2 Monologues for women 20's-50.
(free for students & auditions)

from the comedy "Fantasia For String Trio"

By G. L. Horton
copyright © 1999 Geralyn Horton

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.


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 be leaving!?

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.


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