At this point in the play, Astrov, a country doctor and family
Oh will you shut up! What are you plaguing me with? To start anew? We cannot “start anew,” you or I. This or that that we’re living, you know, is our life! The people who come after us, in a hundred or two hundred years, do you know what they’ll feel? They will despise us for our stupid and insipid lives, and perhaps they’ll know how to be happy, but for us--for you and I--there’s but one hope, and that hope is this: that when we are dead, lying in our graves, visions may visit us, and that they are of peace. Oh yes my friend, when we said we’d find but two decent, cultivated men in this district we spoke of ourselves, but this last decade has undone us. Life has sucked us in and corrupted us. What a shocking surprise! We’ve turned out like the rest...but we’ve changed the subject-- now give me back what you took from me!
Chekhov, Anton. Adapted by David Mamet. Uncle Vanya, Samuel French, 1988, pp. 65-66.
More about this monologue