Bound East For Cardiff – Monologue (Yank)

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A monologue from the play by Eugene O’Neill

NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from The Provincetown Plays: First Series. New York: Frank Shay, 1916.


It ain’t no use, Drisc. I ain’t got a chance, but I ain’t scared. I was just thinkin’ it ain’t as bad as people think—dyin’. I ain’t never took much stock in the truck them sky-pilots preach. I ain’t never had religion; but I know whatever it is what comes after it can’t be no worser’n this.

I don’t like to leave you, Drisc, but—this sailor life ain’t much to cry about leavin’—just one ship after another, had work, small pay, and bum grub; and when we git into port, just a drunk endin’ up in a fight, and all your money gone, and then ship away again.

Never meetin’ no nice people; never gittin’ outa sailor town, hardly, in any port; travelin’ all over the world and never seein’ none of it; without no one to care whether you’re alive or dead. [with a bitter smile] 

There ain’t much in all that that’d make yuh sorry to lose it, Drisc. [musingly] It must be great to stay on dry land all your life and have a farm with a house of your own with cows and pigs and chickens, ‘way in the middle of the land where yuh’d never smell the sea or see a ship.

It must be great to have a wife, and kids to play with at night after supper when your work was done. It must be great to have a home of your own, Drisc. Sea-farin’ is all right when you’re young and don’t care,

but we ain’t chickens no more, and somehow, I dunno, this last year has seemed rotten, and I’ve had a hunch I’d quit—with you, of course—and we’d save our coin, and go to Canada or Argentine or some place and git a farm,

just a small one, just enough to live on. I never told yuh this ‘cause I thought you’d laugh at me. [pause] But now it’s too late.

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