Meet us on:
Entire Site
    Try our fun game

    Dueling book covers…may the best design win!

    Random Quote
    "A room without books is like a body without a soul."

    Subscribe to Our Newsletter

    Follow us on Twitter

    Never miss a good book again! Follow Read Print on Twitter

    Act IV

    • Rate it:
    Launch Reading Mode Next Chapter
    Chapter 5
    Previous Chapter
    The same scene as in Act I. The next day. Two liveried footmen,

    FIRST FOOTMAN (with grey whiskers). Yours is the third house to-day.
    Thank goodness that all the at-homes are in this direction. Yours used
    to be on Thursdays.

    THEODORE IVÁNITCH. Yes, we changed to Saturday so as to be on the same
    day as the Golóvkins and Grade von Grabes....

    SECOND FOOTMAN. The Stcherbákofs do the thing well. There's
    refreshments for the footmen every time they've a ball.

    [The two PRINCESSES, mother and daughter, come down the stairs
    accompanied by BETSY. The old PRINCESS looks in her note-book
    and at her watch, and sits down on the settle. GREGORY puts on
    her overshoes.

    YOUNG PRINCESS. Now, do come. Because, if you refuse, and Dodo
    refuses, the whole thing will be spoilt.

    BETSY. I don't know. I must certainly go to the Shoúbins. And then
    there is the rehearsal.

    YOUNG PRINCESS. You'll have plenty of time. Do, please. Ne nous fais
    pas faux bond.[13] Fédya and Koko will come.

    BETSY. J'en ai par-dessus la tête de votre Koko.[14]

    YOUNG PRINCESS. I thought I should see him here. Ordinairement il est
    d'une exactitude....[15]

    BETSY. He is sure to come.

    YOUNG PRINCESS. When I see you together, it always seems to me that he
    has either just proposed or is just going to propose.

    BETSY. Yes, I don't suppose it can be avoided. I shall have to go
    through with it. And it is so unpleasant!

    YOUNG PRINCESS. Poor Koko! He is head over ears in love.

    BETSY. Cessez, les gens![16]

    [YOUNG PRINCESS sits down, talking in whispers. GREGORY puts on
    her overshoes.

    YOUNG PRINCESS. Well then, good-bye till this evening.

    BETSY. I'll try to come.

    OLD PRINCESS. Then tell your papa that I don't believe in anything of
    the kind, but will come to see his new medium. Only he must let me
    know when. Good afternoon, ma toute belle.

    [Kisses BETSY, and exit, followed by her daughter. BETSY goes

    GREGORY. I don't like putting on an old woman's overshoes for her; she
    can't stoop, can't see her shoe for her stomach, and keeps poking her
    foot in the wrong place. It's different with a young one; it's
    pleasant to take her foot in one's hand.

    SECOND FOOTMAN. Hear him! Making distinctions!

    FIRST FOOTMAN. It's not for us footmen to make such distinctions.

    GREGORY. Why shouldn't one make distinctions; are we not men? It's
    they think we don't understand! Just now they were deep in their talk,
    then they look at me, and at once it's "lay zhon!"

    SECOND FOOTMAN. And what's that?

    GREGORY. Oh, that means, "Don't talk, they understand!" It's the same
    at table. But I understand! You say, there's a difference? I say there
    is none.

    FIRST FOOTMAN. There is a great difference for those who understand.

    GREGORY. There is none at all. To-day I am a footman, and to-morrow I
    may be living no worse than they are. Has it never happened that
    they've married footmen? I'll go and have a smoke.


    SECOND FOOTMAN. That's a bold young man you've got.

    THEODORE IVÁNITCH. A worthless fellow, not fit for service. He used to
    be an office boy and has got spoilt. I advised them not to take him,
    but the mistress liked him. He looks well on the carriage when they
    drive out.

    FIRST FOOTMAN. I should like to send him to our Count; he'd put him in
    his place! Oh, he don't like those scatterbrains. "If you're a
    footman, be a footman and fulfil your calling." Such pride is not

    [PETRÍSTCHEF comes running downstairs, and takes out a cigarette.

