The Glass Menagerie By Tennessee Williams

AMANDA: “Possess your soul in patience – you will see!

Something I’ve resurrected from that old trunk! Styles haven’t changed so terribly much after all.

[She parts the portières.]

Now just look at your mother !

[She wears a girlish frock of yellowed voile with a blue silk sash. She carries a bunch of jonquils – the legend of her youth is nearly revived.]

[Feverishly]: This is the dress in which I led the cotillion, won the cakewalk twice at Sunset Hill, wore one spring to the Governor’s ball in Jackson ! See how I sashayed around the ballroom, Laura?

[She raises her skirt and does a mincing step around the room.] I wore it on Sundays for my gentlemen callers ! I had it on the day I met your father. I had malaria fever all that spring. The change of climate from East Tennessee to the Delta – weakened resistance I had a little temperature all the time – not enough to be serious – just enough to make me restless and giddy. Invitations poured in – parties all over the Delta! – ‘Stay in bed,’ said mother, ‘you have fever!’ – but I just wouldn’t. – I took quinine but kept on going, going ! Evenings, dances ! – Afternoons, long, long rides! Picnics. – lovely! – So lovely, that country in May. – All lacy with dogwood, literally flooded with jonquils! – That was the spring I had the craze for jonquils. Jonquils became an absolute obsession. Mother said, ‘Honey, there’s no more room for jonquils.’ And still I kept on bringing in more jonquils. Whenever, wherever I saw them, I’d say, “Stop ! Stop! I see jonquils ! I made the young men help me gather the jonquils ! It was a joke, Amanda and her jonquils ! Finally there were no more vases to hold them, every available space was filled with jonquils. No vases to hold them? All right, I’ll hold them myself – And then I – [She stops in front of the picture.] met your father ! Malaria fever and jonquils and then – this – boy…. [She switches on the rose-coloured lamp.] I hope they get here before it starts to rain.”