A Marriage Proposal

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A Marriage Proposal  By Anton Chekhov Translated by Julius West CHARACTERS STEPAN STEPANOVITCH CHUBUKOV, a landowner NATALYA STEPANOVNA, his daughter, twenty-five years oild IVAN VASSILEVITCH LOMOV, a neighbour of Chuibukov, a large and hearty, but very suspiciousi landowner SETTING CHUBUKOV’s country-house [A drawing-room in CHUBUKOV’S house] [LOMOV enters, wearing a dress-jacket and white gloves. CHUBUKOV rises to meet him.] 1 CHUBUKOV: My dear fellow, whom do I see! Ivan Vassilevitch! I am extremely glad! [Squeezes his hand] Now this is a surprise, my darling ... How are you? 2 LOMOV: Thank you. And how may you be getting on? 3 CHUBUKOV: We just get along somehow, my angel, 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 PassageBank © PassageBank • Passage provided under license from PassageBank.com. Use and duplication is restricted to licensees only. get-up? Evening dress, gloves, and so on. Can you be going anywhere, my treasure? 4 LOMOV: No, I’ve come only to see you, honoured Stepan Stepanovitch. 5 CHUBUKOV: Then why are you in evening dress, my precious? As if you’re paying a New Year’s Eve visit! 6 LOMOV: Well, you see, it’s like this. [Takes his arm] I’ve come to you, honoured Stepan Stepanovitch, to trouble you with a request. Not once or twice have I already had the privilege of applying to you for help, and you have always, so to speak ... I must ask your pardon, I am getting excited. I shall drink some water, honoured Stepan Stepanovitch. [Drinks] 7 CHUBUKOV: [Aside] He’s come to borrow money! Shan’t give him any! [Aloud] What is it, my beauty? 8 LOMOV: You see, Honour Stepanitch ... I beg pardon, Stepan 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. ... 9 CHUBUKOV: Oh, don’t go round and round it, darling! Spit it out! Well? 10 LOMOV: One moment ... this very minute. The fact is, I’ve come to ask the hand of your daughter, Natalya Stepanovna, in marriage. PassageBank © PassageBank • Passage provided under license from PassageBank.com. Use and duplication is restricted to licensees only. 11 CHUBUKOV: [Joyfully] By Jove! Ivan Vassilevitch! Say it again—I didn’t hear it all! 12 LOMOV: I have the honour to ask ... 13 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 my balance with joy, absolutely off my balance! Oh, with all my soul ... I’ll go and call Natasha, and all that. 14 LOMOV: [Greatly moved] Honoured Stepan Stepanovitch, do you think I may count on her consent? 15 CHUBUKOV: Why, of course, my darling, and ... as if she won’t consent! She’s in love; egad, she’s like a love-sick cat, and so on. ... Shan’t be long! [Exit] 16 LOMOV: It’s cold ... I’m trembling all over, just as if I’d got 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 real 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] And it’s PassageBank © PassageBank • Passage provided under license from PassageBank.com. Use and duplication is restricted to licensees only. impossible 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 a quiet and regular life. ... I suffer from palpitations, I’m excitable and always getting awfully upset. ... At this very moment my lips are trembling, and there’s a twitch in my right eyebrow. ... But the very worst of all is the way I sleep. I no sooner get into bed and begin to go off when suddenly something in my left side gives a pull, and I can feel it in my shoulder and head. ... I jump 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] 17 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: Well, there! It’s you, and papa said, “Go; there’s a merchant come for his goods.” How do you do, Ivan Vassilevitch! 18 LOMOV: How do you do, honoured Natalya Stepanovna? 19 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: You must excuse my apron and néligé ... 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? 20 LOMOV: No, thank you, I’ve had some already. 21 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. PassageBank © PassageBank • Passage provided under license from PassageBank.com. Use and duplication is restricted to licensees only. How much hay have you stacked? Just think, I felt greedy and had a whole 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? 22 LOMOV: [Excited] You see, honoured Natalya Stepanovna ... the fact is, I’ve made up my mind to ask you to hear me out. ... Of course you’ll be surprised and perhaps even angry, but a ... [Aside] It’s awfully cold! 23 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: What’s the matter? [Pause] Well? 24 LOMOV: I shall try to be brief. You must know, honoured Natalya Stepanovna, that I have long, since my 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 have 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 birchwoods. 25 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: Excuse my interrupting you. You say, “my Oxen Meadows. ...” But are they yours? 26 LOMOV: Yes, mine. PassageBank © PassageBank • Passage provided under license from PassageBank.com. Use and duplication is restricted to licensees only. 27 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: What are you talking about? Oxen Meadows are ours, not yours! 