The Verge

by Susan Glaspell (1921)

Act 2

Claire - Female, 35 to 50 yrs

Scene partner - Tom

Monologue - Dramatic, 2:00 to 3:00 min

Claire:

That, too, I will give you — my by-myself-ness. That's the uttermost I can give. I never thought — to try to give it. But let us do it — the great sacrilege! Yes! Let us take the mad chance! Perhaps it's the only way to save — what's there. How do we know? How can we know? Risk. Risk everything. From all that flows into us, let it rise! All that we never thought to use to make a moment — let it flow into what could be! Bring all into life between us — or send all down to death! Oh, do you know what I am doing? Risk, risk everything, why are you so afraid to lose? What holds you from me? Test all. Let it live or let it die. It is our chance—our chance to bear — what's there. My dear one — I will love you so. With all of me. I am not afraid now — of — all of me. Be generous. Be unafraid. Life is for life —though it cuts us from the farthest life. How can I make you know that's true? All that we're open to — But yes — I will, I will risk the life that waits. Perhaps only he who gives his loneliness — shall find. You never keep by holding. To the uttermost. And it is gone — or it is there. You do not know and — that makes the moment — Just as I would cut my wrists — Yes, perhaps this lesser thing will tell it — would cut my wrists and let the blood flow out till all is gone if my last drop would make—would make — want to see it doing that! Let me give my last chance for life to — (She hears music, the Barcarole, playing downstairs) Don't listen. That's nothing. This isn't that, I tell you — it isn't that. Yes, I know — that's amorous — enclosing. I know — a little place. This isn't that, We will come out —to radiance — in far places. Oh, then let it be that! Go with it. Give up — the otherness. I will! And in the giving up — perhaps a door — we'd never find by searching. And if it's no more — than all have known, I only say it's worth the allness! My love — my love — let go your pride in loneliness and let me give you joy!

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