    PETRÍSTCHEF (deep in thought). Let's see, my second is the same as my
    first. Echo, a-co, co-coa. (Enter KOKO KLÍNGEN, wearing his
    pince-nez.) Ko-ko, co-coa. Cocoa tin, where do you spring from?

    KOKO KLÍNGEN. From the Stcherbákofs. You are always playing the

    PETRÍSTCHEF. No, listen to my charade. My first is the same as my
    second, my third may be cracked, my whole is like your pate.

    KOKO KLÍNGEN. I give it up. I've no time.

    PETRÍSTCHEF. Where else are you going?

    KOKO KLÍNGEN. Where? Of course to the Ivins, to practice for the
    concert. Then to the Shoúbins, and then to the rehearsal. You'll be
    there too, won't you?

    PETRÍSTCHEF. Most certainly. At the re-her-Sall and also at the
    re-her-Sarah. Why, at first I was a savage, and now I am both a savage
    and a general.

    KOKO KLÍNGEN. How did yesterday's séance go off?

    PETRÍSTCHEF. Screamingly funny! There was a peasant, and above all, it
    was all in the dark. Vovo cried like an infant, the Professor defined,
    and Márya Vasílevna refined. Such a lark! You ought to have been

    KOKO KLÍNGEN. I'm afraid, mon cher. You have a way of getting off with
    a jest, but I always feel that if I say a word they'll construe it
    into a proposal. Et ça ne m'arrange pas du tout, du tout. Mais du
    tout, du tout! [17]

    PETRÍSTCHEF. Instead of a proposal, make a proposition, and receive a
    sentence! Well, I shall go in to Vovo's. If you'll call for me, we can
    go to the re-her-Sarah together.

    KOKO KLÍNGEN. I can't think how you can be friends with such a fool.
    He is so stupid--a regular blockhead!

    PETRÍSTCHEF. And I am fond of him. I love Vovo, but ... "with a love
    so strange, ne'er towards him the path untrod shall be"....

    [Exit into Vovo's room.

    [BETSY comes down with a LADY. KOKO bows significantly to BETSY.

    BETSY (shaking KOKO'S hand without turning towards him. To LADY). You
    are acquainted?

    LADY. No.

    BETSY. Baron Klíngen.... Why were you not here last night?

    KOKO KLÍNGEN. I could not come, I was engaged.

    BETSY. What a pity, it was so interesting! (Laughs.) You should have
    seen what manifestations we had! Well, how is our charade getting on?

    KOKO KLÍNGEN. Oh, the verses for mon second are ready. Nick composed
    the verses, and I the music.

    BETSY. What are they? What are they? Do tell me!

    KOKO KLÍNGEN. Wait a minute; how does it go?... Oh, the knight sings:

    "Oh, naught so beautiful as nature:
    The Nautilus sails by.
    Oh, naughty lass, oh, naughty lass!
    Oh, nought, oh, nought! Oh, fie!"

    LADY. I see, my second is "nought," and what is my first?

    KOKO KLÍNGEN. My first is Aero, the name of a girl savage.

    BETSY. Aero, you see, is a savage who wished to devour the object of
    her love. (Laughs.) She goes about lamenting, and sings--

    "My appetite,"

    KOKO KLÍNGEN (interrupts)--

    "How can I fight,"....

    BETSY (chimes in)--

    "Some one to chew I long.
    I seeking go ...."


    "But even so...."


    "No one to chew can find."


    "A raft sails by,"


    "It cometh nigh;
    Two generals upon it...."


    "Two generals are we:
    By fate's hard decree,
    To this island we flee."

    And then, the refrain--

    "By fate's hard decree,
    To this island we flee."

    LADY. Charmant!

    BETSY. But just think how silly!

    KOKO KLÍNGEN. Yes, that's the charm of it!

    LADY. And who is to be Aero?

