Our American Cousin

Asa That’s a good man, Sir Edward.

Sir E Yes.

Asa Oh, he’s a very good man.

Sir E Yes, he is a good man.

Asa But he can’t keep a hotel.

Sir E Mr. Murcott, your offence was heavy.

Flo And so has been his reparation. Forgive him, papa. Mr. Murcott,
you saved me; may Heaven bless you.

Mur Yes, I saved her, thank Heaven. I had strength enough for that.
[Exits L. 1. E.]

Flo You’ll keep your promise and make Mr. Murcott your clerk, papa?

Sir E Yes, I can refuse nothing; I am so happy; I am so happy,
I can refuse none anything to-day.

Asa Can’t you, Sir Edward! Now, that’s awful lucky, for there’s
two gals want your consent mighty bad.

Sir E Indeed; for what?

Asa To get hitched.

Sir E Hitched?

Asa Yes to get spliced.

Sir E Spliced?

Asa Yes, to get married.

Sir E They have it by anticipation. Who are they?

Asa There’s one on ’em. [Points to Florence.]

Sir E Florence! and the other?

Asa She’s right outside. [Exit, hastily, R. 1. E.]

Sir E Well, and who is the happy man, Lord Dun–

Flo Lord Dundreary! No, papa–but Harry Vernon. He’s not poor now,
though he’s got a ship.

Re-enter Asa, with Mary.

Asa Here’s the other one, Sir Edward.

Sir E Mary? Who is the object of your choice?

Mary Rough-spun, honest-hearted Asa Trenchard.

Sir E Ah! Mr. Trenchard you win a heart of gold.

Flo And so does Mary, papa, believe me. [Crosses to Asa.
Mary and Sir Edward go up.]

Flo What’s the matter?

Asa You make me blush.

Flo I don’t see you blushing.

Asa I’m blushing all the way down my back.

Flo Oh, you go long. [Goes up stage.]

Asa Hello! here’s all the folks coming two by two, as if
they were pairing for Noah’s ark. Here’s Mrs Mountchestnut
and the Sailor man. [Enter as Asa calls them off.] Here’s De Boots and his gal, and darn me, if here ain’t old setidy fetch it,
and the sick gal, how are you buttons? [Dundreary knocks against Asa,
who is in C. of stage.]

Dun There’s that damned rhinocerous again. [Crosses to L. with Georgina,
and seats her.]

Asa Here comes turkey cock, number two, and his gal, and darn me,
if here ain’t Puffy and his gal.

Sir E Mr. Vernon, take her, she’s yours, though Heaven knows
what I shall do without her.

Mrs M [Rising.] Ah, Sir Edward, that is just my case;
but you’ll never know what it is to be a mother. [Comes down, L. C.] Georgina, Augusta, my dears, come here. [They come down each side of her.] You’ll sometimes think of your poor mamma, bless you. [Aside to them.] Oh, you couple of fools.

[Bumps their foreheads. Dundreary has business with Georgina,
then leads her to a seat, L.]

De B [To Dundreary.] Why, Fred, we’re all getting married!

Dun Yes, it’s catching, like the cholera.

Binny I ‘ope, Sir Edward, there’s no objections to my leading Miss Sharpe
to the hymenial halter.

Sir E Certainly not, Mr. Binny.

Bud [To Dun.] And Skillet and I have made so bold, My lord–

Dun Yes, you generally do make bold–but bless you, my children–bless you.

Asa Say, you, lord, buttons, I say, whiskers.

Dun Illustrious exile? [Comes down.]

Asa They’re a nice color, ain’t they?

Dun Yes, they’re all wight now.

Asa All wight? no, they’re all black.

Dun When I say wight I mean black.

Asa Say, shall I tell that sick gal about that hair dye?

Dun No, you needn’t tell that sick gal about that hair dye!

Asa Wal, I won’t, if you don’t want me to.

Dun [Aside.] That man is a damned rattlesnake.

[Goes up, sits in Georgina’s lap–turns to apologize,
sits in Augusta’s lap–same business with Mrs. M,
then goes back to Georgina.]

Asa Miss Georgina. [She comes down.] How’s your appetite? shall I
tell that lord about the beafsteak and onions I saw you pitching into?

Geo Please don’t, Mr. Trenchard, I’m so delicate.

Asa Wal, I won’t, if you don’t want me to.

Geo Oh, thank you.

[Backs up stage and sits in Dundreary’s lap, who has taken her seat.]

Asa Miss Gusty. [Augusta comes down.] Got your boots, hain’t you?

Aug Yes, Mr. Trenchard.

Asa How do they fit you? Say, shall I tell that fellow
you were after me first?

Aug [Extravagantly.] Not for the world, Mr. Trenchard.

Asa [Mimicing.] Wal, I won’t, if you don’t want me to.

Asa [To Mrs M.] Mrs. Mountchestnut.

Dun [Coming down.] Sir, I haven’t a chestnut to offer you,
but if you’d like some of your native food, I’ll order you a doughnut?

Asa I dough not see it.

Dun [Laughs.] That’s good.

Asa Yes, very good.

Dun For you.

Asa Oh, you get out, I mean the old lady.

Dun Mrs. Mountchessington, this illustrious exile wishes to see you.
[Mrs M. comes down.]

Asa Wal, old woman?

Mrs M Old woman, sir?

Asa Got two of them gals off your hands, haven’t you?

Mrs M I’m proud to say, I have.

Asa Shall I tell them fellows you tried to stick them on me first?

Mrs M You’ll please not mention the subject.

Asa Wal, I won’t, if you don’t want me to. [Backs up;–curtseying;–
knocks back against Dundreary, who is stooping to pick up a handkerchief.
They turn and bunk foreheads.] Say, Mr. Puffy. [Binny comes down.] Shall I tell Sir Edward about your getting drunk in the wine cellar?

Binny You need not–not if you don’t like unto.

Asa Wal, I won’t, if you don’t want me to.

Binny Remember the hold hadage. “A still tongue shows a wise ead.”

Asa X Q’s me.

Binny O, I, C. [Goes up.]

Flo [Comes down, L.] Well cousin, what have you to say to us?
[Mary comes down R. of Asa.]

Asa Wal, I ain’t got no ring, to put in your noses, but I’s got one
to put on your finger. [To Mary.] And I guess the sailor man has one
to put on yours, and I guess you two are as happy as clams at high water.

Flo I am sure you must be very happy.

Asa Wal, I am not so sure about my happiness.

Flo Why, you ungrateful fellow. What do want to complete it?

Asa [To Audience.] My happiness depends on you.

Flo And I am sure you will not regret your kindness shown to
Our American Cousin. But don’t go yet, pray–for Lord Dundreary
has a word to say. [Calls Dundreary.]

Dun [Sneezes.] That’s the idea.


End of Our American Cousin, by Tom Taylor

This etext was retrieved by ftp from ibiblio.org/pub/docs/books/gutenberg
It is also available from www.ibiblio.org/gutenberg

This etext was produced by the Levin family, Englewood, CO.
Like many plays, there is no authoritative version and
it evolved over the course of time, indeed in multiple
directions. The 1869 printing upon which this etext is
primarily based was poorly printed and we have corrected
outright punctuation and grammatical errors while maintaining
its original, whimisical use of capitalization and punctuation.
This version contains very few “Dundrearyisms” such as
“birds of a feather gather no moss” for which the play
gained much of its popular appeal.

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