The Project Gutenberg EBook of 'A Comedy of Errors' in Seven Acts, by 
Spokeshave (AKA Old Fogy)

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Title: 'A Comedy of Errors' in Seven Acts

Author: Spokeshave (AKA Old Fogy)

Release Date: April 5, 2007 [EBook #20989]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Marilynda Fraser-Cunliffe, Lesley Halamek and
the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This file was made using scans of
public domain works from the University of Michigan Digital

Transcriber's Note: As far as possible, the layout is that of the original book, which is a little irregular...
(T.N. cont. at end of book).

[page 1]













E. J. HABERER, Publisher.


[page 3]


As many were not able to secure all the Acts of "A Comedy of Errors" owing to the editions having been exhausted, and as numerous friends have expressed a desire to secure it entire, the author has concluded to publish it, supplemented by four more recent compositions.

With malice towards none and charity to all, this modest booklet is launched on the uncertain sea of literature.

—Old Fogy.

Manila, November 15th, 1914.

[page 5]




Dramatis Personae

Caesar . . . . . . . Ruler of the State.
Francos . . . . . . Governor General of a Province.
Quezox  . . . . . . Resident Delegate from the Province.

Scene:   Throne Room at the Capitol

Caesar:   Most noble Francos, I greet thee heartily.

A function truly noble falls within thy grasp;

And thou wilt with it deal as only sages can.

The distant Isles are now crushed by the pow'r

Of ruthless tyrants, who on plunder bent,

Oppress a helpless, but a worthy race,

Which groans beneath a yoke of foreign make,

And hence it fitteth not the sable necks

On which it now, relentless, firmly rests.

'Tis well, we know, how, filled with visions vain,

Our predecessor sought to stuff those minds

With mental food fit only for those born

To skins of whiter tint, and hence with grasp

Of firmer structure, built by kindly Time,

Who fashioned us in more ennobled mold;

While power divine to cap the climax grand,

With hand so deft, gave it its final touch.

These men with vision faint who planned so vain

Knew not the knightly thought bred in the south.

The north winds chill and stunt the subtle power

Which flourishes alone 'neath southern skies,

To read unerring from the page of truth

That God has fashioned some to mount aloft,

[page 6]

While others grovel on a lower plane.

Hence we must cherish ever in our hearts,

The thought that pigment marks the subtle line;

And so throw off a burden on us laid

By those who blindly cast their shoulders down,

To bear a load which deep ingratitude

Alone will be the recompense for all our pains.

Francos: My liege, I grasp the thought: a burden dark,

Which now each year a golden tribute calls,

Must be disposed of quickly, but so sly

That watching nations may not fling a slur

Upon our honor as we cast adrift

This alien race to face the world alone.

Caesar:     Sweet Francos, truly thou hast quick discerned

The thought which wisdom fathered in my mind.

"Be wise as serpent, harmless as the dove,"

Should be our watchword as we scuttle ship,

For there be those who speak with venomed tongues

Of serpents, as we cast them helpless off.

But if we of politicos make use,

And to their clamour lend approving smile,

We may while coolly thrusting them aside,

Meet with the thoughtless world's approving nod.

Francos: Ha! Ha! methinks I see my path made clear

'Twere wise to fellowship with only those

Who, longing for the flesh pots, lend their aid

To further us in this our deep design.

Caesar:       Hold! Francos, hold! The very walls have ears.

Suspicion once aroused our game is up

In silence let our worthy scheme mature;

An utterance unwise may spell defeat.

Francos: Most noble Caesar, thou at wisdom's fount

Hast drunk until the fountain hath run dry.

I ready stand to follow each command

Ignoring every judgment of mine own.

Caesar:       When I before the gods did minister,

I learned that strategy cured many ills;

And when Parnassus high I made my throne,

[page 7]

I found it well to wield an iron hand.

And now to work our pleasure in these Isles,

'Twere best to blend these methods in our scheme,

Whilst thou with honeyed tongue shall words employ

The callow forum shall my will obey.

But silence! put a padlock on thy tongue;

A word unspoken never worketh harm.

While he who babbles layeth down his shield,

And thus an enemy may work his death.

Francos: Mine ears are open to thine every word,

Would that they could but hear in distant Isles;

For when I beard the lion in his den,

Thy potent thoughts were then a healing balm.

Caesar:   Thou sayest well, Francos, but lend an ear;

Avoid our enemies; they counsel ill.

(To Page)   But, page, entreat sweet Quezox to attend

While we in converse measure every act.

Enter Quezox:   Most honored sire, I come at thy command,

And wait your pleasure; if by any means

My words, convincing, can this matter solve:

The land that bore me bids me loud proclaim.

So we consider wisely, let us call

The Commoner, whose wisdom is renowned.

That he may with us weigh each tangled point,

And thus make our solution doubly sure.

Caesar:       Sweet Quezox, caution is a precious thing.

And while 'tis known that council oft is wise,

Yet it were better Wilhelm were left out

For he hath visions which from tender plants

To forest monarchs grow, with roots so deep

Emplanted in the soil, that naught can stir.

Beside, financial ills have him beset,

And he now eager, filthy lucre seeks.

Francos: Most honored sire, I would from Quezox learn

What stern encounters I must early meet.

He from the first did see the canker grow

And hath a remedy, methinks, conceived.

Caesar:       Speak, Quezox, speak! and free thy surging mind.

[page 8]

For well I know abuses rankle there.

Our enemies politic, firm entrenched,

Have borne with heavy hand upon thy race.

Quezox:   Ah noble sire, how well thy mind conceives

The ills which bear my hapless people down.

Much learning fits thee for the ruler's seat

And keen discernment flashes from thine eye.

There pigmies move within a circle charmed

And fatten on rich spoils with cruel glee.

They force their alien ways with tyrant hands

Upon my people; and with cold disdain

Refuse our council, when 'twere meet and wise.

I beg thee, cast them out, both root and branch

And clean official nests from grafty filth.

Our patriots, able, then can claim their own

And on the ruins build a blissful state.

Caesar:       Most noble Quezox, thou hast touched the sore.

In Francos thou wilt find a helping hand,

Council him wise for he the subtle wiles

Of crafty scheming men may not discern.

Quezox:   Ah, noble sir, if I advice may breathe,

It were to shun the brood of vultures well.

They're skilled indeed to sing the siren's song,

And play with flattery on honest minds.

I feel 'twere well to journey to these Isles

In company with Francos, at thy will,

Thus guarding him from every idle tongue,

Which might make impress on an open heart.

Caesar:       Sweet Quezox, thou art wise, it shall be done.

And as you journey, meditate and plan

To lop off every head that blocks thy way,

Or lacks in sympathy for thy great work.

For Francos hath been trained for civic life

Where virtue reigns and intrigue hath no place.

But with thine aid and to guide a fearless soul,

And Tammany his pattern, all were well.

Francos: Great Caesar, trust me well; I smell the rot

that distance cannot smother, and will clean

[page 9]

The halls of state, and there implant true men.

Caesar:       And silence! speak nor write not idle words,

For they are often swords which cleave the soul;

When enemies who wield a cunning hand

Shall thrust them back, and laugh in gleeful scorn.

E'en I regret what in an idle hour,

I thoughtless paged regarding freedom's gift.

And now they sting me, sting me to the soul.

Oh that I ne'er had penned such childish thoughts!

Hence hold thy tongue or honeyed words proclaim

Which may mean little or perchance mean much.

And now farewell, and hie thee on thy way:

Again I say a padlock on thy tongue.

Quezox and Francos moving backward, and making obeisances.

Adieu, most noble Caesar, since the time

When Washington first donned the regal crown.

We'll smoke the woodchucks out and tan their hides

And parchment make, on which, in words of gold,

Shall be inscribed, so all the world may read:

"Saturnine pleasure it to us doth give,

To see them walk the plank from scuttled ship."

Caesar:       Ha Ha! but speak it not aloud, until 'tis done.

Both:           Whist! whist as mice! We'll oil the guillotine.

Exeunt both while Caesar washes his hands with invisible soap.

[page 10]


Dramatis Personae

Francos . . . . . . Governor General of a Province.
Quezox  . . . . . . Resident Delegate from the Province.
Seldonskip: . . . Secretary to the Governor General.
                                   Capt of the Ship:

Scene:    On shipboard

(Quezox, slowly walking the deck, soliloquizes.)

I feel a mighty task doth bear me down.

When distance held the burden in its hand,

It seemed, that, like a vessel on the stock,

'Twould easy, when the holding blocks were moved,

Slip gently down into the sea of states;

But now that nearness stares me in the face,

Wearing prophetic grin, methinks, I see

Deep obstacles which bar the slippery ways,

On which the ship must glide to waters deep.

A ship to safely sail in troubled seas,

Must boast a captain skilled in wat'ry lore.

But he were helpless, if the vessel's crew

Have not the cunning which of years is born.

Alas, from out the black and threat'ning sky,

One star alone of all the eyes of Night

Doth faintly pierce the gloom and light our way

To safe solution of the knotty point.

If but the Captain wear a stately mien

And walketh deck with slow and kingly tread,

Lieutenants skilled, by filthy lucre bribed,

May box the compass and so save the ship.

But who shall Captain be? Ah there's the rub.

There many be who fain would walk the deck,

Though he who bears the burdens of day

Forsooth should then be decked with laurel crown.

But there be schemers, working in the dark,

[page 11]

Who ready stand to grasp the hanging fruit

While he who plants and watereth the tree

With itching jaws may ne'er its fruitage taste.

Caesar hath said that Francos aid will lend,

To further us in working our designs,

And yet fear whispers to mine anxious mind

Honor hath made his soul its dwelling place.

Hence "graft," even to aid his upward climb

To higher honors, findeth not his ear.

As he hath gold, methinks the chink of coin

Charmeth him not; belike 'twould poorer men.

As skilled musician fingereth the harp,

So must I play upon his prejudice,

Which finds no virtue in politic foes,

And thus shall shrewdness do its perfect work.

But Seldonskip? I love this hombre not.

He looketh on our race with proud disdain,

Hence I with poison must sour Francos' mind,

That he but vileness in this boor shall see.

Some men, I ween, would tread in virtue's path,

Unless strong passion, born of love intense,

Should goad them to stretch out a greedy hand,

And grasp from beauty's bough forbidden fruit.

For lechery, like plaster o'er the walls,

They have no tolerance within their souls:

But there are those who will stalk any game.

Nor like myself, do they beauty demand.

If matters not if but the figure wears

Garb feminine, they'll ready take the scent,

And like to well trained hounds leave not the trail

Until the quarry is at length run down.

And this I must apply to Francos' ear,

Thus breeding deep contempt, clothed with distrust,

For him who puketh up a sour disdain,

From stomach filled with racial prejudice,

That shall his downfall speed, helped by the spleen,

Which pampered youth, fed with a golden spoon,

Must ever show, whene'er its will is crossed.

[page 12]

And thus will I proceed to "cook his goose,"

Until the flesh shall cleave from off its bones.

But as it seemeth to my anxious mind,

I read uncertainty in Francos' eye,

"The welfare of thy people" once he voiced,

Such words make music not unto mine ear.


"Thy people!" So it is that Francos speaks.

Ah! little do the workings of his mind

Discern that we who seek the pow'r to rule

Feel not the Tao blood coursing our veins.

For it by stain Caucasian is submerged;

Still, we a ladder make of sable backs,

To climb aloft into the chairs of state.

Exampling thus: "The fittest must survive".

A narrow man, though cast in honest mould,

May mischief work, while conscience wears a smile.

To Francos' I would dare not ope my heart,

So I must feel my way with catlike tread,

And strive with minor things to stuff him full,

So points of import shall his mind escape.

Francos (drawing near):

I bid thee happy morn, illustrious friend;

A morn portending a most perfect day.


'Tis thus our morn politic brightly breaks

But storms, by Jove engendered, may e'er Night

Enfolds her sable mantle for repose,

Wither the budding dreams that fill our breasts,

And deep within the cave of darkness cast

Ambitions holy which now swell to burst.


Good Quezox, why dost thou so deep despond?

Methinks the future wears a gladsome smile,

The children of thy race now spy a star

Which like to that of Bethlehem may lead

Them in the future to a state of bliss.

[page 13]


Ah, noble sire, mayhap our children may,

But what of us who years have now attained?


Ah, Quezox, I did only figure use.

Well dost thou know it rests upon their deeds;

But demonstrate their worth and all were well,

And then we'll speed us to our native land.

Quezox:       But, noble Francos, we now wend our way

To meet the vermin which do suck our blood,

And they with tongues which serpent-like can charm

May fool thee with their tales of dire intent.

Francos: (striking his breast):

Fear not, they soon shall feel how vain it were

To seek to trick one who, in halls of state,

Hath met the wiles of shrewd, self-seeking men,

But to ward off attack with virtue's shield.

Captain and Seldonskip approach.

Captain:  Most noble potentate, as I my rounds

Of observation make, it pleasures me

Most mightily, to make obeisance to

The one so honored by his native land.

As captain of a vessel may be judged

By those subordinate to his command,

So do I quick conception of thee form.

By the broad mental gifts of Seldonskip

Who were the hose, through which thy mind doth squirt

Most sapient thought, for mankind's betterment.

Seldonskip: You bet his wisdom squirts until I feel

As if my think tank were about to bust.

Francos:  Good captain, greatly hast thou honored me

And from such worthy source, I doubly feel

The compliment were born from honor's womb;

Anon, with thee would I more converse hold.

(Captain and Seldonskip move off.)

Francos to Quezox:

Good Quezox, this young squirt doth raise my bile,

I fear some contretemps his tongue may raise.

Quezox:  Most noble sire, this youth hath long been bred,

[page 14]

To gentle food which fits him ill to wage.

