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5it ti Vila
wor Vittif At|ors,
BY MISS CORNER,
HARRISON WEIR AND J. V. BARRET.
DEAN & SON, 11, LUDGATE HILL, E. c.
Educational Book and Print Publishers.
SIR RICHARD AND LADY WHITTINGTON IN THEIR
o CHAIRS OF STATE AS LORD AND LADY MAYORESS. \
0S^ $^ ^-^^
hTl h~ AL n
ittimg ton & lis (at.
AN ENTERTAINMENT FOR YOUNG PEOPLE.
BY MISS CORNER,
BY ALFRED CROWQUILL, ESQ.
c erionr of fEc Oertic of little l lU for Sittk Adors.
DEAN AND SON, -1, LUDGATE HILL,
THREE DOORS WEST OF OLD BAILEY.
RICHARD WHITTINGTON A poor country boy.
MR. FITZWARREN . A London merchant.
CAPTAIN OF THE SHIP.
THOMAS . .. .. .Mr. Fitzwarren's footman.
ALICE .. . .... .Mr. Fitzwarren's daughter.
~~BrasB~ii3 ~Jal B&s ~a~,
IT happened, during the last Christmas holi-
days, that I was present on several occasions
when a party of young people, from about
/ eight to twelve years of age, contrived to
amuse themselves, as well as the elder portion
of the company, very agreeably for the greater
part of an evening, by acting charades. The
clever and spirited manner in which they
represented a variety of characters, confirmed
me in an idea I had previously
entertained, of arranging some of
the most popular and favourite stories
of our childhood for similar per-
ilt 'l' formances. It struck me, that, in
personating our old friends Whitting-
,Bton, Mr. Fitzwarren,
- ~ ~-i--~
and the cross Cook, or Cinderella, her proud Sisters, and
her fairy Godmother-the younger branches of many a family,
especially in the country, might, during the winter season,
find an innocent and lively recreation. Their memories would
be improved by the necessity of learning perfectly the parts
assigned them; and their ingenuity would be exercised in
adapting their resources to the arrangement of the scenes to
I am aware that some persons object to juvenile amuse-
ments that bear any affinity to theatricals; but this appears
to me an objection that favours the present purpose, since most
children of talent and lively disposition are fond of assuming
imaginary characters, inventing incidents,and framing dialogue
suited to the illusion. Acting, among children, is therefore
no novelty; and if proper subjects be selected, and care taken
that they convey some useful or moral lesson, I am con-
vinced, from experience as well as reflection, that such per-
formances would be calculated to do good rather than harm.
Children want to be amused; and I believe that amusement
is beneficial to them, provided it has no bad tendency. I
also believe that a very important part of education consists
in promoting innocent and agreeable occupation for leisure
hours, in order to prevent any disposition to indolence, either
of mind or body. With these views and opinions, I offer
my little plays as a pastime for the approaching holidays;
and I sincerely hope they may prove the means of furnishing
entertainment for many of my young friends in the long
evenings of the present winter.
IN the getting up of these plays, the arrangement of the scenes must of
course depend in great measure on the sort of room in which the per-
formance takes place. Nothing could be better adapted to the purpose
than two rooms opening into each other with folding doors, the stage
being that into which the doors open, as they would form places for the
exit of different actors, who might retire behind the doors instead of
all going off the stage at the same point. These would also answer
the purpose of a curtain, some person being stationed behind each
to open and close them between the scenes. The prompter might also
stand behind one of the doors. If, however, the play is to be acted in
a single room, a curtain might be contrived to separate the stage from
the part occupied by the audience; or rather two curtains to close
in the middle, and draw to each side. They might be drawn on a
string fastened by hooks from one side of the room to the other.
Painted scenery would be a great advantage, but if this cannot be
obtained, a few hints are given at the beginning of each scene as to
the best mode of supplying the deficiency. The actors should learn
their parts very perfectly, and rehearse the play at least three times
before performing it to an audience.
: ~I- ---------- -- ---- ------ --
WHITTTi lTOr ATDO HIS CAT.
S SCENE THE FIRST.
[This scene being intended to represent the vicinity of a country
village, a few broken boughs of trees, two or three handfuls of
straw, some baskets, gardening tools, and other signs of rustic
occupation should be strewn over the stage; and the effect might
be heightened by making a green hedge, which could be done with
very little trouble by getting some large bunches of laurel, holly,
and other evergreens, tying then to the backs of chairs, and
placing them in a row at the back of the stage.]
[ The doors open and discover Whittington in ragge, clothes
sitting on the ground.]
[ Enter COUNTRYMAN, in a blouse and wide awake hat, with a
whip in his hand.]
Countryman. The waggon's loaded, and I'm ready quite
To start for London now-so that's all right.
[Looks at WHITTINGTON.
Well, my fine fellow, what have you to say ?
Have you a mind to go to London-hey ?
Whittington (rising.) Yes, 1 should like it-but I do not
How far it is, sir, nor which way to go.
14 VWHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT.
Countryman. Why, what can such a little chap as you
In that great city be going to do ?
Who do you know there; come, speak out my lad,
And if I can, I'll help you, and be glad.
JVittitnghton. I don't know any body there I'm sure,
I am an orphan boy and very poor.
But perhaps I may get rich, for I've been told
The streets of London are all paved with gold.
CoGunryman. Pooh! nonsense! gold, indeed-why, if
I'd get some on't myself when I go there;
The silly folks are very much to blame
Who fill boy's heads with fancies-what's your name ?
WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT.
Whittington. Dick Whittington.
Countryman. Dick, is it? well I'll show
The way to London if you wish to go;
So, come with me, and you shall walk beside
My waggon-when you're tired, you may ride. [Exit.
WhiVttington. That's kind indeed-so I'll to London go,
Whether the streets are paved with gold or no. [Exit.
[The curtain is then drawn, or folding doors are closed, and as the
next scene is supposed to be a street in London, all signs of
the country village must be removed. The room door will serve
for the door of Mr. Fitzwarren's house, and a step may be easily
made by placing two foot stools before it and covering them
with a.white cloth to look like white stone.]
SCENE THE SECOND.
[ Vhen the doors open, WHITTINGTON is on the stage.]
lWhittington, Oh, dear! I am so tired, and hungry toc;
I don't know where to go-what shall I do ?
How busy all the people seem to be,
Perhaps they have no time to notice me,
For if I ask for work, they say they've none;
And if I beg, they tell me to be gone.
16 WVHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT.
Suppose I should not meet with any pity,
What will become of me in this great city ?
I shall be almost starved to death, I fear.
Oh! how I wish I never had come here.
[IHe sits down on the step of the door.
Enter Mr. FITZWARREN.
Mr. Fitzwarren. How now, young fellow, what are you
Loitering at people's doors ? no good, I doubt.
WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT.
It is such idle vagabonds as you,
Who will not work, that so much mischief do;
Be gone at once, or I'll to prison send you;
A little wholesome punishment may mend you.
[WHITTINGTON rises while Mr. FITZWARREN is speaking
and moves a few paces.]
Whittington. Send me to prison oh, no; pray, sir, don't,
I won't come here again, indeed I won't;
I am not idle, but a country boy
Come up, to London, sir, to seek employ,
And should be very glad to work for you,
If you could give me anything to do.
Mr. Fitzwarren. To work, you say? Ah, that's a dif-
If you want work, I'll soon find you a place.
What are your parents ?
Whittington (wiping his eyes with the back of his hand).
Please, sir, they are dead.
Mr. Fifzzvarren. You are an orphan, then, in want of
Willing to work for lodging, food, and clothes,
If any one would take you, I suppose ?
Whtttington. Yes, sir, indeed; I should be very glad,
And would do anything--
Mr. Fitzwarren. That's right, my lad.
What do you say to living here with me ?
Whittington. Oh! thank you,sir; how happy I should be!
WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT.
Mr. Fitzwarren. My servants will, perhaps, find you of
To run on errands, and to brush the shoes.
I hope you are an honest boy, and then
You'll prosper-honest boys make thriving men.
Whittington. Yes, sir, my mother always told me so,
And I am very honest, that I know.
Mr. Fitzwarren. Well, then, I think I'll trust you, so
And you shall have some dinner to begin;
Then you may go to work, my little man,
And make yourself as useful as you can.
[lHe goes into the house, and WHITTINGTON follows him.
SCENE THE THIRD.-A Kitchen.
[A common table, two wooden chairs, and any other kitchen furniture
might be introduced in this scene, so as to give the stage the
appearance of a kitchen.]
