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'allay, Edna ST. Vincent 
Two slatterns and a king 



PS 

3525 

U95T8 
1921 



TWO 

SLATTERNS 

AND A 

KING 



BY 



EDNA ST. VINCENT 
MILLAY 




STEWART KIDD 

MODERN PLAYS 

EDITED BY 

FRANK SHAY 



Stewart Kidd Dramatic Anthologies 

Fifty Contemporary One-Act Plays 

Edited by 
FRANK SHAY and PIERRE LOVING 

THIS volume contains FIFTY REPRESENTATIVE ONE-ACT PLAYS 
of the MODERN THEATER, chosen from the dramatic works of con- 
temporary writers all over the world and is the second volume in the 
Stewart Kidd Dramatic Anthologies, the first being European Theories of the 
Drama, by Barrett H. Clark, which has been so enthusiastically received. 

The editors have scrupulously sifted countless plays and have selected the 
best available in English. One-half the plays have never before been pub- 
lished in book form; thirty-one are no longer available in any other edition. 
The work satisfies a long-felt want for a handy collection of the choicest 
plays produced by the art theaters all over the world. It is a complete reper- 
tory for a little theater, a volume for the study of the modern drama, a rep- 
resentative collection of the world's best short plays. 

CONTENTS 



AUSTRIA 

Schnitzler (Arthur) Literature 
BELGIUM 

Maeterlinck (Maurice) The Intruder 
BOLIVIA 

More (Federico) Interlude 
DENMARK 

Wied (Gustave) Autumn Fires 
FRANCE 

Ancey (George) M. Lamblin 

Porto- Riche (Georges) Francoise's Luck 
GERMANY 

Ettinger (Karl) Altruism 

von Hofmannsthal (Hugo) Madonna Dia- 
nora 

Wedekind (Frank) The Tenor 
GREAT BRITAIN 

Bennett (Arnold) A Good Woman 

Calderon (George) The Little Stone House 

Cannan (Gilbert) Mary's Wedding 

Dowson (Ernest) The Pierrot of the Min- 
ute. 

Ellis (Mrs. Havelock) The Subjection 
of Kezia 

Hankin (St. John) The Constant Lover 
INDIA 

Mukerji (Dhan Gopal) The Judgment of 

Indra 
IRELAND 

Gregory (Lady) The Workhouse Ward 
HOLLAND 

Speenhoff (J. H.) Louise 
HUNGARY 

Biro (Lajos) The Grandmother 
ITALY 

Giocosa (Giuseppe) The Rights of the Soul 
RUSSIA 

Andreyev (Leonid) Love of One's Neigh- 
bor 

Tchekoff (Anton) The Boor 



SPAIN 

Benevente (Jacinto) His Widow's Hus- 
band 
Quinteros (Serafina and Joaquin Alverez) 

A Sunny Morning 
SWEDEN 

Strindberg (August) The Creditor 
UNITED STATES 

Beach (Lewis) Brothers 
Cowan (Sada) In the Morgue 
Crocker (Bosworth) The Baby Carriage 
Cronyn (George W.) A Death in Fever 

Flat 
Davies (Mary Carolyn) The Slave with 

Two Faces 

Day (Frederick L.) The Slump 
Planner (Hildegard) Mansions 
Glaspell (Susan) Trifles 
Gerstenberg (Alice) The Pot Boiler 
Helburn (Theresa) Enter the Hero 
Hudson (Holland) The Shepherd in the 

Distance 

Kemp (Harry) Boccaccio's Untold Tale 
Langner (Lawrence) Another Way Out 
MacMillan (Mary) The Shadowed Star 
Millay (Edna St. Vincent) Aria da Capo 
Moeller (Philip) Helena's Husband 
O'Neill (Eugene) He 
Stevens (Thomas Wood) The Nursery 

Maid of Heaven 
Stevens (Wallace) Three Travelers Watch 

a Sunrise 

Tompkins (Frank G.) Sham 
Walker (Stuart) The Medicine Show 
Wellman (Rita) For All Time 
Wilde (Percival) The Finger of God 
YIDDISH 

Ash (Sholom) Night 

Pinski (David) Forgotten Souls 



Large 8vo, 585 pages. Net, $5.00 



Send for Complete Dramatic Catalogue 

STEWART KIDD COMPANY 

PUBLISHERS, - - CINCINNATI, U. S. A. 



