Talk about the weather, which we know al...

The Ghost Sonata

The Old Man (Jacob Hummel)

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Talk about the weather, which we know all about? Ask how we are, which we already know? I prefer silence, then you can hear thoughts and see the past; silence cannot conceal anything...unlike words; I read the other day that the different languages really arose among primitive peoples in order to conceal the secrets of one tribe from the others; languages are thus codes, and he who finds the key will understand all the languages of the world; but this doesn't prevent secrets coming to light without a key, especially in those cases where paternity needs to be proved, but proof in a Court of Law is another matter; two false witnesses will do provided they agree, but in the kind of errand I have in mind there are no witnesses, nature herself has endowed man with a sense of shame, which seeks to conceal what should be concealed; without wanting to, however, we still find ourselves in situations where opportunities sometimes arise to reveal what is most secret, when the mask is torn from the deceiver, when the villain is exposed...

[Pause. All look at each other in silence]

How quiet it's gone!

[Long silence]

Here, for example, in this respectable house, in this lovely home, where beauty, culture, wealth have been united--

[Long silence]

All of us sitting here, we know who we are...isn't that so?...I don't have to tell you...and you know me, although you pretend you don't...In there sits my daughter, mine, you know that, too...Without knowing why, she'd lost the will to live...she simply withered in this air that reeks of crime, deception, and every kind of falsehood...that's why I sought a friend for her, someone with whom she might experience the light and warmth of a noble deed...

[Long silence]

That was my mission in this house: to root out the weeds, expose the crimes, settle past accounts, so that these young people may make a fresh start in this home, which I have given them!

[Long silence]

Now I grant you leave to go, each of you in turn and order; whoever stays will be arrested!

[Long silence]

Listen to the ticking of the clock, like a death-watch beetle in the wall. Do you hear what it says? 'Time's up! Time's up!' When it strikes, in a little while, your time will be up. Then you can go, but not before. But it raises its arm before it strikes!--Listen! It's warning you: 'The clock can strike'--I, too, can strike...

[He strikes the table with his crutch]

Do you hear?

[For full text, please see The Ghost Sonata]

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All monologues are property and copyright of their owners. Monologues are presented on StageAgent for educational purposes only.

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