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Quality Street Monologue

Quality Street Monologue by J.M. Barrie
Character: Miss Susan
Gender: Female
Age (range): ?
Style: Drama
Length: 3 minutes


MISS SUSAN: Phoebe, I have a wedding gift for you. It has been ready for a long time. I began it when you were not ten years old and I was a young woman. I meant it for myself, Phoebe. I had hoped that he -- his name was William -- but I must have been too unattractive, my love. I always associate it with a sprigged poplin I was wearing that summer, with a breadth of coloured silk in it, being a naval officer; but something happened, a Miss Cicely Pemberton, and they are quite big boys now. So long ago, Phoebe -- he was very tall, with brown hair -- it was most foolish of me, but I was always so fond of sewing -- with long straight legs and such a pleasant expression. It was a wedding gown, my dear. Even plain women, Phoebe, we can't help it; when we are young we have romantic ideas just as if we were pretty. And so the wedding-gown was never used. Long before it was finished I knew he would not offer, but I finished it, and then I put it away. I have always hidden it from you, Phoebe, but of late I have brought it out again, and altered it. You will wear it, my love ... won't you? And the tears it was sewn with long ago will all turn into smiles on my Phoebe's wedding day.

Credits: Reprinted from Quality Street. J.M. Barrie. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1913.