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Home > Holidays > Columbus Day > Drama Plays and Skits > Christopher Columbus > Scene II

Christopher Columbus Play for KidsChristopher Columbus
by Augusta Stevenson


TIME: 1492.
PLACE: Spain. Court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.


[Many COURTIERS and LADIES are seen in audience-room of palace; a throne is in the background. Enter the FIRST COURTIER.]

FIRST COURTIER. The King and Queen!

[Enter KING FERDINAND and QUEEN ISABELLA, followed by COURTIERS, LADIES and the WISE MEN. All bow as the King and Queen cross to throne and sit. Enter the MONK; he advances to throne and bows.]

KING. Speak, good Father.

MONK. I pray your Majesties to see one Christopher Columbus.

KING (inquiringly). Columbus?

MONK. The Italian who thinks he can find a short route to the Indies, sire.

KING (nodding). Ah, I remember. You brought his plans to us some time ago, good Father.

QUEEN (nodding). Let us see him to-day, sire.

KING (to First Courtier). Admit this Christopher Columbus.

(Courtier admits COLUMBUS. He kneels before the King.)

Rise, Columbus, and tell us what you seek.

COLUMBUS (rising). Ships, sire, to prove the plans which I did send your Majesties; plans for sailing in the unknown seas.

QUEEN. They seemed to me most wise and sensible.

COLUMBUS (with joy). Ah, your Majesty believes with me?

KING (hastily). I'd have our Wise Men speak. Unfold your maps before them, sir.

[Columbus crosses to Wise Men and unfolds a map before them. They look at it, shake their heads and laugh.]

COLUMBUS (with dignity). I propose to sail by this route to find that eastern land.

FIRST WISE MAN. Ha, ha! I never heard anything so absurd! He'd sail west to find the east! Ha, ha!

SECOND WISE MAN (pointing to map). The edge of the world is out there in those strange waters! And you are willing to fall off with your ships into space, sir?

COLUMBUS. I'm sure the water continues—

THIRD WISE MAN (interrupting). How could there be land beyond? 'T would be under us, and the trees would have to grow their roots in the air.

[Wise Men nod wisely.]

SECOND WISE MAN. And the rain must needs fall upward there!

ALL WISE MEN (nodding wisely). Aye! Aye!

QUEEN. I've heard you did lay your plans before King John of Portugal?

COLUMBUS. I did, your Majesty.

KING. That was bad for you, Columbus. King John sent ships, but they soon returned.


Was not that the way of it, Captain? You sailed with them, I believe?

RIVERRA. Yes, sire. But the failure came because the sailors were afraid and refused to go on.

(To Columbus.)

You were thus avenged for the theft of your maps, sir.

QUEEN. Would you sail again with this man as your leader, Captain?

RIVERRA. I would, your Majesty! I believe not in the monsters and the edge.

QUEEN. Nor I! Let's provide the ships, sire.

KING. Our people would not like it—they'd grumble. And so 't would be bad for us.

[Enter MESSENGER in great haste; kneels before King and Queen.]

KING. What news do you bring? Speak!

MESSENGER. The Turks have captured the Spanish merchant ships!

KING. Our ships bound for the Indies?

MESSENGER. Yes, your Majesty.

KING. Alas! Alas!

QUEEN. The merchants and the sailors—did the Turks spare them?

MESSENGER. Not one, your Majesty!

QUEEN. Alas, such loss of life! And 't is not the first time! Not a month that does not bring us the same sad news!

FIRST WISE MAN (to Monk). You must give our people consolation, Father.

MONK. 'T is not so much consolation they need, as another passage to the Indies; one far away from Turkey and the cruel Turks.

QUEEN. You are right, Father. Speak on.

MONK. To find such a passage is the chief purpose of Christopher Columbus. That is the hope that has given him courage when half the world called him fool.

QUEEN. Sire, we must find ships and money!

KING. We dare not tax the people more—

QUEEN. Then I'll help you, Columbus! I'll pledge my own jewels to raise the funds.

COLUMBUS (joyfully). Your Majesty!

QUEEN. 'T is for the safety of our merchants! 'T is for the glory of Spain!

COLUMBUS (kneeling before Queen; kissing her robe). My Queen!

NOTE TO TEACHER.—This play conforms to the spirit of the traditional story of Columbus, but the dramatization has made it necessary to condense into one scene the somewhat prolonged negotiations with Ferdinand and Isabella.

Footnote 1: (return)

The explanations in brackets may be read by the teacher.

Footnote 2: (return)

The words in parentheses are not intended to be read aloud; they will give the child the cue as to how the part should be rendered.

Footnote 3: (return)

A Mohammedan judge.

Footnote 4: (return)

Pronounced R[=o]'k[=a].

Footnote 5: (return)

Pronounced Pän'ch[=o] (ch as in church.)

Footnote 6: (return)

Pronounced R[=e]-ver'rä.

Footnote 7: (return)

Pronounced Pin'th[=o]n



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Christopher Columbus Play for KidsColumbus Day Skits

Christopher Columbus
by Augusta Stevenson
Scene I

Scene II

Scene III

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