28 LOMOV: No, mine, honoured Natalya Stepanovna. 29 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: Well, I never knew that before. How do you make that out? 30 LOMOV: How? I’m speaking of those Oxen Meadows which are wedged in between your birchwoods and the Burnt Marsh. 31 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: Yes, yes. ... They’re ours. 32 LOMOV: No, you’re mistaken, honoured Natalya Stepanovna, they’re mine. 33 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: Just think, Ivan Vassilevitch! How long have they been yours? 34 LOMOV: How long? As long as I can remember. 35 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: Really, you won’t get me to believe that! 36 LOMOV: But you can see from the documents, honoured Natalya Stepanovna. Oxen Meadows, it’s true, were once the subject of dispute, but now everybody knows that they are mine. There’s nothing to argue about. You see, my aunt’s grandmother gave the free use of these Meadows in perpetuity to the peasants of your father’s grandfather, in return for which they were to make bricks for her. The peasants belonging to your father’s grandfather had the free PassageBank © PassageBank • Passage provided under license from PassageBank.com. Use and duplication is restricted to licensees only. use of the Meadows for forty years, and had got into the habit of regarding them as their own, when it happened that ... 37 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: No, it isn’t at all like that! Both my grandfather and great-grandfather reckoned that their 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! 38 LOMOV: I’ll show you the documents, Natalya Stepanovna! 39 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 [Note: 13.5 acres], and are worth perhaps 300 roubles, but I can’t stand unfairness. Say what you will, but I can’t stand unfairness. 40 LOMOV: Hear me out, I implore you! The peasants of your father’s grandfather, as I have already had the honour of explaining to you, used to bake bricks for my aunt’s grandmother. Now my aunt’s grandmother, wishing to make them a pleasant ... 41 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: I can’t make head or tail of all this about aunts and grandfathers and grandmothers! The Meadows are ours, and that’s all. 42 LOMOV: Mine. PassageBank © PassageBank • Passage provided under license from PassageBank.com. Use and duplication is restricted to licensees only. 43 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: Ours! You can go on proving it for two days on end, you can go and put on fifteen dress- jackets, 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! 44 LOMOV: Natalya Ivanovna, I don’t want the Meadows, but I am acting on principle. If you like, I’ll make you a present of them. 45 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: I can make you a present of them myself, because they’re mine! Your behaviour, Ivan Vassilevitch, 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 behave to us as if we were gypsies. Giving me my own land, indeed! No, really, that’s not at all neighbourly! In my opinion, it’s even impudent, if you want to know.... 46 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! 47 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: It’s not true, they’re ours! 48 LOMOV: Mine! 49 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: It’s not true! I’ll prove it! I’ll PassageBank © PassageBank • Passage provided under license from PassageBank.com. Use and duplication is restricted to licensees only. send my mowers out to the Meadows this very day! 50 LOMOV: What? 51 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: My mowers will be there this very day! 52 LOMOV: I’ll give it to them in the neck! 53 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: You dare! 54 LOMOV: [Clutches at his heart] Oxen Meadows are mine! You understand? Mine! 55 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: Please don’t shout! You can shout yourself hoarse in your own house, but here I must ask you to restrain yourself! 56 LOMOV: If it wasn’t, madam, for this awful, excruciating palpitation, if my whole inside wasn’t upset, I’d talk to you in a different way! [Yells] Oxen Meadows are mine! 57 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: Ours! 58 LOMOV: Mine! 59 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: Ours! 60 LOMOV: Mine! [Enter CHUBUKOV] 61 CHUBUKOV: What’s the matter? What are you shouting at? 62 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: Papa, please tell to this gentleman who owns Oxen Meadows, we or he? 63 CHUBUKOV: [To LOMOV] Darling, the Meadows are ours! PassageBank © PassageBank • Passage provided under license from PassageBank.com. Use and duplication is restricted to licensees only. 64 LOMOV: But, please, Stepan Stepanitch, 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 years and got as accustomed to it as if it was their own, when it happened that ... 65 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. 66 LOMOV: I’ll prove to you that they’re mine! 67 CHUBUKOV: You won’t prove it, my darling. 