The Melting-Pot

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WORKS OF ISRAEL ZANGWILL

THE MELTING-POT

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THE AMERICAN JEWISH BOOK COMPANY
NEW YORK
1921

THE MELTING-POT
Copyright, 1909, 1914,
By THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.

Printed by
The Lord Baltimore Press
Baltimore, Md.

TO THEODORE ROOSEVELT

IN RESPECTFUL RECOGNITION OF HIS STRENUOUS STRUGGLE AGAINST THE FORCES THAT THREATEN TO SHIPWRECK THE GREAT REPUBLIC WHICH CARRIES MANKIND AND ITS FORTUNES, THIS PLAY IS, BY HIS KIND PERMISSION, CORDIALLY DEDICATED

The rights of performing or publishing this play in any country or language are strictly reserved by the author.


THE CAST

[As first produced at the Columbia Theatre, Washington, on the fifth of October 1908]

David QuixanoWalker Whiteside
Mendel QuixanoHenry Bergman
Baron RevendalJohn Blair
Quincy Davenport, Jr.Grant Stewart
Herr PappelmeisterHenry Vogel
Vera RevendalChrystal Herne
Baroness RevendalLeonora Von Ottinger
Frau QuixanoLouise Muldener
Kathleen O’ReillyMollie Revel
Settlement ServantAnnie Harris
Produced by Hugh Ford

[As first produced by the Play Actors at the Court Theatre, London on the twenty-fifth of January 1914]

David QuixanoHarold Chapin
Mendel QuixanoHugh Tabberer
Baron RevendalH. Lawrence Leyton
Quincy Davenport, Jr.P. Perceval Clark
Herr PappelmeisterClifton Alderson
Vera RevendalPhyllis Relph
Baroness RevendalGillian Scaife
Frau QuixanoInez Bensusan
Kathleen O’ReillyE. Nolan O’Connor
Settlement ServantRuth Parrott
Produced by Norman Page


Act I

The scene is laid in the living-room of the small home of the Quixanos in the Richmond or non-Jewish borough of New York, about five o’clock of a February afternoon. At centre back is a double street-door giving on a columned veranda in the Colonial style. Nailed on the right-hand door-post gleams a Mezuzah, a tiny metal case, containing a Biblical passage. On the right of the door is a small hat-stand holding Mendel’s overcoat, umbrella, etc. There are two windows, one on either side of the door, and three exits, one down-stage on the left leading to the stairs and family bedrooms, and two on the right, the upper leading to Kathleen’s bedroom and the lower to the kitchen. Over the street door is pinned the Stars-and-Stripes. On the left wall, in the upper corner of which is a music-stand, are bookshelves of large mouldering Hebrew books, and over them is hung a Mizrach, or Hebrew picture, to show it is the East Wall. Other pictures round the room include Wagner, Columbus, Lincoln, and “Jews at the Wailing place.” Down-stage, about a yard from the left wall, stands David’s roll-desk, open and displaying a medley of music, a quill pen, etc. On the wall behind the desk hangs a book-rack with brightly bound English books. A grand piano stands at left centre back, holding a pile of music and one huge Hebrew tome. There is a table in the middle of the room covered with a red cloth and a litter of objects, music, and newspapers. The fireplace, in which a fire is burning, occupies the centre of the right wall, and by it stands an armchair on which lies another heavy mouldy Hebrew tome. The mantel holds a clock, two silver candlesticks, etc. A chiffonier stands against the back wall on the right. There are a few cheap chairs. The whole effect is a curious blend of shabbiness, Americanism, Jewishness, and music, all four being combined in the figure of Mendel Quixano, who, in a black skull-cap, a seedy velvet jacket, and red carpet-slippers, is discovered standing at the open street-door. He is an elderly music master with a fine Jewish face, pathetically furrowed by misfortunes, and a short grizzled beard.

MENDEL

Good-bye, Johnny!… And don’t forget to practise your scales.

[Shutting door, shivers.]

Ugh! It’ll snow again, I guess.

[He yawns, heaves a great sigh of relief, walks toward the table, and perceives a music-roll.]

The chump! He’s forgotten his music!

[He picks it up and runs toward the window on the left, muttering furiously]

Brainless, earless, thumb-fingered Gentile!

[Throwing open the window]

Here, Johnny! You can’t practise your scales if you leave ’em here!

[He throws out the music-roll and shivers again at the cold as he shuts the window.]

Ugh! And I must go out to that miserable dancing class to scrape the rent together.

[He goes to the fire and warms his hands.]

Ach Gott! What a life! What a life!

[He drops dejectedly into the armchair. Finding himself sitting uncomfortably on the big book, he half rises and pushes it to the side of the seat. After an instant an irate Irish voice is heard from behind the kitchen door.]

KATHLEEN [Without]

Divil take the butther! I wouldn’t put up with ye, not for a hundred dollars a week.

MENDEL [Raising himself to listen, heaves great sigh]

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