페이지 이미지
PDF

like her shadow. Do we take a boating? So does Jones. Do we wander on the beach? So does Jones. Go where we will, that fellow follows or moves before. Now, that was a cruel practical joke which Jones once played upon me at college. I have never forgiven him. But I would gladly make a pretence of doing so, if I could have my revenge. Let me see. Can't I manage it? He is head over ears in love with Prudence, but too bashful to speak. I half believe she is not indifferent to him, though altogether unacquainted It may prove a match, if I cannot spoil it. Let me think Ha! I have it. A brilliant idea! Jones, beware! But here he comes.

(Enter Jones.)

Jones. (Not seeing Snobbleton, and delightedly contemplating a flower, which he holds in his lumd.) Oh, rapture! what a prize! It was in her hair—I saw it fall from her queenly head. (Kisses i t every now and then.) How warm are its tender leaves from having touched her neck! How doubly sweet is its perfume—fresh from the fragrance of her glorious locks! llow beautiful! how—Bless me! here is Snobbleton, and we are enemies I

Snob. Good-morning, Jones—that is, if you will shake hands.

Jones, What! you—you forgive ! You really—

Snob. Yes, yes, old fellow! All is forgotten. You played mo a rough trick; but, let bygones be bygones. Will you not bury the hatchet?

Jones. With all my heart, my dear fellow!

Snob. What is the matter with you, Jones? You look quite grumpy—not by any means the same cheerful, dashing, rollicking fellow you were.

Jones. Grumpy—what is that? How do I look, Snobbleton?

Snob. Oh, not much out of the way. Only a little shaky in the shanks,—blue lips, red nose, cadaverous jaws, bloodshot eyes, yellow—

Jones. Bless me, you don't say so! (Aside.) Confound the man! Here have I been endeavoring to appear romantic for the last month—and now to be called grumpy—sbakyohanked, cadaverous,—it is unbearable!

[graphic]

Snob. But never mind. Cheer up, old fellow! I see it all. figad! I know what it is to be in—

Jones. Ah! you can then sympathize with me ! You know what it is to be in—

Snob. Of course I do! Heaven preserve me from the toils! What days of bitterness!

Jones. What nights of bliss!

Snob. (Shuddering.) And then the letters—the intermin«ble letters! Jones. Oh yes, the letters ! the billet doux I Snob. And the bills—the endless bills! Jones. (In surprise.) The bills!

Snob. Yes; and the bailiffs, the lawyers, the judge, and the jury.

Jones. Why, man, what are you talking about? I thought you aaid you knew what it was to be in— Snob. In debt. To be sure I did.

Jones. Bless me! I'm not in debt—never borrowed a dollar in my life. Ah, me! (Sighs.) it's worse than tluU.

Snob. Worse than that! Come, now, Jones, there is only one thing worse. You're surely not in love?

Jones. Yes, I am. Oh, Snobby, help me, help me! Let mo confide in you.

Snob. Confide in me ! Certainly, my dear fellow! See, I do not shrink—I stand firm.

Jones. Snobby, I—I love her.

Snob. Whom?

Jones. Your cousin, Prudence.

Snob. Ha! Prudence Angelina Winterbottom?

Jones. Now, don't be angry, Snobby! I don't mean any harm, you know. I—I—you know how it is.

Snob. Harm ! my dear fellow. Not a bit of it. Angry! Not at all. You have my consent, old fellow. Take her. She is yours. Heaven bless you both!

Jones. You are very kind, Snobby, but I haven't got her consent yet.

Snob. Well, that is something, to be sure. But, leave it all to me. She may be a little coy, you know; but, considering your generous overlooking of her unfortunate defect—

Jones. V "ted! You surprise me.

[graphic]

Snob. What! and you did not know of it? Joins. Not at all. I am astonished! Nothing serious I hope.

Snob. Oh, no! only a little—(He taps his ear with his finger, knowingly.) I see, you understand it.

Jones. Merciful heaven! can it be? But really, is it serious?

Snob. I should think it was.

Jones. What! But is she ever dangerous?

Snob. Dangerous! Why should she be?

Jones. (Considerably relieved.) Oh, I perceive! A mere airiness of brain—a gentle aberration—scorning the duH world—a mild—

Snob. Zounds, man, she's not crazy!

Jones. My dear Snobby, you relieve me. What then?

Snob. Slightly deaf. That's all.

Jones. Deaf!

Snob. As a lamp-post. That is you must elevate your voice to a considerable pitch in speaking to her.

Jones. Is it possible! However, I think I can manage. As, for instance, if it was my intention to make her a floral ottering, and I should say (elevating his roiee considerably,) "Miss, will you make me happy by accepting these flowers?" I suppose she could hear me, eh? How would that do?

