Bronson Howard

Part 1 out of 3

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[Illustration: BRONSON HOWARD]



The present Editor has just read through some of the vivacious
correspondence of Bronson Howard--a sheaf of letters sent by him to
Brander Matthews during a long intercourse. The time thus spent brings
sharply to mind the salient qualities of the man--his nobility of
character, his soundness of mind, his graciousness of manner, and
his thorough understanding of the dramatic tools of his day and
generation. To know Bronson Howard was to be treated to just that
human quality which he put into even his hastily penned notes--and, as
in conversation with him, so in his letters there are repeated flashes
of sage comment and of good native wit. Not too often can we make the
plea for the gathering and preserving of such material. Autobiography,
after all, is what biography ought to be--it is the live portrait
by the side of which a mere appreciative sketch fades. I have looked
through the "Memorial" volume to Bronson Howard, issued by the
American Dramatists Club (1910), and read the well-tempered estimates,
the random reminiscences. But these do not recall the Bronson Howard
known to me, as to so many others--who gleams so charmingly in this
correspondence. Bronson Howard's plays may not last--"Fantine,"
"Saratoga," "Diamonds," "Moorcraft," "Lillian's Last Love"--these are
mere names in theatre history, and they are very out of date on
the printed page. "The Banker's Daughter," "Old Love Letters" and
"Hurricanes" would scarcely revive, so changed our comedy treatment,
so differently psychologized our emotion. Not many years ago
the managerial expedient was resorted to of re-vamping "The
Henrietta"--but its spirit would not behave in new-fangled style,
and the magic of Robson and Crane was broken. In the American drama's
groping for "society" comedy, one might put "Saratoga," and even
"Aristocracy," in advance of Mrs. Mowatt's "Fashion" and Mrs.
Bateman's "Self;" in the evolution of domestic problems, "Young Mrs.
Winthrop" is interesting as an early breaker of American soil. But
one can hardly say that, either for the theatre or for the library,
Bronson Howard is a permanent factor. Yet his influence on the theatre
is permanent; his moral force is something that should be perpetuated.
Whatever he said on subjects pertaining to his craft--his comments on
play-making most especially,--was illuminating and judicious. I have
been privileged to read the comments sent by him to Professor
Matthews during the period of their collaboration together over "Peter
Stuyvesant;" they are practical suggestions, revealing the peculiar
way in which a dramatist's mind shapes material for a three hours'
traffic of the stage--the willingness to sacrifice situation,
expression--any detail, in fact, that clogs the action. Through the
years of their acquaintance, Howard and Matthews were continually
wrangling good-naturedly about the relation of drama to literature.
Apropos of an article by Matthews in _The Forum_, Howard once wrote:

I note that you regard the 'divorce' of the drama from
literature as unfortunate. I think the divorce should be made
absolute and final; that the Drama should no more be wedded to
literature, on one hand, than it is to the art of painting on
the other, or to music or mechanical science. Rather, perhaps,
I should say, we should recognize poligamy for the Drama; and
all the arts, with literature, its Harem. Literature may be
Chief Sultana--but not too jealous. She is always claiming too
large a share of her master's attention, and turning up her
nose at the rest. I have felt this so strongly, at times, as
to warmly deny that I was a 'literary man', insisting on being
a 'dramatist'.

Then, in the same note, he adds in pencil: "Saw 'Ghosts' last night.
Great work of art! Ibsen a brute, personally, for writing it."

In one of the "Stuyvesant" communications, Howard is calculating
on the cumulative value of interest; and he analyzes it in this
mathematical way:

So far as the important act is concerned, I have felt that
this part of it was the hardest part of the problem before
us. We were certain of a good beginning of the act and a good,
rapid, dramatic end; but the middle and body of it I felt
needed much attention to make the act substantial and
satisfactory. To tell the truth, I was quietly worrying a bit
over this part of the play, while you were expressing your
anxiety about the 2nd act--which never bothered me. There
_must_ be 2nd acts and there _must_ be last acts--audiences
resign themselves to them; but 3rd acts--in 4 and 5 act
plays--they insist on, and _will_ have them good. The only
exception is where you astonish them with a good 2nd act--then
they'll take their siesta in the 3rd--and wake up for the 4th.

This psychological time-table shows how calculating the dramatist
has to be, how precise in his framework, how sparing of his number of
words. In another note, Howard says:

This would leave the acts squeezed "dry", about as
follows:--Act I, 35 minutes; Act 2, 30; Act 3, 45; Act 4,
20--total, 130--2 hrs., 10 min., curtain up: entr'acts, 25
min. Total--2 hrs., 35 min.--8:20 to 10:55.

There are a thousand extraneous considerations bothering a play that
never enter into the evolution of any other form of art. After seeing
W.H. Crane, who played "Peter Stuyvesant" when it was given, Howard
writes Matthews of the wisdom shown by the actor in his criticism of
"points" to be changed and strengthened in the manuscript.

"A good actor," he declares, "whom I always regard as an original
creator in art--beginning at the point where the dramatist's pen
stops--approaches a subject from such a radically different direction
that we writers cannot study his impressions too carefully in revising
our work." Sometimes, conventions seized the humourous side of Howard.
From England, around 1883, he wrote, "Methinks there is danger in the
feeling expressed about 'local colouring.' English managers would put
the Garden of Eden in Devonshire, if you adapted Paradise Lost for
them--and insist on giving Adam an eye-glass and a title."

Howard was above all an American; he was always emphasizing his
nationality; and this largely because the English managers changed
"Saratoga" to "Brighton," and "The Banker's Daughter" to "The Old Love
and the New." I doubt whether he relished William Archer's inclusion
of him in a volume of "English Dramatists of To-day," even though
that critic's excuse was that he "may be said to occupy a place among
English dramatists somewhat similar to that occupied by Mr. Henry
James among English novelists." Howard was quick to assert his
Americanism, and to his home town he wrote a letter from London,
in 1884, disclaiming the accusation that he was hiding his local
inheritance behind a French technique and a protracted stay abroad
on business. He married an English woman--the sister of the late Sir
Charles Wyndham--and it was due to the latter that several of his
plays were transplanted and that Howard planned collaboration with
Sir Charles Young. But Howard was part of American life--born of the
middle West, and shouldering a gun during the Civil War to guard the
Canadian border near Detroit against a possible sympathetic uprising
for the Confederacy. Besides which--a fact which makes the title of
"Dean of the American Drama" a legitimate insignia,--when, in 1870, he
stood firm against the prejudices of A.M. Palmer and Lester Wallack,
shown toward "home industry," he was maintaining the right of the
American dramatist. He was always preaching the American spirit,
always analyzing American character, always watching and encouraging
American thought.

Howard was a scholar, with a sense of the fitness of things, as
a dramatist should have. Evidently, during the collaboration with
Professor Matthews on "Stuyvesant," discussion must have arisen as
to the form of English "New Amsterdamers," under Knickerbocker rule,
would use. For it called forth one of Howard's breezy but exact
comments, as follows:

A few more words about the "English" question: As I said,
it seems to me, academical correctness, among the higher
characters, will give a prim, old-fashioned tone: and _you_
can look after this, as all my own work has been in the
opposite direction in art. I have given it no thought in
writing this piece, so far.

I would suggest the following special points to be on
the alert for, even in the _best_ present-day use of
English:--some words are absolutely correct, now, yet based
on events or movements in history since 1660. An evident
illustration is the word "boulevard" for a wide street or
road; so "avenue," in same sense, is New Yorkese and London
imitation--even imitated from us, I imagine, in Paris: this
would give a nineteenth century tone; while an "avenue lined
with trees in a bowery" would not. Don't understand that I
am telling you things. I'm only illustrating--to let you know
what especial things in language I hope you will keep your eye
on. Of course _Anneke_ couldn't be "electrified"--but you may
find many less evident blunders than that would be. She might
be shocked, but couldn't "receive a shock." We need free
colloquial slang and common expressions; but while "get out"
seems all right from _Stuyvesant_ to _Bogardus_, for _Barry_
to say "Skedadle" would put him in the 87th New York Vols.,
1861-64. Yet I doubt whether we have any more classic and
revered slang than that word.

The evident ease, yet thoroughness, with which Mr. Howard prepared
for his many tasks, is seen in his extended reading among Civil War
records, before writing "Shenandoah." The same "knowledge" sense
must have been a constant incentive to Professor Matthews, in the
preparation of "Peter Stuyvesant."

"The manual of arms," Howard declares, "is simply _great_. I
think we can get the muskets pointed at _Barket_ in about 4 or
5 orders, however; taking the more picturesque ones, so far
as may be possible. I went over the [State] librarian's letter
with a nephew with the most modern of military training: and
as I was at a military school in 1860--just two centuries
after our period--we had fun together. Even with an old
muzzle loader--Scott's Tactics--it was "Load and fire in ten
motions," _now_ antiquated with the breech-loaders of to-day.
The same operation, in 1662, required 28 motions, as
we counted. By the bye, did I tell you that I found the
flint-lock invented (in Spain) in 1625--and it "soon" spread
over Europe? I felt, however, that the intervening 37 years
would hardly have carried it to New Amsterdam; especially as
the colony was neglected in such matters."

From these excerpts it is apparent that Howard had no delusions
regarding the "work" side of the theatre; he was continually insisting
that dramatic art was dependent upon the _artisan_ aspects which
underlay it. This he maintained, especially in contradiction to
fictional theories upheld by the adherents of W.D. Howells.