[WHITTINGTON runs in,followed by the Cook, who is beating
him with a large wooden spoon or a ladle.]
Cook. You idle jackanapes-what; muttering still;
I'll teach you to be saucy-that I will.
Whittington. I was not saucy, Mrs. Cook--
WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT.
Cook. You were.
Now let me see you crying, if you dare-
For here comes Mistress Alice; I will tell her
You are a lazy good-for-nothing fellow.
[ The Cook, being an ignorant person, may pronounce this word
Alice. What is the matter, Richard?
[He turns away wiping his eyes.
Nay, come here;
You have not been behaving well, I fear.
What has he done, Cook? let me hear the truth,
But pray remember, he's a friendless youth,
And should be kindly treated.
WHITTINGTON AND HIS C T.
WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT,.
Whittington. Thank you, ma'am.
I'm sure I did not think it any harm
To run into the street to see a show-
Cook. He idles all his time away, ma'am, so.
Alice. you should not leave your work to look at shows,
But it was very tempting, I suppose.
There, dry your tears, look cheerful, and we'll see
If you can do an errand well for me;
Carry this medicine to Mistress Payne,
Ask how she is, and make haste back again.
[lie takes the bottle which ALICE gives him, bows,
and goes out.
Cook, you are cross to that poor boy, I think ;
I hope he has enough to eat and drink;
If he does wrong, me or my father tell;
But I desire that you will use him well. [Exit.
Cook. So here's a pretty piece of work she makes
About a paltry beggar boy-he takes
Her fancy I suppose-but I'll soon show
Who's mistress in the kitchen, or I'll know
The reason-use him well, too'-lack-a-daisy !
Such fellows are enough to drive one crazy. [Exit.
Whittington. That cross, ill-natured cook- I do my best
To please her, yet she lets me have no rest;
_ ~ __ ______
WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT.
And sometimes for my dinner makes me eat
Dry crusts of bread without a bit of meat.
And if I can't help crying, then she beats me;
I'd tell young Mistress Alice how she treats me,
But that would make her worse, I am afraid;
Besides she'd contradict all that I said,
So I must bear it.
Enter DAME HOMELY with a cat in her arms.
Whittington. What a pretty cat!
Dame H. Yes, she's a perfect beauty-sleek-and fat!
And gentle as a lamb; just feel her paw.
'Tis soft as velvet, yet you never saw
A better mouser.
WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT.
Whittington. Will she really kill
The mice, I wonder ?
Dame H. Ay, boy, that she will;
So, if the cook's at home, just go ard tell her
I have a cat that I should like to sell her.
Whittington (eagerly). What would you sell her for ?
Dame H. Why, let me see,
Sixpence; and a great bargain she would be.
Whittington (in a tone of disappointment). Sixpence ;
oh dear! I've only got a penny,
Or else I'd buy her-for there are so many
Mice in the loft, that all night long they keep
Running about me so, I cannot sleep;
And then I am so tired in the morning,
Cook often scolds, and beats me too, for yawning.
Dame H. If that's the case, poor boy, I pity you;
And though I am in want of money too,
I willingly would help you for all that,
So I will take your penny for the cat
And trust you for the rest; perhaps some day
You may be rich enough the debt to pay.
Whittington. Then I may have her; oh, I am so glad !
Here is the penny. [Gives it and takes the cat.
Dame. Well, good-bye, my lad;
My name is Homely, you can hear of me
From Davy Wright, the blacksmith; so, you see
When you grow richer you need not forget
You are a trifle in Dame Homely's debt. [Exit.
WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT.
Whittington (stroking the cat). Poor puss! your coat
is very nice and soft,
But I must go and hide you in the loft,
Where you must kill the mice, puss, if you please,
That I may sleep a little more at ease.
Of all my victuals you shall have a share,
But Cook must never know that you are there:
For, if she did, I don't know what she'd say,
But I'm quite sure she'd soon take you away. [Exit.
[In the foregoing scene the exits and entrances must not all be by the
same door; and this may be easily avoided by leaving sufficient
space behind the folding doors for any one to stand, or contriving
a screen at one side of the room. The cat may be a real one, if
there should happen to be one in the house quiet enough to perform
the part with credit; if not, a toy cat should be procured.]
SCENE THE FOURTH.-A Counting-house.
[Mr. FITZWARREN is sitting at a table covered with books
and papers, reading a letter. He rises, and comes
Mr. Fitzwarren. This letter tells me that my ship will
To-morrow; may it be a prosperous gale
To fill her sails, and waft her o'er the sea!
The Captain's trusty, and if this should be
WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT.
A profitable voyage, I shall clear
At least a thousand pounds: but who comes here?
Good morning, Captain. Well, what news?
Captain. All's right;
We've shipped the cargo, and shall sail to-night
Just down the river; so I've come to see
If you have any more commands for me.
Mr. Fitzwarren. This only; all my people have a mind
To send out something in this ship, I find,
Hoping to make a little money by it.
WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT.
Captain. Well, there is no objection they should try it;
I like their spirit: and will surely do
The best I can for them, I promise you.
Where are their packages ? for they must go
Directly-I've a sailor down below
Will take them
2Mr. Fitzwarren (pointing to some boxes or packages
in a corner). Here they are: one, two, three, four,
Five, six-there certainly should be one more;
I've seven servants here in my employ:
Oh! I perceive it is the errand-boy
Who is left out; but that must never be.
[He goes to the door and calls.
Here, Thomas! send up Whittington to me.
[Shuts the door and comes back.
The lad shall have his chance, as well as they.
Captain. Yes, to be sure; I like to see fair play.
Mr. Fiz w'arrcn. And so do I--
JVWiti'ni~,jon (opens the door). Please, sir, do you want
Mr. Fitzwarren. Yes, boy, come in; how is it that I see
Nothing of yours here ?
Captain. Would you like to send
Something to sea with me, my little friend ?
The merest trifle may sometimes be sold
Among the Blacks for a large piece of gold.
Mr. Fitzwarren. What have you got ?
WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT.
Whittington. I've nothing but a cat,
And please, sir, I don't like to part with that.
Captain (laughing). A cat! ha, ha !-a cat! I hardly
What we could do with her-
Mr. Fitzwarren. Well, let her go.
At least you'll have your chance, my boy; and what
You send, in my opinion, matters not.
Go fetch your cat.
[Exit WHITTINGTON, slowly and sorrowfully.
Now, Captain, let us see
If everything is right twixtt you and me.
[They sit down to the table, and busy themselves in looking
over some papers, occasionally handing them over tor
each other. While they are thus occupied, WHIT-
TINGTON comes in with the cat in his arms, and comes
to the front of the stage.]
Whittington. Oh, pussy, dear, it almost breaks my heart
To think that you and I are going to part.
The nasty mice will come again, I know,
As soon as you are gone. Why must you go ?
I wish I had not said a word about you,
And then the Captain would have gone without you.
WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT.
Enter ALICE. (She admires and strokes the cat.)
Alice. What a sweet pretty creature! who does she
Belong to ?
Whittington. Please, ma'am, she belongs to me;
But I'm afraid that she is going away,
Unless you would be kind enough to say
I'd rather keep her here; and then I know
My master would not say that she must go.
Alice. But, Richard, he is doing it for your good:
Perhaps you have not rightly understood
Why she's to go abroad. Have you been told
What she is going for ?
Whittington. Yes, ma'am; to be sold.
Alice. Well, that is what the Captain means to do,
And then he'll bring the money home to you.
Suppose he makes your fortune! you would be
Extremely glad you sent her then, you see.
Whittington. I'll do what you think best--
Alice. Then, let her go;
The Captain will be kind to her, I know.
Captain (rising and coming forward). Yes, pretty mis-
tress Alice ; I would do
Anything in the world to pleasure you.
So, only say the word; and for your sake,
I'd feed the animal on wine and cake.
Alice (laughing). Nay, I don't wish you should with
kindness kill her.
WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT.
Captain. Well then, I must not with such dainties
Now, run down stairs, boy; give her to the care
Of a young sailor you'll find waiting there.
Mr. Fitztwarren. Then come and take these boxes; but
For there is not a moment's time to waste.
Alice (giving her hand to the Captain). Well, good
bye, Captain, may your courage earn,
A happy voyage, and a safe return.
Captain. Fair lady, your kind wishes I receive
With many thanks, and thus I take my leave.
WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT.
[Kisses her hand. She makes a parting curtsey and leaves
the room. WHITTINGTON meanwhile is coming in
and out, taking away the packages.]
