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Our American Cousin

Tom Taylor


Available as PDF, epub, and Kindle ebook.

Tags: Fiction » Plays » Humour & Satire

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Description

This 3 Act play is a classic Victorian farce, filled with stereotyped characters. Originally intended for British audiences, the characters included a boorish American, however, when the play made it over to America, it was recast to include English figures of mockery, like the pompous Lord Dundreary. This figure gave rise to what became known as Dundrearyisms, which came from the character uttering phrases such as 'birds of a feather gather no moss'. Of particular interest is that U.S. President Abraham Lincoln was watching this play on April 14, 1865 when he was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.

This book has 72 pages in the PDF version, and was originally published in 1858.

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Excerpt from 'Our American Cousin'

Scene 1—Drawing room in 3. Trenchard Manor, C. D., backed by interior, discovering table with luncheon spread. Large French window, R. 3 E., through which a fine English park is seen. Open archway, L. 3 E. Set balcony behind. Table, R., books and papers on it. Work basket containing wools and embroidery frame. A fashionable arm chair and sofa, L. 2 E., small table near C. D. Stage handsomely set, costly furniture, carpet down, chairs, etc.

Buddicombe discovered on sofa reading newspaper. Skillet and Sharpe busily arranging furniture as curtain rises.

Sharpe I don't know how you may feel as a visitor, Mr. Buddicombe, but I think this is a most uncomfortable family.

Bud Very uncomfortable. I have no curtain to my bed.

Skil And no wine at the second table.

Sharpe And meaner servants I never seed.

Bud I'm afraid Sir Edward is in a queer strait.

Skil Yes, for only this morning, Mr. Binny, Mrs. Skillet says he—

Enter Binny, L. 3 E.

Binny Mind your hown business instead hof your betters. I'm disgusted with you lower servants. When the wine merchant presents his bills, you men, hear me, say he's been pressing for the last six months, do you?

Skil Nor I, that the last year's milliner's bills have not been paid.

Sharpe Nor I, that Miss Florence has not had no new dresses from London all winter.

Bud And I can solemnly swear that his lordship's hair has been faithfully bound in this bosom.

Binny That'll do, that'll do; but to remember to check hidle curiosity is the first duty of men hin livery. Ha, 'ere hare the letters.

Enter John Wickens, L. 3 E., with green baize bag. Binny takes bag, takes out letters and reads addresses.

Binny Hah! bill, of course, Miss Augusta, Mrs. Mountchessington, Lord Dundreary, Capt. De Boots, Miss Georgina Mountchessington, Lieut. Vernon, ah! that's from the admiralty. What's this? Miss Florence Trenchard, via Brattleboro', Vermont.

Bud Where's that, Mr. Binny.

John Why that be hin the United States of North Hamerica, and a main good place for poor folks.

Binny John Wickens, you forget yourself.

John Beg pardon, Mr. Binny.

Binny John Wickens, leave the room.

John But I know where Vermont be tho'.

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