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Plays by Anton Chekhov, Second Series by Anton Chekhov

Part 5 out of 5

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[In a field. An old, crooked shrine, which has been long abandoned;
near it a well and large stones, which apparently are old
tombstones, and an old garden seat. The road is seen to GAEV'S
estate. On one side rise dark poplars, behind them begins the
cherry orchard. In the distance is a row of telegraph poles, and
far, far away on the horizon are the indistinct signs of a large
town, which can only be seen on the finest and clearest days. It is
close on sunset. CHARLOTTA, YASHA, and DUNYASHA are sitting on the
seat; EPIKHODOV stands by and plays on a guitar; all seem
thoughtful. CHARLOTTA wears a man's old peaked cap; she has unslung
a rifle from her shoulders and is putting to rights the buckle on
the strap.]

CHARLOTTA. [Thoughtfully] I haven't a real passport. I don't know
how old I am, and I think I'm young. When I was a little girl my
father and mother used to go round fairs and give very good
performances and I used to do the _salto mortale_ and various
little things. And when papa and mamma died a German lady took me
to her and began to teach me. I liked it. I grew up and became a
governess. And where I came from and who I am, I don't know. ...
Who my parents were--perhaps they weren't married--I don't know.
[Takes a cucumber out of her pocket and eats] I don't know
anything. [Pause] I do want to talk, but I haven't anybody to talk
to ... I haven't anybody at all.

EPIKHODOV. [Plays on the guitar and sings]
"What is this noisy earth to me,
What matter friends and foes?"
I do like playing on the mandoline!

DUNYASHA. That's a guitar, not a mandoline.
[Looks at herself in a little mirror and powders herself.]

EPIKHODOV. For the enamoured madman, this is a mandoline. [Sings]
"Oh that the heart was warmed,
By all the flames of love returned!"

[YASHA sings too.]

CHARLOTTA. These people sing terribly. ... Foo! Like jackals.

DUNYASHA. [To YASHA] Still, it must be nice to live abroad.

YASHA. Yes, certainly. I cannot differ from you there. [Yawns and
lights a cigar.]

EPIKHODOV. That is perfectly natural. Abroad everything is in full

YASHA. That goes without saying.

EPIKHODOV. I'm an educated man, I read various remarkable books,
but I cannot understand the direction I myself want to go--whether
to live or to shoot myself, as it were. So, in case, I always carry
a revolver about with me. Here it is. [Shows a revolver.]

CHARLOTTA. I've done. Now I'll go. [Slings the rifle] You,
Epikhodov, are a very clever man and very terrible; women must be
madly in love with you. Brrr! [Going] These wise ones are all so
stupid. I've nobody to talk to. I'm always alone, alone; I've
nobody at all ... and I don't know who I am or why I live. [Exit

EPIKHODOV. As a matter of fact, independently of everything else, I
must express my feeling, among other things, that fate has been as
pitiless in her dealings with me as a storm is to a small ship.
Suppose, let us grant, I am wrong; then why did I wake up this
morning, to give an example, and behold an enormous spider on my
chest, like that. [Shows with both hands] And if I do drink some
kvass, why is it that there is bound to be something of the most
indelicate nature in it, such as a beetle? [Pause] Have you read
Buckle? [Pause] I should like to trouble you, Avdotya Fedorovna,
for two words.


EPIKHODOV. I should prefer to be alone with you. [Sighs.]

DUNYASHA. [Shy] Very well, only first bring me my little cloak. ...
It's by the cupboard. It's a little damp here.

EPIKHODOV. Very well ... I'll bring it. ... Now I know what to do
with my revolver. [Takes guitar and exits, strumming.]

YASHA. Two-and-twenty troubles! A silly man, between you and me and
the gatepost. [Yawns.]

DUNYASHA. I hope to goodness he won't shoot himself. [Pause] I'm so
nervous, I'm worried. I went into service when I was quite a little
girl, and now I'm not used to common life, and my hands are white,
white as a lady's. I'm so tender and so delicate now; respectable
and afraid of everything. ... I'm so frightened. And I don't know
what will happen to my nerves if you deceive me, Yasha.

YASHA. [Kisses her] Little cucumber! Of course, every girl must
respect herself; there's nothing I dislike more than a badly
behaved girl.

DUNYASHA. I'm awfully in love with you; you're educated, you can
talk about everything. [Pause.]

YASHA. [Yawns] Yes. I think this: if a girl loves anybody, then
that means she's immoral. [Pause] It's nice to smoke a cigar out in
the open air. ... [Listens] Somebody's coming. It's the mistress,
and people with her. [DUNYASHA embraces him suddenly] Go to the
house, as if you'd been bathing in the river; go by this path, or
they'll meet you and will think I've been meeting you. I can't
stand that sort of thing.

DUNYASHA. [Coughs quietly] My head's aching because of your cigar.

[Exit. YASHA remains, sitting by the shrine. Enter LUBOV

LOPAKHIN. You must make up your mind definitely--there's no time to
waste. The question is perfectly plain. Are you willing to let the
land for villas or no? Just one word, yes or no? Just one word!

LUBOV. Who's smoking horrible cigars here? [Sits.]

GAEV. They built that railway; that's made this place very handy.
[Sits] Went to town and had lunch ... red in the middle! I'd like
to go in now and have just one game.

LUBOV. You'll have time.

LOPAKHIN. Just one word! [Imploringly] Give me an answer!

GAEV. [Yawns] Really!

LUBOV. [Looks in her purse] I had a lot of money yesterday, but
there's very little to-day. My poor Varya feeds everybody on milk
soup to save money, in the kitchen the old people only get peas,
and I spend recklessly. [Drops the purse, scattering gold coins]
There, they are all over the place.

YASHA. Permit me to pick them up. [Collects the coins.]

LUBOV. Please do, Yasha. And why did I go and have lunch there? ...
A horrid restaurant with band and tablecloths smelling of soap. ...
Why do you drink so much, Leon? Why do you eat so much? Why do you
talk so much? You talked again too much to-day in the restaurant,
and it wasn't at all to the point--about the seventies and about
decadents. And to whom? Talking to the waiters about decadents!


GAEV. [Waves his hand] I can't be cured, that's obvious. ...
[Irritably to YASHA] What's the matter? Why do you keep twisting
about in front of me?

YASHA. [Laughs] I can't listen to your voice without laughing.

GAEV. [To his sister] Either he or I ...

LUBOV. Go away, Yasha; get out of this. ...

YASHA. [Gives purse to LUBOV ANDREYEVNA] I'll go at once. [Hardly
able to keep from laughing] This minute. ... [Exit.]

LOPAKHIN. That rich man Deriganov is preparing to buy your estate.
They say he'll come to the sale himself.

LUBOV. Where did you hear that?

LOPAKHIN. They say so in town.

GAEV. Our Yaroslav aunt has promised to send something, but I don't
know when or how much.

LOPAKHIN. How much will she send? A hundred thousand roubles? Or
two, perhaps?

LUBOV. I'd be glad of ten or fifteen thousand.

LOPAKHIN. You must excuse my saying so, but I've never met such
frivolous people as you before, or anybody so unbusinesslike and
peculiar. Here I am telling you in plain language that your estate
will be sold, and you don't seem to understand.

LUBOV. What are we to do? Tell us, what?

LOPAKHIN. I tell you every day. I say the same thing every day.
Both the cherry orchard and the land must be leased off for villas
and at once, immediately--the auction is staring you in the face:
Understand! Once you do definitely make up your minds to the
villas, then you'll have as much money as you want and you'll be

LUBOV. Villas and villa residents--it's so vulgar, excuse me.

GAEV. I entirely agree with you.

LOPAKHIN. I must cry or yell or faint. I can't stand it! You're too
much for me! [To GAEV] You old woman!

GAEV. Really!

LOPAKHIN. Old woman! [Going out.]

LUBOV. [Frightened] No, don't go away, do stop; be a dear. Please.
Perhaps we'll find some way out!

LOPAKHIN. What's the good of trying to think!

LUBOV. Please don't go away. It's nicer when you're here. ...
[Pause] I keep on waiting for something to happen, as if the house
is going to collapse over our heads.

