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A monologue from the play by George Bernard Shaw


(Despairingly.) The worst of news! Terrible news! Fatal news! My disease— (…) (Fiercely) [I mean my disease:] Paramore’s disease: the disease I discovered: the work of my life!

Look here! (He points to the journal with a ghastly expression of horror.) If this is true, it was all a mistake: there is no such disease. (…)

(Hoarsely.) It’s natural for you to think only of yourself. I don’t blame you: all invalids are selfish. Only a scientific man can feel what I feel now.

(Writhing under a sense of intolerable injus tice.) It’s the fault of the wickedly sentimental laws of this country. I was not able to make experiments enough: only three dogs and a monkey.

Think of that, with all Europe full of my professional rivals! men burning to prove me wrong! There is freedom in France: enlightened republican France!

One Frenchman experiments on two hundred monkeys to disprove my theory. Another sacrifices £36—three hundred dogs at three francs apiece—to upset the monkey experiments.

A third proves them both wrong by a single experiment in which he gets the temperature of a camel’s liver sixty degrees below zero.

And now comes this cursed Italian who has ruined me. He has a government grant to buy animals with, besides having the run of the largest hospital in Italy.

(With desperate resolution.) But I won’t be beaten by any Italian. I’ll go to Italy myself. I’ll rediscover my disease: I know it exists; I feel it; and I’ll prove it if I have to experiment on every mortal animal thats got a liver at all.

(He folds his arms and breathes hard at them.)

Read the play here

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