Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

Three Plays by Padraic Colum

Part 2 out of 5

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.4 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

Sure you're not joking with me, Maire?

MAIRE
No.

_She rises_.

CONN
God forgive me, Maire, if I vexed you.

_Maire goes up to Conn's room_.

CONN
Anne, jewel, had Maire anything to say about Ardagh?

ANNE
We weren't talking about that at all.

JAMES
Play me a rouse on the fiddle and maybe the ballad will come
into my head.

_Maire comes down, a fiddle in her hands_.

MAIRE
Here's the fiddle that was your favourite, the Granard fiddle.

CONN
And this is the fiddle I'll bring with me to Ardagh.

ANNE
And is he going to Ardagh?

JAMES
And what about the ballad, Mister Hourican?

CONN
I leave it all to Maire now. How well she bethought of the
Granard fiddle.

MAIRE
Father, we were always together.

_She hands him the fiddle. Conn, Maire, James, Anne, are at table_.

CURTAIN

_ACT III_

_A week later: The scene is as in previous Acts. The table is near
entrance. It is laid for a meal. The time is near sunset. Conn
Hourican, Maire Hourican, and James Moynihan are seated at table.
Maire Hourican rises. She goes to entrance and remains looking out.
Conn and James go on eating_.

CONN
However it is, I could never play my best in this place. The
houses are too scattered, I often think. And it doesn't do for the
fiddler to remain too long in the one place. The people get too used
to him. Virgil made better songs than any man, but if Virgil was
sung in the fairs constant, divil much heed would be given to his
songs.

JAMES
Now, I often thought of that.

CONN
Another thing, James Moynihan, Ribbonism and the Land League
ruined the country.

_Maire goes out_.

JAMES
But sure we must be doing something for the Cause.

CONN
They were all Fenians here when I came into this country first,
over twenty years ago.

_He rises and goes into room_.

JAMES
Well, he's a great man, Conn Hourican. _(James rises and goes
to fire. Conn comes out of room, carrying a greatcoat)_ How do you
think you'll do at Ardagh?

CONN
I think I'll do very well at Ardagh, James.

_He leaves coat on settle_.

JAMES
Everything's ready for the start.

CONN
Ay, and it's near time for going. I'm playing very well lately,
James. It's the thought of being before people who'll know music. If
I was staying in this place any longer, James, I'd put my fiddle in
the thatch, and leave it there for the birds to pick holes in.

JAMES
But won't you be back here after the Feis at Ardagh?

CONN
Well, I will, for a while anyway.

JAMES And would you be going off again after a while?

CONN
I'm thinking that when my daughters are settled I'll have the
years before me. I was reared in a place south of this, and I'd like
to go back there for a while.

JAMES
But wouldn't you come back to us?

CONN
There's many's the place in Ireland that I never saw, town and
countryside. _(He takes the greatcoat off settle and puts it on him)_
Tell me, James Moynihan, is your father satisfied with the
settlement that Maire's making for yourself and Anne?

JAMES
My father is very well satisfied.

CONN
_(going towards his room)_ And so he ought to be, James Moynihan.

_Goes into his room_.

JAMES
My father had always a great liking for Anne. _(Anne comes out
of the other room. James Moynihan goes to her)_ May you never think,
Anne, that you made the bad choice when you took James Moynihan.

_They sit on settle_.

ANNE
Sure I was never fond of any one but yourself.

JAMES
And I never cared for any one after I saw you.

ANNE
I used to hear that you were fond of another girl.

JAMES
I was fond of the girl that used to be in the newspaper shop
in the town.

ANNE
And used you to talk with her?

JAMES
The elbows were worn out of my coat with leaning on the
counter to talk with her. But she married a policeman after that. He
was a friend of mine, too. It was me that got him the words and
music for "I'll hang my harp on a willow tree"--a song that he was
always looking for.

ANNE
Did you make any songs about the girl?

JAMES
I did not.

ANNE
Oh, James, I'm glad of that. I'm glad you made no songs about her.

JAMES
Are you content to marry me in the town of Ardagh, after the
Feis, as Maire wishes?

ANNE
It will be strange to be married in Ardagh, away from the
people I know.

JAMES
It will be lucky getting married after the Feis.

ANNE
James, it's a great trial for a girl to face marriage; but,
James, I'm very fond of you.

_James kisses her_.

JAMES
I don't know what to think of them writers who say that the
Irish girls haven't the heart for love.

ANNE
Is Maire outside?

JAMES
She went out.

ANNE
It's a wonder that Brian MacConnell isn't here before this.

_Anne rises. Maire comes in_.

ANNE
Is there no one coming here?

MAIRE
There is no one on the road.

ANNE
Brian MacConnell is late in coming.

_Maire comes up to the fire. Anne stands with her. James goes to
entrance, and remains looking out_.

MAIRE
I saw Brian yesterday.

ANNE
And did you tell him that you were going at the sunset?

MAIRE
I told him we were going in the evening.

ANNE
Maybe you were distant with Brian?

MAIRE
He looked like a man that something had happened to. Connor
Gilpatrick came up, and then I went away.

_Conn Hourican comes out of room. He has left the greatcoat in room.
He brings the fiddle with him. Maire and Anne go to the settle. They
talk._

JAMES
_(to Conn)_ What would you think of a row of trees planted
before the door?

_Conn leaves fiddle on dresser, and comes to him_.

CONN
They might be very becoming, James.

JAMES
My father was saying that the front looked very bare.

CONN
A row of trees, when they'd grow, would make a great difference.

JAMES
That's what my father was saying.

_They talk, Conn leaning on the half-door._

ANNE
I'm glad to be here. It would be very strange for me to be
married, and in another house.

MAIRE
I was thinking, Anne, that father and myself ought to stay a
while on the road, till you and James get settled here.

ANNE
Listen, Maire. James says that he'll be giving this place back
to you after a while. With this start he'll be able to get a house
and land near his father's place. He has fine schemes for making
this place prosperous. James, come here. _(James turns from door)_
Come here, James, and talk with Maire.

_James comes to girls, leaving Conn looking out. Maire rises._

JAMES
I'll make a path down to the road, and, with a row of trees
before the door, the place will be well worth looking at.

MAIRE
We won't know the place after a while.

JAMES
We can never forget, Maire, that it is to you that we owe the
place and the start in life.

MAIRE
I never looked on the place as my own.

JAMES
And now that the land is in Anne's name, my father will be
glad to stock the place.