GAEV. [Thinking deeply] Double in the corner ... across the middle. ...

LUBOV. We have been too sinful. ...

LOPAKHIN. What sins have you committed?

GAEV. [Puts candy into his mouth] They say that I've eaten all my
substance in sugar-candies. [Laughs.]

LUBOV. Oh, my sins. ... I've always scattered money about without
holding myself in, like a madwoman, and I married a man who made
nothing but debts. My husband died of champagne--he drank terribly--
and to my misfortune, I fell in love with another man and went off
with him, and just at that time--it was my first punishment, a blow
that hit me right on the head--here, in the river ... my boy was
drowned, and I went away, quite away, never to return, never to see
this river again ...I shut my eyes and ran without thinking, but
_he_ ran after me ... without pity, without respect. I bought a
villa near Mentone because _he_ fell ill there, and for three years
I knew no rest either by day or night; the sick man wore me out,
and my soul dried up. And last year, when they had sold the villa
to pay my debts, I went away to Paris, and there he robbed me of
all I had and threw me over and went off with another woman. I
tried to poison myself. ... It was so silly, so shameful. ... And
suddenly I longed to be back in Russia, my own land, with my little
girl. ... [Wipes her tears] Lord, Lord be merciful to me, forgive
me my sins! Punish me no more! [Takes a telegram out of her pocket]
I had this to-day from Paris. ... He begs my forgiveness, he
implores me to return. ... [Tears it up] Don't I hear music?

GAEV. That is our celebrated Jewish band. You remember--four
violins, a flute, and a double-bass.

LUBOV So it still exists? It would be nice if they came along some

LOPAKHIN. [Listens] I can't hear. ... [Sings quietly] "For money
will the Germans make a Frenchman of a Russian." [Laughs] I saw
such an awfully funny thing at the theatre last night.

LUBOV. I'm quite sure there wasn't anything at all funny. You
oughtn't to go and see plays, you ought to go and look at yourself.
What a grey life you lead, what a lot you talk unnecessarily.

LOPAKHIN. It's true. To speak the straight truth, we live a silly
life. [Pause] My father was a peasant, an idiot, he understood
nothing, he didn't teach me, he was always drunk, and always used a
stick on me. In point of fact, I'm a fool and an idiot too. I've
never learned anything, my handwriting is bad, I write so that I'm
quite ashamed before people, like a pig!

LUBOV. You ought to get married, my friend.

LOPAKHIN. Yes ... that's true.

LUBOV. Why not to our Varya? She's a nice girl.


LUBOV. She's quite homely in her ways, works all day, and, what
matters most, she's in love with you. And you've liked her for a
long time.

LOPAKHIN. Well? I don't mind ... she's a nice girl. [Pause.]

GAEV. I'm offered a place in a bank. Six thousand roubles a year. ...
Did you hear?

LUBOV. What's the matter with you! Stay where you are. ...

[Enter FIERS with an overcoat.]

FIERS. [To GAEV] Please, sir, put this on, it's damp.

GAEV. [Putting it on] You're a nuisance, old man.

FIERS It's all very well. ... You went away this morning without
telling me. [Examining GAEV.]

LUBOV. How old you've grown, Fiers!

FIERS. I beg your pardon?

LOPAKHIN. She says you've grown very old!

FIERS. I've been alive a long time. They were already getting ready
to marry me before your father was born. ... [Laughs] And when the
Emancipation came I was already first valet. Only I didn't agree
with the Emancipation and remained with my people. ... [Pause] I
remember everybody was happy, but they didn't know why.

LOPAKHIN. It was very good for them in the old days. At any rate,
they used to beat them.

FIERS. [Not hearing] Rather. The peasants kept their distance from
the masters and the masters kept their distance from the peasants,
but now everything's all anyhow and you can't understand anything.

GAEV. Be quiet, Fiers. I've got to go to town tomorrow. I've been
promised an introduction to a General who may lend me money on a

LOPAKHIN. Nothing will come of it. And you won't pay your interest,
don't you worry.

LUBOV. He's talking rubbish. There's no General at all.


GAEV. Here they are.

ANYA. Mother's sitting down here.

LUBOV. [Tenderly] Come, come, my dears. ... [Embracing ANYA and
VARYA] If you two only knew how much I love you. Sit down next to
me, like that. [All sit down.]

LOPAKHIN. Our eternal student is always with the ladies.

TROFIMOV. That's not your business.

LOPAKHIN. He'll soon be fifty, and he's still a student.

TROFIMOV. Leave off your silly jokes!

LOPAKHIN. Getting angry, eh, silly?

TROFIMOV. Shut up, can't you.

LOPAKHIN. [Laughs] I wonder what you think of me?

TROFIMOV. I think, Ermolai Alexeyevitch, that you're a rich man,
and you'll soon be a millionaire. Just as the wild beast which eats
everything it finds is needed for changes to take place in matter,
so you are needed too.

[All laugh.]

VARYA. Better tell us something about the planets, Peter.

LUBOV ANDREYEVNA. No, let's go on with yesterday's talk!

TROFIMOV. About what?

GAEV. About the proud man.

TROFIMOV. Yesterday we talked for a long time but we didn't come to
anything in the end. There's something mystical about the proud
man, in your sense. Perhaps you are right from your point of view,
but if you take the matter simply, without complicating it, then
what pride can there be, what sense can there be in it, if a man is
imperfectly made, physiologically speaking, if in the vast majority
of cases he is coarse and stupid and deeply unhappy? We must stop
admiring one another. We must work, nothing more.

GAEV. You'll die, all the same.

TROFIMOV. Who knows? And what does it mean--you'll die? Perhaps a
man has a hundred senses, and when he dies only the five known to
us are destroyed and the remaining ninety-five are left alive.

LUBOV. How clever of you, Peter!

LOPAKHIN. [Ironically] Oh, awfully!

TROFIMOV. The human race progresses, perfecting its powers.
Everything that is unattainable now will some day be near at hand
and comprehensible, but we must work, we must help with all our
strength those who seek to know what fate will bring. Meanwhile in
Russia only a very few of us work. The vast majority of those
intellectuals whom I know seek for nothing, do nothing, and are at
present incapable of hard work. They call themselves intellectuals,
but they use "thou" and "thee" to their servants, they treat the
peasants like animals, they learn badly, they read nothing
seriously, they do absolutely nothing, about science they only
talk, about art they understand little. They are all serious, they
all have severe faces, they all talk about important things. They
philosophize, and at the same time, the vast majority of us,
ninety-nine out of a hundred, live like savages, fighting and
cursing at the slightest opportunity, eating filthily, sleeping in
the dirt, in stuffiness, with fleas, stinks, smells, moral filth,
and so on. . . And it's obvious that all our nice talk is only
carried on to distract ourselves and others. Tell me, where are
those creches we hear so much of? and where are those reading-rooms?
People only write novels about them; they don't really exist. Only
dirt, vulgarity, and Asiatic plagues really exist. ... I'm afraid,
and I don't at all like serious faces; I don't like serious
conversations. Let's be quiet sooner.

LOPAKHIN. You know, I get up at five every morning, I work from
morning till evening, I am always dealing with money--my own and
other people's--and I see what people are like. You've only got to
begin to do anything to find out how few honest, honourable people
there are. Sometimes, when I can't sleep, I think: "Oh Lord, you've
given us huge forests, infinite fields, and endless horizons, and
we, living here, ought really to be giants."

LUBOV. You want giants, do you? ... They're only good in stories,
and even there they frighten one. [EPIKHODOV enters at the back of
the stage playing his guitar. Thoughtfully:] Epikhodov's there.

ANYA. [Thoughtfully] Epikhodov's there.

GAEV. The sun's set, ladies and gentlemen.


GAEV [Not loudly, as if declaiming] O Nature, thou art wonderful,
thou shinest with eternal radiance! Oh, beautiful and indifferent
one, thou whom we call mother, thou containest in thyself existence
and death, thou livest and destroyest. ...

VARYA. [Entreatingly] Uncle, dear!

ANYA. Uncle, you're doing it again!

