by Anton Chekhov
STEPAN STEPANOVITCIT CHUBUKOV, a landowner.
NATALYA STEPANOVNA, his daughter, twenty-five years old.
IVAN VASSILEVITCH LOMOV, a neighbor of Chubukov, a large and hearty,
but very suspicious landowner.
The scene is laid at CHUBUKOV’S country house.
LOMOV enters, wearing a dress-jacket and white gloves. CHUBUKOV rises
to meet him.
CHUBUKOV. MY dear fellow, whom do I see! Ivan Vassilevitch! I am extremely glad! (Squeezes his hand) NO W this is a surprise, my darling…. How are you?
LOMOV. Thank you. And how may you be getting on?
CHUBUKOV. We just get along somehow, my angel, thanks to your prayers, and so on. Sit down, please do…. Now, you know, you shouldn’t forget all about your neighbours, my darling. MY dear fellow, why are you so formal in your get -up? Evening dress, gloves, and so on. Can you be going anywhere, my treasure?
LOMOV. No, I’ve come only to see you, honoured Stepan Stepanovitch.
CHUBUKOV. Then why are you in evening dress, my precious? As if you’re paying a New Year’s Eve visit!
LOMOV. Well, you see, it’s like this. (Takes his arm) I’ve come to you, honoured Stepan Stepanovitch, t o trouble you with a request. Not once or twice have I already had the privilege of applying to you for help, and you ha ve always, so to speak…. I must ask your pardon, I am getting excited. I shall drink some water, honoured Stepan Stepa novitch. (Drinks )
... overwhelmingly professional, responsible, and competent.Compared to professional dress, there was a significant drop in mean scores for ... observation of high school teachers concerning male and female dress of teachers with ten work-related points: responsibility, ... therefore they are also significant enough components.Penny Storm described dress as a body covering, attachment, or treatment; it ...
l From The Plays of Anton Chekhov (New York: World Publishing Company,
Copyright by Illustrated Editions, Inc., 1935. Reprinted by permission of
Avon Publications, Inc.
146 SHORT PLAYS FOR STUDY AND PRACTICE
CHUBUKOV. (Aside) He’s come to borrow money! Shan’t give him any! (Aloud) What is it, my beauty?
LOMOV. YOU see, Honour Stepanitch…. I beg pardon,Stepar Honouritch…. I mean, I’m awfully excited, as you will please notice. . . In short, you alone can help me, though I don’t deserve it, of course… and haven’t any right to count on your assistance ….
CHUBUKOV. Oh, don’t go round and round it, darling! Spit it out! Well?
LOMOV. One moment . . . this very minute. The fact is, I’ve come to ask the hand of your daughter, Natalya Ste panovna, in marriage.
CHUBUKOV. (Joyfully) By Jove! Ivan Vassilevitch! Say it again– I didn’t hear it all!
LOMOV. I have the honour to ask . . .
CHUBUKOV. (Interrupting) My dear fellow . . . I’m so glad, and so on…. Yes, indeed, and all that sort of thing. (Embraces and kisses LOMOV) I’ve been hoping for it for a long time. It’s been my continual desire. ( Sheds a tear) And I’ve always loved you, my angel, as if you were my own son. May God give you both His help and His love and so on, and I did so much hope…. What am I behaving in this idiotic way for? I’m off balance with joy, ab solutely off my balance! Oh, with all my soul…. I’ll go and call Natasha, and all that.
LOMOV. (Greatly moved) Honoured Stepan Stepanovitch, do you think I may count on her consent?
