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Title: How to become an actor

Author: Aaron A. Warford

Release date: April 4, 2016 [eBook #51658]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Craig Kirkwood, Demian Katz and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (Images
courtesy of the Digital Library@Villanova University



Transcriber’s Notes:

The Table of Contents was created by the transcriber and placed in the public domain.

Additional Transcriber’s Notes are at the end.





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


24 Union Square


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


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


Become an Actor.



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

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



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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Should the action require a storm, peas may be shaken upon the head of a drum to imitate the rain, a sheet of zinc will furnish thunder, and the effect of lightning may be produced with no danger by filling an ordinary putty blower with licopodium and blowing it into the flame of a[6] candle. (An article for doing this, and called the “flash-box,” is used on the regular stage.)

Colored fires may be produced by following these directions:

Nitrate of Barytes62 1/2 parts.
Sulphur10 1/2 parts.
Potash23 1/2 parts.
Orpiment1 1/2 parts.
Charcoal1 1/2 parts.
Strontia8 ounces.
Potash4 ounces.
Shellac2 ounces.
Licopodium1/4 ounce.
Nitre8 ounces.
Sulphur3 ounces.
Charcoal1/2 ounce.
Antimony1 ounce.

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

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

To imitate the sighing of the wind, draw a piece of silk—an old dress, for instance—over the rough edge of a pine[7] board, or make a wheel, after the manner in which boys make water-wheels, and turn this, with the silk hanging over it—the effect will be found good.


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

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

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


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

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

For old age, whiten the face with drop chalk, draw the “crow’s feet” around the eyes and mouth with a camel’s hair pencil and India ink, wrinkle the brow, and placing the pencil in the furrows, draw them from temple to temple. The eyebrows should be chalked, and the upper eyelids[8] reddened considerably, although, be governed in all cases by the nearness of your audience and the brightness of the lights. If a white or gray wig is not to be gotten, chalk the hair in lieu, taking care to wash it thoroughly after the performance. For grief, the make-up is much the same as the former, with the cheeks sunken by a slight application of burnt cork.

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

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

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

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

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

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

This will prove the surest and the truest teacher.


Expression of the face, form and voice is the main point in acting. The former two may easily be acquired, but the latter will be utterly ruined if the student places himself under the tutorship of an elocutionist. They teach a drawly, too-perfect, sound of every vowel, which is both harsh and unnatural, and above all, the student is as apt[9] to copy their faults as their perfections. Seek to imitate no one—be something original—create the parts you play!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hope is like love, but subdued.



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

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


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

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

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


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

Order should be strictly enforced.

Allow no grumbling for better parts—make it a thorough business organization.

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

Scene Plot.
1.Landscape.Flats in4.
Set house with prac. door R. Steps and platform L. U. E. xing to R. U. E. Masked in by bridge Return R. masked in
3.WoodSet tree C. Rock with platform and steps L. 2. E.3.
5.WoodSet tree C. to fall at cue.4.



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

1.Purse for Ronaldo. Flagon and cups in set house R. Bank L. covered with buffalo skin.
2.Knife for Lady Eva.
3.Written will for Leah, blank one, to burn, for Rupert. Red fire.

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

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



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


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


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


At a quarter of eight he again descends and announces:

“Fifteen minutes!”

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

“No. 1:

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


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

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

No. 1Count RolandoKnifeAct.
Lady MaudeWill2d.
SupersLoaded GunAct.
HaroldWritten Letter



A Lively Negro Sketch, suitable for Parlor Representation.



Mr. Skidmore.
Mrs. Skidmore.
Billy Buttercup.

Scene.Ordinary room. Table, chairs, lounges, etc. Curtain rises, disclosing Mr. and Mrs. Skidmore at table. Mr. S., reading, Mrs. S., sewing.

Mr. S. (Puts down the book.) So, Mattie, we have been married a whole week!

Mrs. S. Yes, George.

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

Mrs. S. Yes, George, but—[Sighs.]

Mr. S. What, Mattie?

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

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

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

[Knock at the door.

Mrs. S. Who’s there?

Billy. (Outside.) Me.

Mr. S. Deuced definite. Who’s me?

Billy. (Outside.) Billy Buttercup.

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


Enter Billy. Makes a low bow.

