Glencoe Literature Classics CD-ROM. Author: Anton Chekhov. (). Title : The Cherry Orchard. Year: Genre: Drama. Big Idea: Disillusionment and. THE. CHERRY. ORCHARD by Anton Chekhov translation by. Jean-Claude van Itallie directed by. STEPHEN HEATLEY set design by. CHRISTINA POMANSKI. The Cherry Orchard, Anton Chekhov, complete HTML play, It is May. The cherry-trees are in flower but it is chilly in the garden. There is an early frost.
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The Cherry Orchard, by Anton Chekhov. Translated from the Russian by Maria Amadei Ashot. © Copyright All rights reserved. 1. Anton. ADELAIDE UNIVERSITY. THEATRE GUILD. THE CHERRY ORCHARD. BY. ANTON CHEKHOV. AT THE HUT. Monday, May 5th. Tuesday, May 6th. Wednesday. The Cherry Orchard A Comedy in Four Acts. Anton Chekhov The text is from Plays by Anton Tchekoff, second series, translated with an introduction by Julius .
The sound of keys being turned in the locks is heard, and then the noise of the carriages going away. Vive la France! I've a lot of business on hand. This edition is in one big file about KB for your convenience. Why do you talk so much? You went away during Lent, when it was snowing and frosty, but now? Oh, you.
At present he sits on his balcony and drinks tea, but it may well come to pass that he'll begin to cultivate his patch of land, and then your cherry orchard will be happy, rich, splendid. There are two telegrams for you, little mother. They're from Paris. And do you know, Luba, how old this case is? A week ago I took out the bottom drawer; I looked and saw figures burnt out in it. That case was made exactly a hundred years ago. What do you think of that? We could celebrate its jubilee.
It hasn't a soul of its own, but still, say what you will, it's a fine bookcase. I congratulate you on your existence, which has already for more than a hundred years been directed towards the bright ideals of good and justice; your silent call to productive labour has not grown less in the hundred years [ Weeping ] during which you have upheld virtue and faith in a better future to the generations of our race, educating us up to ideals of goodness and to the knowledge of a common consciousness.
Red ball goes into the middle pocket! You oughtn't to take medicines, dear madam; they do you neither harm nor good. Give them here, dear madam. They were here in Easter week and ate half a pailful of cucumbers. Excuse me, Charlotta Ivanovna, I haven't said "How do you do" to you yet.
We shall see each other in three weeks. It's time to go. If you think about the villas and make up your mind, then just let me know, and I'll raise a loan of 50, roubles at once. Think about it seriously. Why not, Varya? I should be very glad.
He's a good man. To speak the honest truth. And my Dashenka. I'll find it all right [ Laughs ] I never lose hope. I used to think, "Everything's lost now. I'm a dead man," when, lo and behold, a railway was built over my land. And something else will happen to-day or to-morrow. Dashenka may win 20, roubles. What am I to do with you?
Look, little mother: And the air! The starlings are singing! You haven't forgotten, Luba? There's that long avenue going straight, straight, like a stretched strap; it shines on moonlight nights. Do you remember? You haven't forgotten? In this nursery I used to sleep; I used to look out from here into the orchard.
Happiness used to wake with me every morning, and then it was just as it is now; nothing has changed. Oh, my orchard! After the dark autumns and the cold winters, you're young again, full of happiness, the angels of heaven haven't left you.
If only I could take my heavy burden off my breast and shoulders, if I could forget my past! Look, there's my dead mother going in the orchard.
God bless you, little mother. There's nobody there; I thought I saw somebody. On the right, at the turning by the summer-house, a white little tree bent down, looking just like a woman. White masses of flowers, the blue sky. Lubov Andreyevna! What are we to do, little mother?
It's the will of God. Why, my friend? I am speaking so loudly, making such a noise. Well, Peter? What's made you look so bad?
Why have you grown so old? You were quite a boy then, a nice little student, and now your hair is not at all thick and you wear spectacles.
Are you really still a student? And you've grown older, Leonid. Oh, my gout! I'll stay the night here. If only, Lubov Andreyevna, my dear, you could get me roubles to-morrow morning My sister hasn't lost the habit of throwing money about. A lot of use there is in her coming.
She might have come tomorrow just as well. Mother hasn't altered a scrap, she's just as she always was. She'd give away everything, if the idea only entered her head. I work my brains to their hardest. I've several remedies, very many, and that really means I've none at all.
It would be nice to inherit a fortune from somebody, it would be nice to marry our Anya to a rich man, it would be nice to go to Yaroslav and try my luck with my aunt the Countess.