Captain. Mr. Fitzwarren, I await your leisure.
Mr. Fitzwarren (rises from the table). I will attend
you, Captain, now with pleasure,
And, ere we part, we'll drink a cup of wine
To the success of this good ship of mine.
[They go out together.
SCENE THE FIFTH.-Holloway.
[In this scene the most conspicuous object must be the famous stone,
on which WHITTINGTON was seated when he heard the bells
proclaiming his future dignity as Lord Mayor of London. The
stage should be arranged much the same as in the first scene; and
the stone, which should be placed in the centre, might be very well
represented by a music stool with a white cloth pinned closely
Enter WHITTINGTON.-(He looks about him.)
Whittington. It is broad daylight now-this place looks
And I begin to feel quite sad and weary.
When they find out I'm gone, what will they say ?
I almost wish I had not run away.
[Sits down on the stone.
30 WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT.
Yet Cook's ill usage was so hard to bear-
I dare say breakfast is just ready there,
I'm getting hungry-hark Bow bells are ringing,
They sound to me like merry voices singing.
[Some young lady must play the bells on the piano, and sing
"Turn again, Whittington, Lord Mayor of London ;
Turn again, Whittington, Lord Mayor of London;"
while WHITTINGTON gets up and listens, turning
from side to side, and looking up in the air.]
_ __~_~~__ ~ __
WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT. 31
Turn again, Whittington,
Lord Mayor of London,Turn again,Whittington, Lord Mayor of London.
r .t \ ." \ Y _-
Turn again,Whittington,Lord Mayor of London, Turn again Whittington,
Lord Mayor of London.
Very softly; the sound gradually dying away.
WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT.
How very strange-I thought I heard them say
Lord Mayor of London,-can it be that they
Do really warn me to go back ? oh no;
I am a foolish boy to fancy so.
How could it be; unless indeed there dwells
Some kind goodnatured fairy in the bells.
I fancied that I heard my name quite plain--
But hush! I think they're going to ring again.
[TThe bells exactly as before. WHITTINGTON listens atten-
tively till the sound dies away-then says-
The very words again-then I'll go back
And never mind the Cook-however black
She looks, her scolding I will try to bear
With patience, if I am to be Lord Mayor. [Exit.
SCENE THE SIXTH.-Mr. FITZWARREN'S Counting House.
[Mr. FITZWARREN is sitting at the table writing.]
Mr. Fitzwarren. How rapidly the time has passed away;
I find it is two years this very day,
Since the ship sailed; I surely ought to hear
Some tidings of her soon, or I shall fear
All is not right! [A knocking at the door.
WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT. 33
Mr. Fitzwarren. Ah! is it you,
My noble Captain? Welcome !
[IHe rises, and they shake hands.
Captain. How d'ye do,
Mr. Fitzwarren? Here I am, you see,
All safe and sound, right glad once more to be
On shore; and I am happy, sir, to state
Our voyage has turned out most fortunate;
We've traded with some rich, though barbarous nations,
And bring you wealth beyond your expectations.
Mr. Fitzwarren. This is good news indeed!
Captain. But more than that;
You recollect the boy who sent his cat ?
Mr. Fitzwarren. What, Whittington? oh, yes! he lives
Poor fellow !
Captain. Poor no more; for he has met
With such rare luck, that even you will be
Not half so rich a man, my friend, as he!
That cat has made his fortune.
Mr. Fitzwarren. Nay, you joke.
Captain. It is as true a word as e'er I spoke.
WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT.
[Mr. FITZWARREN places chairs, and they sit down, the
CAPTAIN still continuing to speak.]
In a small island we the creature sold
To a black monarch for a chest of gold.
We landed; and the king and queen invited
Me and my mate to dine; being much delighted
With a few trifling presents I had sent them-
Brass buttons, bells, and beads, will quite content them;
But scarce was dinner served, when there rushed out
From every hole and corner, round about,
Hundreds of mice that jumped into the dishes,
Making sad havoc 'mongst the loaves and fishes.
Of course we were surprised, and asked the king
If this invasion was a usual thing.
He told us that it happened every day,
And said that he would freely give away
Half of his treasures, if he could but know
Of any means to drive away the foe.
I sent for puss-and when the mice came out
Again, she quickly put them to the rout;
I never shall forget what famous fun
It was to see the little creatures run,
While king and queen, and courtiers, all amazed,
Upon the cat in silent wonder gazed;
And, scarcely daring to believe their eyes,
Pronounced her some magician in disguise.
At length their majesties displayed to me
A chest of gold, and asked if that would be
WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT. 35
Enough to buy her. I was very glad
To take the offer-so your lucky lad
Thus made his fortune in a single day.
Mr. Fitzwarren. And we will wish him joy without
delay. [lHe goes to the door and calls.
Thomas (outside the door). Yes, sir.
Mr. Fitzwarren. I should like to speak
To Whittington (shuts the door); this is a curious freak
Of Fortune's wheel.
Alice (shaking hands with the CAPTAIN). Oh, captain,
I've just heard
Of your return, and come to say a word
Captain. Thank you, fairest Alice, you
Are always charming, whatsoe'er you do.
Alice (laughing). You have not left off flattery, I fear;
But first, about your voyage let me hear.
Captain. I am rejoiced to say, all has gone well;
In fact, I've nothing but good news to tell.
Your wealth's increased-and Whittington has made
A splendid fortune by his stock in trade.
Alice. Has he, indeed ? I'm very glad of that;
How did it happen?
Captain. Why, I sold his cat
WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT.
For such a heap of treasure; he'll turn out
As rich as Croesus-and as proud, no doubt.
[WHITTINGTON appears at the door.
Whittington. Do you want me, sir ?
Mr. Fitzwarren. Yes, come here, my boy,
Give me your hand, and let me wish you joy.
[He holds out his hand to WHITTINGTON, who looks at his
own, wipes it on his apron, and gives it timidly and
hesitatingly to his master.]
Alice. And, Richard, I congratulate you too;
The Captain has some pleasant news for you.
Captain. Yes, Mr. Whittington, you have become
A man of consequence; I've brought you home
A chest of gold-and here it comes you see.
[Enter SAILOR with a box on his shoulder.
All right, my lad (speaking to SAILOR).
Whittington (who looks in astonishment from one to
another). A chest of gold for me!
Sailor (putting down the box). It's very heavy, sir;
I'm rather warm,
A glass of grog won't do me any harm.
WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT.
Mr. Fitzwarren (giving him money). There, drink the
health of Mr. Whittington.
Sailor. I thank ye kindly, sir,-it shall be done.
[WHITTINGTON comes to the front and speaks to himself,
while the CAPTAIN unlocks the box, and the others
look into it.
Whittington. What can this mean; my health is he to
They must be making sport of me, I think ;
And yet my master is too kind for that,
It must be some good news about the cat.
Captain. Now, Mr. Whittington, you may behold
Your treasure; see, this box is filled with gold,
And you may fairly claim it as your own,
The price a monarch for your cat paid down.
Whittington. Oh! goodness, what a sight! but, can it be
That all this glittering gold belongs to me ?
Mr. Fitzwarren. It does so; and, if wisely you employ it,
I most sincerely hope you will enjoy it.
Now take this purse-go, get yourself some clothes
More fitting for a gentleman than those;
Then come and dine with me-and, Captain, you
I shall expect to dinner here at two.
[WHITTINGTON and the CAPTAIN go off the stage one way,-
ALICE and Mr. FITZWARREN the other.]
WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT.
SCENE THE SEVENTH.-The Kitchen.
SThe COOK is sitting by the table at work-THoxAs enters.]
Thomas. Well, Mrs. Cook, what think you of all this ?
A pretty piece of business, that it is.
There's Dick is Master Richard now, forsooth,
And sits at table there like any youth
That's born a gentleman; there's something strange
And laughable in such a sudden change.
Cook. Laughable! Mr. Thomas; I could cry
With sheer vexation; who'd have thought that I
Should live to see the day when he would be
Set up-the saucy varlet-above me.
Thomas. Why, as to that, I own I'm rather glad;
He always was a very civil lad.
Besides, he's going to make, I heard them say,
Large presents to us all, this very day.
Cook (aside). Presents! good lack-I wish I had not
Thomas. Pity, Cook, you didn't treat him
A little better-don't you think so-hey?
(Aside.) I wonder what the vixen now will say.
Cook. Well, Mr. Thomas, you've no need to flout one-
And as to presents-I can do without one.
WRIITTINGTON AND HIS CAT.