Billy. Is dis yere de place whar Mr. Skidmore lives?

Mrs. S. Don’t you know me, Billy?

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

Mr. S. Mrs. Skidmore, sir.

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

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

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

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

Billy. Ebery bit, but——

Mrs. S. Well, what, Billy?

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

Mrs. S. Go on, Billy.

Billy. It’s crowding onto eight, now. Tumble?

Mrs. S. What?

Billy. Has the sandwich snap struck you yet?

Mrs. S. Oh, you would like a sandwich?

Billy. I could make love to one beautifully.

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

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

Mrs. S. Certainly. George!

Mr. S. Well, my dear.

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

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

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

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

Mr. S. Sir, you are insolent!

Billy. I am not. I am a South African Pasha!

Mr. S. Confound that negro! [Exit R. 1 E.


Mrs. S. Now, Billy, he’s gone, we can have a nice talk. How is my father?

Billy. Bully. [Both take seats on lounge.

Mrs. S. Did he send a message to me?

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

Mrs. S. And brother Willy?

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

Mrs. S. Poor Willy! But how is sister Sue?

Billy. Youse didn’t hear about yer sistah Sue?

Mrs. S. Why, no.

Billy. Oh, big news!

Mrs. S. Oh, tell me! She isn’t dead?

Billy. Next to it. Married, and got eleven children.

Mrs. S. Impossible!

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

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

Billy. You know Squire Jawbone?

Mrs. S. Oh, yes.

Billy. He’s gone to join the band.

Mrs. S. What band?

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

Mrs. S. Squire Jawbone dead!

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

Mrs. S. How did it happen?

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

Mrs. S. How awful!

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

Mrs. S. Know him well.


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

Mrs. S. You don’t say, Billy?

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

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

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

Mrs. S. Too bad. How is the cow, Billy?

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

Mrs. S. That’s the one.

Billy. Ki, didn’t we have fun?

Mrs. S. Lots.

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

Mrs. S. You and I used to be great friends.

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

Mrs. S. Why, Billy!

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

Mrs. S. What chance?

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

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


Billy. I know it. One ob de kind dat come done up in bunches—ten cents a bunch.

Mrs. S. But maybe I might have married better.

Billy. Ob course; me, for example.

Mrs. S. Nonsense—now there was Captain Charley.

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

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

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

Mrs. S. But he loved me, Billy.

Billy. Ob course—it’s catching.

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

Billy. (Aside.) Oh, yum!

Mrs. S. He would draw closer to me.

Billy. (Drawing closer to her. Aside.) You little rascal.

Mrs. S. He would reach my side.

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

Mrs. S. He would pass his arm around my waist.

Billy. (Passing arm around her waist.) What do yer say? I should blush if anybody should see me.

Mrs. S. And he would——

Billy. Would what?

Mrs. S. Kiss me.

[Billy kisses her. She springs up in surprise.

Enter Mr. S. R. 1 E.—Throws sandwiches at Billy.

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

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

Mr. S. You will never leave this place alive.

[Seizes Billy by the collar; lively melee ensues. Finally Mr. S. gets Billy on the floor, and draws a big pistol.

Mr. S. Scoundrelly wretch—die!

[Mrs. S. rushes forward and knocks up the pistol.


Mrs. S. Spare him, George: for he’s——

Billy. Just from home!

[Tableau. Flats close in.



A Burlesque German Stump Speech.


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

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

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

But lofe vos nice.

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

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

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

Den he goes out to mash his girl.


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

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

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

She smiles und says yes.

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

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

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

Den you get mad.

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

Dat fetches her.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Lofe it vos a funny ting.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


An Amusing Negro Farce.


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


Stumpy Vanderbilt.
Alonzo Stetson.
Augustus Astor.
Alphonso Leland.

Scene.A street.

Enter all of the characters, arm in arm, R. 2. E., all singing.

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

Stumpy. See here, Alonzo.

Alon. Shout away.

Stumpy. Don’t you play that on me again.

Alon. Play what?

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

Alon. You said to take what I wanted.

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

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

Stumpy and Alph. Oh, certainly!


[Alonzo takes Augustus to one side of stage. Stumpy and Alphonso engage in conversation inaudibly at back.