TROFIMOV. You'd better double the red into the middle.

GAEV. I'll be quiet, I'll be quiet.

[They all sit thoughtfully. It is quiet. Only the mumbling of FIERS
is heard. Suddenly a distant sound is heard as if from the sky, the
sound of a breaking string, which dies away sadly.]

LUBOV. What's that?

LOPAKHIN. I don't know. It may be a bucket fallen down a well
somewhere. But it's some way off.

GAEV. Or perhaps it's some bird ... like a heron.

TROFIMOV. Or an owl.

LUBOV. [Shudders] It's unpleasant, somehow. [A pause.]

FIERS. Before the misfortune the same thing happened. An owl
screamed and the samovar hummed without stopping.

GAEV. Before what misfortune?

FIERS. Before the Emancipation. [A pause.]

LUBOV. You know, my friends, let's go in; it's evening now. [To
ANYA] You've tears in your eyes. ... What is it, little girl?
[Embraces her.]

ANYA. It's nothing, mother.

TROFIMOV. Some one's coming.

[Enter a TRAMP in an old white peaked cap and overcoat. He is a
little drunk.]

TRAMP. Excuse me, may I go this way straight through to the

GAEV. You may. Go along this path.

TRAMP. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. [Hiccups] Lovely
weather. ... [Declaims] My brother, my suffering brother. ... Come
out on the Volga, you whose groans ... [To VARYA] Mademoiselle,
please give a hungry Russian thirty copecks. ...

[VARYA screams, frightened.]

LOPAKHIN. [Angrily] There's manners everybody's got to keep!

LUBOV. [With a start] Take this ... here you are. ... [Feels in her
purse] There's no silver. ... It doesn't matter, here's gold.

TRAMP. I am deeply grateful to you! [Exit. Laughter.]

VARYA. [Frightened] I'm going, I'm going. ... Oh, little mother, at
home there's nothing for the servants to eat, and you gave him

LUBOV. What is to be done with such a fool as I am! At home I'll
give you everything I've got. Ermolai Alexeyevitch, lend me some
more! ...

LOPAKHIN. Very well.

LUBOV. Let's go, it's time. And Varya, we've settled your affair; I
congratulate you.

VARYA. [Crying] You shouldn't joke about this, mother.

LOPAKHIN. Oh, feel me, get thee to a nunnery.

GAEV. My hands are all trembling; I haven't played billiards for a
long time.

LOPAKHIN. Oh, feel me, nymph, remember me in thine orisons.

LUBOV. Come along; it'll soon be supper-time.

VARYA. He did frighten me. My heart is beating hard.

LOPAKHIN. Let me remind you, ladies and gentlemen, on August 22 the
cherry orchard will be sold. Think of that! ... Think of that! ...

[All go out except TROFIMOV and ANYA.]

ANYA. [Laughs] Thanks to the tramp who frightened Barbara, we're
alone now.

TROFIMOV. Varya's afraid we may fall in love with each other and
won't get away from us for days on end. Her narrow mind won't allow
her to understand that we are above love. To escape all the petty
and deceptive things which prevent our being happy and free, that
is the aim and meaning of our lives. Forward! We go irresistibly on
to that bright star which burns there, in the distance! Don't lag
behind, friends!

ANYA. [Clapping her hands] How beautifully you talk! [Pause] It is
glorious here to-day!

TROFIMOV. Yes, the weather is wonderful.

ANYA. What have you done to me, Peter? I don't love the cherry
orchard as I used to. I loved it so tenderly, I thought there was
no better place in the world than our orchard.

TROFIMOV. All Russia is our orchard. The land is great and
beautiful, there are many marvellous places in it. [Pause] Think,
Anya, your grandfather, your great-grandfather, and all your
ancestors were serf-owners, they owned living souls; and now,
doesn't something human look at you from every cherry in the
orchard, every leaf and every stalk? Don't you hear voices ...? Oh,
it's awful, your orchard is terrible; and when in the evening or at
night you walk through the orchard, then the old bark on the trees
sheds a dim light and the old cherry-trees seem to be dreaming of
all that was a hundred, two hundred years ago, and are oppressed by
their heavy visions. Still, at any rate, we've left those two
hundred years behind us. So far we've gained nothing at all--we
don't yet know what the past is to be to us--we only philosophize,
we complain that we are dull, or we drink vodka. For it's so clear
that in order to begin to live in the present we must first redeem
the past, and that can only be done by suffering, by strenuous,
uninterrupted labour. Understand that, Anya.

ANYA. The house in which we live has long ceased to be our house; I
shall go away. I give you my word.

TROFIMOV. If you have the housekeeping keys, throw them down the well
and go away. Be as free as the wind.

ANYA. [Enthusiastically] How nicely you said that!

TROFIMOV. Believe me, Anya, believe me! I'm not thirty yet, I'm
young, I'm still a student, but I have undergone a great deal! I'm
as hungry as the winter, I'm ill, I'm shaken. I'm as poor as a
beggar, and where haven't I been--fate has tossed me everywhere!
But my soul is always my own; every minute of the day and the night
it is filled with unspeakable presentiments. I know that happiness
is coming, Anya, I see it already. ...

ANYA. [Thoughtful] The moon is rising.

[EPIKHODOV is heard playing the same sad song on his guitar. The
moon rises. Somewhere by the poplars VARYA is looking for ANYA and
calling, "Anya, where are you?"]

TROFIMOV. Yes, the moon has risen. [Pause] There is happiness,
there it comes; it comes nearer and nearer; I hear its steps
already. And if we do not see it we shall not know it, but what
does that matter? Others will see it!

THE VOICE OF VARYA. Anya! Where are you?

TROFIMOV. That's Varya again! [Angry] Disgraceful!

ANYA. Never mind. Let's go to the river. It's nice there.

TROFIMOV Let's go. [They go out.]




[A reception-room cut off from a drawing-room by an arch.
Chandelier lighted. A Jewish band, the one mentioned in Act II, is
heard playing in another room. Evening. In the drawing-room the
grand rond is being danced. Voice of SIMEONOV PISCHIN "Promenade a
une paire!" Dancers come into the reception-room; the first pair
ANDREYEVNA; the third, ANYA and the POST OFFICE CLERK; the fourth,
VARYA and the STATION-MASTER, and so on. VARYA is crying gently and
wipes away her tears as she dances. DUNYASHA is in the last pair.
They go off into the drawing-room, PISCHIN shouting, "Grand rond,
balancez:" and "Les cavaliers a genou et remerciez vos dames!"
FIERS, in a dress-coat, carries a tray with seltzer-water across.
Enter PISCHIN and TROFIMOV from the drawing-room.]

PISCHIN. I'm full-blooded and have already had two strokes; it's
hard for me to dance, but, as they say, if you're in Rome, you must
do as Rome does. I've got the strength of a horse. My dead father,
who liked a joke, peace to his bones, used to say, talking of our
ancestors, that the ancient stock of the Simeonov-Pischins was
descended from that identical horse that Caligula made a senator. ...
[Sits] But the trouble is, I've no money! A hungry dog only
believes in meat. [Snores and wakes up again immediately] So I ...
only believe in money. ...

TROFIMOV. Yes. There is something equine about your figure.

PISCHIN. Well ... a horse is a fine animal ... you can sell a

[Billiard playing can be heard in the next room. VARYA appears
under the arch.]

TROFIMOV. [Teasing] Madame Lopakhin! Madame Lopakhin!

VARYA. [Angry] Decayed gentleman!

TROFIMOV. Yes, I am a decayed gentleman, and I'm proud of it!

VARYA. [Bitterly] We've hired the musicians, but how are they to be
paid? [Exit.]

TROFIMOV. [To PISCHIN] If the energy which you, in the course of
your life, have spent in looking for money to pay interest had been
used for something else, then, I believe, after all, you'd be able
to turn everything upside down.

PISCHIN. Nietzsche ... a philosopher ... a very great, a most
celebrated man ... a man of enormous brain, says in his books that
you can forge bank-notes.

TROFIMOV. And have you read Nietzsche?