My aunt is very, very rich. Don't cry. My aunt's very rich, but she doesn't like us. My sister, in the first place, married an advocate , not a noble. She's nice and kind and charming, and I'm very fond of her, but say what you will in her favour and you still have to admit that she's wicked; you can feel it in her slightest movements.
I can't see properly out of it. And on Thursday, when I was at the District Court. My darling! Believe in me, believe. I do believe in you, uncle. Everybody loves you and respects you.
What were you saying just now about my mother, your own sister? Why did you say those things? Yes, yes. Save me, my God! And only just now I made a speech before a bookcase. And only when I'd finished I knew how silly it was.
All right, I'll be quiet. But let's talk business. On Thursday I was in the District Court, and a lot of us met there together, and we began to talk of this, that, and the other, and now I think I can arrange a loan to pay the interest into the bank.
I'll go on Tuesday. I'll talk with them about it again. And when you've rested you'll go to Yaroslav to the Countess, your grandmother. So you see, we'll have three irons in the fire, and we'll be safe. We'll pay up the interest. I'm certain. Here's my hand. You may call me a dishonourable wretch if I let it go to auction!
I swear by all I am! I'm happy! All's well! When are you going to bed? Soon, soon. You go away, Fiers. I'll undress myself. Well, children, bye-bye. I'll give you the details to-morrow, but let's go to bed now. People don't praise those years much, but I can still say that I've suffered for my beliefs. The peasants don't love me for nothing, I assure you.
We've got to learn to know the peasants! We ought to learn how. I'm coming, I'm coming. Go to bed now. Off two cushions into the middle! I turn over a new leaf. I'm quieter now. I don't want to go to Yaroslav, I don't like grandmother; but I'm calm now; thanks to uncle. It's time to go to sleep. I'll go. There's been an unpleasantness here while you were away. In the old servants' part of the house, as you know, only the old people live--little old Efim and Polya and Evstigney, and Karp as well.
They started letting some tramps or other spend the night there--I said nothing. Then I heard that they were saying that I had ordered them to be fed on peas and nothing else; from meanness, you see. And it was all Evstigney's doing. Very well, I thought, if that's what the matter is, just you wait.
So I call Evstigney. Come along! Come on. In the distance, the other side of the orchard, a shepherd plays his pipe. She's asleep, asleep. Come on, dear.
Mother and uncle! 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.
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. 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. I haven't anybody at all.
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. I've done. Now I'll go. I've nobody to talk to. I'm always alone, alone; I've nobody at all. 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.
It's by the cupboard. It's a little damp here. Very well I'll bring it. Now I know what to do with my revolver. Two-and-twenty troubles!
A silly man, between you and me and the gatepost. I hope to goodness he won't shoot himself. 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. Of course, every girl must respect herself; there's nothing I dislike more than a badly behaved girl. I'm awfully in love with you; you're educated, you can talk about everything. I think this: It's the mistress, and people with her. I can't stand that sort of thing. YASHA remains, sitting by the shrine. 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! They built that railway; that's made this place very handy. I'd like to go in now and have just one game.
My poor Varya feeds everybody on milk soup to save money, in the kitchen the old people only get peas, and I spend recklessly. 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! Why do you keep twisting about in front of me?
That rich man Deriganov is preparing to buy your estate. They say he'll come to the sale himself. 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. 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: 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 saved.
I must cry or yell or faint. I can't stand it! You're too much for me! Perhaps we'll find some way out! Please don't go away. It's nicer when you're here. 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.
I shut my eyes and ran without thinking, but he ran after me. 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. Punish me no more! He begs my forgiveness, he implores me to return. That is our celebrated Jewish band. You remember--four violins, a flute, and a double-bass. 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. It's true. To speak the straight truth, we live a silly life. 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! 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. You went away this morning without telling me. I've been alive a long time. They were already getting ready to marry me before your father was born. Only I didn't agree with the Emancipation and remained with my people.
It was very good for them in the old days. At any rate, they used to beat them. 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. 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 bill. Sit down next to me, like that. 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. 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. 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.
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. 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. 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: You want giants, do you? They're only good in stories, and even there they frighten one. Oh, beautiful and indifferent one, thou whom we call mother, thou containest in thyself existence and death, thou livest and destroyest.
They all sit thoughtfully. It is quiet. Suddenly a distant sound is heard as if from the sky, the sound of a breaking string, which dies away sadly. I don't know. It may be a bucket fallen down a well somewhere. But it's some way off. Before the misfortune the same thing happened. An owl screamed and the samovar hummed without stopping. You know, my friends, let's go in; it's evening now. What is it, little girl? I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Come out on the Volga, you whose groans.
