Infomotions, Inc.A Parody Outline of History / Stewart, Donald Ogden, 1894-1980

Author: Stewart, Donald Ogden, 1894-1980
Title: A Parody Outline of History
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): colombo; priscilla; ethen; brewster; aunt polly; well ethen; charley davis; ella; polly; ferdinand; king ferdinand; lieutenant; miles standish; boston; queen isabel; aunt; prudence
Contributor(s): Jordan, Charlotte Brewster [Translator]
Versions: original; local mirror; HTML (this file); printable
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Rights: GNU General Public License
Size: 24,547 words (really short) Grade range: 9-11 (high school) Readability score: 63 (easy)
Identifier: etext1478
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A Parody Outline of History

by Donald Ogden Stewart

October, 1998  [Etext #1478]

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Wherein may be found a curiously irreverent treatment of
Imagining them as they would be narrated
by American's most characteristic
contemporary authors



Mr. H. G. Wells, in his "Outline of History," was of necessity forced
to omit the narration of many of the chief events in the history
of these United States.  Such omissions I have in this brief
volume endeavored to supply.  And as American history can
possibly best be written by Americans and as we have among us no
H. G. Wells, I have imagined an American history as written
conjointly by a group of our most characteristic literary figures.

Apologies are due the various authors whose style and, more
particularly, whose Weltanschauung I have here attempted to
reproduce; thanks are due The Bookman for permission to reprint
such of these chapters as appeared in that publication. I give
both freely.    D. O. S.


I INTRODUCTION:  A Critical Survey of American History In
the Manner of William Lyon Phelps

II CRISTOFER COLOMBO:  A Comedy of Discovery In the Manner of
James Branch Cabell

III MAIN STREET: Plymouth, Mass In the Manner of Sinclair


V THE SPIRIT OF '75:  Letters of a Minute Man In the Manner of
Ring Lardner

VI THE WHISKY REBELLION In the Bedtime Story Manner of Thornton
W. Burgess


VIII CUSTER'S LAST STAND  In the Manner of Edith Wharton

IX FOR THE FREEDOM OF THE WORLD: A Drama of the Great War Act
I--In the Manner of Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews Act 2-- In the
Manner of Eugene O'Neill 




In the Manner of William Lyon Phelps 

On a memorable evening in the year 1904 I witnessed the opening
performance of Maude Adams in "Peter Pan". Nothing in the world
can describe the tremendous enthusiasm of that night! I shall
never forget the moment when Peter came to the front of the stage
and asked the audience if we believed in fairies. I am happy to
say that I was actually the first to respond. Leaping at once out
of my seat, I shouted "Yes--Yes!"  To my intense pleasure the
whole house almost instantly followed my example, with the
exception of one man.  This man was sitting directly in front of
me.  His lack of enthusiasm was to me incredible. I pounded him
on the back and shouted, "Great God, man, are you alive! Wake up! 
Hurrah for the fairies!  Hurrah!"  Finally he uttered a rather
feeble "Hurrah!"  Childe Roland to the dark tower came.

That was my first meeting with that admirable statesman Woodrow
Wilson, and I am happy to state that from that night we became
firm friends. When Mr. Wilson was inaugurated in 1913 I called on
him at the White House, taking with me some members of my Yale
drama class. Each one of us had an edition of the president's
admirable "History of the American People", and I am glad to say
that he was kind enough to autograph each of the ten volumes for
all of us.

Early in Mr. Wilson's second term as president, just before the
break with Germany, I was sitting in the quiet of my library
rereading Browning's "Cristina". When I came to the third stanza
I leaped to my feet-- the thing seemed incredible, but here
before my eyes was actually Browning's prophetic message to
America in regard to the submarine sinkings.

"Oh, we're sunk enough here, God knows!  But not so sunk that
moments--etc."  It is an extraordinary evidence of the man's
genius that in 1840 he should have perhaps foreseen prophetically
the happenings of seventy-six years later! Not only did Browning
seem to know what was bound to happen, but he told us the remedy. 
I sat right down and wrote to my good friend the president,
enclosing a marked copy of the poem. On the sixth of April, 1917,
war was declared.

May 7, 1912, was the one hundredth anniversary of the birth of
Robert Browning.  On that memorable date I was traveling to Ohio
at the request of my dear friend Miss Jones to deliver an address
at the Columbus School for Girls.  Curiously enough the name of
my Pullman car was Pauline.  Not only did that strike me as
remarkable, but I occupied upper berth number 9 in car 11, two
numbers which, added together, produced the exact age at which
Browning published the poem of that name. At once I recited the
opening lines, "Pauline, mine own, bend o'er me--thy soft breast
shall pant to mine--bend o'er me," to the porter.

I like to believe that the spirit of Browning arranged that
entire journey, for the other occupant of this well-omened berth
was that admirable statesman Warren G. Harding.  When I sat down
I noticed that he was reading Henry Sydnor Harrison's "Queed", a
book which was justly popular at that time.  I at once showed Mr.
Harding an article I had written in which I stated that not only
was "Queed" a real novel, with a real plot, and real characters,
but that I believed the readers were stimulated by the spiritual
advance of the hero.  The future president agreed with me and
said he thought that literature was a great thing. Encouraged by
this I confessed that I was on my way to deliver a lecture on
modern poetry.  Mr. Harding replied that he thought poetry was a
great thing.  "Splendid!"  I cried, and taking a copy of Browning
from my bag I read him several selections.  Mr. Harding said that
of the American poets he liked James Whitcomb Riley best.
Personally, while I have for Mr. Riley only wonder and praise, I
think that the English poet strikes a more inspiring, more
eternal note.

I then read to Mr. Harding Browning's "Evelyn Hope". He said that
he knew a Mrs. Walter Hope in Marion, but that he was not sure
her first name was Evelyn.  As I knew that Mr. Harding liked a
good pun, I remarked facetiously that "hope springs eternal",
meaning that probably there were in existence several families of
that name.

I am happy to state that with that meeting began a friendship
which has lasted for many years.  When Mr. Harding was nominated
for the presidency, I wrote at once, enclosing a copy of "The
Advance of the English Novel" which I had published in 1916.  On
the title-page I wrote, "To the Hero of a Much More Spectacular
Advance", meaning that the progress made by the English novel was
as nothing compared to Mr. Harding's rapid and well-deserved
rise. In reply I received the following:

                                      6 July, 1920. MY DEAR

Many thanks to you for your congratulations and your kindness in
sending me your brilliant, searching essays which I hope to be
able to read in the near future.                                  

Just as I am always glad that I am an American, so I think we
should all believe whole-heartedly in the glorious future which
lies ahead of us. We should all pay high tribute to the ideals
and sincerity of those great leaders Woodrow Wilson and Warren
Harding.  What a pity that some people believe that there is any
antagonism or essential difference in the aims of those two
worthy men.  Both are absolutely sincere--both try to make the
world a better, more happy place.  And to the critic of history--
as to the critic of art and literature--those are the essential
things. Viewing the past and glimpsing the future of American
history I cannot help feeling that Browning had us perhaps
unconsciously in mind when he wrote:

     God's in his heaven:      All's right with the world!

Chapter Two

CRISTOFER COLOMBO A Comedy of Discovery. In the Manner of James
Branch Cabell

 In fourteen hundred ninety two  In the city of Genoa.            
         --Old Song. 

They of Genoa tell with a shrug how in the old days Cristofer
Colombo whom men called the Dreamer left Dame Colombo to go in
search of the land of his imagining.

And the tale tells how, on a twilight Thursday, Colombo walked
alone on the edge of a doubtful wood, and viewed many things not
salutary to notice. And there came to him one who was as
perversely tall as a certain unmentionable object and bearded in
a manner it is not convenient to describe.

But Colombo set about that which the stranger said was necessary
and when he had finished he drank the contents of the curious
skull as had been foretold on a certain All-Saints day. Then it
was that the stranger spoke.

"Whom are you", said he, "to be thus wandering in the very
unspeakable forest of the very unnamable sorcerer Thyrston?"

Said Colombo, "I have heard of this Thyrston.  And while I do not
criticize, yet I cannot entirely agree with your improper use of
the pronoun WHOM, and oh my dear sir", said Colombo, "those two
VERYS would surely--oh, most surely--be mentioned in 'The Conning

"Eh!" said Thyrston, frowning.

"I allude", said Colombo, "to the scribbling of a certain Adams
with whom you are doubtless familiar, and of course, my dear
Thyrston", said Colombo, "I spoke only jestingly, for I am
Cristofer Colombo whom men call the Dreamer, and I go in search
of the land of my imagining and it is truly a pleasure to meet
the greatest sorcerer since Ckellyr, and how", said Colombo, "is
dear Mrs. Thyrston?"

Then Thyrston showed Colombo what was written on the insecure
parchment. It frightened Colombo a little, but he assented.  And
when the sorcerer had borrowed a silk hat and a gold watch he
caused the skies to darken and Colombo saw that which men refuse
to believe.

"But, oh, now really sir", said Colombo, "that is indeed
extremely clever and I do wish that the children were here to see
it and would you mind, my dear Thyrston", said Colombo, "doing
that egg trick again?"

Then Thyrston showed Colombo that he had nothing up either sleeve
and after an interval he consented to teach Colombo the secret of
his conjuring.

"Why now to be sure", said Colombo, after he had thoroughly
mastered the trick, "that is indeed quite simple and I am sorry I
broke those four eggs by mistake in your silk hat, and while I do
not wish to appear oversensitive, do you not think, my dear
Thyrston", said Colombo, "that the trick would go just as well
without those abominable jokes about married life?"

"My dear sir", said Thyrston, "those jokes have been used by
every conjurer since Merlin, and while perhaps without them your
trick would work, yet I have never heard of it being done and I
have found", said Thyrston, "that in sorcery the best results are
obtained by doing the customary thing."

"Which only goes to show", said Colombo, "that sorcery is
somewhat akin to business, and now that I think of it", said
Colombo, "I believe that the term wizard of industry is perhaps
not entirely a misnomer."

Thus it was that Colombo took leave of Thyrston, and the tale
tells how on Walburga's Eve he came to the court of King
Ferdinand and Queen Isabel.  And as he entered one met him who
was not unpleasing to the eye, and she was weeping.  And, as it
was somewhat dark, Colombo decided to comfort her.

"Now, do you tell me, my dear", said Colombo, after an interval,
"why it is you weep, for I am Colombo whom men call the Dreamer,
and I go in search of the land of my imagining, and I think",
said Colombo, "that you have most remarkably lovely eyes."

"Oh messire", said the lady, "I weep because it is this evening
that I am to entertain the ladies of our Progress Literary Club,
and Donna Margarita whom men call the Spanish Omelet, but who
really, messire, has a lovely voice, was going to sing 'The
Rosary' and now she has a cold and cannot sing, and King
Ferdinand is coming, and oh, messire, what", said the lady,
"shall I do?"

"Why now, truly", said Colombo, "in Genoa it was the judgment of
all the really musically intelligent ladies, except perhaps my
wife, that I sang not an unpleasing baritone, and while I do not
know the song to which you refer, yet I have devoted most of my
life to the composition of a poem concerning the land of my
imagining which might well be sung and besides that", said
Colombo, "I can do a most remarkable egg trick."

So it was that Colombo became for a short time not undeservedly
the life of the Progress Literary Club party. And the tale tells
how, after a paper by Donna Violet Balboa on "Spanish
Architecture--Then and Now", Colombo sang to them the song of the
land of Colombo's imagining. And poignantly beautiful was the
song, for in it was the beauty of a poet's dream, and the eternal
loveliness of that vision which men have glimpsed in all ages if
ever so faintly. And when he had finished, the eyes of Colombo
were wet with tears, for into this poem had he woven the dreams
of his disillusionment. And somewhat ironical to Colombo was the
applause of those fine ladies who did not at all understand.

"Now that is a pretty song", said King Ferdinand, "and do you
tell us, Colombo, how one may get to this land, so that I may
extend the borders of my most Catholic Kingdom and spread the
teachings of the true faith, for to bring the world under the
blessed influence of my religion is my only purpose, and really
now", said King Ferdinand, "is there as much gold there as you

"Ah, King Ferdinand", replied Colombo, "there is more gold than
ever I can tell, and I see only too plainly how grievously you
suffer to think that perhaps these people are living in ignorance
of the true faith. And I could ask nothing better than that King
Ferdinand give me ships in which I may sail to the westward and
come at last to the land of my imagining. This I would do in
order that the blessed soldiers of King Ferdinand who will follow
me may show to the inhabitants of my discovered land the grievous
errors of their ways and bring them at last to a realization of
the true faith which has been so helpful to our own dear Spain,
and", added Colombo, "our gracious sovereign Ferdinand."

And droll it was to Colombo to think what might possibly happen
were King Ferdinand to take his dream seriously or were the King
perhaps to be informed as to the true meaning of Colombo's

"Well, now", said King Ferdinand, "of course, to fit out such an
expedition would require great expense, my dear Colombo--great
expense. And, of course, you know, Colombo, that when investors
can buy Inquisition 4 1/4's for 89 it would be extremely
difficult to raise the money for such a speculative project--oh,
extremely difficult. And then you must consider the present
depression--tell me now, Colombo", said King Ferdinand, "how long
do you think this depression will last, for I seek, above all
things, a return to healthy normalcy."

"Well, truly", replied Colombo, "that would be most difficult to
say. I note that on Rodigruez Babsyn's last chart--"

"I wish this Babsyn and his charts were in hell", said King
Ferdinand, "for it was he who advised me to sell Queen Isabel's
silver holdings. But it occurs to me, Colombo, that in connection
with this land-of-gold scheme of yours, you mentioned something
about sailing to the westward. Now Colombo, that would be a
distinct disadvantage when it came to marketing the bonds, for as
you must already know, one cannot sail to the west without
encountering fierce and enormous monsters who swallow, I am told,
whole ships at a gulp."

"Now as to that", said Colombo, somewhat embarrassed at the turn
of the conversation for WEST had merely happened to better suit
the rhymes of his poem, "you may be right, and I should not go so
far as to say you are wrong, but still at the same time", said
Colombo, "is there any gentleman in the audience who can lend me
an egg and a silk hat?"