One often asks why a man, thus so serious and thorough in his approach
toward life, should have been so transitorily mannered in his plays,
and the reason may be in the very _artisan_ character of his work. Mr.
Howard delivered a lecture before the Shakespeare Society of Harvard
University, at Sanders Theatre, in 1886 (later given, 1889, before
the Nineteenth Century Club, in New York), and he called it "The
Autobiography of a Play." In the course of it, he illustrated how, in
his own play, called "Lillian's Last Love," in 1873, which one year
later became "The Banker's Daughter," he had to obey certain unfailing
laws of dramatic construction during the alterations and re-writing.
He never stated a requirement he was not himself willing to abide by.
When he instructed the Harvard students, he was merely elucidating his
own theatre education. "Submit yourselves truly and unconditionally,"
he admonished, "to the laws of dramatic truth, so far as you can
discover them by honest mental exertion and observation. Do not
mistake any mere defiance of these laws for originality. You might
as well show your originality by defying the law of gravitation." Mr.
Howard was not one to pose as the oracle of a new technique; in this
essay he merely stated sincerely his experience in a craft, as
a clinical lecturer demonstrates certain established methods of

In his plays, vivacity and quick humour are the distinguishing
characteristics. Like his contemporary workers, he was alive to topics
of the hour, but, unlike them, he looked ahead, and so, as I have
stated in my "The American Dramatist," one can find profit in
contrasting his "Baron Rudolph" with Charles Klein's "Daughters of
Men," his "The Henrietta" with Klein's "The Lion and Mouse," and his
"The Young Mrs. Winthrop" with Alfred Sutro's "The Walls of Jericho."
He was an ardent reader of plays, as his library--bequeathed to the
American Dramatists Club, which he founded--bears witness. The fact
is, he studied Restoration drama as closely as he did the modern
French stage. How often he had to defend himself in the press from
the accusation of plagiarism, merely because he was complying with the
stage conventions of the moment!

It is unfortunate that his note-books are not available. But luckily
he wrote an article at one time which shows his method of thrashing
out the moral matrix of a scenario himself. It is called "Old Dry
Ink." Howard's irony slayed the vulgar, but, because in some quarters
his irony was not liked, he was criticized for his vulgarities.
Archer, for example, early laid this defect to the influence of the
Wyndham policy, in London, of courting blatant immorality in plays for
the stage.

Howard's femininity, in comparison with Fitch's, was equally as
observant; it was not as literarily brilliant in its "small talk." But
though the effervescent chatter, handled with increasing dexterity by
him, is now old-fashioned, "Old Dry Ink" shows that the scenes in his
plays were not merely cleverly arrived at, but were philosophically
digested. How different the dialogue from the notes!

This article was written in 1906; it conveys many impressions of early
feminine struggles for political independence. The fact is, Mr. Howard
often expressed his disappointment over the showing women made in the
creative arts, and that he was not willing to let the bars down in his
own profession is indicated by the fact that, during his life-time,
women dramatists were not admitted as members into the club he

The reader is referred to two other articles by Mr. Howard--one,
"Trash on the Stage," included in the "Memorial" volume; the other,
on "The American Drama," which is reproduced here, because, written
in 1906, and published in a now obsolete newspaper magazine, it is
difficult of procuring, and stands, possibly, for Mr. Howard's final
perspective of a native drama he did so much to make known as native.

The most national of Howard's plays is "Shenandoah;" it is chosen for
the present volume as representative of the military drama, of which
there are not many examples, considering the Civil War possibilities
for stage effect. Clyde Fitch's "Barbara Frietchie," James A. Herne's
"Griffith Davenport," Fyles and Belasco's "The Girl I Left Behind Me,"
Gillette's "Secret Service," and William DeMille's "The Warrens of
Virginia"--a mere sheaf beside the Revolutionary list which might be

According to one authority, "Shenandoah" was built upon the
foundations of a play by Howard, produced at Macauley's Theatre,
Louisville, Kentucky. As stated by Professor Matthews, the facts are
that Howard took a piece, "Drum Taps," to Lester Wallack; who, true
to his English tradition, said that if it was changed in time from
the Civil War to the Crimean, he might consider it. It is certain,
however, that if the cast of characters, as first given under the
management of Montgomery Field, at the old Boston Museum, November
19, 1888, be compared with the program of the New York Star Theatre,
September 13, 1889, it will be found that the manuscript must have
been considerably altered and shifted, before it reached the shape now
offered here as the authentic text. The fact of the matter is, it was
not considered a "go" in Boston; we are informed that such managers
as Palmer and Henry E. Abbey prophesied dire end for the piece. But
Charles Frohman hastened to Boston, on the advice of his brother,
Daniel, and, giving half-interest in the piece to Al Hayman, he
arranged with Field for rights, procured "time" at the Star Theatre
with Burnham, and, as is told in "C.F.'s" biography, hastened to
Stamford, Connecticut, to talk with Howard. According to this source,
he said to the playwright:

"You are a very great dramatist, Mr. Howard, and I am only
a theatrical manager, but I think I can see where a possible
improvement might be made in the play. For one thing, I think
two acts should be merged into one, and I don't think you have
made enough out of Sheridan's ride."

The opening night, with General Sherman in the audience, was a
memorable occasion. It was the beginning of "C.F.'s" rapid rise
to managerial importance, it ushered in the era of numberless road
companies playing the same piece, it met with long "runs," and the
royalty statements mounted steadily in bulk for Howard. It was the
success of the hour.

But "Shenandoah" is undoubtedly conventional; its melodramatic effects
are dependent on stage presentment rather than on the printed page.
In fact, so much an artisan of the theatre was Mr. Howard that he was
always somewhat skeptical of the modern drama in print. When he was
persuaded to issue his last piece, "Kate," in book form, he consented
to the publisher's masking it as a novel in dialogue, hoping thus,
as his prefatory note states, "to carry the imagination directly to
scenes of real life and not to the stage." To the last there was a
distinction in his mind between literature and the drama. It is since
this was written that the play form, nervous and quick, even in its
printed shape, has become widely accepted.

"Shenandoah" is a play of pictorial effects and swiftly changing
sentiment. Were there a national repertory, this would be included
among the plays, not because of its literary quality, but because of
the spirit to be drawn from its situations, framed expressly for
the stage, and because of its pictures, dependent wholly upon stage
accessory. It is an actable play, and most of our prominent actors,
coming out of the period of the late 80's, had training in it.




In considering the present standing of the American drama, compared
with the time when there was little or nothing worthy of the name,
the one significant fact has been the gradual growth of a body of men
engaged in writing plays. Up to the time I started in 1870, American
plays had been written only sporadically here and there by men and
women who never met each other, who had no personal acquaintance of
any kind, no sympathies, no exchange of views; in fact, no means of
building up such a body of thought in connection with their art as is
necessary to form what is called a school.

In what we now style Broadway productions the late Augustin Daly stood
absolutely alone, seeing no other future for his own dramatic works
except by his own presentation of them. Except for Daly, I was
practically alone; but he offered me the same opportunity and promise
for the future that he had given to himself. From him developed a
school of managers willing and eager to produce American plays on
American subjects. Other writers began to drop into the profession;
but still they seldom met, and it was not until about 1890 that they
suddenly discovered themselves as a body of dramatists. This was at
a private supper given at the Lotos Club to the veteran playwright
Charles Gaylor, who far antedated Daly himself. To the astonishment of
those making the list of guests for that supper, upward of fifty men
writing in America who produced plays were professionally entitled to
invitations, and thirty-five were actually present at the supper. A
toast to seven women writers not present was also honoured.

This was the origin of the American Dramatists Club. The moment these
men began to know each other personally, the process of intellectual
attrition began, which will probably result eventually in a strong
school. That supper took place only sixteen years ago; so we are yet
only in the beginning of the great movement. Incidentally, it is also
necessarily the beginning of a school of dramatic criticism of that
art. It is difficult to suppose that a body of critics, merely learned
in the dramatic art of Europe, can be regarded as forming a school of

To go to Paris to finish your education in dramatic art, and return to
New York and make comments on what you see in the theatre, is not to
be an American dramatic critic, nor does it tend in any way to found a
school of American dramatic criticism. The same is true of the man who
remains in New York and gets his knowledge of the drama from reading
foreign newspapers and books.

I stated in a former article in this magazine, "First Nights in London
and New York," that is was only within the last twenty-five or thirty
years that a comparison between the cities and the conditions had
become possible, for the reason that prior to that time there was
really no American drama. There were a few American plays, and their
first productions did not assume the least importance as social
events. As far as any comparison is possible between the early
American dramatists (I mean the first of the dramatists who were the
starting point in the later '60's and early '70's) and those of the
present day, I think of only two important points. There was one
advantage in each case. The earlier dramatists had their choice of
many great typical American characters, such as represented in _Solon
Shingle, Colonel Sellers, Joshua Whitcomb, Bardwell Slote, Mose, Davy
Crockett, Pudd'nhead Wilson,_ and many others.

This advantage was similar in a small way to the tremendous advantage
that the earliest Greek dramatists had in treating the elemental
emotions; on the other hand, we earlier writers in America were
liable to many errors, some of them actually childish, which the
young dramatist of to-day, in constant association with his fellow
playwrights, and placing his work almost in daily comparison with
theirs, could not commit. To do so a man would have to be a much
greater fool than were any of us; and the general improvement in the
technical work of plays by young dramatists now, even plays that
are essentially weak and which fail, is decided encouragement and
satisfaction to one of my age who can look back over the whole

The American dramatist of to-day, without those great and specially
prominent American characters who stood, as it were, ready to go on
the stage, has come to make a closer study of American society than
his predecessors did. They are keen also in seizing strikingly marked
new types in American life as they developed before the public from
decade to decade.

