Children's Classics in Dramatic Form eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 92 pages of information about Children's Classics in Dramatic Form.

KING.  Our ships bound for the Indies?

MESSENGER.  Yes, your Majesty.

KING.  Alas!  Alas!

QUEEN.  The merchants and the sailors—­did the Turks spare them?

MESSENGER.  Not one, your Majesty!

QUEEN.  Alas, such loss of life!  And ’t is not the first time!  Not a month that does not bring us the same sad news!

FIRST WISE MAN (to Monk).  You must give our people consolation, Father.

MONK.  ’T is not so much consolation they need, as another passage to the
Indies; one far away from Turkey and the cruel Turks.

QUEEN.  You are right, Father.  Speak on.

MONK.  To find such a passage is the chief purpose of Christopher Columbus.  That is the hope that has given him courage when half the world called him fool.

QUEEN.  Sire, we must find ships and money!

KING.  We dare not tax the people more—­

QUEEN.  Then I’ll help you, Columbus!  I’ll pledge my own jewels to raise the funds.

COLUMBUS (joyfully).  Your Majesty!

QUEEN.  ’T is for the safety of our merchants!  ’T is for the glory of Spain!

COLUMBUS (kneeling before Queen; kissing her robe).  My Queen!

SCENE III

TIME:  five months later; evening
PLACE:  on board the Santa Maria.

* * * * *

ADMIRAL CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS. 
CAPTAIN PINZON.[Footnote:  Pronounced Pin’th[=o]n.]
SAILORS.

* * * * *

[The SAILORS are seen sitting on deck in a group.  They are gloomy and dejected.]

FIRST SAILOR.  ’T is a sea of darkness!

SECOND SAILOR.  Last night I heard the angry sea-gods!

THIRD SAILOR (nodding).  Aye, I heard them!

FOURTH SAILOR.  What were they crying?

SECOND SAILOR.  Angry words to us for coming into their own waters.

FIRST SAILOR.  ’T is the Italian Columbus the sea-gods should destroy!

ALL SAILORS.  Aye!  Aye!

SECOND SAILOR.  We’ll never see Spain again!

THIRD SAILOR.  We should compel him to return!

ALL SAILORS.  Aye!  Aye!

[Enter COLUMBUS with CAPTAIN PINZON. They cross to bow of ship.  The Captain glances uneasily at the sailors.]

CAPTAIN.  Admiral, I must tell you frankly, the sailors are dissatisfied.

COLUMBUS.  I am sorry to hear that, Captain.

CAPTAIN.  What shall we do, sir?

COLUMBUS.  Do?  Why, sail on!

CAPTAIN.  I’ll see to it, sir!

[Captain goes.]

FIRST SAILOR (crossing).  Admiral, the men have chosen me to speak for them.

COLUMBUS.  What do they wish?

FIRST SAILOR.  To return to Spain, sir!

COLUMBUS.  Tell them we may see land any day now.

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Children's Classics in Dramatic Form from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.