MAIRE
You have all our will of the place. Father, speak to James and
tell him that he has your will of the place.

CONN
_(turning from door)_ Indeed you have, James, and we're overglad
to have Anne settled with a steady boy.

JAMES
Well, long life to you, Conn; and may the man of art never
want fame nor a friend.

CONN
_(going to dresser)_ Drink to that, James.

_He takes up a bottle and fills two glasses_.

JAMES
I never touch anything, Conn; but if Anne won't think bad of me,
I'll drink to your prosperity.

ANNE
I won't be watching you at all. _(She goes to door. To Maire)_
I'm going down the road, and if there's any one coming here, I'll
let you know.

_Anne goes out. James takes the glass from Conn_.

JAMES
Here's to the fiddler, first of all. May it be again like in
the days of Ireland's glory, when the men of art had their rights
and their dues.

_He drinks_.

CONN
Long life to yourself, James Moynihan. _(Conn drinks)_ I know
you a long time now, and I know nothing to your discredit. You're
one of the few people here that are to my liking. Well, if I'm
nothing to them, they're nothing to me. I lived my own life, and I
had the gift.

JAMES
_(with excitement)_ If Anne was here, I'd drink to her. I must
go after Anne. May she never repent of her choice. _(He goes to the
door, then turns round)_ But sure I'm forgetting the jewel of them
all, yourself, Maire Hourican. Long may you reign in splendour and
success, and in the wish of your heart.

_James Moynihan goes out. Conn Hourican goes back to the door, and
remains looking out. Maire stands at fire_.

CONN
It's strange to be looking across that door, and the sun
setting for our journey. And now we're letting the place go out of
our hands. Well, Honor Gilroy's bit of land has been brought to a
great many people.

_He comes down to dresser. Maire goes up to window, and remains
looking out_.

CONN
Is there any one coming here, Maire?

MAIRE
There is no one coming. It's no wonder James's father thought
the place was bare-looking.

CONN
Well, the bit of land is going to James, and I was saying that
it has been brought to a great many people.

_Maire takes paper out, and looks at it_.

CONN
What paper is that, Maire?

MAIRE
It's a paper that I have to put my name to. _(She goes and
sits at table)_ There's a pen and ink near your hand on the dresser,
and you might give them to me. It's about giving this place to Anne,
and James's father wants my name on the paper.

CONN
Well, isn't James's father the councillor, with his paper and
his signing? _(He brings pen and ink from dresser, and leaves them
on table. Maire makes preparations for writing. Conn lights candle
at fire, and brings it over to table)_ And does that give the place
to Anne for ever?

MAIRE
It gives it to herself. _(Maire signs the paper with the
slowness of one unaccustomed to writing)_ It will be a great change
for us when we come back to this place.

CONN
_(going to chair at fire)_ It will be a great change for you
and me, no matter what we say.

MAIRE
And now that James's father is putting stock on the land, the
Moynihans will have great call to the place.

CONN
Maire, your father is thinking of taking to the road.

MAIRE
And how long would you be staying on the roads?

CONN
Ah, what is there to bring me back to this country, Maire?

MAIRE
Sure you're not thinking of going on the roads altogether?

CONN
The road for the fiddler.

MAIRE
Would you leave the shelter and the settled life? Would you go
on the road by yourself?

CONN
Anne and yourself will be settled, and I'll have the years before me.

MAIRE
Then you'd go on the roads by yourself?

CONN
Sure I did it before, Maire.

MAIRE
Ah, but do you not remember the prayers that mother used to
say for us to get some shelter? Do you not remember how proud and
glad we were when we come by a place of our own?

CONN
The shelter was for Anne and yourself. What had I to do with it?

MAIRE
The Moynihans are not the sort to make us feel strangers in
the place.

CONN
The place was your own, Maire, and you gave it to your sister
rather than see her waiting years and years.

MAIRE
I came to give it to her after I saw how hard I was on yourself.

CONN
Listen, my jewel, even if the Moynihans had nothing to do with
the place, what would Conn Hourican the fiddler be doing in this
country?

MAIRE
Ah, there are many you might play to; there are lots that know
about music. There's Michael Gilpatrick and John Molloy--

CONN
And that's all, Maire. MAIRE You might go to Flynn's an odd time.

CONN
And what do they know about music in Flynn's? Young Corney
Myles was up there a while ago, and you'd think, from what the men
said, that there was never the like of Corney for playing, and the
boy isn't three years at the fiddle,

MAIRE
Father, stay here where the shelter is.

CONN
Sure, I'd be getting ould, and staying in the chimney-corner,
with no one to talk to me, for you'd be going to a place of your own,
and Anne? after a while, would have too much to mind.

MAIRE
The people here are kinder than you think.

CONN
But what has Conn Hourican to do with them anyhow? The very
greatest were glad of my playing, and were proud to know me.

MAIRE
I know that, father.

CONN
Well, one is always meeting new life upon the roads, and I want
to spend the years I have before me going from place to place.

MAIRE
_(going to him)_ If you took to the roads, I'd think I ought
to go with you, for we were always together.

CONN
Ah, Maire, there are some that would keep you here.

MAIRE
Do you know who would keep me here?

CONN
Brian MacConnell is very fond of you.

MAIRE
Do you know that, father?

CONN
And I know that you are fond of Brian. _(There is no answer)_
That my jewel may have luck and prosperity. _(Goes towards room door,
leaving Maire standing there)_ I'll be taking this fiddle, Maire.

MAIRE
Oh, are we going on the roads?

CONN
To Ardagh, Maire.

MAIRE
To Ardagh.

CONN
I'll go up now, and make ready.

_He takes candle off table, and goes back towards room door._

MAIRE
Oh, what do I know about Brian MacConnell, after all?

CONN
Brian is wild, but he is free-handed.

MAIRE
Wild and free-handed! Are all men like that? Wild and
free-handed! But that's not the sort of man I want to look to now.

CONN
That's nothing to Brian's discredit. MAIRE Ah, what do I know
about Brian MacConnell, except that he's a man of quarrels and
broken words?

_Conn holds up his hand warningly. Brian MacConnell comes to door_.

CONN
_(opening half-door)_ You're welcome, Brian.

BRIAN
Thank you for the good word, Conn.

_He comes in_.

MAIRE
You're welcome, Brian MacConnell.

CONN
_(taking candle off dresser)_ I was going up to the room to
make ready, but Maire will be glad to speak to you. I knew you
wouldn't let us go without wishing us the luck of the road.