Against his passions all sufficient strife,

I fear lest close relation works you ill.

Francos:     Alas 'tis true that soft environments,

Take hold upon the child and grip him fast.

Quezox:   And yet if seeds of manhood there inhere

'Twere time for them to sprout and outward shoot.


I like not tattling tongues yet I must voice,

A matter which hath cut me to the quick:

On yester morn, I in sweet converse joined,

With one who wears angelic form divine,

When this presuming fop with jeering eye,

Made bold to amble, with convenient ear.

Till we, forsooth, were forced to silence woo.

But let us turn awhile to pleasant thoughts.

What has been fashioned for the glorious day

When we shall thrust our journey in the past

And meet rejoicing thousands at the pier?

(Seldonskip approaches speaks)

Well, Governor, thy message hath on wings

Of lightning sped its hurried way, and now

Methinks the anxious throng which fears the ax,

Will hustle mightily for stovepipe hats

To fit surmount their trembling heads, and so

Make happy pair with coat of Tam'ny cut.


Ha! Well 'twere done; but art thou doubly sure

That careless word of wrong import hath not

Enwoofed itself within this note of state?


You bet your life, the thing is all O. K.


But, my good friend, what hast thou in thine hand?


Is it design of some sweet maiden fair?

(Looks at the picture and discovers Bryan)

Ha! Ha! I see, 'tis he who wrecked our choice.

[page 15]

This Commoner hath but a shallow mind

Which like a windmill moves a lively tongue.

(Seldonskip moves off, replacing the picture close to his

breast, muttering)

My fighting cock, you're crowing mighty loud,

But Bryan holds old Wilson in his hand.

(Francos and Quezox walk the deck)

Quezox:   Most noble sire, I marvel at the speech

Which from the mouth of Seldonskip doth flow;

For highest office, he no rev'rence feels

And "slang" were but fit outflow of his mind.

Francos:     'Tis ever thus with those born to great wealth

It swells them up and whale like they do spout.

But gold hath pow'r and it were well indeed

Not to seek combat with a foe so stout.

'Twere best to pass their idle blust'ring by

For it doth vanish like the dew at morn.

Quezox:   It vomits me to gulp the morsel down

Yet I thy hint, subservient, will obey.


(But wisdom whispers keep thy bolo sharp

And his fifth rib, perchance, may feel its prick.)

Francos:  But Quezox, let us in the future delve,

For time doth swiftly waft us to our port.

Where I must Caesar's message loud proclaim

And my strong obligation to you voice.

Our noble functions must be so performed,

That happy impress graves the rabble mind

But thus to meet these vultures with a smile

Doth like a colic make mine honor gripe,

Machiavelian methods were in sooth

The better physic for the patients' needs

And I like good physician must the probe

Thrust in and sound the ugly, gaping wound.

Quezox:       Most noble sire, if I may caution speak

It were to all this filthy, croaking brood

Ne'er lend an open ear, for in it they

Will honey-coated poison quick distil.

[page 16]

Francos:  Trust me, good Quezox, I to every thrust,

Of treach'rous blade, will offer ample shield.

Methinks I'll place them on the waiting rack

And while I promises sweet-coated make,

Will gently turn the screw until their bones

Do crack. And then to happy period make,

The ax shall deftly lop some waiting head,

With touch most skilful, mellowed by a smile.

Quezox:       And, noble sire, I pray thee hasten not

But let it pleasure thee to so proceed

That dire suspense may make the waiting wretch

More keenly feel the act of justice stern.

Sweet to my soul 'twill be to walk the street

And meet prospective victims ere they fall.

The secret, while a tonic to my soul,

Prepays me mightily for past neglect.

Francos:  But Ha! The port is nigh and we must hie

(The City in the distance)

Us to our cabins to enrobe with coats

Of Tam'ny cut, and silken stovepipe hats—


But, Quezox, tell me, shall we be beset

By bugs and fleas and snakes and creeping things?

And microbes? Are they floating in the air

So that in speech I'll dare not ope my mouth?

Seldonskip (aside) O, shucks! I should worry!

Quezox:   Most puissant Sir, dread not the microbes!

A charm, ecclesiastical, well blessed,

Will ward them off; but what befears me most

Is vermin which infest the offices.

(Seldonskip wearing a plug hat, walks slowly along leering

at Quezox).

(Speaks)  Oh Rats! Rats!! and then again more Rats!!!

[page 17]


Dramatis Personae

Caesar   . . . . . . Ruler of the State.
Francos . . . . . . Governor General of a Province.
Quezox  . . . . . . Resident Delegate from the Province.
Seldonskip: . . . Secretary to the Governor General.

Scene I.    Throne Room at the Capitol.

Caesar soliloquizing.

'Tis done! The die indeed is safely cast.

And Wisdom smiles, while seated on her throne.

'Twere well to kill two birds with one shrewd fling

Of fortune's stone, and thus from grievous ills

Which close enwrapped by robes of custom, are

Work freedom from the threats of cruel fate.

Francos, whose mental woof is frail indeed,

Stood for promotion to important post.

Which might embarrass all the wheels of state,

And so 'twere well within his itching hand

To place commission for those distant Isles

Where mild efficiency can work no harm.

'Tis strange that Francos in the halls of state

So long hath squatted, in a chair too big,

But still much gold can smooth a thorny path

And work discovery of hidden worth.

With modest mental gifts, but gentle mien

He ill is fitted for promotion here.

But it were matter of but little weight

With Quezox as a mentor at his side,

What he shall fashion in his pigmy state,

For squirt from wisdom's fount can quench each flame.

But Quezox? Can I trust this sable knight?

He speaketh soft, but lurking in each smile

Methinks I spy a double meaning there.

[page 18]

'Twere well to bring Dame Caution to the front

And hold this fellow, as he runs, in leash;

For he, while fat with wisdom, may of guile

Be deeply feeding, and from stomach weak

May spew deep discord when we least expect.

I have it! well 'tis known that Wisdom's bird,

While winging daily flight, hath hovered o'er

Our foes politic, and hath often shunned

To make her nest in Democratic boughs.

'Twere well to seek from out the tricky foe

One who shall balance, like the flying wheel,

The various acts of Francos and his crew

And so most shrewdly curb the critic tongues

That wag within the jaws of foes most keen,

Thus hiding well, from all the thoughtless world.

The deep intent which labors in our breast.

And which in time shall like the bird encased

By brittle shell, break forth and fly aloft,

Singing to startled worlds sweet freedom's song.

But woe is me! My mem'ry playeth false,

For he of ponderous girth, in Island home

Seeketh to grow more fat on public swill.

And he presumeth, justly too, on what

His silver tongue did work to boost me on.

But still, lean men are best for action keen,

For too much fatness burdeneth the mind

And speaks in trumpet tones of strong desire

For pleasures, and mayhap for cards and wine.

And so 'twere best to know this Falstaff not

For pow'r politic ne'er can from his hand

Against me work dire mischief, for his tongue

Is locked securely by our party key.

But I must call the lightning to mine aid,

And order him who now bemoans his fate,

To scan the bailiwick for pots and pans,

That Francos no discomfort may incur.

For he so long in Fate's kind lap hath lain,

That he must ill be fitted to his task

[page 19]

Unless luxurious easements smooth his way

And jars discomforting wring not his soul.

Exit Caesar.

Scene 2.    Ship on the Ocean.

Quezox and Francos walking the deck.

Quezox:   Most worthy Francos, so my mind hath cast

A heavy load aside, and eager now, with hope,

I long to meet the foe in combat fierce

And pierce the varied joints his armor boasts.

Francos:  Sweet Quezox, hold! Methinks I read thy mind,

Revenge is sweeter than the honeycomb.

But let it not take mastery so strong

That Reason totters on her wabbly throne.

I fear me there are lions in the way,

And we must not in open battle wage;

But let our minds deep strategy conceive

And thus achieve what otherwise might fail.

Quezox:   Most trenchant Francos, how thy words do prick;

I fear unjust suspicion rears its head,

For it is not the nature of our race

To open deal, when stealth can compass well

The object which our surging souls shall seek;

For practice which necessity hath caused

Hath built a cunning it were hard to meet;

But when, impatient of long smould'ring wrongs,

We open take the bolo in our hands,

With bellies yearning for the blood of those

Who long have winked a proud disdainful eye

Beware! I say, beware! for mercy then is dead.

Francos:  But Quezox, hold! Water thy burning thoughts.

'Twere well to bridle firm such wordy steed,

For mayhap there be one with list'ning ear,

Who wide would publish what were worthy thoughts;

But which should covered be by mantle wise,

Until time furnisheth the proper hour,

To tongue them into words with cautious garb

[page 20]

So they shall mellow sound a fiery thought.

Quezox:   Thy mind, sweet Francos, pregnant is, with thought,

And well I ween, thou Caesar's words hast weighed.

But patience is a burden hard to bear

And oft it galls the back on which 'tis placed.

Francos:  But Quezox, listen. Speed thy mind beyond

The present passing hour, and wise reflect

That like a blanket on the jackass spread,

Patience can guard against the chafing wound.

Quezox:   Ah, Francos, well I know that wisdom bears

With weight of mountains on my retching soul.

But I will set my shoulders like the gods,

And bear the load as Atlas doth the skies.

Francos:  But, Quezox, I am filled with anxious thoughts

Anent sweet Seldonskip, whose wandering eye

Doth lecherous look upon each passing dame.

The fire of youth that wanders through his veins

May scandal breed, and it were well to look

With watchful eye upon his every act

Affairs of state with mighty import soar

Above the intrigues of a callow youth,

Hence we must owlish vigil constant keep

And in good sooth, it might indeed be well

To speak him fair, and warning subtle give

Lest his distemper lead to grievous ill.

Quezox:   Alas I know the temptress doth beguile;

Hence sympathy doth plead for helping hand.

If 'tis thy wish, I in most guarded speech

Will whisper caution in his youthful ear.

Francos:  'Tis well. But still I fear me over much

That he, like highly tempered steel, will bend

Only to swift rebound, and further by

Reaction go from paths of rectitude.

(Seldonskip indolently approaches.)

Seldonskip:     Most noble gentlemen, I greet thee sweet:

It tireth mightily, this placid sea.

Methinks a storm, a mighty, raging storm,

To break monotony would lend to life

[page 21]

A phlegm, and hence a tedious day become

More gladsome. Alack-a-day when I did leave

Those gilded halls where beauty did indwell.

On this good ship naught but uncertain age

Measures those forms divine to which we kneel.

(Seldonskip walks slowly on.)

Quezox speaking to Francos.  Most noble sire, in wonderment

I pause. 

If I may query put, what mental rheum

Did cause selection of such vacuous mind

To fill a post requiring mental grasp?

Francos:  Good Quezox, surely I was misinformed.

Full well; his sire, I dreamed, was made of clay

Much finer than is wont within the mold,

And so I eager seized his proffered aid.

But keen regret doth fill my troubled soul

And fears prophetic, to the future point.

But, noble friend, we'll let the matter drop

If it hath weight to fall, which much I doubt.

Quezox:   Ha! Ha! I see! he hath so little force,

That gravitation with him worketh not!

Francos:  Now, noble Quezox, we must quick devise

Some method to surmount the vicious laws

Of civil service, which with shrewd design

Purpose to keep those vultures in their nests,

While others long denied official posts,

Shall wander in the wilderness, and ne'er

Set wary foot within the promised land.

Quezox:   Most worthy sire, when guile hath strong intrenched,

Guile of a firmer mould, should countermatch,

And beat the bulwarks down; 'twere easy done.

In sooth so easy that no glory crowns

The working of a scheme so patent to

An eagle eye, which hath discernment keen.

To unmake offices, were quickly done.

To lower stipends till the hungry mouth

Shall to the belly say: "We must go hence

Or else we perish," were a shrewd device.

[page 22]

'Twere he who holds the money bags, must rule

And we the golden sword hold in our grasp.

Francos:  Ah noble Quezox, thou hast clearly solved

The riddle which hath cost me sleepless nights

It shall be done. But who approacheth me?

Quezox:   Sire, heed him not! Let's to our state rooms hie.

In truth methinks this man doth seek to spy,

And it were wise indeed to guard each port.

To pass an idle moment, it were well

In converse to enjoin; but this man speaks

Through eyes that warning give that he hath brains.

Hence it were best to pass him idly by,

And only mouth vain words with those who, dull,

Can work no harm by mouthing what were said.

(Quezox takes Francos by the arm and moves off

muttering to himself)

'Tis thus I guard this weakling from the throng.

And hold his foolish ear unto myself.

[page 23]


Dramatis Personae

Francos . . . . . . Governor General of a Province.
Quezox  . . . . . . Resident Delegate from the Province.
Seldonskip: . . . Secretary to the Governor General.
Halstrom: . . . . Aide to the Governor General.

Scene I. Garden of the Palace.

Francos (Soliloquizes): Methinks the poet of the past who scrolled

"Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown"

Indeed were wise and kenned whereof he wrote.

His keen imagination doth amaze

And fill my mind with wonder at his full

Discernment of the most unhappy lot

Which great responsibility doth load

Upon the shoulders of betroubled men

Whom fate relentless hath before ordained

To, like the pack-horse, patiently, each day,

Upbear most galling burden, born of cares

Which do encompass the affairs of state.

When in the Nation's forum I did sit,

Like to a minnow in a mighty pool,

I did disport, and, nourishing no care,

Found naught to mar the pleasures born each day.

But now there looms before me mountain high

Questions of mighty import to the state

Which I must quickly and with wisdom solve

Without the bell mare's chime to charm mine ear.

On whose sound judgment dare I now rely?

Whose honor, on grave issues, can I trust?

Shall I use Quezox blindly as a staff

On which to lean, as on my path I grope?

