A monologue from the play by August Strindberg

  • NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from Easter and Stories. Trans. Velma Swanston Howard. Cincinnati: Stewart & Kidd Company, 1912.
  • LINDQUIST: Others have suffered to bring you happiness -- your mother; your father; your sweetheart; your sister -- sit down, and I'll tell you a story. -- It's very short. It happened about forty years ago. When a youth, I came to the Capitol -- alone, unknown and inexperienced -- to seek employment. I had only one riksdaler to my name. The night was dark, and as I knew of no cheap hotel, I questioned passers-by. None replied. When I was in the depths, a man stepped up to me and asked why I was weeping -- I wept, evidently. I told him my straits. He turned out of his way, accompanied me to a hotel, and comforted me with cheering words. As I stepped into a passage-way, the glass door of a shop swung open; it caught my elbow--and the glass was broken. The rowdy shopkeeper held me responsible and demanded payment, otherwise he would call the police, he said. Imagine my distress with a night on the street in prospect! The kind-hearted stranger, who had witnessed the performance, took the trouble to call an officer, and rescued me. This man was your father. Thus, everything comes back to us -- even the good. And, for your father's sake, I have wiped out the debt. Accept this paper and keep the check. [Rising] As it is hard for you to say thanks, I'll go at once as I find it rather painful to be thanked. Instead, go immediately to your mother and relieve her anxiety.