I'd scorn to touch his gifts-but surely, he
Won't dare to offer anything to me.r
[This is said indignantly.
Enter WHITTINGTON, drest like a gentleman.
Whittington. Thomas, you have been very kind to me,
And I am not ungrateful, you shall see;
Here is a parting gift-(gives him a little bag of money).
It is but fair
You all should in my happy fortune share.
Thomas. Well, thank you, Master Richard, I must say
You've acted like a gentleman to-day.
I wish you health and happiness-but look!
What is the matter with our cross-grained Cook ?
[He touches WHITTINGTON'S arm, and points to the CooK,
who has covered her face with her apron.]
Cook, Now, Thomas, I can very plainly see
You're setting Master Richard against me.
And though my temper is a little warm
Sometimes, I'm sure I never meant no harm.
Whittington. Come, Cook, I bear no malice-so take
this. [ Giving her a purse.
Thomas. 'Tis more than she deserves then, that it is.
[The CooK rises, and takes the purse with a low curtsey.]
HIIITTINGTON AND HIS CAT.
Whittington. One word in parting I should like to say:
When next an orphan boy comes in your way,
Though wretched, poor, ard friendless he may be,
Treat him more kindly than you've treated me. [Exit.
Cook. Well, after all, he has a noble air,
Like a born gentleman, I do declare.
Thomas. You see it in that purse, I have no doubt,
Or else you never would have found it out. [Exit.
Cook. And if your saucy tongue you don't keep still,
I'll spoil your dinner for you-that I will. [Exit.
SCENE THE EIGHTH.-A Room in a Cottage.
[DAME HOMELY sitting on a wooden chair or stool, knitting.]
Dame H. Ah what a happy day for me was that,
When I, from pure compassion, sold my cat
To that poor little fellow for a penny!
'Twas all he had, but it has brought him many;
And he deserves it, for a heart more kind
You might go far to seek, yet never find.
How very good it was of him to give
To me this pretty cottage, where I live
In comfort now, with twenty pounds a-year
For life! so that I have no more to fear
WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT. 41
Ah, Thomas, how d'ye do ?
Thomas. I thank ye, Mrs. Homely, how are you ?
I come to bring you news--
Dame H. What can that be ?
Thomas. Something that's sure to please you; let us see
If you can guess--
Dame H. Why yes, I think I can:
It is about a certain gentleman
And a fair lady-who, indeed, but she
The wife of Richard Whittington should be ?
Sweet mistress Alice, your good master's daughter;
A charming lady I have always thought her.
Thomas. Well, you are pretty right; I came to say
That Whittington was married yesterday
To madam Alice, and there were at least
Fifty grand people at the wedding-feast.
Dame H. Now, heaven bless them both; and may
As happy, Thomas, as they have made me!
Thomas. You'll get some wedding presents, Dame, I
A cap and gown, for Jenny told me so;
A bridal cake, and a good cask of ale;
Which all will come to-morrow, without fail,
Dame H. How very kind they are to think of me -
And the good master, Thomas, how is he ?
'WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT.
Thomas. Never was better: but I must not stay,
For we shall have enough to do to-day;
And Cook's as cross as in those days of old,
When she used poor Dick Whittington to scold.
So, fare thee well, Dame Homely--
Dame H. Fare thee well!
Good master Thomas, don't forget to tell
Your gentle mistress, I sincerely pray
She may see many a happy wedding day.
Well, I declare, I thought it would be so
When they came here about a year ago;
They looked so fondly then at one another,
And treated me as if I'd been their mother.
(Rising). It was a lucky day, I must say that,
When unto Whittington I sold my cat. [Exit.
SCENE THE NINTH.-Guildhall.
[The decorations of this scene must be left to the taste of the mana-
gers, who should make it as brilliant as they possibly can. Two
or three standard-bearers, displaying banners of different colours,
should be ranged on each side of the stage. They might wear
short kilts, made of any gay looking materials, and long scarfs,
crossing over one shoulder, and tied under the arm on the opposite
side. The flags should be large and showy, attached to long
staves, with streamers of coloured paper, or ribbons, hanging from
WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT.
(Shouting outside). Hurra! hurra! Whittington for ever!
Lord Mayor of London hurra hurra !!!
[The bells are now played the same as in the fifth scene, but
without the singing.]
Enter LORD MAYOR and LADY MAYORESS, followed by MR.
FITZWARREN, and the CAPTAIN.
[The LORD MAYOR should be dressed in a long scarlet robe, which
might be made of cotton; or a red shawl, gathered up on one side
and fastened round the neck, would make a very good LORD
MAYOR'S gown. He should wear a gold chain. The LADY
IMAYORESS must have a long train, of some gay colour, and a
head-dress, with two or three ostrich feathers. MR. FITZWARREN
and the CAPTAIN might wear short cloaks, of any colour, trimmed
with fringe. These cloaks would look very well made of light
blue cotton, fringed with gold colour, and studded with stars cut
out of gold paper, and put on with gum. Four little girls, with
baskets of flowers, might walk in front of the MAYOR and
MAYORESS, strewing flowers before them.]
Whittington. Those bells call back to memory the day
When from my master's house I ran away,
And heard them as I sat upon a stone,
Telling me to return in that same tone.
It must have been a spirit in the air
That said or sung, Turn, Whittington, lord mayor."
W4HITTINGTON AND HIS CAT.
And I have now good reason to rejoice
That I then listened to the friendly voice.
To you, my friends (speaking to MR. FITZWARREN and the
CAPTAIN) much gratitude is due;
Mr. Fitzwarren, first of all to you,
My generous benefactor, I must say,
I chiefly owe the blessings of this day.
Mr. Fitzwarren. I'm well repaid for anything I've done,
In calling the Lord Mayor of London-son.
Whittington. Captain, accept my grateful thanks once
For, without you, I still might have been poor.
Captain. Nay, my good lord, no thanks are due to me;
For though I was so happy as to be
The means by which you rose, 'twas chance that threw
Into my way the power of serving you.
Alice. Nay, you must not disclaim the debt we owe you.
Whittington. And, I assure you, Alice means to show
The compliments you paid Fitzwarren's heiress
Are not forgotten by the Lady Mayoress.
Enter an ATTENDANT.
Attendant. My lord, the barges wait.
Whittington. Then we'll proceed:
Fitzwarren, you must the procession lead.
WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT.
Mr. Fizwcarren. And, as we go, I hope our friends will
Long life to Richard Whittington.
Mob (outside). Hurra ! !
- ---I -I
SColin, Look, mother! oh!
S Look here hurrah, hurrah No more I'll go
'0, To gather taggots.
SMother Goose. Oh, my goodness me!
's It is indeed a golden egg I see!
4 oColin I'll go to London, where I'm sure to meet
With some rich jeweller in Lombard-street,
S Who will not fail this wondrous egg to buy:
I'll fao'ots sell no more-not I, not I !1
- -/(' V j
-T"- MlSS _ER.
ifl-?I U'~uS C? vyVitc.vll^Dil
.~ ~----r~ .---r- -*~-I. ~~,..- .-r~--r~----- 1~ ..-_I-~-1--~-_-_~-_1.-----.------ --~r----i--~
" .. .
:-I c .- ,11.. -F F,
IN the getting up of these plays, the arrangement of the scenes must
of course depend in great measure on the sort of room in which the
performance takes place. Nothing could be better adapted to the
purpose than two rooms opening into each other with folding doors,
the stage being that into which the doors open, as they would form
places for the exit of different actors, who might retire behind the
*doors, instead of all going off the stage at the same point. These
would also answer the purpose of a curtain, some person being sta-
tioned behind each to open and close them between the scenes. The
prompter might also stand behind one of the doors. If, however, the
play is to be acted in a single room, a curtain might be contrived to
separate the stage from the part occupied by the audience; or rather
two curtains to close in the middle, and draw to each side. They
might be drawn on a string fastened by hooks from one side of the
room to the other. Painted scenery would be a great advantage, but
if this cannot be obtained, a few hints are given at the beginning of
each scene as to the best mode of supplying the deficiency. The actors
should learn their parts very perfectly, and rehearse the play at least
three times before performing it to an audience.
~II~__ ILY_. ~~IIIC l_.i~.~iT. _.-YL- _I_ I_-.. .-- I_ _I___~1^ CIIY.I I~_ID~i L.
