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IN THE NURSERY

 

FATHERand motherand brothersand sisters were gone to the play; only little Anna and her godfather were left at home

"We'll have a play too" he said"and it may begin immediately"

"But we have no theatre"cried little Anna"and we have no one to act for us my old doll cannot for sh is a frightand my new one cannotforshe must not rumple her new clothes"

"Onecan always get actors ifonemakes useofwhat one has" observed Godfather

"Now we build the theatreHere we will put up a book there another and there a third in a sloping rowNow three on the other sidesonow we have the side-scenesThe old box that lies yonder may be the back- groundandwe'll turn the bottom outwardsThe stage represents a room as every one may see Now we want theactors Letusseewhatwe can find in the playbox First the personagesand then we will get the play readyoneaftertheotherthat willbecapitalHere'sapipe head and yonder an odd glove theywill do verywell forfather and daughter"

"But those are only two characters"said little Anna"Here's my brother's old waistcoatcould not that play in our piece too"

"It's big enough certainly" replied Godfather

"It shall be the lover There' s nothing in the pocketsand that's very interesting for that's half of an unfortunate attachment And here we have the nut- crackersboots with spurs to them Rowdow dow howthey can stamp and strut Theyshall representthe unwelcome wooer whom the lady does not like What kind of play willyou have now Shall itbea tragedy or a domestic drama"

"A domestic drama please"saidlittle Anna"for the others are so fond of thatDo you know one

"Iknowahundred"saidGodfather"Thosethatare most in favourarefrom the French but they are not good forlittlegirls In themeantime wemay take oneofthe prettiest for inside they're all very much alike Now Ishake the pen CockalorumSo nowhere's the play brinbranspan new Now listen to the playbill"

And Godfather took a newspaper and readas ifhe were reading from it

THE PIPE- HEAD AND THE GOOD HEAD

A Family Drama in one Act

CHARACTERS

MR PIPEHEAD a father

MRWAISTCOATa lover

MISS GLOVE a daughter

MRDE BOOTS a suitor.

"And now we'regoing to begin The curtain riseswe have no curtain so it hasrisen already All the characters are there and so we havethem at hand NowI speakas Papa Pipehead he' s angry today One can see thathe's a coloured meerschaum

"'Snipsnapsnurre bassellurre I'm master in my own house I'm thefatherof my daughter Will you hear what Ihave to sayMr deBoots is a person in whom one may see one'sfacehis upper partisof moroccoand he has spurs into the bargainSnipsnapsnurre He shallhave my daughter"

"Now listen to what theWaistcoat sayslittleAnna" saidGodfather"NowtheWaistcoat's speakingThe Waistcoat has a liedown collar and is very modest buthe knows hisown value and has quite a right to saywhathe says

"'I haven't a spot onme Goodness of material oughtto be appreciated Iam of real silk and have strings tome

"'On the wedding daybut no longer; you don't keepyourcolour in the wash'This is MrPipe-head who is speaking'Mrde Boots is water-tightofstrong leather and yet very delicate he can creak and clankwith his spursandhasan Italian physiognomy'"

"Butthey ought to speak in verse"said Anna"for I've heard that's the most charming way ofall"

"Theycandothat too"repliedGodfather"and as the public demands so one talks Just look at little MissGlove how she's pointing her fingers

Rather live and wait

A glove withouta mate

Ah

IfIfromhimmustpart

I'm sure'twill break my heart

'Bah'

That last word was spoken by Mr Pipe-head andnowit'sMr Waistcoat's turn

OGlovemy own dear

Thoughitcostthee a tear

Thou must be mine

For Holger the Dane has sworn it

"Mrde Boots hearing this kicks up jingles hisspurs and knocks down three of the sidescenes"

"That'sexceedinglycharming" cried little Anna

"Silencesilencesaid Godfather"Silentappro-bation will show that youarethe educated public in the stallsNowMiss Glove sings her great song withstartling effects

I cannot talk heigho

And thereforeI willcrow

Kikkeriki in theloftyhall

Now comes the exciting part little AnnaThis is themost important in all the play Mr Waistcoat undoeshimself and addresses his speech to you that you may applaudbut leave italone,—that's consideredmore genteel

"'Iam driven to extremitiesTake care of yourself Now comes the plotYou arethePipe-headandIam the good headsnap There you go

"Do you notice this littleAnna" asked Godfather"That's amost charming scene and comedy Mr Waistcoat seized the old Pipeheadand put him in his pocketthere he lies and the Waistcoat says

"'You are in my pocketyoucan't come out tillyou promise to unite me toyour daughter Glove on the leftIhold out my right hand'"

"That's awfully pretty"said little Anna

"And now the old Pipehead replies

My head's in a hum

So confused I've become

Where'smy humourGoneIfear

AndIfeelmyhollowstick'snot here

Ah never my dear

Did Ifeel so queer

Oh take out my head

From your pocket Ipray

And my daughterand you

May be married today

"Isthe play over already" asked little Anna

"By nomeans" replied Godfather"It's only allover with Mr de Boots Now the lovers kneel down andone of themsings

Father

andtheother

Take back your head again

And bless your son and daughter

Andtheyreceivehisblessingand celebrate their

wedding and all the pieces of furniture sing in chorus

Clink clanks

A thousand thands

And now the play is over

"And now we'll applaud" said Godfather"We'll

call them all out and the pieces of furnituretoo for theyareof mahogany. "

"And is our play just as good as those which the oth-ers have in the real theatre"

"Our play is much better" saidGodfather"It is shorterithasbeen givenfree and ithas passed sway the hour before teatime"

 


 

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