Alon. You know Charlie Gilsey, Augustus?

Aug. Charlie Gilsey, that belongs to our club?

Alon. Yes.

Aug. I know him well—he owes me a dollar.

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

Aug. Did what?

Alon. Sent him lending out brains. Made him crazy.

Aug. Poor fellow!

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

Aug. Broiled chicken! oh, yum!

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

Aug. What?

Alon. Hit him, so. [Slaps Augustus’ face, Augustus staggers back. Alonzo cocks hat over his eyes, and struts around stage.]

Alon. ’Nother fellow sold! [Laughs.

Aug. Bully joke!

Alon. Yah—yah—yah! You never tumbled.

Aug. I say, does that skeleton of Coney Island know anything about this?

Alon. No.

Aug. Then watch me slug him. [Walks back and taps Alphonso on the shoulder.] I’d like to see you for a moment, Alphonso; excuse him, Stumpy.

Stumpy. Oh, yes, tell him not to hurry back.

[Augustus and Alphonso walk over to front of stage.

Aug. You know Charlie Gilsey?


Alph. Well; my mother washes for him.

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

Alph. Cranky!

Aug. Yes, he went off of his caboose.

Alph. Oh, crazy.

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

Alph. What?

Aug. Biffed him—so! [Hits Alphonso a blow on the cheek. Biz of strutting around by Augustus.

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

Alph. Deuced nice story.

Aug. Funny, ain’t it?

Alph. Awful; but say, old fellow.

Aug. What?

Alph. Has the East river ghost heard anything of this?

Aug. Not a volume.

Alph. Then view me paralyze him. (Walks over to Stumpy.) Say, Stumpy, I’ve got a funny story to tell you.

Stumpy. What about?

Alph. Charlie Gilsey. You know Charlie?

Stumpy. Oh, yes, he’s one of Bricktop’s pals.

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

Stumpy. All right, I want to laugh. Spit her out.

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

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


Alph. Well, the disgrace of the thing muddled his brain box.

Stumpy. Sorter give him the jim-jams in his head.

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

Stumpy. Eat the ham.

Alph. No; he slugged Charlie, so. (Hits Stumpy. Same biz as before.)

Alph. Caught him again. I must have broke his ear.

Stumpy. Tell me some more; real nice story.

Alph. Grand joke, ain’t it?

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

Alph. No; I’ve given it to you first.

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

Alon. What for?

Stumpy. You know Charlie Gilsey?

Alon. Charlie Gilsey, the alderman’s niece?

Stumpy. That’s the cake.

Alon. Oh, I know him well.

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

Alon. You don’t say.

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

Alon. Did what?

Stumpy. Went off his nut—crazy.

Alon. Ah, I see.

Stumpy. You see, the warden was a friend of his, and he tried to do all that he could for poor Charlie. Bought a piano and a washing machine, and furnished up[28] his room elegantly. Didn’t do any good. Charlie kept crazy. Yesterday the warden sent a waiter up with a tray containing a whole hog and some custard pie, and stewed whale, and some more little delicacies. Charlie up and kicked the waiter out of the tray’s hand.

Alon. Go ’way!

Stumpy. It’s so. But worse yet—Charlie went for the waiter.

Alon. Went for the waiter?

Stumpy. Terrible case. Hit him with the piano, jumped on his nose—oh, raised the devil. And what do you suppose the waiter did in return?

Alon. Struck him—so! [Raps Stumpy on the face and knocks him over. All of the other characters go for Stumpy and knock him around the stage. Flats close on general melee.


Irish Sketch in One Scene.



Bernard McFlynn.
Ellen McFlynn.

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

Ellen. Bad luck to the day I ever left my home and married Bernard McFlynn; sure he’s not done a stitch of work for nine years, and it’s only by me scrubbing my hands off at this wash tub that we’re able to live at all, at all. [Baby cries; goes to cradle and rocks.] There—there, that’s a foine boy; don’t cry, darling—that’s the lad who will be an honor to me. [Looks at baby.] Sure and he’s the image of John Morrissey, and who knows but that[29] he’ll be an Alderman yet. [Returns to tub.] Sure and didn’t Mrs. Moriarity’s son, Shamus, get a position on the horse cars, and he wasn’t named after John Morrissey either. Well, as the blind man said: “We’ll see what we’ll see.”