A notable instance is the exploitation by Charles Klein of the
present-day captain of industry in "The Lion and the Mouse." The
leading character in the play is differentiated on the stage, as in
life, from the Wall Street giant of about 1890, as illustrated in
one of my own plays, "The Henrietta." Mr. Klein's character of the
financial magnate has developed in this country since my active days
of playwriting, and the younger dramatist was lying in wait, ready for
him, and ready to seize his peculiarities for stage purposes.

Another thing is the fact that our dramatists are doing what our
literary men have done, namely, availing themselves of the striking
local peculiarities in various parts of the country. A marked
illustration of this now before the public is Edward Milton Royle's
"Squawman," recently at Wallack's Theatre. The dramatist has caught
his picture just in the nick of time, just before the facts of life
in the Indian Territory are passing away. He has preserved the picture
for us as George W. Cable, the novelist, preserved pictures of Creole
life of old New Orleans, made at the last possible moment.

I could go on mentioning many other plays illustrating phases of life
and society in America, and there could be no better or more positive
proof that a school of American dramatists already exists. This school
will undoubtedly continue to improve in the technical quality of
its work, exactly as it has done in the past, and probably with more

The question has been discussed as to whether we are ever likely to
produce an Ibsen or a Shaw, and under what conditions he would be
received. As far as concerns what may happen in the future in the way
of producing absolutely great dramatists and great plays, using the
word 'great' in the international and historical sense, the opinion of
anyone on that subject is mere guesswork and absolutely valueless.

The greatest drama in history was produced by Greece about four or
five centuries before Christ, and for a few generations afterward.
Since AEschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, Greece has scarcely given us
anything. Aristophanes and Menander are of course remembered, but the
writers who endeavoured to follow in the footsteps of the masters
were of far inferior merit. The Roman Empire existed for nearly two
thousand years without producing any drama of its own worthy of
the name. The Romans were not a dramatic people. The works of the
so-called Latin dramatists, such as those of Plautus and Terence, were
mere imitations of the Greek.

France and England had sudden bursts of greatness followed by general
mediocrity, with occasional great writers whose advent could not
possibly have been predicted by anything in art preceding them. Even
the exception to this in France, in the middle of the nineteenth
century, was apparently a flash of light that disappeared almost as
suddenly as it came. What is the use of posing as a prophet with such
a record of the past? Anyone else is at liberty to do so. I would
as soon act as harlequin. Was there any wise man in England who,
twenty-four hours before that momentous event in April, 1564, could
predict that a baby named William Shakespeare would be born the next
day? To say that an American dramatist is to appear this year or in a
thousand years who will make an epoch is simply ridiculous.

That Ibsen exercised and will exercise great influence on American
dramatists there can be little doubt. His skill was no mere accident.
He was the most finished development of the French school of the
nineteenth century, as well as the most highly artificial individual
dramatist of that school. I call it the strictly logical school
of dramatic construction. I use the word 'artificial' in its more
artistic sense, as opposed to the so-called natural school. His
subjects of course were national, and not French. Whether his
pessimism was national or personal, I have not been able to discover.
It seemed to me that he was a pessimistic man dealing with a nation
inclined to pessimism, but that had nothing to do with the technical
qualities of the man any more than the national peculiarities of
Denmark had to do with Thorvaldsen as a follower of Greek sculpture.

As to the policy of our theatre managers, I confess that they do
follow each other; but it is simply because they think the leader they
happen to be following has discovered a current of temporary popular
taste. The authors have the same interest as the managers, and you
will always find them watching the public taste in the same manner.

Occasionally an individual dramatist, and not always the best from a
technical point of view, will develop such a strong personal bias as
to write on subjects suggested by his own tastes, without any regard
to the current of popular wishes. If he is a strong enough man he will
become a leader of the public in his dramatic tastes. Sometimes in
rare instances he will influence the public so decidedly that he
compels the contemporary school of writers to follow him. This has
been the case in all periods. I need not mention Shakespeare, as
everything said about him is a matter of course.

Take the vile dramatic era of Charles II. Wycherley led the brutes,
but Congreve came up and combatted with his brilliant comedies the
vileness of the Restoration school, and Hallam says of him that he
introduced decency to the stage that afterward drove his own comedies
off it. A little after Congreve, the school, so to speak, for we have
nothing but the school, was so stupid that it brought forth no great
writers, and produced weak, sentimental plays. Then came Goldsmith,
who wrote "She Stoops to Conquer" actually as a protest against the
feeble sentimentality I have referred to. Richard Brinsley Sheridan
was made possible by Goldsmith. We went on after that with a school
of old comedies. When we speak of the "old comedies," I am not talking
about Beaumont and Fletcher, nor Wycherley, nor Vanbrugh, nor even
Congreve, but of the comedy of Goldsmith in the third quarter of the
eighteenth century down to Bulwer Lytton's "Money" and Boucicault's
"London Assurance," bringing us to about 1840. Then there swung a
school of what we call the palmy days of old comedy, and in the '40's
it dwindled to nothing, and England and America waited until the early
'60's. Then came Tom Robertson with his so-called "tea-cup and saucer"
school, which consisted of sententious dialogue, simple situations,
conventional characterizations, and threads of plots, until Pinero and
Jones put a stop to the Robertson fad.

This proves in my judgment that the school always starts by being
shown what the popular taste is, and follows that, until some
individual discovery that the popular taste is changed. The tendency
of the school is always to become academic and fixed in its ideas--it
is the individual who points to the necessary changes. Schools and
these special individuals are interdependent.

As to the present comedies in America: in the first place, it is
impossible as a rule to decide fully what are the tendencies of a
school when one is living in the midst of its activities. There is no
marked tendency now; and as far as I can see it is only the occasional
man who discovers the tendency of the times. Pinero undoubtedly saw
that the public was tired of the "tea-cup and saucer." Probably had he
not thought so, he would have gone on in that school.

Undoubtedly more plays are written to order than are written on the
mere impulse of authors, independently of popular demand. The "order"
play simply represents the popular demand as understood by managers,
and the meeting of that demand in each age produces the great mass
of any nation's drama. So far from lowering the standard of dramatic
writing, it is a necessary impulse in the development of any drama. It
is only when the school goes on blindly without seeing a change in the
popular taste that the occasional man I have spoken of comes on. When
the work of the school is legitimately in line with the public taste,
the merely eccentric dramatist is like _Lord Dundreary's_ bird with a
single feather that goes in a corner and flocks all by itself. He may
be a strong enough man to attract attention to his individuality, and
his plays may be really great in themselves, but his work has
little influence on the development of the art. In fact, there is
no development of the art except in the line of popular taste. The
specially great men mentioned have simply discovered the changes in
the popular taste, and to a certain extent perhaps guided it.[A]

[Footnote A: Originally published in "The Sunday Magazine" (New York)
for October 7, 1906.]







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Evenings at 7:45 and Wednesday and Saturday Afternoon at 2.

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Written Expressly for the Boston Museum by




LIEUT. KERCHIVAL WEST, Mr. JOHN B. MASON [Transcribers note: some unreadable text here]
EDW. THORNTON, a Southerner "by choice," Mr. WILLIS GRANGER
MADELINE WEST, a Northern girl, Miss HELEN DAYNE


Nineteenth Army Corps Mr. C. LESLIE ALLEN
BENSON, {Cavalrymen } Mr. C.B. ABBE
{Infantry} Mr. THOS. FRANCIS

There will be no intermission between Acts THIRD and FOURTH

[Transcriber's note: Unreadable text.]


Charleston Harbor in 1861

After the ball. Residence of the Ellinghams.

The citizens of Charleston knew almost the exact hour at
which the attack on Fort Sumter would begin, and they gathered
in the gray twilight of the morning to view the bombardment
as a spectacle.--NICOLAY, _Campaigns of the Civil War, Vol. I._

"I shall open fire in one hour."--BEAUREGARD'S _last message
to_ MAJOR ANDERSON. _Sent at 3:20 A.M., April 12, 1861_.


The Ellingham Homestead in Virginia

When the Union Army under Gen. Sheridan and the Confederate Army
under Gen. Early were encamped at Cedar Creek, almost twenty miles
south of Winchester, there was a Confederate signal station on Three Top
Mountain, overlooking both camps; [Transcriber's note: Unreadable] another, near the summit of
North Mountain, on the opposite side of the valley.--_Official Records and


No Intermission between these Acts.

The Shenandoah Valley. Night and Morning. Three Top mountain.

[Transcriber's note: Unreadable text.]

While the two armies lay opposite each other, General Sheridan was called
to Washington. Soon after he left, a startling despatch was taken by our
own Signal Officers from the Confederate Signal Station on Three Top
Mountain.--POND, _Camp. Civ. War, Vol. XI._

On the morning of October 19th, the Union Army was taken completely by
surprise. Thoburn's position was swept in an instant. The men who
escaped capture fled to the river. Gordon burst suddenly upon the left
flank.--POND, _supra._


Washington, 1826. Residence of Gen. Buckthorn.

_From Gen. Grant's Memoirs._

"I feel that we are on the eve of a great era when there is to be great harmony
between the Federal and Confederate."

* * * * *

The Orchestra, under the direction of MR. GEORGE PURDY, will perform
the following selections:--

1. Overture--Le Caid Ambroise Thomas
2. Waltz--Ruby Royal Louis Gregh
3. Selection--War Songs Arr. by George Purdy
Introducing the following selections: Kingdom Coming, When
This Cruel War Is Over, Babylon Is Fallen, [Transcriber's note: Unreadable text], The Vacant
Chair, Tramp, Tramp, Johnny Comes Marching, Who Will Care For
Mother Now? Tenting on the Old Camp Ground, Rally Round the
4. [Transcriber's note: Unreadable text]
5. March--[Transcriber's note: Unreadable text]

* * * * *


* * * * *

THE [Transcriber's note: Unreadable text] OF SHENANDOAH.