- -----~---~-"-------- - -
IT happened during the last Christmas holidays, that I was present on
several occasions when a party of young people, from about eight to
twelve years of age, contrived to amuse themselves, as well as the elder
portion of the company, very agreeably, for the greater part of an
evening, by acting charades. The clever and spirited manner in which
they represented a variety of characters, confirmed me in an idea I
had previously entertained, of arranging some of the most popular
and favourite stories of our childhood for similar performances, It
struck me, that, in personating our old friends Whittington, Mr.
Fitzwarren, and the cross Cook, or Cinderella, her proud Sisters, and
her fairy Godmother, the younger branches of many a family, espe-
cially in the country, might, during the winter season, find an innocent
and lively recreation. Their memories might be improved by the
necessity of learning perfectly the parts assigned them ; and their
ingenuity would be exercised in adapting their resources to thg
arrangement of the scenes to be represented.
I am aware that some persons object to juvenile amusements that
bear any affinity to theatricals; but this appears to me an objection
that favours the present purpose, since most children of talent and
lively disposition are fond of assuming imaginary characters, inventing
incidents, and framing dialogue suited to the illusion. Acting, among
children, is therefore no novelty; and if proper subjects be selected,
and care taken that they convey some useful or moral lesson, I am
convinced, from experience as well as reflexion. that such perform-
ances would be calculated to do good rather than harm. Children
want to be amused; and i believe that amusement is beneficial to
them, provided it has no bad tendency. I also believe that a very
important part of education consists in promoting innocent and
agreeable occupation for leisure hours, in order to prevent any dis-
position to indolence, either of mind or body. With these views and
opinions, I offer my little plays as a pastime for the approaching
holidays ; and I sincerely hope they may prove the means of furnish-
ing entertainment for many of my young friends in the long evenings.
whom COLIN brings
94t flfftlt Vlq of Rlotha 0085r.ao
MOTHER GOOSE must first wear a pair of high-heeled shoes (if
none are to be had of the fashion of Queen Elizabeth's reign, common
ones will do, with a pair of steel buckles on the instep, and something
thick and square put under the heel of the shoe to raise it). A green
or other coloured petticoat, and a red skirt, opened down the front
with a long bodice and stomacher of the same, the point of which
should be fastened over a full white apron. The old lady must also
wear a black conical hat, which may be made of pasteboard, covered
with silk, and she must carry a stout staff in her hand.
The MYSTERIOUS GUEST may be apparelled much inthe'same style,
only her dress should be of a different colour from that Vf MOTHER
GOOSE, and she must have the addition of a scarlet-hoodaqcloak.
When MOTHER GOOSE becomes a fine lady, her clothes must of
course be grander and more showy, though made in the same fashion;
and round her neck she must wear a large Elizabethan ruffle. Her
hair must now be dressed in hig4 style, being combed back from her
forehead into a knot at the top, ornamented with mock pearls or bead
ribbon. She must also have large hoops, or huge paddings on each
side, underneath the skirt of her dress. A long-handled fan, carried
in her hand, would make the costume more complete.
COLIN must at first be seen in the garments of a woodman, which
might consist of a green jacket, a large collar, open at the neck, short
trowsers, fastened at his knees, drab gaiters, to imitate cloth stockings,
buckled shoes, and a conical hat. When he becomes a rich man, he
should wear a short coloured cloak, a large lace collar turned down
over it, a long feather in his hat, hanging down over the shoulder, and
a sword by his side. lie should have black or coloured stockings, the
trowsers fastened above the knee, and large coloured rosettes on his
A FEW HINTS TO THE PLAYERS.
As there will only be three different scenes to place on the stage, a
careful preparation should not be neglected. The first, being a room
in a humble cottage. may merely be furnished with a common kitchen
table, and a few three-legged stools or wooden benches. A basket of
eggs, some coarse bread, some cheese and butter, &c. will be required
to be in readiness, as also a pitcher, supposed to contain beer. Some
common plates and dishes (wooden or pewter ones would be best),
knives and forks, &c. should be ranged on some kind of shelf; a
frying-pan will be wanted; and a fire may be easily represented by a
pile of sticks, mixed with bright yellow and scarlet cotton, or paper to
imitate a blaze. A bag full of grass for GoosFY's supper, will be re-
quired, as well as some hay for her bed: and some faggots must be
prepared for COLIN. GOOSE's golden eggs may be easily made, by
boiling some real ones until they are hard, and gilding them over, or
covering them with gilt paper. The goose itself may perhaps be
bought, as toys for children, made of soft down, to imitate nature, are
now commonly sold in most large towns. As this bird is the principal
character in the play, it is worth a little pains to obtain a good repre-
sentation of one: therefore, should there be none to be met with ready-
made, the best way would be to shape an old swan's-down tippet into
the nearest possible resemblance of a goose; and the beak and claws
might be formed of the fingers of old kid gloves, stuffed with wool or
A room in a humble cottage.
[The curtain rises, and discovers MOTHER GOOSE hobbling
about her apartment, with the help of a staff in her hand.]
Mother Goose (speaking to herself). Full sixty years
am I! My hair is gray;
My husband dead and gone; ah well-a-day!
I have no daughter dears and there is none
To bear me company, except my son,
My poor dear Colin! but he's good, 'tis true,
And earns his living, and his mother's too.
He is iny only comfort and my joy,
My pride and pleasure centre in my boy,
'Tis time he was at home! I'll to the door
And look for him,-he should be here at four.
[She goes to the door, opens it, and gazes around.
(Mother Goose continues). How cold and perished my poor
lad must be!
Did ever any one such weather see?
The fields and hedges are one sheet of white;
I never felt so winterly a night.
How do I pity those who houseless roam,
Without warm clothing, and without a home.
As far as I can see, there's nought but snow,
And on yon pales are hanging in a row
Full forty icicles!
(She shivers). I'm growing old,
But still I think Decembers were n't so cold
When I was young-or summers half so wet;
Ah those brave times I never shall forget!
Well, I will go and warm myself! Oh, dear!
(Hobbles to the fre). This tiresome fire will soon be out,
MOTHER GOOSE. 11
If Colin does not very soon return,
For I have no more faggots left to burn.
A whole long hour has passed away since he
Set out with axe in hand; how can it bc ?
I doubt wood's difficult to get! This snow
And biting frost can 't fail to make it so,
I only hope he'll very soon be here;
Meanwhile I'll do my best.
[She stoops down and blows the embers, fanning the fire with
Oh, dear! Oh, dear!
I i~ ~ ~~''l l I ,ll oI
.... ",'' .,,,,,,'ll4 l,,,ll ,.lt L l l' ~.,,,. ,
12 MOTHER GOOSE.
[A loud knocking is now heard at the door; MOTHER GOOSE
rises, and hastens to open it.]
Enter COLIN with a bundle offaggots on his back, and an aged
and infirm woman leaning on his arm. COLIN also
carries a fine goose.
[MOTHER GOOSE holds up her hands in astonishment and
Colin. As I the forest left, my mother dear,
I chanced to see this aged stranger here;
She lay upon the ground, half dead with cold,
Hungry and desolate, and weak, and old.
While her poor goose, which in my arms you see
But just alive, no better fared than she.
I knew you'd not refuse them food and rest,
For pity dwells within your gentle breast;
So I have brought them here. Have I done right,
Dear mother? 'Tis a piercing frosty night!
Mother Goose. It is so, boy-and thou hast only done
Thy duty, Colin-bring them in, my son.
[She goes to the STRANGER, and taking her by the hand, leads
Mother Goose (to the visitor). Welcome, good dame!
come in; you need not fear,
And make yourself at home while you stay here.
All that we have you shall be free to share,
For though we're poor, we've something still to spare.
MOTHER GOOSE. 13
Let your poor goose be furnished with a seat
Of nice clean straw. Sit down and warm your feet.
Colin, my boy, your finest faggot lay
Upon the fire, and make it blaze away!
[COLIN throws a faggot on the fire, while MOTHER GOOSE
makes the STRANGER sit near it.]
Mother Goose. Another, boy, another! pile it high,
For I the supper hastily must fry.
Get down my largest pan, while from the pegs
I reach the bacon. There are new-laid eggs
In yonder basket; Colin, bring them here, [Colin obeys
And draw a pitcher of our best-brewed beer.
[COLIN employs himself in setting the table, while MOTHER
GOOSE is busied with the frying-pan over the fire.]
The Stranger. Good folks, is it your wont thus kind
To all who crave your hospitality?
Colin (earnestly). Faith ma'am, I hope it is.
Mother Goose. Ah! surely so;
Should we not succour those who are in woe ?
[The STRANGER, who has her Goose in her lap, stoops over it,
and speaks to it.]
