Head constable Mulligan A Member of the Royal Irish
sergeant Dooley A Member of the R.I.C.
Constable Huggins A Member of the R.I.C.
Mrs. Ellen Cotter A public-house keeper
Duty was produced for the first time at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, December 17, 1913, with the following cast:
Head Constable Mulligan, R.I.C. Arthur
Sergeant Dooley, R.I.C. Fred O’DONOVAN
Constable Huggins, R.I.C. Sydney J. Morgan
Micus Goggin J.M. Kerrigan
Padna Sweeney J.A. O’ROURKE
Mrs. Ellen Cotter Una O’CONNOR
Back kitchen of a country public house. Micus and Padna seated at a table drinking from pewter pints. Mrs. Cotter enters in response to a call.
Padna (pointing to pint measures)
Fill ’em again, ma’am, please.
Mrs. Cotter (taking pints, and wiping
Fill ’em again, is it? Indeed I won’t do any such thing.
Indeed you will, Mrs. Cotter.
Don’t you know that ‘tis Sunday night, an’ that the police
might call any minute?
Bad luck to them!
Mrs. Cotter This will be the last drink that any one will get in this house to-night. [Exit.
Micus ’Tis a nice state of affairs to think that dacent men, after a hard week’s work, can’t have a drink in pace and quietness in the town they were born and reared in, without bein’ scared out o’ their senses by the police!
Padna ’Tis the hell of a thing, entirely! I don’t see what’s gained be closin’ the pubs at all, unless it be to give the police somethin’ to do.
The overfed and undertaught bla’gards!
As far as I can see, there’s as much drink sold as if
the pubs were never closed.
There is, an’ more; for if it wasn’t forbidden to drink
porter, it might be thought as little about as water.
Padna I don’t believe that, Micus. Did you ever hear of a pint or even a gallon of water makin’ any one feel like Napoleon?
[Mrs. Cotter enters and places drinks on table.
Padna (handing money)
There ye are, ma’am.
MRS. COTTER (takes money) Hurry now like good boys, for forty shillin’s is a lot to pay for a pint o’ porter, an’ that’s what ’twill cost ye if the police comes in an’ finds ye here. An’ I’ll lose me license into the bargain. [Exit.