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A monologue from the play by John Millington Synge
NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from The Tinker’s Wedding. John Millington Synge. Boston: John Luce, 1911.
[A priest is tied in a sack, wriggling and struggling about on the ground.
The others bundle things together in a wild haste while old Mary tries to keep him quiet.]
Be quiet, your reverence. What is it ails you, with your wrigglings now? Is it choking maybe?
[She puts her hand under the sack, and feels his mouth, patting him on the back.]
It’s only letting on you are, holy father, for your nose is blowing back and forward as easy as an east wind on an April day.
[In a soothing voice.] There now, holy father, let you stay easy, I’m telling you, and learn a little sense and patience,
the way you’ll not be so airy again going to rob poor sinners of their scraps of gold. [He gets quieter.]
That’s a good boy you are now, your reverence, and let you not be uneasy, for we wouldn’t hurt you at all. It’s sick and sorry we are to tease you;
but what did you want meddling with the like of us, when it’s a long time we are going our own ways–
father and son, and his son after him, or mother and daughter, and her own daughter again–and its little need we ever had of going up into a church and swearing–
I’m told there’s swearing with it–a word no man would believe, or with drawing rings on our fingers,
would be cutting our skins maybe when we’d be taking the ass from the shafts, and pulling the straps the time they’d be slippy with going around beneath the heavens in rains falling.
[To the others.] Maybe he’d swear a mighty oath he wouldn’t harm us, and then we’d safer loose him;
for if we went to drown him, they’d maybe hang the batch of us, man and child and woman, and the ass itself.
[To the priest.] Would you swear an oath, holy father, to leave us in our freedom, and not talk at all? [Priest nods in sacking.] Didn’t I tell you?
Look at the poor fellow nodding his head off in the bias of the sacks. Strip them off from him, and he’ll be easy now.
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