CHUBUKOV. Why, of course, my darling, and . . . as if she won’t consent! She’s in love; egad, she’s like a lov e-sick cat, and so on . . . Shan’t be long! (Exit)
LOMOV. It’s cold . . . I’m trembling all over, just as if I’d go an examination before me. The great thing is, I must have my mind made up. If I give myself time to think, to hesitate, to talk a lot to look for an ideal, or for re al love, then I’ll never get married . . . Brr! . . . It’s cold! Natalya Stepanovna is an excellent housekeeper, not bad -looking, well-educated…. What more do I want’ But I’m getting a noise in my ears from excitement. (Drinks) Am it’s im possible for me not to marry…. In the first place, I’m already 35–a critical age, so to speak. In the second place, I ought to lead quiet and regular life…. I suffer from palpitations, I’m excitable an,always getting awfully upset…. At this very moment my lips ar trembling, and there’s a twitch in my right eyebrow…. But the ver worst of all is th e way I sleep. I no sooner get into bed and begin to g
... mothering nurse stands apart, watching. "It is an honour that I dream not of." Says Juliet, after a ... dreamt of marriage, and even pictured Romeo- and loved him dearly- long before having met him. Of course ... becoming a woman right then? I think this love is either pure hormonal attraction, or Juliet has ... and good night indeed. If that thy bent of love be honourable, Thy purpose marriage, send me word ...
off when suddenly something in my left side–gives a pull, and I can feel it in my shoulder and head…. I j ump up like a lunatic, walk about a bit, and lie down again, but as soon as I begin to get off to sleep there’s another pull! And this may happen twenty times….
NATALYA STEPANOVNA comes in.
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. Well, there! It’s you, and papa said, “Go,there’s a merchant come for his good s!” How do you do, Ivan Vassilevitch!
LOMOV. How do you do, honoured Natalya Stepanovna?
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. You must excuse my apron and house dress. . . we’re shelling peas for drying. Why haven’t you been here for such a long time? Sit down…. (They seat themselves) Won’t you have some lunch?
LOMOV. No, thank you, I’ve had some already.
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. Then smoke…. Here are the matches…. The weather is splendid now, but yesterday it was so wet that the workmen didn’t do anything all day. How much hay have you stacked? Just think, I felt greedy and had a w hole field cut, and now I’m not at all pleased about it because I’m afraid my hay may rot. I ought to have waited a bit. But what’s this? Why, you’re in evening dress! Well, I never! Are you going to a ball, or what?–though I must say you look better…. Tell me, why are you got up like that?
LOMOV. (Excited) You see, honoured Natalya Stepanovna . . . the fact is, I’ve made up my mind to ask y ou to hear me out…. Of course you’ll be surprised and perhaps even angry, but a . . . (Aside) It’s awfully col d!
... removed as rent for the land, for as long as they mine the land. Upon incorporation of all of ... profit to the remaining mines, and supporting the government. Another area of the land managed by the BLM ... feel there would be a reduction of mines. With less mines mineral supplies would be preserved, and the ... these laws, which none of the current mines would ...
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. What’s the matter? (Pause) Well?
LOMOV. I shall try to be brief. You must know, honoured Natalya Stepanovna, that I have long, since m y childhood, in fact, had the privilege of knowing your family. My late aunt and her husband, from whom, as you know, I inherited my land, always had the greatest respect for your father and your late mother. The Lomovs and the Chubukovs ha ve always had the most friendly, and I might almost say the most affectionate, regard for each other. And, as you know, my land is a near neighbour of yours. You will remember that my Oxen Meadows touch your birch woods.
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. Excuse my interrupting you. You say, “My Oxen Meadows ….” But are they yours?
148 SHORT PLAYS FOR STUDY AND PRACTICE
LOMOV. Yes, mine.
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. What are you talking about? Oxen Meadows are ours, not yours !
LOMOV. No, mine, honoured Natalya Stepanovna.
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. Well, I never knew that before. How do you make that out?
LOMOV. How? I’m speaking of those Oxen Meadows which are wedged in between your birch woods and the Burnt Mars h.
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. Yes, yes…. They’re ours.
LOMOV. No, you’re mistaken, honoured Natalya Stepanovna, they’re mine.
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. Just think, Ivan Vassilevitch ! How long have they been yours?
LOMOV. How long? As long as I can remember.
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. Really, you won t get me to believe that!