PISCHIN. Well ... Dashenka told me. Now I'm in such a position, I
wouldn't mind forging them ... I've got to pay 310 roubles the day
after to-morrow ... I've got 130 already. ... [Feels his pockets,
nervously] I've lost the money! The money's gone! [Crying] Where's
the money? [Joyfully] Here it is behind the lining ... I even began
to perspire.


LUBOV. [Humming a Caucasian dance] Why is Leonid away so long?
What's he doing in town? [To DUNYASHA] Dunyasha, give the musicians
some tea.

TROFIMOV. Business is off, I suppose.

LUBOV. And the musicians needn't have come, and we needn't have got
up this ball. ... Well, never mind. ... [Sits and sings softly.]

CHARLOTTA. [Gives a pack of cards to PISCHIN] Here's a pack of
cards, think of any one card you like.

PISCHIN. I've thought of one.

CHARLOTTA. Now shuffle. All right, now. Give them here, oh my dear
Mr. Pischin. _Ein, zwei, drei_! Now look and you'll find it in your
coat-tail pocket.

PISCHIN. [Takes a card out of his coat-tail pocket] Eight of
spades, quite right! [Surprised] Think of that now!

CHARLOTTA. [Holds the pack of cards on the palm of her hand. To
TROFIMOV] Now tell me quickly. What's the top card?

TROFIMOV. Well, the queen of spades.

CHARLOTTA. Right! [To PISCHIN] Well now? What card's on top?

PISCHIN. Ace of hearts.

CHARLOTTA. Right! [Claps her hands, the pack of cards vanishes] How
lovely the weather is to-day. [A mysterious woman's voice answers
her, as if from under the floor, "Oh yes, it's lovely weather,
madam."] You are so beautiful, you are my ideal. [Voice, "You,
madam, please me very much too."]

STATION-MASTER. [Applauds] Madame ventriloquist, bravo!

PISCHIN. [Surprised] Think of that, now! Delightful, Charlotte
Ivanovna ... I'm simply in love. ...

CHARLOTTA. In love? [Shrugging her shoulders] Can you love? _Guter
Mensch aber schlechter Musikant_.

TROFIMOV. [Slaps PISCHIN on the shoulder] Oh, you horse!

CHARLOTTA. Attention please, here's another trick. [Takes a shawl
from a chair] Here's a very nice plaid shawl, I'm going to sell it. ...
[Shakes it] Won't anybody buy it?

PISCHIN. [Astonished] Think of that now!

CHARLOTTA. _Ein, zwei, drei_.

[She quickly lifts up the shawl, which is hanging down. ANYA is
standing behind it; she bows and runs to her mother, hugs her and
runs back to the drawing-room amid general applause.]

LUBOV. [Applauds] Bravo, bravo!

CHARLOTTA. Once again! _Ein, zwei, drei_!

[Lifts the shawl. VARYA stands behind it and bows.]

PISCHIN. [Astonished] Think of that, now.


[Throws the shawl at PISCHIN, curtseys and runs into the drawing-room.]

PISCHIN. [Runs after her] Little wretch. ... What? Would you? [Exit.]

LUBOV. Leonid hasn't come yet. I don't understand what he's doing
so long in town! Everything must be over by now. The estate must be
sold; or, if the sale never came off, then why does he stay so

VARYA. [Tries to soothe her] Uncle has bought it. I'm certain of

TROFIMOV. [Sarcastically] Oh, yes!

VARYA. Grandmother sent him her authority for him to buy it in her
name and transfer the debt to her. She's doing it for Anya. And I'm
certain that God will help us and uncle will buy it.

LUBOV. Grandmother sent fifteen thousand roubles from Yaroslav to
buy the property in her name--she won't trust us--and that wasn't
even enough to pay the interest. [Covers her face with her hands]
My fate will be settled to-day, my fate. ...

TROFIMOV. [Teasing VARYA] Madame Lopakhin!

VARYA. [Angry] Eternal student! He's already been expelled twice
from the university.

LUBOV. Why are you getting angry, Varya? He's teasing you about
Lopakhin, well what of it? You can marry Lopakhin if you want to,
he's a good, interesting man. ... You needn't if you don't want
to; nobody wants to force you against your will, my darling.

VARYA. I do look at the matter seriously, little mother, to be
quite frank. He's a good man, and I like him.

LUBOV. Then marry him. I don't understand what you're waiting for.

VARYA. I can't propose to him myself, little mother. People have
been talking about him to me for two years now, but he either says
nothing, or jokes about it. I understand. He's getting rich, he's
busy, he can't bother about me. If I had some money, even a little,
even only a hundred roubles, I'd throw up everything and go away.
I'd go into a convent.

TROFIMOV. How nice!

VARYA. [To TROFIMOV] A student ought to have sense! [Gently, in
tears] How ugly you are now, Peter, how old you've grown! [To LUBOV
ANDREYEVNA, no longer crying] But I can't go on without working,
little mother. I want to be doing something every minute.

[Enter YASHA.]

YASHA. [Nearly laughing] Epikhodov's broken a billiard cue! [Exit.]

VARYA. Why is Epikhodov here? Who said he could play billiards? I
don't understand these people. [Exit.]

LUBOV. Don't tease her, Peter, you see that she's quite unhappy
without that.

TROFIMOV. She takes too much on herself, she keeps on interfering
in other people's business. The whole summer she's given no peace
to me or to Anya, she's afraid we'll have a romance all to
ourselves. What has it to do with her? As if I'd ever given her
grounds to believe I'd stoop to such vulgarity! We are above love.

LUBOV. Then I suppose I must be beneath love. [In agitation] Why
isn't Leonid here? If I only knew whether the estate is sold or
not! The disaster seems to me so improbable that I don't know what
to think, I'm all at sea ... I may scream ... or do something
silly. Save me, Peter. Say something, say something.

TROFIMOV. Isn't it all the same whether the estate is sold to-day
or isn't? It's been all up with it for a long time; there's no
turning back, the path's grown over. Be calm, dear, you shouldn't
deceive yourself, for once in your life at any rate you must look
the truth straight in the face.

LUBOV. What truth? You see where truth is, and where untruth is,
but I seem to have lost my sight and see nothing. You boldly settle
all important questions, but tell me, dear, isn't it because you're
young, because you haven't had time to suffer till you settled a
single one of your questions? You boldly look forward, isn't it
because you cannot foresee or expect anything terrible, because so
far life has been hidden from your young eyes? You are bolder, more
honest, deeper than we are, but think only, be just a little
magnanimous, and have mercy on me. I was born here, my father and
mother lived here, my grandfather too, I love this house. I
couldn't understand my life without that cherry orchard, and if it
really must be sold, sell me with it! [Embraces TROFIMOV, kisses
his forehead]. My son was drowned here. ... [Weeps] Have pity on
me, good, kind man.

TROFIMOV. You know I sympathize with all my soul.

LUBOV. Yes, but it ought to be said differently, differently. ...
[Takes another handkerchief, a telegram falls on the floor] I'm so
sick at heart to-day, you can't imagine. Here it's so noisy, my
soul shakes at every sound. I shake all over, and I can't go away
by myself, I'm afraid of the silence. Don't judge me harshly, Peter ...
I loved you, as if you belonged to my family. I'd gladly let Anya
marry you, I swear it, only dear, you ought to work, finish your
studies. You don't do anything, only fate throws you about from
place to place, it's so odd. ... Isn't it true? Yes? And you ought
to do something to your beard to make it grow better [Laughs] You
are funny!

TROFIMOV. [Picking up telegram] I don't want to be a Beau Brummel.

LUBOV. This telegram's from Paris. I get one every day. Yesterday
and to-day. That wild man is ill again, he's bad again. ... He begs
for forgiveness, and implores me to come, and I really ought to go
to Paris to be near him. You look severe, Peter, but what can I do,
my dear, what can I do; he's ill, he's alone, unhappy, and who's to
look after him, who's to keep him away from his errors, to give him
his medicine punctually? And why should I conceal it and say
nothing about it; I love him, that's plain, I love him, I love him. ...
That love is a stone round my neck; I'm going with it to the
bottom, but I love that stone and can't live without it. [Squeezes
TROFIMOV'S hand] Don't think badly of me, Peter, don't say anything
to me, don't say ...

