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A monologue from the play by Thornton Wilder
“Ninety-nine per cent of the people in the world are fools and the rest of us are in great danger of contagion.”
I wasn’t always free of foolishness as I am now. I was once young, which was foolish; I fell in love, which was foolish;
and I got married, which was foolish; and for a while I was poor, which was more foolish than all the other things put together.
Then my wife died, which was foolish of her; I grew older, which was sensible of me; then I became a rich man which is as sensible as it is rare.
Since you see I’m a man of sense, I guess you were surprised to hear that I’m planning to get married again.
I have two reasons for it. In the first place, I like my house run with order, comfort and economy. That’s a woman’s work;
but even a woman can’t do it well if she’s merely being paid for it. In order to run a house well, a woman must have the feeling that she owns it.
Marriage is a bribe to make a housekeeper think she’s a householder. Did you ever watch an ant carry a burden twice its size?
What excitement! What patience! What will! Well, that’s what I think of when I see a woman running a house.
What giant passions in those little bodies—what quarrels with the butcher for the best cut— what fury at discovering a moth in a cupboard! Believe me!-
If women could harness their natures to something bigger than a house and a baby-carriage-tck!tck! they’d change the world.
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