Or shall I ope' mine ear to those entrenched

[page 24]

Behind official desks, with knowledge armed

And primed for combat, when I shall disclose

The policy profound, by wisdom sired?

Alas, I find that I must war with friends,

Who seem enamored with the tricky foe,

And by long contact they infected be

By doctrines both heretical and vile.

Of those who legal robbery do make

A vehicle to stuff their bellies full

I must beware; for it doth to me seem

That long and double squinting at the law

Impairs their moral sight for all but fees;

Hence deep entanglements might be the goal

To which their slimy tongues would shrewdly guide

That from disturbance, they might profit reap.

Alas, what to me seemed but pigmy state

Now looms up mightily before mine eye,

And like the feathered mother with her brood

Must I my many cares each day enwing

And from the circling hawk with hungry eye

Protect and shelter, till mature, they grow.

But this commission! We must shrewd select

Such pliant men as will our pleasure work;

For we ken not what yeast in working deep

Within the inexperienced minds of those

Foregath'ring soon to fashion laws to meet

The pressing needs of our embarrassed state.

I feel mayhap, that seeds of self were sown

Within the willing hearts of those who long

Have profit made at this poor State's expense;

Which seeds have grown into a mighty tree

That hides behind its fol'age justice sweet

So deep within those shades that e'en the sun

Of righteousness reveals its presence not.

For such compassion's bowels ne'er should yearn,

And yet mine eyes behold a handiwork

Which were the offspring but of earnest zeal;

Yet since example's perfect work is done,

[page 25]

The pattern to oblivion's shades we'll cast.

But I to mine uneasy couch will hie.

The morrow's cares may feed upon their day!

(Slowly retires)

Scene. Governor's office.

Francos: Good Halstrom, to my mind uncertainty

Is but a mental sore, which cancer like,

Doth spread its roots until the surgeon's knife

With sharp incision shall the curse remove.

So must I cross the Rubicon and strike

The foe in parts most vulnerable.

Caesar, from the deep cavern of his mind,

Hath fashioned, with a statesman's ready hand,

A plan which we must now inaugurate,

Amid the cruel jeers of all who long

Have watched the workings of the dark hued mind

Excepting only such as office seek.

Halstrom:  My Liege, thy look doth seem to answer woo

And my stern schooling bids me to obey,

But it were act from gross presumption born

To, from my lowly post, advice bestow.


Seldonskip:  Well Gov'nor, standing just outside the door

There are two chaps who loudly make the claim

That they are sure expected at this hour

To hobnob with you on some public stunt.

Francos: Hold, Seldonskip! Thy tongue unruly wags

Like to the shuttle on its weaving way

To fashion fabric of but little worth

'Twere well to throttle it or else belike

A pebble small, in gear of great machine

Disaster grave may work to wheels of state.

(Seldonskip retires.)

Turns to

Halstrom:  Good Halstrom, quick I prithee do repair

To outer chamber and with pleasant mien

Escort these high officials with all state

[page 26]

Unto our presence, when I will undo

The mischief, by soft words clothed with a smile.

(Enters Quezox: Speaks):

Most honored Francos, I had closed mine ear

But Seldonskip like to a jackass brayed

And I perforce did catch his words distraught,

Which seemed to fling an insult in thy face.

And cast contempt upon our worthy sons.

If concord sweet shall lend us helping hand

I fear me much this yokel must go hence

For he doth gag us with his silly tongue!

Francos: Patience, good Quezox. Heed no idle word;


It falls upon thine ear, and then 'tis gone;

'Tis but a breath of air which into naught

Doth vanish. Can'st thou, thy finger on it

Put and say 'tis here? Alas, it like a

Heavenly orb doth shoot its comet way

An then twere gone. It was, but now 'tis not!

Hence it were folly, "Nothing," to pursue.

Quezox:      They keen philosophy falls on mine ear

Like music, as it trickles from thy brain;

But still the wound remains which venomed tongue

Hath deeply stung upon my memory.

But thou hast said: an uttered thought is dead.

Perhaps 'tis so, but in the human heart,

There lingers long a mem'ry, blessed indeed,

Of those preceding us to that long home

Where, be it utter darkness which prevails,

Or light supernal with celestial ray,

Yet death hath not erased from mental scroll

The image which th' Eternal painted there.

(Enters Halstrom): The twain are gone, my Liege, but to the page

They for mañana did bespeak return.

Francos: Tis well!

Good gentlemen, my mind doth backward flit

On wings of happy mem'ry to that hour

When we, amid the plaudits of the hosts,

[page 27]

Did well proclaim to all the happy words

Which Caesar to expectant ears did send.

My heart doth overflow, when I recall

The ecstasy that spoke in thunder tones

And like to period rhetorical

Did ever punctuate each proper pause.

Quick did I note in what well ordered ranks

Our party friends did form before the stand.

Quezox:      But, noble Sire, methought I in each eye

Discovered greedy looks which portend ill.

(Enters Seldonskip)

Unless their hungry hopes are satisfied

By wellfilled bellies of official food.

If this discernment doth not truth belie

It points prophetic to a scramble sharp

To wear the cast off shoes of those who now

Do suck the life blood from our downtrod race.

Seldonskip:   You bet they'll scramble and they'll scramble hard,

An why not tell me? 'Tis all in the game!

(Francos to Seldonskip): Again that tongue, in thoughtless prattle wags.

It seems that every opening of thy mouth,

Doth point to utterance in words uncouth

Which clothe some folly in a tattered garb.

(Quezox to Francos): And yet most noble sire, my bowels of

Discernment do fierce gripe me with the fear

That in the rambling words this youth hath tongued

Much bitter truth may deeply hidden be.

Francos:  Fear not! Caesar hath wise discerned that all

Who long have on these Islands made their home

Are blinded by self-interest, which doth,

As colored glass speaks lies unto the eye,

Befool their judgment; which may honest be.

And hence 'twere better from abroad to bring

More open minds to fill important posts

For the brief time until we do depart

And leave all matters in thy trusty hands

Which will upbuild a strong, Yea! mighty state.

[page 28]

(Seldonskip aside): A mighty state! Ha! Ho! I think I see

The natives jumping round from tree to tree

Feeding on coconuts and dressed with old

Plug hats and wearing coats of Tam'ny cut!

Quezox:   'Twere well! Those vultures who among us dwell,

While pleading loving friendship, shrewdly plan

Like to the feathered tribes, to gather down

(Walks out): From careless wings to feather their own nests.

(Francos turning to Seldonskip):

I must in candor voice my perturbed thoughts

Anent the strained relation which doth seem

To liken to a ship with cable taut

Which surging waves are threat'ning quick to snap.

Twixt thee and Quezox. Thou, mine eye doth speak,

Art like dry powder, ready to ignite

When Quezox looseth tongue which like a flint

Doth spark the fuse to quick explosion work.

Seldonskip:   But on my life if he should touch the fuse

He'd mighty quick know that there's "something doing."

(Francos appealingly):

O, Peace, sweet Peace, I pray thee to draw near

And hover o'er me, lest I go distraught.

[page 29]


Dramatis Personae

Francos . . . . . . Governor General of a Province.
Quezox  . . . . . . Resident Delegate of the Province.
Bonset . . . . . . . Secretary of the Governor.
Halstrom . . . . . Aide to the Governor.
Carpen  . . . . . . Executive Secretary.
                             Two Gentlemen.
                     Delegation of Englishmen.

First Scene: Governor Office.

Francos: When, as we tread the varied path of life,

Disaster dire demands a valued limb,

We with the mood of Stoic bear the pain;

While nagging tooth doth ever set us wild.

'Tis vain on deep philosophy to call

When stinging gnats, unseen, do us assail;

A warring instinct urges us to kill,

And we delay not, till Dame Reason speaks.

'Twas but an automatic action of the mind

When matter trivial late did rouse a phlegm

Within my soul, which irritated sore,

And on the instant I did stern resolve

That, like the surgeon when an abscess ripe

Action demands with operating knife,

To sever bonds politic which did fast

Within my family executive

Hold Seldonskip and bid him hence to speed.

But sometimes action swift doth breed regreet;

An as I on the future cogitate,

Methinks excuses which might satisfy

Uninterested minds may weakly fail

To ease paternal irritation, when

Its offspring, bearing hence a varnished tale

Of wrongs which from imagination's womb

[page 30]

Were born and yet with specious sound do ring.

Hence I must speedily with subtle skill

Frame a dispatch which like to plaster kind

May ease the irritation of the sore

And thus mar not a happy intercourse.

The mind of man can compass many things,

But still, to reach perfection's dizzy height,

It should be centered on some special point,

Fathered by energy, to reach the goal.

How can I soar, upheld by wings of hope,

When various projects, all demanding skill,

Before me loom, as do the clouds of night

All threat'ning storm which well may wreck the craft

Unless the captain calls unto his aid

Lieutenants by long school of action trained

To guard from danger's shoals which are unknown

Except to those who long the chart have scanned?

My predecessor who first ruled these Isles

Did loud proclaim in optimistic tones

The Philippines for Filipinos are,

And so high expectations did arouse

Which Time with all its mellowing pow'r did

Dissapoint; and so at last Approval's

Smile slowly did wane, and bitterest frown,

Conceived from discontent, usurped its place.

Alas! Am I to be the pliant tool

To work a policy from chaos born?

And on its failure, if perchance it fails,

Will I too meet the cold and icy stare?

Enter Halstrom; speaks:

My Liege, thy self-communion I would halt

And usher to thy presence men of weight

Who would discourse upon some pregnant facts

Which may perchance to thee be quite unknown.

Francos: Good Halstrom, tell me of their every mien.


Didst thou in judgment fair, within their eyes

Spy greedy look as if on plunder bent?

[page 31]

If so, 'twere best preoccupation plead.

Halstrom: I think, my Liege, 'twere safe to give them ear

So that offense may rankle not their minds.

Francos: Ha, thinkst thou so? Then hail them to my court.

But stay! Wisdom doth hint that in each ear

A caution should be breathed that concise speech

Were best, for pressing matters constant urge.

Halstrom: Thy words are uttered but to be obeyed.

That time is precious I will firm impart. (Retires

and ushers the visitors in.)

Most honored Sire, these gentlement would speak

On matters of great import to the state.

Francos: Welcome, sweet Gentlement, I greet thee well,

And wait the import of the words ye bring.

I beg thee speedily the burden ease

From off thy overladen minds, that we

May then in converse wise consider well

The various phases of a matter new.

Gentleman: Your Honor!—Please excuse the term, as I

From pleading long before the bar have thus

Familiar with this title grown, and so

From 'tween my lips the word did careless slip.

Francos (earnestly):

But honored Sir, I fain would ask what bar

It wast before which thou didst earnest plead?

Gentlemen: Ha! Ha! Methinks a subtle humor finds

Its home within the mind of him who rules.

But in all truth the point were taken well,

For Caesar, rumor saith, disdains the cup

Which doth inebriate and thus befool

The mind of him who at it tarries long.

But Sire, the business which doth urge us here

Is of great import to our party's needs.

Francos: I pray thee, hasten to the point, for time

Hath wings that bear us swiftly on.

Gentleman: Most noble Governor, I sore lament

That from our noble South there be men here

Who have deep sympathy for these, who in

[page 32]

The past have fattened at the public crib,

And find no sympathy for Caesar's plan

To mould this commonwealth on model grand

Perfected by the chivalry front which

Both he and thou didst draw sweet childhood's milk.

These men did quick condone the ev'ry act

Which emanated from the Northern mind.

Yearly were millions spent on bootless task

Of feeding vacant minds on useless food

Because unfitted to their various needs.

"A little knowledge is a dang'rous thing"

And doth unfit the plodding mass for toil,

Which is their proper sphere; hence ev'ry thought

Hard thrust within their skulls doth discontent

Engender, and thus far stability

Doth threathen for the ruling class, and so

As in our "Sunny South" the specter grins

Prophetic of grave danger to the State.

Francos: The plea doth fall on sympathetic ears.

Yet Caesar counseled in his parting words

That discord here among our party friends

Would breed distemper if 'twere not ignored.

Both Gentlemen, despondingly:

Alas! 'Tis so, that we who burdens bore

Are thrust aside when vict'ry crowns our work

And renegades are placed on equal terms

With loyal sons who ne'er a duty shirked.

(Exeunt Gentlemen).

Francos: Ah! so it is. Each entity is filled

With selfish impulse which doth ever hide

Justice eternal from its clouded sight

And pigmy self exalt to giant form.

Bonset:    But Sire, it were the common lot of man

To seek preferment; and unless he doth,

No other will lift hand to boost him on,

Unless great wealth doth like a magnet draw

Support from those who with a greedy eye

Expect to feel most happy contact with

[page 33]

The shining coin, which doth a lever prove

To pry success from out the voting mob.

Francos: But Bonset, see'st thou not that native worth

And mental parts may overtower the gold

And thus perforce attract attention from

The ones who guide their party to success?

(Bonset doublingly)

Perhaps, my Liege. But in the outer hall

A deputation waits to greeting give

And tokens of respectful homage show

On the behalf of Briton's col'ny here.

(Enter Quezox)

Francos: But Bonset, list! 'Twere well to let them wait:

To quick respond will lower dignity.

The British mind doth breed a rev'rence deep

For form and etiquette which swift cognition

Might debase, and thus we on their mental

Vision might mayhap but feeble impress

Make as envoys by most noble Caesar sent

To rule these Isles with gravity and state.

Quezox:   Most noble Sire! If I might but suggest,

'Twere well for Bonset to inquire each name

And mental picture stamp upon his mind

That he may fluent be when he presents

Each sev'ral person as he shall proceed

To pass before thee and his greeting voice,

And when the proper waiting hath an end,

I will speed forth and beck the conclave in.