TROFIMOV. [Weeping] For God's sake forgive my speaking candidly,
but that man has robbed you!

LUBOV. No, no, no, you oughtn't to say that! [Stops her ears.]

TROFIMOV. But he's a wretch, you alone don't know it! He's a petty
thief, a nobody. ...

LUBOV. [Angry, but restrained] You're twenty-six or twenty-seven,
and still a schoolboy of the second class!

TROFIMOV. Why not!

LUBOV. You ought to be a man, at your age you ought to be able to
understand those who love. And you ought to be in love yourself,
you must fall in love! [Angry] Yes, yes! You aren't pure, you're
just a freak, a queer fellow, a funny growth ...

TROFIMOV. [In horror] What is she saying!

LUBOV. "I'm above love!" You're not above love, you're just what
our Fiers calls a bungler. Not to have a mistress at your age!

TROFIMOV. [In horror] This is awful! What is she saying? [Goes
quickly up into the drawing-room, clutching his head] It's awful ...
I can't stand it, I'll go away. [Exit, but returns at once] All is
over between us! [Exit.]

LUBOV. [Shouts after him] Peter, wait! Silly man, I was joking!
Peter! [Somebody is heard going out and falling downstairs noisily.
ANYA and VARYA scream; laughter is heard immediately] What's that?

[ANYA comes running in, laughing.]

ANYA. Peter's fallen downstairs! [Runs out again.]

LUBOV. This Peter's a marvel.

[The STATION-MASTER stands in the middle of the drawing-room and
recites "The Magdalen" by Tolstoy. He is listened to, but he has
only delivered a few lines when a waltz is heard from the front
room, and the recitation is stopped. Everybody dances. TROFIMOV,
ANYA, VARYA, and LUBOV ANDREYEVNA come in from the front room.]

LUBOV. Well, Peter ... you pure soul ... I beg your pardon ...
let's dance.

[She dances with PETER. ANYA and VARYA dance. FIERS enters and
stands his stick by a side door. YASHA has also come in and looks
on at the dance.]

YASHA. Well, grandfather?

FIERS. I'm not well. At our balls some time back, generals and
barons and admirals used to dance, and now we send for post-office
clerks and the Station-master, and even they come as a favour. I'm
very weak. The dead master, the grandfather, used to give everybody
sealing-wax when anything was wrong. I've taken sealing-wax every
day for twenty years, and more; perhaps that's why I still live.

YASHA. I'm tired of you, grandfather. [Yawns] If you'd only hurry
up and kick the bucket.

FIERS. Oh you ... bungler! [Mutters.]

[TROFIMOV and LUBOV ANDREYEVNA dance in the reception-room, then
into the sitting-room.]

LUBOV. _Merci_. I'll sit down. [Sits] I'm tired.

[Enter ANYA.]

ANYA. [Excited] Somebody in the kitchen was saying just now that
the cherry orchard was sold to-day.

LUBOV. Sold to whom?

ANYA. He didn't say to whom. He's gone now. [Dances out into the
reception-room with TROFIMOV.]

YASHA. Some old man was chattering about it a long time ago. A

FIERS. And Leonid Andreyevitch isn't here yet, he hasn't come. He's
wearing a light, _demi-saison_ overcoat. He'll catch cold. Oh these
young fellows.

LUBOV. I'll die of this. Go and find out, Yasha, to whom it's sold.

YASHA. Oh, but he's been gone a long time, the old man. [Laughs.]

LUBOV. [Slightly vexed] Why do you laugh? What are you glad about?

YASHA. Epikhodov's too funny. He's a silly man. Two-and-twenty

LUBOV. Fiers, if the estate is sold, where will you go?

FIERS. I'll go wherever you order me to go.

LUBOV. Why do you look like that? Are you ill? I think you ought to
go to bed. ...

FIERS. Yes ... [With a smile] I'll go to bed, and who'll hand
things round and give orders without me? I've the whole house on my

YASHA. [To LUBOV ANDREYEVNA] Lubov Andreyevna! I want to ask a
favour of you, if you'll be so kind! If you go to Paris again, then
please take me with you. It's absolutely impossible for me to stop
here. [Looking round; in an undertone] What's the good of talking
about it, you see for yourself that this is an uneducated country,
with an immoral population, and it's so dull. The food in the
kitchen is beastly, and here's this Fiers walking about mumbling
various inappropriate things. Take me with you, be so kind!

[Enter PISCHIN.]

PISCHIN. I come to ask for the pleasure of a little waltz, dear
lady. ... [LUBOV ANDREYEVNA goes to him] But all the same, you
wonderful woman, I must have 180 little roubles from you ... I
must. ... [They dance] 180 little roubles. ... [They go through
into the drawing-room.]

YASHA. [Sings softly]
"Oh, will you understand
My soul's deep restlessness?"

[In the drawing-room a figure in a grey top-hat and in baggy check
trousers is waving its hands and jumping about; there are cries of
"Bravo, Charlotta Ivanovna!"]

DUNYASHA. [Stops to powder her face] The young mistress tells me to
dance--there are a lot of gentlemen, but few ladies--and my head
goes round when I dance, and my heart beats, Fiers Nicolaevitch;
the Post-office clerk told me something just now which made me
catch my breath. [The music grows faint.]

FIERS. What did he say to you?

DUNYASHA. He says, "You're like a little flower."

YASHA. [Yawns] Impolite. ... [Exit.]

DUNYASHA. Like a little flower. I'm such a delicate girl; I simply
love words of tenderness.

FIERS. You'll lose your head.


EPIKHODOV. You, Avdotya Fedorovna, want to see me no more than if I
was some insect. [Sighs] Oh, life!

DUNYASHA. What do you want?

EPIKHODOV. Undoubtedly, perhaps, you may be right. [Sighs] But,
certainly, if you regard the matter from the aspect, then you, if I
may say so, and you must excuse my candidness, have absolutely
reduced me to a state of mind. I know my fate, every day something
unfortunate happens to me, and I've grown used to it a long time
ago, I even look at my fate with a smile. You gave me your word,
and though I ...

DUNYASHA. Please, we'll talk later on, but leave me alone now. I'm
meditating now. [Plays with her fan.]

EPIKHODOV. Every day something unfortunate happens to me, and I, if
I may so express myself, only smile, and even laugh.

[VARYA enters from the drawing-room.]

VARYA. Haven't you gone yet, Simeon? You really have no respect for
anybody. [To DUNYASHA] You go away, Dunyasha. [To EPIKHODOV] You
play billiards and break a cue, and walk about the drawing-room as
if you were a visitor!

EPIKHODOV. You cannot, if I may say so, call me to order.

VARYA. I'm not calling you to order, I'm only telling you. You just
walk about from place to place and never do your work. Goodness
only knows why we keep a clerk.

EPIKHODOV. [Offended] Whether I work, or walk about, or eat, or
play billiards, is only a matter to be settled by people of
understanding and my elders.

VARYA. You dare to talk to me like that! [Furious] You dare? You
mean that I know nothing? Get out of here! This minute!

EPIKHODOV. [Nervous] I must ask you to express yourself more

VARYA. [Beside herself] Get out this minute. Get out! [He goes to
the door, she follows] Two-and-twenty troubles! I don't want any
sign of you here! I don't want to see anything of you! [EPIKHODOV
has gone out; his voice can be heard outside: "I'll make a
complaint against you."] What, coming back? [Snatches up the stick
left by FIERS by the door] Go ... go ... go, I'll show you. ... Are
you going? Are you going? Well, then take that. [She hits out as
LOPAKHIN enters.]

LOPAKHIN. Much obliged.

VARYA. [Angry but amused] I'm sorry.

LOPAKHIN. Never mind. I thank you for my pleasant reception.

VARYA. It isn't worth any thanks. [Walks away, then looks back and
asks gently] I didn't hurt you, did I?

LOPAKHIN. No, not at all. There'll be an enormous bump, that's all.

