Basics

Show Type
Genders
  • : 1
  • : 2
Age Ranges
  • Young Adult
  • Adult
Style
Period
Time/Place
Russia, 1904
Act/Scene
Act 1

Scene Context

Dunyasha, the Ranevsky's servant, and Lopakhin, a local businessman, are awaiting the return of

Scene Text

LOPAKHIN. The train’s arrived, thank God. What’s the time?

DUNYASHA. It will soon be two. [Blows out candle] It is light already.

LOPAKHIN. How much was the train late? Two hours at least. [Yawns and stretches himself] I have made a rotten mess of it! I came here on purpose to meet them at the station, and then overslept myself... in my chair. It’s a pity. I wish you’d wakened me.

DUNYASHA. I thought you’d gone away. [Listening] I think I hear them coming.

LOPAKHIN. [Listens] No.... They’ve got to collect their luggage and so on.... [Pause] Lubov Andreyevna has been living abroad for five years; I don’t know what she’ll be like now.... She’s a good sort—an easy, simple person. I remember when I was a boy of fifteen, my father, who is dead—he used to keep a shop in the village here—hit me on the face with his fist, and my nose bled.... We had gone into the yard together for something or other, and he was a little drunk. Lubov Andreyevna, as I remember her now, was still young, and very thin, and she took me to the washstand here in this very room, the nursery. She said, “Don’t cry, little man, it’ll be all right in time for your wedding.” [Pause] “Little man”.... My father was a peasant, it’s true, but here I am in a white waistcoat and yellow shoes... a pearl out of an oyster. I’m rich now, with lots of money, but just think about it and examine me, and you’ll find I’m still a peasant down to the marrow of my bones. [Turns over the pages of his book] Here I’ve been reading this book, but I understood nothing. I read and fell asleep. [Pause.]

DUNYASHA. The dogs didn’t sleep all night; they know that they’re coming.

LOPAKHIN. What’s up with you, Dunyasha...?

DUNYASHA. My hands are shaking. I shall faint.

LOPAKHIN. You’re too sensitive, Dunyasha. You dress just like a lady, and you do your hair like one too. You oughtn’t. You should know your place.

EPIKHODOV. [Enters with a bouquet. He wears a short jacket and brilliantly polished boots which squeak audibly. He drops the bouquet as he enters, then picks it up] The gardener sent these; says they’re to go into the dining-room. [Gives the bouquet to DUNYASHA.]

LOPAKHIN. And you’ll bring me some kvass.

DUNYASHA. Very well. [Exit.]

EPIKHODOV. There’s a frost this morning—three degrees, and the cherry-trees are all in flower. I can’t approve of our climate. [Sighs] I can’t. Our climate is indisposed to favour us even this once. And, Ermolai Alexeyevitch, allow me to say to you, in addition, that I bought myself some boots two days ago, and I beg to assure you that they squeak in a perfectly unbearable manner. What shall I put on them?

LOPAKHIN. Go away. You bore me.

EPIKHODOV. Some misfortune happens to me every day. But I don’t complain; I’m used to it, and I can smile. [DUNYASHA comes in and brings LOPAKHIN some kvass] I shall go. [Knocks over a chair] There.... [Triumphantly] There, you see, if I may use the word, what circumstances I am in, so to speak. It is even simply marvellous. [Exit.]

DUNYASHA. I may confess to you, Ermolai Alexeyevitch, that Epikhodov has proposed to me.

LOPAKHIN. Ah!

DUNYASHA. I don’t know what to do about it. He’s a nice young man, but every now and again, when he begins talking, you can’t understand a word he’s saying. I think I like him. He’s madly in love with me. He’s an unlucky man; every day something happens. We tease him about it. They call him “Two-and-twenty troubles.”

LOPAKHIN. [Listens] There they come, I think.

DUNYASHA. They’re coming! What’s the matter with me? I’m cold all over.

LOPAKHIN. There they are, right enough. Let’s go and meet them. Will she know me? We haven’t seen each other for five years.

DUNYASHA. [Excited] I shall faint in a minute.... Oh, I’m fainting!

[For full text, see http://www.gutenberg.org/files/7986/7986-h/7986-h.htm#link2H40013]