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Tecumseh : a Drama   By: (1838-1927)

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TECUMSEH

A DRAMA

BY CHARLES MAIR.

"When the white men first set foot on our shores, they were hungry; they had no places on which to spread their blankets or to kindle their fires. They were feeble; they could do nothing for themselves. Our fathers commiserated their distress, and shared freely with them whatever the Great Spirit had given to his red children."

From TECUMSEH'S speech to the Osages .

DRAMATIS PERSONAE.

INDIANS:

TECUMSEH (Chief of the Shawanoes) .

THE PROPHET (Brother of Tecumseh) .

TARHAY (A Chief in love with Iena) .

STAYETA (Chief of the Wyandots) .

MIAMI, DELAWARE, KICKAPOO and DAHCOTA CHIEFS. Warriors, Braves, Josakeeds and Runners .

MAMATEE (Wife of Tecumseh) .

IENA (Niece of Tecumseh) .

WEETAMORE, WINONA and other Indian Maidens .

AMERICANS:

GENERAL HARRISON (Governor of Indiana Territory) .

GENERAL HULL.

COLONEL CASS.

BARRON (An Indian Agent) .

TWANG, SLAUGH, GERKIN and BLOAT (Citizens of Vincennes) .

Five Councillors of Indiana Territory, Officers, Soldiers, Volunteers, Orderlies and Scouts .

BRITISH AND CANADIANS:

GENERAL BROCK (Administrator of the Government of Upper Canada) .

COLONEL (afterwards General) PROCTOR. GLEGG, MACDONELL, Aides de camp to General Brock .

NICHOL, BABY, ELIOTT, Colonels of Canadian Volunteers .

McKEE, ROBINSON, Captains of Canadian Volunteers .

LEFROY (A poet artist, enamoured of Indian life, and in love with IENA.)

Two Old men of York, U. E. Loyalists, and other Citizens, Alien Settlers, Officers, Soldiers, Volunteers, Orderlies and Messengers .

TECUMSEH

ACT I.

SCENE FIRST. THE FOREST NEAR THE PROPHET'S TOWN ON THE TIPPECANOE.

Enter the PROPHET.

PROPHET. Twelve moons have wasted, and no tidings still!

Tecumseh must have perished! Joy has tears As well as grief, and mine will freely flow Sembling our women's piteous privilege Whilst dry ambition ambles to its ends. My schemes have swelled to greatness, and my name Has flown so far upon the wings of fear That nations tremble at its utterance. Our braves abhor, yet stand in awe of me, Who ferret witchcraft out, commune with Heaven, And ope or shut the gloomy doors of death. All feelings and all seasons suit ambition! Yet my vindictive nature hath a craft, In action slow, which matches mother earth's: First seed time then the harvest of revenge. Who works for power, and not the good of men, Would rather win by fear than lose by love. Not so Tecumseh rushing to his ends, And followed by men's love whose very foes Trust him the most. Rash fool! Him do I dread, And his imperious spirit. Twelve infant moons Have swung in silver cradles o'er these woods, And, still no tidings of his enterprise, Which all too deep and wide has swallowed him. And left me here unrivalled and alone.

Enter an INDIAN RUNNER.

Ha! There's a message in your eyes what now?

RUNNER. Your brother, great Tecumseh, has returned, And rests himself a moment ere he comes To counsel with you here.

[ Exit Runner .]

PROPHET. He has returned! So then the growing current of my power Must fall again into the stately stream Of his great purpose. But a moment past I stood upon ambition's height, and now My brother comes to break my greatness up, And merge it in his own. I know his thoughts That I am but a helper to his ends; And, were there not a whirlpool in my soul Of hatred which would fain ingulf our foes, I would engage my cunning and my craft 'Gainst his simplicity, and win the lead. But, hist, he comes! I must assume the role By which I pander to his purposes.

Enter TECUMSEH.

TECUMSEH. Who is this standing in the darkened robes?

PROPHET. The Prophet! Olliwayshilla, who probes The spirit world, and holds within his ken Life's secrets and the fateful deeds of men. The "One Eyed!" Brother to the Shooting Star

TECUMSEH. With heart of wax, and hands not made for war... Continue reading book >>




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