[Enter Bernard McFlynn, C. D.]

[Takes off coat and hat, hands them to Ellen.

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

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

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

Ellen. Oh, ho!

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

Ellen. (Gets pen, ink and paper.) Sure, and is it reading writing you are going to do?

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

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

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


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

[Enter Landlord.]

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

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

Land. Position! What position!

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

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

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

[Strikes at him. Biz ad lib. Throws loaf of bread at him. O’Grady dodges it and it hits Bernard, who is just entering C. D.

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

[Staggers back and falls in the cradle. Baby cries. Ellen runs over to cradle and takes up baby.

Ellen. This dirty spalpeen came in here and insulted me.

Ber. [Jumps up—goes to O’Grady.] Insulted you? insulted the wife of Bernard McFlynn, Engineer of the Morgue! [Takes off coat.] Sit you down, Ellen. I will attend to this matter myself.


[Fights with O’Grady; Ellen joins in, and they throw him out of the window; Bernard comes down, sits at table, and Ellen prepares supper.

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

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

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

Ellen. Well, I’ve got some nice pork, and——

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

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

[Sits at table.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Ellen. (Crying.) That’s right; go on—cry out so Mrs. McGillan and the folks on the top flure can hear you. If my cousin Terrence was here he——

Ber. (Jumps up, overturns table, etc.) Terrence, is it? the mean, dirty blackguard, I’d——

Ellen. (Hits him with coffee pot.) Take that, and that. [Clinch, struggle, fall over stove, baby cries. Policeman rushes in, they both turn on him, and push him into cradle. Biz ad lib.



By Harry and John Kernell.


John McSweganHarry Kernell.
Barney CrossinJohn Kernell.

Street scene.

Enter McSwegan.

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

Enter Crossin.

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

Enter McSwegan.

McS. Good-morning, Barney.


Cros. Good-afternoon.

McS. What kept you so quick?

Cros. I couldn’t come any later.

McS. Have you had any trouble lately at your home?

Cros. Yes, we had a railroad accident.

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

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

McS. How do you make that out a railroad accident?

Cros. Why, her death was caused by a misplaced switch.

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

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

McS. Well, are you working now?

Cros. No; I have not worked for three months.

McS. I can get you a fine job.

Cros. What doing?

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

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

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

Cros. Will you be doing anything to-morrow?

McS. No, I guess not. Why?

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

McS. What do you want with my picture?

Cros. I want to give it to the police. I lost my monkey.

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

Cros. Did you hear the news?

McS. No; what is it?

Cros. It’s all over town.

McS. What?

Cros. Mud.

McS. That’s a very good joke.

Cros. It is. Will you have a cigar?

McS. I will.


Cros. Then go buy one.

McS. You are not smoking now, are you?

Cros. No, not at present.

McS. I see the mud has covered them up.

Cros. See here, do you know any conundrums?

McS. I don’t know what you mean.

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

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

Cros. Well, ask me some conundrum.

McS. All right. Which is the best way to make fish-balls without the fish?

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

McS. Why, the other half.

Cros. Why is the mosquito a good poker player?

McS. Because every time he draws he fills.

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

McS. All right. Which is the best way to keep a dog from going mad in August?

Cros. Shoot him in July.

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

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

McS. Well, now ask me a hard one.

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

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

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

McS. You didn’t give me a chance.

Cros. How long can a jackass stand on one leg?

McS. You get up and try it. [Both exit.



A Dutch Declamation.


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

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

But I haf seen de error of my vays.

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

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

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

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

“You vos a nice young man.”

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

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

I said dot I guessed so too.

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

I schwore.

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

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


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

But he vos led astray.

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

He vos goaxed to drink.

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

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

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

Und where is he now?

I repeat it to blush.

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

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

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

He vos righd.

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

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

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

Now dere is six!

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

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

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

I said “No!”—I vas full already.


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

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

He replied dot dere vos a tradition to dot effect.

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

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

“Vot, to see you staggering?”

“Yes, she vos blind from her birth.”

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

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

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

But von thing I must speak on before I gonclude.

It vos about de ladies.

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

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

“Take a bath, George?”

But I must end.

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

In conclusion let me say, never drink, young man, never drink—alone!