* * * * *







Reprinted from a privately printed edition, by permission of the
Society of American Dramatists and Composers, from a copy furnished
by Samuel French. It is here to be noted that the Society of American
Dramatists and Composers reserves all rights in "Shenandoah."


First produced at the Star Theatre, New York City, September 9, 1889.

GENERAL HAVERILL }Officers of{ Wilton Lackaye.
COLONEL KERCHIVAL WEST }Sheridan's { Henry Miller.
CAPTAIN HEARTSEASE }Cavalry { Morton Selton.

Commander of the 19th Army Corps Harry Harwood.


COLONEL ROBERT ELLINGHAM, 10th Virginia Lucius Henderson.

CAPTAIN THORNTON, Secret Service, C.S.A. John E. Kellard.





MADELINE WEST Nanette Comstock.

JENNY BUCKTHORN, U.S.A. Effie Shannon.



CAPTAIN LOCKWOOD, U.S. Signal Corps C.C. Brandt.


BENSON Wm. Barnes.

OLD MARGERY Mrs. Haslam.

JANNETTE Esther Drew.


HAVERILL.--Act I. Full Evening Dress.--Acts 2 and 3. Uniform of
Brigadier-General, U.S. Vol., 1864. Active Service, rough and
war-worn.--Act 4. Civil Costume, Prince Albert, &c.

KERCHIVAL WEST.--Act I. Full Evening Dress.--Acts 2 and 3. Uniform
of Colonel of Cavalry, U.S. Vol., 1864 (with cloak in Act 3). Active
Service, rough and war-worn.--Act 4. Travelling.

CAPTAIN HEARTSEASE.--Act 2. Uniform of Captain of Cavalry, 1864;
as neat and precise as is consistent with Active Service.--Act 4.
Afternoon; Civil.

LIEUTENANT FRANK BEDLOE.--Act 2. Lieutenant of Cavalry, 1864; Active
Service. He must have a full beard.--Act 3. Same, disarranged for
wounded man on stretcher.

GENERAL BUCKTHORN.--Acts 2 and 3. Major-General, 1864. Active
Service.--Act 3. Same.--Act 4. Civil. Afternoon.

SERGEANT BARKET.--Acts 2 and 3. Sergeant of Cavalry, U.S. Vol., 1864.
Active Service.--Act 4. Plain undress uniform, sacque or jacket.

ROBERT ELLINGHAM.--Act I. Full Evening Dress.--Act 2. Confederate
Colonel: Infantry, 1864. Active Service.--Act 4. Citizen; afternoon.
Prince Albert (Gray).

EDWARD THORNTON.--Act I. Riding, but not present English Cut.--Act 2.
First, Confederate Captain of Cavalry. Active Service. Second costume,
same, in shirt sleeves and without hat or cap.

HARDWICK.--Uniform of Confederate Surgeon, 1864. Active Service.

CORPORAL DUNN.--Uniform of rank, Cavalry, U.S. Vol., 1864. Active

BENSON.--Uniform of 2nd Corporal, Cavalry, U.S. Vol., 1864. Active

LIEUTENANT OF INFANTRY.--Uniform of rank, U.S. Vol., 1864. Active

MRS. HAVERILL.--Act I. Full evening ball dress.--Act 4. Mourning, but
not too deep.

GERTRUDE ELLINGHAM.--Act I. Riding habit.--Act 2. First costume,
afternoon at home; simple enough for the South during war. Second
costume, picturesque and not conventional dress and hat for
riding.--Act 3. First costume of Act 2, or similar.--Act 4. Neat
travelling costume.

MADELINE WEST.--Act I. Full evening ball dress.--Act 2. Pretty
afternoon costume.--Act 3. Same or walking.--Act 4. Afternoon costume
at home.

JENNY BUCKTHORN.--Act 2. Pretty afternoon costume, with military cut,
trimmings and general air.--Act 3. Same.--Act 4. Afternoon costume at

MRS. EDITH HAVERILL.--Young widow's costume.

OLD MARGERY.--Neat old family servant.

JANNETTE.--Young servant.


In ACT I, just before the opening of the war, HAVERILL is a Colonel in
the Regular Army. KERCHIVAL WEST and ROBERT ELLINGHAM are Lieutenants
in his regiment, having been classmates at West Point.



The citizens of Charleston knew almost the exact hour at which the
attack on Fort Sumter would begin, and they gathered in the
gray twilight of the morning to view the bombardment as a
spectacle.--NICOLAY, _Campaigns of the Civil War, Vol. I._

"I shall open fire in one hour."--BEAUREGARD'S _last message to_ MAJOR
ANDERSON. _Sent at 3:20 A.M., April 12, 1861_.


The Union Army, under General Sheridan, and the Confederate Army,
under General Early, were encamped facing each other about twenty
miles south of Winchester, on Cedar Creek. * * * General Sheridan was
called to Washington. Soon after he left, a startling despatch was
taken by our own Signal Officers from the Confederate Signal Station
on Three Top Mountain.--POND, _Camp. Civ. War, Vol. XI._

On the morning of October 19th, the Union Army was taken completely
by surprise. Thoburn's position was swept in an instant. Gordon burst
suddenly upon the left flank. The men who escaped capture streamed
through the camps along the road to Winchester.--POND, _supra._

Far away in the rear was heard cheer after cheer.--_Three Years in the
Sixth Corps._



I feel that we are on the eve of a new era, when there is to be great
harmony between the Federal and Confederate.--GEN. GRANT'S _Memoirs._




SCENE. _A Southern Residence on the shore of Charleston Harbour.
Interior.--Large double doors up centre, open. Large, wide window,
with low sill. Veranda beyond the doors, and extending beyond window.
A wide opening with corridor beyond. Furniture and appointments quaint
and old-fashioned, but an air of brightness and of light; the general
tone of the walls and upholstery that of the old Colonial period in
its more ornamental and decorative phase, as shown in the early days
of Charleston. Old candlesticks and candelabra, with lighted candles
nearly burned down. Beyond the central doors and the window, there
is a lawn with Southern foliage, extending down to the shores of the
harbour; a part of the bay lies in the distance, with low-lying land
beyond. The lights of Charleston are seen over the water along the
shore. Moonlight. The gray twilight of early morning gradually steals
over the scene as the Act progresses._

DISCOVERED, _As the curtain rises_ KERCHIVAL WEST _is sitting in a
chair, his feet extended and his head thrown back, a handkerchief over
his face_. ROBERT ELLINGHAM _strolls in on veranda, beyond window,
smoking. He looks right, starts and moves to window; leans against the
upper side of the window and looks across._

ELLINGHAM. Kerchival!

KERCHIVAL. [_Under handkerchief_.] Eh? H'm!

ELLINGHAM. Can you sleep at a time like this? My own nerves are on

KERCHIVAL. Fire? Oh--yes--I remember. Any more fire-works, Bob?

ELLINGHAM. A signal rocket from one of the batteries, now and
then. [_Goes up beyond window_. KERCHIVAL _arouses himself, taking
handkerchief from his eyes._

KERCHIVAL. What a preposterous hour to be up. The ball was over an
hour ago, all the guests are gone, and it's nearly four o'clock.
[_Looks at his watch._] Exactly ten minutes of four. [_Takes out a
cigar._.] Our Southern friends assure us that General Beauregard is to
open fire on Fort Sumter this morning. I don't believe it. [_Lighting
cigar and rising, crosses and looks out through window._] There lies
the old fort--solemn and grim as ever, and the flagstaff stands above
it, like a warning finger. If they do fire upon it--[_Shutting his
teeth for a moment and looking down at the cigar in his hand._]--the
echo of that first shot will be heard above their graves, and heaven
knows how many of our own, also; but the flag will still float!--over
the graves of both sides.

[ELLINGHAM _enters up centre and comes down_.]

Are you Southerners all mad, Robert?

ELLINGHAM. Are you Northerners all blind? [KERCHIVAL _sits_.] We
Virginians would prevent a war if we could. But your people in the
North do not believe that one is coming. You do not understand the
determined frenzy of my fellow-Southerners. Look! [_Pointing_.] Do
you see the lights of the city, over the water? The inhabitants of
Charleston are gathering, even now, in the gray, morning twilight, to
witness the long-promised bombardment of Fort Sumter. It is to be a
gala day for them. They have talked and dreamed of nothing else for
weeks. The preparations have become a part of their social life--of
their amusement--their gayeties. This very night at the ball--here--in
the house of my own relatives--what was their talk? What were the
jests they laughed at? Sumter! War! Ladies were betting bonbons that
the United States would not dare to fire a shot in return, and pinning
ribbons on the breasts of their "heroes." There was a signal rocket
from one of the forts, and the young men who were dancing here left
their partners standing on the floor to return to the batteries--as
if it were the night before another Waterloo. The ladies themselves
hurried away to watch the "spectacle" from their own verandas. You
won't see the truth! I tell you, Kerchival, a war between the North
and South is inevitable!

KERCHIVAL. And if it does come, you Virginians will join the rest.

ELLINGHAM. Our State will be the battle-ground, I fear. But every
loyal son of Virginia will follow her flag. It is our religion!

KERCHIVAL. My State is New York. If New York should go against the old
flag, New York might go to the devil. That is my religion.

ELLINGHAM. So differently have we been taught what the word
"patriotism" means!

KERCHIVAL. You and I are officers in the same regiment of the United
States Regular Army, Robert; we were classmates at West Point, and we
have fought side by side on the plains. You saved my scalp once; I'd
have to wear a wig, now, if you hadn't. I say, old boy, are we to be

ELLINGHAM. [_Laying his hand over his shoulder._] My dear old comrade,
whatever else comes, our friendship shall be unbroken!

