A monologue from the play by Henry Becque

NOTE: This translation by Freeman Tilden was first published in 1913 by Mitchell Kennerley, New York. It is now a public domain work and may be performed without royalties.

MRS. DE SAINT-GENIS: Child that you are to speak of dying at your age! Come, get up and listen to me now. I see that you really do love my son more than I thought, if you still cling to a boy who is almost poverty-stricken. But if I should consent to this marriage, in a year--yes, in six months, you would bitterly reproach me for my weakness. Love would pass, but you would have a household still. What do you think would be your lot then? Shabby, worried, vulgar, nursing your children yourself, while your discontented husband would be reproaching you all the time on account of the sacrifice he had made for you. Do what I ask. Make the sacrifice yourself instead. Can't you see how different all will be then? George will not have abandoned you; it will be you who have dismissed him generously. He will be under obligation to you. You will hold forever a place way down deep in his heart. Men always remain sensitive to the memory of a woman they have truly loved, even for an hour. It is so rare! And what will happen to you after that? I'll tell you. Little by little the love for my son, which seems so tremendous to you just now, will disappear. Yes; quicker than you think. You are young, pretty, full of charm for young men. Ten, yes, twenty young fellows will come along. You will chose, not the most attractive, but the one who is best off. And on your wedding day you will think of me and say to yourself: "Mrs. de Saint-Genis was right."

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