. Smith here this morning--the writer of the letter I have shown you--who is anxious to pay his addresses to my daughter Fanny. As he is a perfect stranger to me, and as you answered to the name of Smith, I naturally thought you were the gentleman I expected, hence the confusion.
=Smith.= There is something very peculiar about this affair that I----(_a knock is heard at the door, R. DUNN. puts SMITH'S letter on the table--goes to the door and opens it. Short pause_)
=Dunn.= What name did you say? Oh, Smith. Ah, yes, it's all right, Jane, show him in. (_turns to JAMES SMITH_) I must ask you to excuse me now, Mr. Smith. The _other_ Mr. Smith has arrived. I hope you will hear something about the mare before the day is over.
=Smith.= I hope so, Mr. Dunnbrowne. (_takes his hat and cane_)
=Enter=, JOSEPH SMITH, R.
=James S.= (_aside_) So this is the lover. Ah, poor fellow, (_aloud_) Good morning, Mr. Dunnbrowne, good morning.
=Dunn.= Good morning, Mr. Smith. (=Exit=, JAMES S., R.) And good morning to you, Mr. Smith, (_shakes hands with JOSEPH S., who is very pale and looks very mournful_)
=Joseph S.= Good morning, Mr. Dunnbrowne.
=Dunn.= Take a seat, Mr. Smith.
=Smith.= Thank you, sir. (_sits, R., stands his umbrella between his knees--puts his hat on the top of it and looks vacantly before him. DUNN. sits L. of table_)
=Dunn.= (_surveying him--aside_) His appearance is not very pre-possessing; but I must not judge him by his looks. (_aloud_) This is a beautiful morning, is it not, Mr. Smith?
=Smith.= (_solemnly_) It is.
=Dunn.= (_aside_) He is not at all conversational. (_aloud_) We--we--er--we have had, I may say, several beautiful mornings lately, have we not, Mr. Smith?
=Smith.= (_mournfully_) We have.
=Dunn.= (_aside_) Umph! He must be very bashful and nervous. I'll get a bottle of wine; perhaps it will help to bring him to the point. (_rises--aloud_) I am going to my wine bin, Mr. Smith; you will excuse me a moment, will you not?
=Smith.= Oh, certainly. (=Exit=, _DUNN., L.; suddenly--SMITH looks quite cheerful_) Wine bin, eh! He does not appear to be greatly distressed through his daughter's death. It may be that he has a large family and does not feel her loss so keenly. Let me see now, does he say in his letter when she died? (_takes a black bordered envelope from his pocket and takes the letter from it--reads_) "2, Belverley Terrace, Hedgetown, March 31st. Mr. Smith. Dear sir, I am grieved to inform you that my eldest daughter died suddenly this afternoon. Will you kindly call here in the morning to make the necessary preparations for her interment, and oblige, yours truly, Peter Dunnbrowne." (_replaces the letter in the envelope and puts it in his pocket_) So she died yesterday. (_cheerfully_) Ah, well, _somebody_ must die or what would become of us poor undertakers? If everybody took a notion to live on from this time forward, the whole body of funeral furnishers would die of starvation. I hear Mr. Dunnbrowne coming, so I must assume my customary mournful expression. I always find that it pleases my customers. (_looks mournful_)
=Enter=, _DUNN. L., with bottle of wine and glasses--places them on the table and begins to draw the cork_
=Dunn.= You will doubtless think it peculiar of me waiting upon myself, Mr. Smith, when there are servants in the house, but the fact is I never allow them to go to my wine bin, for I have discovered that they sometimes imbibe a little on their own account, in consequence of which I never allow the key to leave my possession. (_filling the glasses_) Now, my dear sir, make yourself at home. (_putting a glass before SMITH_) Taste that and tell me what you think of it.
=Smith.= (_aside_) It is not often I am treated in this manner. (_aloud_) Thank you, Mr. Dunnbrowne. (_leans his umbrella against the chair, and puts his hat and gloves under the seat--drinks_) This is splendid, sir. It is really delicious.
