A monologue from the play by Gerhart Hauptmann

NOTE: Translated from the German by Mary Morison, this version of The Weavers was published in 1915. It is now a public domain work and may be performed without royalties.

LUISE: [Has lost all control of herself.] You an' your piety an' religion -- did they serve to keep the life in my poor children? In rags an' dirt they lay, all the four -- it did n't as much as keep them dry. Yes! I set up to be a mother, that's what I do -- an' if you'd like to know it, that's why I would send all the manufacturers to hell -- because I'm a mother! -- Not one of the four could I keep in life! It was cryin' more than breathin' with me from the time each poor little thing come into the world till death took pity on it. The devil a bit you cared! You sat there prayin' and singin', and let me run about till my feet bled, tryin' to get one little drop o' skim milk. How many hundred nights have I lain an' racked my head to think what I could do to cheat the churchyard of my little one? What harm has a baby like that done that it must come to such a miserable end -- eh? An' over there at Dittrich's they're bathed in wine an' washed in milk. No! you may talk as you like, but if they begin here, ten horses won't hold me back. An' what's more -- if there's a rush on Dittrich's, you'll see me in the forefront of it -- an' pity the man as tries to prevent me -- I've stood it long enough, so now you know it.