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PROLOGUE. The Bard, when first he gave his mind to write, Thought it his only business, that his Plays Should please the people: but it now falls out, He finds, much otherwise, and wastes, perforce, His time in writing Prologues; not to tell The argument, but to refute the slanders Broach’d by the malice of an older Bard. And mark what vices he is charg’d withal! Menander wrote the Andrian and Perinthian: Know one, and you... more...

INTRODUCTION THE greatest of English dramatists except Shakespeare, the first literary dictator and poet-laureate, a writer of verse, prose, satire, and criticism who most potently of all the men of his time affected the subsequent course of English letters: such was Ben Jonson, and as such his strong personality assumes an interest to us almost unparalleled, at least in his age. Ben Jonson came of the stock that was centuries after to give to... more...

Actus primus. Scena prima. Enter Uncle and Merchant. Merc. When saw you Valentine? Uncle. Not since the Horse-race, he's taken up with those that woo the Widow. Mer. How can he live by snatches from such people? he bore a worthy mind. Uncle. Alas, he's sunk, his means are gone, he wants, and which is worse,Takes a delight in doing so. Mer. That's strange. Unc. Runs Lunatick, if you but talk of states, he cannot be brought (now he has... more...

ACT I The MARCH'S dining-room opens through French windows on one of thosegardens which seem infinite, till they are seen to be coterminouswith the side walls of the house, and finite at the far end, becauseonly the thick screen of acacias and sumachs prevents another housefrom being seen. The French and other windows form practically allthe outer wall of that dining-room, and between them and the screenof trees lies the difference between the... 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...

HOW TO BE A GOOD RADIO ACTOR The play in this book has actually been produced on the radio. Possibly you have listened to this one when you tuned in at home. The persons whose voices you heard as you listened, looked just as they did when they left their homes to go to the studio, although they were taking the parts of men and women who lived long ago and who wore costumes very different from the ones we wear today. The persons whose voices you... 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...

A PROLOGUE TO BE SPOKEN BY BETSY Our scene is the wind-swept coast of Devon. By day there is a wide stretch of ocean far below, and the abutments of our stage arise from a dizzy cliff. The time is remote, and ships of forgotten build stand out from Bristol in full sail for the mines of India. But we must be loose and free of precise date lest our plot be shamed by broken fact. A thousand years are but as yesterday. We make but a general gesture... more...

SCENE I. Sutlers' tents—in front, a Slop-shop. Soldiers of all colors anduniforms thronging about. Tables all filled. Croats and Hulanscooking at a fire. Sutler-woman serving out wine. Soldier-boysthrowing dice on a drum-head. Singing heard from the tent.Enter a Peasant and his Son.SON.Father, I fear it will come to harm,So let us be off from this soldier swarm;But boist'rous mates will ye find in the shoal—'Twere better to bolt... more...