_Goes up to room. Maire goes and sits on settle_.

MAIRE
Brian MacConnell has come to us again.

BRIAN
I'm before you again. Let me tell you what I was doing since I
was here last.

MAIRE
What were you doing, Brian? Making quarrels, may be?

BRIAN
_(startled)_ Why do you say that?

MAIRE
I'm thinking that you were doing what would become you, Brian
MacConnell, with the free hand and the wild heart.

BRIAN
They were telling you about me?

MAIRE
I know you, Brian MacConnell.

BRIAN
You don't know how I care for you, or you couldn't talk to me
like that. Many's the time I left the spade in the ground, and went
across the bogs and the rushes, to think of you. You come between me
and the work I'd be doing. Ay, and if Heaven opened out before me,
you would come between me and Heaven itself.

MAIRE
It's easy taking a girl's heart.

BRIAN
And I long to have more than walls and a roof to offer you.
I'd have jewels and gold for you. I'd have ships on the sea for you.

MAIRE
It's easy to take a girl's heart with the words of a song.

BRIAN
I'm building a house for you, Maire. I'm raising it day by day.

MAIRE
You left me long by myself.

BRIAN
It's often I came to see the light in the window.

MAIRE
Brian, my father wants to go back to the roads.

_Brian goes and sits by her_.

BRIAN
I know that Conn would like to go back.

MAIRE
He wants to go on the roads, to go by himself from place to
place.

BRIAN
Maybe he has the right to go.

MAIRE
He has the right to go. It's the life of a fiddler to be on
the roads.

BRIAN
But you won't go on the roads.

MAIRE
Oh, what am I to do, Brian?

BRIAN
Do you think of me at all, Maire?

MAIRE
Indeed I think of you. Until to-day I'd neither laugh nor cry
but on account of you.

BRIAN
I'm building a house, and it will be white and fine, and it's
for you that I'm building the house.

MAIRE
You're going to ask for my promise.

BRIAN
Give me your promise before you go to Ardagh.

_Maire rises_.

MAIRE
If I gave you my promise now, I'd have great delight in coming
back to this place again.

BRIAN
You won't deny me, my jewel of love?

MAIRE
Oh, I'm very fond of Aughnalee. I feel that I was reared in
the place. I'd like to live all my life in the place.

BRIAN
And why would you go from it? MAIRE You might come with us to
Ardagh, Brian.

BRIAN
Your father might stay with us when he'd be in this country.

MAIRE
That's true; I'm glad to think on that.

BRIAN
Give me your promise, Maire.

MAIRE
We'll talk on the road. There's the blackbird. I'll hear him
every evening on the road, and I'll think I'm a day nearer home.

BRIAN
Sure you'd leave them all to come with me.

MAIRE
Ay, I think I would. _(She takes up a new kerchief, and puts
it on her, standing before the mirror)_ Do you know where I saw you
first, Brian?

BRIAN
Where was it, Maire?

MAIRE
In a field by the road. You were breaking a horse.

BRIAN
I was always a good hand with a horse.

MAIRE
The poor beast was covered with foam and sweat, and at last
you made it still. I thought it was grand then.

_She sings_.

I know where I'm going,
I know who's going with me,
I know who I love,
But the dear knows who I'll marry.

Are your brothers with you, Brian?

BRIAN
Is it building with me?

MAIRE
Building with you?

_She sings_.

Some say he's dark,
I say he's bonny.
He's the flower of the flock,
My charming, coaxing Johnny.

BRIAN
_(with sombre passion)_ No. My brothers are not with me. I
quarrelled with them all and I am nearly heart broken for what I did.

MAIRE
Ah, Brian MacConnell, I don't know what to say to you at all.

BRIAN
You'll give me your promise, Maire?

MAIRE
Promise. I've no promise to give to any man.

BRIAN
Remember that these days past I had only yourself to think on.

MAIRE
There was never a man but failed me some time. They all leave
me to face the world alone.

BRIAN
You said that I might go with you as far as Ardagh.

MAIRE
No. You're not to come. Myself and my father go to Ardagh by
ourselves.

BRIAN
How was I to know that you would take that quarrel to heart?

MAIRE
I thought you were strong, but I see now that you are only a
man who forces himself to harsh behaviour. I have my own way to go;
my father wants to go back to the roads, and it's right that I
should be with him, to watch over him.

BRIAN
What shelter will you have on the road?

MAIRE
I'll have the quiet of evening, and my own thoughts, and I'll
follow the music; I'll laugh and hold up my head again.

BRIAN
Maire Hourican, would you leave me?

MAIRE
What can I do for you, Brian MacConnell?

_Brian goes to settle, and puts his hands before his eyes. She goes
to him_.

BRIAN
You have thought for your father, and you have no thought for me.

MAIRE
Indeed I have thought for you.

BRIAN
O Maire, my jewel, do you care for me at all?

_She kisses him_.

BRIAN
Maire!

_She rises_.

MAIRE
I'm going to call my father.

BRIAN
You go to him, and you go from me.

MAIRE
You are both my care: my father and yourself.

BRIAN
What will become of me when you go?

MAIRE
Isn't it right, Brian, that I should be with my father on the
roads? Even if I was in your house, I would be thinking that I
should watch over him.

BRIAN
Then it's good-bye you'd be saying?

MAIRE
Good-bye, Brian MacConnell.

BRIAN
_(at door)_ Good-bye, Maire Hourican; gold and jewels, ships
on the sea, may you have them all.

_He goes out. With a cry Maire follows him to the door. She stands
before door for a minute, then she goes back to table, and throwing
herself down, remains with her head buried in her hands. James
Moynihan comes in. Maire raises her head, and remains looking before
her. James comes to table, and puts flowers beside Maire_.

JAMES
We gathered them for you, Maire. They're the woodbine. We were
saying that you would be glad of the flower of the road. _(Maire
puts her hand on the flowers. James goes to the fire)_ Anne remembers
a good deal about the road. She minds of the grassy ditches, where
the two of you used to catch the young birds.

MAIRE
I mind of them too.

JAMES
And the women that used to be with your mother, that used to
tell you the stories.

MAIRE
And the things we used to talk about after a story! There's
the turn of the road, and who's waiting for you? If it's your
sweetheart, what will you say to him?

JAMES
I'm often taken with the thought of the road! Going to the
fair on a bright morning, I'd often wish to leave everything aside
and follow the road.