An Irish Family Sketch.



Bernard O’Rielly.
Denny Burns.
Bridget O’Rielly.
Mary Ann Rebecca O’Rielly.

Scene.Ordinary tenement house room. Stove, R. Table, C. Chairs by table. Bureau, L., and cot. Curtain rises, disclosing Bridget combing her hair at bureau.

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

Door opens, and Mary enters, carrying lunch-box. Sets it on table.

Mary. Supper ready, mother?

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

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

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

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

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


Mary. (Sitting down.) All right. But hurry up with supper, mother.

Brid. ’Pears to me you are in an awful hurry.

Mary. So I am. I want to go to the Hoolihan masquerade ball.

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

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

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

Mary. No, ma’am, at Wulhalla Hall.

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

Mary. Denny Burns.

Brid. Who?

Mary. Denny Burns.

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

Mary. Of course he is; he’s a masher.

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

Mary. Denny’s a real nice boy.

Brid. Ye are giving me taffy.

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

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

Mary. Sure he meant it as a compliment.

Brid. Oh, he did, did he?

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

Brid. Well, there’s some good in the lad yet, and——


[Enter Bernard O’Rielly at door.

Ber. Bridget?

Brid. Yis, Bernard.

Ber. Take off me ulster, and bring me me smokin’ jacket. [Takes off ragged coat and dons linen duster much worn, which Bridget brings him.

Brid. Are yez hungry, ould man?

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

Brid. Corn beef and cabbage.

Ber. Corn beef and cabbage.

Brid. Yis.

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

Brid. Where’s the money to get it wid?

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

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

Ber. Do what?

Mary. Strike a fresh kady.

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

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

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

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

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

Brid. Shure it is. Come take your sates at the table.

[Bridget puts eatables on the table, and all sit down. Bernard picks up a loaf of bread, bites it, and throws it at Bridget.


Brid. Bernard O’Rielly, are ye mad?

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

Brid. Shure, it’s good.

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

Brid. Thin I’ll throw it away.

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

Mary. The butter’s strong enough to walk to ye.

Ber. No criticisms, young leddy; if the butter’s good enough for yer ancistor, it is good enough for yez. What are ye all dressed up fur to-night?

Mary. I’m going to a ball.

Ber. What ball?

Mary. The Hoolihan’s masquerade ball.

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

Brid. Let the girl go.

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

Brid. Denny Burns.

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

Mary. Then I can’t go wid him?

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

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

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

Brid. Where are yez goin’?


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

[Exit Bernard. Mary and Bridget both get up from the table and advance front. Mary puts on her bonnet.

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

Mary. To go to the ball with.

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

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

Brid. He’ll paralyze every sinew in your body.

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

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

Mary. All right. Over the sewer, skip the gutter, cross the river, mother. [Exit at door.

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

[Blows out candle on table. Stage darkens.

[Enter Bernard at door.

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

Brid. (Getting up from cot.) What’s the matter? Where’s the fire?

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

Brid. Asleep. [Aside.] May St. Peter pardhon me for the loie!

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

Mary. (Outside.) I didn’t try to mash the Dutch cucumber-peddler, Denny.

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

Brid. I didn’t mane to, Bernard, but——

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


Den. (Outside.) Go ’way, Mary Ann, you know you was tryin’ to shake me all the while.

Mary. (Outside.) Speak low, or you’ll wake up father.

Den. (Outside.) What d’yer ’spose I care for that ould gas-house terrier?

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

Brid. Be aisy; listen.

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

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

Mary. (Outside.) Come into the room, Denny. The old folks have all gone to bed.

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

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

[Bridget hides under table, Bernard behind bureau.

Enter Mary and Denny at door.

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

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

Mary. Did you kill him?

Den. No; but I broke the sucker’s jaw. Where are the two old figger-heads?

Mary. What figger-heads?

Den. Those old flannel-mouths—yer father and mother.

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

Brid. (Jumping out.) Othello, we have yez now. Slug him, Bernard.

Den. What’s this, anyhow?

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

Den. What are yez slinging me—tacks?


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

[Bridget rushes at Denny. He knocks her down.