68 LOMOV: I shall! 69 CHUBUKOV: Dear one, why yell like that? You won’t prove anything just by yelling. I don’t want anything of yours, 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 arguing about it, I’d much sooner give up the meadows to the peasants than to you. There! 70 LOMOV: I don’t understand! How have you the right to give away somebody else’s property? 71 CHUBUKOV: You may take it that I know whether I have the right or not. Because, young man, I’m not used to being spoken to in that tone of voice, and so on: I, young man, PassageBank © PassageBank • Passage provided under license from PassageBank.com. Use and duplication is restricted to licensees only. am twice your age, and ask you to speak to me without agitating yourself, and all that. 72 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 talk to you calmly and politely! Good neighbours don’t behave like that, Stepan Stepanitch! You’re not a neighbour, you’re a grabber! 73 CHUBUKOV: What’s that? What did you say? 74 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: Papa, send the mowers out to the Meadows at once! 75 CHUBUKOV: What did you say, sir? 76 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: Oxen Meadows are ours, and I shan’t give them up, shan’t give them up, shan’t give them up! 77 LOMOV: We’ll see! I’ll have the matter taken to court, and then I’ll show you! 78 CHUBUKOV: To court? You can take it to court, and all that! You can! I know you; you’re just on the look-out for a chance to go to court, and all that. ... You pettifogger! All your people were like that! All of them! 79 LOMOV: Never mind about my people! The Lomovs have all been honourable people, and not one has ever been tried for embezzlement, like your grandfather! 80 CHUBUKOV: You Lomovs have had lunacy in your family, PassageBank © PassageBank • Passage provided under license from PassageBank.com. Use and duplication is restricted to licensees only. all of you! 81 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: All, all, all! 82 CHUBUKOV: Your grandfather was a drunkard, and your younger aunt, Nastasya Mihailovna, ran away with an architect, and so on. 83 LOMOV: And your mother was hump-backed. [Clutches at his heart] Something pulling in my side. ... My head. ... Help! Water! 84 CHUBUKOV: Your father was a guzzling gambler! 85 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: And there haven’t been many backbiters to equal your aunt! 86 LOMOV: My left foot has gone to sleep. ... You’re an intriguer. ... Oh, my heart! ... And it’s an open secret that before the last elections you bri ... I can see stars. ... Where’s my hat? 87 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: It’s low! It’s dishonest! It’s mean! 88 CHUBUKOV: And you’re just a malicious, double-faced intriguer! Yes! 89 LOMOV: Here’s my hat. ... My heart! ... Which way? Where’s the door? Oh! ... I think I’m dying. ... My foot’s quite numb. ... [Goes to the door] 90 CHUBUKOV: [Following him] And don’t set foot in my house again! PassageBank © PassageBank • Passage provided under license from PassageBank.com. Use and duplication is restricted to licensees only. 91 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: Take it to court! We’ll see! [LOMOV staggers out] 92 CHUBUKOV: Devil take him! [Walks about in excitement] 93 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: What a rascal! What trust can one have in one’s neighbours after that! 94 CHUBUKOV: The villain! The scarecrow! 95 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: The monster! First he takes our land and then he has the impudence to abuse us. 96 CHUBUKOV: And that blind hen, yes, that turnip-ghost has the confounded cheek to make a proposal, and so on! What? A proposal! 97 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: What proposal? 98 CHUBUKOV: Why, he came here so as to propose to you. 99 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: To propose? To me? Why didn’t you tell me so before? 100 CHUBUKOV: So he dresses up in evening clothes. The stuffed sausage! The wizen-faced frump! 101 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: To propose to me? Ah! [Falls into an easy-chair and wails] Bring him back! Back! Ah! Bring him here. 102 CHUBUKOV: Bring whom here? 103 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: Quick, quick! I’m ill! Fetch him! [Hysterics] 104 CHUBUKOV: What’s that? What’s the matter with you? PassageBank © PassageBank • Passage provided under license from PassageBank.com. Use and duplication is restricted to licensees only. [Clutches at his head] Oh, unhappy man that I am! I’ll shoot myself! I’ll hang myself! We’ve done for her! 105 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: I’m dying! Fetch him! 106 CHUBUKOV: Tfoo! At once. Don’t yell! [Runs out. A pause. NATALYA STEPANOVNA wails.] 107 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: What have they done to me! Fetch him back! Fetch him! [A pause] [CHUBUKOV runs in] 108 CHUBUKOV: He’s coming, and so on, devil take him! Ouf! Talk to him yourself; I don’t want to. ... 