« ZurückWeiter »
THE ORPHAN'S TRIUMPH.
Strike for that broad and goodly land
THE ORPHAN'S TRIUMPH.
A COLLOQUY IN THREE SCENES.
F. B. WILSON.
AMY HARTWELL, the Orphan,
HATTIE AINSWORTH, AMY's friend,
MRS. GRANTON, a heartless widow.
SCENE I-A parlor. Number of ladies seated, employed in various kinds of work. MRS. AINSWORTH, MISS HATTIE AINSWORTH, MISS JANE SANDERS, MISS FANNIE BLANCHARD, MRS. GRANTON, and others.
MISS JANE SANDERS. What an excitement Mr. Hartwell's failure created in our little quiet city! indeed we have hardly gotten over the shock as yet. I wonder what next will take place to cause an excitement. I do think it is so dull here.
MISS FANNIE BLANCHARD. Such incidents as that do change the monotony of city life. But I wonder what Miss Hartwell will do to support herself; she is so young, has never done any work, and I suppose she would rather beg than work. I do not pity her in the least. She always appeared to esteem herself above the other ladies in the city. I think this will have a tendency to lower her pride. JANE. She has kept herself very close since her father's
failure. I wonder if she thinks any one will sympathize with her?
MRS. AINSWORTH. I know how to feel for her. Left motherless when but a child, her whole heart was filled with love to her kind father. His failure might have caused her pain, but his failure and his death must well nigh crush her young spirit. Hattie has been to see her several times during the last few days, but 'tis hard to give consolation in an hour of such deep sorrow.
FANNIE. Yet can you feel pained to see her in such a situation? You must certainly know that pride is the cause of this great sorrow.
MRS. AINSWORTH. Amy is not proud. She is too pure, too good, too innocent, to have any feeling of foolish pride. You know her not when you say that pride is the cause of her sorrow. 'Tis the love she bore her father. When he knew of his failure the blow was so severe it caused his death. Amy is now alone in the world. Poor, no friends to care for her, none to love.
MRS. GRANTON. It seems to me we are becoming concerned in the welfare of those we hardly know. A man fails! a man dies! and all the city comment. Some with feigned pity, some with joy. Yet few that pity feel the force of their sayings. Let us change the subject, and have something lively to intersperse our conversation. I for one am not partial to subjects that call forth sorrowful feelings. My theory is the theory of the world; a man fails in business and he loses his position in society, and he takes his family with him. If we have sought their society prior to this, we should now shun it. (Walks up and down stage.) Life has its ups and downs; some are ever joyful and ever happy. I hate those that always frown. (Sings-bell rings.)
MRS. AINSWORTH. The tea bell; come ladies all. (Exeunt all but HATTIE AINSWORTH.)
MISS HATTIE AINSWORTH. Must I believe that that company have expressed the sentiments of the place? Is there no one who will lend a helping hand to my dear friend
THE ORPHAN'S TRIUMPH.
How cruel! I will ever be
Amy? Oh! what a heartless world is this. how cruel! Yet I will ever be her friend. near to assist and comfort her. Few know Amy as I know her; few feel toward her as I do; and hand in hand we will travel together. One thought comes: Will it will it change the mind of him, who, a short time ago pledged her his love; and then, with her consent, joined the ranks of the defenders of human liberty. Why think a moment of this? He cannot, he will not prove false. Poverty may be her lot, friends may fail her, yet I believe Mr. Branton will ever be true. Enter MRS. GRANTON, L.
MRS. GRANTON. I left the paper here; I came to get it to read at the table. Why do you not come to tea, Hattie, child?
HATTIE. I feel so badly when I think of poor Amy Hartwell. Mrs. Granton, you know not how much I love her.