It doesn't matter, here's gold. Oh, little mother, at home there's nothing for the servants to eat, and you gave him gold. 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! Oh, feel me, get thee to a nunnery. Oh, feel me, nymph, remember me in thine orisons. Let me remind you, ladies and gentlemen, on August 22 the cherry orchard will be sold.
Think of that! 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. We go irresistibly on to that bright star which burns there, in the distance!
Don't lag behind, friends! 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. All Russia is our orchard. The land is great and beautiful, there are many marvellous places in it. 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. The house in which we live has long ceased to be our house; I shall go away. I give you my word. If you have the housekeeping keys, throw them down the well and go away. Be as free as the wind. 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. The moon rises.
Yes, the moon has risen. And if we do not see it we shall not know it, but what does that matter? Others will see it! 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. In the drawing-room the grand rond is being danced. VARYA is crying gently and wipes away her tears as she dances. 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. A hungry dog only believes in meat.
Dashenka told me. Now I'm in such a position, I wouldn't mind forging them. I've got to pay roubles the day after to-morrow. I've got already. The money's gone! I even began to perspire. What's he doing in town?
And the musicians needn't have come, and we needn't have got up this ball. Well, never mind. Now shuffle. All right, now. Give them here, oh my dear Mr.
Ein, zwei, drei! Now look and you'll find it in your coat-tail pocket. What's the top card? Delightful, Charlotte Ivanovna. I'm simply in love. In love? Guter Mensch aber schlechter Musikant. Attention please, here's another trick. 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. 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 long? 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. 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.
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. I do look at the matter seriously, little mother , to be quite frank. He's a good man, and I like him. 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. I want to be doing something every minute. Why is Epikhodov here? Who said he could play billiards? I don't understand these people.
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. Then I suppose I must be beneath love.
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. Save me, Peter. Say something, say something. 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.
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! My son was drowned here. Yes, but it ought to be said differently, differently. 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? And you ought to do something to your beard to make it grow better [ Laughs ] You are funny!
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. 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! You aren't pure, you're just a freak, a queer fellow, a funny growth. Not to have a mistress at your age!
What is she saying? I can't stand it, I'll go away. Silly man, I was joking! 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. FIERS enters and stands his stick by a side door.
YASHA has also come in and looks on at the dance. 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. I'm tired of you, grandfather. He didn't say to whom. He's gone now.
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. I've the whole house on my shoulders. 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. 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! I come to ask for the pleasure of a little waltz, dear lady. I must. 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!
You, Avdotya Fedorovna, want to see me no more than if I was some insect. Undoubtedly, perhaps, you may be right. 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. On the station, she is greeted by her brother Leonid Gayev, an old manservant called Firs, and her adopted daughter Varya. Ranevsky is happy to be home, and his daughter Anya starts telling her daughter how Paris was — she was surprised by the poverty in which her mother lived, and her bad spending habits.
To that, her daughter Varya reveals to her that the family estate, the house with the cherry orchard, will be sold at an auction because of their mounting debts. Lopakhin also brings up the issue of the auction, and proposes a good solution, according to him; he tells Ranevsky to divide the land into parcels, build cottages on them and lease them to people who want to hold a cottage during the summer, a trend which is increasing lately.
However, Lopakhin does not think there is a way to save the orchard, except to buy the house themselves, so he offers Ranevsky a loan if he changes his mind about the sale. In fact, that was one of the reasons he decided to leave the country in the first place. When Lopakhin leaves, Gayev offers three alternatives to save the orchard: The second act revolves around the reluctance of the family members to sell the cherry orchard.
In the meantime, Ranevsky reveals that there is a lover in Paris, waiting, but who before her return to her hometown left her after robbing her. As a result she considered suicide, but in the end, did not do it. The third act happens on the day of the auction. Ranevsky is having a party while Gayev and Lopakhin are on the auction. The guests of the party are a few local bureaucratic officials.
Ranevsky is worried because the men have not returned, and she believes that the orchard has been lost. However, they soon return — with bad news. Lopakhin has bought the orchard, and he has not changed his mind — he plans to destroy it. Anya tries to offer words of comfort to her mother, but it is all in vain. The last, fourth act, happens when the cherry orchard trees are cut down. All the characters of the drama are leaving the place. Everyone says their goodbyes and leaves.
The only person left is Firs, who has been accidentally left behind in the rush of departure. He lies on the couch and hears the sounds of the ax cutting the cherry trees and the breaking string. This plot may not make a lot of sense to you, but when you read or watch the full drama, you will feel the nostalgia which spices up the drama. The cherry orchard is a symbol of memory and personal identity. Every character tries to both hold on to and let go of some events and aspects of their past.