VOICES FROM THE DRAWING-ROOM. Lopakhin's returned! Ermolai

PISCHIN. Now we'll see what there is to see and hear what there is
to hear. .. [Kisses LOPAKHIN] You smell of cognac, my dear, my
soul. And we're all having a good time.


LUBOV. Is that you, Ermolai Alexeyevitch? Why were you so long?
Where's Leonid?

LOPAKHIN. Leonid Andreyevitch came back with me, he's coming. ...

LUBOV. [Excited] Well, what? Is it sold? Tell me?

LOPAKHIN. [Confused, afraid to show his pleasure] The sale ended up
at four o'clock. ... We missed the train, and had to wait till
half-past nine. [Sighs heavily] Ooh! My head's going round a

[Enter GAEV; in his right hand he carries things he has bought,
with his left he wipes away his tears.]

LUBOV. Leon, what's happened? Leon, well? [Impatiently, in tears]
Quick, for the love of God. ...

GAEV. [Says nothing to her, only waves his hand; to FIERS, weeping]
Here, take this. ... Here are anchovies, herrings from Kertch. ...
I've had no food to-day. ... I have had a time! [The door from the
billiard-room is open; the clicking of the balls is heard, and
YASHA'S voice, "Seven, eighteen!" GAEV'S expression changes, he
cries no more] I'm awfully tired. Help me change my clothes, Fiers.

[Goes out through the drawing-room; FIERS after him.]

PISCHIN. What happened? Come on, tell us!

LUBOV. Is the cherry orchard sold?

LOPAKHIN. It is sold.

LUBOV. Who bought it?

LOPAKHIN. I bought it.

[LUBOV ANDREYEVNA is overwhelmed; she would fall if she were not
standing by an armchair and a table. VARYA takes her keys off her
belt, throws them on the floor, into the middle of the room and
goes out.]

LOPAKHIN. I bought it! Wait, ladies and gentlemen, please, my
head's going round, I can't talk. ... [Laughs] When we got to the
sale, Deriganov was there already. Leonid Andreyevitch had only
fifteen thousand roubles, and Deriganov offered thirty thousand on
top of the mortgage to begin with. I saw how matters were, so I
grabbed hold of him and bid forty. He went up to forty-five, I
offered fifty-five. That means he went up by fives and I went up by
tens. ... Well, it came to an end. I bid ninety more than the
mortgage; and it stayed with me. The cherry orchard is mine now,
mine! [Roars with laughter] My God, my God, the cherry orchard's
mine! Tell me I'm drunk, or mad, or dreaming. ... [Stamps his feet]
Don't laugh at me! If my father and grandfather rose from their
graves and looked at the whole affair, and saw how their Ermolai,
their beaten and uneducated Ermolai, who used to run barefoot in
the winter, how that very Ermolai has bought an estate, which is
the most beautiful thing in the world! I've bought the estate where
my grandfather and my father were slaves, where they weren't even
allowed into the kitchen. I'm asleep, it's only a dream, an
illusion. ... It's the fruit of imagination, wrapped in the fog of
the unknown. ... [Picks up the keys, nicely smiling] She threw down
the keys, she wanted to show she was no longer mistress here. ...
[Jingles keys] Well, it's all one! [Hears the band tuning up] Eh,
musicians, play, I want to hear you! Come and look at Ermolai
Lopakhin laying his axe to the cherry orchard, come and look at the
trees falling! We'll build villas here, and our grandsons and
great-grandsons will see a new life here. ... Play on, music! [The
band plays. LUBOV ANDREYEVNA sinks into a chair and weeps bitterly.
LOPAKHIN continues reproachfully] Why then, why didn't you take my
advice? My poor, dear woman, you can't go back now. [Weeps] Oh, if
only the whole thing was done with, if only our uneven, unhappy
life were changed!

PISCHIN. [Takes his arm; in an undertone] She's crying. Let's go
into the drawing-room and leave her by herself ... come on. ...
[Takes his arm and leads him out.]

LOPAKHIN. What's that? Bandsmen, play nicely! Go on, do just as I
want you to! [Ironically] The new owner, the owner of the cherry
orchard is coming! [He accidentally knocks up against a little
table and nearly upsets the candelabra] I can pay for everything!
[Exit with PISCHIN]

[In the reception-room and the drawing-room nobody remains except
LUBOV ANDREYEVNA, who sits huddled up and weeping bitterly. The
band plays softly. ANYA and TROFIMOV come in quickly. ANYA goes up
to her mother and goes on her knees in front of her. TROFIMOV
stands at the drawing-room entrance.]

ANYA. Mother! mother, are you crying? My dear, kind, good mother,
my beautiful mother, I love you! Bless you! The cherry orchard is
sold, we've got it no longer, it's true, true, but don't cry
mother, you've still got your life before you, you've still your
beautiful pure soul ... Come with me, come, dear, away from here,
come! We'll plant a new garden, finer than this, and you'll see it,
and you'll understand, and deep joy, gentle joy will sink into your
soul, like the evening sun, and you'll smile, mother! Come, dear,
let's go!



[The stage is set as for Act I. There are no curtains on the
windows, no pictures; only a few pieces of furniture are left; they
are piled up in a corner as if for sale. The emptiness is felt. By
the door that leads out of the house and at the back of the stage,
portmanteaux and travelling paraphernalia are piled up. The door on
the left is open; the voices of VARYA and ANYA can be heard through
it. LOPAKHIN stands and waits. YASHA holds a tray with little
tumblers of champagne. Outside, EPIKHODOV is tying up a box. Voices
are heard behind the stage. The peasants have come to say good-bye.
The voice of GAEV is heard: "Thank you, brothers, thank you."]

YASHA. The common people have come to say good-bye. I am of the
opinion, Ermolai Alexeyevitch, that they're good people, but they
don't understand very much.

[The voices die away. LUBOV ANDREYEVNA and GAEV enter. She is not
crying but is pale, and her face trembles; she can hardly speak.]

GAEV. You gave them your purse, Luba. You can't go on like that,
you can't!

LUBOV. I couldn't help myself, I couldn't! [They go out.]

LOPAKHIN. [In the doorway, calling after them] Please, I ask you
most humbly! Just a little glass to say good-bye. I didn't remember
to bring any from town and I only found one bottle at the station.
Please, do! [Pause] Won't you really have any? [Goes away from the
door] If I only knew--I wouldn't have bought any. Well, I shan't
drink any either. [YASHA carefully puts the tray on a chair] You
have a drink, Yasha, at any rate.

YASHA. To those departing! And good luck to those who stay behind!
[Drinks] I can assure you that this isn't real champagne.

LOPAKHIN. Eight roubles a bottle. [Pause] It's devilish cold here.

YASHA. There are no fires to-day, we're going away. [Laughs]

LOPAKHIN. What's the matter with you?

YASHA. I'm just pleased.

LOPAKHIN. It's October outside, but it's as sunny and as quiet as
if it were summer. Good for building. [Looking at his watch and
speaking through the door] Ladies and gentlemen, please remember
that it's only forty-seven minutes till the train goes! You must go
off to the station in twenty minutes. Hurry up.

[TROFIMOV, in an overcoat, comes in from the grounds.]

TROFIMOV. I think it's time we went. The carriages are waiting.
Where the devil are my goloshes? They're lost. [Through the door]
Anya, I can't find my goloshes! I can't!

LOPAKHIN. I've got to go to Kharkov. I'm going in the same train as
you. I'm going to spend the whole winter in Kharkov. I've been
hanging about with you people, going rusty without work. I can't
live without working. I must have something to do with my hands;
they hang about as if they weren't mine at all.

TROFIMOV. We'll go away now and then you'll start again on your
useful labours.

LOPAKHIN. Have a glass.

TROFIMOV. I won't.

LOPAKHIN. So you're off to Moscow now?

TROFIMOV Yes. I'll see them into town and to-morrow I'm off to

LOPAKHIN. Yes. ... I expect the professors don't lecture nowadays;
they're waiting till you turn up!

TROFIMOV. That's not your business.

LOPAKHIN. How many years have you been going to the university?