_A fiddle is heard outside. Conn Hourican comes down, dressed for
the road. He has on the greatcoat. He carries fiddle. He puts fiddle
on dresser_.

CONN
What music is that, James?

JAMES
Some of the boys are coming to meet you, and they have a
fiddle with them.

CONN
Well, now, that's friendly of the boys.

JAMES
I'll go out now, and let them know that you're coming. _(He goes
to door)_ Brian MacConnell turned the other way, and Anne
went after him.

_He goes out_.

CONN
_(anxiously)_ Why did Brian MacConnell go away?

MAIRE
We didn't agree; no, not after all you said.

CONN
Maybe we'll see Brian at Ardagh.

MAIRE
How would he ever come back when I bid him go from me?

CONN
You bid Brian go from you! _(He goes to the window)_ And there
was myself that had the mind to go on the road that I see stretched
out before me.

MAIRE
_(going to him)_ You need never come back here.

CONN
I'll come back with yourself.

MAIRE
I remember the time when we were on the roads. I remember
sights we used to see! Little towns here, and big towns far away,
and always the road.

CONN
And the lasting kindness of the road!

MAIRE
There is no need for you to come back here, father.

CONN
And would you follow the road?

MAIRE
Go back to the fiddler's life, and I'll go back with you. Well
see Anne and James at Ardagh, and we'll be at their marriage.
_(She turns round as though to take farewell of the house)_ It's
right that this place should go to Anne. The house wasn't for you,
and it wasn't for me either, I begin to think.

_Anne comes in_.

ANNE
_(with a cry)_ Maire, you are going on the roads!

MAIRE
How do you know that?

ANNE
You bid Brian MacConnell go from you, and where else would you
go but on the roads?

_She goes to the settle and throws herself down, her hands before
her face. Maire puts cloak on. Conn goes to Anne. He takes her hands
from her face and holds them_.

CONN
Don't be grieving that we're going from you, Anne. When you
come back here again, your own care will begin. I know that you
grieve for Maire going from you, and my own heart is unquiet for her.
_(He goes to dresser, takes fiddle and wraps it up. He puts hat on.
Maire goes to settle, and sits beside Anne)_ Well, here's Conn
Hourican the fiddler going on his travels again. No man knows how
his own life will end; but them who have the gift have to follow the
gift. I'm leaving this house behind me; and maybe the time will come
when I'll be climbing the hills and seeing this little house with
the tears in my eyes. I'm leaving the land behind me, too; but
what's land after all against the music that comes from the far,
strange places, when the night is on the ground, and the bird in the
grass is quiet?

_The fiddle is heard again. Conn Hourican goes to door. Maire
embraces Anne again, rises and goes to door. Anne follows slowly.
Conn goes out. Maire turns to Anne_.

MAIRE
Tell Brian MacConnell that when we meet again maybe we can be
kinder to each other.

_Maire Hourican goes out with Conn. Anne is left standing at the
door in the dusk_.

_END OF PLAY_

THE FIDDLER'S HOUSE was first produced on 21st March, 1907, by the
Theatre of Ireland, in the Rotunda, Dublin, with the following cast:
--

CONN HOURICAN Joseph Goggin
MAIRE HOURICAN Maire MacShiubhlaigh
ANNE HOURICAN Eileen O'Doherty
BRIAN MACCONNELL Ed. Keegan
JAMES MOYNIHAN P. MacShiubhlaigh.

_THE LAND:
AN AGRARIAN COMEDY IN THREE ACTS_

CHARACTERS

MURTAGH COSGAR, a farmer
MATT, his son
SALLY, his daughter
MARTIN DOURAS, a farmer
CORNELIUS, his son
ELLEN, his daughter
A group of men,
A group of boys and girls.

The scene is laid in the Irish Midlands, present time.

_ACT I_

_The interior of Murtagh Cosgar's. It is a large flagged kitchen
with the entrance on the right. The dresser is below the entrance.
There is a large fireplace in the back, and a room door to the left
of the fireplace; the harness-rack is between room door and fireplace.
The yard door is on the left. The table is down from the room door.
There are benches around fireplace_.

_It is the afternoon of a May day. Sally Cosgar is kneeling, near
the entrance chopping up cabbage-leaves with a kitchen-knife. She is
a girl of twenty-five, dark, heavily built, with the expression of a
half-awakened creature. She is coarsely dressed, and has a sacking
apron. She is quick at work, and rapid and impetuous in speech. She
is talking to herself_.

SALLY
Oh, you may go on grunting, yourself and your litter, it won't
put me a bit past my own time. You oul' black baste of a sow, sure
I'm slaving to you all the spring. We'll be getting rid of yourself
and your litter soon enough, and may the devil get you when we lose
you.

_Cornelius comes to the door. He is a tall young man with a slight
stoop. His manners are solemn, and his expression somewhat vacant_.

CORNELIUS
Good morrow, Sally. May you have the good of the day.
_(He comes in)_

SALLY
_(impetuously)_ Ah, God reward you, Cornelius Douras, for
coming in. I'm that busy keeping food to a sow and a litter of pigs
that I couldn't get beyond the gate to see any one.

CORNELIUS
_(solemnly)_ You're a good girl, Sally. You're not like
some I know. There are girls in this parish who never put hands to a
thing till evening, when the boys do be coming in. Then they begin
to stir themselves the way they'll be thought busy and good about a
house.

SALLY
_(pleased and beginning to chop again with renewed energy)_ Oh,
it's true indeed for you, Cornelius. There are girls that be decking
themselves, and sporting are themselves all day.

CORNELIUS
I may say that I come over to your father's, Murtagh
Cosgar's house, this morning, thinking to meet the men.

SALLY
What men, Cornelius Douras?

CORNELIUS
Them that are going to meet the landlord's people with an
offer for the land. We're not buying ourselves, unfortunately, but
this is a great day--the day of the redemption, my father calls
it--and I'd like to have some hand in the work if it was only to say
a few words to the men.

SALLY
It's a wonder Martin, your father isn't on the one errand with
you.

CORNELIUS
We came out together, but the priest stopped father and us
on the road. Father Bartley wanted his advice, I suppose. Ah, it's a
pity the men won't have some one like my father with them! He was in
gaol for the Cause. Besides, he's a well-discoursed man, and a
reading man, and, moreover, a man with a classical knowledge of
English, Latin, and the Hibernian vernacular.

_Martin Douras comes in. He is a man of about sixty, with a refined,
scholarly look. His manner is subdued and nervous. He has a stoop,
and is clean-shaven._

CORNELIUS
I was just telling Sally here what a great day it is,
father.