Ber. Yez have raised yer fist against a daisy. Beware, I am coming. [Biz of fight between Bernard and Denny. Denny finally knocks Bernard under the table. Table falls on him. Denny seizes Mary in his arms and menaces Bridget with the teapot. Flats close in on tableau.



A Plantation Comedy.




Scene.Full stage. Cottage R. U. E. with window and door of paper same color as cottage.

Enter Pete and Ike R. and L. (They shake hands.)

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

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

Pete. (In astonishment.) Do tell!

Ike. Do you see dat brownstraw roofed mansion yonder? Dar’s whar I anchor.

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

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

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


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

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

Ike. Dat’s English; and now to business.

[Walks right and left about the stage, and advances and sings as follows:

Air:—Big Fat Nance.

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


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


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

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

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

Pete. Dat’s so. [They retire R. and L., and producing imitation bricks throw them at the cottage. Music soft; Pete and Ike retire R. and L. Enter Rebecca and Clara from cottage. Pick up bricks.

Reb. Oh, it’s a shame?

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


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

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

[She throws the brick at Rebecca’s foot. Rebecca hits her on the head with the brick she had. They each pick up the bricks to throw them at each other, when Pete and Ike appear. Rebecca and Clara spy them and throw the bricks at them, hitting them. Pete and Ike howl and retire.

Clara. Ha—ha! did you see me hit him?

Reb. I guess dat ought to teach dem to be more civil to deir superiors.

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

Reb. (Tearfully.) Yes; but I forgib dem. You know how I love Peter Holloway. [Covers her face with apron.

Clara. (Clasping her.) ’Deed I do, Rebecca. I can sympathize with you. [Rebecca cries loudly.] Listen to ecstasy, Rebecca. Wake up, chile. Rouse yo’self.

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

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


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



[Meanwhile Pete and Ike come on and make remarks on the dancing. At the end of dance the girls spy the negroes and angrily walk towards them. Pete and Ike produce large razors and chase the girls. They shout, and Clara dives through window of cottage, Rebecca walking through the door. Pete and Ike put up their razors and call for the girls; they at length come out slowly.]

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

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

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

[They make up and clasp each other. Meanwhile Ike and Clara have not approached each other.

Clara. (Mildly.) I should neber hab tought it ob you, Ichabod Fitzsimmons, neber.

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

[Indignantly he proceeds to walk across and off the stage. Clara rushes at him, and knocking him down, puts her foot on him and flourishes a small (imitation) ax over him. Pete and Rebecca run towards her, and take the ax from her. They form a tableau. Ike exclaims tragically: “Saved—saved!

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

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

Reb. Now, Pete, you mashed and dead gone nigger,
Quit your foolin’ an’ join de rhyme.[48]
Pete. Why, bless you, honey, I’m all attention,
An’ willin’ to dance an’ keep in time.
Clara. Ichabod, say you love me still,
And neber go back on your sugar plum.

[They clasp.

Ike. Forgib me, honey, an’ take me to your bosom,
For what we did was all in fun.
R. & C. Den join us in de song and dance,
Whenever you may come around.
All. We’ll drive dull care by slinging our shoe,
For dat is where we all grab ground.


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



An Ethiopian Sketch.


Scene.A Street. Enter Pompey, R. H., with saw and sawbuck.

Pompey. Well, I has been trabblin’ up de street, and trabblin’ down de street, all day long, and hasn’t had a single job yet, and ain’t got de fust red cent. I do’ know how I’ll get a quarter to go to de grand bobilition ball to-night; dere isn’t much chance for a nigger to git any wood to saw dese hard times. Dare’s too many ob dem Dutch fellars dat ’nopolize de bisness—works under price, and all dat. Dat won’t do for dis child. I tink I’ll leabe de carpenter bisness fur a while, and maybe I may be ’pointed to de office ob inspector ob wood-sawyers. But I’se bound to go to de ball to-night, anyhow. [Enter Jim[49] Brown, L. H., who walks across the stage past Pompey, and is going off. Pompey sees him.] Hello, Jim! How is you to-day?

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

Pom. What is dat?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jim. Yes, sir; widout prevarication.

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

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


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

Scene II.Another Street, or a Park, with set House, L. H.

[Enter Jim, R. H., with banjo.

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

[Sings. Air.—“Oh, hush.

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

[Araminta appears at a window and sings.