Francos: 'Tis well! And in the intervining time

'Twere wise important matters to discuss.

(Enter Carpen)

Ha! Carpen, thou hast long experience had

In dealings intricate with this proud race,

And thee alone from out the anchored host

I trust to honest voice conditions here.

Carpen:   Sire! dost thou seek a true, unvarnished tale,

Or rather wouldst a colored picture please?

Francos: Truth is so hidden in her various garbs

[page 34]

That nakedness alone presents her fair;

Hence ornament and furbelow disdain,

And Hebe-like unbedecked let her stand forth.

Carpen:   It were indeed a most stupendous mind

Which, as the argonaut with mining pan

Doth sift pure gold from ever present dross,

Can Truth unmesh from Error's well spread net.

Conditions intricate with taunting smile

Of Fate's stern irony, have faced us here;

But now the seething problem must be solved

And vague uncertainty be swept aside.

Shall the mestizos, as the ruling class,

Be firm entrenched by our assisting hand,

Or must we in the well marked path still tread

And longer bear our burden which will bring

No gratitude to recompense our pains?

Quezox:   Sire! Carpen well hath voiced mine ev'ry thought,

We, who Caucasian blood boast in our veins

Are numerous, and can uphold the state.

The pure-blood Filipinos to us look

For guidance and our ev'ry counsel take.

To wait until the tao fills his skull

With book lore were to see us in our graves

And millions burden on thy native land.

But Sire, I feel that time enow has flown

To proper impress make on waiting minds.

Hence it were well to bid them entrance speed

That they may grave obeisance to thee make.

(Exit Quezox)

Second Scene: Outer Room, where the deputation waits.

Bonset:    Good Gentlemen, a business of import

Doth now engross His Highness, but forsooth

When it is properly dispatched, he word

Will by the mouth of Quezox speedy send.

An English gentleman (brusquely).

But sir, no business enterprise hath brought

[page 35]

Us here, and if His Highness careth not

To give us audience, why we'll depart!

Bonset:    Tut, tut, Good friend Quezox will soon appear.

(The Gentlemen uneasily pace the room and whisper)

Enter Quezox: Sweet Gentlemen, His Highness bid me hail

You to his presence, there to converse join.

(All look at Quezox, disgusted)

Bonset:    Fall in! Fall in! and form a proper line


While Quezox doth precede us as we go!

1st Gentleman (indignant)

Fall in! What doth such words portend?

Are we but jail birds who at keeper's call

Move into line, and then with lockstep march

To face a judge who may us sentence give?

(Puts up his hands)

I say, my friends, put up your "dukes" and I will show

How Englishmen resent an insult gross.

(Friends interefere to prevent blows.)

Quezox:   Hold! Hold! my friends, sweet Bonset means no ill,

'Twere only lack of polish in his speech.

We Spaniards sweetly phrase our ev'ry word

E'en when we prick one sharply in the ribs.

1st Gentleman (excitedly)

Well, who is this, with dignity enrobed

Who like a fighting cock doth bravely strut?

2nd Gentleman (whispers)

Whist, little friend, this is the mighty Quezox,

Who doth within his hand hold destiny.

Twere best for business purposes to yield

Apparent homage, though we him disdain.

1st Gentleman (turns to Quezox)

Ho! Ho! I did a mistake serious make

In expectation that a mind so great

Would find its home within a form most grand,

But like mine own it chose a cottage small.

Bonset:    Well, Gentlemen, so you like not the line,

Proceed to scramble in at your sweet will.

[page 36]

All speak:

A trifling discord doth like sauce in soup

Make betterment. Hence we my now declaim,

In happy vein: "All's well that endeth well."

fancy rule
[page 37]


Dramatis Personae

Francos . . . . . . Governor General of a Province.
Quezox  . . . . . . Resident Delegate from the Province.
Halstrom . . . . . Aide to the Governor.
Carpen  . . . . . . Executive Secretary.
                              Filipino Gentlemen.

Scene I: A garden.

Quezox sits in an arbor with lute in hand; sings.


My lute doth troll the longings of my heart;

Deep-rooted there

Are forms so fair

Whose mem'ry of my life doth form a part.


But like the knights of old, when action calls,

My Lady fair,

With raven hair,

Must be forgot till lovelit twilight falls.


But then those forms angelic in each line,

With happy smile

Which doth beguile,

Appear before me, whisp'ring love divine.

Quezox soliloquizes:

But Venus, though enwrapped by passion's robe,

Like mortals, tires and seeks her restful bow'r,

While duties stern demanding thought profound

So that the morrow's needs were ably met,

Shall for the nonce supplant within my mind

All dreams of those who, fairy-like, do waft

Themselves unbidden to my mental home

[page 38]

Unless most firm resolve doth bar them hence.

But at the throne of Wisdom I must kneel

And suppliant pray for light to guide my steps

For there be deep entanglements to snare

My feet, if circumspection aids me not.

This Carpen hath a sleek and subtle mind

Full well equipped for all stern duty's calls;

Hence we who seek to tread in Freedom's path

Find him a stumbling block to be removed.

But we with clever strategy must work

And hide our deep design in honey'd words,

For he hath wisely kept his lips well sealed,

Thus leaving us without just cause for plaint,

Methinks 'tis hard to gauge this gentleman,

For silence wise is oft misunderstood;

Behind it Wisdom, hidden, may abide,

Of Folly it may make her secret home.

Of import weighty is the post he holds,

But from it we must shrewdly pry him out,

For he may Francos slyly misinform

And so delay fruition of our hopes.

(Claps his hands; enter muchacho.)

Muchacho: What wouldst thou, sir; mine ears did hear the call,

So quick I haste with "Scotch and soda" primed.

Quezox: Go to, thou vermin, that shouldst dare presume

To quick determine what shall quench my thirst.

Hast thou not heard that vintage of the vine

Since Caesar hath th' imperial crown assumed

Is now become the only proper draught

For those who in his favor high would stand?

Hence "grape juice" bring, and speed thee, or the back

Shall feel the stripes thy varlet hide demands.

Muchacho: I beg, Señor, my feeble speech be heard:

Methought that "grape juice" were a childish pap,

But I will bring it and an orangeade,

Thus heaping honors on two noble men.

(Exit muchacho)

Quezox:   But thought hath strayed like an unbridled steed,

[page 39]

And I must harness it to work my will.

This Bonset: Francos seems to love him well

And may him thrust in Carpen's cast-off shoes;

My bowels gripe me with suspicion dire

That plans are rip'ning to this very end;

Hence we must pour in an unwilling ear

A weighty protest ere the scheme matures.

An open opposition were not wise

For Francos hath, I ween a stubborn streak

Which might by irritation grow so big

That naught could move it; while a flatt'ring tongue

Might bend him, all unconscious to himself,

To work our every will, while he doth dream

That from his fertile brain the seeds do sprout;

'Tis thus we'll plant our choice in Carpen's place.

Muchacho (bearing grape juice and cigarettes approaches;


Señor, an hombre at the portal knocks

Who hath an oily tongue, which wagged desire

To speack with thee, but I all unawere

Of thy design, did ward him gently off.

Quezox:   'Twere well, thus ever do when skins are white.

But did this hombre show a mighty girth?

Muchacho: In sooth he did, Señor; his leg like to

A python gorged with infant carabao

Did to his body make comparison.

Quezox:   Ha! bid him hence. I know this hombre well!

Go twist thy tongue into a double knot

So that his importuning I escape.

(Exit muchacho)

The sacred writ doth tell of one who sat

Upon the judgment seat to justice serve,

And when a widow's importuning sore

Did him annoy, to ease his troubled mind,

He listened to her tale and justice gave,

Fearing her sighs and tears, else ne'er would cease.

Hence I must close mine ear lest eager plaints

[page 40]

Should move my tender heart to grant his plea.

(Enter muchacho, speacks:)

Most noble Señor, at the door do stand

Three gentlemen whose color doth demand

Cognition, hence I bade them patient wait

While I acquaint thee of their anxious quest.

Quezox:   Thou sayest well; go bid them enter here,

And then refreshments serve, at my command.

Muchacho: Si, Señor, si; I grape juice will prepare,

Quezox:   Hold! These are men with red blood in their veins,

Hence wine were fitting bev'rage for their needs,

With cigarettes and black cigars galore,

For we may lengthen speech till morning's sun

Shall bid the anxious night give place to day.

(Enter Gentlemen)

Quezox (with outstretched hands):

Señores, ye I greet! All that is here is yours.

'Tis said the walls have ears, hence it were wise

To make this trellised bow'r our council house.

For here no spy can crouch behind a screen

And through his ears store up our treasured thoughts.

But let us to the point, which magnet-like

Did so resistless draw thee to this place

To problem solve which doth much thought require.

1st Gentleman:

Good Quezox, tell us, doth our plan seem ripe?

And can we trust this Governor to do

Our will, when Carpen shall be ousted from

The nest in which he snuggles restfully?

2d Gentleman:

The question were most apt, for we would name

Him who shall hold the secrets of the state.

3d Gentleman:

And sanitation! Should we not declare

For one of our own blood, whose sympathy

Doth bind him to our customs which we love

And so uproot the follies of the past?

Quezox:   Señores, we as serpents must be wise.

[page 41]

To quick reveal all hidden in our hearts

Would long delay the time of which we dream;

Hence we must center now on Carpen's case

Our every energy and clear the path

Of one who ever wields a mighty pow'r,

And his fat place on one we trust, bestow,

For thus we breach shall make within the wall.

To speak of sanitation were unwise

For Francos, in his heart, a mighty dread

Doth feel, lest microbes in his castle hide;

And so distempers of most deadly forms

Engender; and great trust doth he repose

In squirting medications through a hose

So that these bugbears find no resting place,

To propagate their kinds within his home.

1st Gentleman:

But Quezox, this Governor hath Bonset

Chosen, I do fear, to fill the place

When Carpen doth step out, and all our plans

May come to naught unless we sharp protest.

2d Gentleman:

Mayhap 'twere best to earnest recommend

Carpen and Bonset each for some fat berth

Which carries not such import in its wake,

Till time the opportunity may give

To toss them overboard and clear the ship.

Quezox   (Claps his hands and the muchacho appears);

Haste! For the inner man refreshments bring,

For vino and cigars may clear our minds.

(Exit muchacho)


My firm insistence did one cancer cure

But when my mem'ry speaks of vandal hand

Which once did throttle me in vulgar strife

My vitals gripe me with a righteous wrath.

I did presume that Seldonskip would feel

A proper rev'rence for officials high,

And fear on God's anointed, to bestow

[page 42]

A mighty kick upon his nether parts

But these Americanos know not fear

And each one feels himself, belike, a king,

Hence it were wise, by strategy and guile

To circumvent them not by open strife.

Ah, so it is: the Filipino gentleman,

Unlike the boor, disdains to war with fists;

But place a keen-edged bolo in his hand

And he comports himself most gallantly.

3d Gentleman:

We must with wisdom guard our every act

Lest a suspicion dark fill Francos' mind.

Thus far, he like a well trained niño, hath

With rev'rence bowed assent, to our demands.

(Muchacho returns with refreshments)

Quezox:   And flattery. Like child its mother's milk,

He doth gulp down and eager cry for more;

Hence dose him well; you'll puke his stomach not.

But let's to bed, the morrow brings its cares,

And we must freshened be to work our ends.

(Exeunt omnes)

Scene 2: The Executive Room

Francos: Well gentlemen, I see insistence grows

Anent the humble office Carpen holds.

It seemeth to me that without his aid

I like a desert wanderer am lost.

Quezox:   But Sire, a man of parts can fill his place

And of the varied strings of business tie a knot

Which will hold state affairs in proper place,

For they depend not on an special one.

1st Gentleman:

Sire, shall we, like the child, forever creep?

It is not thus the limbs find strength to walk.

2d Gentleman:

The mother thrusts her birdling from its nest

And thus it learns to wing its heavenward flight.

[page 43]

3d Gentleman:

The doting father who trusts not his son

But anxious coddles him from ev'ry care

Can never know what possibilities

Do dormant lie within that stunted brain.

Francos, hesitatingly:

But Quezox, when the father's anxious eye

Doth quick discern some symptom which doth like

The weather-cock, respond to ev'ry breeze

Prudence would whisper, "It were well to wait."

Quezox:   Ah, Sire, Procrastination is a thief

Which steals the treasure hidden in the brain,

While if it were supplanted by stern acts

Like to the sword 'twould ward off ev'ry foe.

Francos: Ah lack-a-day! Uncertainty doth fill

My mind. I would not aspirations block

With idle fears, but still I must beware,

Or when too late, these fears may take on life.

All speak:

Fear is a coward word and always flees

When Action shows himself armed cap-a-pie

And thus prepared to wage aggressive fight.

Hence, honored sire let's throw it to the dogs!

Francos, fretfully:

Well, have it as thou wilt, and on thy heads

Blame shall her thistled crown with pomp bestow

If Failure thrusts her grim and wrinkled face

With grinning smile to comment on our work.

All:          Thanks, and again more thanks, most noble Sire!

The sun of Freedom shows her smiling face

Above the horizon of discontent,

Portending happy day so long delayed.

(Exeunt Quezox and Gentlemen to waiting room)

Scene 3: Waiting Room.

Quezox:   'Tis done, and, Gentlemen, this doth reveal

Most aptly how sweet concert for the time

Doth work our purpose on this pliant soul.

So long as he from contact with his kind

[page 44]

We can prevent by flattery and guile;

He, like to wax within the moulder's hand,

May form a figurehead of brave design,

But statue-like it were an empty house.

1st Gentleman:

I have a thought, sweet Quezox, and must voice

It in thine ear. Soon, from that distant land

Where our oppressors dwell, others will hie

Them to our shores; and they may be of mould

More stern, and thus impediments may prove

To be 'gainst our designs; hence it were well

That we should much accomplish while we may.