    BETSY. I am. And I have had a costume made, but mamma says it's "not
    decent." And it is not a bit less decent than a ball dress. (To
    THEODORE IVÁNITCH.) Is Bourdier's man here?

    THEODORE IVÁNITCH. Yes, he is waiting in the kitchen.

    LADY. Well, and how will you represent Aeronaut?

    BETSY. Oh, you'll see. I don't want to spoil the pleasure for you. Au

    LADY. Good-bye!

    [They bow. Exit LADY.

    BETSY (to KOKO KLÍNGEN). Come up to mamma.

    [BETSY and KOKO go upstairs. JACOB enters from servants'
    quarters, carrying a tray with teacups, cakes, etc., and goes
    panting across the stage.

    JACOB (to the FOOTMEN). How d'you do? How d'you do?

    [FOOTMEN bow.

    JACOB (to THEODORE IVÁNITCH). Couldn't you tell Gregory to help a bit!
    I'm ready to drop....

    [Exit up the stairs.

    FIRST FOOTMAN. That is a hard-working chap you've got there.

    THEODORE IVÁNITCH. Yes, a good fellow. But there now--he doesn't
    satisfy the mistress, she says his appearance is ungainly. And now
    they've gone and told tales about him for letting some peasants into
    the kitchen yesterday. It is a bad look-out: they may dismiss him. And
    he is a good fellow.

    SECOND FOOTMAN. What peasants were they?

    THEODORE IVÁNITCH. Peasants that had come from our Koursk village to
    buy some land. It was night, and they were our fellow-countrymen, one
    of them the father of the butler's assistant. Well, so they were asked
    into the kitchen. It so happened that there was thought-reading going
    on. Something was hidden in the kitchen, and all the gentlefolk came
    down, and the mistress saw the peasants. There was such a row! "How is
    this," she says; "these people may be infected, and they are let into
    the kitchen!".... She is terribly afraid of this infection.

    [Enter GREGORY.

    THEODORE IVÁNITCH. Gregory, you go and help Jacob. I'll stay here. He
    can't manage alone.

    GREGORY. He's awkward, that's why he can't manage.


    FIRST FOOTMAN. And what is this new mania they have got? This
    infection!... So yours also is afraid of it?

    THEODORE IVÁNITCH. She fears it worse than fire! Our chief business,
    nowadays, is fumigating, washing, and sprinkling.

    FIRST FOOTMAN. I see. That's why there is such a stuffy smell here.
    (With animation.) I don't know what we're coming to with these
    infection notions. It's just detestable! They seem to have forgotten
    the Lord. There's our master's sister, Princess Mosolóva, her daughter
    was dying, and, will you believe it, neither father nor mother would
    come near her! So she died without their having taken leave of her.
    And the daughter cried, and called them to say good-bye--but they
    didn't go! The doctor had discovered some infection or other! And yet
    their own maid and a trained nurse were with her, and nothing happened
    to them; they're still alive!

    room, smoking cigarettes.

    PETRÍSTCHEF. Come along then, only I must take Koko--Cocoanut, with

    VASÍLY LEONÍDITCH. Your Koko is a regular dolt; I can't bear him. A
    hare-brained fellow, a regular gad-about! Without any kind of
    occupation, eternally loafing around! Eh, what?

    PETRÍSTCHEF. Well, anyhow, wait a bit, I must say goodbye.

    VASÍLY LEONÍDITCH. All right. And I will go and look at my dogs in the
    coachman's room. I've got a dog there that's so savage, the coachman
    said, he nearly ate him.

    PETRÍSTCHEF. Who ate whom? Did the coachman really eat the dog?

    VASÍLY LEONÍDITCH. You are always at it!

    [Puts on outdoor things and goes out.

    PETRÍSTCHEF (thoughtfully). Ma - kin - tosh, Co - co - tin.... Let's

    [Goes upstairs.

    [JACOB runs across the stage.

    THEODORE IVÁNITCH. What's the matter?

    JACOB. There is no more thin bread and butter. I said....


    SECOND FOOTMAN. And then our master's little son fell ill, and they
    sent him at once to an hotel with his nurse, and there he died without
    his mother.