The Stranger. Ah! faithful Goosey! you would now
But for good Colin's care--
Colin. She shall be fed.
14 MOTHER GOOSE.
[He goes behind the curtain, and soon returns with a bagful of
grass and some hay. The latter he makes into a seat
on the hearth, to which he removes GOOSE to feed on
Stranger. Thanks, generous Colin, for your kindly aid;
With heaven's best blessings may you both be paid!
No gratitude poor Goosey can express,,
Yet I am sure she feels it none the less;
Therefore, on her account, as on my own,
Thanks! thanks! for all the bounty you have shown.
Colin.. Mother, the table's ready!
Mother Goose. Well, my son!
Set-to the benches, for my dish is done.
[MOTHER GOOSE takes of her pan, and brings a dish to the
table, on which is now spread the meal.]
[As the trio is not supposed to consist of very stylish folks, but rather
of hungry peasants, the viands are despatched in haste, and with
little ceremony, the DAME and her SON replenishing the plate of
the GUEST with great attention.]
The Stranger. Good folks, you are too lavish: ne'er
Did I partake such bacon.
Colin. Have some more,
I pr'ythee ma'am?
Mother Goose. Another egg ?
Colin. Some cheese?
The Stranger. A very little morsel, then, sir, please.
.MOTHER GOOSE. 15
Mother Goose. This is fresh butter I've but churned
Your horn is empty.
MIOTHER GOOSE pours some beer into it.
The Stranger (holding back the horn). Stay, good mother,
I've had enough, indeed, both meat and drink;
And it must be your bed-time, I should think;
For my part, I am sleepy.
16 MOTHER GOOSE.
Mother Goose. Our best bed
Is at your service.
The Stranger. Thanks! My aching head
Needs quiet rest, so kindly lead the way:
But as I must be off ere break of day,
I'd better do my business over night,
And then my conscience will be clear and light.
Know then, good Dame, and Colin, that my heart
Is filled with gratitude; and ere we part,
I fain would offer all I have to give-
Namely, my poor old goose. Oh! let her live
In ease and comfort! She'll repay your care;
You'll find in her a treasure rich and rare.
A bird she is, indeed, beyond all praise,
For, once a week, a golden egg she lays;
And each is valued at a sum no less
Than fifty broad gold pieces of Queen Bess.
Mother Goose. A thousand thanks, kind, bounteous
The Stranger. Nay,
Give me no thanks, but list to what I say,
You must not grow ambitious, nor desire
More than your reasonable wants require;
But spend with care, and from your ample store
A portion give unto the suffering poor;
And what is over carefully lay by
Against a season of adversity.
But should you slight my words-grow proud. and vain-
Be discontented, and desire more gain-
Ill-treat my present, and abuse your prize-
Pass by the orphan, and the poor despise,-
Soon shall you have no golden eggs to sell.
Take, then, my gift and counsel, and-farewell.
[The STRANGER vanishes behind the curtain. The DA]ME
and COLIN look at each other in astonishment. They
seek in vain for their GUEST,for she is gone.
Colin. Mother, can this be true ?
Mother Goose. Our guest must be
Colin. Good truth, then, let us see;
P'rhaps Goosey's laid already.
[COLIN lifts her *ri .ily off her nest; and, lo! a fine large
egg of gold. He snatches it up, and showing it to his
mother, they both throw up their arms, and dance about
with joy, the old woman's high-heeled shoes making a
Colin. Look, mother oh !
Look here hurrah hurrah! No more I'll go
To gather faggots.
Mother Goose. Oh, my goodness me !
It is indeed a golden egg I see!
Colin. I'll go to London, where I'm sure to meet
With some rich jeweller in Lombard-street,
18 MOTHER GOOSE.
Who will not fail this wondrous egg to buy.
I'll faggots sell no more !-not I, not I !
And as for you, good mother, all your life
You shall be grander than a great lord's wife.
Away shall go your wheel; you'll spin no more,
And nice green rushes shall bespread your floor.
Won't we be fine folk now?
Mother Goose. We will indeed;
And Goosey shall on richest dain;ii. feed,
As well she does deserve.
Colin. Hurrah hurrah !
Our neighbours soon shall see how grand we are.
A handsome Apartment.
[According to the rude fashion of the times, but scanty furniture will
be required, The room must be as large as possible, and need
contain only a few straight-backed chairs or benches, a table,
and a buffet or sideboard, on which should be ranged some an-
tiquated plate, such as wine-cups, silver ladles, &c these will
best denote the luxuriant state to which the OLD LADY and her
SoN are supposed to have arrived.]
[The curtain rises, and discovers COLIN and his MOTHER
sitting at the upper end of the apartment; and by the
DAME'S side is seen the famous Bird, to which they owe
their greatness. At the farther end are two or three
SERVANTS in gaudy liveries, standing idly about.]
Colin (to one of the SERVANTS). Come hither, knave, and
harke'e what I say:
On the gray jennet mount, and ride away
To the next town,-your mistress hath great need
Of many things ; so you must make,all speed.
Servant. An't please you, master, that I will.
Mother Goose. Yes, go
And bid the mercer quickly come to show
His richest silks and velvets; I will dress-
Why should I not ?-as gaily as Queen Bess.
Colin. And send the tailor too-I want some more
New clothes, with finer 'broidery than before.
Servant. Yes, master; shall I bring the ven'son too,
And order some more flasks of wine ?
Colin. Ay, do.
Mother (oose (speaking to another SERVANT, uho is
looking through a window).
What are you gazing at ?-what is't you see
Down in the street there ?
Servant. Madam, sure there be
Two bits o' babes come pattering down the lane,
All bare o' the feet, and trudging in the rain:
Shall I bid Mistress Bridget bring them here?
They look like orphans--
Mother Goose. Are they very near ?
Servant. Hard by the lodge-
Colin. No! tell them to be off!
Mother Goose. And shut the door behind ye Oh, my
[E xit SERVANT. MOTIIER GOOSE makes a littte affected cough.]
Colin. Mother, I almost wish I'd had them fed.
Mother Goose. I wish myself they'd had at least some bread.
Cjl,n, But after all, we have enough to do
To make our goose lay fast enough.
Mother Goose. 'Tis true.
Enter SERVANT with a cup of wine, which he hands to COLIN.
Colin, we'll have a party; I'll send out,
And ask the neighboring gentry round about,
And we'll have such a supper!-on my word,
A supper fit for any noble lord.
Servant (aside). And yet they sent those hungry babes
Without a bit of bread, this very day !
Colin. I shall go hunting, for I like such sport.
Mother Goose. Oh! Colin, how I long to go to court!
But here comes pedlar Paul-I'll have some hose
Like those I heard Queen Bess wore at the shows.
Colin. And I a new seamed shirt.
Enter PEDLAR, with a box.
Pedlar Master, good day;
Do you want anything of me, I pray ?
Good day, my lady.
Mother Goose (condescendingly) Well, Paul, how d'ye do?
Colin. Have you got anything that's grand and new ?
I want some silver buckles, by the way.
Pedlar. Before I let you have them, you must pay
Your last year's bill; for I the money need,
And can no longer credit give.
Mother Goose, 'Tis sixty pounds!-we have not got so
Pedlar. So I was told.
Servant (to COLIN). Sir, here is Master Clutch,
The kid-skin cutter, and he asks for ye.
Colin. I owe him eighty pieces! wo is me
Mother, what shall we do!
Mother Goose (to the PEDLAR again). Can you not wait
Till we've more golden eggs ?
Pedlar. No! 'tis too late;
In a few minutes, other folks, I know,
Are coming for their share of what you o .e.
[COLIN walks about the room, then going up to the PEDLAR,
lays his hand on his shoulder.]
Colin. Come, my most worthy Paul, rise up and go
And join good Master Clutch down there below;
I'll order some good cheer for you, and soon
You shall be paid.
Pedlar. It must be before noon
I am resolved that I will wait no more.
[A loud knocking is heard.
Colin. Mother, the officers are at the door!
We must have money. (COLIN points to Goosey)-See that
bird, how fat I
A dozen eggs are in her-more than that!
Let's rip her open, take them out, and then
Send for a leech to stitch her up again.
'Twould give her pain, poor animal, I doubt;
But, mother! what are we to do without ?
BBir ----'------------ -___
[MOTHER GOOSE elutches up her pet Bird, and hugs it to her
Oh! my poor Goosey, you who've never left
Me since we were acquainted, how bereft
Shall I for ever be, if you should die!
