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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes. 1906.

George Thomas Lanigan (1845–1886)

The Amateur Orlando

The Result of the Hunky Kid’s Playing Charles the Wrestler

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 “Hal 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 Am. Dram. Ass.,

A stalwart dry-goods clerk,

Was cast for Orlando, in which rôle

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 forearm at the mid-

Dle measured 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 program out,

Announce him thus they did:

Orlando …. MR. ROMEO JONES

Charles …. MR. T. H. KIDD

… 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,

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 honor lies,

Though Shakespeare would not in his lines

His language recognize.

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

They grappled furiously;

But Charles the Wrestler had no sense

Of dramatic propriety.

He seized on Mr. Romeo Jones

In Græco-Roman style;

He got what they call a grape-vine 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 that 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 carls

Belonging to the Am. Dram. Ass.

Cast The Hunky Kid for Charles!