MRS. GRANTON. Why let her misfortune trouble you? How foolish you are. (Laughs.) Just drop her name from your list of acquaintances-think no more of her. (Aside.) What strange people there are in this world. Some would spend their whole life in weeping, I really believe; but I am not one of the number. No! no! Catch me crying and mourning because one friend dies. Why, when my husband died, I never shed a single tear; yet I pitied the poor man. He is the only husband I ever had, but I think that I may get another yet. (Sighs.) Some ladies get married that are older than I. When I think of my poor husband I cannot but laugh, he was so peculiar. He used often ask me if I was entirely heartless. Just as though there was such a thing as a heart. He well knew that I was determined to have my own way, and coaxing and persuasion couldn't move me. My advice to all married ladies is—let your husband know who's mistress. (Turns to HATTIE.) What, Hattic, crying? Some people always cry when they would laugh; perhaps 'tis so with Hattie. (Bell rings.) The tea bell rings again; come, Hattie! (Exit.)
HATTIE. I am alone again; how I dread that woman's presence. How different is she from my mother! Amy claims all my thoughts at present. (Bell rings.) The door bell. Would that Amy is the one ushered in.
Door opens. Enter AMY. Embrace.
MISS AMY HARTWELL. I have come to see you, Hattie, at last. This is the first time I have been from home since dear pa's death. Oh! how blank, how blank appears the world to me. My heart is bowed down with grief. To you alone I come for consolation. Do you know, Hattie, that you are the only one that has called and spoken kind words to me since pa's death. To you would I confide all at this time. You will not forsake me, will you, Hattie ? HATTIE. Dearest Amy, nothing can sever my Dearer are you now than ever. Tell me anything, everything, and if I can aid you in any manner, gladly will I assist you all in my power.
love for you.
AMY. My father's creditors will take everything. Yet pa's lawyer tells me that all his debts can be paid and my piano, library, etc., will not be taken from me. I am glad to think that no one will suffer but myself. Every dollar of pa's debts will be paid. Now, Hattie, I must do something to support myself. I can teach music, French, and painting, and I want you to assist me in getting up classes. I must go at work at once.
HATTIE. You need not teach, Amy; ma has told me to have you come and live with me. You know I intimated it to you yesterday.
? AMY. I could not be happy, Hattie, feeling that I was a dependent. I will stay with you for a short time, but I am determined to support myself. You are very kind. My truest and best friend. God will reward you if I never
HATTIE. I cannot bear the idea of your teaching, Amy. Come and live with me, and we will talk of this again.
THE ORPHAN'S TRIUMPH.
God does nothing worng. (AMY leans her head on HATTIE'S shoulder.) He will ever be our friend.
SCENE II.-Same as Scene I. AMY seated alone.
AMY. 'Tis now six months since dear pa died. All who were proud to call me their friend then, have deserted me, except dear Mrs. Ainsworth and Hattie; never could I forget their kindness. My income from my classes makes me a comfortable living. Yet there is a blank that cannot be filled. I wonder why it is that he does not write. Strange! I have written several letters and received no answer. Can it be that he will-No! I will not think it. Yet his name has not appeared on the list of wounded or killed after any battle. What can it mean? God grant that he may yet live! May he be sustained and preserved by that all-wise Being.
Enter MRS. AINSWORTH, L.
MRS. AINSWORTH. You will try and be back from your classes early to-day, will you not, Amy? I expect the Misses Sanders and Blanchard at tea this afternoon, also, Mrs. Granton.
AMY. I do not believe that any of them would care for my company. Not one of them will recognize me in the street when I meet them; so you will excuse me, Mrs. Ainsworth, if I should not be back in time to see them?
MRS. AINSWORTH. I did not know, Amy, that this was the case; but act your own pleasure. I would like to see you go in society more than you do. You will wear yourself out with your weary labors.
AMY. Society has no charms for me now; my thoughts are far away. Yes, Mrs. Ainsworth, you know what I would say. Mystery surrounds me on every hand. Good morning, my dear protector. (Kisses her. Exit.)
MRS. AINSWORTH. There goes one whose heart is pure, innocent, and yet troubled. Her affection is so deep, so