2 Monologues for women 20's-50.
(free for students & auditions)
THE HANDMAID'S REPORT TO
from the comedy "Fantasia For String Trio"
By G. L. Horton
copyright © 1999
Harry Harmony imagines what it would be like to be married
to an 1800 version of his wife, --- a time when both partners
to a marrriage understood the man to be the Head of the Household
and his wife the Handmaid. Later Harry speculates on the temptations
and consolations that a live-in Nanny circa 1800 might offer that
same Head of Household husband. These two female characters are
created by Harry's fantasy, beginning as wish fullfillment but
turning into his nightmares.
THE HANDMAID'S REPORT TO HEADQUARTERS
MRS. HARMONY, in matron's lace
cap and apron, c. 1800:
How fare the dear children?
(counts on her fingers)
Harry, Jr. has scanted his lessons, his tutor reports; but
he has promised to amend, and begs you will allow him to ride
out with you, Saturday next. James and Jerome held a hoop tournament,
which James won, and the triumphant champion intends to challenge
young Harry tomorrow. Sally and Ann and Matilda have learnt the
French Double Knot, which they will show you anon. The twins were
tormenting Tabby past all bearing, a transgression which earned
them each a scratching. The naughty pair have been banished to
the nursery to learn a Bible verse for repentance, and Tabby to
the cellar to mend her manners. Baby has a tooth, I think. Would
you like to see it? Not now: No, of course not now, my dear. Not
till Children's Hour. We mustn't spoil them.
Oh, Mr. Harmony! Forbear! Naughties upset me so. I nearly-- Oh,
Harry! Sparing my blushes, I-- I-- I had words with cook. Harsh
words. Unforgivable. She-- she went to put ginger in your piccalilli!
I've told Cook time and again that you hold ginger in the strongest
aversion, time and again I've said that ginger gives you the pip!
So this time I gave Cook a scold, a mild scold, and--oh, Harry!
Cook said a naughty! A very bad one. I'm afraid Cook ought to
Not if you'd prefer to keep her, of course. But her bad influence
on the little ones--
NANNY(in plain apron and servants
cap, re: MASTER HARRY's headache.) Headache, sir? Let me have
a go at it. M' Pa always said as I've got good hands. There, there,
now. Starting to loosen up some, ain'tchya, sir? I've marvelous
hands, they tell me. "Marvelous hands you have, Nanny!" they all
say. It's a satisfaction, it is, to be able to make a body comfortable.
I've always known what's best for m' little men. A bit of warm.
A bit of comfort. A bit of a cuddle. Jimmy-James, and Jerry, Thomas
and Harry Junior too, now. Whenever they got an ache or a bruise
or a bit o' trouble, they knows to come right to me. Oh, yes,
sir. A boy's supposed to grow up and over that. Like you done:
Good job. But it's hard, isn't it, sir? Having to carry the lot
of us, and nobody even s'posed to guess how the load gets you
down. Stiff upper lip, eh, sir? On the outside, may be. But who
can say that the grown-up world's such a perfect place that a
man's never entitled to a good cry? Or a good soft shoulder to
cry on? There's a child down inside you, Master Harry, alive in
there at any age, until you're put in a box and planted. I've
a way with children, sir. Turn that little boy over to me. Let
that poor baby cry, and even stamp and shout. Let him play in
m' fields, and for comfort, creep into m' lap.