And when an unmentionable egg and a doubtful silk hat had been
produced in a manner which it is not convenient to mention
Colombo rolled up both his sleeves and spoke the magic speech as
he had learned it on a certain Thursday from the sorcerer

"Ladies and gentlemen", said Colombo, "I have here a common
household egg which I shall now ask the ushers to pass among you
so you may see for yourself that there are no wires or strings
attached. While this is being done, ladies and gentlemen, I wish
that three of you would step up on the stage.  Any three--don't
be bashful girls-- I won't hurt you.  Won't that couple over
there kindly oblige me-- that married couple--no, folks, I guess
they aren't married either-- they look too happy."

Very painful it was to Colombo to hear these horrible jokes
coming from his mouth, but Thyrston had quoted the authority of
all successful sorcerers and not for anything would Colombo have
had his trick a failure.

"Now ladies and gentlemen", said Colombo, "I am going to ask this
lady and these two gentlemen if they will be so good as to see if
they can take this little egg and make it stand on end without
any support."

And very droll it was to see the unsuccessful attempts which the
three made. Finally Colombo said:

"Now ladies and gentlemen, I want you to watch me closely. I put
the silk hat on my head--thus.  And I take the egg in my right
hand--thus.  Now, if this young lady will be kind enough to hold
my left hand--I hope that her best fellow doesn't mind letting
such a pretty girl hold my hand--it's lucky my wife can't see me,
though--a friend said to me the other day, 'Who was that lady I
seen you with?' and I said, 'That wasn't no lady, that was my
wife'. Now ladies and gentlemen I take this egg, and in order to
make it stand upright I tap one end gently-- thus against the
table until that end is flattened-- and then, presto--the egg
stands upright.  Ladies and gentlemen, I thank you one and all
for your kind attention."

Thus it was that Colombo impressed King Ferdinand and his court
with his profound knowledge of geography.  Next the tale tells
how there came to Colombo on Michaelmas Eve one sent by Queen
Isabel, And when Colombo had buckled on his sword Impavide he
followed the messenger through winding corridors and came at last
to the chamber of the Queen.  And as he knelt before her it
seemed to Colombo that never before had he seen such
unforgettable beauty as shone in the eyes of Queen Isabel.  Yes,
truly, this was the loveliest girl that Colombo had ever

"Now do you rise", said she, "and you and I shall have a nice
chat alone here together, and you can tell me all about geography
of which I am oh, frightfully ignorant.  In truth", said she, "I
have tried to get Ferdinand to instruct me, but I fear", said
Queen Isabel, "that Ferdinand does not understand me."

So Colombo instructed Queen Isabel in the fundamentals of
geography. And after a while he spoke.

"Now many people", said Colombo, "believe that the earth is flat,
but", said Colombo, "such is not at all the case."

And after an interval Colombo said, "There, my dear, do you not
see how ridiculous it is to suppose that the earth is anything
but round?"

"Why surely, sire", said Queen Isabel, "you make it appear very
round. And I wonder that I had not thought of that before.  And I
think", said Queen Isabel, "that geography is a most fascinating
subject and oh, messire Colombo", said the Queen, "you must come
and instruct me often."

Thus it was that Colombo became Royal Geographer.  And the tale
tells how after a while various whisperings came to King
Ferdinand of his queen's curious enthusiasm for study.

"Now about this geography", said King Ferdinand one evening to
the Queen, "I am, my dear, indeed glad to see you take an
interest in such an important study and I have arranged", said
the King, "to have your tutoring in the future done by Father
Bernadino who has had fifty-two years' experience at the
University, and your lessons", said the King, "will commence

Said the Queen, "How can I thank you enough, dear Ferdinand, for
your untiring interest in my welfare.  For I have been struggling
along in my study of geography with a horribly dull clod whose
name", said the Queen, "I cannot remember."

"Was it, by any chance, Colombo?" asked the King.

"Perhaps", said the Queen.  "But I am oh so glad to be rid of
him." And indeed so great was the happiness of Queen Isabel that
her pillow that night was wet with tears.

But King Ferdinand was an unusually efficient king, and he spared
no pains in his craving for normalcy.  So it was that the next
day he called to him the man who had chanced to be Royal
Geographer before the coup d'oeuf of Colombo.

"Now tell me", said the King, "is there any chance that a man who
sails to the westward will ever return?"

"None, your Majesty", said the ex-Royal Geographer.  "For many
have tried and horrible are the tales which they tell of demons
and monsters lying in wait for the ships of men. And I should say
definitely, oh King", said he, "that whoever sails to the
westward will never return."

And the tale tells how that afternoon Colombo stood before King
Ferdinand.  And very strange to Colombo was the enthusiasm which
burned in the King's otherwise somewhat fishlike eye.

"For know you, Colombo", the King was saying, "that God has
spoken to me and commanded me to save from the fires of hell the
inhabitants of those golden lands of which you sang. And to you,
my dear Colombo, is to be given the chance which you so ardently
desire.  For I have this day purchased three ships which await
your command, and within a week you should be well on your way on
this glorious mission for God and for Spain, and", said the King,
"I might add that the Queen, too, is much interested in this
voyage and has even been persuaded to dispose of her jewels in
order that you may make haste."

"Such instant obedience to the will of God", said Colombo, "and
such fine enthusiasm to further His kingdom on earth, does your
Majesties great credit. And I shall indeed congratulate the
inhabitants of this to-be-discovered land for their good fortune
in obtaining such a devout King."

And the tale tells how that night Colombo took leave of Queen
Isabel.  "Now do not weep, oh Queen", said he, "for I am only
Colombo whom men call the Dreamer, and I go in search of the land
of my imagining, and perhaps", said Colombo, "I shall return."
But they tell how Queen Isabel refused to be comforted for many
and many a day.  And unexplainably curious to Father Bernadino
was his absolute and complete failure as a royal instructor in
geography, for Father Bernadino had taught for fifty-two years at
the University.

And so it was that Colombo sat alone in the cabin of the ship
which carried him towards the land of his imagining. And strange
and somewhat fearsome it was to the sailors to see their captain
sitting thus motionless night after night, for already had they
left the Canaries far behind and some there were who said that a
madman commanded their ship, and others who whispered of horrible
monsters in these western seas.

And the tale tells how one night Colombo observed across his
table one who had not been sitting there a moment before and
whose hair was strangely red.

"Well now, truly, sir", said Colombo, "This is very curious. For
I do not remember seeing you among the crew nor were you ever at
the court, and on the whole", said Colombo, "your red hair and
your sneering grin interrupt my dreams, and dreams", said
Colombo, "are all that I have left."

"For know you, sir", continued he to the stranger who did not
speak, "that on this earth man has been able to endure only by
playing the ape to his dreams.  And in every generation", said
Colombo, "there have been those who dreamed of beautiful things
and in every age there have been those who caught some glimpse of
that perfect beauty which the Greeks call Helen, and to have seen
Helen", said Colombo, "is to have been touched with divine and
unbearable madness."

And it became strangely quiet in the cabin as Colombo continued:

"And those authors who wrote perfectly of beautiful dreams", said
he, "will, perchance, endure, and those who saw only men as they
are, will perish--for so has it been in the past and so will it
be in the future. All of which", said Colombo, "is a rather
tiresome and pedantic excuse for the fact that I am about to read
you my own poem."

And Colombo read to the stranger the dream of the land of
Colombo's imagining, and when he had finished the stranger smiled
and shook his head sadly.

"Come, now," said Colombo, somewhat hurt.  "Do not, I pray you,
pretend to like it unless you really do. Of course it is not at
all the kind of thing that will sell, is it-- and the metre must
be patched up in places, don't you think? And some of the most
beautiful passages would never be permitted by the censor--but
still--" and Colombo paused hopefully, for it was Colombo's poem
and into it he had poured the heart of his life and it seemed to
him now, more than ever, a beautiful thing.

The stranger handed Colombo a book.

"There", said he, "is the land of your imagining", and in his
eyes gleamed a curious sardonic mockery.

And Colombo read the book.  And when he had finished his face was
grey as are old ashes in ancient urns, and about the mouth of him
whom men called the Dreamer were curious hard lines.

"Now, by Heaven", said Colombo brandishing his sword Impavide,
"you lie. And your Gopher Prairie is a lie.  And you are all, all
contemptible, you who dip your pens in tracing ink and seek to
banish beautiful dreams from the world."

But the red-haired stranger had vanished and Colombo found that
he was alone and to Colombo the world seemed cheerless and as a
place that none has lived in for a long time.

"Now this is curious", mused Colombo, "for I have evidently been
dreaming and a more horrible dream have I never had, and I
think", said Colombo, "that while all this quite certainly did
not actually take place, yet that grinning red head has upset me
horribly and on the whole", said Colombo, "I believe the safest
course would be to put back at once for Spain, for certainly I
have no desire to take the remotest chance of discovering
anything which may in the least resemble that Gopher Prairie."

And the tale tells that as Colombo started for the deck in order
that he might give the signal for the return to Spain, there came
across the water from one of the other ships the faint cry of a
sailor. And the sailor was waving his hat and shouting, "Land

Thus it was that Cristofer Colombo became the discoverer of the
land of his imagining, and as he stood on the deck Colombo mused.

"Now this is a sorrowful jest and a very unfair jest that is
happening," said he.  "For I who have dreamed a beautiful dream
of the land of my imagining will quite probably henceforth be
known only as the discoverer of what will turn out to be merely
one more hideous and stupid country." And tears came to the eyes
of Colombo, for on the waves behind him floated the torn and
scattered pages of the poem which sang the imagined vision of
Beauty of him whom men long and long ago called the

Thus it was in the old days.

Dr. Frank Crane

There is a lesson for us all in this beautiful story of how
Columbus realized his ambition to be a great discoverer.

Men called Columbus a Dreamer--but that is just what folks once
said about Thomas A. Edison and Henry Ford.

The world has a place for Dreamers--if they are Practical

Columbus was ambitious.  Ambition is a great thing if it is
unselfish ambition.  By unselfish I mean for the greatest good of
the greatest number.  Shakespeare, the great teacher, shows us in
"Macbeth" what happens to the selfishly ambitious man.

Columbus got ahead by paying attention to small details. 
Whatever he did, he did to the best of his ability.  Even when
engaged in teaching geography to the Queen, Columbus was the best
geography teacher he knew how to be. And before long he was made
Royal Geographer.

In our daily lives let us all resolve to be good teachers of
geography. We may not all become Royal Geographers--but there
will be to us the lasting satisfaction of having done our best. 
And that, as a greater than I has said, is "more precious than
rubies--yea, than much fine gold".

Chapter Three

MAIN STREET:  Plymouth, Mass.

In the Manner of Sinclair Lewis



Late autumn.

The sour liver-colored shores of America.

Breaking waves dashing too high on a stern and rockbound coast.

Woods tossing giant branches planlessly against a stormy sky.

Cape Cod Bay--wet and full of codfish.  The codfish--wet and full
of bones. 

Standing on the deck of the anchored "Mayflower", gazing
reflectively at the shores of the new world, is Priscilla

A youthful bride on a ship full of pilgrims; a lily floating in a
dish of prunes; a cloissone vase in a cargo of oil cans.

Her husband joins her.  Together they go forward to where their
fellow pilgrims are preparing to embark in small boats.

Priscilla jumps into the bow of the first of these to shove off.

As the small craft bumps the shore, Priscilla rises joyously. She
stretches her hands in ecstasy toward the new world. She leans
forward against the breeze, her whole figure alive with the joy
of expectant youth.

She leaps with an irrepressible "Yippee" from the boat to the

She remains for an instant, a vibrant pagan, drunk with the joy
of life; Pan poised for an unforgettable moment on Plymouth Rock.

The next minute her foot slips on the hard, wet, unyielding
stone. She clutches desperately.  She slides slowly back into the
cold chill saltness of Cape Cod Bay.

She is pulled, dripping and ashamed, into the boat.  She crouches
there, shivering and hopeless.  She hears someone whisper, "Pride
goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall."

A coarse mirthless chuckle.

The pilgrims disembark. 



A year later.


She lay sleepless on her bed.

She heard the outside door open; Kennicott returning from prayer

He sat down on the bed and began pulling off his boots. She knew
that the left boot would stick.  She knew exactly what he would
say and how long it would take him to get it off. She rolled over
in bed, a tactical movement which left no blanket for her

"You weren't at prayer meeting," he said.

"I had a headache," she lied.  He expressed no sympathy.

"Miles Standish was telling me what you did today at the meeting
of the Jolly Seventeen."  He had got the boot off at last; he lay
down beside her and pulled all the blankets off her onto

"That was kind of Miles."  She jerked at the covers but he held
them tight. "What charming story did he tell this time?"

"Now look here, Prissie--Miles Standish isn't given to
fabrication. He said you told the Jolly Seventeen that next
Thanksgiving they ought to give a dance instead of an all-day
prayer service."

"Well--anything else?"  She gave a tremendous tug at the
bedclothes and Kennicott was uncovered again.

"He said you suggested that they arrange a series of lectures on
modern religions, and invite Quakers and other radicals to speak
right here in Plymouth and tell us all about their beliefs. And
not only that but he said you suggested sending a message to the
Roman Catholic exiles from England, inviting them to make their
home with us.  You must have made quite a little speech."

"Well this is the land of religious freedom, isn't it? That's
what you came here for, didn't you?"  She sat up to deliver this
remark--a movement which enabled Kennicott to win back
seven-eighths of the bed covering.

"Now look here Prissie--I'm not narrow like some of these
pilgrims who came over with us.  But I won't have my wife
intimating that a Roman Catholic or a Quaker should be allowed to
spread his heresies broadcast in this country. It's all right for
you and me to know something about those things, but we must
protect our children and those who have not had our advantages. 
The only way to meet this evil is to stamp it out, quick, before
it can get a start. And it's just such so-called broadminded
thinkers as you that encourage these heretics.  You'll be
criticizing the Bible next, I suppose."

Thus in early times did the pious Right Thinkers save the land
from Hellfire and Damnation; thus the great-grandfathers of
middle-western congressmen; thus the ancestors of platitudinous
editorial writers, Sitters on Committees, and tin-horn

Kennicott got up to cool his wrath and indignation with a drink
of water. He stumbled over a chair, reached for the jug, took a
drink, set the jug down, stumbled over the same chair, and
crawled back into bed. His expedition cost him the loss of all
bed covering; he gave up the fight.

