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Poor John Monologue

Poor John Monologue by Gregorio Martinez Sierra
Character: John
Gender: Male
Age (range): ?
Style: Comedy
Length: 3 minutes


JOHN: How can you expect a man to be brave when he meets with nothing in life but misfortune? Everything has gone wrong with me since the day I was born. Whatever I put my hand to fails utterly. You know it better than I do. I was brought up to be rich, and I am poor. I studied law, and I cannot string three words together. A man must be strong in that profession, he must have vigor of body and mind, yet I am all out of breath if I walk up a hill; I have not the heart to crush even a fly. To save the little that remains to us after the folly of my father, I need to be unscrupulous and bold, yet my mother, God bless her, has taught me to be good, good, always good! Yes, laugh ... but this is not living. I don't know what I should do if it were not for you. If it were not for you ... I might be the one who shot myself. But you have been so good to me, so kind ... all the happiness I have ever known in my life until now, has sprung from you--it may have been only a little, now and then, in small things, trifles, help, advice. It was presumptuous of me, Mariana, but I am so accustomed to relying upon you, that I imagined that the treasure was all mine. Besides, I love you so--why should you not be all goodness, Mariana, and take me like a little child into your life, like a toy that you play with, or a dog of which you are fond? But let me be yours, all yours, because I love you! If you could love me only a little I should be satisfied. A little is enough.

Credits: Reprinted from The Cradle Song and Other Plays. Trans. John Garrett Underhill. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1922.