These may prevent what they can ne'er undo.

2d Gentleman:

Si, si, Señor; haste be the magic word,

To thrust the vermin out must be our aim.

3d Gentleman:

Well said. If we delay, "Mañana," fickle dame,

May scorn our smiles and flirt with these, our foes.

Scene 4: Governor's Room.

Francos: Good Quezox, it doth seem the more I grant,

The more dost thou demand. I at thy word

Did to a list'ning throng declare that thou

With mighty hand, did boost me to this place.

'Twas done to firm impress on public mind

Thy worth in fields politic, and by this

To expedite our plans which will in time

An era new inaugurate; but thou,

Like "Twist" of old, cry'st "More!" and ever "More!"

Quezox:   But Sire, the time is short. Soon I must hie

Me to the halls of state, and I would fain

Depart with mind at ease on matters here,

For there be few who safely may advise.

(Exit Quezox. Enters Carpen)

Francos: Ha! Carpen, is it so; these varlets who

Do thoughts imprint, have o'er my head direct

[page 45]

Appealed to those who may dire action take,

And thus belittlement on me bestow?

Carpen:   My Liege, 'tis so. From words which from thy mouth

Did flow, discouragement arose, and so,

To guard their welfare, they did quickly act

And to their order did make strong appeal.

Francos: Carpen disloyalty to those in pow'r

Shall meet its proper penalty, and they

Who voiced it must forthwith before me come

And explanation make, which doth ring clear.

Carpen:   I'll quick despatch a message to their chief,

That he at once before thee shall appear.

Francos  (walks the room, soliloquizing):

Fortune is often kind, and to our hand

A weapon ready forged and sharpened fits.

A strong presentment lurketh in my mind

That she hath now perchance befriended me.

But Carpen, is this chief most proper named?

Its sound implies that blood's his proper food,

And that he sucks it from this people's veins.

Carpen:   I think your voiced suspicions are unjust.

He seemeth to me but a proper man

Possessing skill anent his chosen craft.

So it was published when he here was sent.

Francos: Ah, well I know the arts political

Our foes did practice when they filled a nest

Fit for an eagle with a vulture mean

And covered their deceit by mouthing words.

Carpen:   But Sire, I bear no brief in his behalf.

To me this matter little import bears.

Francos: Good Carpen, from thy tone I fear me much

Thou implication on thy part inferred.

I pray thee, disabuse thine erring mind

Of such suspicion, for it hath no ground.

(Enter Quezox)

Quezox: Most noble Sire, mine ears have heard a tale

Which, if from fountain of eternal truth,

Doth cheer me mightily. It in good sooth

[page 46]

Reveals the treachery which thee surrounds.

Francos: Remain, good Quezox, I would witness have

Who shall upon the scroll of memory

Inscribe each word which shall be uttered here

When the expected one shall soon appear.

Quezox:   Sire, thy request, or rather thy command

Is head but to obey. (A side) Methinks I see

A smiling picture which doth clear portray

Heads falling, as the bolo sure doth swing


Sire, loyalty should ever be the test

Of those who feed from out the public trough.

(Exit Francos)

(All join hands and sing as they dance the Tammany slide.)

"Loyalty, Loyalty, Loyalty to what?

Why Loyalty to him who ladles out the swill.

Loyalty, Loyalty, Loyalty or not?

If not, go home to Dad and the fatted calf he'll kill."

[page 47]


Dramatis Personae

Caesar . . . . . . . Ruler of the State.
Francos . . . . . . Governor General of a Province.
Printus  . . . . . . Head of a Bureau.
Quezox  . . . . . . Resident Delegate from the Province.
Somnolent . . . . Head of a Bureau.
McDuff  . . . . . . A Publican.

Scene I. Caesar's Room at the Capitol.

Caesar soliloquizing:

Life is a problem intricate to solve:

With outstretched arms to grasp, we know not what

From out the future hidden by a veil

With woof too dense for eye of man to pierce;

Yet doth imagination pictures forms

Which, when we would embrace, evade our touch

And vanish into nothingness; while still

We vain pursuit ever persistent make.

Euclid from chaos order did evolve

And on the scroll of Fame hath writ those laws

Which Time, relentless, ne'er can thence efface.

For Truth, immutable, is there entombed.

But he, in flawless mental armor robed,

Did crusade make where Science hath her home,

And from her vaults where Truth was close entombed

He raped their locks and brought the treasure forth.

Long mankind groped in darkness, nor did dream

That laws harmonious could measure space

And count the cycles that should hail return

Of each recurring comet on its round.

Thus deep uncertainty enrobeth man:

He comes like morning bringing with him light;

He goes like evening, ent'ring portals dark

Where none can track him to his final doom

[page 48]

And know that Immortality's kind arms

Shall hug him to her breast and bear him on

To Fields whose verdure wears a brighter hue,

Or whether Entity shall on the wings

Of fickle Fate be borne to final rest,

Who shall the mystery of being solve?

We see the birdling break from prison shell

And dream that we have found the source of life.

Vain thought! the egg were but a cunning mask

Which Nature wears to hide her handiwork.

The spark electric issues from its cell

Clothed with a pow'r the jealous gods might crave;

But when or how it entity conceived,

Is hid within creation's caverns deep.

Now, in the realm of pow'r politic, reigns

The God of Chaos anchor'd to his throne,

And it remains for one of giant mind,

Well disciplined in all scholastic lore,

To break the chains which hold that anchor fast,

And crush the Pow'r disordered seated there.

Am I the instrument designed by Fate

To, Euclid-like, from this anarchic whole

Evolve the laws which shall Disorder deep

Within the grave entomb and on that throne

The God of Order seat, and in his hand

Imperial scepter place, to rule the world

Politic, as it on its axis rolls,

Unharmed by venomed darts of turpitude?

I dreamed of formulating certain laws

Which economic matters would control.

The midnight lamp, companion of my toil,

Has burned in vain. Alas, I see it now.

When the great "Commoner," of wisdom full,

A plank within our platform did insert

That our good ships which coastwise trade would ply

Should float as free as sea-gull on the wing

Through that deep channel, by our cunning wrought,

Which links Pacific's waters to the Gulf,

[page 49]

I, fool-like, did him earnestly applaud!

Again my soul in bitterness doth surge

Because from distant Isles the lightning brings

Dire words of sour complaint from either clan,

Which like to gladiators in the ring

Seem but prepared to battle to the death.

I listened to the frail but honeyed words

Of one who held a judgeship in that clime,

Only to find disgruntlement their source;

And now it shames me, who have been cock-sure,

That I should failure see emblazoned there.

How could I prudence thus have cast aside

And now my stomach fill with humble pie?

Alas! my dreams that fed on self-esteem

Are vanished as the dew before the sun.

(With energy)

Another plank I'll wrench with giant hand.

And wreck the platform, "if I bust a gut."

(Exit to drink an orangeade to quiet his nerves.)

Scene II: The Governor's room.

Quezox:   My Liege this Printus stands without the door,

And seeks admission that he may explain

His conduct. Shall I, bid him enter here?

Francos: In sooth, good Quezox, doth my spirit yearn

To quick despatch my business with this man.

(Quezox retires and fetches Printus)

Quezox:   Most noble Sire, this gentleman attends?

Francos: Sir, from thy mouth I explanation ask

As to the import of a message sent

To high officials of some labor bund

Voicing complaint anent my conduct here.

Printus:   In truth, I little know of this affair.

These men a grievance feel, for they did come

At my behest on weighty promise made

To fill positions which experts alone

Are proper occupants; and now they fear

[page 50]

Their stipends may be cut with pruner's knife,

Which to them each important loss portends

And dire discomfort work on those they love.

Francos: Hold, Printus, hold! Thy words were idle chaff.

Dost thou deny the allegation made

That to the message thy consent wast had?

Printus:   I no participation in it took!

Francos: (severely:)

Thy words do seem to have a double ring.

But hie thee hence, while I investigate.

The Democratic creed doth only know

Complete submission on the henchman's part

To him who momentary at the helm

Doth guide the ship of state through calm and storm.

To think in words, disloyalty proclaims;

But act subservient fealty do prove.

(Exit Printus)

Quezox:   Most noble Sire, thy courage I admire

But Somnolent doth wait without the door.

Francos: Ha! He doth quickly to my call respond,

But bid him enter. I will quick despatch

The matter which thy urgent hopes demand.

(Enter Quezox and Somnolent)

Quezox:   Sire, here is he who holds our wide domain

Within the hollow of his cunning hand.

Francos: Sweet sire, an era new we usher in,

And knowing well that thou dost entertain

Oposing views upon a vital point,

Twere best for thee to cast the mantle off.

Somnolent: In sooth, good sir, I find our minds as one.

If Quezox's methods shall perchance obtain,

'Twere better that some henchman of his choice

Should do untieing of his fiscal knots.

(Exit Somnolent)

Quezox:   Sire, in the anteroom doth stand McDuff,

With bearing like a criminal of state,

Sustained by stubborn pride as he doth walk

With measured, kingly step unto the block.

[page 51]

Francos: Go bid him enter, and on thy return,

Take precedence; twere well to demonstrate

The high esteem which Caesar for thee feels

And give his party pride a parting dig.

(Enter Quezox and McDuff)

Quezox:   My Liege, McDuff, who fills a council seat

Within the party which has long controlled

Affairs politic in these tropic Isles,

Would fain resign the office he now holds.

Francos, consolingly: Events march on, and as the whirligig

Of time revolves, so 'tis with politics.

To-day one soars aloft on Vict'ry's wings;

Tomorrow Fate those pinions proud may clip.

'Tis here Philosophy a cooling draught

Kindly present to him who, from his seat,

Is thrust by Fortune's hand, which killeth not,

But only girds our loins for battles new.

McDuff:  Sir Governor, thy words with wisdom teem.

I threw the gauge of battle in the ring,

And for each thrust the enemy did give

I parried, and with vigor did return

Each lunge in kind, and now my

Medicine I gulp and whimper not.

But look ye, sir! the wheel that now hath turned

May grind us all between its cruel cogs.

(Exit McDuff)

Quezox to Francos, exultingly:

A mighty day! a glorious day is here!

But, Sire, the cleansing work is but begun.

A joyful paean swells within my breast,

And I must mouth it, else this heart will burst!


We'll smite the grafters; smite them hip and thigh;

Our motto shall be ever, "Do or die."

We've got 'em on the run,

And with every rising sun,

We'll oil the new machine;

Its blade we'll sharpen keen.

[page 52]

Revenge shall fill the goblet to the brim,

And "Pleasure saturnine" shall be our hymn.

Francos, applauding:

'Twere well, sweet Quezox! Thou in happy tone

Hast voiced a noble sentiment in rhyme.

But lurking in my mem'ry it doth seem

That I recall in part those words so apt.

(Francos and Quezox embrace and retire.)

fancy rule
[page 53]

Sir Windbag Seeks Advice of Count Luie

Scene: A room at No. . . .  A. Mabini.

Dramatis Personae

Sir Windbag  . . .  A high official.
Count Luie . . . . . Another windbag.

Sir Windbag, (to Count Luie):

"Oh that mine enemy would write a book."

A wise man in the past hath shrewdly said,

Knowing full well that when one's thoughts are paged

They like foul spirits menace peace of mind.

Alas! 'tis so, when tongue shall like a bird

Take wing, soaring aloft, and as the wind

Fly aimless over mountain, hill and dale,

Until tired nature doth demand repose,

Why did I Roosevelt as a pattern take

And boast his doctrines as the wisdom's fount

From which I drank as a disciple might

Who worships blindly at his idol's shrine?

And now these varlets point with taunting grin

At what my demigod hath ordered here,

And oh, ye sages, what shall I reply?

For now his work I purpose to undo.

When I with eloquence did picture draw

Of tyranny which from above did flow,

And with convincing tongue did loud proclaim

That pow'r should ever from below take root;

I little dreamed that subtle minds would carp

And inconsistency against me charge

For earnest effort which eventuates

In placing pow'r within the crafty hands

Of those who long have under Spanish rule

Imbibed the time clad notion that the few

Who by the accident of happy birth,

[page 54]

May make a gold mine of the hapless poor.

They voice in cutting words that I who late

Have cast my lot in these downtrodden Isles

Should study well conditions e'er I speak

As cock-sure as a teacher to his class.

I, in triumphant tone, did voice the truth

That in our homeland stinking graft prevails,

But, ah! I overlook the damning fact

That ignorance among our foreign born

Hath been the hotbed whence this thistle grew,

And that our Governor did get his boost

Into the forum through that rotten host

Which proudly boasts a "Tammany" as its god.

And do the people of our Empire State

Evolve the doctrine which I loud proclaimed?

No! in the dire extremity they laid

Restraining hand upon the venal mob,

Sternly refusing "what they know they want"

But now strong opposition draws the veil,

And I behold, to me, the starting fact,

That human minds oft vain illusions hug

Which time alone hath pow'r that grasp to loose;

And only then through friction with the world

Will freedom from provincial slavery

And mental lassitude be e'er attained.

When I my glorious deeds with savage tribes

Did iterate before the gaping throng,

It seemed to me as to the schoolboy raw

That ne'er before had such superb exploits

E'er been achieved by knightly mortal man.

But now 'tis said my predecessor wrought

Like wounders in a less ostentious way

And mine are but a copy of his acts.

Within my brain indeed are many wheels

That heretofore have whirled me into place,

But they ne'er buzzed the fact that in these Isles

Abode Americans who dare to speak

In plain derision of officials high;

[page 55]

Forsooth, I dreamed they at the public trough

Did feed; but, lo! an army, small but brave,

Hath thrown its skirmishers into the field

And offered battle with a cold disdain

That maketh chills run down my weakening spine

And causeth question whether my defy

Was born from Wisdom's or from Folly's womb.

