THE MANDRAKE

A monologue from the play by Niccolo Machiavelli

Adapted by Walter Wykes

NOTE: This monologue is reprinted with the author’s permission. All inquiries should be directed to the author at: sandmaster@aol.com

CALFUCCI: Where are they? They’re late! I told them eight o’clock! I was very specific! Repeated it more than once! I made them synchronize their watches! And still they’re late! No one ever listens! Not unless I’m waving money under their noses! They think I’m an old fool! Especially my wife! The fuss she made! You should’ve heard! My god!

[He crosses himself.]

If Sostrata hadn’t given her a good tongue-lashing, she never would have shut up! Screaming and wailing and throwing herself on the floor like a child! Going on and on about this or that! Her soul! Our betrayal! The fires of Hell!

[Pause.]

Women are ridiculous creatures.

[Pause.]

I mean, they’re ruled by the one organ that’s practically guaranteed to get you in trouble. The heart. Followed closely by the mouth.

[Pause.]

Still, they’re good for something. I mean, they have their uses. Don’t they? There are reasonable arguments for keeping them around. Certain incentives. Amenities they provide.

[Pause.]

I intend to have that woman shortly.

[Pause.]

I intend to produce a child. One that will carry my name. A Calfucci!

[Pause.]

I know she doesn’t enjoy it. I’m so old. But she swore an oath. And I’m making an effort to make things as pleasant as possible. Ligurio gave me this cologne which is supposed to drive women wild. And I’ve been working out. Lost some weight. A little bit. Here. Right here. In my gut. Can you tell?

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