LOMOV. But you can see from the documents, honoured Natalya Stepanovna. Oxen Meadows, it’s true, were once th e subject of dispute,but now everybody knows that they are mine. There’s nothing to argue about. You see, my aunt’s gran dmother gave the free use of these Meadown in perpetuity to the peasants of your father’s grandfather, in return for whi ch they were to make bricks for her. The peasants belonging to your father’s grandfather had the free use of the Meadows for forty years, and had got into the habit of regarding them as their own, whenit happened that . . .
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. No, it isn’t at all like that! Both my grandfather and great-grandfather reckoned that the ir land extended to Burnt Marsh–which means that Oxen Meadows were ours. I don’t see what there is to argue about. It’s simply silly!
... living room. This, however, does not help Lomov as sweat now begins to pour rapidly down his ... about his daughter. Interrupting him, Tschubukov insists that Lomov is to be in a comfortable setting when he ... put together a sentence. In a hesitant voice Lomov slowly reveals his desire to marry Tschubukov's ... that Tschubukov feels was also experienced by Lomov for he has hidden his feelings for many ...
LOMOV. I’ll show you the documents, Natalya Stepanovna!
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. No, you’re simply joking, or making fun of me…. What a surprise! We’ve had the land for nearly three hundred years, and then we’re suddenly told that it isn’t ours! Ivan Vassilevitch, I can hardly believe my own ears…. These Meadows aren’t worth much to me. They only come to five dessiatins,* and are worth perhaps 300 rouble s,+ but I can’t stand unfairness. Say what you will, but I can’t stand unfairness.
LOMOV. Hear me out, I implore you! The peasants of your father’s grandfather, as I have already had th e honour of explaining to you,
* 13 1/2 acres.
+ 30 pounds.
1 4 9
used to bake bricks for my aunt’s grandmother. Now my aunt’s grandmother, wishing to make them a pleasant . . .
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. I can’t make head or tail of all this about aunts and grandfathers and grandmothers. The M eadows are ours, and that’s all.
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. Ours ! You can go on proving it for two days on end, you can go and put on fifteen dress-j ackets, but I tell you they’re ours, ours, ours ! I don’t want anything of yours and I don’t want to give up anything of mine. So there!
LOMOV. Natatalya Stepanovna, I don’t want the Meadows, but I am acting on principle. If you like, I’ll make yo u a present of them.
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. I can make you a present of them myself, because they’re mine. Your behaviour, Ivan Vassil evitch, is strange, to say the least! Up to this we have always thought of you as a good neighbour, a friend; last year we lent you our threshing-machine, although on that account we had to put off our own threshing till November, but you b ehave to us as if we were gipsies. Giving me my own land, indeed! No,really, that’s not at all neighbourly ! In my opini on, it’s even impudent,if you want to know….
... early summer and 0. 99 ounces prior to hibernation. Habitat: Meadow jumping mice inhabit moist areas, thick grassy fields, dense weeds ... and are not antagonistic even when placed with strangers. Diet: Meadow jumping mice are omnivores, bur are primarily seed eaters. They ... caches, and they lack cheek pouches. Physical Characteristics: The Meadow Jumping Mouse or Kangaroo Mouse is a small, long tailed ...
LOMOV. Then you make out that I’m a land-grabber? Madam, never in my life have I grabbed anybody else’s land, and I shan’t allow anybody to accuse me of having done so…. (Quickly steps to the carafe and drinks more water) Oxen Meadows are mine!
NATALYA STEPANOYNA. It s not true, they’re ours!
LOMOV. Mine !
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. It’s not true! I’11 prove it! I’11 send my mowers out to the Meadows this very day!
LOMOV. What ?
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. My mowers will be there this very day!
LOMOV. I’ll give it to them in the neck!
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. YOU dare!
LOMOV. (Clutches at his heart) Oxen Meadows are mine! You understand? Mine!
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. Please don’t shout! You can shout yourself hoarse in your own house, but here I must ask y ou to restrain yourself!