MARTIN DOURAS
Ay, it's a great day, no matter what our own troubles
may be. I should be going home again. _(He takes a newspaper out of
his pocket, and leaves it on the table)_

CORNELIUS
Wait for the men, father.

MARTIN DOURAS
Maybe they'll be here soon. Is Murtagh in, Sally?

_Cornelius takes the paper up, and begins to read it_.

SALLY
He's down at the bottoms, Martin.

MARTIN DOURAS
He's going to Arvach Fair, maybe.

SALLY
He is in troth.

MARTIN DOURAS
I'll be asking him for a lift. He'll be going to the
Fair when he come back from the lawyer's, I suppose?
Ay, he'll be going to-night. _(She gathers the chopped cabbage
into her apron, and goes to the door)_

SALLY
_(at the door)_ Cornelius.

_Cornelius puts down the paper, and goes to the door. Sally goes out_.

MARTIN DOURAS
Cornelius!

_Cornelius goes to Martin_.

SALLY
_(outside)_ Cornelius, give me a hand with this.

_Cornelius turns again_.

MARTIN DOURAS
Cornelius, I want to speak to you.

_Cornelius goes to him_.

MARTIN DOURAS
There is something on my mind, Cornelius.

CORNELIUS
What is it, father?

MARTIN DOURAS
It's about our Ellen. Father Bartley gave me news for her.
"I've heard of a school that'll suit Ellen," says he. "It's in
the County Leitrim."

CORNELIUS
If it was in Dublin itself, Ellen is qualified to take it
on. And won't it be grand to have one of our family teaching in a
school?

MARTIN DOURAS
_(with a sigh)_ I wouldn't stand in her way, Cornelius;
I wouldn't stand in her way. But won't it be a poor thing for an old
man like me to have no one to discourse with in the long evenings?
For when I'm talking with you, Cornelius, I feel like a boy who
lends back all the marbles he's won, and plays again, just for the
sake of the game.

CORNELIUS
We were in dread of Ellen going to America at one time,
and then she went in for the school. Now Matt Cosgar may keep her
from the school. Maybe we won't have to go further than this house
to see Ellen.

MARTIN DOURAS
I'm hoping it'll be like that; but I'm in dread that
Murtagh Cosgar will never agree to it. He's a hard man to deal with.
Still Murtagh and myself will be on the long road to-night, and we
might talk of it. I'm afeard of Ellen going.

CORNELIUS
_(at the door)_ It's herself that's coming here, father.

MARTIN DOURAS
Maybe she has heard the news and is coming to tell us.

_Ellen comes in. She has a shawl over her head which she lays aside.
She is about twenty-five, slightly built, nervous, emotional_.

ELLEN
Is it only ourselves that's here?

MARTIN DOURAS
Only ourselves. Did you get any news to bring you over, Ellen?

ELLEN
No news. It was the shine of the day that brought me out; and
I was thinking, too, of the girls that are going to America in the
morning, and that made me restless.

_Martin and Cornelius look significantly at each other_.

MARTIN DOURAS
And did you see Matt, Ellen?

ELLEN
He was in the field and I coming up; but I did not wait for him,
as I don't want people to see us together. _(Restlessly)_ I don't
know how I can come into this house, for it's always like Murtagh
Cosgar. There's nothing of Matt in it at all. If Matt would come away.
There are little labourers' houses by the side of the road. Many's
the farmer's son became a labourer for the sake of a woman he cared
for!

CORNELIUS
And are you not thinking about the school at all, Ellen?

ELLEN
I'll hear about it some time, I suppose.

MARTIN DOURAS
You're right to take it that way, Ellen. School doesn't mean
scholarship now. Many's the time I'm telling Cornelius that a
man farming the land, with a few books on his shelf and a few
books in his head, has more of the scholar's life about him than the
young fellows who do be teaching in schools and teaching in colleges.

CORNELIUS
That's all very well, father. School and scholarship isn't
the one. But think of the word "Constantinople!" I could leave off
herding and digging every time I think on that word!

MARTIN DOURAS
Ah, it's a great word. A word like that would make you
think for days. And there are many words like that.

ELLEN
It's not so much the long words that we've to learn and teach
now. When will you be home, father? Will Cornelius be with you?

MARTIN DOURAS
Ellen, I have news for you. There is a school in
Leitrim that Father Bartley can let you have.

ELLEN
In Leitrim! Did you tell Matt about it?

MARTIN DOURAS
I did not.

_Sally is heard calling "Cornelius." Cornelius goes to the door._

CORNELIUS
Here's Matt now. The benefit of the day to you, Matt.

_He stands aside to let Matt enter. Matt Cosgar is a young peasant
of about twenty-eight. He is handsome and well-built. He is dressed
in a trousers, shirt, and coat, and has a felt hat on. Cornelius
goes out._

MATT
_(going to Ellen)_ You're welcome, Ellen. Good morrow, Martin.
It's a great day for the purchase, Martin.

MARTIN DOURAS
A great day, indeed, thank God.

MATT
Ah, it's a great thing to feel the ownership of the land, Martin.

MARTIN DOURAS
I don't doubt but it is.

MATT
Look at the young apple-trees, Ellen. Walking up this morning,
I felt as glad of them as a young man would be glad of the
sweetheart he saw coming towards him.

ELLEN
Ay, there's great gladness and shine in the day.

MATT
It seems to trouble you.

ELLEN
It does trouble me.

MATT
Why?

ELLEN
Everything seems to be saying, "There's something here,
there's something going."

MATT
Ay, a day like this often makes you feel that way. It's a great
day for the purchase though. How many years ought we to offer, Ellen?

_Martin goes out_.

ELLEN
Twenty years, I suppose---_(suddenly)_ Matt!

MATT
What is it, Ellen?

ELLEN
I have got an offer of a school in the County Leitrim.

MATT
I wish they'd wait, Ellen. I wish they'd wait till I had
something to offer you.

ELLEN
I'm a long time waiting here, Matt.

MATT
Sure we're both young.

ELLEN
This is summer now. There will be autumn in a month or two.
The year will have gone by without bringing me anything.

MATT
He'll be letting me have my own way soon, my father will.

ELLEN
Murtagh Cosgar never let a child of his have their own way.

MATT
When the land's bought out, he'll be easier to deal with.

ELLEN
When he owns the land, he'll never let a son of his marry a
girl without land or fortune.

