THE WIDOW OF WASDALE HEAD – Monologue (Mrs. Jesmond)

A monologue from the play by Arthur Wing Pinero

NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from Representative One-Act Plays by British and Irish Authors. Ed. Barrett H. Clark. Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1921.


No, no, Hal! Listen! Oh, listen! Hal — Hal, when the grave closed over thee, I did indeed believe that I was done with love forever,

and that my heart was but a dry and withered plant; but, oh, there are seasons when it will persist in putting forth green shoots,

and when I find strange hopes and joys quickening within me that are unbefitting a woman that is devoted to the memory of her dead husband!

Alas, Harry, ’twas at such a time that Mr. Fane came upon me! Though ’twas in January that he alighted at my door,

the sun was shining in the valley, and our robins were chirping and there was a tremble of Spring in the air;

and ’twas then, when he had crossed my threshold and I filled him a cup of wine, and faced him while he drank —

’twas then that I felt those green shoots in my breast burst and spread their leaves. [Wildly.] But, oh, my dear, he is going,

as you are informed — he is going! — and ’tis not likely that he will come my way again, nor that another young man of his rank and character will ever resort to this lonely inn.

And so you must pardon me this one stumble; and by all that I hold most sacred, Hal … wait! Harry? Come back! I love thee! I swear I love thee!

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