Chantecler eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 104 pages of information about Chantecler.

CHANTECLER
Nothing.  I am conscious of darkness as too heavy a weight.

THE PHEASANT-HEN You are conscious of darkness as—­Shall I tell you the truth?  You think you sing for the Dawn, but you sing in reality to be admired, you—­songster, you! [With contemptuous pity.] Is it possible you are not aware that your poor notes raise a smile right through the forest, accustomed to the fluting of the thrush?

CHANTECLER
I know, you are trying now to reach me through my pride, but—­

THE PHEASANT-HEN I doubt if you can get so many as three toadstools and a couple of sassafras stalks to listen to you, when the ardent oriole flings across the leafy gloom his melodious pir-piriol!

THE WOODPECKER
[Reappearing.] From the Greek:  Pure, puros.

CHANTECLER
No more from you, please! [The WOODPECKER hurriedly withdraws.]

THE PHEASANT-HEN [Insisting.] The echo must make some rather interesting mental reservations, one fancies, when he hears you sing after hearing the great Nightingale!

CHANTECLER [Turning to leave.] My nerves, my dear girl, are not of the very steadiest to-night.

THE PHEASANT-HEN
[Following.] Did you ever hear him?

CHANTECLER
Never.

THE PHEASANT-HEN
His song is so wonderful that the first time—­[She stops short, struck
by an idea.
] Oh!

CHANTECLER
What is it?

THE PHEASANT-HEN
[Aside.] Ah, you feel the weight of the darkness—­

CHANTECLER
[Coming forward again.] What?

THE PHEASANT-HEN [With an ironical curtsey.] Nothing! [Carelessly.] Let us go to roost! [CHANTECLER goes to the back and is preparing to rise to a branch.  The PHEASANT-HEN aside.] He does not know that when the Nightingale sings one listens, supposing it to be a minute, and lo! the whole night has been spent listening, even as happens in the enchanted forest of a German legend.

CHANTECLER
[As she does not join him, returns to her.] What are you saying?

THE PHEASANT-HEN
[Laughing in his face.] Nothing!

A VOICE
[Outside.] The illustrious Cock?

CHANTECLER
[Looking around him.] I am wanted?

THE PHEASANT-HEN [Who has gone in the direction from whence came the voice.] There, in the grass! [Jumping back.] Mercy upon us!  They are the—­[With a movement of insuperable disgust.] They are the—­[With a spring she conceals herself in the hollow tree, calling back to CHANTECLER.] Be civil to them!

SCENE FIFTH

CHANTECLER, the PHEASANT-HEN, hidden in the tree, and the TOADS.

A BIG TOAD [Rearing himself in the grass.] We have come—­[Other TOADS become visible behind him.]

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
Chantecler from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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