The Amateur Orlando

It was an Amateur Dram. Ass.

(Kind reader, although your

Knowledge of French is not first-class

Don't call that Amature.)

It was an Amateur Dram. Ass.,

The which did warfare wage

On the dramatic works of this

And every other age.

It had a walking gentleman,

A leading juvenile,

First lady in book-muslin dressed,
With a galvanic smile;

Thereto a singing chambermaid,

Benignant heavy pa,

And oh, heavier still was the heavy vill-

Ain, with his fierce "Ha! ha!"

There wasn't an author from Shakespeare down--

Or up--to Boucicault

These amateurs weren't competent

(S. Wegg) to collar and throw.

And when the winter time came round--

"Season" 's a stagier phrase--

The Am. Dram. Ass. assaulted one

Of the Bard of Avon's plays.

'Twas As you Like It that they chose;

For the leading lady's heart

Was set on playing Rosalind,

Or some other page's part.

And the President of the Am. Dram. Ass.,

A stalwart, dry-goods clerk,

Was cast for Orlando, in which role

He felt he'd make his mark.

"I mind me," said the President

(All thoughtful was his face),

"When Orlando was taken by Thingummy

That Charles was played by Mace.

Charles hath not many lines to speak,

Nay, not a single length--

Oh, if find we can a Mussulman

(That is, a man of strength),

And bring him on the stage as Charles--

But, alas! it can't be did!"

"It can," replied the Treasurer;

"Let's get The Hunky Kid."

This Hunky Kid of whom they spoke

Belonged to the P. R.;

He always had his hair cut short,

And always had catarrh.

His voice was gruff, his language rough,

His forehead villainous low,

And 'neath his broken nose a vast

Expanse of jaw did show.

He was forty-eight about the chest,

And his fore-arm at the mid

Did measure twenty-one and a half--

Such was The Hunky Kid!

The Am. Dram. Ass., they have engaged

This pet of the P. R.;

As Charles the Wrestler he's to be

A bright, particular star.

And when they put the programme out,

Announce him thus they did:

Orlando ... Mr. Romeo Jones;

Charles ... Mr. T. H. Kid.

The night has come; the house is packed

From pit to gallery,

As those who through the curtain peep

Quake inwardly to see.

A squeak's heard in the orchestra,

As the leader draws across

Th' intestines of the agile cat

The tail of the noble hoss.

All is at sea behind the scenes.

Why do they fear and funk?

Alas, alas, The Hunky Kid

Is lamentably drunk!

He's in that most unlovely stage

Of half-intoxication

When men resent the hint they're tight

As a personal imputation!

"Ring up! ring up!" Orlando cried,

"Or we must cut the scene;

For Charles the Wrestler is imbued

With poisonous benzine,

And every moment gets more drunk

Than he before has been."

The wrestling scene has come and Charles

Is much disguised in drink;

The stage to him's an inclined plane,

The footlights make him blink,

Still strives he to act well his part

Where all the honour lies,

Though Shakespeare would not in his lines

His language recognise

Instead of "Come, where is this young----?"

This man of bone and brawn,

He squares himself and bellows, "Time!

Fetch your Orlandos on!"

"Now, Hercules be thy speed, young man,"

Fair Rosalind said she,

As the two wrestlers in the ring

Grapple right furiously;

But Charles the Wrestler had no sense

Of dramatic propriety.

He seized on Mr. Romeo Jones

In Graeco-Roman style;

He got what they call a grapevine lock

On that leading juvenile;

He flung him into the orchestra,

And the man with the ophicleide,

On whom he fell, he just said--well,

No matter what--and died!

When once the tiger has tasted blood,

And found that it is sweet,

He has a habit of killing more

Than he can possibly eat.

And thus it was with The Hunky Kid.

In his homicidal blindness

He lifted his hand against Rosalind,

Not in the way of kindness.

He chased poor Celia off at L.,

At R. U. E. Le Beau,

And he put such a head upon Duke Fred,

In fifteen seconds or so,

That never one of the courtly train

Might his haughty master know.

* * * * *

And that's precisely what came to pass

Because the luckless carles

Belonging to the Am. Dram. Ass.

Cast The Hunky Kid for Charles!