MATT
Ellen, Ellen, I'd lose house and land for you. Sure you know
that, Ellen. My brothers and sisters took their freedom. They went
from this house and away to the ends of the world. Maybe I don't
differ from them so much. But I've put my work into the land, and
I'm beginning to know the land. I won't lose it, Ellen. Neither will
I lose you.

ELLEN
O Matt, what's the land after all? Do you ever think of America?
The streets, the shops, the throngs?

MATT
The land is better than that when you come to know it, Ellen.

ELLEN
May be it is.

MATT
I've set my heart on a new house. Ay and he'll build one for us
when he knows my mind.

ELLEN
Do you think he'd build a new house for us, Matt? I could
settle down if we were by ourselves. Maybe it's true that there are
things stirring and we could begin a new life, even here.

MATT
We can, Ellen, we can. Hush! father's without.

_Martin Douras and Murtagh Cosgar are heard exchanging greetings.
Then Murtagh comes in, Martin behind him. Murtagh Cosgar is about
sixty. He is a hard, strong man, seldom-spoken, but with a flow of
words and some satirical power. He is still powerful, mentally and
physically. He is clean shaven, and wears a sleeved waistcoat, heavy
boots, fell hat. He goes towards Ellen._

MURTAGH
Good morrow to you. _(Turning to Matt)_ When I get speaking
to that Sally again, she'll remember what I say. Giving cabbage to
the pigs, and all the bad potatoes in the house. And I had to get up
in the clouds of the night to turn the cows out of the young meadow.
No thought, no care about me. Let you take the harness outside and
put a thong where there's a strain in it.

_Murtagh goes to the fire. Matt goes to the harness-rack. Martin
Douras and Ellen are at the door._

MARTIN DOURAS
Ellen, I'll have news for you when I see you again.
I've made up my mind to that.

ELLEN
Are you going to the fair, father?

MARTIN DOURAS
Ay, with Murtagh.

ELLEN
God be with you, father. _(She goes out)_

MARTIN DOURAS
What purchase are you thinking of offering, Murtagh?

MURTAGH COSGAR
Twenty years.

MARTIN DOURAS
It's fair enough. Oh, it's a great day for the country,
no matter what our own troubles may be.

_Matt has taken down the harness. He takes some of it up and goes
out to yard._

MURTAGH COSGAR
_(with some contempt)_ It's a pity you haven't a share
in the day after all.

MARTIN DOURAS
Ay, it's a pity indeed.

_Murtagh goes to the door._

MURTAGH COSGAR
_(with suppressed enthusiasm)_ From this day out
we're planted in the soil.

MARTIN DOURAS
Ay, we're planted in the soil.

MURTAGH COSGAR
God, it's a great day.

_Cornelius comes back._

CORNELIUS
This is a memorial occasion, Murtagh Cosgar, and I wish
you the felicitations of it. I met the delegates and I coming in,
and I put myself at the head of them. It's the day of the redemption,
Murtagh Cosgar.

_Murtagh, without speaking, goes up to the room._

CORNELIUS
He's gone up to get the papers. Father, we must give the
men understanding for this business. They must demand the mineral
rights. Here they are. Men of Ballykillduff, I greet your entrance.

_Six men enter discussing._

FIRST
MAN We'll leave it to Murtagh Cosgar. Murtagh Cosgar isn't a
grazier or a shopkeeper.

SECOND MAN
It's the graziers and shopkeepers that are putting a
business head on this.

THIRD MAN
If we're all on the one offer, we can settle it at the
lawyer's.

FOURTH MAN
Sure it's settled for twenty years on the first-term rents.

FIFTH MAN
There are some here that would let it go as high as
twenty-three.

SIXTH MAN
What does Murtagh Cosgar say?

SOME OF THE MEN
Well take the word from him.

MARTIN DOURAS
He mentioned twenty years.

SECOND MAN
Not as a limit, surely?

OTHER MEN
We're not for any higher offer.

SECOND MAN
Well, men, this is all I have to say. If you can get it
for twenty, take it, and my blessing with it. But I want to be
dealing with the Government, and not with landlords and agents. To
have a straight bargain between myself and the Government, I'd put it
up to twenty-three, ay, up to twenty-five years' purchase.

THIRD MAN
More power to you, Councillor. There's some sense in that.

SIXTH MAN
I'm with the Councillor.

FIRST MAN
It's all very well for graziers and shopkeepers to talk, but what
about the small farmer?

FOURTH MAN
The small farmer. That's the man that goes under.

FIFTH MAN
_(knocking at the table)_ Murtagh Cosgar! Murtagh Cosgar!

CORNELIUS
I tell you, men, that Murtagh Cosgar is in agreement with myself.
Twenty years, I say, first term, no more. Let my father speak.

MARTIN DOURAS
There's a great deal to be said on both sides, men.

FIRST MAN
Here's Murtagh now.

MURTAGH COSGAR
Twenty years first term, that's what I agreed to.

SECOND MAN
And if they don't rise to that, Murtagh?

MURTAGH COSGAR
Let them wait. We can wait. I won't be going with you, men. I had a
few words with the agent about the turbary this morning, and maybe
you're better without me.

FIRST MAN
All right, Murtagh. We can wait.

FOURTH MAN
We know our own power now.

FIFTH MAN
Come on, men.

MURTAGH COSGAR
If they don't rise to it, bide a while. We can make a new offer.

SECOND MAN
We want to be settled by the Fall.

THIRD MAN
The Councillor is right. We must be settled by the Fall.

SIXTH MAN
A man who's a farmer only has little sense for a business like this.

SECOND MAN
We'll make the offer, Murtagh Cosgar, and bide a while. But we must
be settled this side of the Fall. We'll offer twenty years first term.

MURTAGH COSGAR
Do, and God speed you.

CORNELIUS _(to the men going out)_
I told you Murtagh Cosgar and myself are on the one offer. And
Murtagh is right again when he says that you can bide your time. But
make sure of the mineral rights, men; make sure of the mineral rights.

_The men go out; Cornelius follows them._

MURTAGH COSGAR
_(with irony)_ Musha, but that's a well-discoursed lad. It must
be great to hear the two of you at it.

MARTIN DOURAS
God be good to Cornelius. There's little of the world's harm in the
boy.

MURTAGH COSGAR
He and my Sally would make a great match of it. She's a bright one,
too.

MARTIN DOURAS
Murtagh Cosgar, have you no feeling for your own flesh and blood?

