A monologue from the play by Douglas William Jerrold

  • NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from Paul Pry; a Comedy in Three Acts. New York: E. M. Murden, 1826.
  • OLDBUTTON: Why, sir, I'll give you my opinion. Of all failings, that of an idle curiosity is the most abject and contemptible: it is generally found in those whose utter littleness of mind prevents their engaging in any useful or honourable pursuit, and who, thus incapable of action themselves, seek to be distinguished by meddling in the affairs of others. A curious man is, in my opinion, a species of thief. Men are so branded who enter our abodes and abstract our property; and is not the individual who violates every law of decency and social life, and seeks to clandestinely possess himself to the secrets of another, only a robber in a different degree? Such I man I think you, Mr. Pry, and I should feel as little compunction in throwing you over the bannisters were I to catch you in my dwelling-place, as I should a swindler or a house-breaker.