"Aside from dragging my own private views over the coals of your
righteousness, did you and your friends find anything equally
pleasant and self-satisfying to discuss this

"Eh--what's that?  Why, yes, we did.  We decided to refuse
permission for one of these traveling medicine shows to operate
in Plymouth."

"Medicine shows?"

"Yes--you know--like a fair in England.  This one claims to come
from down south somewhere.  'Smart Set Medicine Show' it's
called, run by a fellow named Mencken.  Sells cheap whisky to the
Indians-- makes them crazy, they say.  He's another one of your
radical friends we don't want around."

"Yes, he might cut in on your own trading with the Indians."

"Oh, for heaven's sake, Prissie--hire a hall."

Silence.  He began to snore.

She lay there, sleepless and open-eyed. The clock struck eleven.

"Why can't I get to sleep?"

("Did Will put the cat out?")

"I wonder what this medicine show is like?"

"What is the matter with these people?"

("Or is it me?")

She reached down, pulled the blankets from under her, spread them
carefully over the sleeping Kennicott, patting them down

The next day she learned what the medicine show was like. She
also learned what was the matter with the pilgrims. 



A fog horn.

A fog horn blowing unceasingly.

At breakfast Kennicott pointed with his fork in the direction of
the persistent sound.

"There's your Smart Set medicine show," he said glumly. "He
doesn't seem to care much whether we give him a permit or not." 
Then, a minute later, "We'll have to let him stay. Won't do to
have the Indians down on us.  But I tell you this, Priscilla, I
don't want you to go."

"But Will--"

"Prissie, please!  I'm sorry I said what I did last night. I was
tired.  But don't you see, well, I can't just exactly explain--
but this fog horn sort of scares me--I don't like it--"

He suddenly rose and put both hands on her shoulders.  He looked
into her eyes.  He leaned over and kissed her on the forehead. He
picked up his hat and was gone.  It was five minutes before
Priscilla noticed that his breakfast had been left untouched.

A fog horn, sounding unceasingly.

She listlessly put away the breakfast dishes.  She tried to drown
out the sound by singing hymns.  She fell on her knees and tried
to pray.  She found her prayers keeping time to the rise and fall
of the notes of that horn.  She determined to go out in the
air--to find her husband--to go to church, anywhere--as far as
possible from the Smart Set medicine show.

So she went out the back door and ran as fast as she could toward
the place from which came the sound of the fog horn. 


An open space on the edge of the forest.

In the centre of the clearing a small gaudily-painted tent.

Seated on the ground in a semicircle before the tent, some forty
or fifty Indians.

Standing on a box before the entrance to the tent, a man of
twenty-five or fifty.

In his left hand he holds a fog horn; in his right, a stein of

He puts the horn to his lips and blows heavy blast.

He bellows, "Beauty--Beauty--Beauty!"

He takes a drink of beer.

He repeats this performance nine times.

He takes up some mud and deftly models the features of several
well-known characters--statesmen, writers, critics.  In many
cases the resemblance is so slight that Priscilla can hardly
recognize the character.

He picks up a heavy club and proceeds to beat each one of his
modeled figures into a pulp.

The Indians applaud wildly.

He pays no attention to this applause.

He clears his throat and begins to speak.  Priscilla is so
deafened by the roar of his voice that she cannot hear what he
says. Apparently he is introducing somebody; somebody named

George steps out of the tent, but does not bow to the audience.
In one hand he carries a fencing foil, well constructed, of
European workmanship; in his other hand he holds a number of
pretty toy balloons which he has made himself.

He smiles sarcastically, tosses the balloons into the air, and
cleverly punctures them one by one with his rapier.

At each "pop" the announcer blows a loud blast on the fog

When the last balloon has been punctured George retires without
acknowledging the applause of the Indians.

The next act is announced as Helen of Troy in "Six Minutes of
Beauty". Priscilla learns from the announcer that "this little
lady is out of 'Irony' by Theodore Dreiser".

"All ready, Helen--"

The "little lady" appears.

She is somewhat over six feet six in height and built like a
boilermaker. She is dressed in pink tights.

"Six Minutes of Beauty" begins when Helen picks up three large
iron cannon balls and juggles them.  She tosses them in the air
and catches them cleverly on the back of her neck.

The six minutes are brought to a successful conclusion when
Helen, hanging head downward by one foot from a trapeze, balances
lighted lamp on the other foot and plays Beethoven's Fifth
Symphony on the slide trombone.

The announcer then begins his lecture.  Priscilla has by this
time gotten used to the overpowering roar of his voice and she
discovers that once this difficulty is overcome she is
tremendously impressed by his words.

She becomes more and more attracted to the man.  She listens,
fascinated, as his lecture draws to a close and he offers his
medicine for sale. She presses forward through the crowd of
Indians surrounding the stand. She reaches the tent.  She gives
her coin and receives in return a bottle. She hides it in her
cape and hurries home.

She slips in the back way; she pours some of the medicine into a
glass; she drinks it. 


A terrible overwhelming nausea.  Vomiting, which lasts for
agonizing minutes, leaving her helpless on the floor.

Then cessation.

Then light--blinding light. 


At 3:10 Priscilla drank the Mencken medicine; at 3:12 she was
lying in agony on the floor; at 3:20 she opened her eyes; at 3:21
she walked out of her front door; and at 3:22 she discovered what
was wrong with Plymouth and the pilgrims.

Main Street.  Straight and narrow.  A Puritan thoroughfare in a
Puritan town.

The church.  A centre of Puritan worship.  The shrine of a narrow
theology which persistently repressed beauty and joy and life.

The Miles Standish house.  The house of a Puritan.  A squat,
unlovely symbol of repression.  Beauty crushed by Morality.

Plymouth Rock.  Hard, unyielding--like the Puritan moral code. A
huge tombstone on the grave of Pan.

She fled home.  She flung herself, sobbing, on the bed. She
cried, "They're all Puritans that's what they are, Puritans!"

After a while she slept, her cheeks flushed, her heart beating


Late that night.

She opened her eyes; she heard men's voices; she felt her heart
still pounding within her at an alarming rate.

"And I told them then that it would come to no good end. Truly,
the Lord does not countenance such joking."

She recognized the voices of Miles Standish and Elder Brewster.

"Well--what happened then?"  This from Kennicott.

"Well, you see, Henry Haydock got some of this Mencken's medicine
from one of the Indians.  And he thought it would be a good joke
to put it in the broth at the church supper this evening."


"Well--he did it, the fool.  And when the broth was served, hell
on earth broke loose.  Everyone started calling his neighbor a
Puritan, and cursing him for having banished Beauty from the
earth. The Lord knows what they meant by that; I don't. Old
friends fought like wildcats, shrieking 'Puritan' at each other.
Luckily it only got to one table--but there are ten raving
lunatics in the lockup tonight.

"It's an awful thing.  But thanks to the Lord, some good has come
out of this evil:  that medicine man, Mencken, was standing
outside looking in at the rumpus, smiling to himself I guess. 
Well, somebody saw him and yelled, 'There's another of those
damned Puritans!' and before he could get away five of them had
jumped on him and beaten him to death. He deserved it, and it's a
good joke on him that they killed him for being a Puritan."

Priscilla could stand no more.  She rose from her bed, rushed
into the room, and faced the three Puritans.  In the voice of
Priscilla Kennicott but with the words of the medicine man she
scourged them.

"A good joke?" she began.  "And that is what you Puritan
gentlemen of God and volcanoes of Correct Thought snuffle over as
a good joke? Well, with the highest respect to Professor Doctor
Miles Standish, the Puritan Hearse-hound, and Professor Doctor
Elder Brewster, the Plymouth Dr. Frank Crane--BLAA!"

She shrieked this last in their faces and fell lifeless at their

She never recovered consciousness; an hour later she died. An
overdose of the medicine had been too much for her weak

"Poor William," comforted Elder Brewster, "you must be brave. You
will miss her sorely.  But console yourself with the thought that
it was for the best.  Priscilla has gone where she will always be
happy. She has at last found that bliss which she searched for in
vain on earth."

"Yes William," added Miles Standish.  "Priscilla has now found
eternal joy." 



Smug saints with ill-fitting halos and imitation wings, singing
meaningless hymns which Priscilla had heard countless times

Sleek prosaic angels flying aimlessly around playing stale songs
on sickly yellow harps.

Three of the harps badly out of tune; two strings missing on

Moses, a Jew.

Methuselah, another Jew.  Old and unshaven.

Priscilla threw herself on a cloud, sobbing.

"Well, sister, what seems to be the matter here?"

She looked up; she saw a sympathetic stranger looking down at

"Because you know, sister," he went on, "if you don't like it
here you can always go back any time you want to."

"Do you mean to say," gasped Priscilla, "that I can return to

"You certainly can," said the stranger.  "I'm sort of manager
here, and whenever you see any particular part of the earth you'd
like to live in, you just let me know and I'll arrange it."

He smiled and was gone. 


It was two hundred years before Priscilla Kennicott definitely
decided that she could stand it no longer in heaven; it was
another hundred years before she located a desirable place on
earth to return to.

She finally selected a small town in the American northwest, far
from the Puritan-tainted Plymouth; a small town in the midst of
fields of beautiful waving grain; a small town free from the
artificiality of large cities; a small town named Gopher

She made known her desire to the manager; she said goodby to a
small group of friends who had gathered to see her off; she heard
the sound of the eternal harp playing and hymn singing grow
gradually fainter and fainter; she closed her eyes.

When she opened them again she found herself on Main Street in
Gopher Prairie.


From the "Heavenly Harp and Trumpet":

Mrs. Priscilla Kennicott, one of our most popular angels, left
these parts last Tuesday for an extended visit to the Earth. 
Mrs. K. confided to Ye Editor that she would probably take up her
residence in Gopher Prairie, Minn., under the name of Carol
Kennicott.  The "Harp and Trumpet" felicitates the citizens of
Gopher Prairie on their acquisition of a charming and up-to-date
young matron whose absence will be keenly regretted by her many
friends in the heavenly younger married set. Good luck,



Five years later.

The monthly meeting of the Celestial Browning Club.

Seated in the chair reserved for the guest of honor, the manager.

The meeting opens as usual with a reading by Brother Robert
Browning of his poem "Pippa Passes"; as he proclaims that "God's
in his heaven, all's right with the world", the members applaud
and the manager rises and bows.

The chairman announces that "today we take up a subject in which
I am sure we are all extremely interested--the popular literature
of the United States".

The members listen to selected extracts from the writings of Gene
Stratton-Porter, Zane Grey, and Harold Bell Wright; at the
conclusion they applaud and the manager again bows.

"I am sure", says the chairman, "that we are all glad to hear
that things are going so nicely in the United States." 
(Applause.) "And now, in conclusion, Brother Voltaire has
requested permission to address us for a few minutes, and I am
sure that anything Brother Voltaire has to say will be eminently

Brother Voltaire rises and announces that he has listened with
interest to the discussion of American literature; that he, too,
rejoices that all is well in this best of all possible United
States; and that he hopes they will pardon him if he supplements
the program by reading a few extracts from another extremely
popular American book recently published under the name of "Main


At the next meeting of the Celestial Browning Club it was
unanimously voted that the privileges of the club be denied
Brother Voltaire for the period of one year, and that the name of
Priscilla Kennicott be stricken from the list of non-resident
members of heaven.



In the Manner of F. Scott Fitzgerald 

This story occurs under the blue skies and bluer laws of Puritan
New England, in the days when religion was still taken seriously
by a great many people, and in the town of Plymouth where the
"Mayflower", having ploughed its platitudinous way from Holland,
had landed its precious cargo of pious Right Thinkers, moral
Gentlemen of God, and--Priscilla.

Priscilla was--well, Priscilla had yellow hair.  In a later
generation, in a 1921 June, if she had toddled by at a country
club dance you would have noticed first of all that glorious mass
of bobbed corn-colored locks. You would, then, perhaps, have
glanced idly at her face, and suddenly said "Oh my gosh!"  The
next moment you would have clutched the nearest stag and hissed,
"Quick--yellow hair--silver dress--oh Judas!"  You would then
have been introduced, and after dancing nine feet you would have
been cut in on by another panting stag.  In those nine delirious
feet you would have become completely dazed by one of the
smoothest lines since the building of the Southern Pacific.  You
would then have borrowed somebody's flask, gone into the locker
room and gotten an edge--not a bachelor-dinner edge but just
enough to give you the proper amount of confidence. You would
have returned to the ballroom, cut in on this twentieth century
Priscilla, and taken her and your edge out to a convenient
limousine, or the first tee.

It was of some such yellow-haired Priscilla that Homer dreamed
when he smote his lyre and chanted, "I sing of arms and the man";
it was at the sight of such as she that rare Ben Johnson's Dr.
Faustus cried, "Was this the face that launched a thousand
ships?" In all ages has such beauty enchanted the minds of men,
calling forth in one century the Fiesolian terza rima of
"Paradise Lost", in another the passionate arias of a dozen
Beethoven symphonies. In 1620 the pagan daughter of Helen of Troy
and Cleopatra of the Nile happened, by a characteristic jest of
the great Ironist, to embark with her aunt on the

Like all girls of eighteen Priscilla had learned to kiss and be
kissed on every possible occasion; in the exotic and not at all
uncommon pleasure of "petting" she had acquired infinite wisdom
and complete disillusionment. But in all her "petting parties" on
the "Mayflower" and in Plymouth she had found no Puritan who held
her interest beyond the first kiss, and she had lately reverted
in sheer boredom to her boarding school habit of drinking gin in
large quantities, a habit which was not entirely approved of by
her old-fashioned aunt, although Mrs. Brewster was glad to have
her niece stay at home in the evenings "instead", as she told
Mrs. Bradford, "of running around with those boys, and really, my
dear, Priscilla says some of the FUNNIEST things when she gets a
little er--'boiled', as she calls it--you must come over some
evening, and bring the governor."

