A monologue from the play by Arthur Schnitzler

NOTE: This translation by Pierre Loving was first published in Comedies of Words and Other Plays. Arthur Schnitzler. Cincinnati: Stewart Kidd Company, 1917. It is now a public domain work and may be performed without royalties.

SOPHIE: How can you jest about it? Don't you understand? It is over and done with forever. Nothing remains, nothing but nauseau, no, horror, an overwhelming horror of it all. How can I go back to him? One can go back to a man when he has failed miserably, when he has committed a crime, when he's wounded somebody unto death; one can go back to one who is repentant and to one who is not repentant. But a man must recognize what he's done. Herbot doesn't recognize it. He doesn't understand me and he doesn't understand himself and he doesn't understand anybody else. Love, hypocrisy, murder, everything which pervades reality is of no greater moment to him than if he were playing one of his parts. He and I speak different tongues, and there is no longer an interpreting medium between us. If, from the depths of my despair I were to throw myself out of the window, it would merely be the end of an act for him. The curtain falls and he goes out for his "pottle of Sec." A human being -- he? A maddened harlequin, rather, who when occasion serves is also ready to play the human being. But no human being he -- no.

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