LOMOV. If it wasn’t, madame, for this awful, excruciating palpitation, if my whole inside wasn’t upset, I’d ta lk to you in a different way! (Yells) Oxen Meadows are mine!
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. Ours !
150 SHORT PLAYS FOR STUDY AND PRACTICE
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. Ours!
CHUBUKOV. What’s the matter? What are you shouting at?
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. Papa, please tell this gentleman who owns Oxen Meadows, we or he?
CHUBUKOV. (To LOMOV) Darling, the Meadows are ours!
LOMOV. But, please, Stepan Stepanovitch, how can they be yours? Do be a reasonable man ! My aunt’s grandmother gave the Meadows for the temporary and free use of your grandfather’s peasants. The peasants used the land for forty ye ars and got as accustomed to it as if it was their own, when it happened that . . .
CHUBUKOV. Excuse me, my precious …. You forget just this, that the peasants didn’t pay your grandmother and all that, because the Meadows were in dispute, and so on. And now everybody knows that they’re ours. It means that you haven’t seen the plan.
LOMOV. I’ll prove to you that they’re mine!
CHUBUKOV. YOU won’t prove it, my darling.
LOMOV. I shall!
CHUBUKOV. Dear one, why yell like that ? You won’t prove anything by just yelling. I don’t want anything of yo urs, and don’t intend to give up what I have. Why should I? And you know, my beloved, that if you propose to go on argu ing about it, I’d much sooner give up the Meadows to the peasants than to you. There!
... 15: 191-232 Borcheit, P. L.Aggressive behaviour of dogs kept as companion animals: classification and influence of sex, ... rther re performed in mimicry, rehersl or disply. During ply, dogs behve without rel seriousness - running, jumping, chsing, mouthing, chewing ... immeditely successful in mting s previously rehersed counterprts. lso, dogs without plymtes my imprint on innimte objects or humn ...
LOMOV. I don’t understand! How have you the right to give away somebody else’s property?
CHUBUKOV. YOU may take it that I know whether I have the right or not. Because, young man, I’m not used to bei ng spoken to in that tone of voice, and so on: I, young man, am twice your age, and ask you to speak to me without agit ating yourself, and all that.
LOMOV. NO, YOU just think I’m a fool and want to have me on! You call my land yours, and then you want me to t alk to you calmly and politely! Good neighbours don’t behave like that, Stepan Stepanovitch! You’re not a neighbour, you ‘re a grabber!
CHUBUKOV. What’s that? What did you say?
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. Papa, send the mowers out to the Meadows at once!
CHUBUKOV. What did you say, sir?
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. Oxen Meadows are ours, and I Shari t give them up, shan’t give them up, shan’t give them u p!
LOMOV. We’ll see! I’ll have the matter taken to court, and then I’ll show you!
CHUBUKOV. To court? You can take it to court, and all that! You can! I know you; you’re just on the look-out f or a chance to go to court,and all that…. You pettifogger! All your people were like that! All of them!
LOMOV. Never mind about my people! The Lomovs have all beenhonourable people, and not one has ever been tried for embezzlement,like your grandfather!
CHUBUKOV. YOU Lomovs have had lunacy in your family, all of you!
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. All, all, all!
CHUBUKOV. Your grandfather was a drunkard, and your younger aunt, Nastasya Mihailovna, ran away with an archit ect, and so on….
LOMOV. And your mother was hump-backed. (Clutches at his heart) Something pulling in my side…. My hea d…. Help! Water!
CHUBUKOV. Your father was a guzzling gambler!
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. And there haven t been many backbiters to equal your aunt!
LOMOV. My left foot has gone to sleep…. You’re an intriguer. . . . Oh, my heart! . . . And it’s an open secr et that before the last elections you tin … I can see stars…. Where’s my hat?
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. It’s low! It’s dishonest! It’s mean!
CHUBUKOV. And you’re just a malicious, double-faced intriguer! Yes !
