A monologue from the play by Romain Rolland

NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from The Fourteenth of July and Danton. Trans. Barrett H. Clark. New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1918.

OLD WOMAN SHOPKEEPER: What do you mean with your talk all the time of burning and hanging and stirring things up? What’ll it bring you? I know well enough you’ll not do a blessed thing about it. Then why talk so much? Will it make your soup taste better if you cook a few aristocrats? They’ll run off with all their money and we’ll be more miserable than ever. You see, you’ve got to take things as they come, and not believe those liars that tell you you can change things by shouting. D’ye know what I think? We’re wasting our time here. Nothing’s going to happen, nothing can happen. You’re threatened with famine, war–the whole Apocalypse. I tell you, it’s all invented by the newspapers that haven’t anything else to print, and by spies who want to stir things up. There’s just a misunderstanding with the king, but it’ll be all right if we go about our business. We have a good king: he’s promised to keep our good M. Necker, who’s going to give us a Constitution. Why don’t you believe it? Isn’t that good common sense? Why isn’t it, eh? I believe what they say, and I was just as foolish as you: I wasted four hours here. I’m going now to sell my turnips.

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