A monologue from the play by A. A. Milne

  • NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from First Plays. A. A. Milne. London: Chatto & Windus, 1921.
  • GERALD: You had a sense of humour once, Bob. I don't know what's happened to it lately. Don't you think it's rather funny to hate a person steadily for fifteen years, judge all his acts as you'd hardly judge those of your bitterest enemy, and yet, the first time you are in trouble, to expect him to throw everything on one side and rush to your help--and then to feel bitterly ill-used if he doesn't? That's been rather like you all through, Bob. You were always the one who had to be helped; you were always the one who was allowed to have the grievance. Still, that doesn't make it any better for me if I could have helped you and didn't. However, I'm quite certain that I couldn't have helped you then. We'll take the other accusation, that I stole Pamela from you. I've only got two things to say to that. First, that Pamela was not engaged to you, and was perfectly free to choose between us. Secondly, that you never told me, and I hadn't the slightest idea, that you were the least bit fond of her. Indeed, I don't believe you realized it yourself at that time. Besides, you've taken Pamela back since. I think if I were you I would keep her out of it. Now we come to the general charge, which seems to be that I'm better than you at games, that I've got better manners than you, that I'm cleverer than you--in fact, that I'm superior to you in every outward way, and am only inferior to you in--well, in the moral qualities. Bob, what are these moral qualities in which I am so deficient and you so endowed? You judge me by the qualities I am supposed to have shown to you; now what have you shown to me? Have you been generous, have you been friendly, have you been sympathetic? No; you've just told me that for fifteen years you've hated me and been jealous of me. Things have been rotten for you, I admit; have you ever tried to make the best of them? You've had disadvantages to fight against; have you ever fought against them? Never! You've turned every trouble into a grievance, and hoarded it up. I said just now I was sick of you. I am--utterly. You said just now you didn't want my pity. You haven't got it; you've only got my contempt. Oh, what's the use of talking. Goodbye. And good luck.