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: To be frank with you, Melchior, I've had exactly that feeling since I read your paper. It fell out at my feet in the first days of vacation. I had my French grammar in my hand. I bolted the door and ran through your quivering lines like a frightened owl flying through a blazing wood. I think I read most of it with my eyes shut. At your explanations a stream of vague memories rang in my ears like a song one used to hum joyously to one's self in childhood, and at the brink of death hears from the mouth of another, and is appalled. My sympathy was aroused most by what you wrote about the girl's part. I shall never get over the impression that made. I'm sure, Melchior, to have to suffer wrong is sweeter than to do wrong. Blamelessly to have to undergo so sweet a wrong seems to me the essence of every earthly bliss. -- The girl's delight, Melchior, is like the blessèd gods'. The girl represses. Her very nature protects her. She is kept free from any bitterness or regret up to the last moment, and so can see, all at once, heaven itself break over her. She is still fearful of hell in the very instant of discovering and embracing paradise. Her senses are as fresh as the spring that bubbles from pure rock. She lays hold of a cup no earthly breath has yet clouded--a draught of nectar that she takes and swallows even as it flames and flares. . . . The gratification that the man receives seems to me shallow and flat beside hers!