Dziennik Chicagoski -- August 30, 1892"The Fern Flower" or "A Night of Enchantment"
In writing his latest play for the amateur stage, [Szczesny] Zahajkiewicz was evidently in his native element. It presents a beautiful theme, the virtues of which are a high moral lesson, a merry presentation of a very serious thought, and the play's poetic air. At the same time, it contains no impossible situations, no illogical sequences, and no mix-up of time, place, or subject. Everyone in amateur theatricals will welcome this play as soon as he becomes acquainted with it.
The plot concerns a group of students, colleagues of Louis, whom they like very much. They are much distressed by the fact that Louis, having taken seriously some fables about witches, fortune-tellers, ghosts, and so on, has begun to fall behind in his studies. He no longer joins them in their amusements, and in general seems to have become apathetic, drifting into a state of disinterestedness because of this temporary mental affliction. They decide to cure him, and with the idea of "knocking out a wedge with a 2wedge", Walter, one of the students, arranges for a little comedy in the woods, which he hopes will cure his friend. He tells Louis about St. John's Night, and about the flower of the fern, which he can pluck with the help of a witch and the "king of the underworld". Believing all this, Louis goes to the forest in order to pluck this much-prized flower, which is to guarantee him fame and fortune. With this, the curtain falls on the first scene.
Louis' friends all hide in the forest, impersonating spirits, monsters, and the "king of the underworld", while the sister of one of them agrees to be a witch. They complete the effect by burning strong incense, so that Louis will not suspect their cunning trick. In a poetic and amusing scene, the "king of the underworld", after testing Louis in various ways, finally promises to give him the flower on St. John's Night the following year, on the condition that during this year, Louis will earn this good fortune by diligent work and exemplary conduct, for happiness can be achieved only through work and virtue.3
A year passes between the second and third scene. The third scene takes place in the same forest. Louis is to receive the flower of the fern that was promised him. From his friends, we learn that during the intervening year Louis has exceeded all of the other students in diligence. He has changed thoroughly--and for the better. His friends are fearful, however, that he will be angry because of their trick, and so it is with misgivings that they await his arrival. Their fears are short-lived. Louis appears, and from his lips we learn that he no longer wants the flower of the fern. He has learned the value of virtue and work, and in them sees the greatest happiness. Happiness without work offers no attraction. He even rather suspects that his friends had played a prank on him, for the lesson has taught him to think. The witch appears, just as before. By her voice, Louis recognizes his friend's sister Anne, but does not let her see that he knows her; a monster appears, and Louis recognizes him also. Finally, the rest of his friends appear, and Louis is told of the trick they have played upon him. Greatly moved, Louis thanks his friends for the lesson they have taught him--that real happiness 4on earth can be had only through hard work and virtuous living.
We consider this play one of Mr. Zahajkiewicz's finest creations--even though the author himself may be of a different opinion--and we sincerely recommend that he continues to work in this field. This is the native element for his talent in dramatic writing.
II B 1 e, II B 1 c 1, IV
Your search criteria returned no results.