KERCHIVAL. Bob! [_Looking up at him._] I only hope that we shall never
meet in battle!

ELLINGHAM. In battle? [_Stepping down front._] The idea is horrible!

KERCHIVAL. [_Rising and crossing to him._] My dear old comrade, one of
us will be wrong in this great fight, but we shall both be honest in
it. [_Gives hand_, ELLINGHAM _grasps it warmly, then turns away._

ELLINGHAM. Colonel Haverill is watching the forts, also; he has been
as sad to-night as we have. Next to leaving you, my greatest regret is
that I must resign from his regiment.

KERCHIVAL. You are his favourite officer.

ELLINGHAM. Naturally, perhaps; he was my guardian.

_Enter_ HAVERILL. _He walks down, stopping centre._

HAVERILL. Kerchival! I secured the necessary passports? to the North
yesterday afternoon; this one is yours; I brought it down for you
early in the evening. [KERCHIVAL _takes paper. Goes to window._] I
am ordered direct to Washington at once, and shall start with Mrs.
Haverill this forenoon. You will report to Captain Lyon, of the 2d
Regiment, in St. Louis. Robert! I have hoped for peace to the last,
but it is hoping against hope. I feel certain, now, that the fatal
blow will be struck this morning. Our old regiment is already broken
up, and you, also, will now resign, I suppose, like nearly all your
fellow-Southerners in the service.

ELLINGHAM. You know how sorry I am to leave your command, Colonel!

HAVERILL. I served under your father in Mexico; he left me, at his
death, the guardian of you and your sister, Gertrude. Even since you
became of age, I have felt that I stood in his place. But you must be
your sister's only guardian now. Your father fell in battle, fighting
for our common country, but you--

ELLINGHAM. He would have done as I shall do, had he lived. He was a

HAVERILL. I am glad, Robert, that he was never called upon to decide
between two flags. He never knew but one, and we fought under it
together. [_Exit._

ELLINGHAM. Kerchival! Something occurred in this house to-night
which--which I shouldn't mention under ordinary circumstances, but
I--I feel that it may require my further attention, and you, perhaps,
can be of service to me. Mrs. Haverill, the wife of the Colonel--

KERCHIVAL. Fainted away in her room.

ELLINGHAM. You know?

KERCHIVAL. I was one of the actors in the little drama.


KERCHIVAL. About half-past nine this evening, while the ladies were
dressing for the ball, I was going up-stairs; I heard a quick, sharp
cry, sprang forward, found myself at an open door. Mrs. Haverill lay
on the floor inside, as if she had just reached the door to cry for
help, when she fell. After doing all the unnecessary and useless
things I could think of, I rushed out of the room to tell your sister,
Gertrude, and my own sister, Madeline, to go and take care of the
lady. Within less than twenty minutes afterwards, I saw Mrs. Haverill
sail into the drawing-room, a thing of beauty, and with the glow of
perfect health on her cheek. It was an immense relief to me when I saw
her. Up to that time I had a vague idea that I had committed a murder.


KERCHIVAL. M--m. A guilty conscience. Every man, of course, does
exactly the wrong thing when a woman faints. When I rushed out of Mrs.
Haverill's room, I left my handkerchief soaked with water upon her
face. I must ask her for it; it's a silk one. Luckily, the girls
got there in time to take it off; she wouldn't have come to if they
hadn't. It never occurred to me that she'd need to breathe in my
absence. That's all I know about the matter. What troubles you? I
suppose every woman has a right to faint whenever she chooses. The
scream that I heard was so sharp, quick and intense that--

ELLINGHAM. That the cause must have been a serious one.

KERCHIVAL. Yes! So I thought. It must have been a mouse.

ELLINGHAM. Mr. Edward Thornton has occupied the next room to that of
Mrs. Haverill to-night.

KERCHIVAL. [_Crosses quickly._] What do you mean?

ELLINGHAM. During the past month or more he has been pressing, not to
say insolent, in his attentions to Mrs. Haverill.

KERCHIVAL. I've noticed that myself.

ELLINGHAM. And he is an utterly unscrupulous man; it is no fault of
mine that he was asked to be a guest at this house to-night. He came
to Charleston, some years ago, from the North, but if there are any
vices and passions peculiarly strong in the South, he has carried them
all to the extreme. In one of the many scandals connected with Edward
Thornton's name, it was more than whispered that he entered a lady's
room unexpectedly at night. But, as he killed the lady's husband in a
duel a few days afterwards, the scandal dropped.

KERCHIVAL. Of course; the gentleman received ample satisfaction as
an outraged husband, and Mr. Thornton apologized, I suppose, to his

ELLINGHAM. He has repeated the adventure.

KERCHIVAL. Do--you--think--that?

ELLINGHAM. I was smoking on the lawn, and glanced up at the window; my
eyes may have deceived me, and I must move cautiously in the matter;
but it couldn't have been imagination; the shadow of Edward Thornton's
face and head appeared upon the curtain.

KERCHIVAL. Whew! The devil!

ELLINGHAM. Just at that moment I, too, heard the stifled scream.


THORNTON. Gentlemen!

ELLINGHAM. Your name was just on my tongue, Mr. Thornton.

THORNTON. I thought I heard it, but you are welcome to it. Miss
Gertrude has asked me to ride over to Mrs. Pinckney's with her, to
learn if there is any further news from the batteries. I am very glad
the time to attack Fort Sumter has come at last!

ELLINGHAM. I do not share your pleasure.

THORNTON. You are a Southern gentleman.

ELLINGHAM. And you are a Northern "gentleman."

THORNTON. A Southerner by choice; I shall join the cause.

ELLINGHAM. We native Southerners will defend our own rights, sir; you
may leave them in our keeping. It is my wish, Mr. Thornton, that you
do not accompany my sister.


ELLINGHAM. Her groom, alone, will be sufficient.

THORNTON. As you please, sir. Kindly offer my excuses to Miss
Gertrude. You and I can chat over the subject later in the day, when
we are alone. [_Moving up stage._

ELLINGHAM. By all means, and another subject, also, perhaps.

THORNTON. I shall be entirely at your service.

[_Exit and down on veranda._

ELLINGHAM. Kerchival, I shall learn the whole truth, if possible,
to-day. If it is what I suspect--what I almost know--I will settle
with him myself. He has insulted our Colonel's wife and outraged the
hospitality of my friends. [_Walking right._

KERCHIVAL. [_Walking left._] I think it ought to be my quarrel. I'm
sure I'm mixed up in it enough.

MADELINE. [_Without, calling._] Kerchival!

ELLINGHAM. Madeline. [_Aside, starting_, KERCHIVAL _looks across at
him sharply._

KERCHIVAL. [_Aside._] I distinctly saw Bob give a start when he heard
Madeline. Now, what can there be about my sister's voice to make a man
jump like that?

GERTRUDE. [_Without._] Brother Robert!

KERCHIVAL. Gertrude! [_Aside, starting,_ ELLINGHAM _looks at him
sharply._] How the tones of a woman's voice thrill through a man's


MADELINE. Oh, Kerchival--here you are.

_Enter_ GERTRUDE _from apartment, in a riding habit, with whip, etc._

GERTRUDE. Robert, dear! [_Coming down to_ ROBERT, _they converse in
dumb show._

MADELINE. Where are your field-glasses? I've been rummaging all
through your clothes, and swords, and sashes, and things. I've turned
everything in your room upside down.

KERCHIVAL. Have you?

MADELINE. I can't find your glasses anywhere. I want to look at the
forts. Another rocket went up just now. [_Runs and stands on piazza,
looking off right._

KERCHIVAL. A sister has all the privileges of a wife to upset a man's
things, without her legal obligation to put them straight again.
[_Glances at_ GERTRUDE.] I wish Bob's sister had the same privileges
in my room that my own has.

GERTRUDE. Mr. Thornton isn't going with me, you say?

ELLINGHAM. He requested me to offer you his apologies.

KERCHIVAL. May I accompany you? [ELLINGHAM _turns to window._

GERTRUDE. My groom, old Pete, will be with me, of course; there's no
particular need of anyone else. But you may go along, if you like.
I've got my hands full of sugar-plums for Jack. Dear old Jack--he
always has his share when we have company. I'm going over to Mrs.
Pinckney's to see if she's had any more news from General Beauregard;
her son is on the General's staff.

MADELINE. [_Looking off right_.] There's another rocket from Fort
Johnson; and it is answered from Fort Moultrie. Ah! [_Angrily._]
General Beauregard is a bad, wicked man! [_Coming down._

GERTRUDE. Oh! Madeline! You are a bad, wicked Northern girl to say
such a thing.

MADELINE. I _am_ a Northern girl.

GERTRUDE. And I am a Southern girl. [_They face each other._

KERCHIVAL. The war has begun. [_Dropping into chair._

ELLINGHAM _has turned from window; he strolls across, watching the

GERTRUDE. General Beauregard is a patriot.

MADELINE. He is a Rebel.


MADELINE. Gertrude!--You--you--

GERTRUDE. Madeline!--You--



BOTH. O--O-h! [_Bursting into tears and rushing into each other's
arms, sobbing, then suddenly kissing each other vigorously._

KERCHIVAL. I say, Bob, if the North and South do fight, that will be
the end of it.

GERTRUDE. I've got something to say to you, Madeline, dear.
[_Confidentially and turning with her arms about her waist. The girls
sit, talking earnestly._

ELLINGHAM. Kerchival, old boy! There's--there's something I'd like to
say to you before we part to-day.

KERCHIVAL. I'd like a word with you, also!

MADELINE. You don't really mean that, Gertrude--with me?