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

[Scene changes, as Jim is kneeling and Araminta is closing the window to a plain room.

[Enter Pompey, L. H., cautiously.

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


[Sings. Air.—“Brave Old Black Oak.

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

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

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

Jim Brown. [To Pompey.] Pompey, I tole you once dat I was a fernologist.

Pom. A what?

Jim. A fernologist.

Pom. What’s dat?

Jim. Tell de bumps on de head.

Pom. No! but are you?

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

Pom. Bery well. [Sits in C.

Jim. All ready?

Pom. Yes.

[Recites the following lecture:

Jim. You know as the tree is bent so is the twig inclined. In de fus place, fustly, dis little nigga’s head am like a monkey’s, only de monkey’s head am much littler dan dis, and dis am as much biggerer dan de monkey’s, consequently dey must both be ob de same size. In de fust place, secondly, I’se gwan as far forward as de back part ob de head, dat dey call de frontal bone; ’tain’t because it[52] is all bone—oh, no, ’tain’t that—but because it is as far from de mouf as de calf of de shin, and dat is why dey call it de frontal bone. Dar—dar, dar’s a bump; dat’s what dey call de bump of combativeness; under dat bump dere is a large bladder ob dandriff, and when de nigga gets a little ’zaggerated, de bladder splodes; de cold air rushes into de vacum, and de nigga gradually subsides into his former situation. Dar, dar’s anoder bump—oh, golly, what a big bump!—dat’s what dey call de bump ob music; any nigga dat has dat bump any way permanent or largely deweloped, can play any tune on de fiddle—dat is, if he know’d how to play it afore. And now I hope I’ve satisfied you dat I know something about dis science. For de present, Ecce sigmum, hoc vobis cum, quantum suff.

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

[Hits Jim.

Jim. A blow! and from a low wood-sawyer!

Pom. Yes, sir-ee! And dar’s anoder! [Both fight. Pompey floors Jim; wenches faint, and a regular Sixth Ward fight all around, as the curtain goes down.


A Rattling Irish Farce.


Patrick Grady,
Denis Hallorahan,
Bridget Grady.

Scene.Ordinary room. Tables and chairs, L. Wash-tub, C, by door. Cradle, R, and churn. Curtain rises. Discloses Bridget at table.

Bridget. Shure, an’ it’s the terrible loife I’m lading. There’s me husband, Patrick Grady, always off av a night to Casey’s, getting blind drunk, an’ rowling an’ cavortin’ a home in the morning, a swearing that he’s in wid the gang, an’ that they’re goin’ for to run him for alderman. A foine alderman it is that he will make, with his shirt[53] paping out av his coat, an’ divil a sock to his fut. Faith, I belave he’s goin’ ter the bad, intirely. He’s gettin’ so mighty high chuned av late that he’ll soon be a riding down town in a stage, instead av standing on the rear end av a truck. Oh, bad cess to the day that ivir I married him.

[Enter Denis.

Den. Well, Bridget?

Brid. It isn’t well at all, brother Denis.

Den. Where’s Patrick?

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

Den. On a drunk again?

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

Den. It’s a bad business, Bridget.

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

Den. Politics, is it?

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

Den. Will he be home soon?

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

Den. So I will, Bridget. His conduct, be heaven, is scandalous in the extreme!

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

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

[Noise outside. Enter Patrick, staggering. Throws hat on floor, and reels front.

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

Brid. Nobody, Patrick.


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

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

Pat. (Looking at Denis.) How long since you have been buying cigar signs to stick up in your drawing-room, Missus Grady?

Brid. Why, that’s your brother Denis.

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

Den. I don’t smoke.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Brid. That’s so, Patrick.

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

Den. Is that the way to spake to your wife?

Pat. Whose wife is she?

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

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

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

Brid. That’s thrue.

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

Brid. You’re looney, Pat.

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

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

Pat. Thin we’ll send ye to play Hamlet.

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

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

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

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

Brid. She did, did she?

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

Brid. When I catch her I’ll kill her. Thrying to intice[56] me lawful wedded husband away, the cork-legged ould scarecrow.

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

Den. Yis.

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

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

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

Brid. They’re not off av the Island long enough.

Pat. Perhaps they are not cheeney enough for yer.