Quick in my logic's dome where thought doth dwell

Those wheels whirled out these brilliant, burning words:

"These varlets have no place within these Isles

And quick should speed them to their native land;"

But mem'ry doth recall the "pine-tree" wilds

Where fate decreed that I should have my birth,

Only to later bid me wander forth

And seek asylum in the "Empire State."

Indeed, it seems that in man dwells a force

That doth impel adventure from the spot

Where nature willed that he should ope an eye

In childish wonder at God's handiwork:

So here again I, like to hair spring gun

In careless hand, went off, alas, "half cocked,"

And now I fear to ope my babbling mouth

Lest I should put my clumsy foot therein.

Count Luie:

My honest frend, for so I speak thee fair,

Since thou hast from thy shoulders ever cast

That damning cloak, Republican in woof.

And armor of Democracy hast donned,

Fear not that words so deep an import bear.

The mob applauds today, but quick forgets.

I once, before we kenned our party's stand,

Did lightly tongue imperialistic thoughts.

The throng did loud applaud my eloquence,

Which made demand that Filipinos here

Should be debarred, when they procession form,

From proudly marching 'neath their flag of state.

And now my tender bowels do me gripe

As I reflect that this tyrannic act

[page 56]

Runs counter to the doctrines thou dost teach,

Because, you bet, "they know just what they want."

Sir Windbag:

But will the rabble not thy words recall,

And like to mud, flung from the grutter deep,

Will they not sore disfigure and besmirch

Thy reputation for consistency?

Count Luie:

Fear not; we who do ornament the bar

Can twist and turn as doth the shuttle-cock,

And in our mouths today words have a ring

Which changes with tomorrow's rising sun.

Sir Windbag:

I quick discern the import of thy speech,

And in the past have seen it verified.

If mem'ries of the people were not short,

Disaster to us patriots would befall.

When like a parson one can slip the tongue

And speed it like a race-horse on its course,

'Tis well; but let some ill-bred boor

Bold interruption make, in query's form,

The discourse of its symmetry is shorn,

While bond of sympathy 'twixt him who speaks

And those who list receives a brutral shock,

Which doth demand dexterity to soothe.

Thus, when I wisdom spouted at the club,

A man most pestulent did query put

Anent the spreading of our civic rule

O'er Moros, if it proved to be the case

That they demur and, "knowing what they want,"

Prefer to rule themselves in custom's groove.

I, loyal to the ethics of our craft

Tried to becloud the query, and declared

That Moros loved the Filipinos well.

But this persistent boor did pin me down

Until imprudently I answered, "No!"

And this unwisdom now doth trouble me.

[page 57]

Count Luie:

But, gentle Windbag, these were idle words

Which on the record have no place. 'Twere well

To quick erase them from the memory:

Words only spoken vanish into air.

Sir Windbag:

Thou dost console me, Luie, and I feel

A kindred spirit fills thy giant form;

But tell me, from among thy many friends

Are hearts that for me beat in sympathy?

Count Luie, (eying the ceiling):

Good Windbag, a searching introspection

Finds but few, excepting only those

Who office hold or look with longing eyes

For vacancies the future may disclose.

Sir Windbag:

But when "the Man of God" his voice doth raise

In ecstasy to praise my every word,

Will not his former flock follow the bell

Which in the past hath led to pastures green?

Count Luie:

Alas, I fear their memories will point

To former words, which voiced another song,

When he did nurse at theologic teat

And softly chant imperialistic creed.

Sir Windbag, (eagerly):

But may not my convincing words have caused

Conversion to the views of "Era New?"

Count Luie, (doubtfully):

'Twere wiser to ascribe his recent "flop"

To strong desire to hold a paying job!

Sir Windbag:

But this Sandixo seems a proper man,

Who boasts a heart welling with gratitude.

He eloquent approved my every word,

And lays his duty wholly at my feet.

His words do ring as from an honest mould,

Yet rumor whispers divers ugly tales.

[page 58]

Thou knowest how his record truly reads:

How far should confidence extend her hand?

Count Luie, (hesitatingly):

Friend Windbag, if to thee I ope my heart,

'Twere in strict confidence 'twixt man and man

For publication I would loud proclaim

"This man a patriot with noble aims."

If for opinion private thou dost ask,

I will a tale unfold much to the point.

One Quezox, holding now a place of pow'r,

With tongue of silver did to me extend

A promise to advance my ev'ry plan

For preferment to an exalted place.

Alas! he turned me down with sweet disdain.

Eating his words, whilst I did gulp down "crow."

Sir Windbag:

Ah Ha! I see! The game, not fairly played,

Doth lose its zest, and confidence once lost,

Like to a maiden's virtue, ne'er can be

Restored. 'Tis sad, yet though 'tis sad, 'tis true.

But, honored sir, the hint you give will keep.

Perhaps this man may look with greedy eye

Upon some high official post, which we

Must give because "he knows just what he wants."

Count Luie:

But softly, friend, if this thy doctrine be,

'Twere best to pack thy grip and ready stand

To get thee hence; for in these lovely Isles

There be not seats of honor to go round.

Sir Windbag:

Ha! Think you this politico aspires

To me supplant my important post?

Count Luie:

A royal flush; he doth, for in time past,

'Neath Aguinaldo, he that chair did fill!

Sir Windbag:

But tell me, is this not a pliant race

Which skilful hand may at its pleasure mould?

[page 59]

Count Luie:

'Tis said the serpent warming on the breast

With sting doth ever show its gratitude!

Sir Windbag:

Thou by enigma seemingly imply

That all our labors here are but in vain.

Methought within thy heart dwelt confidence

In the ability of this proud race

To guide their ship of state on troubled seas,

And trim its sails to meet each threat'ning storm.

But now thy cynicism breeds a fear

That thy past words do bear "Pickwickian sense."

Count Luie:

Sir Windbag, thou unto our party grand

Art but a convert new, and needs must learn

That platforms are the Bible which we read,

And to them we do blindly pin our faith.

If one has doubts, he, like a Christian true,

Must stifle them and reason throw aside,

'Tis thus we from the Sunny South do act,

When facts run counter to our party creed.

Sir Windbag:

Alas! I in my innocence did deem

The words you uttered in the last campaign

Did true portray the situation here,

But now I fear they were but party gush.

But, ah! "The pen is mightier than the sword."

These venomed quills must be from porcupine;

For deeper do they bore, as I reflect

That I invited all their smarting wounds.

I sought to give their idol Worcester but

His proper place by "damning with faint praise;"

And now they prod me as the muleteer

Doth goad his jackass when he thoughtless brays.

Count Luie:

But, sir, remember that the ass can kick,

And that when kicking, asses never bray,

[page 60]

So gird your armor on and lop each head

Who hath at your dilemma dared to scoff.

Sir Windbag:

But Riggs! he hath in beaten trail proclaimed

What the old regimen hath always mouthed.

While I the "Era New" did bold announce,

And now my head is crowned with pricking thorns.

Count Luie, (reflectively):

Thine adversaries, though at vantage now,

Should be subdued by strategy and guile.

I from sore strait triumphant did emerge

Through trenchant pen of a compatriot.

This noble scion of Democracy

Did wield a telling blow in my behalf

And thrust the adversary 'neath the rib,

Laying him low in controversial dust.

Sir Windbag, (eagerly):

His name? his name? that I may quick engage

This champion to bolster up my cause.

Count Luie, (whispers mysteriously):

He is but small in stature, but, ye goods,

His valor fits his name, which is, La Mutt.

fancy rule
[page 61]

An Imaginary Official Consultation

Dramatis Personae

Francos: . . . . . High Cockalorum.
Sir Higgs: . . . . First High Councillor.
Sir Henmart: . . . Second Councillor.
Sir Windbag: . . . Third Councillor.

     Scene: Official Residence.


I greet thee, gentlemen, to conclave sweet.

Wisdom hath whispered in mine willing ear

That we uncumbered by the darker tint

Of those who meet us at official board

Could better sound the depths of special woes

Which daily do beset us as we toil

With earnest hearts to boost the public weal

By filling vacant posts with Democrats!

Sir Windbag:

But, Francos, list; a more disturbing mob,

Whose crop is filled with discord and contempt,

On which they daily feed, I ne'er have sized.

'Twere well to laws enact to hold in curb

These brainless cubs who wield a pricking quill

And words indite with vitriol for an ink,

Which burns the meaning into quiv'ring brain

And leaveth scars which time can ne'er efface.

A son of Erin in official place

Did eulogize my effort at the club;

And I, elated, loaned it to the press

For publication if the writer willed;

But scruples seemed to fill his vacuous mind,

Hence it was hidden from the public gaze.

Now it hath disappeared, and Rumor saith

'Tis to be published in a stealthy way.

[page 62]

Zounds! 'tis enough to cause the blood to course

Like mercury adown the burning veins.

Could I but lay my eager hands upon

The thiefly neck, I'd wring it with good zest.


But, Windbag; why didst thou thy tongue unloose,

And set it wagging vaporings and froth?

Thou mightest have known the foe didst ready stand

To thrust thy words adown thy choking throat.

Imprudence on its shoulders ever bears

A burden which may crush its author down;

'Twere best to keep the pen in constant leash,

For, words, indited not, work little harm.

Sir Windbag:

But softly, Sire, Thy record is not clean,

If but tradition wears a truthful garb.

Plug hats and coats of a latest Tammany style

And "pleasure saturnine" did figure cut

When first thy mouth did voice the burning thoughts

That trickled from a brain much overwrought

By meditation on conditions here

Which bore so heavy on this downtrod race.


Alas! 'tis true. Indoctrined by the words

So eloquently voiced by one who long

Hath dwelt within this city, where before

The bar he wondrous reputation gained,

I waited not to form a judgment sound,

But leaning on a faith of fiction born,

Awoke to find selfseeking underneath

Each silver work this vampire spouted forth.

Sir Windbag:

Francos, indeed thou hast my sympathy

For this fat prophet wore an honest mien

So that e'en I who boast a subtile brain

Did fall before his wordy blandishments.

'Tis well! we then are quits. But why this call?

What matter of great import draws us here?

[page 63]

Francos: (to Windbag)

The welfare of our party is at stake.

"Our" is the word, for thou the Rubicon

Hast crossed, and henceforth—lest thou bolt again—

Deep in our councils, e'er thy duty calls.

Sir Higgs:

Most honored sirs, why this entanglement?

Both, through the want of deep experience,

Have, as the sacred writer once did say,

"Over the whiffle trees foolishly kicked."

Sir Henmart:

Ha, Ha! Sir Higgs, the Bible saith not so!

But but let it pass. We politicians read

The party platform more than sacred word,

And make it standard for our daily lives.


But, sirs, the matter pertinent this hour

Involves the honor of our party's name.

When first I reached these shores, one Seldonskip,

As scrivener, did bear me company.

Alas! he captive fell to woman's wiles

And with a former gallant measured arms

Hence I was forced, if peace were to be kept,

To send him "kiting" to his distant home.

This strippling came of Democratic stock,

Hence, to protect our party from dire shame,

I tried to keep the cause of his deport

A secret close, within official halls.

But emissaries from the spying press

Did quick discern the matter and did blaze

It on the pages of their various sheets

And point with scorn at Democratic worth!

Sir Henmart:

But, Sire, 'tis in the past, and what have we

To do with fool gyratings of this callow youth?

In Kansas we do low within the grave

Deep bury memories that prove unkind.

[page 64]


Ah, sir, thy words deep meaning ever bear,

And if the past were all I'd bid it sleep.

But now a new distemper hath appeared;

For one who was selected for his worth

And whom I boasted as a model man,

Within whose veins did course a newer blood,

Hath fool-like fallen on his knees before

The goddess Venus, and to Bacchus fell

A willing victim; while his babbling mouth

Did spew dire boastings of official pull,

While Folly's goblet filled unto the brim

Slopped over, when in wordy contest, he

With green-winged parrot did engage, and fain

Its neck would there have wrung because its hue

Proclaimed not sympathy with those who bear

The orange flag when they procession make!

The guardsmen of the peace should ever soar

On wings of probity and moral worth

As Erin's Isle had furnished many such

I deemed I'd found a jewel in the rough;

But when there trickled through the spying press

A literary effort from his pen,

Wherein he said a woman "clumb" a wall

My faith in his attainments quick did fade.

Sir Higgs:

But, Sire, this dire misfortune comes in trail

Of boosting all who wear the party tag.

If I should speak the promptings of my heart,

'Twould to be give this fool a parting kick.

Sir Windbag:

But there be may in this bristling mob

Who slur at all who from proud Caesar's hand

Have gladly licked the crumbs his bounty gave

To soothe the hunger of his starving host.


Ha! Thou hast hit the nail upon the head,

These bumpkins must not have a new made food

[page 65]

For laughter at our misadventure here,

Hence it were wise to send this fellow off

As if he in the path of duty treads.

Nor must we breathe but that his quick return

Will fill expectant hearts with honest joy,

Thus may we darken shades of memory.

Sir Henmart:

But did this officer a contest wage,

With her whose heart went out unto her bird?


What! hast thou heard, on wings of rumor borne,

This matter in full detail free discussed?

Sir Higgs:

Sir, 'tis but common chatter on the streets.

And naught can hide it from the public gaze.


Alas, there is one remedy in view

We all must strong denial ever make.

Oh, that one of the scum so strong entrenched

Had by his conduct rendered me a chance!

I would his vileness on the nonce have voiced,

But now 'twere best to cloud this matter well.

Sir Higgs:

Methinks this scuttling goes too far by half

In ousting tried officials from their posts.