ELLINGHAM. I'm in love with your sister Madeline.

KERCHIVAL. The devil you are!

ELLINGHAM. I never suspected such a thing until last night.

GERTRUDE. Robert was in love with you six weeks ago.

[MADELINE _kisses her._

KERCHIVAL. _I've_ made a discovery, too, Bob.

MADELINE. _I've_ got something to say to _you_, Gertrude.

KERCHIVAL. I'm in love with _your_ sister.

ELLINGHAM. [_Astonished._] You are?

MADELINE. Kerchival has been in love with you for the last three
months. [GERTRUDE _offers her lips--they kiss._

KERCHIVAL. I fell in love with her the day before yesterday. [_The two
gentlemen grasp each other's hand warmly._

ELLINGHAM. We understand each other, Kerchival. [_He turns up centre,
and stops at door._] Miss Madeline, you said just now that you wished
to watch the forts. Would you like to walk down to the shore?

MADELINE. Yes! [_Rising and going up to him. He takes one of her hands
in his own and looks at her earnestly._

ELLINGHAM. This will be the last day that we shall be together for the
present. But we shall meet again--sometime--if we both live.

MADELINE. If we both live! You mean--if _you_ live: You must go into
this dreadful war, if it comes.

ELLINGHAM. Yes, Madeline, I must. Come, let us watch for our fate.

[_Exeunt on veranda._

KERCHIVAL. [_Aside._] I must leave Charleston to-day. [_Sighs._] Does
she love me?

GERTRUDE. I am ready to start, Mr. West, when you are.

KERCHIVAL. Oh! Of course, I forgot. [_Rising._] I shall be delighted
to ride at your side.

GERTRUDE. At my side! [_Rising._] There isn't a horse in America that
can keep by the side of my Jack, when I give him his head, and I'm
sure to do it. You may follow us. But you can hardly ride in that
costume; while you are changing it, I'll give Jack his bonbons.
[_Turning to window._] There he is, bless him! Pawing the ground, and
impatient for me to be on his back. Let him come, Pete. [_Holding up
bonbons at window_]. I love you.

KERCHIVAL. Eh? [_Turning suddenly._

GERTRUDE. [_Looking at him._] What?

KERCHIVAL. You were saying--

GERTRUDE. Jack! [_looking out. The head of a large black horse appears
through the window._] You dear old fellow! [_Feeds with bonbons._]
Jack has been my boy ever since he was a little colt. I brought you
up, didn't I, Jack? He's the truest, and kindest, and best of friends;
I wouldn't be parted from him for the world, and I'm the only woman
he'll allow to be near him.

KERCHIVAL. [_Earnestly._] You are the only woman, Miss Gertrude, that

GERTRUDE. Dear Jack!

KERCHIVAL. [_Aside._] Jack embarrasses me. He's a third party.

GERTRUDE. There! That will do for the present, Jack. Now go along with
Pete! If you are a very good boy, and don't let Lieutenant Kerchival
West come within a quarter of a mile of me, after the first three
minutes, you shall have some more sugar-plums when we get to Mrs.
Pinckney's. [_An old negro leads the horse away._ GERTRUDE _looks
around at_ KERCHIVAL.] You haven't gone to dress yet; we shall
be late. Mrs. Pinckney asked a party of friends to witness the
bombardment this morning, and breakfast together on the piazza while
they are looking at it. We can remain and join them, if you like.

KERCHIVAL. I hope they won't wait for breakfast until the bombardment

GERTRUDE. I'll bet you an embroidered cigar-case, Lieutenant, against
a box of gloves, that it will begin in less than an hour.

KERCHIVAL. Done! You will lose the bet. But you shall have the gloves;
and one of the hands that go inside them shall be--[_Taking one of her
hands; she withdraws it._

GERTRUDE. My own--until some one wins it. You don't believe that
General Beauregard will open fire on Fort Sumter this morning?

KERCHIVAL. No; I don't.

GERTRUDE. Everything is ready.

KERCHIVAL. It's so much easier to get everything ready to do a thing
than it is to do it. I have been ready a dozen times, this very night,
to say to you, Miss Gertrude, that I--that I--[_Pauses._

GERTRUDE. [_Looking down and tapping skirt with her whip._] Well?

KERCHIVAL. But I didn't.

GERTRUDE. [_Glancing up at him suddenly._] I dare say, General
Beauregard has more nerve than you have.

KERCHIVAL. It is easy enough to set the batteries around Charleston
Harbour, but the man who fires the first shot at a woman--


KERCHIVAL. At the American flag--must have nerves of steel.

GERTRUDE. You Northern men are so slow to--

KERCHIVAL. I have been slow; but I assure you, Miss Gertrude, that my

GERTRUDE. What subject are we on now?

KERCHIVAL. You were complaining because I was too slow.

GERTRUDE. I was doing nothing of the kind, sir!--let me finish,
please. You Northern men are so slow to believe that our Southern
heroes--Northern _men_ and Southern _heroes_--you recognize the
distinction I make--you won't believe that they will keep their
promises. They have sworn to attack Fort Sumter this morning,
and--they--will do it. This "American Flag" you talk of is no longer
our flag: it is foreign to us!--It is the flag of an enemy!

KERCHIVAL. [_Tenderly and earnestly._] Am I your enemy?

GERTRUDE. You have told me that you will return to the North, and take
the field.

KERCHIVAL. Yes, I will. [_Decisively._

GERTRUDE. You will be fighting against my friends, against my own
brother, against me. We _shall_ be enemies.

KERCHIVAL. [_Firmly_.] Even that, Gertrude--[_She looks around at him;
he looks squarely into her eyes as he proceeds._]--if you will have it
so. If my country needs my services, I shall not refuse them, though
it makes us enemies! [_She wavers a moment, under strong emotion, and
turns away; sinks upon the seat, her elbow on the back of it, and her
tightly-clenched fist against her cheek, looking away from him._

GERTRUDE. I will have it so! I am a Southern woman!

KERCHIVAL. We have more at stake between us, this morning, than a
cigar-case and a box of gloves. [_Turning up stage._

_Enter_ MRS. HAVERILL _from apartment_.

MRS. HAVERILL. Mr. West! I've been looking for you. I have a favour to

KERCHIVAL. Of me?--with pleasure.

MRS. HAVERILL. But I am sorry to have interrupted you and Gertrude.
[_Apart._] There are tears in your eyes, Gertrude, dear!

GERTRUDE. [_Apart._] They have no right there.

MRS. HAVERILL. [_Apart._] I'm afraid I know what has happened. A
quarrel! and you are to part with each other so soon. Do not let
a girl's coquetry trifle with her heart until it is too late. You
remember the confession you made to me last night?

GERTRUDE. [_Apart._] Constance! [_Starting._] That is my secret; more
a secret now than ever.

MRS. HAVERILL. [_Apart._] Yes, dear; but you do love him. [GERTRUDE
_moves away._

GERTRUDE. You need not ride over with me, Mr. West.

KERCHIVAL. I can be ready in one moment.

GERTRUDE. I choose to go alone! Old Pete will be with me; and Jack,
himself, is a charming companion.

KERCHIVAL. If you prefer Jack's company to mine--

GERTRUDE. I do. [_Exit on veranda and down right._

KERCHIVAL. Damn Jack! But you will let me assist you to mount. [_Exit
after her._

MRS. HAVERILL. We leave for the North before noon, but every hour
seems a month. If my husband should learn what happened in my room
to-night, he would kill that man. What encouragement could I have
given him? Innocence is never on its guard--but, [_Drawing up._] the
last I remember before I fell unconscious, he was crouching before me
like a whipped cur! [_Starts as she looks out of the window._] There
is Mr. Thornton now--Ah! [_Angrily._] No,--I must control my own
indignation. I must keep him and Colonel Haverill from meeting before
we leave Charleston. Edward Thornton would shoot my husband down
without remorse. But poor Frank! I must not forget him, in my own
trouble. I have but little time left to care for his welfare.

_Re-enter_ KERCHIVAL.

KERCHIVAL. You said I could do you a favour, Mrs. Haverill?

MRS. HAVERILL. Yes, I wanted to speak with you about General
Haverill's son, Frank. I should like you to carry a message to
Charleston for me, as soon as it is light. It is a sad errand. You
know too well the great misfortune that has fallen upon my husband in
New York.

KERCHIVAL. His only son has brought disgrace upon his family name,
and tarnished the reputation of a proud soldier. Colonel Haverill's
fellow-officers sympathize with him most deeply.

MRS. HAVERILL. And poor young Frank! I could hardly have loved the boy
more if he had been my own son. If he had not himself confessed the
crime against the bank, I could not have believed him guilty. He has
escaped from arrest. He is in the city of Charleston. I am the only
one in all the world he could turn to. He was only a lad of fourteen
when his father and I were married, six years ago; and the boy has
loved me from the first. His father is stern and bitter now in his
humiliation. This note from Frank was handed to me while the company
were here last evening. I want you to find him and arrange for me to
meet him, if you can do it with safety. I shall give you a letter for

KERCHIVAL. I'll get ready at once; and I will do all I can for the
boy. [_Turning._

MRS. HAVERILL. And--Mr. West! Gertrude and Madeline have told me
that--that--I was under obligations to you last evening.

KERCHIVAL. Don't mention it. I merely ran for them, and I--I'm very
glad you didn't choke--before they reached you. I trust you are quite
well now?

MRS. HAVERILL. I am entirely recovered, thank you. And I will ask
another favour of you, for we are old friends. I desire very much that
General Haverill should not know that--that any accident occurred to
me to-night--or that my health has not been perfect.

KERCHIVAL. Certainly, madam!