=Dunn.= Ah, I thought you would say so. (_holds his glass up to the light--drinks_) Is it not exhilarating?
=Smith.= It is. (_aside_) He thinks more of his wine than of his poor daughter.
=Dunn.= (_aside_) The wine has not loosened his tongue very much yet. He must have another glass. (_aloud_) Have another glass, Mr. Smith, it will do you a power of good. (_re-fills SMITH'S glass_)
=Smith.= Thank you, sir. (_aside_) This is what I call good business; but I must say that, in all my experience as an undertaker and funeral furnisher, I never met a man who bore a daughter's death with greater fortitude than this man does, never. (_drinks_)
=Dunn.= (_aside_) Well he _is_ a bashful fellow. Why does he not speak out like a man? I would commence the subject myself, but he might run away with the idea that I was anxious to get rid of my daughter, and I should not like him to think that on any account. How quiet he sits! I don't see any thing else for it but applying the lotion to his refractory tongue until the desired effect is produced. (_aloud_) Come, Mr. Smith, empty your glass and let me re-fill it for you.
=Smith.= With pleasure, Mr. Dunnbrowne. (_empties his glass. DUNN. refills it--aside_) I am enjoying myself and no mistake. (_aloud_) Thank you, Mr. Dunnbrowne, thank you. I'm sure you are very kind.
=Dunn.= Not at all, Mr. Smith. When business such as we have on hand is to be transacted, we must make ourselves as sociable as possible.
=Smith.= (_aside_) Now that he has mentioned business I had better take the hint and commence. (_turns towards DUNN., aloud_) The business that has brought us together is not of a very cheerful character, I am sorry to say.
=Dunn.= Do you think not, sir? For my part I do not see why it should not be.
=Smith.= Well, er--it was of your feelings I was thinking, Mr. Dunnbrowne, for I know that this event must be a sad and sudden blow to you.
=Dunn.= Not at all, my dear sir, not at all. (_aside_) His letter a sad blow to me? Pooh! I look upon it as a very pleasing blow. (_drinks and crosses his knee_)
=Smith.= (_aside_) He speaks of a death as though it were an everyday occurrence in his house.
=Dunn.= Such things will occur sooner or later in any family, sir. We must expect them.
=Smith.= Ah, that is true. We never know whose turn is next, but it is a great affliction when parent and daughter are parted in this way, Mr. Dunnbrowne.
=Dunn.= (_cheerfully_) Oh dear no. I could not expect her to stay with me always. Besides, we shall not be parted for ever; I can just drop in and see her now and again, you know.
=Smith.= (_aside_) Drop in and see her! What does----Oh, I see, he must have a family vault. (_aloud_) Her loss will be a source of immense grief, sir, I am sure.
=Dunn.= (_in same tone_) Why should it be? All young persons are anxious to commence that blissful state of life, for it is generally supposed that they are better off--that is to say, they are much happier. Not that my daughter has ever been unhappy here, but the change will be a pleasing novelty to her, therefore I see no reason why I should be grieved at all.
=Smith.= (_aside_) How careless he appears to be about her death, and speaks of the next world as a pleasing novelty. A----h! (_draws a long deep sigh_)
=Dunn.= (_aside_) What nonsense to think that I shall be grieved because my daughter leaves my roof to begin married life! He might be arranging for a funeral instead of a wedding, judging from the mournful manner he has of expressing himself, although I must say that it is quite in keeping with his appearance. (_aloud_) Fanny has always been a good daughter, Mr. Smith, and deserves to be made happy.
=Smith.= I can believe you, Mr. Dunnbrowne, and doubt not that she will be happy for evermore.
=Dunn.= You will do your utmost to make her comfortable when you take her, Mr. Smith, will you not?
=Smith.= You may rest assured that nothing shall be wanting on my part as far as comfort is concerned.
=Dunn.= I am glad to hear you say so, sir. Remember that this is a great undertaking, but I suppose you have carefully considered the matter before coming here.