MURTAGH COSGAR
Too much feeling, maybe. _(He stands at the door in silence. With
sudden enthusiasm)_ Ah, but that's the sight to fill one's heart.
Lands ploughed and spread. And all our own; all our own.

MARTIN DOURAS
All our own, ay. But we made a hard fight for them.

MURTAGH COSGAR
Ay.

MARTIN DOURAS
Them that come after us will never see them as we're seeing them now.

MURTAGH COSGAR
_(turning round)_ Them that come after us. Isn't that a great thought,
Martin Douras? and isn't it a great thing that we're able to pass this
land on to them, and it redeemed for ever? Ay, and their manhood spared
the shame that our manhood knew. Standing in the rain with our hats off
to let a landlord--ay, or a landlord's dog-boy--pass the way!

MARTIN DOURAS
_(mournfully)_ May it be our own generation that will be in it. Ay,
but the young are going fast; the young are going fast.

MURTAGH COSGAR
_(sternly)_ Some of them are no loss.

MARTIN DOURAS
Ten of your own children went, Murtagh Cosgar.

MURTAGH COSGAR
I never think of them. When they went from my control, they went
from me altogether. There's the more for Matt.

MARTIN DOURAS
_(moistening his mouth, and beginning very nervously)_ Ay, Matt.
Matt's a good lad.

MURTAGH COSGAR
There's little fear of him leaving now.

MARTIN DOURAS _(nervously)_
Maybe, maybe. But, mind you, Murtagh Cosgar, there are
things--little things, mind you. Least, ways, what we call little
things. And, after all, who are we to judge whether a thing--

MURTAGH COSGAR
Is there anything on your mind, Martin Douras?

MARTIN DOURAS
_(hurriedly)_ No; oh, no. I was thinking--I was thinking, maybe you'd
give me a lift towards Arvach, if you'd be going that way this night.

MURTAGH COSGAR
Ay, why not?

MARTIN DOURAS
And we could talk about the land, and about Matt, too. Wouldn't it
be a heart-break if any of our children went--because of a thing we
might--

MURTAGH COSGAR
_(fiercely)_ What have you to say about Matt?

MARTIN DOURAS
_(stammering)_ Nothing except in a--in what you might call a general
way. There's many a young man left house and land for the sake of some
woman, Murtagh Cosgar.

MURTAGH COSGAR
There's many a fool did it.

MARTIN DOURAS
_(going to door)_ Ay, maybe; maybe. I'll be going now, Murtagh.

MURTAGH COSGAR
Stop! _(clutching him)_ You know about Matt. What woman is he
thinking of?

MARTIN DOURAS
_(frightened)_ We'll talk about it again, Murtagh. I said I'd be back.

MURTAGH COSGAR
We'll talk about it now. Who is she? What name has she?

MARTIN DOURAS
_(breaking from him and speaking with sudden dignity)_ It's a good
name, Murtagh Cosgar; it's my own name.

MURTAGH COSGAR
Your daughter! Ellen! You're--

MARTIN DOURAS
Ay, a good name, and a good girl.

MURTAGH COSGAR
And do you think a son of mine would marry a daughter of yours?

MARTIN DOURAS
What great difference is between us, after all?

MURTAGH COSGAR
_(fiercely)_ The daughter of a man who'd be sitting over his fire
reading his paper, and the clouds above his potatoes, and the cows
trampling his oats. _(Martin is beaten down)_ Do you know me at all,
Martin Douras? I came out of a little house by the roadway and built
my house on a hill. I had many children. Coming home in the long
evenings, or kneeling still when the prayers would be over, I'd have
my dreams. A son in Aughnalee, a son in Ballybrian, a son in Dunmore,
a son of mine with a shop, a son of mine saying Mass in Killnalee.
And I have a living name--a name in flesh and blood.

MARTIN DOURAS
God help you, Murtagh Cosgar.

MURTAGH COSGAR
But I've a son still. It's not your daughter he'll be marrying.
_(He strides to the door and calls Matt)_

MARTIN DOURAS _(going to him)_ Murtagh Cosgar--for God's sake--we're
both old men, Murtagh Cosgar.

MURTAGH COSGAR
You've read many stories, Martin Douras, and you know many endings.
You'll see an ending now, and it will be a strong ending, and a
sudden ending.

_Matt comes in_.

MURTAGH COSGAR
You're wanted here.

MATT
I heard you call. _(He sits on table)_ So they're sticking to the
twenty years.

MARTIN DOURAS
_(eagerly)_ Twenty years, Matt, and they'll get it for twenty. O, it's
a great day for you both! Father and son, you come into a single
inheritance. What the father wins the son wields.

MURTAGH COSGAR
What the father wins, the son wastes.

MATT
What's the talk of father and son?

MARTIN DOURAS
They're the one flesh and blood. There's no more strife between them
than between the right hand and the left hand.

MURTAGH COSGAR
_(to Matt)_ We were talking about you. We were fixing a match for you.

MATT
_(startled, looking at Martin Douras)_ Fixing a match for me?
_(He rises)_

MURTAGH COSGAR
Ay, Matt. Don't you think it's time to be making a match for you?

MATT
_(sullenly, going to the door)_ Maybe it is. When you have chosen
the woman, call. I'll be without.

MURTAGH COSGAR
_(going to him)_ We haven't chosen yet. But it won't be Martin Douras'
daughter, anyhow.

MATT
Stop. You drove all your living children away, except Sally and
myself. You think Sally and myself are the one sort.

MURTAGH COSGAR
_(tauntingly)_ Martin's daughter, Corney's sister. That's the girl
for you!

MATT
We're not the one sort, I tell you. Martin Douras, isn't he a
foolish old man that would drive all his children from him? What
would his twenty years' purchase be to him then?

MURTAGH COSGAR
It wasn't for my children I worked. No, no; thank God; it wasn't for
my children I worked. Go, if you will. I can be alone.

MARTIN DOURAS
O Murtagh, Murtagh, sure you know you can't be alone. We're two old
men, Murtagh.

MURTAGH COSGAR
He daren't go.

MATT
Because I'm the last of them he thinks he can dare me like that.

MURTAGH COSGAR
There was more of my blood in the others.

MATT
Do you say that?

MARTIN DOURAS
Don't say it again. For God's sake, don't say it again, Murtagh.

MURTAGH COSGAR
I do say it again. Them who dared to go had more of my blood in them!

MATT
Ah, you have put me to it now, and I'm glad, glad. A little house, a
bit of land. Do you think they could keep me here?

