Monday, January 30, 2012

The Unveiling of my "Play"!

In the spirit of the "'Heigh-Ho for a Husband' Blog Party" I knew I just had to pretend to be the tiniest bit Shakespearean as a nod to the inspiration for this whole event. I am not sure I succeeded, but I was content and rather pleased than otherwise with what came out of it all. Therefore I give you my one-act play, "Thus Goes Everyone in the World" and I hope you enjoy it. The dialog is actually the both sides of Rachel counseling one another. It amused me quite a bit, and another friend quite a bit, and I hope you share some of our sentiments. :)

Thus Goes Everyone in the World
A humorous dialog by Rachel Heffington

Scene: Two cousins, ages nineteen and twenty-two stand alone in a garden as a friend who has just announced her engagement waves goodbye and walks off arm and arm with her fiancé.

Amelia: “And now I may truly say with Beatrice, ‘Thus goes everyone in the world but I…and I may sit in a corner and cry ‘heigh-ho’ for a husband’!”

Sophia: “It does seem so, does it not?”

Amelia: “In truth, it does. But do not despair, my dear cousin—we are by no means out of the running yet.”

Sophia: (sighing) “My mind tells me so, but my heart—oh Amelia, does your heart not contradict your mind?”

Amelia: “Indeed, constantly. And may I be struck down were it not so. My mind and heart are as alike as a kitten is to a raging bull.”

Sophia: “Mine as well.”

Amelia: “Were my heart to dictate the pace of my life I would have been married at eighteen—and yet I can see it would have been in no way the best sort of thing. No, dreams work rather in the way of wines—they only grow better and dearer with the passage of time.”

Sophia: “And what are your dreams?”

Amelia: “They bear little resemblance when voiced to how they appeared in my heart. However I will publish abroad that a tall, rather handsome, somewhat dark man figures strongly in them” (laughs) “But my tongue can say little of his demeanor, his carriage, and all the thousand things that make him mine.”

Sophia: “How easily you speak of your dreams. I prefer to keep mine locked away in my heart—at least they will not be pulled to shreds there.”

Amelia: “Why this sad countenance, cousin? In faith, you look as if the last man on earth had died in fearful agonies on your dainty slippers. I let my dreams out of their gilded cage that they may see the daylight while they may. True, I could coddle them and keep them close and young forever in my secret heart, but I have a dim hope that some of them may come homing back to me, at a distant day, not entirely empty-handed.”

Sophia: “A fair prospect, Amelia. But I have learned my heart well—it is not likely to change from now until forever.”

Amelia: “And that is something I have never been able to accomplish.”

Sophia: “Is your heart so complex?”

Amelia: “It is a perfect Chinese puzzle-box full of all a manner of secret drawers and springs. No sooner have I set my mind on contentment one day, then the next I am dreary and sad. I laugh in the face of the most toothed gale, and weep when the whole world is smiling.”

Sophia: “Well for my part I can easily comprehend why men do not love me—I am young and quiet and not very clever, but I do think it queer that you are not married yet.”

Amelia: “Do you? And would who among my acquaintance would you choose as my husband?” (winks at Sophia) “Ah, indeed you are right—there is no one that would have me.”

Sophia: “I do wonder they have not discovered your charms. There are other virtues beyond a fair face and figure.”

Amelia: “Well said, my dear Sophia. You speak the truth in saying so—beauty is not the only currency love accepts as payment.”

Sophia: “A beautiful heart and ladylike manners are more precious than a comely face.”

Amelia: “A truth again, darling, but until men look upon women with their hearts instead of their eyes, I fear we could all be perfect saints and it would make little difference.”

Sophia: “I wonder that you can speak so lightly on the subject, and smile over it too! Your admissions are full of horrid sentiments. Do you despair so over your singleness?”

Amelia: “Do not worry about me, Sophia. If I have learned one thing in my two years seniority over you, it is to laugh at myself. Only when I begin to take my ‘plight’ seriously do I succumb to vague sensations of melancholia. You may have my hand upon it—when I am laughing, I am well. Besides—I have found it excellent practice to poke fun at myself—it takes some of the sting away to laugh instead of cry.”

Sophia: “A Job’s comfort, Amelia.”

Amelia: “Were it anyone else’s comfort besides, I would not care. I am determined to be a cheerful single woman at eighty, if that is my lot.”

Sophia: “Again! These horrid premonitions!”