'Twere wise to zeal politic well repay,

But still, efficiency should ever bring

Reward. And this, indeed, involves us all,

For dire distempers in the tropics breed:

Hence it were best to kindly caution woo.


Sir Higgs, indeed thou ever reasonst well.

Sore ills encompass us on every side

And now do pests my happy home invade,

Bearing dire fevers on their pigmy wings,

Alas, the song they sing rejoiceth that

Efficient doctors, who did battle wage

Against them, are removed and in their place

[page 66]

Incompetents installed. Indeed, their stings

Convincing plea do ever make that we

Should quick return to paths trodden before

And wage crusade against the swarming pests

Until their songs are legends of the past.

Sir Windbag:

But hold, sweet Francos: did not God design

That e'en the insect should his life enjoy?

Indeed, his joyous song of gratitude

Doth only cease that he may puncture make

To meet requirements which God hath ordained.

Hence it were well to nature's laws obey,

For e'en this insect, as it wings its way,

Hath fond desire, and "knows just what it wants."

Francos, Sir Higgs and Henmart (in concert:)

Oh Rats! Rats!! Rats!!!

fancy rule
[page 67]

A Council of War

Dramatis Personae

Francos . . . . . High Cockalorum.
Sir Henmart . . . Vice Cockalorum.
Sir Higgs . . . . Councillor.
Sir Windbag . . . Councillor.
Col. Toady . . . Grand Enumerator.

     Scene: Executive Chamber.


Ah! woe is me, my gentle councillors.

Again has treason shown its slimy head;

And from its source, I fear me, it doth bode

But ill to us, who God's anointed are.

If pedagogues may raise disdainful voice

And gross abuse on the elect bestow

Can safety from vituperation vile

From out this rotten mob be e'er assured?

Sir Henmart:

Good Francos, as this matter emanates

From out the sphere of my prerogative,

I feel a special sorrow doth becloud

The sunny pathway which I late have trod.

I find it difficult to blaze my way;

The competent among my teaching corps

Are those who dare opinions firm to form;

If loyalty alone shall be test,

'Twill leave us but a small unthinking host,

And then efficiency will find its grave

Within the tomb of our official rage.

Sir Windbag:

But Caesar grieveth that his mighty star,

Which in the human firmament doth shine

[page 68]

So brightly that it lighteth up the world,

Should be bespattered by this inky mud.

Col. Toady:

Ah, it were sacrilege to thus befoul

The mighty soul whose penetration deep

Hath by selection brought this galaxy

Of excellence to lead this groping state

In paths which lead to freedom and to pow'r.

Sir Higgs:

Alas, 'twas ever thus. I, in the past,

Have suffered from the pricks of nagging quills,

And all who mount aloft on fortune's wing

Must bear with ripe philosophy such ills.


But loyalty! In Tammany I learned

That duty meek, subservient, should mark

The underlings, who but a stairway make

By which capacity doth climb to pow'r.

Efficiency! it were an idle word,

And rings not soundly on politic ear;

Obedience, the watchword e'er should be.

To do and not to think we must demand.

The welfare of our party e'er should be

Our slogan even in this wilderness;

And he who doth as critic act a part

Should quickly feel the headsman's shining blade.

Sir Windbag:

But, sire, from signs I read on every hand

If such a policy were long pursued

We must import from out our native land

More Loyal Democrats, who longing wait

To most efficiently infuse "new blood"

Where now stagnation makes the veins turn blue.

Col. Toady:

Right, right you are! I know an anxious host

Who long have languished from the want of pap,

And once were they turned loose, the energy

So long stored up would vivify this state,

[page 69]

But this fool civil service bars the way—

It should be thrust aside for party's good.


Thy words do to my willing ear appeal,

But our politic foes are strong entrenched,

While mockish sentiment doth strongly point

To danger, if we cast the scoundrels out.

Col. Toady:

But, sire, in Washington they work a plan

Which, while it seems to vindicate the law,

Roots out the vermin by demoting them,

And thus our Southern veterans find a place.

Sir Higgs:

But, friends, doth prudence warrant such a step?

Already inefficiency doth creep

Into each bureau till our revenues

Do warning give that we must now beware.

Sir Windbag:

But, gentlemen, our salaries are sure;

If needs must be, cut down and slyly pare

Along the line where least resistance lies,

And on our predecessors throw the blame.


But Caesar an accounting will demand

Should this frail craft be wrecked or run aground,

For he doth wish to cast it soon adrift

With crew well drilled to threatening shoals avoid.

Sir Higgs:

Here wisdom surely speaks in trumpet tones,

And hence we must adventure wisely make

To guide the vessel on its way with care

And launch it as a well-manned sturdy craft;

Then, whatsoe'er befalls them, we can wash

Our hands, for they by importunity

Most strong, will then have ventured on the cruise

In unknown seas where dangers dark do dwell.

Col. Toady:

Ha! well we know the course the ship will take

[page 70]

With men of color standing at the helm;

But let them reap the tares which they have sown,

We care not if they cut each other's throats.

Sir Windbag:

But, gentle sir, if they desire to war,

Why should we hinder such a sportive game?

They own those isles, and why should we debar

Them pastimes, for "they know just what they want."


But, sirs, we wander from the vital point.

I called this conclave to impress with force

The import great of sifting from our ranks

Those evil-minded men, whose loyalty

Is doubtful, and may bring lasting reproach

Upon our policies, and thus besmirch

The reputation of that Jove-like pair

That rules the destiny of our great state.

Col Toady:

Ha, thou hast said! In all the universe,

No other souls, like these, can quick discern

Great worth combined with mental attributes

Which qualify for high official place:

When in these isles a census must be made

Their eagle eyes discerned my hiding place

And then perceiving qualities most rare

Demanded that I serve the public weal!

Sir Henmart:

And me! Hid in my happy prairie home,

They tore me thence, all for the nation's good!

Sir Windbag (striking his manly breast):

I, too, inherent qualities possess

Which caused those mental eyes to hunt me out!


But, gentlemen, this state is honeycombed

With treason dark unto the pow'rs that be.

Even our party men, with cold disdain,

Look on our policy with covert sneer.

Some few there are who grovel in the mire,

[page 71]

But most deport themselves with silent mien;

These should be watched, and when the moment comes

Where opportunity her hand extends,

We should her aid accept, and lop those heads

Which placed on shoulders square with spine erect

Dare in the privacy of social life

To breathe disloyalty to us who rule.

Sir Windbag:

Ah, sire, sweet music to mine ears thy words

Do make. Within my university

Some loyal souls have in epistles sweet

Breathed loyalty. Such should the passport be.

And if this document cannot be shown

It were sure proof that in the rebel heart

Treason doth lurk and only hides its head

To firmly hold position, at our hands.


But, Windbag, dost thou not perceive that the

Vile press, which here opinion seems to form,

Would placard on its pages with great glee

That civil service hath been swept aside?

No! we must, with the Indian's guile, our track

Cover insinuatingly, and wise.

But vigilance should be our slogan now

That we may spy out each disloyal rogue.

Col. Toady:

This civil service is a brittle shield

When pure Democracy doth wield the sword,

And were it strong, the rebel that it guards

Can be unhorsed by stabbing in the back.


O happy thought! within my secret heart

I long have cherished it. Now to your posts—

And for the conflict buckle on the sword.

Disloyalty to Tinio avenge!

Sir Higgs:

While I'll take little part in this crusade,

Still it doth pleasure me most mightily

[page 72]

When I reflect that every head lopped off

Affords much joy to some good Democrat.

'Twere wise to little say unto the mob

For it each idle word will subtile twist,

But smile, and smile, yet keep the guillotine

Well oiled and ready for its cleaning work.

All sing with great gust except Sir Higgs who beats time

with a baton presented by the Secretary of War:

"We're living in a hotbed of sedition;

These "rats" have been infected by tradition.

If we can't smoke them out

And give our friends a place,

We'll plug the rat holes up

And thus we'll save our face,

Hence we must wage the battle stern and hearty;

These posts must serve as flagstaffs for our party."

All Shout:

"Hip, Hip, Hurrah! Hip, Hip, Hurrah!! Hip, Hip, Hurrah!!!

and a

Tammany Tiger!"

Old Fogy.

fancy rule
[page 73]

A Solemn Conclave

Dramatis Personae

Count Luie
Tightwad Twins
A Band of Minstrels

Scene: A Garden Bower

A Minstrel sings:

The day hath shed its gauzy veil of light,

As evening's sable gown usurps its place.

Hear the night bird sweetly singing

While through space her way she's winging,

Melody she's gaily flinging

Peace and joy with twilight bringing

If Care's dull day, while beck'ning to the night,

Hath us depressed let Joy now show his face.

First Ilustrado:

Son of Arion, from Castalia's fount

Where melody divine doth bubble forth,

Thou must thy thirst have slaked with copious drafts

For gods alone inspire such sounds divine.

Second Gentleman of State:

'Twere well the cares of day to toss aside

And welcome evening's quiet with a smile,

But we who here in solemn conclave meet

Can squander moment few to court the Muse;

Stern duty calls, and to each patriot ear

'Tis music sweet, to which he quick responds,

Then to the council board let us repair

And these the mysteries of state evolve.

First Representative:

Time swiftly flies with heading on her wings.

[page 74]

From out the eastern skies where Caesar dwells,

The lightnings flash reports that should rejoice

Each loyal heart within this island realm.

Soon, senators with dignity enrobed

Will grace the halls of our enfranchised state,

And then the padlock which our lips now close

Shall like a useless toy to be cast side.

Then can we voice unto the list'ning world

Those noble aspirations long confined

Lest their frank utterance should work us ill

And closer seal the bonds which hold us fast.

For, what concessions our oppressors make,

Can never be withdrawn; and when they see

That folly prompted all, 'twill be in vain,

And we can their discomfort laugh to scorn.

Second Ilustrado:

O, for the days when under Spanish rule

Costumbre firmly anchored on her throne

Disdainfully did innovation block

Whene'er it threatened danger to our peace;

Then every tao in his wonted place

Was taught that sweet contentment with the lot

Which his creator had to him assigned

Epitome of virtue did proclaim.

But now dire discontent doth stalk abroad

And with a vitriol tongue disturbance make

Through pedagogues, imported from a land

Which recognizes not distinction wise.

First Ilustrado:

Thou hast my thoughts in happy words expressed.

When once the tao has his A B C

Well hammered in his stupid mulelike skull

He ever looks on toil with proud disdain

And even for zapatos fondly yearns,

While now that Francos hath the fashion set

By proclamation as he neared our isles

These callow youths may covet stove pipe hats.

[page 75]

Second Ilustrado:

Alas, I fear these happy days when we

Can loll in cooling shades while others toil

For us, on stipends which like widow's mite

Are small: will in the future disappear.

These men who prate of slavery in these isles

Do know full well that witness false they bear.

We buy not souls and on the record place

Their names among the chattels which we own,

But their life's labor for a certain sum

We purchase, when in times of sorry stress

They fain prefer it thus, rather than starve;

But slavery! The Orient knows it not.

Third Ilustrado:

And usury! 'Tis an offensive word:

Our enemies, like arrow from the bow,

Are aiming it to pierce our very heart

While 'tis a practice which costumbre shields.

The slothful servant, so the Good Book says,

Was he who in a napkin hid his gold;

But he who shrewdly other talents made

The Master praised, and to him also gave

The unused talent which he wisely took

From him who slothfully no effort made

To double that which in his care was placed,

And thus by usury much wealth amass;

Yet the Americanos from this learn

No wisdom, but forthwith condemn

The teachings of the Savior of Mankind

Which we with thrift and energy apply.

First Ilustrado:

And so again the Bible aptly says

That he who careth for his family not

Is worse than he who infidelity

Doth to his breast with loving arms enfold.

Second Representative:

Alas, 'tis innovation they enthrone

Within the halls of science where they steal

[page 76]

Our trusty dogs to torture in the name

Of progress, while our hearts indignant burn.

First Ilustrado:

Again, in terms opprobrious they mouth

Anent our noble elevating sport

Where our illustrious citizens do meet

And in the cockpit spend a happy hour.

Third Representative:

And while we read that patriarchs of old

Did revel in the arms of beauty fair,

But now when we queridas do embrace

Like lions caged Americanos roar:

Our customs sacred made by hand of time

Are most irrev'rent treated by these men.

O, for the day when Spain did rule supreme,

For they, the "haughty Dons," did sympathize

With us in taste, and in our native sports

Joined with a hearty zest which proved them men;

But now, where'er we turn, obstacles rise

To curb and mar, until our lives seem drear.

Second Gentleman of the State:

Alas, our beardless youths seem satisfied

With club in hand to pass at fleeting ball

Or chase it, monkey-like, in open field

Thus throwing dignity unto the winds.

First Twin:

And those who from the hand of Boreas filched

Congealment's art, which did dinero put

Within their well filled purse, as day by day

They fattened on the appetites of those

Who loved a cooling draft more than the pelf

Which is alas the seed that germinates

To form a mighty tree which time enfruits

With greed which sours the eager mouth it feeds.

We did a statute draw with cunning hand

To guard this enterprise of worthy aim,

But now the enemy hath broke our guard

And Ice a gold mine now no longer is;

[page 77]

Hence we must hedge our various rights about

With laws, as soon as Jones hath made his play.

No Filipino hunts the hills for gold.

Americanos show this vulgar greed,

And so we'll tax them: tax them till they squeal!

Then they may in disgust depart this land,

While we, just for a song, may gobble up

The claims which they so long uncertain sought.

Second Twin:

Francos is honest, hence were easy fooled;

But we suspicion in his mind must plant.

We are but few who hold the purse strings here,

And union sweet: we to our aid must call

Those who have tarried long within our walls.

