A LEAP YEAR LEAP – Monologue (Martha)

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A monologue by Walter Ben Hare

NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from Bran’ New Monologues. Walter Ben Hare. Boston: Walter H. Baker & Co., 1920.


I’ve made up my mind at last. I’ll throw convention to the winds and show the world that I’m a new woman. I’ll do it–I’ll do it to-night! I’ll propose to Reginald Brady. [A little faster.]

I’ve considered the question from every possible stand-point and I’ve come to the conclusion that a girl of to-day has just as much right to propose marriage as a man has.

For centuries the poor girl has had to sit quietly by waiting for a man to snap his fingers before she can say, “Thank you!” Now, I’ll do the snapping! Reginald has been calling on me three times a week for the past year–but 

[Sadly] never a word about love, never a thrill or a hand-clasp, never a syllable about matrimony. I can’t stand it any longer, and I won’t. To-night is my chance.

I am to escort him to the Leap Year Ball at the Country Club and I intend to ask him right out, pointblank, to marry me. Am I right? I’ll say so. [Pause] I wonder if he’ll take it as a joke.

He can’t; it’s a tragedy. He’ll read tragedy in my voice, in my face. I’d die if he didn’t take it seriously, but of course he will. I wonder if I’m feverish. [Looks in small pocket mirror.] 

I am, I know I am. My face is flushed, and I’m hot and my heart is beating like everything. But my mind is made up. To-night I’ll make a leap year leap. I’ll propose on the veranda overlooking the lake. 

[Pulls a large chair forward.] He’ll be sitting there and I’ll be sitting here. [Pulls small chair close to large chair.] No, I’ll be closer than that. [Puts small chair closer to large chair.] 

I’ll start by resting my hand on the arm of his chair, like that. No, that isn’t careless enought. That’s better. Wait a minute, I’ll have to have a Reginald. [Places a pillow in large chair and puts a man’s hat on it.] 

Hello, Reggy! It’s not a very striking likeness, but it’s the best I can do. Ah! [Sentimentally] Isn’t the moon bright tonight, Reginald? [Pause] Don’t you just adore a moonlight night? 

[Pause] Yes, so do I. It makes me so sentimental. [Pause] Don’t you feel sentimental, too? The moon shining on the lake, and the music, and the perfume of the roses, and everything. 

[With a long, audible sigh.] Ohhh! it’s just heavenly. [Pause] Oh, no, I’m not the least bit chilly. Chilly? Why, I’m burning up. [Sentimentally] ‘Twas on such a night as this that what-cha-call her stood on the banks and waved a willow wand at Cypress.

A night for romance, a night for love. [Matter-of-fact tone.] That isn’t very good. It doesn’t seem to lead to anything. No, it’s too much introduction. I’ll start right in at the critical moment. [

Deep, sepulchral voice.] Reginald! [Normal voice.] Oh, no, that would probably scare him to death. [High, throaty voice.] Reginald, dear! [Normal.] Too high, he’d think I’d seen a mouse or something.

Er– [Clears throat] hum! Reginald! That’s much better. Reginald, the subject I am about to introduce will probably cause you some surprise. [To audience.] I should think it would. 

[To dummy.] But I trust it will cause you some feeling of joy. You surely must have learned during the past year–during the past year–you must have learned–that I–that you–that we–both of us–during the past year 

[Clears throat] hem! You must have learned– [To audience.] Oh, fudge, I can’t make it sound natural, at all. [In a confidential tone to the dummy.] Say, Reggy, you and I seem to hit it off awfully well together.

We’ve seen a lot of each other during the past year and we always get on like a house afire, you and I. I was just wondering why we couldn’t always get on that way together, all through life, I mean, until death do us part.

You know what I mean. [To audience.] That’s splendid. [To dummy.] I never cared for any other man the way I care for you, Reginald. Don’t you care a little for me, too?

If you do, why don’t you say so, and make me the happiest—-! [Rises suddenly in alarm, as the maid is supposed to have entered the room.] Who’s there? Mercy, is that you, Marie?

I wish you would knock before you enter my room. [Pause] You did knock? Well, knock louder. I didn’t hear you. I was just … rehearsing a little scene from a play. Please don’t giggle.

I must say, Marie, that you giggle more than any maid we ever had in the house. There’s nothing at all to giggle at. What do you want? [Pause] A letter–for me? A special delivery? Oh.

Thank you. [Pantomimes looking at the envelope.] Reggy’s writing! Oh, he must be sick or something. [Opens letter and reads it.] Oh! [Reads some more.] Well, I never! 

[Reads some more, registering delight; reads a few lines aloud.] –have long loved you! [Gives a long audible sigh and reads some more.] –marry me at once. Oh, it’s a proposal.

Reginald has proposed. [Long sigh of relief.] Thank goodness. [Goes toward entrance and calls.] Marie, Marie, get my wrap. No, I can’t wait. I’ll have to telephone. [At door.] 

Get Central for me, Marie, right away, and call up Mr. Brady. I have something very important to tell him over the phone. [Ecstatically.] Oh, Reginald! [Exit.]

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