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.

CASTI-PIANI: The best your superhuman sacrifices could do would be to turn my stomach. All my life I have loved tigresses. With bitches I was never anything but a stick of wood. My only consolation is that marriage, which you glorify so rapturously and for which bitches are bred, is a civilized institution. Civilized institutions arise only that they may be surmounted. The race will win beyond marriage just as it has surmounted slavery. The free love-market, where the tigress triumphs, is founded on a primordial law of unalterable nature. And how proud and high will woman stand in the world, so soon as she has conquered the right to sell herself, unbranded, at the highest price a man will bid for her! Illegitimate children will be better cared for then by the mother, than legitimate ones are now by the father. Then the pride and ambition of woman will no longer lie in the man who allots her her place, but in the world, where she struggles up to the highest position that her value can give her. Then what a glorious fresh vital sound the words "daughter of joy" will have! In the story of paradise it is written that Heaven endowed woman with the power to seduce. Woman seduces whom she will. Woman seduces when she will. She does not wait for love. And conventional society combats this hellish danger to our sacred civilization, by bringing woman up in an artifical darkness of mind and soul. The growing girl must not know what it means to be a woman. All our institutions might go smash if she did!

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