A monologue from the play by Maxim Gorky

NOTE: This translation by Laurence Irving was originally published in 1912 by Duffield & Company, New York. It is now a public domain work and may be performed without royalties.

LUKA: Now see . . . you say--truth . . . it's not always a good treatment for man . . . can't always heal the soul with truth . . . For instance, now 'ere's a case: I knew a man 'oo believed in a land of righteousness. "There must," 'e said, "on the earth be a land of righteousness . . . and there must be dwelling in that land--an exceptional kind of people . . . good people! They respect one another, and it's just natural to them to help one another . . . and all about them is wonderfully good!" And there was that man . . . 'oo was always wantin' to go and seek the land of righteousness. 'E was--poor, lived miserably . . . and when it got so bad with 'im that even lyin' down didn't 'elp 'im--still 'e didn't lose 'eart, he'd only just smile and 'e'd say: "Never mind! I can bear it! A little more waiting--and I've done with all this life--and I shall go off to the land of righteousness." . . . it was his one delight, was that land . . . And then to this place--all this was in Siberia--there came an exile, 'e was a scholar . . . books and plans 'e 'ad, that scholar 'ad, and every sort of thing . . . Then the man says to the scholar: "Show me, if you will be so kind, where does the land of righteousness lie, and which is the way there?" At once the scholar opens 'is books, undoes 'is plans . . . 'e looked--looked--no, there's nowhere no land of righteousness. It's quite true, the countries there are all marked, but for a righteousness one--there isn't such! . . . The man won't believe . . . "There must be," 'e says . . . "look well! If not," 'e says, "yer books and yer plans they're no use: if there isn't any land of righteousness." . . . The scholar was offended. "My plans," 'e says, "are the very latest, and there isn't nowhere not any land of righteousness at all." Well, and then the man grew angry. "Can't be! I've lived and lived and suffered and suffered and always believed--there is! And your plan says that there's not! Robbery!" Then 'e says to the scholar: "Ah, you . . . you scum! You're a swindler, not a scholar" . . . and gives 'im one--whack--on 'is ear! Then another! . . . [Silence.] And after that 'e went 'ome and 'anged 'imself!

Back to Monologue Archive

Home · Full-Length Plays · One-Act Plays · 10 Minute Plays · Monologues · Email · © 2000