LOMOV. Here’s my hat…. My heart! … Which way? Where’s the door? Oh! … I think I’m dying…. My foot’s qu ite numb….
(Goes to the door)
CHUBUKOV. (Following him) And don’t set foot in my house again!
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. Take it to court! We’11 see!
LOMOV staggers out.
CHUBUKOV. Devil take him! (To table for drink)
Walks about in excitement.
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. What a rascal! What trust can one have in one’s neighbours after that!
CHUBUKOV. The villain! The scarecrow! (Down L.)
152 SHORT PLAYS FOR STUDY AND PRACTICE
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. The monster! First he takes our land and then he has the impudence to abuse us.
CHUBUKOV. And that blind hen, yes, that turnip-ghost has the confounded cheek to make a proposal, and so on! ( Down R.C. Stuttering. Front to door R.)
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. What proposal?
CHUBUKOV. Why, he came here so as to propose to you. (L.)
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. To propose? To me? Why didn’t you tell me so before?
CHUBUKOV. So he dresses up in evening clothes. (R.C.) The stuffed sausage! The wizen-faced fru mp! (L. )
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. To propose to me? Ah! (Falls into an easy chair and wails) Bring him back! Back! Ah ! Bring him here.
CHUBUKOV. Bring whom here ?
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. Quick, quick! I’m ill! Fetch him! (Hysterics )
CHUBUKOV. What’s that? (To her) What’s the matter with you? (Clutches at his head) Oh, unhappy m an that I am! I’ll shoot myself! I’11 hang myself!
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. I’m dying! Fetch him!
CHUBUKOV. At once. Don’t yell!
Runs out. A pause. NATALYA STEPANOVNA wails.
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. What have they done to me! Fetch him back! Fetch him.
CHUBUKOV runs in. Comes down L.C.
CHUBUKOV. He’s coming, and so on, devil take him! Ouf! Talk to him yourself; I don’t want to. (To R.)
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. (Wails) Fetch him!
CHUBUKOV. (Yells) He’s coming, I tell you. Oh, what a burden, Lord, to be the father of a grown-up daug hter! I’ll cut my throat! I will,indeed! (To her) We cursed him, abused him, drove him out, and it’s all you . . . you!
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. NO, it was you !
CHUBUKOV. I tell you it’s not my fault. (LOMOV appears at the door) NOW YOU talk to him yourself. (E xit)
LOMOV enters, exhausted.
LOMOV. My heart’s palpitating awfully…. My foot’s gone to sleep…. There’s something keeps pulling in my si de….
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. Forgive us, Ivan Vassilevitch, we were all a little heated…. I remember now: Oxen Meadow s really are yours.
LOMOV. My heart’s beating awfully…. My Meadows…. My eyebrows are both twitching….
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. The Meadows are yours, yes, yours…. Do sit down…. (They sit) We were wrong….
LOMOV. I did it on principle…. My land is worth little to me, but the principle . . .
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. Yes, the principle, just so…. Now let’s talk of something else.
LOMOV. The more so as I have evidence. My aunt’s grandmother gave the land to your father’s grandfather’s peas ants . . .
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. Yes, yes, let that pass…. (Aside) I wish I knew how to get him started…. (Al oud) Are you going to start shooting soon?
LOMOV. I’m thinking of having a go at the black cock, honoured Natalya Stepanovna, after the harvest. Oh, have you heard? Just think, what a misfortune I’ve had! My dog Guess, whom you know, has gone lame.
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. What a pity! Why?
LOMOV. I don’t know…. Must have got twisted, or bitten by some other dog…. (Sighs) My very best dog , to say nothing of the expense. I gave Mironov 125 roubles for him.
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. It was too much, Ivan Vassilevitch.
LOMOV. I think it was very cheap. He’s a first-rate dog.
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. Papa gave 85 roubles for his Squeezer, and Squeezer is heaps better than Guess !
