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The Silver Box Monologue

The Silver Box Monologue by John Galsworthy
Character: Jones
Gender: Male
Age (range): ?
Style: Drama
Length: 4 minutes

 

JONES: Let 'em come and find me. I've had enough o' this tryin' for work. Why should I go round and round after a job like a bloomin' squirrel in a cage. "Give us a job, sir"--"Take a man on"--"Got a wife and three children." Sick of it I am! I'd sooner lie here and rot. "Jones, you come and join the demonstration; come and 'old a flag, and listen to the ruddy orators, and go 'ome as empty as you came." There's some that seems to like that--the sheep! When I go seekin' for a job now, and see the brutes lookin' me up an' down, it's like a thousand serpents in me. I'm not arskin' for any treat. A man wants to sweat hisself silly and not allowed--that's a rum start, ain't it? A man wants to sweat his soul out to keep the breath in him and ain't allowed--that's justice--that's freedom and all the rest of it! The other day I went to a place in Edgware Road. "Gov'nor," I says to the boss, "take me on," I says. "I 'aven't done a stroke o' work not these two months; it takes the heart out of a man," I says; "I'm one to work; I'm not afraid of anything you can give me!" "My good man," 'e says, "I've had thirty of you here this morning. I took the first two," he says, "and that's all I want." "Thank you, then rot the world!" I says. "Blasphemin'," he says, "is not the way to get a job. Out you go, my lad!" [He laughs sarcasticly.] Don't you raise your voice because you're starvin'; don't yer even think of it; take it lyin' down! Take it like a sensible man, carn't you? And a little way down the street a lady says to me: "D'you want to earn a few pence, my man?" and gives me her dog to 'old outside a shop--fat as a butler 'e was--tons o' meat had gone to the makin' of him. It did 'er good, it did, made 'er feel 'erself that charitable, but I see 'er lookin' at the copper standin' alongside o' me, for fear I should make off with 'er bloomin' fat dog.

Credits: Reprinted from The Silver Box. John Galsworthy. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1916.