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Duty, and other Irish Comedies   By:

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DUTY AND OTHER IRISH COMEDIES

[Illustration: FROM THE DRY POINT STUDY BY P. GRASSBY]

DUTY AND OTHER IRISH COMEDIES

BY

SEUMAS O'BRIEN

1916

CONTENTS

DUTY JURISPRUDENCE MAGNANIMITY MATCHMAKERS RETRIBUTION

DUTY

A COMEDY IN ONE ACT

CHARACTERS

HEAD CONSTABLE MULLIGAN A Member of the Royal Irish Constabulary SERGEANT DOOLEY A Member of the R.I.C. CONSTABLE HUGGINS A Member of the R.I.C. MICUS GOGGIN PADNA SWEENEY MRS. ELLEN COTTER A public house keeper

DUTY was produced for the first time at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, December 17, 1913, with the following cast:

Head Constable Mulligan, R.I.C. ARTHUR SINCLAIR Sergeant Dooley, R.I.C. FRED O'DONOVAN Constable Huggins, R.I.C. SYDNEY J. MORGAN Micus Goggin J.M. KERRIGAN Padna Sweeney J.A. O'ROURKE Mrs. Ellen Cotter UNA O'CONNOR

DUTY

Back kitchen of a country public house. Micus and Padna seated at a table drinking from pewter pints. Mrs. Cotter enters in response to a call .

PADNA ( pointing to pint measures ) Fill 'em again, ma'am, please.

MRS. COTTER ( taking pints, and wiping table ) Fill 'em again, is it? Indeed I won't do any such thing.

MICUS Indeed you will, Mrs. Cotter.

MRS. COTTER Don't you know that 'tis Sunday night, an' that the police might call any minute?

MICUS ( disdainfully ) The police!

PADNA Bad luck to them!

MICUS Amen!

MRS. COTTER This will be the last drink that any one will get in this house to night. [ Exit .

MICUS 'Tis a nice state of affairs to think that dacent men, after a hard week's work, can't have a drink in pace and quietness in the town they were born and reared in, without bein' scared out o' their senses by the police!

PADNA 'Tis the hell of a thing, entirely! I don't see what's gained be closin' the pubs at all, unless it be to give the police somethin' to do.

MICUS The overfed and undertaught bla'gards!

PADNA As far as I can see, there's as much drink sold as if the pubs were never closed.

MICUS There is, an' more; for if it wasn't forbidden to drink porter, it might be thought as little about as water.

PADNA I don't believe that, Micus. Did you ever hear of a pint or even a gallon of water makin' any one feel like Napoleon?

[ Mrs. Cotter enters and places drinks on table .

PADNA ( handing money ) There ye are, ma'am.

MRS. COTTER ( takes money ) Hurry now like good boys, for forty shillin's is a lot to pay for a pint o' porter, an' that's what 'twill cost ye if the police comes in an' finds ye here. An' I'll lose me license into the bargain. [ Exit .

MICUS One would think be the way the police are talked about that they had charge of the whole Universe!

PADNA An' who else has charge of it but themselves an' the magistrates, or justices o' the pace, as they're called?

MICUS They're worse than the police.

PADNA They're as bad anyway, an' that's bad enough.

MICUS ( scornfully ) Justices o' the pace!

PADNA Micus!

MICUS What?

PADNA ( thoughtfully ) There's no justice in the world.

MICUS Damn the bit! Sure 'tisn't porter we should be drinkin' a cold night like this!

PADNA ( as he sips from pint ) 'Tis well to have it these times.

MICUS The world is goin' to the dogs, I'm afraid.

PADNA 'Tisn't goin' at all, but gone.

MICUS An' nobody seems to care.

PADNA Some pretend they do, like the preachers, but they're paid for it. I do be often wonderin' after readin' the newspapers if God has forgotten about the world altogether.

MICUS I wouldn't be surprised, for nothin' seems to be right. There's the police, for instance. They can do what they like, an' we must do what we're told, like childer.

PADNA Isn't the world a star, Micus?

MICUS ( with pint to his mouth ) Of course it is.

PADNA Then it must be the way that it got lost among all the other stars one sees on a frosty night.

MICUS Are there min in the other stars too?

PADNA So I believe.

MICUS That's queer.

PADNA Sure, everythin' is queer.

MICUS If the min in the other stars are like the peelers, there won't be much room in Hell after the good are taken to Heaven on the last day... Continue reading book >>




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