Mrs. Brewster, Priscilla's aunt, is the ancestor of all New
England aunts. She may be seen today walking down Tremont Street,
Boston, in her Educator shoes on her way to S. S. Pierce's which
she pronounces to rhyme with HEARSE.  The twentieth century Mrs.
Brewster wears a highnecked black silk waist with a chatelaine
watch pinned over her left breast and a spot of Gordon's codfish
(no bones) over her right. When a little girl she was taken to
see Longfellow, Lowell, and Ralph Waldo Emerson; she speaks
familiarly of the James boys, but this has no reference to the
well-known Missouri outlaws. She was brought up on blueberry
cake, Postum and "The Atlantic Monthly"; she loves the Boston
"Transcript", God, and her relatives in Newton Centre.  Her idea
of a daring joke is the remark Susan Hale made to Edward Everett
Hale about sending underwear to the heathen. She once asked
Donald Ogden Stewart to dinner with her niece; she didn't think
his story about the lady mind reader who read the man's mind and
then slapped his face, was very funny; she never asked him again.

The action of this story all takes place in MRS.  BREWSTER'S
Plymouth home on two successive June evenings.  As the figurative
curtain rises MRS.  BREWSTER is sitting at a desk reading the
latest instalment of Foxe's "Book of Martyrs".

The sound of a clanking sword is heard outside.  MRS.  BREWSTER
looks up, smiles to herself, and goes on reading.  A knock--a
timid knock.

MRS.  BREWSTER:  Come in.

(Enter CAPTAIN MIKES STANDISH, whiskered and forty. In a later
generation, with that imposing mustache and his hatred of
Indians, Miles would undoubtedly have been a bank president. At
present he seems somewhat ill at ease, and obviously relieved to
find only PRISCILLA'S aunt at home.)

MRS.  BREWSTER:  Good evening, Captain Standish.

MILES:  Good evening, Mrs. Brewster.  It's--it's cool for June,
isn't it?

MRS.  BREWSTER:  Yes.  I suppose we'll pay, for it with a hot
July, though.

MILES (nervously): Yes, but it--it is cool for June, isn't it?

MRS.  BREWSTER:  So you said, Captain.

MILES:  Yes.  So I said, didn't I?  (Silence.)

MILES:  Mistress Priscilla isn't home, then?

MRS.  BREWSTER:  Why, I don't think so, Captain But I never can
be sure where Priscilla is.

MILES (eagerly): She's a--a fine girl, isn't she? A fine girl.

MRS.  BREWSTER:  Why, yes.  Of course, Priscilla has her faults
but she'd make some man a fine wife--some man who knew how to
handle her-- an older man, with experience.

MILES:  Do you really think so, Mrs. Brewster?  (After a minute.)
Do you think Priscilla is thinking about marrying anybody in

MRS.  BREWSTER:  Well, I can't say, Captain.  You know--she's a
little wild. Her mother was wild, too, you know--that is, before
the Lord spoke to her. They say she used to be seen at the
Mermaid Tavern in London with all those play-acting people.  She
always used to say that Priscilla would marry a military man.

MILES:  A military man?  Well, now tell me Mrs. Brewster, do you
think that a sweet delicate creature like Priscilla--

A VOICE (in the next room): Oh DAMN!

MRS.  BREWSTER:  That must be Priscilla now.

THE VOICE:  Auntie!

MRS.  BREWSTER:  Yes, Priscilla dear.

THE VOICE:  Where in hell did you put the vermouth?

MRS.  BREWSTER:  In the cupboard, dear.  I do hope you aren't
going to get--er--"boiled" again tonight, Priscilla.  (Enter
PRISCILLA, infinitely radiant, infinitely beautiful, with a
bottle of vermouth in one hand and a jug of gin in the other.)
PRISCILLA:  Auntie, that was a dirty trick to hide the vermouth. 
Hello Miles--shoot many Indians today?

MILES:  Why--er er--no, Mistress Priscilla.

PRISCILLA:  Wish you'd take me with you next time, Miles.  I'd
love to shoot an Indian, wouldn't you, auntie?

MRS.  BREWSTER:  Priscilla!  What an idea!  And please dear, give
Auntie Brewster the gin.  I--er--promised to take some to the
church social tonight and it's almost all gone now.

MILES:  I didn't see you at church last night, Mistress

PRISCILLA:  Well I'll tell you, Miles.  I started to go to
church-- really felt awfully religious.  But just as I was
leaving I thought, "Priscilla, how about a drink--just one little
drink?"  You know, Miles, church goes so much better when you're
just a little boiled-- the lights and everything just kind
of--oh, its glorious. Well last night, after I'd had a little
liquor, the funniest thing happened.  I felt awfully good, not
like church at all-- so I just thought I'd take a walk in the
woods.  And I came to a pool--a wonderful honest-to-God
pool--with the moon shining right into the middle of it.  So I
just undressed and dove in and it was the most marvelous thing in
the world. And then I danced on the bank in the grass and the
moonlight-- oh, Lordy, Miles, you ought to have seen me.

MRS.  BREWSTER:  Priscilla!

PRISCILLA:  'Scuse me, Auntie Brewster.  And then I just lay in
the grass and sang and laughed.

MRS.  BREWSTER:  Dear, you'll catch your death of cold one of
these nights.  I hope you'll excuse me, Captain Standish; it's
time I was going to our social.  I'll leave Priscilla to
entertain you.  Now be a good girl, Priscilla, and please dear
don't drink straight vermouth--remember what happened last time.
Good night, Captain--good night, dear.

(Exit MRS.  BREWSTER with gin.)

PRISCILLA:  Oh damn!  What'll we do, Miles--I'm getting awfully

MILES:  Why--we might--er--pet a bit.

PRISCILLA (yawning): No. I'm too tired--besides, I hate whiskers.

MILES:  Yes, that's so, I remember.  (Ten minutes' silence, with
MILES looking sentimentally into the fireplace, PRISCILLA curled
up in a chair on the other side.)

MILES:  I was--your aunt and I--we were talking about you before
you came in. It was a talk that meant a lot to me.

PRISCILLA:  Miles, would you mind closing that window?

(MILES closes the window and returns to his chair by the

MILES:  And your aunt told me that your mother said you would
some day marry a military man.

PRISCILLA:  Miles, would you mind passing me that pillow over

(MILES gets up, takes the pillow to PRISCILLA and again sits

MILES:  And I thought that if you wanted a military man why--
well, I've always thought a great deal of you, Mistress
Priscilla-- and since my Rose died I've been pretty lonely, and
while I'm nothing but a rough old soldier yet--well, what I'm
driving at is-- you see, maybe you and I could sort of--well, I'm
not much of a hand at fancy love speeches and all that--but

(He is interrupted by a snore.  He glances up and sees that
PRISCILLA has fallen fast asleep.  He sits looking hopelessly
into the fireplace for a long time, then gets up, puts on his hat
and tiptoes out of the door.) 


PRISCILLA is sitting alone, lost in revery, before the fireplace.
It is almost as if she had not moved since the evening before.

A knock, and the door opens to admit JOHN ALDEN, nonchalant,
disillusioned, and twenty-one.

JOHN:  Good evening.  Hope I don't bother you.

PRISCILLA:  The only people who bother me are women who tell me
I'm beautiful and men who don't.

JOHN:  Not a very brilliant epigram--but still--yes, you ARE

PRISCILLA:  Of course, if it's an effort for you to say--

JOHN:  Nothing is worthwhile without effort.

PRISCILLA:  Sounds like Miles Standish; many things I do without
effort are worthwhile; I am beautiful without the slightest

JOHN:  Yes, you're right.  I could kiss you without any effort--
and that would be worthwhile--perhaps.

PRISCILLA:  Kissing me would prove nothing.  I kiss as casually
as I breathe.

JOHN:  And if you didn't breathe--or kiss--you would die.

PRISCILLA:  Any woman would.

JOHN:  Then you are like other women.  How

PRISCILLA:  I am like no woman you ever knew.

JOHN:  You arouse my curiosity.

PRISCILLA:  Curiosity killed a cat.

JOHN:  A cat may look at a--Queen.

PRISCILLA:  And a Queen keeps cats for her amusement. They purr
so delightfully when she pets them.

JOHN:  I never learned to purr; it must be amusing--for the

PRISCILLA:  Let me teach you.  I'm starting a new class tonight.

JOHN:  I'm afraid I couldn't afford to pay the tuition.

PRISCILLA:  For a few exceptionally meritorious pupils, various
scholarships and fellowships have been provided.

JOHN:  By whom?  Old graduates?

PRISCILLA:  NO--the institution has been endowed by God--

JOHN:  With exceptional beauty--I'm afraid I'm going to kiss you. 

(They kiss.)

(Ten minutes pass.)

PRISCILLA:  Stop smiling in that inane way.

JOHN:  I just happened to think of something awfully funny. You
know the reason why I came over here tonight?

PRISCILLA:  To see me.  I wondered why you hadn't come months

JOHN:  No. It's really awfully funny--but I came here tonight
because Miles Standish made me promise this morning to ask you to
marry him. Miles is an awfully good egg, really

PRISCILLA:  Speak for yourself, John.  (They kiss.)


JOHN:  Again--and again.  Oh Lord, I'm gone.

(An hour later JOHN leaves.  As the door closes behind him
PRISCILLA sinks back into her chair before the fireplace; an hour
passes, and she does not move; her aunt returns from the
Bradfords' and after a few ineffectual attempts at conversation
goes to bed alone; the candles gutter, flicker, and die out; the
room is filled of sacred silence.  Once more the clock chimes
forth the hour--the hour of fluted peace, of dead desire and epic
love.  Oh not for aye, Endymion, mayst thou unfold the purple
panoply of priceless years. She sleeps--PRISCILLA sleeps--and
down the palimpsest of age-old passion the lyres of night breathe
forth their poignant praise. She sleeps--eternal Helen--in the
moonlight of a thousand years; immortal symbol of immortal aeons,
flower of the gods transplanted on a foreign shore, infinitely
rare, infinitely erotic.[1]) 

[1] For the further adventures of Priscilla, see F. Scott
Fitzgerald's stories in the "Girl With the Yellow Hair" series,
notably "This Side of Paradise," "The Offshore Pirate," "The Ice
Palace," "Head and Shoulders," "Bernice Bobs Her Hair,"
"Benediction" and "The Beautiful and Damned."




In the Manner of Ring Lardner

Friend Ethen--

Well Ethen you will be surprised O. K. to hear I & the wife took
a little trip down to Boston last wk.  to a T. party & I guess
you are thinking we will be getting the swelt hed over being ast
to a T. party.  In Boston.

Well Ethen if you think that why you will be a 100 mi. offen the
track because Ethen I and Prudence sent the kind that gets a
swelt hed over being ast any wares like some of are naybers up
here when they are ast any wares so you see Ethen even if we had
been ast any wares we wouldnt of had no swelt hed. On acct of
being ast any wares.

Well last Thurs.  I and Prudence drove old Bessy down to Boston
Bessy is are horse see Ethen which is about 13 mi. from here
Boston I mean Ethen as the crow flys only no crow would ever fly
to Boston if he could help it because all the crows that ever
flew to Boston was shot by them lousie taverin keepers to make
meals out of Ethen I never tast it nothing so rotten in my life
as the meals they give us there & the priceis would knock your I
out.  3 shillings for a peace of stake about as big as your I,
and 4 pence for a cup of coffy. The streets sent the only thing
about Boston thats crook it. Them taverin keepers is crook it to
I mean see Ethen.

After supper I & her was walking a round giving the town the
double O when we seen that Fanny Ewell Hall was all lit up like
Charley Davis on Sat. night & I says to Prudence lets go inside I
think its free and she says I bet you knowed it was free al right
befor you ast me & sure enough it was free only I hadnt knowed it
before only I guess that Prudence knows that when I say a thing
it is generally O. K. Well Fanny Ewell Hall was pack jam full of
people & we couldnt see nothing because there was a cockide stiff
standing right in front of us & jumping up & down & yelling No T.
No T. at the top of his lunges & Prudence says well why dont you
take coffy or milk & for Gods sake stay offen my foot & he turns
to her & says maddam do you want T. & slavery & she says no coffy
& a hot dog just kidding him see Ethen & he says maddam no T.
shall ever land & she says no but my husbend will in a bout 1
min. & I was just going to plank him 1 when the door behint us
bust open & a lot of indyans come in yelling every body down to
Grifins worf there is going to be a T. party only Ethen they
wasnt indyans at all but jest wite men drest up to look like
indyans & I says to a fello those aint indyans & he say no how
did you guess it & I says because I have seen real indyans many a
time & he says to a nother fello say Bill here is a man who says
them sent real indyans & the other fello says gosh I dont believe
it & they laffed only the laff was on them Ethen because they
wasnt real indyans & that is only tipical of how you cant tell
these Boston swelt heds nothing & I guess if they had ever seen a
real indyan they would of known better than to laff. Well I and
Prudence follered the crowd down to Grifins worf & them indyans
which was only wite men drest up clumb onto a ship there & begun
throwing the cargo into Boston harber & I says to a fello what is
in them boxes & he says T. & I says well why are they throwing it
away & he says because they do not want to pay the tacks which is
about as sensable Ethen if I was to rite a lot of letters & then
as fast as I rote I would tare it up because I did not want to
pay for a stamp. Well I says somebody ought to catch he--ll for
this & he says are you a torie & I seen he was trying to kid me &
I says no I am a congregationalis & a loyal subject of king Geo. 
Rex & he says o I thought you was a torie & a lot of fellos who
was with him give him the laff because he hadnt been abel to kid
me. Well after a whiles he says the indyans seem to be about
threw & I says yes only they sent indyans & the laff was on him
again & he seen it wasnt no use to try & kid me & Prudence says
come on lets beat it & on the way home I says I bet them Boston
birds will feel small when they find out that those wasnt indyans
at all & she act it like she was mad about something & says well
they cant blame you for not trying to tell them & its a wonder
you didnt hire Fanny Ewell Hall while you was about it & I says o
is it & I might know youd get sore because I was the 1st to find
out about the indyans being wite men in disgised & she says yes I
suppose if somebody was to paint stripes on a cow you would make
a speech about it & say that you had discovered that it wasnt no
tiger & I wish I had been 1 of them indyans tonight because I
would of loved to of beened you with a Tommy Hawk & I says o you
would would you & she seen it wasnt no use to argue with me &
anyway Ethen nobody would be fool enough to paint stripes on a
cow unless maybe they was born in Boston.  Well Ethen thats the
way it goes & when you do put one over on the wife they want to
hit you with a Tommy Hawk with best rgds.  Ed.