LOMOV. Squeezer better than Guess? What an idea! (Laughs) Squeezer better than Guess !
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. Of course he s better! Of course, Squeeze is young, he may develop a bit, but on points an d pedigree he’s better than anything that even Volchanetsky has got.
LOMOV. Excuse me, Natalya Stepanovna, but you forget that he is overshot, and an overshot dog always m eans the dog is a bad hunter!
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. Overshot, is he ? The first time I heard it!
SHORT PLAYS FOR STUDY AND PRACTICE
LOMOV. I assure you that his lower jaw is shorter than the uppers
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. Have you measured?
LOMOV. Yes. He’s all right at following, of course, but if you want him to get hold of anything . . .
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. In the first place, Squeezer is a thorough-bred animal, the son of Harness and Chisels, wh ile there’s no getting at the pedigree of your dog, at all…. He’s old and as ugly as a worn-out cab-horse.
LOMOV. He is old, but I wouldn’t take five Squeezers for him…. Why, how can you? Guess is a dog; as for Squ eezer, well, it’s too funny to argue…. Anybody you like has a dog as good as Squeezer … you may find them under ever y bush almost. Twenty-five roubles would be a handsome price to pay for him.
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. There’s some demon of contradiction in you today, Ivan Vassilevitch. First you pretend tha t the Meadows are yours; now, that Guess is better than Squeezer. I don’t like people who don’t say what they mean, beca use you know perfectly well that Squeezer is a hundred times better than your silly Guess. Why do you want to say he isn ‘t?
LOMOV. I see, Natalya Stepanovna, that you consider me either blind or a fool. You must realize that Squeezer is overshot!
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. It’s not true.
LOMOV. He is!
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. It s not true!
LOMOV. Why shout, madam?
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. Why talk rot? It’s awful! It s time your Guess was shot, and you compare him with Squeezer !
LOMOV. Excuse me; I cannot continue this discussion, my heart is palpitating.
NATALYA STEPANOYNA. I’ve noticed that those hunters argue most who know least.
LOMOV. Madam, please be silent…. My heart is going to piecer,. . . . (Shouts) Shut up!
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. I Shan’t shut up until you acknowledge that Squeezer is a hundred times better th an your Guess!
LOMOV. A hundred times worse! Be hanged to your Squeezer! His head . . . eyes . . . shoulder . . .
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. There’s no need to hang your silly Guess; he’s half-dead already!
LOMOV. (Weeps) Shut up! My heart’s bursting!
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. I shan’t shut up.
CHUBUKOV. What’s the matter now?
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. Papa, tell us truly, which is the better dog, our Squeezer or his Guess.
LOMOV. Step an Stepanovitch, I implore you to tell me just one thing; is your Squeezer overshot or not? Yes o r no?
CHUBUKOV. And suppose he is? What does it matter? He’s the best dog in the district for all that, and so on.
LOMOV. But isn’t my Guess better? Really, now?
CHUBUKOV. Don’t excite yourself, my precious one…. Allow me…. Your Guess certainly has his good points…. He’s pure-bred,firm on his feet, has well-sprung ribs, and all that. But my dear man, if you want to know the truth, th at dog has two defects: he’s old and he’s short in the muzzle.
LOMOV. Excuse me, my heart…. Let’s take the facts…. You will remember that on the Marusinsky hunt my Guess ran neck-and-neck with the Count’s dog, while your Squeezer was left a whole verst behind.
CHUBUKOV. He got left behind because the Count’s whipper-in hit him with his whip.
LOMOV. And with good reason. The dogs are running after a fox,when Squeezer goes and starts worrying a sheep!
CHUBUKOV. It’s not true! . . . My dear fellow, I’m very liable to lose my temper, and so, just because of that , let’s stop arguing. You started because everybody is always jealous of everybody else’s dogs. Yes, we’re all like that ! You too, sir, aren’t blameless! You no sooner notice that some dog is better than your Guess than you begin with this, that . . . and the other . . . and all that. . . . I remember everything!
