BY FAITH ALONE
A monologue by Marjorie
NOTE: This monologue is reprinted
from More Modern Monologues. Marjorie Benton Cooke. Chicago:
Dramatic Publishing Co., 1907.
MRS. FREDERICK BELMONT-TOWERS: Is that you, Helen?
Come in. You must excuse me for seeing you up here, but this
is my day for treatment and I don't get up till afternoon. Oh,
didn't you know? I'm taking a course with Omarkanandi, this famous
Hindu priest. You haven't heard of him? Oh, my dear, he is too
wonderful. You know what an invalid I've been for years? I've
had no sympathy in my suffering--Fred thinks it's all nonsense,
says I'm a hypochondriac, and all that, but Omarkanandi says
my condition has been simply pitiful! He's so sympathetic, Helen.
He wears a long red robe, and a turban and the queerest rings,
and his eyes are the most soulful things. Well, it's hard to
tell you just what he does. He sits beside me, and holds my hands
and looks into my eyes and talks to me, in his soft Oriental
voice. He says he is the medium of infinite strength and power,
and that he transmits it to me. Well, he thinks in time that
I can draw on this power myself, without him. He says that I'm
so highly strung that the winds of evil play on me. He says my
chronic indigestion is simply a wind of evil, and that I must
harden myself against it. I told him I didn't care so much about
the indigestion itself, but it was ruining my complexion. He
said when I got myself into harmony with the Infinite my skin
would be like a rose leaf--so you can see for yourself the thing
is worthwhile. [Pause] Oh, no, it isn't Mind Cure or Christian
Science or any of those intangible things, this is really practical.
And I find that my power over others is growing, just as he said
it would. The other night, Fred came home just worn out, and
I determined to try the cure on him, so I made him lie down,
and I held his hand, and looked at him, and talked very softly,
and it was no time at all, Helen, until he was sleeping like
a child. You see, what I like about this system is that it is
so practical. I told Omarkanandi how I was worrying about my
Bridge debts, and that I couldn't tell Fred about it, and he
put himself "in harmony" and worked out the most wonderful
scheme. he told me to get up a sort of Trust, and make up a pool,
every woman in the club putting in five hundred dollars. Then
as long as we won, we should each put ten percent of our winnings
back into the pool, and if we lost, the pool would stand for
it, up to a certain limit. I was Treasurer and I made Omarkanandi
take five hundred for thinking up the scheme. He didn't want
to at all, but he did finally to help "his cause."
Well, it worked splendidly for about a week, and then it ended
in the awfullest row. The women accused each other of not paying
their ten percent, and of overdrawing on the pool, and every
woman demanded her money back, and we just couldn't get it straightened
out. I'm out, Heaven only knows how much! Some of the men heard
about it, and you ought to have seen Fred lecture me. I repeated
a lot of things to him that he had said himself on the benefit
of Trusts, but he said that it was all rot. I told him I thought
so when he first said it, but I was so used to taking his word
as law, that I went right ahead. I'd never dare tell him how
much I'm out--I just said, "We'll call it legitimate speculation
and charge it up to profit and loss," which is his favorite
excuse when he's on the wrong side of the market. [Pause]
Mercy, no, I didn't tell him Omarkanandi had anything to do with
it. He says he's a fraud and all sorts of things. Omar says Fred
is not attuned to the higher chords of ethereality, so he lives
in error and darkness. Helen, you ought to have him come see
you; he'd do wonders for you. Only five hundred for the course,
and it's nothing when you think what he does for you. [Listens
to Helen's sarcasms in surprise] Why, Helen! I'm afraid you're
like Fred, too worldly and suspicious to grasp these truths.
As Omarkanandi says, you must be saved "by faith alone!"
[Turns her head, as if at interruption] Who is it, Maria?
Omarkanandi? Ask him to come up. Goodbye, Helen, do run in again.
[Watches her go out, and sighs] Poor, trivial thing, she
hasn't the capacity for great thoughts and spiritual experiences,
as I have.
MORE MONOLOGUES BY MARJORIE BENTON COOKE