Yet gold must Colin have, and so must I,
And that directly. Do it, then, my son !
[COLIN takes the Goose to the table, nilds her fast dorpp, and
with his knife rips her open ; but soon throwrns is knife
away with a look of despair, and clasps his hands in
terror and dismay.]
_~ ~Y g __~_
MOTHER GOOSE. 25
Colin. Oh! mother, mother! what is this I've done ?
The goose is dead, and there's no egg-not one !
Lifeless she lies before us, and 'tis plain
Will never give us her bright gold again.
Oh! miserable me!
Mother Goose (sobbing bitterly). It is no use
To hold out any more.
Enter some OFFICERS OF JUSTICE, holding up their official
Chief Officer (speaking roughly). Come, Mother Goose,
Where is that famous bird of yours ?-for it,
And all you have, by virtue of this writ,-
(He puts a piece of paper into her hand).
With which we serve you in our good Queen's name,
For debts you owe, we do most justly claim.
Mother Goose (groaning). Oh! mercy, gentlemen! Oh
oh! oh, oh !
One of the Offcers. So we must seize these things, and
you must go
With. the poor paltry pittance that remains;
Your creditors are eager for their gains,
Colin (holding down his head). Come, then, dear mother,
since we must not stay !
(The OFFICERS begin to remove the furniture).
Mother Goose. Ah! yes, my Colin! take me hence away.
26 MOTHER GOOSE,
Find but some4ut, where my poor bones may rest,
And no rude officeirmy peace molest.
Ah, me! ah, me!
(COLIN gently leads her of the stage, she sobbing as she goes).
Alack, what shall I do ?
And my sweet boy, what will become of you ?
[The curtains close.
I --- --- ~----------
-- ~~ -- -_ljC_~lll -L. .
MOTHER GOOSE. 27 *
SCENE THE THIRD.-A mean Kitchen.
[The next scene is supposed to be a cottage even more humble than
the first, therefore, it must only contain a single stool, a small
table, and scarcely any household utensils. MOTHER GOOSE and
her SON must again be attired in their peasant's dress, and must
assume an air of extreme poverty and sadness.]
The curtain rises, and the OLD DAME should be seen either
spinning or knitting. She is alone for some time, and
. 28 MOTHER GOOSE.
sits over a low fire, sighingfrom time to time, as if in
Enter COLIN with a load of faggots, w1ich he puts down in a
corner, then leans his elbows on the table, as if much fatigued.
Mother Goose. Poor lad, thou'rt sadly weary; and I fear
Thou'lt have to fast, or sup on sorry cheer.
Colin. Mother, what have you got? I'm tired enough,
This hewing faggots makes my hands so rough
And sore. My limbs ache very badly too-
For three years past they've had no work to do,
And now 'tis twice as heavy chopping wood;
I can't earn half so quickly as I could.
[He covers his face with his hands, and weeps.
Mother Goose (hurrying up to him, and putting her arms
Ah! Colin, Colin, hold! We've plenty yet,
If our past grandeur we could but forget;
Each day you will leel better.
Colin. Mother, nay!
Shame will pursue me to my dying day.
[MOTHER GOOSE places some bread and salt before him, and a
mug of water].
Mother Goose. Oh! that we had our golden goose
I've looked for that good guest each hour in vain.
Colin. She'll come no more; her favourite bird we slew.
Mother Goose. Alas! what tempted us that deed to do?
Colin. The love of money is and ever will
The root of evil be.
Mother Goose. Whilst I sat still
At my old spinning-.wheel, a song I heard
Far sweeter than the notes of any bird,
Sung by young voices, and on looking round
To see whence came the soft melodious sound,
I saw two children by the door-stone stand,
With such pale faces. They were hand in hand,
Oh, Colin! my heart smote me, for I'd seen
Those little ones before. Ah me! how keen
Their hunger made them look! Their cl thes how thin.
Colin, hast thou forgotten our great sin,
When once we had to spare, yet wold not grant
A bit of bread and-cheese to babes in want ?
Colin. Forgotten, mother! No, that cannot be;
Myself in sorrow and in poverty,
Too well I know, and deeply feel it. True,
Our punishment is just. We did not do
_ 1~*_1_1 __1_11~~-11~ --
Our duty to our neighbours. We forgot
Our Stranger Friend's advice, or heeded not;
Grew proud and arrogant; and day by day
Sent hungry beggars from our doors away.
How foolish, how ridiculous we've been,
Striving to ape the courtiers of the queen!
Instead of being thankful for our wealth,
Enjoying it in reason. With good health,
Good food and clothes, unsatisfied, we sought
To be fine gentlefolk!
Mother Goose. But more than aught
I mourn the base ingratitude we showed
To one, to whom we all our greatness owed.
Ah, Goosey! Goosey! Could you but come back,
How I would honour you! Alack! alack!
'Tis useless to regret.
Colin. True, yet my mind,
Since our misfortunes, has unceasing pined
For all our luxuries.
Mother Goose. The bread I eat
I mingle with my tears.
Colin. Yet, oh! how sweet
And wholesome our poor humble cottage fare
Used once to be. Unmixed with restless care
MOTHER GOOSE. 31
Or envy, we our food enjoyed. At night
We slept in peace, and with the morning light
Arose to labour. Sometimes, to my shame,
I longed for riches; yet, when riches came,
I was not happy, for I longed for more,
Oh! how my follies past I now deplore!
Mother Goose I, too, confess my faults. Ah! if all those
Who covet grandeur could now see our woes,
They might a lesson learn. Could I but speak
A word of caution unto those who seek
For too much worldly good, thus would I say:
[MOTHER GOOSE now turns to the spectators.
"Oh! thoughtless mortal, my advice obey-
Trust not in riches that will pass away.
With such things as thou hast, contented be;
Discreetly use what God hath given thee.
Should He yet more bestow-of all thy pelf
Not more than needful lavish on thyself;
Help thou the wretched; comfort thou the old;
Clothe thou the naked; do thou warm the cold,-
And thou shalt be rewarded. But if Pride
Fill up thine heart, and thou wilt not divide
Thy good things with thy brethren; if thou dost
Still covet more, then shall thy riches rust,
Take wings, and fly away. Oh; then, be thou
A faithful steward of that thou hast now;
I._~-_:.. .---- -- i------ -- -----
32 MOTHER GOOSE.
For that thou wouldst, but hast not, murmur not;
And be thou still contented with thy lot."
MOTHER GOOSE closes the curtains; and theplay is ended.
"J~i "- ,,., 51
.-.- --~~~L1___ /3C ~C_--)~-~--------=~' \ -:--
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~\-_-_v\r ~h3-~--~iL----~ ~-S~Ci\TL--------- li~- -'
.- i ;-Tee. _ .c_ .%. .
,77,7 7 10 ....... NF:- 1--- ..-.- -
SaS CORNER AND ALRED CROW1MLL.
AN ENTERTAINMENT FOR YOUNG PEOPLE.
BY MISS CORNER,
BY ALFRED CROWQUILL, ESQ.
The First of the Series of Little Plays for Little Actors.
DEAN & SON, 11, LUDGATE HILL, E.G.
IT happened, during the last Christmas holidays, that I was
present on several occasions, when a party of young people,
from about eight to twelve years of age, contrived to amuse
themselves, as well as the elder portion of the company, very
agreeably, for the greater part of an evening, by acting charades.
The clever and spirited manner in which thdy represented a
variety of characters, confirmed me in an idea I had previously
entertained, of arranging some of the most popular and favourite
stories of our childhood for similar performances. It struck me,
that, in personating our old friends Whittington, Mr. Fitzwarren,
and the cross Cook; or Cinderella, her proud Sisters, and her
fairy Godmother-the younger branches of many a family,
especially in the country, might, during the winter season, find
an innocent and lively recreation. Their memories would be
improved by the necessity of learning perfectly the parts as-
signed them; and their ingenuity would be exercised in
adapting their resources to the arrangement of the scenes to be
I am aware that some persons object to juvenile amusements
that bear any affinity to theatricals; but this appears to me an
objection that favours the present purpose, since most children
of talent and lively disposition are fond of assuming imaginary
characters, inventing incidents, and framing dialogue suited to
the illusion. Acting, among children, is therefore no novelty;
and if proper subjects be selected, and care taken that they
convey some useful or moral lesson, I am convinced, from ex-
perience as well as reflection, that such performances would be
calculated to do good rather than harm. Children want to be
amused; and I believe that amusement is beneficial to them,
provided it has no bad tendency. I also believe that a very
irrportant part of education consists in promoting innocent and
agreeable occupation for leisure..hours, in order to prevent any
disposition to indolence, either of mind or body. With these
views and opinions, I offer, my little plays as a pastime for the
approaching holidays; and I sincerely hope that they may prove
the means of furnishing entertainment for many of my young
friends in the long evenings.
