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A monologue from the play by John Millington Synge
NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from The Playboy of the Western World. John Millington Synge. Boston: John W. Luce, 1911.
Up to the day I killed my father, there wasn’t a person in Ireland knew the kind I was, and I there drinking, waking, eating, sleeping, a quiet, simple poor fellow with no man giving me heed.
And I after toiling, moiling, digging, dodging from the dawn till dusk with never a sight of joy or sport saving only when I’d be abroad in the dark night poaching rabbits on hills, for I was a devil to poach.
I’d be as happy as the sunshine of St. Martin’s Day, watching the light passing the north or the patches of fog, till I’d hear a rabbit starting to screech and I’d go running in the furze.
Then when I’d my full share I’d come walking down where you’d see the ducks and geese stretched sleeping on the highway of the road, and before I’d pass the dunghill,
I’d hear himself snoring out, a loud lonesome snore he’d be making all times, the while he was sleeping, and he a man ‘d be raging all times, the while he was waking,
like a gaudy officer you’d hear cursing and damning and swearing oaths after drinking for weeks, rising up in the red dawn, or before it maybe, and going out into the yard as naked as an ash tree in the moon of May,
and shying clods against the visage of the stars till he’d put the fear of death into the bands and the screeching sows. He’d sons and daughters walking all the great states and territories of the world,
and not a one of them, to this day, but would say their seven curses on him, and they rousing up to let a cough or sneeze, maybe, in the deadness of the night.
I’m telling you, he never gave peace to any, saving when he’d get two months or three, or be locked in the asylums for battering peelers or assaulting men. It was a bitter life he led me till I did up a Tuesday and halve his skull.