A monologue from the
play by George
NOTE: This monologue is reprinted
from Androcles and the Lion; Overruled; Pygmalion. Bernard
Shaw. New York: Brentano's, 1916.
DOOLITTLE: Don't say that, Governor. Don't look at
it that way. What am I, Governors both? I ask you, what am I?
I'm one of the undeserving poor: that's what I am. Think of what
that means to a man. It means that he's up agen middle class
morality all the time. If there's anything going, and I put in
for a bit of it, it's always the same story: 'You're undeserving;
so you can't have it.' But my needs is as great as the most deserving
widow's that ever got money out of six different charities in
one week for the death of the same husband. I don't need less
than a deserving man: I need more. I don't eat less hearty than
him; and I drink a lot more. I want a bit of amusement, cause
I'm a thinking man. I want cheerfulness and a song and a band
when I feel low. Well, they charge me just the same for everything
as they charge the deserving. What is middle class morality?
Just an excuse for never giving me anything. Therefore, I ask
you, as two gentlemen, not to play that game on me. I'm playing
straight with you. I ain't pretending to be deserving. I'm undeserving;
and I mean to go on being undeserving. I like it; and that's
the truth. Will you take advantage of a man's nature to do him
out of the price of his own daughter what he's brought up and
fed and clothed by the sweat of his brow until she's growed big
enough to be interesting to you two gentlemen? Is five pounds
unreasonable? I put it to you; and I leave it to you.
MORE MONOLOGUES BY GEORGE BERNARD SHAW