TROFIMOV. Think of something fresh. This is old and flat. [Looking
for his goloshes] You know, we may not meet each other again, so
just let me give you a word of advice on parting: "Don't wave your
hands about! Get rid of that habit of waving them about. And then,
building villas and reckoning on their residents becoming freeholders
in time--that's the same thing; it's all a matter of waving your hands
about. ... Whether I want to or not, you know, I like you. You've
thin, delicate fingers, like those of an artist, and you've a thin,
delicate soul. ..."

LOPAKHIN. [Embraces him] Good-bye, dear fellow. Thanks for all
you've said. If you want any, take some money from me for the

TROFIMOV. Why should I? I don't want it.

LOPAKHIN. But you've nothing!

TROFIMOV. Yes, I have, thank you; I've got some for a translation.
Here it is in my pocket. [Nervously] But I can't find my goloshes!

VARYA. [From the other room] Take your rubbish away! [Throws a pair
of rubber goloshes on to the stage.]

TROFIMOV. Why are you angry, Varya? Hm! These aren't my goloshes!

LOPAKHIN. In the spring I sowed three thousand acres of poppies,
and now I've made forty thousand roubles net profit. And when my
poppies were in flower, what a picture it was! So I, as I was
saying, made forty thousand roubles, and I mean I'd like to lend
you some, because I can afford it. Why turn up your nose at it? I'm
just a simple peasant. ...

TROFIMOV. Your father was a peasant, mine was a chemist, and that
means absolutely nothing. [LOPAKHIN takes out his pocket-book] No,
no. ... Even if you gave me twenty thousand I should refuse. I'm a
free man. And everything that all you people, rich and poor, value
so highly and so dearly hasn't the least influence over me; it's
like a flock of down in the wind. I can do without you, I can pass
you by. I'm strong and proud. Mankind goes on to the highest truths
and to the highest happiness such as is only possible on earth, and
I go in the front ranks!

LOPAKHIN. Will you get there?

TROFIMOV. I will. [Pause] I'll get there and show others the way.
[Axes cutting the trees are heard in the distance.]

LOPAKHIN. Well, good-bye, old man. It's time to go. Here we stand
pulling one another's noses, but life goes its own way all the
time. When I work for a long time, and I don't get tired, then I
think more easily, and I think I get to understand why I exist. And
there are so many people in Russia, brother, who live for nothing
at all. Still, work goes on without that. Leonid Andreyevitch, they
say, has accepted a post in a bank; he will get sixty thousand
roubles a year. ... But he won't stand it; he's very lazy.

ANYA. [At the door] Mother asks if you will stop them cutting down
the orchard until she has gone away.

TROFIMOV. Yes, really, you ought to have enough tact not to do
that. [Exit.]

LOPAKHIN, All right, all right ... yes, he's right. [Exit.]

ANYA. Has Fiers been sent to the hospital?

YASHA. I gave the order this morning. I suppose they've sent him.

ANYA. [To EPIKHODOV, who crosses the room] Simeon Panteleyevitch,
please make inquiries if Fiers has been sent to the hospital.

YASHA. [Offended] I told Egor this morning. What's the use of
asking ten times!

EPIKHODOV. The aged Fiers, in my conclusive opinion, isn't worth
mending; his forefathers had better have him. I only envy him.
[Puts a trunk on a hat-box and squashes it] Well, of course. I
thought so! [Exit.]

YASHA. [Grinning] Two-and-twenty troubles.

VARYA. [Behind the door] Has Fiers been taken away to the hospital?

ANYA. Yes.

VARYA. Why didn't they take the letter to the doctor?

ANYA. It'll have to be sent after him. [Exit.]

VARYA. [In the next room] Where's Yasha? Tell him his mother's come
and wants to say good-bye to him.

YASHA. [Waving his hand] She'll make me lose all patience!

[DUNYASHA has meanwhile been bustling round the luggage; now that
YASHA is left alone, she goes up to him.]

DUNYASHA. If you only looked at me once, Yasha. You're going away,
leaving me behind.

[Weeps and hugs him round the neck.]

YASHA. What's the use of crying? [Drinks champagne] In six days
I'll be again in Paris. To-morrow we get into the express and off
we go. I can hardly believe it. Vive la France! It doesn't suit me
here, I can't live here ... it's no good. Well, I've seen the
uncivilized world; I have had enough of it. [Drinks champagne] What
do you want to cry for? You behave yourself properly, and then you
won't cry.

DUNYASHA. [Looks in a small mirror and powders her face] Send me a
letter from Paris. You know I loved you, Yasha, so much! I'm a
sensitive creature, Yasha.

YASHA. Somebody's coming.

[He bustles around the luggage, singing softly. Enter LUBOV

GAEV. We'd better be off. There's no time left. [Looks at YASHA]
Somebody smells of herring!

LUBOV. We needn't get into our carriages for ten minutes. ...
[Looks round the room] Good-bye, dear house, old grandfather. The
winter will go, the spring will come, and then you'll exist no
more, you'll be pulled down. How much these walls have seen!
[Passionately kisses her daughter] My treasure, you're radiant,
your eyes flash like two jewels! Are you happy? Very?

ANYA. Very! A new life is beginning, mother!

GAEV. [Gaily] Yes, really, everything's all right now. Before the
cherry orchard was sold we all were excited and we suffered, and
then, when the question was solved once and for all, we all calmed
down, and even became cheerful. I'm a bank official now, and a
financier ... red in the middle; and you, Luba, for some reason or
other, look better, there's no doubt about it.

LUBOV Yes. My nerves are better, it's true. [She puts on her coat
and hat] I sleep well. Take my luggage out, Yasha. It's time. [To
ANYA] My little girl, we'll soon see each other again. ... I'm off
to Paris. I'll live there on the money your grandmother from
Yaroslav sent along to buy the estate--bless her!--though it won't
last long.

ANYA. You'll come back soon, soon, mother, won't you? I'll get
ready, and pass the exam at the Higher School, and then I'll work
and help you. We'll read all sorts of books to one another, won't
we? [Kisses her mother's hands] We'll read in the autumn evenings;
we'll read many books, and a beautiful new world will open up
before us. ... [Thoughtfully] You'll come, mother. ...

LUBOV. I'll come, my darling. [Embraces her.]

[Enter LOPAKHIN. CHARLOTTA is singing to herself.]

GAEV. Charlotta is happy; she sings!

CHARLOTTA. [Takes a bundle, looking like a wrapped-up baby] My
little baby, bye-bye. [The baby seems to answer, "Oua! Oua!"] Hush,
my nice little boy. ["Oua! Oua!"] I'm so sorry for you! [Throws the
bundle back] So please find me a new place. I can't go on like

LOPAKHIN. We'll find one, Charlotta Ivanovna, don't you be afraid.

GAEV. Everybody's leaving us. Varya's going away ... we've suddenly
become unnecessary.

CHARLOTTA. I've nowhere to live in town. I must go away. [Hums]
Never mind.

[Enter PISCHIN.]

LOPAKHIN. Nature's marvel!

PISCHIN. [Puffing] Oh, let me get my breath back. ... I'm fagged
out ... My most honoured, give me some water. ...

GAEV. Come for money, what? I'm your humble servant, and I'm going out
of the way of temptation. [Exit.]

PISCHIN. I haven't been here for ever so long ... dear madam. [To
LOPAKHIN] You here? Glad to see you ... man of immense brain ...
take this ... take it. ... [Gives LOPAKHIN money] Four hundred
roubles. ... That leaves 840. ...

LOPAKHIN. [Shrugs his shoulders in surprise] As if I were dreaming.
Where did you get this from?

PISCHIN. Stop ... it's hot. ... A most unexpected thing happened.
Some Englishmen came along and found some white clay on my land. ...
[To LUBOV ANDREYEVNA] And here's four hundred for you ... beautiful
lady. ... [Gives her money] Give you the rest later. ... [Drinks
water] Just now a young man in the train was saying that some great
philosopher advises us all to jump off roofs. "Jump!" he says, and
that's all. [Astonished] To think of that, now! More water!

LOPAKHIN. Who were these Englishmen?

PISCHIN. I've leased off the land with the clay to them for twenty-four
years. ... Now, excuse me, I've no time. ... I must run off. ... I
must go to Znoikov and to Kardamonov ... I owe them all money. ...
[Drinks] Good-bye. I'll come in on Thursday.