=Smith.= I have, Mr. Dunnbrowne. The responsibilities are very heavy in a case like this, I know, but I think I am quite able to bear them. When do you wish the ceremony to take place?
=Dunn.= You must suit yourself in that matter, Mr. Smith, I am not particular.
=Smith.= Very well, sir. Let me see--to-day is Monday--I do not wish to hurry you, suppose we say Thursday.
=Dunn.= Thursday! So soon! Do not be too hasty, Mr. Smith, let us take proper time over this matter.
=Smith.= Well, then, shall we say Friday, or Saturday at the latest? We _must_ get it over by Saturday. It would not do to delay it beyond this week.
=Dunn.= (_aside_) Bless us, what a desperate hurry he is in! In his letter he tells me has not proposed to Fanny, yet he wants to marry her this week. (_aloud_) I am not sure that we could make all our arrangements in so short a time, Mr. Smith.
=Smith.= I can easily manage my portion of the arrangements, Mr. Dunnbrowne, and I think you can manage yours if you make an effort. We will say Saturday and settle that point.
=Dunn.= Very well. (_aside_) I don't know what Fanny will say to this. I wish she would come in.
=Smith.= Well now, Mr. Dunnbrowne, what church do you intend----
=Dunn.= Oh, I don't mind. Any will suit me.
=Smith.= St. Paul's is a very neat and quiet church.
=Dunn.= Very well. St. Paul's will suit me if it suits you. I suppose the officiating clergyman there understands his business as well as any other.
=Smith.= Oh, certainly. I am partial to St. Paul's because of the good and dry quality of the ground--there is none of that wet clay about it.
=Dunn.= Well that is rather a good point, Mr. Smith. (_aside_) How considerate he is! He thinks the ground will be drier to walk on up to the church door. I should not have given that a thought myself. (_aloud_) Allow me to fill your glass, sir. (_re-fills SMITH'S glass_)
=Smith.= Thank you, sir. (_drinks_) I think you did not say how many carriages would be required, did you, Mr. Dunnbrowne?
=Dunn.= No, I did not. I leave that matter entirely in your hands, Mr. Smith. I have no doubt that you understand what is required better than I do, so I could not think of interfering with any arrangements you can make.
=Smith.= Thank you, sir, you do me honor. I suppose you would like to have the church bell tolled on the morning of the----
=Dunn.= (_stiffly_) Church bell tolled! Decidedly not, sir. What under the sun should we have the bell tolled for?
=Smith.= It is very common in these cases, Mr. Dunnbrowne.
=Dunn.= (_with determination_) Well _I_ don't want to hear it, and moreover I won't have it tolled.
=Smith.= I am sorry to cause you annoyance, Mr. Dunnbrowne, but I thought you would like to follow the custom in such cases.
=Dunn.= And tolling a bell at a ceremony of this sort is customary, is it? Well _I_ never heard of it before. (_aside_) My belief is that I have given him more wine than is good for him.
=Smith.= (_surprised_) You surprise me, sir.
=Dunn.= (_carelessly_) As you have named the matter I don't mind having the whole peal of bells ringing together. Engage the ringers for me, will you, Mr. Smith, and tell them to ring as many tripple-bob-majors--or whatever they call them--as they like next Saturday.
=Smith.= (_aside_) The wine is getting into his head or he would never think of engaging the ringers to ring for a funeral. (_aloud_) I will engage the ringers if you wish, Mr. Dunnbrowne, but really I----
=Dunn.= Oh, I will pay all expenses, sir.
=Smith.= (_aside_) Argument is useless while he is under the influence of that wine. I had better bring my business to an end, and take my departure. (_aloud_) Will you kindly permit me to see your daughter?
=Dunn.= It would give me exceeding pleasure to do so, Mr. Smith, but she is not in at present.