MURTAGH COSGAR
_(to Martin Douras)_ It's his own way he wants. I never had my own
way. _(To Matt)_ You're my last son. You're too young to know the
hardship there was in rearing you.

MATT
_(exultantly)_ Your last son; that won't keep me here. I'm the last
of my name, but that won't keep me here. I leave you your lands, your
twenty years' purchase. Murtagh Cosgar, Murtagh Cosgar! isn't that a
great name, Martin Douras--a name that's well planted, a name for
generations? Isn't he a lucky man that has a name for generations?
_(He goes out)_

MURTAGH COSGAR
He can't go. How could he go and he the last of the name. Close the
door, I say.

MARTIN DOURAS
He'll go to Ellen, surely. We'll lose both of them. Murtagh Cosgar,
God comfort you and me.

MURTAGH COSGAR
Ellen; who's Ellen? Ay, that daughter of yours. Close the door, I say.

_He sits down at fireplace. Martin Douras closes door and goes to
him_.

CURTAIN

ACT II

_Interior of Martin Douras'. The entrance is at back left. There
is a dresser against wall back; a table down from dresser; room
doors right and left. The fireplace is below the room door right;
there are stools and chairs about it. There is a little bookcase
left of the dresser, and a mirror beside it. There are patriotic and
religious pictures on the wall. There are cups and saucers on table,
and a teapot beside fire. It is afternoon still. Ellen Douras is
near the fire reading. Cornelius comes in slowly_.

CORNELIUS
I left the men down the road a bit. We ought to take great pride out
of this day, Ellen. Father did more than any of them to bring it
about.

ELLEN
He suffered more than any of them. And it's little we'll get out of
the day.

CORNELIUS
It's a great thing to have prophesied it, even. We'll be here to see
a great change.

ELLEN
There will be no change to make things better!

CORNELIUS
Will you be taking that school, Ellen?

ELLEN
I'll wait a while.

_Sally coming in; she is hurried_.

SALLY
_(breathlessly)_ Oh, God save you, Cornelius. Tell me, is my
father gone? I dread going back and he there! It was all over that
baste of a sow that has kept me slaving all through the spring till
I don't know whether greens or potatoes is the fittest for her!

CORNELIUS
He didn't go, Sally. I went down a bit of the road myself with the men.

SALLY
Oh, God help me! And I'll have to be going back to boil meal
for her now. How are you, Ellen. _(She goes to Ellen)_

ELLEN
Sit down for a while, Sally; it's a long time since I was speaking
to you.

_Sally sits down beside Ellen_.

CORNELIUS
I'll leave this paper where they won't be looking for pipe-lights.
There are things in that paper I'd like to be saying. _(He takes a
newspaper out of his pocket and goes to room right)_

ELLEN
_(to Sally, who has been watching Cornelius)_ Tell me, Sally,
are they always that busy in your house? Is your father as harsh as
they say?

SALLY
Father 'ud keep us all working. He's a powerful great man.

ELLEN
Matt will be bringing a wife into the house soon from all I hear.
How would your father treat her?

SALLY
Oh, he'd have his way, and she'd have her way, I suppose.

ELLEN
And do you think your father will let him marry?

SALLY
Sure he must if the boy likes.

ELLEN
What would he say if Matt married a girl without a fortune?

SALLY
In my mother's country there are lots of girls with fortunes
that Matt could have.

ELLEN
Supposing he wanted a girl that had no fortune?

SALLY
Oh, I suppose father would give in in the end. It wouldn't be
clay against flint when Matt and father would be to it.

ELLEN
You're a good girl, Sally. If I was Matt's wife, do you think
you'd be fond of me?

SALLY
I'd like you as well as another, Ellen.

_Cornelius comes down from room_.

CORNELIUS
I suppose they'll be here soon.

ELLEN
I have tea ready for them.

SALLY
Who's coming at all?

CORNELIUS
Some of the boys and girls that are for America. They are going
to Gilroy's to-night, and are leaving from that in the morning.
They are coming in to see Ellen on their way down.

SALLY
There are a good many going this flight. The land never
troubles them in America, and they can wear fine clothes, and be as
free as the larks over the bogs. It's a wonder you never thought of
going, Ellen.

ELLEN
Father wouldn't like me to be far from him, and so I went in
for the school instead.

SALLY
And now you've got a fine boy like Matt. It was lucky for you
to be staying here.

ELLEN
Hush, Sally.

SALLY
Oh, I knew all about it before you talked to me at all. Matt
always goes to the place where he thinks you'd be.

ELLEN
_(rising)_ I'll be in the room when the girls come, Cornelius.

_She goes into room left_.

SALLY
_(going to Cornelius)_ God help us, but she's the silent
creature. Isn't it a wonder she's not filled with talk of him after
seeing him to-day? But Ellen's right. We shouldn't be talking about
men, nor thinking about them either; and that's the way to keep them
on our hands on the long run. I'll be going myself.

_She goes towards door_.

CORNELIUS
_(going to her)_ Don't be minding Ellen at all, Sally.

SALLY
Well, as high as she is, and as mighty as she is, she came
into his own house to see Matt. God between us and harm, Cornelius,
maybe they'll be saying I came into your house to see you.

CORNELIUS
Who'll know you came at all? And what isn't seen won't be
spoken of.

SALLY
Would you like me to stay, Cornelius?

CORNELIUS
Ay, I would.

SALLY
Divil mind the sow,

_They sit down together_.

SALLY
_(after a pause)_ Would you like me to knit you a pair of socks,
Cornelius?

CORNELIUS
Oh, I would, Sally; I'd love to wear them.

SALLY
I'll knit them. We'll be getting rid of the sow tonight, maybe,
and I'll have time after that.

CORNELIUS
And you come along the road when I'm herding. I don't want to be going
near your father's house.

SALLY
O Cornelius, it won't be lucky for us when father hears about
Ellen and Matt.

CORNELIUS
That's true. No man sees his house afire but looks to his rick.

SALLY
Come down a bit of the road with me, Cornelius. The sow will be
grunting and grunting, reminding father that I'm away. Och, a minute
ago I was as contented as if there was no land or pigs, or harsh words
to trouble one. _(She goes to the door)_ The boys and girls for
America are coming here.

CORNELIUS
Give me your hands to hold, Sally. _(She gives him her
hands)_ We are as young as any of them after all.

_They hold each other's hands, then stand apart_.

Book of the day: