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The Piper   By: (1874-1922)

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The Piper

A PLAY IN FOUR ACTS

By JOSEPHINE PRESTON PEABODY

BOSTON and NEW YORK HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY

The Riverside Press Cambridge 1910

COPYRIGHT, 1909, BY JOSEPHINE PEABODY MARKS ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Published November 1909

SEVENTH IMPRESSION

TO

LIONEL S. MARKS

Anno 1284 Am Dage Johannis et Pauli War der 26 Junii Dorch einen piper mit allerlei farve bekledet Gewesen CXXX kinder verledet binnen Hamelen geboren To Calvarii bi den koppen verloren

[THE HAMELIN INSCRIPTION]

CHARACTERS

THE PIPER ) MICHAEL THE SWORD EATER ) Strolling Players CHEAT THE DEVIL )

JACOBUS the Burgomeister ) KURT the Syndic ) PETER the Cobbler ) HANS the Butcher ) AXEL the Smith ) Men of Hamelin MARTIN the Watch ) PETER the Sacristan ) ANSELM, a young priest ) OLD CLAUS, a miser ) TOWN CRIER )

JAN ) HANSEL ) ILSE ) Children TRUDE ) RUDI )

VERONIKA, the wife of Kurt BARBARA, daughter of Jacobus WIFE of HANS the Butcher WIFE of AXEL the Smith WIFE of MARTIN the Watch OLD URSULA

Burghers, nuns, priests, and children

SCENE: HAMELIN ON THE WESER, 1284 A.D.

SCENES

ACT I. The market place in Hamelin

ACT II. SCENE I. Inside the 'Hollow Hill' SCENE II. The Cross ways

ACT III. The Cross ways

ACT IV. The market place in Hamelin

One week is supposed to elapse between Acts I and II.

Acts II and III occupy one day.

Act IV concerns the following morning.

The Piper

ACT I

SCENE: The market place of Hamelin. Right, the Minster, with an open shrine (right centre) containing a large sculptured figure of the Christ. Right, farther front, the house of KURT; and other narrow house fronts. Left, the Rathaus, and (down) the home of JACOBUS. Front, to left and right, are corner houses with projecting stories and casement windows. At the centre rear, a narrow street leads away between houses whose gables all but meet overhead.

It is late summer afternoon, with a holiday crowd. In the open casements, front (right and left, opposite each other), sit OLD URSULA and OLD CLAUS, looking on at men and things. In the centre of the place now stands a rude wooden Ark with a tented top: and out of the openings (right and left) appear the artificial heads of animals, worn by the players inside. One is a Bear (inhabited by MICHAEL THE SWORD EATER); one is a large Reynard the Fox, later apparent as the PIPER. Close by is the medieval piece of stage property known as 'Hell Mouth,' i.e. a red painted cave with a jaw like opening into which a mountebank dressed in scarlet (CHEAT THE DEVIL) is poking 'Lost Souls' with a pitchfork.

BARBARA loiters by the tent. VERONIKA, the sad young wife of KURT, watches from the house steps, left, keeping her little lame boy, Jan, close beside her.

Shouts of delight greet the end of the show, a Noah's Ark miracle play of the rudest; and the Children continue to scream with joy whenever an Animal looks out of the Ark.

Men and women pay scant attention either to JACOBUS, when he speaks (himself none too sober) from his doorstep, prompted by the frowning KURT, or yet to ANSELM, the priest, who stands forth with lifted hands, at the close of the miracle play.

ANSELM And you, who heed the colors of this show, Look to your laughter! It doth body forth A Judgment that may take you unaware, Sun struck with mirth, like unto chattering leaves Some wind of wrath shall scourge to nothingness.

HANS, AXEL, AND OTHERS Hurrah, Hurrah!

JACOBUS And now, good townsmen all, Seeing we stand delivered and secure As once yon chosen creatures of the Ark, For a similitude, our famine gone, Our plague of rats and mice,

CROWD Hurrah hurrah!

JACOBUS 'Tis meet we render thanks more soberly

HANS the Butcher Soberly, soberly, ay!

JACOBUS For our deliverance... Continue reading book >>




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