Friend Ethen--

No matter what a married man does in this world he gets in wrong
& I suppose if I was to die tonight Prudence would bawl me out
for not having let her know I was going to do it & just because I
joined the minit men the other eve. she has been acting like as
if I had joined the Baptis Church & I bet you are saying what in
the h--ll is a minit man. Well Ethen I will tell you.  The other
night I says to Prudence I think I will drive over to Lexington
to get Bessy shodd. Bessy is are horse see Ethen.  Well she says
you will do nothing of the kind because all you want to do in
Lexington is get a snoot ful & if you think I am going to wate up
all night while you get boiled well you have got another guess
coming. She says the last time you had Bessy shodd the naybers
are talking about it yet & I says do you mean because I & Charley
Davis was singing & having a little fun & she says no because
nobody wouldnt call that singing & do you call it a little fun
when you brought Bessy up stares with you to show me how well she
had been shodd at 3 A. M. in the morning answer me that which is
only her way of exagerating things Ethen because we didnt bring
Bessy only as far as the stares & I only did it because Charley
had been drinking a little to much & I didnt want to iritate him
because the way to handel drunks is to not iritate them they are
only worse only you cant tell a woman that & they think the way
to handel drunks is to look him in the eye & say arent you
ashamed of yourselves which only iritates him the moar. Well I
says I am not going to half no horse of mine going a round 1/2
shodd al the time & Prudence says well I am not going to half no
husband of mine going a round 1/2 shot al the time & I says I
will not go near Charley Davis this time because I have lernt my
lesson & she says al right if you will promise to not go near
Charley Davis you can go & when I got to Lexington I thought I
would stop in the taverin a min. just to say hulloh to the boys
because if a fello doesnt stop in the taverin to say hulloh to
the boys who are just as good as he is they are lible to say he
has a swelt hed & is to proud to stop in the taverin to say
hulloh to the boys. Who are just as good as he is.  Well I didnt
have any i dear that Charley Davis would be there because I had
told Prudence I wasnt going to go near him & just because I said
that I cant be expect it to sneek into toun like as if I was a
convick can I Ethen.  Well the taverin was crowd it & they had
all got a good start & the long & the short of it was that the
1st person I seen was Charley Davis & he says hulloh there pink
whiskers you are just in time to join the minit men which is only
a nicked name he has for me because my whiskers are red brown. No
I says I cannot join anything tonight fellos because I must go
right back home & he says if you dont join the minit men now some
day you wont have no home to go home to & I says what do you mean
I wont have no home to go home to & he says because the Brittish
are going to burn down all the homes of we  farmers because we
will not sell them any food but first you had better have a
drink.  Well Ethen a fello dont like to be a sissey about taking
1 drink does he & then I says now fellos I must go home & then a
couple of more fellos come in & they said Ed you wont go home
till we have brought you a drink & elect it you to the minit men
will you & I said no but I must go home right after that. Well
then we got to singing & we was going pretty good & after a while
I said now fellos I must go home & Charley Davis says to me Ed
before you go I want to have you shake hands with my friend Tom
Duffy who is here from Boston & he will tell you all about the
minit men & you can join tonight but look out or he will drink
you under the tabel because he is the worst fish in Boston & I
says sure only I have got to be going home soon because you
remember what hapend last time & I would like to see any body
from Boston drink me under the tabel & bet. you & I Ethen if that
fellow is a fish then my grandmother is the prince of whales &
let me tell you what hapend. After we had drank about 4 or 5 I
seen he was getting sort of wite & I says well Boston lets settle
down now to some good steady drinking & he says listen & I says
what & he says listen & I says what & he says do you know my wife
& I says no & he says listen & I says what & he says shes the
best little woman in the world & I says sure & he says what did
you say & I says when & he says you have insult it my wife the
best little woman in the world & he begun to cry & we had only
had a bout 1 qt & wouldnt that knock you for a cockide gool
Ethen, only I guess you arent surprised knowing how much I can
holt without feeling any affects.  Well I was feeling pretty good
on acct. of drinking the pride of Boston under the tabel & not
feeling any affects only I was feeling good like a fello naturely
feels & the fellos kind of made a lot of fuss on acct. me
drinking him under the tabel so I couldnt very well of gone home
then & after a while Charley Davis made a speech & well comed me
into the minit men & so I am a minit man Ethen but I cant exackly
explain it to you until I see Charley again because he didnt make
it very clear that night.  Well after a while we woke the Boston
fish up & we all went home & I was feeling pretty good on acct.
it being such a nice night & all the stars being out & etc. &
when I got home I said Prudence guess what hapend & she says I
can guess & I says Prudence I have been elect it a minit man &
she says well go on up stares & sleep it off & I says sleep what
off & she says stop talking so loud do you want the naybers to
wake up & I says whos talking loud & she says o go to bed & I
says I am talking in conversational tones & she says well you
must be conversing with somebody in Boston & I says o you mean
that little blond on Beecon St. & Ethen she went a 1,000,000 mi.
up in the air & I seen it wasnt no use to try & tell her that the
reason I was feeling good was on acct.  having drank a Boston
swelt hed to sleep without feeling any affects & I bet the next
time I get a chanct I am going to get snooted right because a
fello gets blamed just as much if he doesnt feel the affects as
if he was brought home in a stuper & I was just kidding her about
that blond on Beecon St. Some women dont know when they are well
off Ethen & I bet that guy from Bostons Tom Duffy I mean wife
wishes she was in Prudences shoes instead of her having married a
man what cant holt no more than a qt. without being brought home
in a stuper.  Best rgds.                                 

Friend Ethen--

Well Ethen this is a funny world & when I joined the minit men
last mo. how was I to know that they called them minit men
because they was lible to get shot any minit.  & here I am
riteing to you in a tent outside Boston & any minit a canon ball
is lible to knock me for a continental loop & my house has been
burnt & Prudence is up in Conk Cord with her sister the one who
married that short skate dum bell Collins who has owed me 2 lbs.
for a yr.  & 1/2 well Ethen it never ranes but it pores & you can
be glad you are liveing in a nice quiet place like Philly.

Well the other night I and Prudence was sound asleep when I heard
some body banging at the frt.  door & I stuck my head out the up
stares window & I says who are you & he says I am Paul Revear & I
says well this is a h--ll of a time to be wakeing a peaceiful man
out of their bed what do you want & he says the Brittish are
comeing & I says o are they well this is the 19 of April not the
1st & I was going down stares to plank him 1 but he had rode away
tow wards Lexington before I had a chanct & as it turned out
after words the joke was on me O. K. Well who is it says Prudence
Charley Davis again because you might as well come back to bed if
it is & I says no it was some Boston smart alick trying to be
funny & I guess they are soar down there on acct. what hapened to
their prize fish up here last mo. & are trying to get even do you
know a Paul Revear & she says yes there was a boy at school named
Paul Revear who was crazy about me was he dark well Ethen if all
the fellos she says has been crazy about her was layed end to end
they would circum navygate the globe twicet & I says no he was
yello & that had her stopt so we went back to sleep only I
couldn't help laffing over the way I had slipt it across.  About
Revear being yello. Well along a bout A. M. there was a lot of
gun firing tow wards Lexington & Prudence grabed me & says whets
the shooting for & I says probably that fello Revear who was so
crazy a bout you has got funny oncet to oft ten & it will teach
them Boston doodes a lesson. Well Ethen I was wrong for oncet &
the firing kept getting worse & I hitcht up old Bessy & drove
over to Lexington Bessy is are horse & Ethen there was the h--ll
to pay there because the g-- d d--m Brittish redcotes had marcht
nup from Boston & had fired on the Lexington fellos & Charley
Davis had been shot dead & a lot of the other fellos was wooned
it & they said you had better get your wife to the h--ll out of
your house because the g--d d-- m Brittish redcotes are coming
back & they will burn everything along the rode the ---- I guess
you know what word goes there Ethen & I was so d--m mad at those
g--d d--m Brittish redcotes on acct. shooting Charley Davis dead
that I said give me a gun & show me the ---- who done it & they
says no you had better get your wife to a safe place to go to &
then you can come back because the ---- will be along this way
again the ----. Well I drove as fast as I could back to the farm
& somebody had already told Prudence what had hapend & as soon as
I drove into the yd. she come out with my muskit & hand it it to
me & says dont you worry about me but you kill every d--m redcote
you can see & I says the ----s has killed Charley Davis & she
says I know it & here is all the bullits I could find.  Well when
I got back to Lexington the redcotes was just coming along &
Ethen I guess they wont forget that march back to Boston for a
little whiles & I guess I wont either because the ----s burnt
down my house & barn & Prudence is gone to stay with her sister
in Conk Cord & here I am camping in a tent with a lot of other
minit men on the out skirts of Boston & there is a roomer a round
camp that to morrow we are going to move over to Bunker Hill
which is a good name for a Boston Hill Ill say & Ethen if you was
to of told me a mo. ago that I would be fighting to get Boston
away from the Brittish I would of planked you 1 because they
could of had Boston for all I cared. Well Ethen I must go out and
drill some more now & probably we will half to listen to some
Boston bird makeing a speech they are great fellos for speeches
about down with Brittish tirrany & give me liberty or give me
death but if you was to ast me Ethen I would say give me back
that house & barn what those lousie redcotes burnt & when this
excitement is all over what I want to know is Ethen where do I
get off at.                               Yrs                     

Chapter Six


In the Bedtime Story Manner of Thornton W. Burgess 

"Just the DAY for a Whisky Rebellion," said Aunt Polly and off
she ran, lipperty-lipperty-lip, to get a few shooting rifles.

"Oh goody goody," cried little Emily.  "Now we can all shoot at
those horrid Revenue Officers," for the collectors of internal
revenue were far from popular with these kindly Pennsylvania folk
and Aunt Polly Pinkwood had often promised the children that if
they were good some day they would be allowed to take a shot at a
Revenue Officer.

Soon she returned, bearing in her arms a number of bright shiny
new guns. The children crowded around in glee and soon all were
supplied with weapons except little Frank who of course was too
young to use a gun and was given a two-gallon jug of nice, old
whisky to carry. Jed hitched up old Taylor, the faithful farm
horse, and as quick as you could say Jack Robinson the little
ones had piled into the old carryall. Round Mr. Sun was just
peeping over the Purple Hills when the merry little party started
on its way, singing and laughing at the prospect of the day's

"I bet I kill five Revenue Officers," said little Edgar.

"Ha Ha Ha--you boaster, you," laughed Aunt Polly.  "You will be
lucky if you kill two, for I fear they will be hard to find

"Oh do you think so, Aunt Polly?" said little Elinor and she
began to cry, for Elinor dearly loved to shoot.

"Hush dear," said Miss Pinkwood with a kindly pat, for she loved
her little charges and it hurt her to see them unhappy. "I was
only joking.  And now children I will tell you a story."

"Oh goody goody," cried they all.  "Tell us a true story."

"All right," said Aunt Polly.  "I shall tell you a true story,"
and she began.

"Once there was a brave handsome man--"

"Mr. Welsbach," cried the children with one voice, for it was
well known in the neighborhood that Aunt Polly had long been
sweet on Julius Welsbach, the popular superintendent of the
Sabbath School and the best whisky maker for miles around.

"Hush children," said Aunt Polly blushing in vexation.  "Of
course not. And if you interrupt me I shall not tell my story at
all." But she was not really angry.

"And one day this brave handsome man was out making whisky and he
had just sampled some when he looked up and what do you suppose
he saw?"

"Snakes," cried little Elmer whose father had often had delirium
tremens, greatly to the delight of his children.

"No, Elmer," said Miss Pinkwood, "not snakes."

"Pink lizards," cried little Esther, Elmer's sister.

"No," said Aunt Polly, with a hearty laugh, "he saw a--stranger.
And what do you suppose the stranger had?"

"A snoot full," chorused the Schultz twins.  "He was pie-eyed."

"No," replied Miss Pinkwood laughing merrily.  "It was before
noon. Guess again children.  What did the stranger have?"

"Blind staggers," suggested little Faith whose mother had
recently been adjudged insane.

"Come children," replied Aunt Polly.  "You are not very wide
awake this morning.  The stranger had a gun.  And when the brave
handsome man offered the stranger a drink what do you suppose the
stranger said?"

"I know," cried little Prudence eagerly.  "He said, 'Why yes I
don't care if I do.'  That's what they all say."

"No, Prudence," replied Miss Pinkwood.  "The stranger refused a

"Oh come now, Aunt Polly," chorused the boys and girls. "You said
you were going to tell us a true story." And their little faces

"Children," said Miss Polly, "the stranger refused the drink
because he was a Revenue Officer.  And he pointed his gun at the
brave handsome man and said he would have to go to jail because
he had not paid the tax on his whisky. And the brave handsome man
would have had to have gone to jail, too; but fortunately his
brother came up just at the right time and--"

"Shot the Revenuer dead," cried the children in glee.

"Yes children," said Miss Polly.  "He shot the Revenue Officer

"Oh goody goody," cried all.  "Now tell us another story. Tell us
about the time your father killed a Revenue Officer with an ax."

"Oh you don't want to hear that again, do you children?" said
Aunt Polly.

"Oh yes--yes--please," they cried, and Aunt Polly was just going
to begin when Jed the driver stopped his horses and said:

"This hilltop is as good a place to shoot from as I know of, Miss
Pinkwood.  You can see both roads, and nobody can see you."

"Thank you, Jed," said Aunt Polly giving him a kindly smile, and
without more ado the children clambered out of the carryall and
filled their guns with powder and bullets.

"I get first shot," proudly announced Robert, the oldest boy, and
somewhat of a bully.

"Robert!" said Aunt Polly severely, and she looked almost ready
to cry, for Aunt Polly had tried hard to teach the boys to be
true knights of chivalry and it hurt her to have Robert wish to
shoot a Revenue Officer before the girls had had a chance. Robert
had not meant to hurt Aunt Polly's feelings but had only been
thoughtless, and soon all was sunshine again as little Ellen the
youngest made ready to fire the first shot.

The children waited patiently and soon they were rewarded by the
sight of a Revenue Officer riding on horseback in the distant
valley, as pretty a target as one could wish.

"Now do be careful, dear," whispered Miss Pinkwood, "for if you
miss, he may take alarm and be off."  But little Ellen did not
miss.  "Bang" went her gun and the little Merry Breezes echoed
back and forth, "She got him. She got him", and old Mother West
Wind smiled down at the happy sport.  Sure enough, when old Mr.
Smoke had cleared away there was a nice dead Revenue Officer
lying in the road. "Well done, Ellen," said Miss Pinkwood,
patting her little charge affectionately which caused the happy
girl to coo with childish delight.

