A monologue from the play by Eugène Brieux

NOTE: This translation by Mrs. Bernard Shaw was first published in 1907 by University Press, Cambridge. It is now a public domain work and may be performed without royalties.

MADAME BERNIN: No, no, no; we are not happy, because we have worn ourselves out hunting after happiness. We wanted to "get on," and we got on. But what a price we paid for it! First, when we were both earning wages, our life was one long drudgery of petty economy and meanness. When we set up on our own account we lived in an atmosphere of trickery, of enmity, of lying; flattering the customers, and always in terror of bankruptcy. Oh, I know the road to fortune! It means tears, lies, envy, hate; one suffers--and one makes other people suffer. I've had to go through it: my children shan't. Instead of a husband and wife helping one another, we have been partners spying upon one another; calling one another to account for every little expenditure or stupidity; and on our very pillows disputing about our business. That's how we got rich; and now we can't enjoy our money because we don't know how to use it; and we aren't happy because our old age is made bitter by the memories and the rancor left from the old bad days: because we have suffered too much and hated too much. My children shall not go through this. I endured it that they might be spared. [Pause.] Goodbye.