A monologue from the play by Friedrich Schiller

NOTE: This anonymous translation was first published in 1909 by George Bell and Sons, London. It is now a public domain work and may be performed without royalties.

FRANCIS: Vulgar prejudice! mere superstition!--It has not yet been proved that the past is not past and forgotten, or that there is an eye above this earth to take account of what passes on it.--Humph! humph! But whence, then, this fearful whisper to my soul? Is there really an avenging judge above the stars?--No, no!--Yes, yes! A fearful monitor within bears witness that there is One above the stars who judgeth!--What! meet the avenger above the stars this very night?--No, no! I say.--All is empty, lonely, desolate, beyond the stars.--Miserable subterfuge, beneath which thy cowardice seeks to hide itself.--And if there should be something in it after all? No! no! it cannot be. I insist that it cannot be! But yet, if there should be!--Woe to thee, if thy sins should all have been registered above!--if they should be counted over to thee this very night!--Why creeps this shudder through my frame?--To DIE!--Why does the word fright me thus?--To give an account to the Avenger, there, above the stars!--and if he should be just--the wail of orphans and widows, of the oppressed, the tormented, ascending to his ears, and he be just?--Why have they been afflicted? And why have I been permitted to trample upon them?--