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Damaged Goods, The Great Play "Les Avaries" of Eugene Brieux Novelized

impossible that I shan't be able to find a way to your heart, that I shan't be able to make you obey me. My emotion in speaking to you proves that I appreciate your suffering, that I suffer with you. It is in the name of my sincerity that I implore you. You have admitted it--that you have not the right to expose your wife to such miseries. But it is not only your wife that you strike; you may attack in her your own children. I exclude you for a moment from my thought--you and her. It is in the name of these innocents that I implore you; it is the future, it is the race that I defend. Listen to me, listen to me! Out of the twenty households of which I spoke, only fifteen had children; these fifteen had twenty-eight. Do you know how many out of these twenty-eight survived? Three, sir! Three out of twenty-eight! Syphilis is above everything a murderer of children. Herod reigns in France, and over all the earth, and begins each year his massacre of the innocents; and if it be not blasphemy against the sacredness of life, I say that the most happy are those who have disappeared. Visit our children's hospitals! We know too well the child of syphilitic parents; the type is classical; the doctors can pick it out anywhere. Those little old creatures who have the appearance of having already lived, and who have kept the stigmata of all out infirmities, of all our decay. They are the victims of fathers who have married, being ignorant of what you know--things which I should like to go and cry out in the public places." The doctor paused, and then in a solemn voice continued: "I have told you all, without exaggeration. Think it over. Consider the pros and cons; sum up the possible misfortunes and the certain miseries. But disregard yourself, and consider that there are in one side of the scales the misfortunes of others, and in the other your own. Take care that you are just." George was at last overcome. "Very well," he said, "I give way. I won't get married. I will invent some excuse; I will get a delay of six months. More than that, I cannot do." The doctor exclaimed, "I need three years--I need four years!" "No, Doctor!" persisted George. "You can cure me in less time than that." 37


by Upton Sinclair Damaged Goods, The Great Play "Les Avaries" of Eugene Brieux Novelized 1 Damaged Goods, The Great Play "Les Avaries" of Eu...