A monologue from the play by August Strindberg
NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from Easter and Stories. Trans. Velma Swanston Howard. Cincinnati: Stewart & Kidd Company, 1912.
Others have suffered to bring you happiness — your mother; your father; your sweetheart; your sister — sit down, and I’ll tell you a story. —
It’s very short. It happened about forty years ago. When a youth, I came to the Capitol — alone, unknown and inexperienced — to seek employment.
I had only one riksdaler to my name. The night was dark, and as I knew of no cheap hotel, I questioned passers-by.
None replied. When I was in the depths, a man stepped up to me and asked why I was weeping — I wept, evidently.
I told him my straits. He turned out of his way, accompanied me to a hotel, and comforted me with cheering words.
As I stepped into a passage-way, the glass door of a shop swung open; it caught my elbow–and the glass was broken.
The rowdy shopkeeper held me responsible and demanded payment, otherwise he would call the police, he said.
Imagine my distress with a night on the street in prospect!
The kind-hearted stranger, who had witnessed the performance, took the trouble to call an officer, and rescued me.
This man was your father. Thus, everything comes back to us — even the good. And, for your father’s sake, I have wiped out the debt.
Accept this paper and keep the check. [Rising] As it is hard for you to say thanks, I’ll go at once as I find it rather painful to be thanked.
Instead, go immediately to your mother and relieve her anxiety.