Instant Monologues
Shaw Heartbreak House Instant Monologue


HEARTBREAK HOUSE
by George Bernard Shaw

INT: A ROOM WHICH HAS BEEN BUILT SO AS TO RESEMBLE THE AFTER PART OF AN OLD-FASHIONED HIGH-POOPED SHIP, WITH A STERN GALLERY.

Lady Utterwood, newly returned, is sitting on the sofa, speaking to Nurse Guinness.

LADY UTTERWOOD

Oh, this house, this house! I come back to it after twenty-three years; and it is just the same: the luggage lying on the steps, the servants spoilt and impossible, nobody at home to receive anybody, no regular meals, nobody ever hungry because they are always gnawing bread and butter or munching apples, and, what is worse, the same disorder in ideas, in talk, in feeling. When I was a child I was used to it: I had never known anything better, though I was unhappy, and longed all the time-oh, how I longed!-to be respectable, to be a lady, to live as others did, not to have to think of everything for myself. I married at nineteen to escape from it. My husband is Sir Hastings Utterword, who has been governor of all the crown colonies in succession. I have always been the mistress of Government House. I have been so happy: I had forgotten that people could live like this. I wanted to see my father, my sister, my nephews and nieces (one ought to, you know), and I was looking forward to it. And now the state of the house! The way I'm received! the casual impudence of that woman Guinness, our old nurse! Really Hesione might at least have been here: some preparation might have been made for me. You must excuse my going on in this way; but I am really very much hurt and annoyed and disillusioned: and if I had realized it was to be like this, I wouldn't have come. I have a great mind to go away without another word.






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