Brid. They’re a lot of rowdies, Pat. Why don’t you join the Father Matthy’s?

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

Den. Pat, can’t you listen to rayson?

Pat. Av coorse.

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

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

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

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

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

Brid. The curse of St. Patrick light on Casey. [She rises and approaches Pat, tickles him under the chin.] Then, Patsey, darlint, sign the pledge.

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

Den. Drop politics an’ stick to bricklaying, Pat.

Pat. Well, I believe I will. From this hour Pat Grady,[57] Iskwire, drinks no more! [Aside—at his own expense.] Bridget, shoulder that broom an’ we’ll give the leddies an’ jintlemen in front “Sons of Temperance,” T. A. B., and yer, Denis, jine in the chorus.

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



A Short Burlesque.



Hannis Yorick.
Lena Krause.
Byron Longfellow Smith.

Scene.—Interior. Tables, L. Two chairs, C. Door at rear.

[Enter Lena, R. 1. E.

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


Air.Pretty as a Picture.

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


Hannis. (Outside.) Lena.

Lena. Vell, Hannis.

Han. May I stay oud?

Lena. Of course. Open de latch, spring de door, an’ coom in. [Enter Hannis.

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

Lena. Oh, Hannis!

Han. Dat vos drue. Vos dat you singing, Lena?

Lena. It vos.

Han. Vhy, I thought dat it was somebody shoveling coal. [Lena hits him a slap in the face. Hannis makes a wry face.

Han. There, you hab cracked the spine of my jaw.

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

Han. What on—a moonpeam?

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

Han. You like candy, Lena?

Lena. You know dot I do.

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

Lena. A dog! vot vill I do mit a dog?

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

Lena. Oh, Hannis!

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

Lena. You vos joking.

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

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

Han. No, Lena, I have brought you somedings else.

Lena. Vell, vot?

Han. I don’t vant to tell you.

Lena. Why not?

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


Lena. No I von’t.

Han. Promise id.

Lena. Yes.

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

Lena. Dot fact vos gray-headed.

Han. Und, Lena, I lofe you.

Lena. Oh, my, vasn’t you ashamed.

Han. Yes, I vos plushing beneath my bosom protector. But for all dot I lofe you. Lena, nod——

[Enter Byron Smith L. 2 E. Stalks tragically forward. Halts and points finger at Hannis and Lena.

Byron. Ha—ha! what is this that looms before my vision!

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

Han. Is this a lunatic asylum, Lena?

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

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

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

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

Han. (Jumping up.) Hold my coat, Lena.

Lena. Vot for?

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

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

Byron. You are right, my starry-eyed gazelle.

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


Byron. Presumptuous meddler, I am a poet.

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

Han. Haf you been drinking vhisky, my friendt?

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

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

Lena. You do?

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

Byron. Say on, Lucullus.

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

Byron. What does the gifted bard of Avon say about that? Ah, now I remember!

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

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

Byron. I do not understand you.

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

Byron. Thanks; shall I give you another specimen?

Han. For heaven’s sake; hush!

Lena. Please do, Mr. Smith.

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

Life is a mockery,
Life is a cheat——
Han. (Interrupting.) Ven ve vos hungry,
There’s nothing to eat!


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

Han. Pring an almanac und find oud. There vos a nice dog outside, Mr. Fresh.

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

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

Byron. I am happy here.

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

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

Han. Dot vos id. Vell, there vos anudder veller.

Byron. Ah, yes:

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

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

Byron. Base hell-hound.

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

Byron. I would have clutched him by the neck.

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

Han. You vould do dot?

Byron. Assuredly.

Han. Mr. Gall, I vill take your vord at you![62] (Jumps up and seizes Byron.) I pounced him up—up—up! Und vhen dey send me a postal card asking vhere he vos, I repeaded like a dempest howl: “Send him a linen duster, he need it.” [Biz. of struggle. Hannis gets Byron down, and stands on him. Lena rushes forward, sinks on her knees by his side.]

Lena. Spare him, Hannis.

Han. Queen Elizabeth Tilton, interceding for the life of Owen Murphy. [Tableau.


Transcriber’s Notes:

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

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

Punctuation has been made consistent.

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

The following changes were made:

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

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

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

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

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