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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 247 pages of information about The Atlantic Book of Modern Plays.

CHANCELLOR.  Your Majesty, I protest.  Of what possible use to the people—?

POMPDEBILE.  Be quiet.  The Queen may scatter what she pleases.

KNAVE.  My rhyme is ready, Your Majesty.

POMPDEBILE.  Repeat it.

KNAVE.

  The Queen of Hearts
  She made some tarts
  All on a summer’s day. 
  The Knave of Hearts
  He stole those tarts
  And took them quite away.

  The King of Hearts
  Called for those tarts
  And beat the Knave full sore. 
  The Knave of Hearts
  Brought back the tarts
  And vowed he’d sin no more.

VIOLETTA (earnestly).  My dear Knave, how wonderful of you!  You shall be Poet Laureate.  A Poet Laureate has no social position, has he?

KNAVE.  It depends, Your Majesty, upon whether or not he chooses to be more laureate than poet.

VIOLETTA (rising, her eyes closed in ecstasy). Your Majesty! Those words go to my head—­like wine!

KNAVE.  Long live Pompdebile the Eighth, and Queen Violetta!

(The trumpets sound.)

HERALDS.  Make way for Pompdebile the Eighth, and Queen Violetta!

VIOLETTA (excitedly). Vee-oletta, please!

HERALDS.  Make way for Pompdebile the Eighth, and Queen Vee-oletta—­

(The KING and QUEEN show themselves at the door—­and the people can be heard clamoring outside.)

[CURTAIN]

FAME AND THE POET[1]

Lord Dunsany

[Footnote 1:  Reprinted from the Atlantic Monthly for June, 1919, by special permission of Lord Dunsany and the editors of the Atlantic Monthly.]

SCENE:  The Poet’s rooms in London.  Windows in back.  A high screen in a corner.

TIME:  February 30th.

CHARACTERS

HARRY DE REVES.—­A Poet.

(This name, though of course of French origin, has become anglicized and is pronounced DE REEVES.)

DICK PRATTLE.—­A Lieutenant-Major of the Royal Horse Marines.

FAME.

(The POET is sitting at a table, writing.  Enter DICK PRATTLE.)

PRATTLE.  Hullo, Harry.

DE REVES.  Hullo, Dick.  Good Lord, where are you from?

PRATTLE (casually).  The ends of the Earth.

DE REVES.  Well, I’m damned!

PRATTLE.  Thought I’d drop in and see how you were getting on.

DE REVES.  Well, that’s splendid.  What are you doing in London?

PRATTLE.  Well, I wanted to see if I could get one or two decent ties to wear,—­you can get nothing out there,—­then I thought I’d have a look and see how London was getting on.

DE REVES.  Splendid!  How’s everybody?

PRATTLE.  All going strong.

DE REVES.  That’s good.

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