Amelia: “A premonition and a jest are two vastly different things, my dear Sophia, as you would learn if you listened a bit less with that wayward heart and a bit more with your ear. I admit that we women are partly to blame for the gentleman-populace’s demand of perfect Dianas. For though beauty is not the only coinage that has value, we have demanded payment in kind.”

Sophia: “What do you mean, pray tell?”

Amelia: “In those secret dreams of yours do you sigh over a man who more resembles a gorilla than any other piece of creation?”

Sophia: (horrified) “Indeed not!”

Amelia: “Then neither do the men spin daydreams of wart-spackled hags.”

Sophia: “You speak in terrible extremes.”

Amelia: “Do I?”

Sophia: “Ah. You do sometimes worry over getting a husband—I know that wistful look.”

Amelia: “It is less a problem of my getting a husband—I am rather more worried about a husband getting me, for the man must be the forward partner in all such cases.”

Sophia: “And they are so slow about it while we are both wasting away and bound to be old maids forever!”

Amelia: “How direly you put it, Sophia-dear. If that were to be my destiny, I would subscribe as a mail-order bride on Tuesday. However, an old maid is a condition of the heart, not the circumstance.”

Sophia: “If the men would only come we’d have nothing to worry about.”

Amelia: “Methinks you speak rather too hurriedly, Sophia.”

Sophia: “Probably. But oh, Amelia, is it not maddening to you that you have the respect of every young man you know?”

Amelia: “I cannot understand what you mean. Why should it be maddening?”

Sophia: “Do not affect denseness, cousin, you know what I mean. That you should be respected by all but loved by none!”

Amelia: “You’ve put a different paint to the idea and it begins to sound a woeful case. However, I would rather be respected by all than loved by a handful. ‘Twould be a slight upon my character otherwise.”

Sophia: “How so?”

Amelia: “Look upon it in the light of my heart: Were I held in contempt by all my acquaintance save a single man who was fond of me, how would that vouch for my character and his?”

Sophia: “Must you be so clever always?”

Amelia: “Must you be so bent on dismal ends for us all?”

Sophia: “There is not a single man who could turn your head, is there, Amelia?”

Amelia: “I should hope he was single.”

Sophia: “Ridiculous girl.”

Amelia: “Is this fair? One moment I am too clever for the world, the next a ridiculous girl? I troth your mind runs the gamut from one end to the other far too fast for me to keep up with it.”

Sophia: “Is there any man that has ever captured your fancy?”

Amelia: “I am a woman, Sophia. Does the question merit an answer?”

Sophia: “It does, and I demand one.”

Amelia: “Then I will tell you, there has been such a man in my past and there will be one, I am sure, in my future.”

Sophia: “And still you smile!”

Amelia: “Would you have me weep? There are but two choices in the case and I prefer the one that the gentlemen find more attractive.”

Sophia: “What a queer girl you are, Amelia. Sober one moment and merry the next.”

Amelia: “As is the very world you live in, Sophia. Look about you, darling. What is the largest cross you bear? Ah, you blush because it is that which we have spent half an hour talking of. You weep and sigh and walk about in moroseness because you haven’t a man to complete you. Is life not more than marriage, and is a woman not more than the man that she is joined to?”

Sophia: “It sounds wrong for you to say so.”

Amelia: “The only Man that can ever complete me has done so already.”

Sophia: “You speak aright, dear cousin.”

Amelia: “So then, why are you sad? Let us be merry while we have our youth. We are not entirely obsolete as we are.”

Sophia: “And if we are never married?”

Amelia: “Then it let it be said that we died in the pursuit of fine, noble things.”

Sophia: “Such as?”

Amelia: “Oh, such things as we ought—in seeking out charity, contentment, and devotion. Or, as we would have it: life, liberty, and the pursuit of a husband.”

The End


Abigail said...

Ahh.... this is a masterpiece. :)

ashley tahg said...

My favorite parts:

“How easily you speak of your dreams. I prefer to keep mine locked away in my heart—at least they will not be pulled to shreds there.”
(because this is me to a T.)

“Then it let it be said that we died in the pursuit of fine, noble things.”
(Because this is my pursuit)

LOVELY work, Rachel!

The Gentleman From Virginia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Gentleman From Virginia said...

That was really good ;)

Maria said...

I find myself saying, "Oh yes, that's me," to everything both characters say. An the inalieable rights of a single girl: life, liberty and the pursuit of a husband. :)
Loved it!

Anonymous said...

Amusing and thought provoking.

Unknown said...

This is truly a masterpiece, Rachel. And I agree with Maria Elisabeth.