MRS. HAVERILL. It would render him anxious without cause.

KERCHIVAL [_Aside_.] It looks as if Robert was right; she doesn't want
the two men to meet.

_Enter_ HAVERILL. _A white silk handkerchief is in his hand_.

HAVERILL. Constance, my dear, I've been all over the place looking for
you. I thought you were in your room. But--by the way, Kerchival, this
is your handkerchief; your initials are on it. [KERCHIVAL _turns and
stares at him a second_. MRS. HAVERILL _starts slightly and turns
front_. HAVERILL _glances quickly from one to the other, then extends
his hands toward_ KERCHIVAL, _with the handkerchief_. KERCHIVAL _takes
it_. MRS. HAVERILL _drops into chair_.

KERCHIVAL. Thank you. [_He exits with a quick glance back._ HAVERILL
_looks at_ MRS. HAVERILL, _who sits nervously looking away. He then
glances after_ KERCHIVAL. _A cloud comes over his face, and he stands
a second in thought. Then, with a movement as if brushing away a
passing suspicion, he smiles pleasantly and approaches_ MRS. HAVERILL;
_leans over her_.

HAVERILL. My fair Desdemona! [_Smiling_.] I found Cassio's
handkerchief in your room. Have you a kiss for me? [_She looks up; he
raises her chin with a finger and kisses her_.] That's the way I shall
smother you.

MRS. HAVERILL. [_Rising and dropping her head upon his breast_.]

HAVERILL. But what is this they have been telling me?

MRS. HAVERILL. What have they said to you?

HAVERILL. There was something wrong with you in the early part of the
evening; you are trembling and excited, my girl!

MRS. HAVERILL. It was nothing, John; I--I--was ill, for a few moments,
but I am well now.

HAVERILL. You said nothing about it to me.

MRS. HAVERILL. Do not give it another thought.

HAVERILL. Was there anything besides your health involved in the
affair? There was. [_Aside_.] How came this handkerchief in her room?

MRS. HAVERILL. My husband! I do not want to say anything more--at--at
present--about what happened to-night. There has never been a shadow
between us--will you not trust me?

HAVERILL. Shadow! You stand in a bright light of your own, my wife;
it shines upon my whole life--there can be no shadow there. Tell me
as much or as little as you like, and in your own time. I am sure you
will conceal nothing from me that I ought to know. I trust my honour
and my happiness to you, absolutely.

MRS. HAVERILL. They will both be safe, John, in my keeping. But there
is something else that I wish to speak with you about; something very
near to your heart--your son!


MRS. HAVERILL. He is in Charleston.

HAVERILL. And not--in prison? To me he is nowhere. I am childless.

MRS. HAVERILL. I hope to see him to-day; may I not take him some kind
word from you?

HAVERILL. My lawyers in New York had instructions to provide him with
whatever he needed.

MRS. HAVERILL. They have done so, and he wants for nothing; he asks
for nothing, except that I will seek out the poor young wife--only a
girl herself--whom he is obliged to desert, in New York.

HAVERILL. His marriage was a piece of reckless folly, but I forgave
him that.

MRS. HAVERILL. I am sure that it was only after another was dependent
on him that the debts of a mere spendthrift were changed to fraud--and

HAVERILL. You may tell him that I will provide for her.

MRS. HAVERILL. And may I take him no warmer message from his father?

HAVERILL. I am an officer of the United States Army. The name which
my son bears came to me from men who had borne it with honour, and I
transmitted it to him without a blot. He has disgraced it, by his own

MRS. HAVERILL. _I_ cannot forget the poor mother who died when he was
born; her whose place I have tried to fill, to both Frank and to you.
I never saw her, and she is sleeping in the old graveyard at home. But
I am doing what she would do to-day, if she were living. No pride--no
disgrace--could have turned her face from him. The care and the love
of her son has been to me the most sacred duty which one woman can
assume for another.

HAVERILL. You have fulfilled that duty, Constance. Go to my son! I
would go with you, but he is a man now; he could not look into my
eyes, and I could not trust myself. But I will send him something
which a man will understand. Frank loves you as if you were his own
mother; and I--I would like him to--to think tenderly of me, also. He
will do it when he looks at this picture. [_Taking a miniature from
his pocket._


HAVERILL. I have never been without it one hour, before, since we were
married. He will recognize it as the one that I have carried through
every campaign, in every scene of danger on the Plains; the one that
has always been with me. He is a fugitive from justice. At times, when
despair might overcome him, this may give him nerve to meet his
future life manfully. It has often nerved me, when I might have failed
without it. Give it to him, and tell him that I send it. [_Giving
her the miniature._] I could not send a kinder message, and he will
understand it. [_Turning, stands a moment in thought._ THORNTON
_appears at window, looking at them quietly over his shoulder, a cigar
in his hand._ MRS. HAVERILL _sees him and starts with a suppressed
breath, then looks at_ HAVERILL, _who moves left. Aside._] My son! My
son! We shall never meet again! [_Exit in thought._

MRS. HAVERILL _looks after him earnestly, then turns and looks at
THORNTON, drawing up to her full height._ THORNTON _moves up stage,
beyond window._

MRS. HAVERILL. Will he dare to speak to me again? [_Enter_ THORNTON;
_he comes down quietly. He has thrown away cigar._

THORNTON. Mrs. Haverill! I wish to offer you an apology.

MRS. HAVERILL. I have not asked for one, sir!

THORNTON. Do you mean by that, that you will not accept one?

MRS. THORNTON. [_Aside_] What can I say? [_Aloud._] Oh, Mr.
Thornton!--for my husband's sake, I--

THORNTON. Ah! You are afraid that your husband may become involved in
an unpleasant affair. Your solicitude for his safety, madame, makes
me feel that my offense to-night was indeed unpardonable. No gentleman
can excuse himself for making such a mistake as I have made. I had
supposed that it was Lieutenant Kerchival West, who--

MRS. HAVERILL. What do you mean, sir?

THORNTON. But if it is your husband that stands between us--

MRS. HAVERILL. Let me say this, sir: whatever I may fear for my
husband, he fears nothing for himself.

THORNTON. He knows? [_Looking at her, keenly._] [_Enter_ KERCHIVAL
WEST, _now in riding suit._] [_He stops, looking at them._] You are
silent. Your husband does know what occurred to-night; that relieves
my conscience. [_Lightly._] Colonel Haverill and I can now settle it
between us.

MRS. HAVERILL. No, Mr. Thornton! My husband knows nothing, and, I beg
of you, do not let this horrible affair go further. [_Sees_ KERCHIVAL.

KERCHIVAL. Pardon me. [_Stepping forward._] I hope I am not
interrupting you. [_Aside._] It _was_ Thornton. [_Aloud._] You said
you would have a letter for me to carry, Mrs. Haverill.

MRS. HAVERILL. Yes, I--I will go up and write it at once. [_Crosses;
stops and looks back. Aside._] I wonder how much he overheard.

KERCHIVAL. [_Quietly._] I suppose eight o'clock will be time enough
for me to go?

MRS. HAVERILL. Oh, yes! [_Glancing at him a moment._]--quite.

[_Exit, through apartment._

KERCHIVAL. [_Quietly._] Mr. Thornton! you are a scoundrel! Do I make
myself plain?

THORNTON. You make the fact that you desire to pick a quarrel with me
quite plain, sir; but I choose my own quarrels and my own enemies.

KERCHIVAL. Colonel Haverill is my commander, and he is beloved by
every officer in the regiment.

THORNTON. On what authority, may I ask, do you--

KERCHIVAL. The honour of Colonel Haverill's wife is under our

THORNTON. Under your protection? You have a better claim than that,
perhaps, to act as her champion. Lieutenant Kerchival West is Mrs.
Haverill's favourite officer in the regiment.

KERCHIVAL. [_Approaching him._] You dare to suggest that I--

THORNTON. If I accept your challenge, I shall do so not because you
are her protector, but my rival.

KERCHIVAL. Bah! [_Striking him sharply on the cheek with glove. The
two men stand facing each other a moment._] Is it my quarrel now?

THORNTON. I think you are entitled to my attention, sir.

KERCHIVAL. My time here is limited.

THORNTON. We need not delay. The Bayou La Forge is convenient to this

KERCHIVAL. I'll meet you there, with a friend, at once.

THORNTON. It will be light enough to see the sights of our weapons in
about one hour. [_They bow to each other, and_ THORNTON _goes out._

KERCHIVAL. I've got ahead of Bob.

GERTRUDE. [_Without._] Whoa! Jack! Old boy! Steady, now--that's a good

KERCHIVAL. She has returned. I _must_ know whether Gertrude Ellingham
loves me--before Thornton and I meet. He is a good shot.

GERTRUDE. [_Without, calling._] O-h! Pete! You may take Jack to the
stable. Ha--ha--ha! [_Appears at window. To_ KERCHIVAL.] Old Pete, on
the bay horse, has been doing his best to keep up with us; but Jack
and I have led him such a race! Ha--ha--ha--ha! [_Disappearing beyond
the window._

KERCHIVAL. Does she love me?

GERTRUDE. [_Entering and coming down._] I have the very latest news
from the headquarters of the Confederate Army in South Carolina. At
twenty minutes after three this morning General Beauregard sent this
message to Major Anderson in Fort Sumter: "I shall open fire in one
hour!" The time is up!--and he will keep his word! [_Turning and
looking out of the window._ KERCHIVAL _moves across to her._

KERCHIVAL. Gertrude! I must speak to you; we may never meet again; but
I must know the truth. I love you. [_Seizing her hand._] Do you love
me? [_She looks around at him as if about to speak; hesitates._]
Answer me! [_She looks down with a coquettish smile, tapping her skirt
with her riding whip._] Well? [_A distant report of a cannon, and low
rumbling reverberations over the harbour._ GERTRUDE _turns suddenly,
looking out._ KERCHIVAL _draws up, also looking off._

GERTRUDE. A low--bright--line of fire--in the sky! It is a shell. [_A
second's pause; she starts slightly_.] It has burst upon the fort.
[_Looks over her shoulder at_ KERCHIVAL, _drawing up to her full
height_.] Now!--do you believe that we Southerners are in deadly

KERCHIVAL. We Northerners are in deadly earnest, too. I have received
my answer. We are--enemies! [_They look at each other for a moment_.

