For this pageant episode see page 12 of the Outdoor Arrangement of the Pageant of Patriots.
The same woodland setting as has been used for Pocahontas. In the center of the stage Priscilla and her spinning-wheel. The scene is outside her dooryard at Plymouth, Mass., in the Spring of 1621. The tableau should be held a full minute. Appropriate music: Senta’s “Spinning Song”; or Solvig’s “Spinning Song” from Grieg’s “Peer Gynt Suite.”
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, a young printer
ROGER BURCHARD, a Quaker
ELIZABETH BURCHARD, his wife
DEBORAH READ WILLIAM, an inn boy
SCENE: A room in a tavern. Place: Philadelphia. Time, October, 1723.
The room is a private one in the tavern known as The Crooked Billet. It has a neat, cheerful, welcoming aspect. At left a small fire glimmers on the brass andirons of a well-kept hearth. A brass kettle rests on a hob. On the shelf above the hearth candles are alight.
All across the background are a series of small windows curtained in chintz. By these windows a table set for supper, with a white linen cloth and delicately sprigged china. Quaint chairs with spindle legs.
Against the right wall a secretary with a shelf full of handsomely-bound books. Near this two chairs with high backs that would screen from view any one sitting in them.
There is a door at right background opening into the hall.
Another door at left near background, opening into another room.
At the rise of the curtain Roger Burchard is discovered seated at the table, on which a generous supper lies spread; while Elizabeth, his wife, is bending at the hearth.
ELIZABETH. The kettle hath not yet boiled for thy second cup, Roger. ’Tis slow, yet I do not worry, for ’tis only twilight, and there is a good hour yet ere we are due at the special meeting of the Friends, and Deborah Read is to come with us. Does thee know, Roger, I sometimes think that for all her saucy ways Mistress Deborah Read is half a Friend at heart. When I do speak she listens to me most attentively.
ROGER. Thee should not force belief upon another, Elizabeth. ELIZABETH (demurely). I did not force: I did but talk to her, Roger. Thee knows I sun not over eloquent. How should a worldly maid of Philadelphia give ear to me?
[Crosses to Roger: the kettle lies forgotten.
How, indeed! Does thee know, Elizabeth, that in so quiet a room as this
I can scarce believe that a great city lies about us? ’Tis so still
that I can hear the ticking of the clock.
For myself, I am glad of a little rest after our journey up from
Brookfield to the city. I find myself scarce used to city ways.