A monologue from the play by Josephine Preston Peabody
NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from Marlowe: A Drama in Five Acts. Josephine Preston Peabody. New York: Houghton Mifflin & Co., 1901.
MARLOWE: Hands off, I say!
Stay then, and every devil may come to hear,
And heaven may have it’s laugh! I ever speak
As if there were a Something there to listen:
The shadow of the little mind, grotesque,
Confident, helpless, thrown upon the clouds
To serve him for a god. And I have sworn
There is no God. –Ah, but there should be one!
There should be one. And there’s the bitterness
Of this unending torture-place for men;
For the proud soul who craves a Perfectness
That might out-wear the rotting of all things
Rooted in earth, that bloom so piercing fair
A little while, a little while,–O God,
The little while!…
No, something, something perfect, man or beast!
What is it all, without?–And what’s a man?
To go a blind way seeking here and there,
Spending and spending for the Beautiful,
On shams and shows, and clay that worms devour;
Banquet and famine, till all’s gone, all’s gone;
And he is fain to fill that tortured craving
With husks the swine do eat. –Almighty Void!
And there is nothing there for me to curse,
In this despair. I tell thee, I have come
Unto a horror no man dreams upon.
Nothing is left and nothing is, to curse.
For you may hear the crying of the wind,
Crying despair and darkness round the earth,
Without a hope of rest. But who has caught
That torturer by the gray, ancient locks,
Or who can stab the wind? Hast ever thought
Of the thirst of hatred with no thing to hate?
Here, here behold me with my enemy! —