    FIRST FOOTMAN. They don't seem to fear sin! I think you cannot escape
    from God anywhere.

    THEODORE IVÁNITCH. That's what I think.

    [JACOB runs upstairs with bread and butter.

    FIRST FOOTMAN. One should consider too, that if we are to be afraid of
    everybody like that, we'd better shut ourselves up within four walls,
    as in a prison, and stick there!

    [Enter TÁNYA; she bows to the FOOTMEN.

    TÁNYA. Good afternoon.

    [FOOTMEN bow.

    TÁNYA. Theodore Ivánitch, I have a word to say to you.

    THEODORE IVÁNITCH. Well, what?

    TÁNYA. The peasants have come again, Theodore Ivánitch....

    THEODORE IVÁNITCH. Well? I gave the paper to Simon.

    TÁNYA. I have given them the paper. They were that grateful! I can't
    say how! Now they only ask you to take the money.

    THEODORE IVÁNITCH. But where are they?

    TÁNYA. Here, by the porch.

    THEODORE IVÁNITCH. All right, I'll tell the master.

    TÁNYA. I have another request to you, dear Theodore Ivánitch.


    TÁNYA. Why, don't you see, Theodore Ivánitch, I can't remain here any
    longer. Ask them to let me go.

    [Enter JACOB, running.

    THEODORE IVÁNITCH (to JACOB). What d'you want?

    JACOB. Another samovár, and oranges.

    THEODORE IVÁNITCH. Ask the housekeeper.

    [Exit JACOB.

    THEODORE IVÁNITCH (to TÁNYA). How is that?

    TÁNYA. Why, don't you see, my position is such....

    JACOB (runs in). There are not enough oranges.

    THEODORE IVÁNITCH. Serve up as many as you've got. (Exit JACOB.) Now's
    not the time! Just see what a bustle we are in.

    TÁNYA. But you know yourself, Theodore Ivánitch, there is no end to
    this bustle; one might wait for ever--you know yourself--and my affair
    is for life.... Dear Theodore Ivánitch, you have done me a good turn,
    be a father to me now, choose the right moment and tell her, or else
    she'll get angry and won't let me have my passport.[18]

    THEODORE IVÁNITCH. Where's the hurry?

    TÁNYA. Why, Theodore Ivánitch, it's all settled now.... And I could go
    to my godmother's and get ready, and then after Easter we'd get
    married.[19] Do tell her, dear Theodore Ivánitch!

    THEODORE IVÁNITCH. Go away--this is not the place.

    [An elderly GENTLEMAN comes downstairs, puts on overcoat, and
    goes out, followed by the SECOND FOOTMAN.

    [Exit TÁNYA. Enter JACOB.

    JACOB. Just fancy, Theodore Ivánitch, it's too bad! She wants to
    discharge me now! She says, "You break everything, and forget Frisk,
    and you let the peasants into the kitchen against my orders!" And you
    know very well that I knew nothing about it. Tatyána told me, "Take
    them into the kitchen"; how could I tell whose order it was?

    THEODORE IVÁNITCH. Did the mistress speak to you?

    JACOB. She's just spoken. Do speak up for me, Theodore Ivánitch! You
    see, my people in the country are only just getting on their feet, and
    suppose I lose my place, when shall I get another? Theodore Ivánitch,
    do, please!

    [ANNA PÁVLOVNA comes down with the old COUNTESS, whom she is
    seeing off. The COUNTESS has false teeth and hair. The FIRST
    FOOTMAN helps the COUNTESS into her outdoor things.

    ANNA PÁVLOVNA. Oh, most certainly, of course! I am so deeply touched.

    COUNTESS. If it were not for my illness, I should come oftener to see

    ANNA PÁVLOVNA. You should really consult Peter Petróvitch. He is
    rough, but nobody can soothe one as he does. He is so clear, so

    COUNTESS. Oh no, I shall keep to the one I am used to.

    ANNA PÁVLOVNA. Pray, take care of yourself.

    COUNTESS. Merci, mille fois merci.[20]

    [GREGORY, dishevelled and excited, jumps out from the servants'
    quarters. SIMON appears behind him in the doorway.

    SIMON. You'd better leave her alone!

    GREGORY. You rascal! I'll teach you how to fight, you scamp, you!

    ANNA PÁVLOVNA. What do you mean? Do you think you are in a

    GREGORY. This coarse peasant makes life impossible for me.

    ANNA PÁVLOVNA (provoked). You've lost your senses. Don't you see? (To
    COUNTESS.) Merci, mille fois merci. A mardi! [21]


    ANNA PÁVLOVNA (to GREGORY). What is the meaning of this?

    GREGORY. Though I do occupy the position of a footman, still I won't
    allow every peasant to hit me; I have my pride too.

    ANNA PÁVLOVNA. Why, what has happened?

    GREGORY. Why, this Simon of yours has got so brave, sitting with the
    gentlemen, that he wants to fight!

    ANNA PÁVLOVNA. Why? What for?

    GREGORY. Heaven only knows!

    ANNA PÁVLOVNA (to SIMON). What is the meaning of it?

    SIMON. Why does he bother her?

    ANNA PÁVLOVNA. What has happened?

    SIMON (smiles). Well, you see, he is always catching hold of Tánya,
    the lady's-maid, and she won't have it. Well, so I just moved him
    aside a bit, just so, with my hand.

    GREGORY. A nice little bit! He's almost caved my ribs in, and has torn
    my dress-coat, and he says, "The same power as came over me yesterday
    comes on me again," and he begins to squeeze me.

    ANNA PÁVLOVNA (to SIMON). How dare you fight in my house?

    THEODORE IVÁNITCH. May I explain it to you, ma'am? I must tell you
    Simon is not indifferent to Tánya, and is engaged to her. And Gregory
    --one must admit the truth--does not behave properly, nor honestly, to
    her. Well, so I suppose Simon got angry with him.

    GREGORY. Not at all! It is all his spite, because I have discovered
    their trickery.

    ANNA PÁVLOVNA. What trickery?

    GREGORY. Why, at the séance. All those things, last night,--it was not
    Simon but Tánya who did them! I saw her getting out from under the
    sofa with my own eyes.

    ANNA PÁVLOVNA. What is that? From under the sofa?

    GREGORY. I give you my word of honor. And it was she who threw the
    paper on the table. If it had not been for her the paper would not
    have been signed, nor the land sold to the peasants.

    ANNA PÁVLOVNA. And you saw it yourself?

    GREGORY. With my own eyes. Shall I call her? She'll not deny it.

    ANNA PÁVLOVNA. Yes, call her.

    [Exit GREGORY.

    [Noise behind the scenes. The voice of the DOORKEEPER, "No, no,
    you cannot." DOORKEEPER is seen at the front door, the three
    PEASANTS rush in past him, the SECOND PEASANT first; the THIRD
    one stumbles, falls on his nose, and catches hold of it.

    DOORKEEPER. You must not go in!

    SECOND PEASANT. Where's the harm? We are not doing anything wrong. We
    only wish to pay the money!

    FIRST PEASANT. That's just it; as by laying on the signature the
    affair is come to a conclusion, we only wish to make payment with

    ANNA PÁVLOVNA. Wait a bit with your thanks. It was all done by fraud!
    It is not settled yet. Not sold yet.... Leoníd.... Call Leoníd


    [LEONÍD FYÓDORITCH enters, but, seeing his wife and the PEASANTS,
    wishes to retreat.

    ANNA PÁVLOVNA. No, no, come here, please! I told you the land must not
    be sold on credit, and everybody told you so, but you let yourself be
    deceived like the veriest blockhead.

    LEONÍD FYÓDORITCH. How? I don't understand who is deceiving?

    ANNA PÁVLOVNA. You ought to be ashamed of yourself! You have grey
    hair, and you let yourself be deceived and laughed at like a silly
    boy. You grudge your son some three hundred roubles which his social
    position demands, and let yourself be tricked of thousands--like a

    LEONÍD FYÓDORITCH. Now come, Annette, try to be calm.

    FIRST PEASANT. We are only come about the acceptation of the sum, for

    THIRD PEASANT (taking out the money). Let us finish the matter, for
    Christ's sake!

    ANNA PÁVLOVNA. Wait, wait!

    [Enter TÁNYA and GREGORY.

    ANNA PÁVLOVNA (angrily). You were in the small drawing-room during the
    séance last night?

    SIMON, and sighs.

    GREGORY. It's no use beating about the bush; I saw you myself....

    ANNA PÁVLOVNA. Tell me, were you there? I know all about it, so you'd
    better confess! I'll not do anything to you. I only want to expose him
    (pointing to LEONÍD FYÓDORITCH) your master.... Did you throw the
    paper on the table?

    TÁNYA. I don't know how to answer. Only one thing,--let me go home.

    [Enter BETSY unobserved.

    ANNA PÁVLOVNA (to LEONÍD FYÓDORITCH). There, you see! You are being
    made a fool of.

    TÁNYA. Let me go home, Anna Pávlovna!

    ANNA PÁVLOVNA. No, my dear! You may have caused us a loss of thousands
    of roubles. Land has been sold that ought not to be sold!

    TÁNYA. Let me go, Anna Pávlovna!

    ANNA PÁVLOVNA. No; you'll have to answer for it! Such tricks won't do.
    We'll have you up before the Justice of the Peace!

    BETSY (comes forward). Let her go, mamma. Or, if you wish to have her
    tried, you must have me tried too! She and I did it together.

    ANNA PÁVLOVNA. Well, of course, if you have a hand in anything, what
    can one expect but the very worst results!

    [Enter the PROFESSOR.

    PROFESSOR. How do you do, Anna Pávlovna? How do you do, Miss Betsy?
    Leoníd Fyódoritch, I have brought you a report of the Thirteenth
    Congress of Spiritualists at Chicago. An amazing speech by Schmidt!

    LEONÍD FYÓDORITCH. Oh, that is interesting!

    ANNA PÁVLOVNA. I will tell you something much more interesting! It
    turns out that both you and my husband were fooled by this girl! Betsy
    takes it on herself, but that is only to annoy me. It was an
    illiterate peasant girl who fooled you, and you believed it all.
    There were no mediumistic phenomena last night; it was she (pointing
    to TÁNYA) who did it!

    PROFESSOR (taking off his overcoat). What do you mean?

    ANNA PÁVLOVNA. I mean that it was she who, in the dark, played on the
    guitar and beat my husband on the head and performed all your idiotic
    tricks--and she has just confessed!

    PROFESSOR (smiling). What does that prove?

    ANNA PÁVLOVNA. It proves that your mediumism is--tomfoolery; that's
    what it proves!

    PROFESSOR. Because this young girl wished to deceive, we are to
    conclude that mediumism is "tomfoolery," as you are pleased to express
    it? (Smiles.) A curious conclusion! Very possibly this young girl may
    have wished to deceive: that often occurs. She may even have done
    something; but then, what she did--she did. But the manifestations of
    mediumistic energy still remain manifestations of mediumistic energy!
    It is even very probable that what this young girl did evoked (and so
    to say solicited) the manifestation of mediumistic energy,--giving it
    a definite form.

    ANNA PÁVLOVNA. Another lecture!

    PROFESSOR (sternly). You say, Anna Pávlovna, that this girl, and
    perhaps this dear young lady also, did something; but the light we all
    saw, and, in the first case the fall, and in the second the rise of
    temperature, and Grossman's excitement and vibration--were those
    things also done by this girl? And these are facts, Anna Pávlovna,
    facts! No! Anna Pávlovna, there are things which must be investigated
    and fully understood before they can be talked about, things too
    serious, too serious....

    LEONÍD FYÓDORITCH. And the child that Márya Vasílevna distinctly saw?
    Why, I saw it too.... That could not have been done by this girl.