STEWART KIDD MODERN PLAYS 

Edited by Frank Shay 




TWO SLATTERNS AND A KING 



Stewart Kidd Modern Plays 
Edited by FRANK SHAY 

To meet the immensely increased demands of the play-reading public 
and those interested in the modern drama, Stewart Kidd are issuing 
under the general editorship of Frank Shay a series of plays from the pens 
of the world's best contemporary writers. No effort is being spared to 
secure the best work available, and the plays are issued in a form that is 
at once attractive to readers and suited to the needs of the performer 
and producer. Buffalo Express: "Each play is of merit. Each is unlike 
the other. The group furnishes a striking example |of the realistic trend 
of the modern drama." 

From time to time special announcements will be printed giving com- 
plete lists of the plays. 

SHAM, a Social Satire in One Act. By Frank G. Tompkins. 
Originally produced by Sam Hume, at the Arts and Crafts Theatre, 

Detroit. 

San Francisco Bulletin: "The lines are new and many of them 
are decidedly clever." 
Providence Journal : "An ingenious and merry little one-act play." 

THE SHEPHERD IN THE DISTANCE, a Pantomime in 
One Act. By Holland Hudson. 

Originally produced by the Washington Square Players. 

Oakland Tribune: "A pleasing pantomime of the Ancient East." 

MANSIONS, a Play in One Act. By Hildegarde Planner. 
Originally produced by the Indiana Little Theatre Society. 
Three Arts Magazine : "This thoughtful and well-written play of 
Characters and Ideals has become a favorite with Little Theatres 
and is now available in print." 

HEARTS TO MEND, a Fantasy in One Act. 

By H. A. Overstreet. 

Originally produced by the Fireside Players, White Plains, N. Y. 
St. Louis Star : "It is a light whimsy and well carried out." 
San Francisco Chronicle: "No one is likely to hear or read it 
without real and legitimate pleasure." 

SIX WHO PASS WHILE THE LENTILS BOIL. 

By Stuart Walker. 
Originally produced by the Portmanteau Players at Christodora 

House, New York City. 

Brooklyn Eagle : "Literary without being pedantic, and dramatic 
without being noisy." 

OTHERS TO FOLLOW. Bound in Art Paper. Each, net, .50 



Two SLATTERNS AND 
A KING 

A MORAL INTERLUDE 



By 

EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY 

Author of "Aria da Capo", etc. 
First produced at Vassar College. 




CINCINNATI 

STEWART KIDD COMPANY 
PUBLISHERS 



COPYRIGHT, 1921 

STEWART KIDD COMPANY 



All rights reserved 

COPYRIGHT IN ENGLAND 



No amateur or professional use permitted of "Two SLATTERNS 
AND A KING" without written authorization first obtained from 
Stewart Kidd Company, 121 East Fifth Street. Cincinnati, O., to 
whom all applications should be addressed. 





\ 

MAR 9 1976 J 



TWO SLATTERNS AND A KING 



PERSONS 
THE KING 
CHANCE the VICE 
TIDY the false SLATTERN 
SLUT the true SLATTERN 



THE 

PROLOGUE 

AND THE 

EPILOGUE 

SPOKEN 
BY 

CHANCE 



Two SLATTERNS AND A KING 

PROLOGUE 

I am that cunning infidel 

By men called CHANCE, you know me well. 

It is through me you met your wives; 

Through me your harvest blights or thrives; 

And one and all, through me, to-day 

Hither you came to see the play, 

Which if your favor still you lend, 

As now, so on until the end, 

You shall be taught what way a King 

Though a sublime and awful thing 

And even wise, may come to be 

A laughing-stock, and all through me ! 

(Exit) 

(ENTER KING) 
KING 

I am the King of all this land: 
I hold a sceptre in my hand; 
Upon my head I wear a crown; 
Everybody stands when I sit down. (Sits) 

CHANCE (Appearing to audience; he is invisible 
throughout the play to the other players in it.) 
Excepting me, please bear in mind 
I sit whenever I feel inclined. (Sits) 

KING 

Although my lands are wide and long, 
My walls right thick, my armies strong, 
I am not wholly satisfied. 

9 



TWO SLATTERNS AND A KING 

CHANCE 

That is because you have no bride. 

KING 

Who speaks? Come forth and, if you dare, 
Say once again what causes my care ! 
Why I am discontent with life ! 

CHANCE 

It is because you have no wife. 
KING 

A woman in my royal house ! 

A woman ! A wife ! A bride ! A spouse ! 

