A monologue from the play by Jose Echegaray

  • NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from Poet Lore, Volume XXVII, Summer 1916, Number III.
  • TERESA: I can't read anymore. How tiresome this novel is. [She drops the book.] Everything bores me. [Gets up and looks out at rear of stage.] Yes, the park is very beautiful, there is no other like it in Madrid, but it's always the same, I know every tree, one by one, and every branch, leaf by leaf. [Goes towards front of stage.] I don't know what to do, truly, I don't know what to do! If I were a child I would play with her. Poor Maria! [Looking at her daughter.] But those days have passed. Now I'm neither happy nor able to pretend I'm happy, or if I do pretend, it's such an effort that I think my heart will burst and my nerves tear in pieces. What disgust! What weariness! I'm twenty-five years old. I feel as if I were fifty. When Eugenio and Father come they must not notice anything. I will practice my smiles in the mirror again. [Looks into mirror.] This way -- No! -- this way. [Trying to smile.] That's not a smile, that's just a grimace of weariness and discouragement. No! The smiles don't flourish. I must laugh hard. The force of it will hide the pain. Ha! Ha! Ha! Everything is so funny. Ha! Ha! Ha! [To her daughter.] Now you see, my daughter, how to amuse yourself in this world. [Keeps on laughing and ends almost crying.]