I was jealous of every woman my first husband
looked in the face ... and he was a portrait painter, do you remember? My
second husband suffered tortures from his own jealousy ... of your grandfather.
That was premature, but prophetic, for your dear grandfather was our neighbor
in those days and he used to stand and look at me from his balcony. And
then he in his turn tortured himself, poor man, with jealousy of my second
husband, who was dead by that time to be sure ... but that only seemed to
make it worse. When I think of the times I've walked into my first husband's
studio, shaking all over, to see what sort of woman he was painting this
time ... and how much of her, and of the times when I'd glance up at your
grandfather on his balcony and let my dear second husband imagine ... God
forgive me ... that I was smiling at him; and then when your grandfather
would catch me looking at my poor second husband's portrait ... my first
husband had painted it while they were both alive ... and if I wanted to
drive him to fury, I'd only to give one sigh. Well, now they're in Heaven
all three and I'm almost sorry I worried them so. [She kisses the three
pictures.] But never forget that I was an obedient wife, gentle and
loving, an angel of the fireside, an angel in crinoline. No doubt it's far
nobler to "live your own life" (isn't that what you call it?)
but I fear you'll never find it so amusing.
Credits: Reprinted from The Plays of G. Martinez Sierra. G. Martinez
Sierra. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1922.
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