Bold stranger, this is not the cure, 

For a woman I could never endure ! 

CHANCE 

Per-CHANCE to-morrow you will find 
You have altered your imperial mind. 
(Exeunt KING and CHANCE severally) 

(ENTER TIDY) 
TIDY 

I am TIDY, I have been 
All my life both neat and clean. 
From my outside to my in 
Clean am I unto my skin. 
Every day into a bucket 
My hands I dip, my head I duck it; 
And if the water plenty be 
I sometimes wet some more of me. 
This is my kitchen, where you will find 
All things pleasant and to your mind; 
Against the wall in orderly pairs 
One, two, one, two, observe my chairs. 
10 



TWO SLATTERNS AND A KING 

In the middle of the room my table stands: 
I would not move it for many lands. 
My basins and bowls are all in their places; 
The bottoms of my pots are as clean as your 

faces. 

My kettle boils so cheerily, 
It is like a friendly voice to me; 
About my work I merrily sing, 
And I brush my hearth with a white duck's wing. 
Oh, full is every cupboard, sharp is every 

knife! 
My bright, sunny kitchen is the pride of my life ! 

(Exit TIDY) 

(ENTER SLUT) 
SLUT 

I am SLUT; I am a slattern, 

You must not take me for your pattern. 

I spend my days in slovenly ease ; 

I sleep when I like and I wake when I please. 

My manners, they are indolent; 

In clutter and filth I am quite content. 

Here is my kitchen, where I stir up my messes, 

And wear out my old shoes and soiled silk 

dresses. 

My table sags beneath the weight 
Of stale food and unwashed plate; 
The cat has tipped the pitcher o'er, 
The greasy stream drips onto the floor; 
Under the table is a broken cui 
I am too tired to pick it up. 

(Exit SLUT) 
ii 



TWO SLATTERNS AND A KING 

(ENTER KING) 
KING 

Now I will no longer tarry 
For I think that I will marry. 
Now the one thing in my lire 
Is to marry me a wife. 
But I will not be content 
With a wench that's indolent, 
Or take a slattern for a spouse, 
I will go from house to house, 
Unheralded that there may be 
No cleaning up because of me 
And that maid whose kitchen's neatest 
Will I have to be my sweetest. 

(Exit KING) 

(CHANCE APPEARS) 
CHANCE 

That I am absent do not fear 

For that you have not seen me here, 

For know, I oft invisibly 

Do move among the things you see ; 

And to confuse and thwart the King 

Through Slut and Tidy, is a thing 

Dear to my nature, therefore heed, 

And you shall see a show indeed ! 

(Exit CHANCE) 

(Enter TIDY in great disorder) 
TIDY 

Oh, dear, oh, dear, what shall I do? 
Oh, such a plight I never knew ! 
Though I arose as is my way 
An hour before the break of day, 
12 



TWO SLATTERNS AND A KING 

Here it is noon, and nothing done; 

The milk has soured in the sun, 

And the sweet, pretty duck I broiled 

A neighbor's dog has dragged and spoiled; 

I beat him with my hands and wept ! 

Straight through the window then he leapt, 

And through the window after him, 

With scratched face and bruised limb, 

And on through mire and briar and bog 

Hours and hours 1 chased that dog, 

Stumbling, uttering awful cries 

While into my kitchen swarmed the flies! 

I came back at half-past ten ! 

Oh, what a sight did greet me then ! 

My fair white sheets I hung so fine 

Down in the black muck under the line ! 

And out of the oven from cakes 'n' pies V 

Beautiful tarts the thick smoke risin' ! 

I knelt down my tarts to remove, 

And my quince jelly that stood on the stove 

Up did boil, and, as you see, 

Boiled itself all over me ! 

All over the floor, all over the room, 

Whereat I ran to fetch the broom 

The broom ! The broom instead of the mop ! 

To fetch a broom to wipe up slop ! 

And with its handle smashed the clock's face, 

Getting glass all over the place, 

And knocked the dishes off the shelf, 

And fell to my knees and cut myself, 

And wept and cried and when I would rise 

Could not see for the tears in my eyes; 

So tripped on a chair and, to save a fall, 

Caught at the table, then flat did sprawl, 

13 



TWO SLATTERNS AND A KING 

Dragging the table down with me, 

And everything on it, as well you may see ! 

I cannot live in such a state ! 

But where to begin is past my pate ! 

