THE ARISTOCRAT (Monologue)
 
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The following recitation depicts an incident in the French Revolution, period 1791. The character portrayed is that of a French peasant driven to the verge of insanity by his wrongs and miseries. He is about to take a terrible revenge upon the Seigneur of the Chateau who is the indirect author of all his woes. The Seigneur is supposed to have fallen into his hands and to be bound and gagged to a chair in the tumble down hovel in which the peasant lives.
 
 
Ha, ha, M’sieur, so they have brought you
They’ve brought you to visit me
In the filth of the reeking hovel
You’d promised to come and see.

You’d promised to come and see it
To make it warm and dry
For it isn’t much of a dwelling
In which to live and die.

But my Father lived and died here
And my wife, she died here too
If it’s fit for them to die in
It’s fit, M’sieur, for you.

More light? yes. yes, you shall have it
You shiver - more warmth as well?
You’ll have plenty of warmth I’m thinking
When they burn your soul in Hell.

On the 18th of June you were driving
(M’sieur will remember it well)
With the lady you’ve chosen to marry
La jolie petite Ma’m’selle.

Your people, half starved, half naked
To their hovels and huts must fly
Lest the sight of their faces should pain her
As the little Ma’m’selle goes by.

My little Jeanette was playing
On the road where your carriage sped
I hurried, too late to save her
My little Jeanette was dead.

On the 25th of December
While the wolves howled round the door
My wife, M’sieur, was dying
Over there on the reeking floor.

That night I came to the Chateau
To beg for some wine and bread
You were feasting, your servants told me
In the morning my wife lay dead.

Wine did I say? we have plenty
We have barrels enough to spare
We borrowed them from the Chateau
Your cellars, ha, ha, are bare.

A toast, M’sieur, let us drink one
Let us drink as you used to do
To the souls of my wife and children
To the soul of their murderer - you!

Are you frightened, M’sieur, of dying
Will you fly when in Hell you meet
The souls of the men and women
You’ve trodden beneath your feet?

Hark, Hark, it’s the wolves - no,it isn’t
It’s the people, you need not fear
You are perfectly safe (till they find you)
They don’t know I’ve brought you here.

See, see, they are burning the Chateau
They are drunken with blood and wine
And Ma’m’selle, ah look, they have bound her
Tonight Ma’m’selle is mine.

Ma’m’selle, ha, ha, I shall love her
I shall cherish her day and night
And when she would make me weary
Well - her throat is soft and white.

You shudder, ah, ah, no wonder
Tho’ you smile with your cursed smile
It is hard just to die and leave her
Ma’m’selle, to a life so vile.

You can hear them again, they are singing
‘Tis a Mass for your cursed soul
When they seize you they’ll rend you and tear you
Not a limb will they leave you whole.

It’s the Marseillaise they’re singing
They will sing with their dying breath
Equality, Brotherhood, Freedom
It is either of these or death.
 
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Written by Harry Wynne - Performed by Bransby Williams
 
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