109 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: [Wails] Fetch him! 110 CHUBUKOV: [Yells] He’s coming, I tell you. Oh, what a burden, Lord, to be the father of a grown-up daughter! I’ll cut my throat! I will, indeed! We cursed him, abused him, drove him out, and it’s all you ... you! 111 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: No, it was you! 112 CHUBUKOV: I tell you it’s not my fault. [LOMOV appears at the door] Now you talk to him yourself [Exit] [LOMOV enters, exhausted] 113 LOMOV: My heart’s palpitating awfully. ... My foot’s gone to sleep. ... There’s something keeps pulling in my side. 114 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: Forgive us, Ivan Vassilevitch, we were all a little heated. ... I remember now: Oxen Meadows really are yours. PassageBank © PassageBank • Passage provided under license from PassageBank.com. Use and duplication is restricted to licensees only. 115 LOMOV: My heart’s beating awfully. ... My Meadows. ... My eyebrows are both twitching. ... 116 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: The Meadows are yours, yes, yours. ... Do sit down. ... [They sit] We were wrong. ... 117 LOMOV: I did it on principle. ... My land is worth little to me, but the principle ... 118 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: Yes, the principle, just so. ... Now let’s talk of something else. 119 LOMOV: The more so as I have evidence. My aunt’s grandmother gave the land to your father’s grandfather’s peasants ... 120 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: Yes, yes, let that pass. ... [Aside] I wish I knew how to get him started. ... [Aloud] Are you going to start shooting soon? 121 LOMOV: I’m thinking of having a go at the blackcock, 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. 122 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: What a pity! Why? 123 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. 124 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: It was too much, Ivan Vassilevitch. PassageBank © PassageBank • Passage provided under license from PassageBank.com. Use and duplication is restricted to licensees only. 125 LOMOV: I think it was very cheap. He’s a first-rate dog. 126 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: Papa gave 85 roubles for his Squeezer, and Squeezer is heaps better than Guess! 127 LOMOV: Squeezer better than Guess? What an idea! [Laughs] Squeezer better than Guess! 128 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: Of course he’s better! Of course, Squeezer is young, he may develop a bit, but on points and pedigree he’s better than anything that even Volchanetsky has got. 129 LOMOV. Excuse me, Natalya Stepanovna, but you forget that he is overshot, and an overshot always means the dog is a bad hunter! 130 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: Overshot, is he? The first time I hear it! 131 LOMOV: I assure you that his lower jaw is shorter than the upper. 132 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: Have you measured? 133 LOMOV: Yes. He’s all right at following, of course, but if you want him to get hold of anything ... 134 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: In the first place, our Squeezer is a thoroughbred animal, the son of Harness and Chisels, while there’s no getting at the pedigree of your dog at all. ... He’s old and as ugly as a worn-out cab-horse. PassageBank © PassageBank • Passage provided under license from PassageBank.com. Use and duplication is restricted to licensees only. 135 LOMOV: He is old, but I wouldn’t take five Squeezers for him. ... Why, how can you? ... Guess is a dog; as for Squeezer, well, it’s too funny to argue. ... Anybody you like has a dog as good as Squeezer ... you may find them under every bush almost. Twenty-five roubles would be a handsome price to pay for him. 136 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: There’s some demon of contradiction in you today, Ivan Vassilevitch. First you pretend that the Meadows are yours; now, that Guess is better than Squeezer. I don’t like people who don’t say what they mean, because you know perfectly well that Squeezer is a hundred times better than your silly Guess. Why do you want to say it isn’t? 137 LOMOV: I see, Natalya Stepanovna, that you consider me either blind or a fool. You must realize that Squeezer is overshot! 138 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: It’s not true. 139 LOMOV: He is! 140 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: It’s not true! 141 LOMOV: Why shout, madam? 142 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: Why talk rot? It’s awful! It’s time your Guess was shot, and you compare him with Squeezer! 143 LOMOV: Excuse me; I cannot continue this discussion: my heart is palpitating. PassageBank © PassageBank • Passage provided under license from PassageBank.com. Use and duplication is restricted to licensees only. 144 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: I’ve noticed that those hunters argue most who know least. 145 LOMOV: Madam, please be silent. ... My heart is going to pieces. ... [Shouts] Shut up! 146 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: I shan’t shut up until you acknowledge that Squeezer is a hundred times better than your Guess! 