LOMOV. I remember too!
CHUBUKOV. (Teasing him) I remember, too…. What do you remember?
LOMOV. My heart … my foot’s gone to sleep…. I can’t …
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. (Teasing) My heart…. What sort of a hunter are you? You ought to go and lie on th e kitchen oven and catch black beetles, not go after foxes! My heart!
CHUBUKOV. Yes, really, what sort of a hunter are you, anyway. You ought to sit at home with your palpitations, and not go tracking animals.
156 SHORT PLAYS FOR STUDY AND PRACTICE
You could go hunting, but you only go to argue with people and interfere with their dogs and so on. Let’s ch ange the subject in case I lose my temper. You’re not a hunter at all, anyway!
LOMOV. And are you a hunter? You only go hunting to get in with the Count and to intrigue. . . . Oh, my heart ! . . . You’re an intriguer!
CHUBUKOV. What? I an intriguer? (Shouts) Shut up!
CHUBUKOV. Boy! Pup!
LOMOV. Old rat!
CHUBUKOV. Shut up or I’ll shoot you like a partridge! You fool!
LOMOV. Everybody knows that–oh my heart!–your late wife used to beat you…. My feet … temples … sparks. … I fall, I fall!
CHUBUKOV. And you’re under the slipper of your housekeeper!
LOMOV. There, there, there . . . my heart’s burst! My shoulder’s come off…. Where is my shoulder? … I die . (Falls into an armchair) A doctor! (Faints)
CHUBUKOV. Boy! Milksop! Fool! I’m sick! (Drinks water) Sick!
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. What sort of a hunter are you? You can’t even sit on a horse! (To her father) Papa, what’s the matter with him? Papa! Look, papa! (Screams) Ivan Vassilevitch! He’s dead!
CHUBUKOV. I’m sick! . . . I can’t breathe! Air!
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. He s dead. (Pulls LOMOV’S sleeve) Ivan Vassilevitch! Ivan Vassilevitch! What have you done to me? He’s dead.
(Falls into an armchair) A doctor, a doctor! (Hysterics)
CHUBUKOV. Oh! . . . What is it? What’s the matter?
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. (Wails) He’s dead . . . dead!
CHUBUKOV. Who’s dead? (Looks at LOMOV) So he is! My word! Water! A doctor! (Lifts a tumbler to L OMOV’S mouth) Drink this! . . . No, he doesn’t drink…. It means he’s dead, and all that…. I’m the most unha ppy of men! Why don’t I put a bullet into my brain? Why haven’t I cut my throat yet? What am I waiting for? Give me a kn ife! Give me a pistol! (LOMOV moves) He seems to be coming round…. Drink some water! That’s right. . . .
LOMOV. I see stars … mist…. Where am I ?
CHUBUKOV. Hurry up and get married and–well, to the devil with you! She’s willing! (He puts LOMOV’s hand into his daughter’s) She’s willing and all that. I give you my blessing and so on. Only leave me in peace!
THE PROPOSAL 157
LOMOV. (Getting up) Eh? What? To whom?
CHUBUKOV. She’s willing! Well? Kiss and be damned to you!
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. (Wails) He’s alive…. Yes, yes, I’m willing. . .
CHUBUKOV. Kiss each other!
LOMOV. Eh? Kiss whom? (They kiss) Very nice, too. Excuse me, what’s it all about? Oh, now I understand . . . my heart . . . stars … I’m happy. Natalya Stepanovna…. (Kisses her hand) My foot’s gone to sleep.
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. I … I m happy too….
CHUBUKOV. What a weight off my shoulders . . . Ouf!
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. But . . . still you will admit now that Guess is worse than Squeezer.
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. Worse!
CHUBUKOV. Well, that’s, a way to start your family bliss ! Have some champagne!
LOMOV. He’s better!
NATALYA STEPANOVNA. Worse! worse! worse!
CHUBUKOV. (Trying to shout her down) Champagne! Champagne!