Play #67: Jenny Kissed me.

Jenny kissed me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief, who love to get
Sweets into your list, put that in!
Say I'm weary, say I'm sad,
Say that health and wealth have missed me,
Say I'm growing old, but add,
Jenny kissed me.
Leigh Hunt

The play is set in the London, in a small, dingy flat on Dean Street, occupied, for the moment, by Karl and Jenny Marx and their children.  There are, however, only three characters in the play: Karl, Jenny, and Marx’s frequent collaborator, Friedrich Engels.  The year is 1850.

As the play begins, we discover Marx and Engels deep in conversation.  Jenny reluctantly interrupts them.

Jenny:  Hello, Friedrich.  Karl, are you very busy just at the moment?

Karl:  Hello Jenny.  Well I am trying to effect The Permanent Revolution….

Jenny: I know you are, dear, but the chemist, the butcher, the baker and the milkman are busily fomenting a revolution of their own, the first act of which is to leave off providing for us!

Engels (smiling encouragingly):  We are every day expecting a royalty cheque from articles we published recently in the Neue Rhenische Political Economy Review.  I’m sure that will help.

Jenny:  It will be too little too late, I’m afraid, dear Friedrich!  

Karl:  I‘m sorry, Jenny, but you’ll just have to try to put our creditors off for a little while longer.  In the meantime, I’m sending a piece to the editor of The Spectator about how we’re always being spied upon!

Engels (beaming boyishly):  Here’s an excerpt [he reads]: “Not only are the doors of the house we live in watched by more than dubious-looking individuals who impertinently take notes when anyone ethers or leaves, but we cannot take a single step without being followed by them….”

Karl (proudly):  What do you think of that, my dear?

Jenny: Maybe it’s the chemist, the butcher, the baker and the milkman who are watching you and taking all those notes!

[whereupon she flounces angrily out of the room]