GERTRUDE. Kerchival! [_Moving quickly half across stage, looking
after him eagerly; stops._] Enemies! [_She drops into chair, sobbing
bitterly. Another distant report, and low, long reverberations as the
curtain descends_.



SCENE. _The Ellingham Homestead in the Shenandoah Valley. Exterior.
Three Top Mountain in the distance. A corner of the house, with
projecting end of veranda. Low wall extending up from veranda. A wide
opening in the wall, with a low, heavy stone post, with flat top, on
each side. Beyond the wall and opening, a road runs across stage.
At the back of this road, elevation of rock and turf. This slopes up
behind wood wing. It is level on the top about twelve feet; slopes
down to road, and also out behind wood wings. The level part in the
centre rises to about four feet above the stage. Beyond this elevation
the distance is a broad valley, with Three Top Mountain rising on the
right. Foliage appropriate to northern Virginia--walnut, cottonwood,
&c. Rustic seats and table. Seat near veranda. A low rock near the
stone post. Sunset when curtain rises. As the act proceeds this fades
into twilight and then bright moonlight. The number references for the
trumpet signals, in this and the next act, are to the official book,
entitled "Cavalry Tactics, United States Army," published by D.
Appleton & Co., N.Y., 1887. The number references for the Torch
Signals, in this act, are to the General Service Code. This code may
be found, with illustrations and instructions, in a book entitled
"Signal Tactics," by Lieutenant Hugh T. Reed, U.S. Army, published by
John Riley & Sons, N.Y., 1880. At rise of curtain, Trumpet Signal
No. 34 or No. 35 is heard very distant._ GERTRUDE _and_ MADELINE
_discovered on elevation up center._ GERTRUDE _is shading her eyes
with her hand and looking off._ MADELINE _stands a little below her,
on the incline, resting her arm about_ GERTRUDE'S _waist, also looking

GERTRUDE. It is a regiment of Union Cavalry. The Federal troops now
have their lines three miles beyond us, and only a month ago the
Confederate Army was north of Winchester. One army or the other has
been marching up and down the Shenandoah Valley for three years. I
wonder what the next change will be. We in Virginia have had more than
our share of the war. [_Looking off._

MADELINE. You have, indeed, Gertrude. [_Walking down to seat._] And we
at home in Washington have pitied you so much. But everybody says that
there will be peace in the Valley after this. [_Dropping into seat._

GERTRUDE. Peace! [_Coming down._] That word means something very
different to us poor Southerners from what it means to you.

MADELINE. I know, dear; and we in the North know how you have
suffered, too. We were very glad when General Buckthorn was appointed
to the command of the Nineteenth Army Corps, so that Jenny could get
permission for herself and me to come and visit you.

GERTRUDE. The old General will do anything for Jenny, I suppose.

MADELINE. Yes. [_Laughing._] We say in Washington that Jenny is in
command of the Nineteenth Army Corps herself.

GERTRUDE. I was never more astonished or delighted in my life than
when you and Jenny Buckthorn rode up, this morning, with a guard from
Winchester; and Madeline, dear, I--I only wish that my brother Robert
could be here, too. Do you remember in Charleston, darling--that
morning--when I told you that--that Robert loved you?

MADELINE. He--[_Looking down._]--he told me so himself only a little
while afterwards, and while we were standing there, on the shore of
the bay--the--the shot was fired which compelled him to enter this
awful war--and me to return to my home in the North.

GERTRUDE. I was watching for that shot, too. [_Turning._

MADELINE. Yes--[_Rising_.]--you and brother Kerchival--

GERTRUDE. We won't talk about that, my dear. We were speaking of
Robert. As I told you this morning, I have not heard from him since
the battle of Winchester, a month ago. Oh, Madeline! the many, many
long weeks, like these, we have suffered, after some terrible battle
in which he has been engaged. I do not know, now, whether he is living
or dead.

MADELINE. The whole war has been one long suspense to me. [_Dropping
her face into her hands_.

GERTRUDE. My dear sister! [_Placing her arm about her waist and moving
left_.] You are a Northern girl, and I am a Rebel--but we are sisters.
[_They go up veranda and out_. An OLD COUNTRYMAN _comes in on a cane.
He stops and glances back, raises a broken portion of the capstone
of post, and places a letter under it_. GERTRUDE _has stepped back on
veranda and is watching him. He raises his head sharply, looking at
her and bringing his finger to his lips. He drops his head again, as
with age, and goes out._

GERTRUDE _moves down to stage and up to road, looks right and left,
raises the broken stone, glancing back as she does so; takes letter
and moves down_.] Robert is alive! It is his handwriting! [_Tears open
the wrapper_.] Only a line from him! and this--a despatch--and also a
letter to me! Why, it is from Mrs. Haverill--from Washington--with a
United States postmark. [_Reads from a scrap of paper_.]

"The enclosed despatch must be in the hands of Captain Edward Thornton
before eight o'clock to-night. We have signaled to him from Three Top
Mountain, and he is waiting for it at the bend in Oak Run. Our trusty
scout at the Old Forge will carry it if you will put it in his hands."

The scout is not there, now; I will carry it to Captain Thornton
myself. I--I haven't my own dear horse to depend on now; Jack knew
every foot of the way through the woods about here; he could have
carried a despatch himself. I can't bear to think of Jack; it's
two years since he was captured by the enemy--and if he is still
living--I--I suppose he is carrying one of their officers. No! Jack
wouldn't fight on that side. He was a Rebel--as I am. He was one of
the Black Horse Cavalry--his eyes always flashed towards the North.
Poor Jack! my pet. [_Brushing her eyes_.] But this is no time for
tears. I must do the best I can with the gray horse. Captain Thornton
shall have the despatch. [_Reads from note_.]

"I also enclose a letter for you. I found it in a United States
mail-bag which we captured from the enemy."

Oh--that's the way Mrs. Haverill's letter came--ha--ha--ha--by way of
the Rebel Army! [_Opens it; reads._]

"My Darling Gertrude: When Colonel Kerchival West was in Washington
last week, on his way from Chattanooga, to serve under Sheridan in the
Shenandoah Valley, he called upon me. It was the first time I had seen
him since the opening of the war. I am certain that he still loves
you, dear." [_She kisses the letter eagerly, then draws up._

It is quite immaterial to me whether Kerchival West still loves me or
not. [_Reads._

"I have kept your secret, my darling."--Ah! my secret!--"but I
was sorely tempted to betray the confidence you reposed in me at
Charleston. If Kerchival West had heard you say, as I did, when your
face was hidden in my bosom, that night, that you loved him with your
whole heart--"--Oh! I could bite my tongue out now for making that
confession--[_Looks down at letter with a smile._] "I am certain
that he still loves you." [_Trumpet Signal No. 41. Kisses the letter
repeatedly. Trumpet Signal No. 41, louder than at first. She starts,

JENNY BUCKTHORN _runs in on the veranda._

JENNY. Do you hear, Gertrude, they are going to pass this very house.
[_Military band. "John Brown" playing in the distance. Chorus of
Soldiers._] I've been watching them through my glass; it is Colonel
Kerchival West's regiment.

GERTRUDE. [_Eagerly, then coldly._] Colonel West's! It is perfectly
indifferent to me whose regiment it is.

JENNY. Oh! Of course. [_Coming down._] It is equally indifferent to
me; Captain Heartsease is in command of the first troop. [_Trumpet
Signal No. 52._] Column right! [_She runs up to road. Looks._] They
are coming up the hill.

GERTRUDE. At my very door! And Kerchival West in command! I will not
stand here and see them pass. The despatch for Captain Thornton! I
will carry it to him as soon as they are gone. [_Exit up veranda, the
band and chorus increasing in volume._

JENNY. Cavalry! That's the branch of the service I was born in; I was
in a fort at the time--on the Plains. Sergeant Barket always said that
my first baby squall was a command to the garrison; if any officer
or soldier, from my father down, failed to obey my orders, I
court-martialed him on the spot. I'll make 'em pass in review.
[_Jumping up on the rustic seat._] Yes! [_Looking off._] There's
Captain Heartsease himself, at the head of the first troop. Draw
sabre! [_With parasol._] Present! [_Imitating the action. Music. The
band and chorus now full and loud; she swings parasol in time. Trumpet
Signal No. 40. Band and chorus suddenly cease._] Halt! Why, they are
stopping here. [_Trumpet Signal No. 38._] Dismount! I--I wonder if
they are going to--I do believe--[_Looking left eagerly. Trumpet
Signal No. 17._] Assembly of Guard Details! As sure as fate, they
are going into camp here. We girls will have a jolly time. [_Jumping
down._] Ha--ha--ha--ha! Let me see. How shall I receive Captain
Heartsease? He deserves a court-martial, for he stole my lace
handkerchief--at Mrs. Grayson's reception--in Washington. He was
called away by orders to the West that very night, and we haven't met
since. [_Sighs._] He's been in lots of battles since then; I suppose
he's forgotten all about the handkerchief. We girls, at home, don't
forget such things. We aren't in battles. All we do is to--to scrape
lint and flirt with other officers.


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