Jane Annie

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Act 1[edit]

SCENE. -- First floor of the Ladies' Seminary. The GIRLS are exchanging their last confidences for the night. Enter CADDIE with their candles.

Chorus of Girls[edit]

Good-night! Good-night!
The hour is late;
Though eyes are bight,
No longer wait!
Though clear the head,
Though wit may shine,
To bed! To bed!
It's nearly nine!

Dining-room clock strikes.

MILLY. Now the last faint tint has faded.
ALL. Good-night! Good-night!
MILLY. And the west in gloom is shaded.
ALL. Good-night! Good-night!
MILLY. See the moon her vigil keeping.
ALL. Good-night! Good-night!
MILLY. Torpor o'er the earth is creeping.
ALL. Good-night! Good-night!

Drawing-room clock strikes.

Good-night! Good-night!
A-talking thus,
Though eyes are bright,
Is not for us.
The eve is past,
The shadows fall,
And so at last
Good-night to all.

All retire except CADDIE, who is roused from a profound reverie by the misbehaviour of the clock. He makes short work of it. Exit CADDIE. There is a knock on at the door and the GIRLS reappear.

MEG. It was the front door!
MILLY. Who can be calling at such a fearsomely late hour as nine o'clock?
ROSE. Why doesn't some one peep down the stairs?

BAB runs downstairs.

MAUD. That bold Bab has gone. Miss Sims will catch her.
MILLY. Oh! I can see. (Looks over staircase.)
ALL. Well?
MILLY. A man!
ROSE. At last!
MILLY. Bald!
ROSE. The wretch!
MILLY. He has two other men with him.
MEG. Two! Girls, let us go and do our hair this instant.
MILLY. They are shewn into Miss Sims's private room. Ah!
MAUD. What?
MILLY. The door is shut.
ROSE. What a shame!
MEG. What is Bab doing all this time?
MILLY. She has her ear at the keyhole.
MAUD. Dear girl!
MILLY. She shakes her first at the keyhole.
ALL. Why?
MILLY. I don't know.

BAB comes upstairs.

ROSE. Bab, why did you shake your fist at the keyhole?
BAB. Because it is stuffed with paper.
ALL. Oh!
BAB. Yes, stuffed. How mean of Miss Sims. She might surely have trusted to our honour not to look.
MILLY. Thank goodness, the holidays begin the day after to-morrow.
BAB. But a great deal may happen before to-morrow. Girls, can you keep a secret -- a secret that will freeze your blood and curl you up and make you die of envy?

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1925.

The author died in 1937, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.