Read-Aloud Plays eBook

Horace Holley
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 62 pages of information about Read-Aloud Plays.
There was an honest streak in me somewhere which hated deception.  I couldn’t play the part of “brilliant” young poet with any success.  She was at me all the while to write more of the same thing.  And I didn’t want to.  The difference between the “great” man I was supposed to be and the sick child I really was, began to torture.  I knew I oughtn’t to go on any further if I wanted to do anything real.  Then one night we had an “artistic” dinner.  My wife had gotten hold of a famous English poet, and through him a publisher.  The publisher was her real game.  I drank champagne before dinner so as to be “brilliant.”  I was.  And before I realized it, Norah had secured a promise from the publisher to bring out a book of plays.  I remember she said it was practically finished.  But it wasn’t, only the one, and I hated that.  But I sat down conscientiously to write the book that she, and apparently all the world that counted, expected me to write.  Well, I couldn’t write it.  Not a blessed word!  Something inside me refused to work.  And there I was.  In a month or so she began to ask about it.  Norah thought I ought to turn them out while she waited.  I walked up and down the park one afternoon wondering what to tell her....  And when I realized that either she would never understand or would despise me, I grew desperate.  I wrote her a note, full of fine phrases about “incompatibility,” her “unapproachable ideals,” the “soul’s need of freedom”—­things she would understand and wear a heroic attitude about—­and fled.  I came here....

THE BOY

Of course.  But didn’t she follow you?  Didn’t they bother you?

THE MAN

Not a bit.  Norah preferred her lonely heroism.  In a few months I was quite forgotten.  That was one of the healthful things I learned.  Well, I was a wreck when I came here, I wanted only to lie down under a tree....  And there it was, under that tree yonder, my salvation came.

THE BOY

Your salvation?

THE MAN

Hunger.  That was my salvation.  Simple, elemental, unescapable appetite.  You see I had no servant, no one at all.  So I had to get up and work to prepare my food....  It was very strange.  Compared with this life, my life before had been like living in a locked box.  Some one to do everything for me except think, and consequently I thought too much.  But here the very fact of life was brought home to me.  I spent weeks working about the house and grounds on the common necessities.  By the time winter came on the place was fit to live in—­and I was enjoying life.  All the “brilliance” had faded away; I was as simple as a blade of grass.

For a year I didn’t write a word.  I had the courage to wait for the real thing, nobody pestering me to be a “genius”!  Some day you may read that first book.  People said I had re-discovered the virtue of humility.  I had.

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
Read-Aloud Plays from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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