JULIA CORN ER.
ZIMRI ..... .... A Mlerchant.
AZOR ........... The Beast.
LOLO .. .. .. The Merchant's Davghters.
SILVERSTAR ...... A beneficent Fairy.
FOUR ATTENDANT FAIRIES.
~E ~hr ri f-- iSTn I.
10 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.
ZIMRI.-A long flowing dress of some dark colour, fastened round
the waist with a wide red or yellow sash or scarf, A turban, or a cap
of black cloth or velvet.
AZOR.-He must wear a mask, and be made to look as rough and
as much like a monster as possible. A covering for the head might
be made of shaggy fur, and he should have coarse brown woollen
gloves. His disguise must be so contrived that he may be able to
throw it off easily in the last scene, when he is restored to his natural
form, and becomes a Prince; in which character he should wear a
short tunic of some gay colour, with a tight vest, which might be made
of white calico, slashed with the same colour as the tunic. A border
of gold paper cut in vandykes would look very well round the bottom
of the dress; and some gold paper bordering might be tastefully
arranged on the vest, so as to make a brilliant appearance. A velvet
cap with a white ostrich feather might also be put on in the last scene
under the fur head-dress.
The Three Daughters may dress according to fancy; only keeping
in mind that BEAUTY should be plainer and neater in her attire than
SILVERSTAR.-Her fairy dress should be two or three very full
skirts, each shorter than the other, of white tarleton edged with light
blue, and a blue scarf of the same light material, passed over one
shoulder and tied under the arm-on the other side; a wreath of white
roses on her head, and a white wand twisted with silver paper in her
hand. Any glittering ornaments "may be worn, and the upper skirt
should be ornamented with stars of silver paper; or a row of silver
stars might be put on the blue edges of the skirts wjth gum. To
personate the old beggar-woman, she must wrap herself in a large
dark-coloured cloak, and wear a black hood over her head. The wand
can easily be concealed in a pasteboard sheath painted black, which
will sevre for a stick to lean on; and when she throws of her disguise,
she can draw the wand from the sheath and unbend it, as it should be
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. 11
made twice the length of the stick, and doubled to go into it. There
will be no difficulty in this if the wand is made of several thicknesses
of pasteboard pasted together, so as to be quite stiff; and when un*
doubled it can be held firmly at the place where it was bent.
The Attendant Fairies should all be dressed alike, in white,
ornamented with artificial flowers and ribbons. They should hold
between them chains of flowers, which might easily be made, as roses
of coloured paper with some ivy leaves tacked on tape would form
very showy wreaths.
SCENE THE FIRST.-A room in a cottage, meanly fur-
[ANNA and LOLA, sitting idly, one on each side of a table.]
Anna. Really, it is a shame and a disgrace
To make us live in such a wretched place.
What furniture! and then, a sanded floor!
I never shall be happy any more.
Lolo. Depend upon it, this is Beauty's malice;
She likes a cottage better than a palace;
I heard her say to father yesterday,
It was a charming place---
Anna. Yes, that's her way,
An artful puss! to make him think that she
Is so much better, I suppose, than we.
Lolo. Then only fancy this: he says we must
Do all the housework; sweep, and clean, and dust,
And cook the dinner too---
Anna. I'd rather die !
I, cook the dinner! no, indeed, not I.
12 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.
Enter BEAUTY singing.
"Home, home; sweet, sweet home:
There's no place like home-there's no place like home."
[BEAUTY may carry a little basket, as anything in the hand assists the
action, when there are rather long speeches to make.
Anna. Oh! pr'ythee, child, cease that eternal song;
I cannot bear to hear you all day long.
The house is never quiet for a minute:
Sweet home, indeed! there's not much sweetness in it.
Beauty. Oh, yes, it has a thousand charms for me;
I should be happy, if I could but see"
My dearest father cheerful and content:
'Tis only for his sake that I lament
Our loss of fortune. As for wealth or station
I care but little-
Lolo. Lor, what affectation!
Beauty. We do not tread on velvet, it is true;-
But there's the soft grass spangled with the dew;
The sun, too, looks as bright upon these walls,
As when it shone on our grand marble halls;
And though we can't wear jewels, silks, or lace,
We do not need them in this quiet place.
Anna. Oh, pray, miss, don't annoy us with your folly,
It is enough to make one melancholy
To hear you prating in that silly manner.
Lolo. I 'm glad you've spoken to her, sister Anna;
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.
For I've no patience with such airs and graces,
And younger sisters ought to know their places.
Enter ZIMRI.-(The sisters rise and come forward.)
Beauty. Your supper's ready, father; it is laid
In the green arbour, where you '11 find the shade
Zimri. Thank you, Beauty, dear;
You always try your father's heart to cheer.
And, for my other daughters, how have they
Employed themselves this lovely summer day ?
Anna. Oh, really, sir, this cottage is so dreary,
It makes us feel extremely dull and weary.
Lolo. I'm sure I have been crying all day long.
Zimri. My children, you are acting very wrong:
We ought to bear misfortune patiently;
And, since my vessels have been lost at sea,
And I'm a poor man now, it is your duty
To take a lesson from your sister Beauty,
And cheerfully to bear this great reverse;
For discontent will only make it worse.
[Exit ZMRIa, with BEAUTY on his arm.
Anna. A lesson from that minx upon my word,
What next, I wonder---..
Lolo. It is quite absuid:
He'll make her so exceeding pert and vain,
There '11 be no bearing with her, that is plain.
I _ _
BEAUTY AND' THE BEAST.
Enter Fairy SILVERSTAR, disguised as an old beggar-woman,
leaning on a stick, and bending almost double.
Fairy. Ladies, bestow your charity, I pray:
I have not tasted any food to-day;
And I am very old, as you may see;
Full ninety winters have passed over me,
So I'm too feeble now to earn my bread.
Nay, lady, do not turn away your head:
It is but very little that I need;
If I could work, I would not beg, indeed.
Anna. Pray, my good woman, don't stand chattering there,
I'm sure we have not anything to spare.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.
Fairy. Yet surely you might give me, ere I go,
A little bit of bread-
Anna (sharply). I tell you no.
[The FAIRY siill lingers at the door.
Lolo. What are you staying for, when you are told
To go? You beggars are exceeding bold.
Fairy. -Well,'I am going. It is a monstrous pity
When girls are not so good as they are pretty. [Exit.
Anna. Girls, too! I think she might have had the grace
To say young ladies," speaking to one's face.
Lolo. And taking us to task in that N4,y, too.
I hate the sight of beggars, that I do.
[While speaking the last line, LOLO walks towards the door
followed by ANNA, and they go of the stage.]
SCENE THE SECOND.-An arbour.
[ZIMRI and BEAUTY at supper]
[The arbour might be easily constructed by covering two ladders or
long boards with branches of trees, and large red and white roses,
and setting them up against the wall some distance apart. A string
from one to the other, with branches and flowers tied thickly upon
it, would form the top. This could also be used in the garden
scene of the BEAST'S palace.
Zimri. And so, my child, you can be quite content,
You say. to live in this retirement,
With all the household drudgery to do
~II_ I___ I _I
16 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST*
Beauty. I'm happy, father, anywhere with you;
And as to household work, I really find it
So easy, that, indeed, I do not mind it.
Fairy. Kind gentlefolks, if you've a crust of bread
To spare, I'd thank you, for I'm almost dead
With hunger and fatigue; for I am old,
You see, or else I would not make so bold.
Beauty. :You do seem very old, good dame, indeed;
Sit down, and rest, and take what food you need.
[Places a stoolfor her.
You are quite welcome to some bread and meat.
Zimri. Yes, that you are, good woman, so pray eat
As much as you desire. Meantime, I'll walk,
And leave you with my daughter here to talk. [Exit.
Fairy. Maiden, your father has of late, I'm told,
Lost, by his ships being wrecked, a store of gold,
Besides two gallant vessels; is this true ?
Beauty. Alas! it is, indeed; but who told you?
Fairy. It little matters, child, who told me so;
Bad news is sure to travel fast we know.
But I have heard too, that all is not lost,
And that the ships, after being tempest tossed
For many days, were safely brought to shore,
Distant from hence a hundred miles or more.