Sweet and Twenty Monologues

Sweet and Twenty (She)

She says

Have you heard the story of the people who used to live here?

The agent was telling us. It’s quite romantic–and rather sad.

You see, the man that built this house was in love with a girl. He was building it for her–as a surprise. But he had neglected to mention to her that he was in love with her. And so, in pique, she married another man, though she was really in love with him. The news came just when he had finished the house.

He shut it up for a year or two, but eventually married some one else, and they lived I here for ten years–most unhappily. Then they went abroad, and the house was sold. It was bought, curiously enough, the husband of the girl he had been in love with.

They lived here till they died-hating each other to the end, the agent says.

Sweet and Twenty (He)

He says

Because you have changed the world for me. It’s as though I had been groping about in the dark, and then–sunrise! And there’s a queer feeling here.

(He puts his hand on his heart.)

To tell the honest truth, there’s a still queerer feeling in the pit of my stomach.

It’s a gone feeling, if you must know.

And my knees are weak.

I know now why men used to fall on their knees when they told a girl they loved her; it was because they couldn’t stand up. And there’s a feeling in my feet as though I were walking on air. And–And I could die for you and be glad of the chance.

It’s perfectly absurd, but it’s absolutely true.

I’ve never spoken to you before, and heaven knows I may never get a chance to speak to you again, but I’d never forgive myself if I didn’t say this to you now.

I love you! love you! love you!

Now tell me I’m a fool. Tell me to go. Anything–I’ve said my say. . . . Why don’t you speak?

Sweet and Twenty (She)

She says

I’ve been upstairs and down for two hours.

That family portrait gallery finished me.

It was so old and gloomy and dead that I felt as if I were dead myself.

I just had to do something. I wanted to jab my parasol through the window-pane.

I understood just how the suffragettes felt.

But I was afraid of shocking the agent.

He is such a meek little man, and he seemed to think so well of me. If I had broken the window I would have shattered his ideals of womanhood, too, I’m afraid.

So I just slipped away quietly and came here. Do you like family portraits?

I hate ’em! They’ve been bequeathed to some museum, I am told.

They’re valuable historically–early colonial governors and all that sort of stuff.

But there is some one with me who–who takes a deep interest in such things.

Sweet and Twenty (The Agent)

The Agent says

Marriage, my young friends, is an iniquitous arrangement devised the Devil himself for driving all the love out of the hearts of lovers. They start out as much in love with each other as you two are today, and they end being as sick of the sight of each other as you two will be five years hence if I don’t find a way of saving you alive out of the Devil’s own trap. It’s not lack of love that’s the trouble with marriage -it’s marriage itself. And when I say marriage, I don’t mean promising to love, honour, and obey, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health till death do you part -that’s only human nature to wish and to attempt. And it might be done if it weren’t for the iniquitous arrangement of marriage.

Sweet and Twenty (She)

She says

I’ve been upstairs and down for two hours.

That family portrait gallery finished me.

It was so old and gloomy and dead that I felt as if I were dead myself.

I just had to do something. I wanted to jab my parasol through the window-pane.

I understood just how the suffragettes felt.

But I was afraid of shocking the agent.

He is such a meek little man, and he seemed to think so well of me. If I had broken the window I would have shattered his ideals of womanhood, too, I’m afraid.

So I just slipped away quietly and came here. Do you like family portraits?

I hate ’em! They’ve been bequeathed to some museum, I am told.

They’re valuable historically–early colonial governors and all that sort of stuff.

But there is some one with me who–who takes a deep interest in such things.