The saints, be praised, are weak and pow'rless now,

For Francos stubbornly disdains them all,

And hence our scheming he will ne'er discern.

First Twin:

Well said: the vultures which are nested here

Have eyes that cat-like pierce the deepest shades,

And were these men in high official place

'Twere vain attempt to work our deep laid plans.

First Ilustrado:

We long have profit made from rentals high

And quiet sat, while, like the cormorant

We gulped sweet morsels from their quiv'ring flesh;

But soon we must their very forms devour.

First Representative:

But we must ever wear engaging smile

While poisoned chalice off'ring to their lips;

Hence we should caution woo, lest she doth warn

Him who the offered cup would fool-like taste.

Count Luie: Enter: with fanfare: bowing right and left.

First Twin:

But honor ever should be kept in view—

No spot should tarnish her encircling robe.

Count Luie (grandiloquently):

But what is honor? 'tis a slip'ry word

[page 78]

Which oft is used vile turpitude to hide;

She smiles on those who Mount Parnassus climb;

On those who fail, she casts disdainful frown.

O, fickle world, which kneels before success

No matter how its Idol was enthroned!

Hence, one to pow'r attain should scruple not,

For it were balm which cureth ev'ry ill.

Great Sensation

Second Twin:

Here speaks a friend of those who do aspire

To build a nation from these many isles;

His mind doth soar above all selfish thoughts;


But Windbag, at the club, with honeyed tongue

Did seem to love the Filipinos well,

But when a high official his support

Did need, rumor doth says, a scowling face

He turned upon him, and he e'en did threat

That prosecution might be his stern fate;

And had not Francos wisely intervened

This noble Ilustrado might e'en now

Be close entombed in Bilibid!

First Twin:

But here Americanos showed their hand

And were disloyal to their bureau chief:

But had escribiente's of our race

Unseated been, then all indeed were well.

Count Luie:

But, friends, this Windbag is no Democrat—

In school Republican, he hath been trained.

That spark divine of loyalty to friends

He knoweth not, else he had Francos-like

O'erlooked with kindly eye the trifling graft

Of scheming for the welfare of his friends.

That perquisites of office do allow

Much freedom is a Democratic creed.

[page 79]

Second Ilustrado:

But Windbag said they know just what they want

And strongly urged that our desires be met.

Count Luie:

But friends, he like all converts new, did try

To prove his loyalty to his new creed.

Those words were only chosen to arraign

His predecessors at the homeland bar;

Thus politics doth in its various forms

Seem quite erratic to the layman's mind.

But trust in ME! I from my southern home

Have come to dwell in this God-favored land,

And when those men have hied them to their homes

I still will like a rock breast every wave

And on my judgment clear, in state affairs,

The grateful Filipinos may depend.

All in concert:

Ah, here's a man who boasts a mighty mind

That doth compare unto his giant form;

Long Live Count Luie! When the tide shall turn

Our grateful hearts will hasten his reward.

Count Luie: (assuming a pose of great dignity):

Thanks, noble friends, my heart with gratitude

Doth well, like gutter after April show'r.


It's like taking candy from the baby.

All join in singing:


(To the tune that the Old Cow died on)

Count Luie hums the air an octave lower with a self-satisfied

smile, thinking he is singing bass:


We Filipinos are a noble race,

With aspirations soaring to the sky;

The love of country glows on every face,

And philanthropic love from every eye.

[page 80]

The life God gave, we know how to enjoy;

If left alone, 'twere bliss without alloy,

But these Americanos come along

And try to make us think that right is wrong:


They say we ought to toil from morn till night,

And seem to think fiestas are all wrong;

They kick because we let our roosters fight.

And make Work! Work!! the burden of their song.

But why should we be toiling,

What need our hands of soiling,

While plenteous fruits are growing;

With bounteous Nature flowing?


Taft says we are artistic, which is true;

We see no need of everlasting toil,

Our minds have higher things always in view

Than delving in the black and dirty soil.

To be assemblymen is our desire,

Or, failing that, we want some office high'r.

That's why we want th' Americano band

Hustled, forthwith, from out our suff'ring land:


We want America to guard our state,

Because we couldn't do it all alone;

We want the offices at any rate

We'll eat the meat and let them pick the bone

While they are us defending;

With chicken fights unending

We'll pass our days in pleasure;

We'll drink from joy's full measure.

fancy rule
[page 81]

A Democratic Wake.

Dramatis Personae

Count Luie: . . . . . A Democratic Wheel-horse (Toast Master).
Sir Obreon: . . . . . A Counsellor.
Sir La Mutt: . . . . A Literatus.
Filipino Ilustrados and Politicos.
Several died-in-the-wool Democrats.

Scene: Hotel de Francosa.

Count Luie:

Noble compatriots, I greet thee well.

When war's ensanguined plain in tears of blood

Weeps for the fallen in a worthy cause,

'Twere well for us bereaved to sing their praise

And thus commemorate their sacrifice.

In all great battles, triumph oft doth hinge

On questions small, but oft of great import;

No matter if the sacrifice be great,

So long as victory doth greet our clan.

We trembled at the clamours of the mob

And feared results, from its prophetic tone;

But now we laugh to scorn their idle boasts,

For we from out the fleshpots still can feed.

And now in concert we would fain rejoice,

While mourning for the fallen in the fray.

Hence, if some loyal soul can requ'em voice,

'Twere fit and proper in this fun'ral hour.

One consolation, disappointment soothes:

With fewer numbers in our shattered ranks,

Appointments to positions are the same,

And so each patriot holds a flusher hand.

(Enthusiastic applause.)

A Democrat:

But, sire, it were a sacrifice most vain.

[page 82]

Had renegades from out our glorious clan

Not pictured formerly in public mind

That rule Republican indeed were wise.

And so dissatisfaction, like to yeast,

Deep in the thoughtless mob did swell to burst

Because our party purposed to at once

Enfranchise this unhappy down-trod race.

Sir Obreon:

But should we here our dirty linen air,

And so a weapon place in varlet hand?

Methinks 'twere wise to bury in the past

Those petty broils and bravely forward march.

Count Luie:

Ah! it were easy for a looker-on

To counsel peace between a man and wife,

But were he in the broil himself involved,

Philosophy were physic all too weak

To cure the wounds made by a rasping tongue,

Which time doth canker as the cancer grows

Until at last the surgeon with his knife

Alone can the distemper dire outroot.

Sir La Mutt:

Count Louie, thou hast voiced my very thought!

Traitors who fellowship with filthy graft

And find one single virtue in the creed

Of these Republicans who long have ruled

These Islands with despotic, cruel hand,

Until their tyranny doth smell to Heav'n,

Indeed should find no place to lay their heads

Within the bounds of Democratic fold.

Sir Obreon:

Ah, lack-a-day! If thus we fail to rise

Above the narrow prejudice whose birth

Took place, alas, beneath warm southern skies,

Then we must be content to walk the plank

When two years hence the people seal our doom.

Success, indeed, should be our only aim;

Hence bury childish griefs deep in the grave.

[page 83]

A Democrat:

Enough, my friends, enough! But we did come

To mingle joy and grief o'er the results

That follow combat at the public polls:

Grief for the vanquished, joy for party spoils.

Sir La Mutt:

But Sire, why should we mourn for those who fell?

Those turncoats of the money-loving North

Deserve the fate that traitor e'er should know.

We of the South did loyally uphold

Our honor in the combat, for but one

Did fall before the golden calf, and he

Deep in Louisiana's shades did dwell,

Where sugar sweet did blind the public eye.

Sir Obreon:

And can it be that thou dost not discern

That else we from the North do draw support,

Our party will, as in the dreary past,

From out the pale in vain with hungry eyes

Behold our enemies safely entrenched

Lapping with greedy tongue successe's broth

From out the flesh-pots, which we, fool-like, placed

Before them by our squabling party feuds.

Count Luie:

Sir Obreon, methinks thy mental grasp

Of things politic is indeed but dim.

The "Constitution" is a weapon grand.

The Democratic party when in war,

To closer weld the bonds which held the slave,

E'en then did show earnest solicitude

Lest the cold-blooded North should not observe

That sacred instrument, but it should break

By sending men of war from out their states

To subjugate us of the knightly South.

Our party hath indeed a record grand.

Its flexibility to all demands

Doth admiration claim from all the world.

Today it loud proclaims "sixteen to one;"

[page 84]

Tomorrow to the golden calf it kneels.

Today those stars we worship in our flag

As emblematic of each sovereign state;

Tomorrow we demand the "stars and bars"

Supplant them as Imperialistic sign.

A Democrat:

But would not that involve the speedy death

Of that grand song which we have learned to love,

The song which doth demand that those bright stars

Shall wave in triumph through the ages long?

Count Luie:

Oh we could substitute for it our hymn

Which fired paternal hearts in sixty-one;

The "Bonny Blue Flag" doth have a smoother ring,

Or "Dixy" might supplant the time-worn song!

Sir La Mutt:

Ah "Dixie" were indeed a noble air

And caryeth upon its varied strains

Our mun'ries back to those embattled days

When our forebears did war a vandal host.

A Democrat (with wool not deeply dyed)

I fear the people's hearts in northers climes

Are wedded to the flag as it did wave

When they were battling for the nation's life

And ne'er such innovation would approve.

Sir La Mutt:

When we like game-cocks strut and fiercely crow,

These men for sake of peace e'er knuckle down

Fear not, for we are in the saddle now,

And so the charger yieldeth to the spur.

Count Louie: (continues earnestly)

And when the debt gigantic which was made

To war our fathers till they bit the dust,

Matured, our party instinct did invent

A method to repudiate the claim

By paying greenback printed nice and clean,

But which with gold would never be redeemed.

Alas! those Yankee soldiers called the bluff

[page 85]

And once again encompassed our defeat.

While principles unchanging we declare,

Yet what, indeed, is it that changeth not?

Why, every Democrat should early know

That to obtain the offices is but

The one unchanging principle at stake,

And every effort that we these attain.

Should spur us on; like as "Toreador"

Doth flaunt his robe to blind unreas'ning eyes,

So we the "Constitution" e'er should wave,

Attention to distract from tender points

Of history which forward not out cause.

Sir La Mutt:

Sir Count, what should we hide from public gaze?

I and the President came from a stock

Which helped to build a mighty common wealth.

'Tis true, in time of stress our father stood

In serried ranks to tear the structure down

And on its ruins build a fairer state

With negro slavery its cornerstone.

Alas! the northern "mudsills" did prevail,

And now the white supremacy is held

By shrewdly circumventing vicious laws,

We Southerners within this tropic clime

Do sympathize with these illustr'ous men

Who here to night their presence happ'ly lend

To join us in our tears and in our joys

(Turning to the Filipinos.)

We are your friends; Republicans, your foes,

For they indeed would raise the tao up

And fill his head with notions most unwise,

Just as they seek to place on equal terms

Our "servants" in the sunny southland clime.

There lurks one serpent in our city leal

Of whom beware! for he is full of guile.

But once when he Count Luie did attack

I counter-thrust did give with my deft pen;

And though I flayed him in my treachant style,

[page 86]

He, being slow of wit, did know it not;

And as "Old Fogy" he doth often spout

His forthy nonsense in the daily press.

But now I speak in no uncertain terms

Of our great President; for I and he

Are intimates as only those can be

We meet on terms of mental equity.

Hence trust in me! For I will quick advise

Him as to matters in these lovely Isles.

Sweet friends, there is a bond which holds us fast:

You aimed your guns to riddle that old flag

(Points to the stars and stripes dramatically, drawing up

his commanding figure.)

And while we Democrats it ne'er assailed

(Rises on his toes and with a baseball voice.)

Yet know ye, that our fathers did the same.

(Great applause by some, others hang their heads.)

Count Louie:

With gratitude I do at once recall

When good La Mutt did to my aid repair.

And he so scared mine adversary then

That I in pity did not e'en retort.

For there are times when with a cold disdain

One soars aloft and sees a pigmy not.

Twere vain to argue with a half-fledged mind,

Thus casting pearls before ignoble swine.

A Democrat:

But victory still sitteth on our perch,

And yet we ratify in pensive tones.

Let joy now reign, let vain regrets depart,

And for small favors thank the God of Hosts.

A Representative:

A good majority sits in the house,

Enough to give us independence still,

Then what eventuates without our land

We care not so we grasp the reigns of state.

Count Louie:

After refreshments (smacks his lips) we will then adjourn,

[page 87]

And if some Southern gentleman desires,

We will repair unto a private room

And in a game of poker spend the night,

Thus celebrating in a proper way

A victory indeed of doubtful cast.

But to our joy affix a deep regret,

For that proud list of eighty warring knights

Who fell with faces always to the front

Yet ready stand to wage anew the fight

Whene'er their ears close to their mother earth

Shall hear the call to office once again.


For once a politician wins the race,

He like an warhorse smells the battle far

And to his dying day doth live in hope

That grateful country may make its demand.

(Close by singing an ode to the air;

"Hark, from the Tomb a Doleful Sound")

Sleep! martyrs, sleep! till resurrection morn,

When sounding trump shall call to office sweet;

Republicans may grin with silent scorn,

But we like hungry pigs still smell the teat.



Transcriber's Note (continued), and Errata

Transcriber's Note:

There has been a suggestion that this book may have been self-published; the style and layout are not necessarily consistent. Some of the round brackets (stage directions) are italicised, along with their contents; others are not. Different fonts were used for headings, and there were two instances of letters which were not the same font or size as the other letters in the respective word. There was even one letter 'o' which appeared to be upside down, or, perhaps, a mirror-image.

Errata - old typos:

Obvious punctuation errors have been repaired.

The remaining corrections made are indicated by dotted lines under the corrections. Scroll the mouse over the word and the original text will appear.

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Spokeshave (AKA Old Fogy)


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