=Smith.= Not in! (_aside_) Who ever heard of a corpse going out for a walk! The man is hopelessly intoxicated. It is a blessing that I have not been prevailed upon to take more of that wine, or I should have been as bad as he. (_aloud_) If you will allow me to see your daughter now, Mr Dunnbrowne, I shall not have to come here again to take the measurements.
=Dunn.= Take the what?
=Smith.= The measurements.
=Dunn.= The dressmaker will do that, sir.
=Smith.= (_aside_) That wine again. (_aloud_) Dressmakers do not usually take the measurements for a coffin, sir.
=Dunn.= Coffin! What are you talking about, sir? Coffin! (_aside_) The wine has made him more garrulous than I wished. (_aloud_) What should we want a coffin here for, eh?
=Smith.= (_aside_) He is drunk beyond doubt. (_aloud_) To put your daughter in, sir. It is absolutely necessary that you have one.
=Dunn.= (_angrily_) Have you come here to have a joke out of me, Mr. Smith, or to make arrangements for marrying my daughter?
=Smith.= Neither, Mr. Dunnbrowne. I came to make arrangements for burying her as requested in your note.
=Dunn.= (_mystified_) Burying my daughter! Requested in my note! What does this mean? Explain yourself, Mr. Smith.
=Smith.= (_takes letter from his pocket and hands it to DUNN._) An explanation is needless. There is your letter asking me to come here and make arrangements for your daughter's interment.
=Dunn.= (_examining letter_) I never wrote this. There is a great mistake somewhere. (_returns letter_)
=Smith.= Then is your daughter not dead?
=Dunn.= No; she is enjoying splendid health, I am glad to say. But am I to understand that you are really an undertaker and that your name is Smith?
=Smith.= Certainly! Who and what did you think I was?
=Dunn.= A gentleman who wished to _marry_ my daughter--not _bury_ her. (_takes letter from his pocket_) See, I received this letter this morning from a Mr. Smith, who wishes to be my son-in-law--(_gives the letter to SMITH, who looks it over_)--and I was under the impression that you were the author of it.
=Smith.= Then your impression was a very wrong one, for I never saw this letter before. (_returns the letter_) I am already married, Mr. Dunnbrowne, and I may say that I have been a father on four separate occasions. But who can have sent this letter to me?
=Dunn.= And who has sent this letter to me? I cannot understand what----
=James S.= (_without, R._) All right, miss, I know the way in. (_rushes in_) Excuse my abrupt entrance, Mr. Dunnbrowne, but I forgot to take my letter away, and I want to trace the hand-writing if possible.
=Dunn.= (_gives JAMES S. his letter off the table_) There it is, Mr. Smith. Apparently you are not the only one who is in a quandary about a letter this morning. This gentleman is not a candidate for the office of son-in-law, as I thought. He has come here in consequence of receiving a letter which I know nothing about, though it has my name at the foot. By a most peculiar coincidence, his name, like yours, is Smith.
=James S.= How singular.
=Joseph S.= Yes sir, my name is Smith, general undertaker and funeral furnisher. At my establishment all orders are promptly attended to. Kindly make a note of it, sir, you may require my services.
=James.= (_aside, piously_) May the time be far distant.
=Dunn.= Well, gentlemen, what are we to make of this dilemma?
=James.= That's the point. Ah! I smell a rat!
=Joseph.= A rat?
=Dunn.= Bless us! where is it? (_JOSEPH S. and DUNN. mount on chairs and look round the room in an alarmed manner_)
=James.= Don't be alarmed--it was only a figure of speech. (_to JOSEPH_) Permit me to look at your letter, sir. (_JOSEPH and DUNN. dismount from the chairs. JOSEPH hands his letter to JAMES, who compares it with his own_) The same, I'm certain. (_returns JOSEPH'S letter--turns to DUNN._) Kindly allow me to see your letter, sir. (_DUNN. gives it--JAMES compares it with his own_) Exactly the same, by Jupiter. (_returns the letter to DUNN._) It is as I thought. All these letters have been written by one hand.
=Dunn.= Is it possible? But what can have been the writer's object.