LUBOV. We're just off to town, and to-morrow I go abroad.

PISCHIN. [Agitated] What? Why to town? I see furniture ... trunks. ...
Well, never mind. [Crying] Never mind. These Englishmen are men of
immense intellect. ... Never mind. ... Be happy. ... God will help
you. ... Never mind. ... Everything in this world comes to an end. ...
[Kisses LUBOV ANDREYEVNA'S hand] And if you should happen to hear
that my end has come, just remember this old ... horse and say:
"There was one such and such a Simeonov-Pischin, God bless his
soul. ..." Wonderful weather ... yes. ... [Exit deeply moved, but
returns at once and says in the door] Dashenka sent her love!

LUBOV. Now we can go. I've two anxieties, though. The first is poor
Fiers [Looks at her watch] We've still five minutes. ...

ANYA. Mother, Fiers has already been sent to the hospital. Yasha
sent him off this morning.

LUBOV. The second is Varya. She's used to getting up early and to
work, and now she's no work to do she's like a fish out of water.
She's grown thin and pale, and she cries, poor thing. ... [Pause]
You know very well, Ermolai Alexeyevitch, that I used to hope to
marry her to you, and I suppose you are going to marry somebody?
[Whispers to ANYA, who nods to CHARLOTTA, and they both go out] She
loves you, she's your sort, and I don't understand, I really don't,
why you seem to be keeping away from each other. I don't

LOPAKHIN. To tell the truth, I don't understand it myself. It's all
so strange. ... If there's still time, I'll be ready at once ...
Let's get it over, once and for all; I don't feel as if I could
ever propose to her without you.

LUBOV. Excellent. It'll only take a minute. I'll call her.

LOPAKHIN. The champagne's very appropriate. [Looking at the
tumblers] They're empty, somebody's already drunk them. [YASHA
coughs] I call that licking it up. ...

LUBOV. [Animated] Excellent. We'll go out. Yasha, allez. I'll call
her in. ... [At the door] Varya, leave that and come here. Come!
[Exit with YASHA.]

LOPAKHIN. [Looks at his watch] Yes. ... [Pause.]

[There is a restrained laugh behind the door, a whisper, then VARYA
comes in.]

VARYA. [Looking at the luggage in silence] I can't seem to find it. ...

LOPAKHIN. What are you looking for?

VARYA. I packed it myself and I don't remember. [Pause.]

LOPAKHIN. Where are you going to now, Barbara Mihailovna?

VARYA. I? To the Ragulins. ... I've got an agreement to go and look
after their house ... as housekeeper or something.

LOPAKHIN. Is that at Yashnevo? It's about fifty miles. [Pause] So
life in this house is finished now. ...

VARYA. [Looking at the luggage] Where is it? ... perhaps I've put
it away in the trunk. ... Yes, there'll be no more life in this
house. ...

LOPAKHIN. And I'm off to Kharkov at once ... by this train. I've a
lot of business on hand. I'm leaving Epikhodov here ... I've taken
him on.

VARYA. Well, well!

LOPAKHIN. Last year at this time the snow was already falling, if
you remember, and now it's nice and sunny. Only it's rather cold. ...
There's three degrees of frost.

VARYA. I didn't look. [Pause] And our thermometer's broken. ...

VOICE AT THE DOOR. Ermolai Alexeyevitch!

LOPAKHIN. [As if he has long been waiting to be called] This
minute. [Exit quickly.]

[VARYA, sitting on the floor, puts her face on a bundle of clothes
and weeps gently. The door opens. LUBOV ANDREYEVNA enters

LUBOV. Well? [Pause] We must go.

VARYA. [Not crying now, wipes her eyes] Yes, it's quite time,
little mother. I'll get to the Ragulins to-day, if I don't miss the
train. ...

LUBOV. [At the door] Anya, put on your things. [Enter ANYA, then
GAEV, CHARLOTTA IVANOVNA. GAEV wears a warm overcoat with a cape. A
servant and drivers come in. EPIKHODOV bustles around the luggage]
Now we can go away.

ANYA. [Joyfully] Away!

GAEV. My friends, my dear friends! Can I be silent, in leaving this
house for evermore?--can I restrain myself, in saying farewell,
from expressing those feelings which now fill my whole being ...?

ANYA. [Imploringly] Uncle!

VARYA. Uncle, you shouldn't!

GAEV. [Stupidly] Double the red into the middle. ... I'll be quiet.


TROFIMOV. Well, it's time to be off.

LOPAKHIN. Epikhodov, my coat!

LUBOV. I'll sit here one more minute. It's as if I'd never really
noticed what the walls and ceilings of this house were like, and
now I look at them greedily, with such tender love. ...

GAEV. I remember, when I was six years old, on Trinity Sunday, I
sat at this window and looked and saw my father going to church. ...

LUBOV. Have all the things been taken away?

LOPAKHIN. Yes, all, I think. [To EPIKHODOV, putting on his coat]
You see that everything's quite straight, Epikhodov.

EPIKHODOV. [Hoarsely] You may depend upon me, Ermolai Alexeyevitch!

LOPAKHIN. What's the matter with your voice?

EPIKHODOV. I swallowed something just now; I was having a drink of

YASHA. [Suspiciously] What manners. ...

LUBOV. We go away, and not a soul remains behind.

LOPAKHIN. Till the spring.

VARYA. [Drags an umbrella out of a bundle, and seems to be waving
it about. LOPAKHIN appears to be frightened] What are you doing? ...
I never thought ...

TROFIMOV. Come along, let's take our seats ... it's time! The train
will be in directly.

VARYA. Peter, here they are, your goloshes, by that trunk. [In
tears] And how old and dirty they are. ...

TROFIMOV. [Putting them on] Come on!

GAEV. [Deeply moved, nearly crying] The train ... the station. ...
Cross in the middle, a white double in the corner. ...

LUBOV. Let's go!

LOPAKHIN. Are you all here? There's nobody else? [Locks the
side-door on the left] There's a lot of things in there. I must
lock them up. Come!

ANYA. Good-bye, home! Good-bye, old life!

TROFIMOV. Welcome, new life! [Exit with ANYA.]

[VARYA looks round the room and goes out slowly. YASHA and
CHARLOTTA, with her little dog, go out.]

LOPAKHIN. Till the spring, then! Come on ... till we meet again!

[LUBOV ANDREYEVNA and GAEV are left alone. They might almost have
been waiting for that. They fall into each other's arms and sob
restrainedly and quietly, fearing that somebody might hear them.]

GAEV. [In despair] My sister, my sister. ...

LUBOV. My dear, my gentle, beautiful orchard! My life, my youth, my
happiness, good-bye! Good-bye!

ANYA'S VOICE. [Gaily] Mother!

TROFIMOV'S VOICE. [Gaily, excited] Coo-ee!

LUBOV. To look at the walls and the windows for the last time. ...
My dead mother used to like to walk about this room. ...

GAEV. My sister, my sister!



LUBOV. We're coming! [They go out.]

[The stage is empty. The sound of keys being turned in the locks is
heard, and then the noise of the carriages going away. It is quiet.
Then the sound of an axe against the trees is heard in the silence
sadly and by itself. Steps are heard. FIERS comes in from the door
on the right. He is dressed as usual, in a short jacket and white
waistcoat; slippers on his feet. He is ill. He goes to the door and
tries the handle.]

FIERS. It's locked. They've gone away. [Sits on a sofa] They've
forgotten about me. ... Never mind, I'll sit here. ... And Leonid
Andreyevitch will have gone in a light overcoat instead of putting
on his fur coat. ... [Sighs anxiously] I didn't see. ... Oh, these
young people! [Mumbles something that cannot be understood] Life's
gone on as if I'd never lived. [Lying down] I'll lie down. ...
You've no strength left in you, nothing left at all. ... Oh, you ...

[He lies without moving. The distant sound is heard, as if from
the sky, of a breaking string, dying away sadly. Silence follows
it, and only the sound is heard, some way away in the orchard, of
the axe falling on the trees.]


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