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ACT I At the most wretched hour between a black night and a wintry morning in the year 1777, Mrs. Dudgeon, of New Hampshire, is sitting up in the kitchen and general dwelling room of her farm house on the outskirts of the town of Websterbridge. She is not a prepossessing woman. No woman looks her best after sitting up all night; and Mrs. Dudgeon's face, even at its best, is grimly trenched by the channels into which the barren forms and... more...

INTRODUCTION The three plays here presented were the outcome of a period when Björnson's views on many topics were undergoing a drastic revision and he was abandoning much of his previous orthodoxy in many directions. Two of them were written during, and one immediately after, a three years' absence from Norway—years spent almost entirely in southern Europe. [Note: Further details respecting Björnson's life will be found in the... more...

FIRST ACT SCENE Morning-room in Algernon’s flat in Half-Moon Street.  The room is luxuriously and artistically furnished.  The sound of a piano is heard in the adjoining room. [Lane is arranging afternoon tea on the table, and after the music has ceased, Algernon enters.] Algernon.  Did you hear what I was playing, Lane? Lane.  I didn’t think it polite to listen, sir. Algernon.  I’m sorry for that,... more...

ACT IV SCENE I.   Cyprus.  Before the Castle. [Enter Othello and Iago.] IAGOWill you think so?OTHELLO                              Think so, Iago?IAGO                     ... more...

SCENE I. The Royal Gardens in Aranjuez.CARLOS and DOMINGO.DOMINGO.Our pleasant sojourn in AranjuezIs over now, and yet your highness quitsThese joyous scenes no happier than before.Our visit hath been fruitless. Oh, my prince,Break this mysterious and gloomy silence!Open your heart to your own father's heart!A monarch never can too dearly buyThe peace of his own son—his only son.[CARLOS looks on the ground in silence.Is there one dearest... more...


Sieur du Pleßis Marly. T seemes to mee strange, and a thing much to be marueiled, that the laborer to repose himselfe hasteneth as it were the course of the Sunne: that the Mariner rowes with all force to attayne the porte, and with a ioyfull crye salutes the descryed land: that the traueiler is neuer quiet nor content till he be at the ende of his voyage: and that wee in the meane while tied in this world to a perpetuall taske, tossed... more...

SCENE I. A high, rocky shore of the lake of Lucerne opposite Schwytz.The lake makes a bend into the land; a hut stands at a shortdistance from the shore; the fisher boy is rowing about in hisboat. Beyond the lake are seen the green meadows, the hamlets,and arms of Schwytz, lying in the clear sunshine. On the leftare observed the peaks of the Hacken, surrounded with clouds; tothe right, and in the remote distance, appear the Glaciers. TheRanz des... more...

Why the Chimes Rang. The scene is laid in a peasant's hut on the edge of a forest near a cathedral town. It is a dark low-raftered room lit only by the glowing wood fire in the great fireplace in the wall to the right, and by a faint moonlight that steals in through the little window high in the left wall. This window commands a view of the cathedral and of the road leading down into the town. The only entrance into the hut is the front door... more...

WASTE At Shapters, George Farrant's house in Hertfordshire. Ten o'clock on a Sunday evening in summer. Facing you at her piano by the window, from which she is protected by a little screen, sits Mrs. Farrant; a woman of the interesting age, clear-eyed and all her face serene, except for a little pucker of the brows which shows a puzzled mind upon some important matters. To become almost an ideal hostess has been her achievement; and in her own... more...

WAR BRIDES The war brides were cheered with enthusiasm and the churches were crowded when the wedding parties spoke the ceremony in concert.—PRESS CLIPPING. SCENE: A room in a peasant's cottage in a war-ridden country. A large fireplace at the right. Near it a high-backed settle. On the left a heavy oak table and benches. Woven mats on the floor. A door at left leads into a bedroom. In the corner a cupboard. At the back a wide window... more...