=James.= Why, don't you know what day it is?
=Joseph.= I see it all. It is the first of April.
=Dunn.= So it is; and we are nothing more nor less than a trio of "APRIL FOOLS."
DUNN. JAMES S. JOSEPH S.
THE JAPANESE WEDDING.
A costume pantomime representation of the Wedding Ceremony in Japanese high life. The company consists of the bride and groom, their parents, six bridesmaids, and the officiating personage appropriately called the "Go-between." There are various formalities, including salaams, tea-drinking, eating rice-cakes, and giving presents. No words are spoken. The ceremony (which occupies about 50 minutes), with the "tea-room," fills out an evening well, though music and other attractions may be added. Can be represented by young ladies alone, if preferred. =Price, 25 Cents.=
AN EVENING WITH PICKWICK.
A Literary and Dramatic Dickens Entertainment.--Introduces the Pickwick Club, the Wardles of Dingley Dell, the Fat Boy, Alfred Jingle, Mrs. Leo Hunter, Lord Mutanhed and Count Smorltork, Arabella Allen and Bob Allen, Bob Sawyer, Mrs. and Master Bardell, Mrs. Cluppins, Mrs. Weller, Stiggins, Tony Weller, Sam Weller, and the Lady Traveller. =Price, 25 cents.=
AN EVENING WITH COPPERFIELD.
A Literary and Dramatic Dickens Entertainment.--Introduces Mrs. Copperfield, Davie, the Peggotys, the Murdstones, Mrs. Gummidge, Little Em'ly, Barkis, Betsey Trotwood, Mr. Dick and his kite, Steerforth, the Creakles, Traddles, Rosa Dartle, Miss Mowcher, Uriah Heep and his Mother, the Micawbers, Dora and Gyp, and the wooden-legged Gatekeeper. =Price, 25 cents.=
These "Evenings with Dickens" can be represented in whole or in part, require but little memorizing, do not demand experienced actors, are not troublesome to prepare, and are suitable for performance either on the platform or in the drawing room.
THE GYPSIES' FESTIVAL.
A Musical Entertainment for Young People. Introduces the Gypsy Queen, Fortune Teller, Yankee Peddler, and a Chorus of Gypsies, of any desired number. The scene is supposed to be a Gypsy Camp. The costumes are very pretty, but simple; the dialogue bright; the music easy and tuneful; and the drill movements and calisthenics are graceful. Few properties and no set scenery required, so that the entertainment can be represented on any platform. =Price, 25 cents.=
THE COURT OF KING CHRISTMAS.
A CHRISTMAS ENTERTAINMENT. The action takes place in Santa Claus land on Christmas eve, and represents the bustling preparations of St. Nick and his attendant worthies for the gratification of all children the next day. The cast may include as many as 36 characters, though fewer will answer, and the entertainment represented on a platform, without troublesome properties. The costumes are simple, the incidental music and drill movements graceful and easily managed, the dialogue uncommonly good, and the whole thing quite above the average. A representation of this entertainment will cause the young folks, from six to sixty, fairly to turn themselves inside out with delight, and, at the same time, enforce the important moral of Peace and Good Will. =Price, 25 cents.=
=ILLUSTRATED TABLEAUX FOR AMATEURS.= A new series of _Tableaux Vivants_, by MARTHA C. WELD. In this series each description is accompanied with a full-page illustration of the scene to be represented.