Mary had next shot and soon all were popping away in great glee.
All the merry wood folk gathered near to watch the children at
their sport. There was Johnny Chuck and Reddy Fox and Jimmy Skunk
and Bobby Coon and oh everybody.

Soon round Mr. Sun was high in the Blue Sky and the children
began to tire somewhat of their sport.  "I'm as hungry as a
bear," said little Dick.  "I'm as hungry as two bears," said
Emily. "Ha Ha Ha," laughed Miss Pinkwood, "I know what will fix
that," and soon she had spread out a delicious repast.  "Now
children," said Miss Pinkwood when all had washed their faces and
hands, "while you were busy washing I prepared a surprise for
you," and from a large jug, before their delighted gaze, she
poured out-- what do you think?  "Bronxes," cried little Harriet. 
"Oh goody goody." And sure enough Aunt Polly had prepared a jug
of delicious Bronx cocktails which all pronounced excellent.

And after that there were sandwiches and olives and pie and good
three year old whisky, too.

"That's awfully smooth rye, Aunt Polly," said little Prudence
smacking her two red lips.  "I think I'll have another shot."

"No dear," said Miss Pinkwood, pleased by the compliment, but
firm withal. "Not now.  Perhaps on the way home, if there is any
left," for Aunt Polly knew that too much alcohol in the middle of
the day is bad for growing children, and she had seen many a
promising child spoiled by over-indulgent parents.

After lunch those children who could stand helped Aunt Polly to
clear away the dishes and then all went sound asleep, as is the
custom in Pennsylvania.

When they awoke round Mr. Sun was just sinking behind the Purple
Hills and so, after taking a few more scattered shots at Revenue
Officers, they piled once more into the carryall and drove back
to town. And as they passed Mrs. Oliphant's house (Aunt Polly's
sister) Aunt Flo Oliphant came out on the porch and waved her
handkerchief at the merry party.

"Let's give her a cheer," said Fred.

"Agreed," cried they all, and so twelve little throats united in
three lusty "huzzahs" which made Auntie Flo very happy you may be

And as they drove up before the Pinkwoods' modest home twelve
tired but happy children with one accord voted the Whisky
Rebellion capital fun and Aunt Polly a brick.



In the Manner of Harold Bell Wright 

On a brisk winter evening in the winter of 1864 the palatial
Fifth Avenue "palace" of Cornelius van der Griff was brilliantly
lighted with many brilliant lights.  Outside the imposing front
entrance a small group of pedestrians had gathered to gape
enviously at the invited guests of the "four hundred" who were
beginning to arrive in elegant equipages, expensive ball-dresses
and fashionable "swallowtails".

"Hully gee!" exclaimed little Frank, a crippled newsboy who was
the only support of an aged mother, as a particularly sumptuous
carriage drove up and a stylishly dressed lady of fifty-five or
sixty stepped out accompanied by a haughty society girl and an
elderly gentleman in clerical dress. It was Mrs. Rhinelander, a
social leader, and her daughter Geraldine, together with the Rev.
Dr. Gedney, pastor of an exclusive Fifth Avenue church.

"What common looking people," said Mrs. Rhinelander, surveying
the crowd aristocratically with her lorgnette.

"Yes, aren't they?" replied the clergyman with a condescending
glance which ill befit his clerical garb.

"I'm glad you don't have people like that dans votre eglise, Dr.
Gedney," said young Geraldine, who thought it was "smart" to
display her proficiency in the stylish French tongue. At this
moment the door of the van der Griff residence was opened for
them by an imposing footman in scarlet livery and they passed
into the abode of the "elect".

"Hully gee!" repeated little Frank.

"What's going on to-night?" asked a newcomer.

"Gee--don't youse know?" answered the newsboy.  "Dis is de van
der Griffs' and tonight dey are giving a swell dinner for General
Grant.  Dat lady wot just went in was old Mrs. Rhinelander.  I
seen her pitcher in de last Harper's Weekly and dere was a story
in de paper dis morning dat her daughter Geraldine was going to
marry de General."

"That isn't so," broke in another.  "It was just a rumor."

"Well, anyway," said Frank, "I wisht de General would hurry up
and come-- it's getting cold enough to freeze the tail off a
brass monkey." The onlookers laughed merrily at his humorous
reference to the frigid temperature, although many cast
sympathetic looks at his thin threadbare garments and registered
a kindly thought for this brave boy who so philosophically
accepted the buffets of fate.

"I bet this is him now," cried Frank, and all waited expectantly
as a vehicle drove up.  The cabman jumped off his box and held
the carriage door open.

"Here you are, Miss Flowers," he said, touching his hat

A silver peal of rippling laughter sounded from the interior of
the carriage.

"Why Jerry," came in velvet tones addressed to the coachman, "You
mustn't be so formal just because I have come to New York to
live. Call me 'Miss Ella,' of course, just like you did when we
lived out in Kansas," and with these words Miss Ella Flowers, for
it was she, stepped out of the carriage.

A hush fell on the crowd as they caught sight of her face--a hush
of silent tribute to the clear sweet womanhood of that pure
countenance. A young man on the edge of the crowd who was on the
verge of becoming a drunkard burst into tears and walked rapidly
away to join the nearest church. A pr-st---te who had been plying
her nefarious trade on the avenue, sank to her knees to pray for
strength to go back to her aged parents on the farm. Another
young man, catching sight of Ella's pure face, vowed to write
home to his old mother and send her the money he had been
expending in the city on drinks and dissipation.

And well might these city people be affected by the glimpse of
the sweet noble virtue which shone forth so radiantly in this
Kansas girl's countenance. Although born in Jersey City, Ella had
moved with her parents to the west at an early age and she had
grown up in the open country where a man's a man and women lead
clean sweet womanly lives.  Out in the pure air of God's green
places and amid kindly, simple, big hearted folks, little Ella
had blossomed and thrived, the pride of the whole country, and as
she had grown to womanhood there was many a masculine heart beat
a little faster for her presence and many a manly blush of
admiration came into the features of her admirers as she whirled
gracefully with them in the innocent pleasure of a simple country
dance. But on her eighteenth birthday, her parents had passed on
to the Great Beyond and the heartbroken Ella had come East to
live with Mrs. Montgomery, her aunt in Jersey City.  This lady,
being socially prominent in New York's "four hundred", was of
course quite ambitious that her pretty little niece from the West
should also enter society. For the last three months, therefore,
Ella had been feted at all the better class homes in New York and
Jersey City, and as Mrs. van der Griff, the Fifth Avenue social
leader, was in the same set as Ella's aunt, it was only natural
that when making out her list of guests for the dinner in honor
of General Grant she should include the beautiful niece of her

As Ella stepped from the carriage, her gaze fell upon little
Frank, the crippled newsboy, and her eyes quickly filled with
tears, for social success had not yet caused her to forget that
"blessed are the weak". Taking out her purse, she gave Frank a
silver dollar and a warm look of sympathy as she passed into the

"Gee, there went an angel," whispered the little cripple, and
many who heard him silently echoed that thought in their hearts.
Nor were they far from wrong.

But even an angel is not free from temptation, and by letting
Ella go into society her aunt was exposing the girl to the
whisperings of Satan-- whisperings of things material rather than
things spiritual. Many a girl just as pure as Ella has found her
standards gradually lowered and her moral character slowly
weakened by the contact with the so-called "refined" and
"cultured" infidels one meets in fashionable society. Many a
father and mother whose ambition has caused them to have their
daughter go out in society have bitterly repented of that step as
they watched the poor girl gradually succumbing to the temptation
of the world. Let her who thinks it is "smart" to be in society
consider that our brothels with their red plush curtains, their
hardwood floors and their luxurious appointments, are filled
largely with the worn out belles and debutantes of fashionable

The next minute a bugle call sounded down the street and up drove
a team of prancing grays.  Two soldiers sprang down from the
coachman's box and stood at rigid attention while the door of the
carriage opened and out stepped General Ulysses S. Grant.

A murmur of admiration swept over the crowd at the sight of his
manly inspiring features, in which the clean cut virility of a
life free from dissipation was accentuated by the neatly trimmed
black beard. His erect military bearing--his neat, well fitting
uniform--but above all his frank open face proclaimed him a man's
man--a man among men. A cheer burst from the lips of the
onlookers and the brave but modest general lowered his eyes and
blushed as he acknowledged their greeting.

"Men and women," he said, in a voice which although low, one
could see was accustomed to being obeyed, "I thank you for your
cheers. It makes my heart rejoice to hear them, for I know you
are not cheering me personally but only as one of the many men
who are fighting for the cause of liberty and freedom, and
for----" the general's voice broke a little, but he mastered his
emotion and went on--"for the flag we all love."

At this he pulled from his pocket an American flag and held it up
so that all could see.  Cheer after cheer rent the air, and tears
came to the general's eyes at this mark of devotion to the common

"Wipe the d--d rebels off the face of the earth, G-d d--'em,"
shouted a too enthusiastic member of the crowd who, I fear, was a
little the worse for drink.  In an instant General Grant had
stepped up to him and fixed upon him those fearless blue eyes.

"My man," said the general, "It hurts me to hear you give vent to
those oaths, especially in the presence of ladies. Soldiers do
not curse, and I think you would do well to follow their

The other lowered his head shamefacedly.  "General," he said,
"You're right and I apologize."

A smile lit up the general's handsome features and he extended
his hand to the other.

"Shake on it," he said simply, and as the crowd roared its
approval of this speech the two men "shook".

Meanwhile within the van der Griff house all were agog with
excitement in expectation of the arrival of the distinguished
guest. Expensively dressed ladies fluttered here and there amid
the elegant appointments; servants in stylish livery passed to
and fro with trays of wine and other spirituous liquors.

At the sound of the cheering outside, the haughty Mrs.
Rhinelander patted her daughter Geraldine nervously, and between
mother and daughter passed a glance of understanding, for both
felt that to-night, if ever, was Geraldine's opportunity to win
the handsome and popular general.

The doorbell rang, and a hush fell over the chattering
assemblage; then came the proud announcement from the
doorman--"General Ulysses S. Grant"--and all the society belles
crowded forward around the guest of honor.

It had been rumored that the general, being a soldier, was
ignorant of social etiquette, but such proved to be far from the
case. Indeed, he handled himself with such ease of manner that he
captivated all, and for each and every young miss he had an apt
phrase or a pretty compliment, greatly to their

"Pleased to know you"--"Glad to shake the hand of such a pretty
girl"--"What a nice little hand--I wish I might hold it all
evening"-- with these and kindred pleasantries the general won
the way into the graces of Mrs. van der Griff's fair guests, and
many a female heart fluttered in her bosom as she gazed into the
clear blue eyes of the soldier, and listened to his well chosen
tactful words.

"And how is the dear General this evening?"--this in the affected
tone of old Mrs. Rhinelander, as she forced her way through the

"Finer than silk," replied he, and he added, solicitously, "I
hope you have recovered from your lumbago, Mrs. Rhinelander."

"Oh quite," answered she, "and here is Geraldine, General," and
the ambitious mother pushed her daughter forward.

"Comment vous portez vous, mon General," said Geraldine in
French, "I hope we can have a nice tete-a-tete to-night," and she
fawned upon her prey in a manner that would have sickened a less
artificial gathering.

Were there not some amid all that fashionable throng in whom
ideals of purity and true womanhood lived--some who cared enough
for the sacredness of real love to cry upon this hollow mockery
that was being used to ensnare the simple, honest soldier? There
was only one, and she was at that moment entering the drawing
room for the purpose of being presented to the general. Need I
name her?

Ella, for it was she, had been upstairs busying herself with her
toilet when General Grant had arrived and she now hurried forward
to pay her homage to the great soldier. And then, as she caught
sight of his face, she stopped suddenly and a deep crimson blush
spread over her features. She looked again, and then drew back
behind a nearby portiere, her heart beating wildly.

Well did Ella remember where she had seen that countenance
before, and as she stood there trembling the whole scene of her
folly came back to her.  It had happened in Kansas, just before
her parents died, on one sunny May morning. She had gone for a
walk; her footsteps had led her to the banks of a secluded lake
where she often went when she wished to be alone.  Many an
afternoon had Ella dreamed idly away on this shore, but that day,
for some reason, she had felt unusually full of life and not at
all like dreaming. Obeying a thoughtless but innocent impulse,
with no intention of evil, she had taken off her clothes and
plunged thus n-k-d into the cool waters of the lake.  After she
had swum around a little she began to realize the extent of her
folly and was hurriedly swimming towards the shore when a
terrific cramp had seized her lower limbs, rendering them
powerless. Her first impulse, to scream for help, was quickly
checked with a deep blush, as she realized the consequences if a
man should hear her call, for nearby was an encampment of Union
soldiers, none of whom she knew. The perplexed and helpless girl
was in sore straits and was slowly sinking for the third time,
when a bearded stranger in soldier's uniform appeared on the bank
and dove into the water.  To her horror he swam rapidly towards
her--but her shame was soon changed to joy when she realized that
he was purposely keeping his eyes tight shut.  With a few swift
powerful strokes he reached her side, and, blushing deeply, took
off his blue coat, fastened it around her, opened his eyes, and
swam with her to the shore. Carrying her to where she had left
her clothes he stayed only long enough to assure himself that she
had completely recovered the use of her limbs, and evidently to
spare her further embarrassment, had vanished as quickly and as
mysteriously as he had appeared.

Many a night after that had Ella lain awake thinking of the
splendid features and, the even more splendid conduct of this
unknown knight who wore the uniform of the Union army.  "How I
love him," she would whisper to herself; "but how he must despise
me!" she would cry, and her pillow was often wet with tears of
shame and mortification at her folly.

It was shortly after this episode that her parents had taken sick
and passed away.  Ella had come East and had given up hope of
ever seeing her rescuer again. You may imagine her feelings then
when, on entering the drawing room at the van der Griffs', she
discovered that the stranger who had so gallantly and tactfully
rescued her from a watery grave was none other than General
Ulysses S. Grant.

The poor girl was torn by a tumult of contrary emotions. Suppose
he should remember her face.  She blushed at the thought. And
besides what chance had she to win such a great man's heart in
competition with these society girls like Geraldine Rhinelander
who had been "abroad" and spoke French.

