Always Ridiculous Monologue
|Always Ridiculous Monologue by Jose Echegaray|
TERESA: I thought I was going mad. It can't be true! But it is. God! How hard and cruel I was to poor Vargas, how deliberately cruel! Conscience, you must be satisfied--I'm alone and I say Vargas and not Juan. Senor De Vargas--with all respect, quite in good form. [Pause.] God! How restless I feel--I was cruel! Cruel, disdainful, insolent. He was desperate--but there was no reason. Suppose something happens to him tomorrow. I can't think about it. If anything happens it will be my fault. They were right--Juan lives without hope as I do. Tomorrow he will get himself killed--he is going to--after what I've said--it's certain. No--I don't want him to die. Is that wrong too? Well, let it be wrong--I want him to defend himself--to live. Duty--duty--I've done enough for duty. My duty now is to save him. He's a human being like Eugenio--like my father. If I can save him with a word why not say it? See him? No, not that. It's not possible. I can't go and I wouldn't go if I could. He won't come--I could swear he won't. But I could write to him--two lines--only two lines--without giving him hope--hope is dead for both of us, it can't exist. Just one word of pity--of love--a word of love can do much. Oh! Why do I vacillate? I feel as if I were about to commit a crime. I've turned coward in truth. [Sits at the table.] "My dear Senor Don Juan de Vargas." [Writing.] No that won't do. I loved him and he knows I loved him. [Tears the paper.] It's ridiculous. "Vargas, come tonight. We must have a talk." But he won't come, and even if he should we couldn't talk alone, and if we did talk alone, I couldn't let myself go as I can when I write. No, that won't do. I can't get the idea, and I can't express it. Oh, what a miserable Teresina I am! Sitting here weighing words when his life is in the balance. What an egoist and what a coward! He wouldn't do that. His honor, his life, would count for nothing if he could save Teresina. I'll let my heart speak and begin without naming him so that I won't call him "My Life." "I know everything" -- that -- that's the way I ought to begin. "I know you fight Nebreda tomorrow. You told me that you would not come tonight, and I can't let things rest as they are. I don't say give up the duel because I know you would not. And beside I don't want to make you ridiculous. But, for God's sake, defend yourself well! I want you to live--if you don't I will die. You are brave--you are strong--defend yourself. Think of me, think of Maria, think of us both. For me and for your child! Forgive me. Goodbye." I'll sign no name -- why not a T? -- no -- Teresa -- no -- Teresina. [Looking around.] Where's the blotter? Gone--such a little thing to make one nervous--when so much is at stake. I'll write the envelope while it dries. [Addressing the envelope.] "Senor Don Juan De Vargas, personal and most urgent." There--Louisa will take it. [Lays the envelope down, takes the letter and looks to see if it is dry.]
Credits: Reprinted from Poet Lore, Volume XXVII, Summer 1916, Number III.