(Enter KING) 

KING 

I am the King of all these lands : 
Down upon your knees and hands. 
Wishing to marry me, I have said 
That the tidiest maiden I would wed 
In all my realm, wherefore I go 
From kitchen to kitchen, that I may know 
And judge for myself what maid is worth 
To sit at my side in feasting and in mirth. 
Untidy Spill-time, it is easy to see 
That my fair bride you never will be. 

TIDY 

Oh, great King, hear me when I say 
This has been a most unusual day ! 
It is by chance alone you see 
In such a state my kitchen and me ! 
I can set us both to rights in a minute ! 

KING 

In vain ! I have set a trap and caught you in it ! 
Vain, wench, your lies and your pretense ! 
I see what I see and I hie me hence ! 

(Exit KING) 
(Exit TIDY, weeping) 

(ENTER SLUT) 
SLUT 

Lest you know me not in this disguise 

I tell you I am SLUT, and I tell you no lies. 

14 



TWO SLATTERNS AND A KING 

My face and my hands are clean and neat; 

Fresh is my frock, trim are my feet. 

But I assure you you are not wrong 

To think that so tidy I shall not be for long. 

And if the story you wish from me, 

I will tell you how this came to be : 

Dull was the day and tedious my book; 

I saw no pleasure wherever I might look; 

I had done everything that I knew how to do, 

And I could think of nothing new. 

But at last I thought of one 

Thing that I had never done. 

And I said, "I will take a broom, 

And I will sweep this room! 

I will wash this floor !" 

I had never washed it before 

"All things in order will I arrange, 

Although I hate order, for it will be a change." 

So here I am, as you can see 

I and my kitchen as clean as can be. 

But in a room as clean as this 

My bones ache and I find no bliss. 

So watch, and soon it will appear 

Much less orderly and drear. 

(Enter KING) 

KING 

Down upon your knees and hands ! 

I am the King of all these lands. 

Wishing to marry me, I have said 

That the tidiest maiden I would wed 

In all my realms, wherefore I go 

From kitchen to kitchen that I may know 

Yet stay ! This kitchen is so tidy, 

I think that you must be my bridey ! 

15 



TWO SLATTERNS AND A KING 

As far and wide as I have been 
So neat a kitchen I have not seen; 
Therefore I say you are my wife, 
For the remainder of your life. 

SLUT (aside) 

To point him out his error at first I intended, 
But least said is soonest mended. 

(Exeunt KING with SLUT) 

(Enter TIDY) 
TIDY 

Now once again with me 

All is as it is wont to be. 

Now once again you see me stand 

The tidiest lady in the land. 

If the King should see me now 

He would tell a different tale, I trow. 

(Enter KING) 

KING 

Oh, lovely lady, who are you, 
That I am a talking to ? 

TIDY 

She am I whom you did scorn 
This very day at morn. 

KING 

It may not be as you have said, 
For you would I gladly wed ! 

TIDY 

I thank you for the favor, but 
They tell me you have married SLUT! 
16 



TWO SLATTERNS AND A KING 

KING 

Oh, cock's bones ! And strike me dead ! 
Is it a Slut that I have wed? 

(Enter SLUT dressed as at first) 
SLUT 

So here you dally whilst I sit at home ! 
Never any more abroad shall you roam, 
But sit at home with me for the rest of your life, 
For I am your lawful wedded wife ! 

KING 

Oh, woe is me, what a life will be mine ! 

SLUT 

It is too late now to repine : 

Home with me you come for the rest of your 

life, 
For SLUT is your lawful wedded wife ! 

(Exit SLUT with KING) 

TIDY 

A slattern is a fearful sight, ah, me I 
What pleasure it gives so tidy to be ! 

(Exit TIDY) 

EPILOGUE 

Now that the play is at an end, 
By CHANCE you have enjoyed it, friend; 
By CHANCE to you his sweet was gall; 
By CHANCE you slumbered through it all. 
Howe'er it be, it was by CHANCE 
The KING was led so merry a dance, 
By CHANCE that TIDY met disgrace, 
By CHANCE alone SLUT washed her face; 



TWO SLATTERNS AND A KING 

From morn to eve the whole day long 

It was by CHANCE that things went wrong. 

Wherefore, good friends, t' escape derision, 

Be not o'er hasty in your decision, 

For he who heedeth not this rule 

BY CHANCE HE WILL BE CALLED A FOOL! 



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PS 
3525 
U95T8 
1921 



Mil lay, Edna St. Vincent 
Two slatterns and a king