KING ARTHUR'S SOCKS

A monologue from the play by Floyd Dell

NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from King Arthur's Socks and Other Village Plays. Floyd Dell. New York: Alfred Knopf, 1922.

GUENEVERE: Do you still want to kiss me?--Think what you are saying, Lancelot, for I may let you. And that kiss may be the beginning of the catastrophe. Do you want a kiss that brings with it grief and fear and danger and heartbreak? [Pause.] No? Then what do you want -- just a kiss? [Pause.] If you had believed, for one moment, that it was worth the price of grief and heartbreak, I should have believed it too, and kissed you, and not cared what happened. I should have risked the love of my husband and the happiness of your sweetheart without a qualm. And who knows? It might have been worth it. An hour from now I shall be sure it wasn't; I shall be sure it was all blind, wicked folly. But now I am a little sorry. I wanted to gamble with fate. I wanted us to stake our two lives recklessly upon a kiss--and see what happened. And you couldn't. It wasn't a moment of beauty and terror. You didn't want to challenge fate. You just wanted to kiss me. I wanted you to sweep me off my feet, to make me forget everything; it was wrong, it was foolish of me to want it, but I did. If you had done it, I should have loved you for ever. And now, because you couldn't, I despise you. That's the trouble with us. We're civilized. Hopelessly civilized. We had a spark of the old barbaric flame--but it went out. We put it out--quenched it with conversation. No, Lancelot, we've talked our hour away. It's time for you to pack up. Good-bye.

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