The Cherry Orchard
Excerpt from The Cherry Orchard, Act I:
How does it go? Let me remember… Yellow to the corner! Bank shot to the center!
I cut to the corner! At one time, sweet sister, we slept in this very room, and now I am fifty one years old. Isn’t it strange …
Yes, time flies.
I said, time flies.
It smells like patchouli in here.
I’m going to sleep. Bonne nuit, maman. (Kisses her mother.)
My beloved baby. (She kisses her hands.) Are you glad to be home? I just can’t believe it.
Good night, uncle.
(Kisses her face, hands.) God be with you. You look just like your mother! (To his sister.) Lyuba, you looked the same at her age.
ANYA offers her hand to LOPAKHIN and PISCHIK, exits and closes her door.
She’s so exhausted.
I imagine the journey must have been long.
(To LOPAKHIN and PISCHIK). Well then, gentlemen, it is three o’clock in the morning, time to go.
(Laughing.) You are just the same, Varya. (Draws her close and kisses her.) I will finish my coffee, then we will all go to bed.
FIRS places a cushion under her feet.
Thank you, my dear. I’ve become quite addicted to coffee. I drink it day and night. Thank you, my dear old man. (She kisses Firs.)
I’ll check to see whether they’ve brought all of the luggage… (She exits.)
Am I really sitting here? (She laughs.) I want to jump up and swing my arms around. (She covers her face with her hands.) This can’t be real! God knows, I love my country, I love it tenderly. I couldn’t see out of the train window, I was crying the whole time. (On the verge of tears.) But now I must drink my coffee. Thank you, Firs, thank you my dear old man. I am so happy that you are still alive.
The day before yesterday.
He doesn’t hear well.
The Cherry Orchard, Act III, 1904
Excerpt from The Cherry Orchard, Act III:
What about the auction? Tell us!
Was the cherry orchard sold?
It was sold.
Who bought it?
I bought it.
LYUBOV ANDREYEVNA feels faint. She sits. VARYA takes the keys from her belt, throws them onto the floor in the middle of the drawing room, and exits.
I bought it! Wait a minute, ladies and gentlemen, be so kind, my head is spinning, I can’t speak… (He laughs.) We arrived at the auction, Deriganov was already there. Leonid Andreyich had only fifteen thousand, but right away Deriganov bid thirty more than the mortgage. I see, so that’s how it’s going, I leap in with him, offer forty. He forty-five. Me fifty-five. He then increases it by five, I by ten… five, ten, five, ten… well, it ended. I bid ninety thousand over the debt, and it was mine. The cherry orchard is now mine! Mine! (He guffaws.) My god, lord, the cherry orchard is mine! Tell me, am I drunk, am I crazy, am I dreaming… (He stamps his feet.) Don’t laugh at me! If my father and grandfather were to get up from their graves and see this moment, how their Yermolai, beaten, barely-literate Yermolai, who ran barefoot in the winter, how that same Yermolai bought the estate — the most beautiful estate in the world. I bought the estate, where my grandfather and father were serfs, where they weren’t even permitted in the kitchen. I’m dreaming. I must be crazy, it can’t be true… (He picks up the keys, affectionately smiling.) She threw the keys down, she wants to show that she is no longer the mistress of the house – (He jingles the keys.) Well, it makes no difference.
One can hear the orchestra tuning up.
Hey, musicians, play, I want music! Everyone come and see how Yermolai Lopakhin chops down every tree in the cherry orchard — every damn one of them. We’ll build summer houses, and our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will see a new life here… Music, play!
Music plays. LYUBOV ANDREYEVNA lowers herself onto a chair and cries bitterly.
(With reproach.) Why, why didn’t you listen to me? My poor, good friend, we can’t go back now. (With tears.) Oh, if only all of this would pass, if somehow our absurd, unhappy lives would pass.
(He takes him by the arm, in an undertone). She is crying. Let’s go into the ballroom. Leave her alone… Come… (He takes him by the arm and leads him to the ballroom.)
What’s wrong? Music, play louder! Let’s have it the way I want it! (With irony.) A new landowner is coming, a new master of the cherry orchard! (He accidentally pushes the little table, almost toppling the candelabra.) I can pay for everything! (He leaves with PISCHIK.)
In the ballroom and drawing room there is no one except LYUBOV ANDREYEVNA, who is sitting, bitterly crying, her entire body contracted. The music plays quietly. ANYA and TROFIMOV enter quickly. ANYA crosses to her mother and kneels in front of her. TROFIMOV remains in the entrance to the ballroom.
Mama! Mama, are you crying? My sweet, kind, good mama, my beautiful, I love you… I bless you. The cherry orchard was sold, it is already gone, it is true, true, but don’t cry, mama, your life is still ahead of you, your good, pure soul remains… Come with me, come away from here, come! We’ll plant a new orchard, more splendid than this, you’ll see, you’ll understand, and joy, quiet, true joy will fill your soul, like the sun at twilight, and you’ll smile, mama! Come, sweet! Come!
The Cherry Orchard, Act IV, 1904