PART I.--MISCELLANEOUS TABLEAUX.--Contains General Introduction, 12 Tableaux and 14 Illustrations. =Price, 25 Cents.=
PART II.--MISCELLANEOUS TABLEAUX.--Contains Introduction, 12 Tableaux and 12 illustrations. =Price, 25 Cents.=
=SAVED FROM THE WRECK.= A drama in three acts. Eight male, three female characters. Time, two hours and a half. =Price, 15 Cents.=
=BETWEEN TWO FIRES.= A comedy-drama in three acts. Eight male, three female characters. Time, two hours and a half. =Price, 15 Cents.=
=BY FORCE OF IMPULSE.= A drama in five acts. Nine male, three female characters. Time, two hours and a half. =Price, 15 Cents.=
=A LESSON IN ELEGANCE.= A comedy in one act. Four female characters. Time, thirty minutes. =Price, 15 Cents.=
=WANTED, A CONFIDENTIAL CLERK.= A farce in one act. Six male characters. Time, thirty minutes. =Price, 15 Cents.=
=SECOND SIGHT.= A farcical comedy in one act. Four male, one female character. Time, one hour. =Price, 15 Cents.=
=THE TRIPLE WEDDING.= A drama in three acts. Four male, four female characters. Time, one hour and a quarter. =Price, 15 cents.=
=> _Any of the above will be sent by mail, postpaid, to any address, on receipt of the annexed prices._<=
HAROLD ROORBACH, Publisher, 9 Murray St., New York.
HELMER'S ACTOR'S MAKE-UP BOOK.
_A Practical and Systematic Guide to the Art of Making up for the Stage._
PRICE, 25 CENTS.
WITH EXHAUSTIVE TREATMENT ON THE USE OF THEATRICAL WIGS AND BEARDS, THE MAKE-UP AND ITS REQUISITE MATERIALS, THE DIFFERENT FEATURES AND THEIR MANAGEMENT, TYPICAL CHARACTER MASKS, ETC. WITH SPECIAL HINTS TO LADIES. DESIGNED FOR THE USE OF ACTORS AND AMATEURS, AND FOR BOTH LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. COPIOUSLY ILLUSTRATED.
I. THEATRICAL WIGS.--The Style and Form of Theatrical Wigs and Beards. The Color and Shading of Theatrical Wigs and Beards. Directions for Measuring the Head. To put on a Wig properly.
II. THEATRICAL BEARDS.--How to fashion a Beard out of crêpé hair. How to make Beards of Wool. The growth of Beard simulated.
III. THE MAKE-UP.--A successful Character Mask, and how to make it. Perspiration during performance, how removed.
IV. THE MAKE-UP BOX.--Grease Paints. Grease paints in sticks; Flesh Cream; Face Powder; How to use face powder as a liquid cream; The various shades of face powder. Water Cosmétique. Nose Putty. Court Plaster. Cocoa Butter. Crêpé Hair and Prepared Wool. Grenadine. Dorin's Rouge. "Old Man's" Rouge. "Juvenile" Rouge. Spirit Gum. Email Noir. Bear's Grease. Eyebrow Pencils. Artist's Stomps. Powder Puffs. Hares' Feet. Camels'-hair Brushes.
V. THE FEATURES AND THEIR TREATMENT.--The Eyes: blindness. The Eyelids. The Eyebrows: How to paint out an eyebrow or moustache; How to paste on eyebrows; How to regulate bushy eyebrows. The Eyelashes: To alter the appearance of the eyes. The Ears. The Nose: A Roman nose; How to use the nose putty; A pug nose; An African nose; a large nose apparently reduced in size. The Mouth and Lips: a juvenile mouth; an old mouth; a sensuous mouth; a satirical mouth; a one-sided mouth; a merry mouth; A sullen mouth. The Teeth. The Neck, Arms, Hands and Fingernails: Fingernails lengthened. Wrinkles: Friendliness and Sullenness indicated by wrinkles. Shading. A Starving character. A Cut in the Face. A Thin Face Made Fleshy.
VI. TYPICAL CHARACTER MASKS.--The Make-up for Youth: Dimpled cheeks. Manhood. Middle Age. Making up as a Drunkard: One method; another method. Old Age. Negroes. Moors. Chinese. King Lear. Shylock. Macbeth. Richelieu. Statuary. Clowns.
VII. SPECIAL HINTS TO LADIES.--The Make-up. Theatrical Wigs and Hair Goods.
_Sent by mail, postpaid, to any address, on receipt of the price._
HAROLD ROORBACH, Publisher, 9 Murray Street, New York.