147 LOMOV: A hundred times worse! Be hanged to your Squeezer! His head ... eyes ... shoulder ... 148 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: There’s no need to hang your silly Guess; he’s half-dead already! 149 LOMOV: [Weeps] Shut up! My heart’s bursting! 150 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: I shan’t shut up. [Enter CHUBUKOV] 151 CHUBUKOV: What’s the matter now? 152 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: Papa, tell us truly, which is the better dog, our Squeezer or his Guess. 153 LOMOV: Stepan Stepanovitch, I implore you to tell me just one thing: is your Squeezer overshot or not? Yes or no? 154 CHUBUKOV: And suppose he is? What does it matter? He’s the best dog in the district for all that, and so on. 155 LOMOV: But isn’t my Guess better? Really, now? PassageBank © PassageBank • Passage provided under license from PassageBank.com. Use and duplication is restricted to licensees only. 156 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, that dog has two defects: he’s old and he’s short in the muzzle. 157 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. 158 CHUBUKOV: He got left behind because the Count’s whipper-in hit him with his whip. 159 LOMOV: And with good reason. The dogs are running after a fox, when Squeezer goes and starts worrying a sheep! 160 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! 161 LOMOV: I remember too! 162 CHUBUKOV: [Teasing him] I remember, too. ... What do you remember? 163 LOMOV: My heart ... my foot’s gone to sleep. ... I can’t ... PassageBank © PassageBank • Passage provided under license from PassageBank.com. Use and duplication is restricted to licensees only. 164 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: [Teasing] My heart. ... What sort of a hunter are you? You ought to go and lie on the kitchen oven and catch blackbeetles, not go after foxes! My heart! 165 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. You could go hunting, but you only go to argue with people and interfere with their dogs and so on. Let’s change the subject in case I lose my temper. You’re not a hunter at all, anyway! 166 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! 167 CHUBUKOV: What? I an intriguer? [Shouts] Shut up! 168 LOMOV: Intriguer! 169 CHUBUKOV: Boy! Pup! 170 LOMOV: Old rat! Jesuit! 171 CHUBUKOV: Shut up or I’ll shoot you like a partridge! You fool! 172 LOMOV: Everybody knows that—oh my heart!—your late wife used to beat you. ... My feet ... temples ... sparks. ... I fall, I fall! 173 CHUBUKOV: And you’re under the slipper of your housekeeper! 174 LOMOV: There, there, there ... my heart’s burst! My PassageBank © PassageBank • Passage provided under license from PassageBank.com. Use and duplication is restricted to licensees only. shoulder’s come off. ... Where is my shoulder? I die. [Falls into an armchair] A doctor! [Faints] 175 CHUBUKOV: Boy! Milksop! Fool! I’m sick! [Drinks water] Sick! 176 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! 177 CHUBUKOV: I’m sick! ... I can’t breathe! ... Air! 178 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] 179 CHUBUKOV: Oh! ... What is it? What’s the matter? 180 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: [Wails] He’s dead ... dead! 181 CHUBUKOV: Who’s dead? [Looks at LOMOV] So he is! My word! Water! A doctor! [Lifts a tumbler to LOMOV’S mouth] Drink this! ... No, he doesn’t drink. ... It means he’s dead, and all that. ... I’m the most unhappy 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 knife! Give me a pistol! [LOMOV moves] He seems to be coming round. ... Drink some water! That’s right. ... 182 LOMOV: I see stars ... mist. ... Where am I? PassageBank © PassageBank • Passage provided under license from PassageBank.com. Use and duplication is restricted to licensees only. 183 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! 184 LOMOV: [Getting up] Eh? What? To whom? 185 CHUBUKOV: She’s willing! Well? Kiss and be damned to you! 186 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: [Wails] He’s alive. ... Yes, yes, I’m willing. ... 187 CHUBUKOV: Kiss each other! 188 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. ... 189 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: I ... I’m happy too. ... 190 CHUBUKOV: What a weight off my shoulders. ... Ouf! 191 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: But ... still you will admit now that Guess is worse than Squeezer. 192 LOMOV: Better! 193 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: Worse! 194 CHUBUKOV: Well, that’s a way to start your family bliss! Have some champagne! 195 LOMOV: He’s better! PassageBank © PassageBank • Passage provided under license from PassageBank.com. Use and duplication is restricted to licensees only. 196 NATALYA STEPANOVNA: Worse! worse! worse! 197 CHUBUKOV: [Trying to shout her down] Champagne! Champagne! PassageBank © PassageBank • Passage provided under license from PassageBank.com. Use and duplication is restricted to licensees only.

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