At that moment one of the liveried servants approached the
general with a trayful of filled wine glasses.  So engrossed was
the soldier hero in talking to Geraldine--or, rather, in
listening to her alluring chatter-- that he did not at first
notice what was being offered him.

"Will you have a drink of champagne wine, General?" said Mrs. van
der Griff who stood near.

The general raised his head and frowned as if he did not

"Come, mon General," cried Geraldine gayly, "We shall drink a
votre succes dans la guerre," and the flighty girl raised a glass
of wine on high. Several of the guests crowded around and all
were about to drink to the general's health.

"Stop," cried General Grant suddenly realizing what was being
done, and something in the tone of his voice made everyone

"Madam," said he, turning to Mrs. van der Griff, "Am I to
understand that there is liquor in those glasses?"

"Why yes, General," said the hostess smiling uneasily. "It is
just a little champagne wine."

"Madam," said the general, "It may be 'just champagne wine' to
you, but 'just champagne wine' has ruined many a poor fellow and
to me all alcoholic beverages are an abomination. I cannot
consent, madam, to remain under your roof if they are to be
served.  I have never taken a drop--I have tried to  stamp it out
of the army, and I owe it to my soldiers to decline to be a guest
at a house where wine and liquor are served."

An excited buzz of comment arose as the general delivered this
ultimatum. A few there were who secretly approved his sentiments,
but they were far too few in numbers and constant indulgence in
alcohol had weakened their wills so that they dared not stand
forth. An angry flush appeared on the face of the hostess, for in
society, "good form" is more important than courage and ideals,
and by his frank statement General Grant had violently violated
the canons of correct social etiquette.

"Very well, Mr. Grant," she said, stressing the "Mr."--"if that's
the way you feel about it----"

"Stop," cried an unexpected voice, and to the amazement of all
Ella Flowers stepped forward, her teeth clenched, her eyes

"Stop," she repeated, "He is right--the liquor evil is one of the
worst curses of modern civilization, and if General Grant leaves,
so do I."

Mrs. van der Griff hesitated for an instant, and then suddenly
forced a smile.

"Why Ella dear, of course General Grant is right," said she, for
it was well known in financial circles that her husband, Mr. van
der Griff, had recently borrowed heavily from Ella's uncle.
"There will not be a drop of wine served to-night, and now
General, shall we go in to dinner?  Will you be so kind as to
lead the way with Miss Rhinelander?"  The hostess had recovered
her composure, and smiling sweetly at the guest of honor, gave
orders to the servants to remove the wine glasses.

But General Grant did not hear her; he was looking at Ella
Flowers. And as he gazed at the sweet beauty of her countenance
he seemed to feel rising within him something which he had never
felt before-- something which made everything else seem petty and
trivial. And as he looked into her eyes and she looked into his,
he read her answer-- the only answer true womanhood can make to
clean, worthy manhood.

"Shall we go a la salle-a-manger?" sounded a voice in his ears,
and Geraldine's sinuous arm was thrust through his.

General Grant took the proffered talon and gently removed it from

"Miss Rhinelander," he said firmly, "I am taking this young lady
as my partner," and suiting the action to the word, he graciously
extended his arm to Ella who took it with a pretty blush.

It was General Grant's turn to blush when the other guests, with
a few exceptions, applauded his choice loudly, and made way
enthusiastically as the handsome couple advanced to the
brilliantly lighted dining room.

But although the hostess had provided the most costly of viands,
I am afraid that the brave general did not fully appreciate them,
for in his soul was the joy of a strong man who has found his
mate and in his heart was the singing of the eternal song, "I
love her-- I love her--I love her!"

It was only too apparent to the other guests what had happened
and to their credit be it said that they heartily approved his
choice, for Mrs. Rhinelander and her scheming daughter Geraldine
had made countless enemies with their haughty manners, whereas
the sweet simplicity of Ella Flowers had won her numerous
friends. And all laughed merrily when General Grant, in his after
dinner speech, said "flowers" instead of "flour" when speaking of
provisioning the army--a slip which caused both the general and
Miss Flowers to blush furiously, greatly to the delight of the
good-natured guests. "All the world loves a lover"--truer words
were never penned.

After dinner, while the other men, according to the usages of
best society, were filling the air of the dining room with the
fumes of nicotine, the general, who did not use tobacco, excused
himself--amid many sly winks from the other men-- and wandered
out into the conservatory.

There he found Ella.

"General," she began.

"Miss Flowers," said the strong man simply, "Call me Ulysses."

And there let us leave them.



In the Manner of Edith Wharton 

It was already late afternoon and the gas street lamps of the
Boul' Mich' were being lighted for Paris, or at least for Paris
in summer, by a somewhat frigid looking allumeur, when Philip
Custer came to the end of his letter. He hesitated for an
instant, wrote "Your----," then crossed that out and substituted
"Sincerely."  No, decidedly the first ending, with its, as is,
or, rather, as ordinarily is, the case in hymeneal epistles,
somewhat possessive sense, would no longer suffice.  "Yours
truly"-- perhaps; "sincerely"--better; but certainly not "Your
husband." He was done, thank God, with presences.

Philip sipped his absinthe and gazed for an instant through the
Cafe window; a solitary fiacre rattled by; he picked up the
result of his afternoon's labor, wearily.

"Dear Mary," he read, "When I told you that my employers were
sending me to Paris, I lied to you.  It was, perhaps, the first
direct lie that I ever told you; it was, I know now, the last.
But a falsehood by word of mouth mattered really very little in
comparison with the enormous lie that my life with you had

Philip paused and smiled, somewhat bitterly, at that point in the
letter.  Mary, with her American woman's intuition, would
undoubtedly surmise that he had run off with Mrs. Everett; there
was a certain ironical humor in the fact that Mary's mistaken
guess would be sadly indicative of her whole failure to
understand what her husband was, to use a slang expression,
"driving at."

"I hope that you will believe me when I say that I came to Paris
to paint. In the past four years the desire to do that has grown
steadily until it has mastered me.  You do not understand.  I
found no one in America who did. I think my mother might have,
had she lived; certainly it is utterly incomprehensible to

Philip stopped.  Ay, there was the rub--General Custer, and all
that he stood for.  Philip glimpsed momentarily those early
boyhood days with his father, spent mainly in army posts; the
boy's cavalry uniform, in which he had ridden old Bess about the
camp, waving his miniature sabre; the day he had been thrown to
the ground by a strange horse which he had disobediently mounted,
just as his father arrived on the scene. Philip had never
forgotten his father's words that day. "Don't crawl, son,--don't
whine.  It was your fault this time and you deserved what you
got.  Lots of times it won't be your fault, but you'll have to
take your licking anyway. But remember this, son--take your
medicine like a man--always."

Philip groaned; he knew what the general would say when the news
of his son's desertion of his wife and four year old boy reached
him. He knew that he never could explain to his father the
absolute torture of the last four years of enervating domesticity
and business mediocrity-- the torture of the Beauty within him
crying for expression, half satisfied by the stolen evenings at
the art school but constantly growing stronger in its
all-consuming appeal.  No, life to his father was a simple
problem in army ethics--a problem in which duty was "a", one of
the known factors; "x," the unknown, was either "bravery" or
"cowardice" when brought in contact with "a". Having solved this
problem, his father had closed the book; of the higher
mathematics, and especially of those complex problems to which no
living man knew the final answer, he had no conception. And

Philip resumed his reading to avoid the old endless maze of

"It is not that I did not--or do not--love you. It is, rather,
that something within me is crying out-- something which is
stronger than I, and which I cannot resist. I have waited two
years to be sure.  Yesterday, as soon as I reached here, I took
my work to the man who is considered the finest art critic in
Paris.  He told me that there was a quality to my painting which
he had seen in that of no living artist; he told me that in five
years of hard work I should be able to produce work which
Botticelli would be proud to have done. Do you understand that,

"But no, forgive me.  My paean of joy comes strangely in a letter
which should be of abject humility for what must seem to you, to
father, and to all, a cowardly, selfish act of desertion-- a
whining failure to face life.  Oh dear, dear Mary if you could
but understand what a hell I have been through--"

Philip took his pen and crossed out the last line so that no one
could read what had been there.

"Materially, of course, you and little George will be better off;
the foolish pride with which I refused to let your parents help
us now no longer stands in their way.  You should have no
difficulty about a divorce.

"You can dispose of my things as you see fit; there is nothing I
care about keeping which I did not bring.

"Again, Mary, I cannot ask you to forgive, or even to understand,
but I do hope that you will believe me when I say that this act
of mine is the most honest thing I have ever done, and that to
have acted out the tragi-comedy in the part of a happy contented
husband would have made of both of our lives a bitter useless
farce.                   Sincerely,                               

He folded the pages and addressed the envelope.

"Pardon, Monsieur"--a whiff of sulphur came to his nose as the
waiter bent over the table to light the gas above him. "Would
Monsieur like to see the journal?  There is a most amusing story
about---- The bill, Monsieur?  Yes--in a moment."

Philip glanced nervously through the pages of the Temps.  He was
anxious to get the letter to the post--to have done with
indecision and worry. It would be a blessed relief when the thing
was finally done beyond chance of recall; why couldn't that
stupid waiter hurry?

On the last page of the newspaper was an item headlined "Recent
News from America."  Below was a sub-heading "Horrible Massacre
of Soldiers by Indians--Brave Stand of American Troopers."  He
caught the name "Custer" and read:

"And by his brave death at the hands of the Indians, this gallant
American general has made the name of Custer one which will
forever be associated with courage of the highest type."

He read it all through again and sat quietly as the hand of
Polyphemus closed over him.  He even smiled a little-- a weary,
ironic smile.

"Monsieur desires something more, perhaps"--the waiter held out
the bill.

Philip smiled.  "No--Monsieur has finished--there is nothing

Then he repeated slowly, "There is nothing more."

* * * *

Philip watched his son George blow out the twelve candles on his
birthday cake.

"Mother," said George, "when I get to be eighteen, can I be a
soldier just like grandfather up there?"  He pointed to the
portrait of Philip's father in uniform which hung in the dining

"Of course you can, dear," said his mother.  "But you must be a
brave boy".

"Grandfather was awful brave, wasn't he father?" This from little
Mary between mouthfuls of cake.

"Yes, Mary," Philip answered.  "He was very, very brave."

"Of course he was," said George.  "He was an American."

"Yes," answered Philip, "That explains it.--he was an

Mrs. Custer looked up at the portrait of her distinguished

"You know Philip, I think it must be quite nice to be able to
paint a picture like that.  I've often wondered why you never
kept up your art,"




Act I:  In the Manner of Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews

Act 2:  In the Manner of Eugene O'Neill


(Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews)


 A principal street of an American city in the spring of 1918.

At the rear of the stage, representing the opposite sidewalk of
the street, are gathered many people come to bid farewell to the
boys of the Blankth regiment who are soon to march past on their
way to France.

Extending across the "street", from footlights to "sidewalk", is
a large white plaster arch, gayly decorated with the Allied

On this arch is the inscription "For the Freedom of the World."

At the rising of the curtain, distant march music is heard (off
stage, right); this constantly grows louder during the ensuing
dialogue which takes place between three elderly women crowded
together at the edge of the sidewalk. These women, although,
before the war, of different stations in social rank, are now
united, as are all mothers in the Allied countries, by the
glorious badge which each proudly wears pinned over her
heart--the service star.

The Professor's Wife--I hear them coming.

The Street-cleaner's Wife--So do I. I hope my boy Pat sees me.

The Pawnbroker's Wife--I told my Jean where to look.

The approaching music and the cheering of the spectators drowns
out further conversation.

Enter (right) the regimental band playing the "Stars and Stripes
Forever."  They march through the arch and exit left. Following
them comes the flag, at the sight of which all the male
spectators (young boys and men too old to fight) remove their
hats. After the colors come the troops, splendid clean faced
fellows, in whose eyes shines the light of civilization's ideals,
in whose ears rings the never forgettable cry of heroic France
and brave little Belgium.  The boys are marching four abreast,
with a firm determined step; it is as though each man were saying
to himself "They shall not pass."

After the first few squads have marched through the arch and off
left, the command is issued off-stage "Company--HALT."  A young
lieutenant repeats this order to his men, and the column comes to
a stop. The men stand at attention until given the command
"Rest", when they relax and a murmur of conversation arises from
the ranks, in which characteristic sentences "German ideals are
not our ideals" and "Suppose it was your own sister" show only
too well what the boys are thinking of day and night.

As the column halts, the three service star mothers rush out from
the curb and embrace their sons who happen to be in this company.
At the same time a very attractive girl runs up to the young

The Lieutenant--Ellen!
His Fiancee--John!
The Professor's Son}
The Streetcleaner's Son } Mother!
The Pawnbroker's Son }

The Professor's Wife } 
The Streetcleaner's Wife } My Boy!
The Pawnbroker's Wife }
Voice off stage--Company--Atten SHUN!

 The farewells are said, the men come to attention.

Voice off stage--Forward--MARCH

The Lieutenant--(Pointing with his sword to the inscription on
the arch)--Forward for the Freedom of the World--MARCH.

The men's teeth click together, their heads are thrown back, and
with a light in their eyes that somehow suggests Joan of Arc the
Crusaders move on.


 Three months later.

A section of an American front line trench now occupied by the
Blankth regiment.

It is early morning and the three soldiers mentioned in Scene 1
are conversing together for perhaps the last time, for soon they
are to be given the chance which every American man desires more
than anything in the world-- the opportunity to go "over the

The Professor's Son--Well fellows, in a few minutes we shall be
able to show the people at home that their boys are not cowards
when the fate of civilization is at stake.

The Pawnbroker's Son--Here's a newspaper clipping mother sent me.
It's from a speech made the other day in Congress.  (He reads)
"And we and our children--and our children's children will never
forget the debt we owe those brave boys who are now in France."

The Streetcleaner's Son--That makes a fellow feel pretty good
inside, doesn't it?  It makes me glad I'm doing my bit-- and
after the war I hope the ideals which have inspired us all will
make us better citizens in a better world.

The Professor's Son--Not only will we be better citizens-- not
only will the torch of liberty shine more brightly--but also each
one of us will go back to his job with a deeper vision.