Snoo. Pshaw! Do you call that elevated?

Jones. Well, how would this do? (Speaks very loudly.) .' Miss, will you make me happy—"

Snob. Louder, shriller, man!

Jones. "Miss, will you—"

Snob. Louder, louder, or she will only see your lips move.

Joins. (Almost screaming.) "Miss, will you oblige me by accepting these flowers?"

Snob. There, that may do. Still you want practice. 1 perceive the ladj herself is approaching. Suppose you re. tire for a short time and I will prepare her for the introduction.

Jones. Very good. Meantime I will go down to the beach and endeavor to acquire the proper pitch. Let me see "Miss, will you oblige me—"

[Exit Jones.j

[graphic]

Enter Prudence.

Prud. Good-morning, cousin. Who was that speaking so loudly?

Snob. Only Jones. Poor fellow, he is so deaf that I suppose he fancies his own voice to be a mere whisper.

Prud. Why, I was not aware of this. Is he nri/ deaf?

Sriob. Deaf as a stone fence. To be sure he does not use an ear-trumpet any more, but one must speak excessively high. Unfortunate, too, for I believe he is in love.

Prud. ( With some emotion.) In love! with whom?

Snob. Can't you guess?

Prud. Oh, no; 1 haven't the slightest idea.

Snob. With yourself! He has been begging me to obtain him an introduction.

Prud. Well, I have always thought him a nice-looking young man. I suppose he would hear me if 1 should say (speaks fondly,) "Good-morning, Mr. Jones?"

Snob. ((bmpaxsiouatcly.) Do you think he would h&xrthatt

Prud. Well, then, how wcmld [speaks very loudly,) "Goodmorning, Mr. Jones!" How would that do?

Snob. Tush! he would think you were speaking under your breath.

Prud. (Almost screaming.) "Good-morning!"

Snob. A mere whisper, my dear cousin. Hut here he comes. Now, do t ry and make yourself audible.

Snob. (Speaking in a hiyh voire.) Mr. Jones, cousin. Miss Winterbottom, Jones. You will please excuse me for a short time. (He retins, but riinuins in vieir.)

Jones. (Speaking shrill and loud,mid offering some flowerx.) Miss, will you accept these flowers? 1 plucked them from their slumber on the bill.

Prud. {In nn riiintlly hiyh mice.) Really, sir, I—I—'

Joins. (Aside.) She hesitates. It must be that she does not hear me. (Increasing his tone.) Miss, will you accept these flowers—Flowers? I plucked them sleeping on the hill—HILL.

Prud. (Also increasing her tone.) Certainly, Mr. Jones. They are beautiful— Reau-u-tifi'l. . Janes. (Aside.) How she screams in my ear (Aloud.)

[ocr errors]
[graphic][graphic]

Yes, 1 plucked them from their slumber—Slumrer, on the hill—HILl.

Prud. (Aside.) Poor man, what an effort it seems to him to speak. (Aloud.) I perceive you are poetical. Are you fond of poetry? (Aside.) He hesitates. I must speak louder. (In a scream.) Poetry—Poetry—POETRY!

Jones. (Aside.) Bless me, the woman would wake the dead! (Aloud.) Yes, Miss, I ad-o-r-e it.

Snob. (Solas from behind, rubbing his hands.) Glorious! glo rious! I wonder how loud they can scream. Oh, vengeance thou art sweet!

Prud. Can you repeat some poetry—Poetry?

Jones. I only know one poem. It is this:

You'd scarce expect one of my age—AgE,
To speak in public on the stage—Stage.

Prud. (Putting !ier lips to his ear and shouting.) Bravo— bravo!

Jones, (In the same way.) Thank you! Thank

Prud. (Putting her hands over her ears.) Mercy on us! Do

you think I am Deaf, sir? Jones. (Also stopping his ears.) And do you fancy me deaf,

Miss?

(They now speak in their natural tones.)

Prud. Are you not, sir? You surprise me!

Jones. No, Miss. I was led to believe that you were deaf. Suobbleton told me so.

Prud. Snobbleton! Why he told me that you were deaf.

Jones. Confound the fellow I he has been making game of us.

THE DRUNKARDS DREAM—Charles W. Denbok.

The drunkard dreamed of his old retreat,—
Of his cosy place in the tap-room seat;
And the liquor gleamed on his gloating eye,
Till his lips to the sparkling glass drew mgh.
He lifted it up with an eager glance,
And sang, as he saw the bubbles dance:
"Aha! I am myself again!
Here's a truce to care, an adieu to pain.

[graphic]
« 이전계속 »