A monologue from the play by Frank Wedekind

NOTE: This translation by Samuel A. Eliot was first published in 1914 by Boni and Liveright, New York. It is now a public domain work and may be performed without royalties.

MORITZ: The leaves whisper so eagerly. It's as if I were hearing dead Grandmother tell the story of the Queen without a Head. She was a perfectly beautiful queen, fair as the sun, lovelier than all the maidens in the land, -- only she had come into the world, alas! without a head. She couldn't eat nor drink nor see nor laugh nor kiss either. She could only make herself understood to her court through her supple little hand. With her dainty feet she tossed off declarations of war and death-sentences. Then one day she was conquered by a king who happened to have two heads that were always at outs with each other--quarreled the whole year long so hard that neither let the other speak a word. So the chief court conjurer took the smaller of the two heads and set it on the queen; and lo and behold, it was mighty becoming to her; so then the king married the queen and the two were no longer at loggerheads but kissed each other on the forehead and the cheeks and the mouth, and lived for a long, long time after in happiness and joy. . . . Confounded rot! Since vacation I haven't been able to get the Headless Queen out of my head! If I see a beautiful girl, I see her without a head, -- and then all of a sudden I appear as the Headless Queen -- myself! . . . Well, it's possible that one will be set on my shoulders yet.