The Pawnbroker's Son--That's right I am a musician--a pianist,
you know--and I hope that after the war I shall be able to tell
America, through my music, of the glory of this holy cause.

The Professor's Son--I didn't know you were a pianist.

The Pawnbroker's Son--Yes--ever since I was a boy--I have had no
other interest.  My father tried to make me go into his shop but
I couldn't stand it.  He got angry and refused to support me; I
had a hard time until I won a scholarship at a New York musical
college. Just before the war I had a chance to play the Schumann
concerto with the Philharmonic; the critics all said that in
another year I would be-- but fellows--you must think me
frightfully conceited to talk so, and besides what matters my
musical career in comparison with the sacrifice which everyone is

The Streetcleaner's Son--And gladly making, too, for it is easy
to give up all, as did Joan of Arc, for France.  Attention, men!
here comes one of our officers.

 The three stand at attention.

Enter the Lieutenant.

The Lieutenant--Well, men, do you feel ready?

The Three--More than ready, sir--eager.

The Lieutenant--Brave men!  (To the Professor's Son) Come here a
minute, Keating.  I have something to ask you before we go over
the top.

The Professor's Son and the Lieutenant go to one side.

The Lieutenant--(To the other two in a kindly manner)--At ease!

The Streetcleaner's Son--Thank you, sir.

They relax from their rigid posture of "attention".

The Lieutenant--(To the Professor's Son)--Keating, when we "go
over", we--may--never come back, you know.  And I want to ask a
favor of you.  I am engaged--to a girl back home--here is her
picture (he draws a photograph from his inner breast pocket and
shows it to the Professor's Son.)

The Professor's Son--She is beautiful, Sir.

The Lieutenant--(Putting the photograph back in his pocket)-- Yes
very beautiful.  And (dropping his eyes)--I love her.  If--if I
should "go west" I want you to write her and tell her that my
last thoughts were of my country and--her.  We are to be
married-- after the war--if (suddenly clearing his throat). Her
name is Ellen Radcliff--here, I'll write the address down for

He does so, and hands the slip of paper to the Professor's Son,
who discreetly turns away.

The Lieutenant--(Brusquely)--That's all, Keating.

A bugle sounds.

The Lieutenant--Attention men!  At the next bugle call you go
over the top-- remember that you are Americans and that Americans
know how to fight and die in the cause of liberty and for the
freedom of the world. The Three Soldiers--We are ready to make
the supreme sacrifice if need be.

 The bugle sounds.

The Lieutenant--(Climbing up the ladder to the top of the
trench)-- Follow me, men--

The Three Soldiers--(Climbing up after him)--Lafayette--we come,
though poppies bloom in Flanders field.

 They go "over the top".


 A section of a Hun trench a minute later.  Two Hun soldiers are
conversing together; another Hun is reading a copy of Nietzsche.

First Hun Soldier--And then we cut the hands off all the little
children-- oh it was wonderful.

Second Hun Soldier--I wish I had been there.

 A Hun Lieutenant rushes in.

The Hun Lieutenant--(Kicking the three men and brandishing his
revolver)--Swine--wake up--here come the Americans.

 The three spring to their feet and seize their guns. At the top
of the trench appears the American lieutenant, closely followed
by the three soldiers.

The American Lieutenant--(Coolly)--We come to avenge the sinking
of the Lusitania.

The Hun Lieutenant--Hoch der Kaiser!  Might is stronger than

 He treacherously tries to shoot the American but the Professor's
Son disarms him with his bayonet.  The three Hun soldiers offer a
show of resistance.

The Streetcleaner's Son--(To first Hun soldier)--Your hands are
unclean with the murder of innocent women and children.

First Hun Soldier--(Dropping his gun)--Kamerad!

The Pawnbroker's Son--(To the other Hun soldiers)-- Prussianism
has destroyed the Germany of Bach and Beethoven and you fellows
know it, too.

Second and third Hun Soldiers--(Dropping their guns)--Kamerad!

The American Lieutenant--Men--you have kept the faith. I am proud
of you.  Forward!

 An explosion (not too loud to annoy the audience) is heard off
stage right.

The Professor's Son--(Sinking to the ground) Fellows, I'm afraid
they've got me.

The Streetcleaner's Son--What a shame!

The Lieutenant--Is there anything we can do to ease the pain?

The Professor's Son--(Weakening rapidly) No--go on, boys, carry
the--banner of--civilization's ideals--forward--without me-- Tell
mother I'm glad--I did--my bit--for the freedom-- of the
world--fellows, the only--thing--I regret--is that I won't-- be
able to be with you--when you--go back--to enjoy the gratitude--
of America--good-bye, fellows, may you drink--to the full-- the
rewards of a grateful nation.

He dies.  The others regretfully leave him behind as they push on
after the fleeing Huns.

The stage is slowly darkened--the noise of battle dies away.

Enter an Angel in the uniform of the Y.M.C.A. She goes up to the
fallen hero and taking him in her arms tenderly carries him off
the stage.




(Eugene O'Neill)


 The bedroom of a bachelor apartment in New York City in the Fall
of 1920.

There is about the room an air of neglect, as though the occupant
did not particularly give a damn whether he slept in this room or
in hell. This is evidenced in a general way by the absence of any
attempts at decoration and by the presence of dirty laundry and
unopened letters scattered about the room.

The furniture consists of a bed and a bureau; at the foot of the
former is a trunk such as was used by American army officers in
the recent war.

Although it is three in the morning, the bed is unoccupied. The
electric light over the bureau has been left lighted.

The lamp flickers and goes out for a minute; when it again
flashes on, the Angel and the Professor's Son are seen standing
in the room, as though they had come there directly from the
close of the preceding act; the Angel, however, has completely
removed all Y.M.C.A. insignia and now has a beard and chews
tobacco; from time to time he spits out of the window.

The angel--Why the hell weren't you satisfied to stay in heaven?

The Professor's Son--Well, I just wanted to see my old buddies
once more-- I want to see them enjoying the gratitude of the

The Angel--Hmmmm--well, this is where your Lieutenant now lives--
and I think I hear him coming.

 They step behind a curtain.  The noise of a key rattling in a
lock is heard, then a light flashes on in the next room. The
sound of unsteady footsteps--a vase is knocked over--a curse--
then enter the Lieutenant.

He wears a dinner-coat, one sleeve of which hangs empty. His face
is white, his eyes set, his mouth hard and hopeless. He is
drunk--not hilariously--but with the drunkenness of despair.

He sits down on the bed and remains for several minutes, his head
in his hands.

The Lieutenant--God, I'm drunk--(after a pause)-- drunk
again--well, what of it--what the hell difference does it
make--get drunk if I want to--sure I will--get drunk-- that's the
dope DRUNK--oh Christ!--

He throws himself on the bed and after lying there a few minutes
sits up.

The Lieutenant--Gotta have another drink--can't go sleep, God
damn it--brain too clear--gotta kill brain--that's the dope--
kill brain--forget--wipe out past--

He opens the trunk in his search for liquor.  He suddenly pulls
out his lieutenant's coat and holds it up,

The Lieutenant--There's that God damn thing--never wanted to see
it again-- wound stripes on right sleeve, too--hurrah for brave
soldier--arm shot off to--to make world safe for
democracy--blaa--the god damn hypocrites-- democracy hell--arm
shot off because I wasn't clever enough to stay out of it--ought
to have had sense enough to join the--the ordinance department
or--or the Y.M.C.A.

He feels aimlessly through the pockets of the coat.  Suddenly,
from the inside breast pocket he draws out something--a

The Lieutenant--Ellen!  Oh God!

He gazes at the picture for a long time.

The Lieutenant--Yes, Ellen, I should have joined the Y.M.C.A.
shouldn't I?--where they don't get their arms shot off-- couldn't
marry a man with one arm, could you?--of course not-- think of
looking at an empty sleeve year after year-- children might be
born with only one arm, too--children--oh God damn you, Ellen,
you and your Y.M.C.A. husband!

 He tears the picture in two and hurls it into the trunk. Then he
sinks onto the bed, sobbing drunkenly.  After a few minutes, he
walks over to the trunk and picks up one half of the torn
picture. He turns it over in his hand and reads the writing on
the back.

The Lieutenant (Reading)--"I'm waiting for you, dear--when you
have done your bit 'for the freedom of the world'."

He smiles, wearily, and reaches down to pick up the other half of
the picture.  His eye is caught by something shiny; it is his
army revolver. He slowly picks it up and looks at it for a long

The Lieutenant--For the freedom of the world--

He quickly opens his top bureau drawer and takes out a box of
cartridges. One of these he inserts in a chamber of his revolver.

The Lieutenant--For the FREEDOM--

He laughs.

As the curtain falls he presses the revolver against his temple
and fires.


 A bare room in a boarding house.  To the left is a bed, to the
right a grand piano--the latter curiously out of keeping with the
other cheap furnishings. The room is in partial darkness.

The door slowly swings open; the Angel and the Professor's Son

The Angel--And here you have the room of your friend the
Pawnbroker's Son-- the musical genius--with a brilliant future.

They hide in a closet, leaving the door partly open.

Enter Jean, the Pawnbroker's Son.  He has on a cutaway suit-- a
relic of his first and last public concert before the war. His
shoulders sag dejectedly and his face is drawn and white. He
comes in and sits on the bed.  A knock--a determined knock-- is
heard at the door but Jean does not move.  The door opens and his
landlady--a shrewish, sharp faced woman of 40--appears. He gets
up off the bed when he sees her and bows.

The Landlady--I forgot you was deef or I wouldn't have wasted my
time hitting my knuckles against your door.

Jean gazes at her.

The Landlady--Well Mr. Rosen I guess you know why I'm here-- it's
pay up today or get out.

Jean--Please write it down--you know I cannot hear a word you
say. I suppose it's about the rent.

The landlady takes paper and pencil and writes.

The Landlady--(Reading over the result of her labor)--
"To-day--is--the--last day.  If you can't pay, you must get out "

She hands it to Jean and he reads.

Jean--But I cannot pay.  Next week perhaps I shall get work--

The Landlady--(Scornfully)--Yes--Next week maybe I have to sell
another liberty bond for seventy dollars what I paid a hundred
dollars for, too. No sir I need the money NOW.  Here--

 She writes and hands it to him.

Jean (Reading)--Sell my piano?  But please I cannot do that--yet.

The Landlady--A lot of good a piano does a deef person like you.
That's a good one--( She laughs harshly). The deef musician--ho
ho-- with a piano.

Jean--Madam, I shall pay you surely next week. There has been
some delay in my war risk insurance payment. I should think that
you would trust a soldier who lost his hearing in the trenches--

The Landlady--That's old stuff.  You soldiers think just because
you were unlucky enough to get drafted you can spend the rest of
your life patting yourselves on the back.  Besides--what good did
the war do anyway-- except make a lot of rich people richer?

She scribbles emphatically "Either you pay up tonight or out you

Handing this to Jean with a flourish, she exits.

 He sits on the bed for a long time.

Finally he glances up at the wall over his bed where hangs a
cheap photo frame.  In the center is a picture of President
Wilson; on one side of this is a crude print of a soldier, on the
other side a sailor; above is the inscription "For the Freedom of
the World."

Jean takes down the picture and looks at it.  As he replaces it
on the wall he sees hanging above it the bayonet which he had
carried through the war. He slowly takes the weapon down, runs
his fingers along the edge and smiles--a quiet tired smile which
does not leave his face during the rest of the scene.

He walks over to the piano and plays the opening chords of the
Schumann concerto.  Then shaking his head sadly, he tenderly
closes down the lid and locks it.

He next writes a note which he folds and places, with the key to
the piano, in an envelope.  Sealing and addressing the envelope,
he places it on the piano.  Then, walking over to the bed, he
picks up the bayonet, and shutting his eyes for an instant, he
steps forward and cuts his throat as the curtain falls.


 Same as Act 1, Scene 1 except for the changes made in the city
street by a year or more of peace.

The arch across the thoroughfare still stands, although it has
become badly discolored and dirty; the inscription "For the
Freedom of the World" is but faintly visible.  As the curtain
rises workmen are busy at work tearing the arch down.

 Enter the Angel and the Professor's Son.

The Angel--Stand over here, out of the way, and you'll see the
last of your cronies--Pat, the Streetcleaner's Son-- enjoying the
gratitude of the world.

The Professor's Son does not answer.

 Enter Pat.  He has on an old pair of corduroy trousers, with his
brown army shirt, and shoes out at the heel.

He looks as if he had not slept for days certainly he has not
shaved for a week.  He approaches one of the workmen.

Pat--Say buddy any chance for a job here?

The Workman--Hell no.  They was fifty applicants yesterday.
(Looking at his army shirt) Most of them ex-soldiers like you.
Jobs is mighty scarce.

Pat--I'll tell the world they are.  I'd almost join the army
again, except for my wife and kid.

The Workman--God--don't do it.

Pat--Why--was you across?

The Workman--Yes, God damn it--eight months.  Next war I'll let
somebody else do the fighting.

Pat--Same here.  The wise guys were them that stayed at home and
kept their jobs.

The Workman--I'll say they were.

Pat--(Growing more excited)--And while we was over there
fighting, nothing was too good for us--"brave boys," they said,
"we shall never forget what you have done for us." Never
forget--hell!  In about a year everybody forgot there ever was a
war and a fellow has a hell of a time getting a job--and when you
mention the war they just laugh--why God damn it, I've been out
of work for six months and I ain't no loafer either and my wife
has had to go back to her folks and I'm just about all in--

 During this speech the work on dismantling the arch has steadily
progressed. Suddenly there comes a warning cry--"Look out"--as
the supports unexpectedly give way.  Pat is too engrossed in his
tirade to take heed, and as the center portion of the arch falls
it crushes him beneath its weight. After the cloud of dust
clears, he is seen lying under the mass. By a curious twist of
fate he has been crushed by the portion of the arch bearing the
inscription "For the Freedom of the World."  His eyes open for an
instant--he reads, through the mist of approaching death, the
words, and he laughs--

Pat--For the Freedom of the World--Oh Christ!

His mocking laughter is interrupted by a severe fit of coughing
and he sinks back dead.

The Professor's Son--Oh God--take me somewhere where I can't ever
see the world.

The angel--Come to heaven.


End of Project Gutenberg Etext of Parody Outline of History, by Stewart


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