    ANNA PÁVLOVNA. You think yourself wise, but you are--a fool.

    LEONÍD FYÓDORITCH. Well, I'm going.... Alexéy Vladímiritch, will you

    [Exit into his study.

    PROFESSOR (shrugging his shoulders, follows). Oh, how far, how far, we
    still lag behind Western Europe!

    [Enter JACOB.

    ANNA PÁVLOVNA (following LEONÍD FYÓDORITCH with her eyes). He has been
    tricked like a fool, and he sees nothing! (To JACOB.) What do you

    JACOB. How many persons am I to lay the table for?

    ANNA PÁVLOVNA. For how many?... Theodore Ivánitch! Let him give up the
    silver plate to you. Be off, at once! It is all his fault! This man
    will bring me to my grave. Last night he nearly starved the dog that
    had done him no harm! And, as if that were not enough, he lets the
    infected peasants into the kitchen, and now they are here again! It is
    all his fault! Be off at once! Discharge him, discharge him! (To
    SIMON.) And you, horrid peasant, if you dare to have rows in my house
    again, I'll teach you!

    SECOND PEASANT. All right, if he is a horrid peasant there's no good
    keeping him; you'd better discharge him too, and there's an end of it.

    ANNA PÁVLOVNA (while listening to him looks at THIRD PEASANT). Only
    look! Why, he has a rash on his nose--a rash! He is ill; he is a
    hotbed of infection!! Did I not give orders, yesterday, that they were
    not to be allowed into the house, and here they are again? Drive them

    THEODORE IVÁNITCH. Then are we not to accept their money?

    ANNA PÁVLOVNA. Their money? Oh yes, take their money; but they must be
    turned out at once, especially this one! He is quite rotten!

    THIRD PEASANT. That's not just, lady. God's my witness, it's not just!
    You'd better ask my old woman, let's say, whether I am rotten! I'm
    clear as crystal, let's say.

    ANNA PÁVLOVNA. He talks!... Off, off with him! It's all to spite
    me!... Oh, I can't bear it, I can't!... Send for the doctor!

    [Runs away, sobbing. Exit also JACOB and GREGORY.

    TÁNYA (to BETSY). Miss Elizabeth, darling, what am I to do now?

    BETSY. Never mind, you go with them and I'll arrange it all.


    FIRST PEASANT. Well, your reverence, how about the reception of the
    sum now?

    SECOND PEASANT. Let us settle up, and go.

    THIRD PEASANT (fumbling with the packet of banknotes). Had I known,
    I'd not have come for the world. It's worse than a fever!

    THEODORE IVÁNITCH (to DOORKEEPER). Show them into my room. There's a
    counting-board there. I'll receive their money. Now go.

    DOORKEEPER. Come along.

    THEODORE IVÁNITCH. And it's Tánya you have to thank for it. But for
    her you'd not have had the land.

    FIRST PEASANT. That's just it. As she made the proposal, so she put it
    into effect.

    THIRD PEASANT. She's made men of us. Else what were we? We had so
    little land, no room to let a hen out, let's say, not to mention the
    cattle. Good-bye, dear! When you get to the village, come to us and
    eat honey.

    SECOND PEASANT. Let me get home and I'll start brewing the beer for
    the wedding! You will come?

    TÁNYA. Yes, I'll come, I'll come! (Shrieks.) Simon, this is fine,
    isn't it?

    [Exeunt PEASANTS.

    THEODORE IVÁNITCH. Well, Tánya, when you have your house I'll come to
    visit you. Will you welcome me?

    TÁNYA. Dear Theodore Ivánitch, just the same as we would our own

    [Embraces and kisses him.


    Next Chapter
    Chapter 5
    Previous Chapter
    If you're writing a Leo Tolstoy essay and need some advice, post your Leo Tolstoy essay question on our Facebook page where fellow bookworms are always glad to help!

    Top 5 Authors

    Top 5 Books

    Book Status
    Want to read

    Are you sure you want to leave this group?