Ivanoff - Anton Pavlovich Chekhov - ebook

Ivanoff ebook

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov

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Titel: Ivanoff

von William Shakespeare, H. G. Wells, Henry Van Dyke, Thomas Carlyle, Oscar Wilde, Joseph Conrad, Henry James, Anthony Hope, Henry Fielding, Giraldus Cambrensis, Daniel Defoe, Grammaticus Saxo, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Hugh Lofting, Agatha Christie, Sinclair Lewis, Eugène Brieux, Upton Sinclair, Booth Tarkington, Sax Rohmer, Jack London, Anna Katharine Green, Sara Jeannette Duncan, Xenophon, Alexandre Dumas père, John William Draper, Alice Christiana Thompson Meynell, Bram Stoker, Honoré de Balzac, William Congreve, Louis de Rougemont, Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol, Rolf Boldrewood, François Rabelais, Lysander Spooner, B. M. Bower, Henry Rider Haggard, William Hickling Prescott, Lafcadio Hearn, Robert Herrick, Jane Austen, Mark Twain, Mary Roberts Rinehart, Charles Babbage, Kate Douglas Smith Wiggin, Frank L. Packard, George Meredith, John Merle Coulter, Irvin S. Cobb, Edwin Mims, John Tyndall, Various, Charles Darwin, Sidney Lanier, Henry Lawson, Niccolò Machiavelli, George W. Crile, Théophile Gautier, Noah Brooks, James Thomson, Zane Grey, J. M. Synge, Virginia Woolf, Conrad Aiken, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Helen Cody Wetmore, Ayn Rand, Sir Thomas Malory, Gustave Flaubert, Edmond Rostand, Charlotte Brontë, Edith Wharton, Giles Lytton Strachey, Myrtle Reed, Ernest Bramah, Jules Verne, H. L. Mencken, H. Stanley Redgrove, Victor Lefebure, Edna Lyall, John Masefield, Charles Kingsley, Robert Burns, Edgar Lee Masters, Victor [pseud.] Appleton, Ellis Parker Butler, Mary Lamb, Charles Lamb, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kenneth Grahame, Charles Dickens, John Ruskin, John Galt, James J. Davis, Owen Wister, William Blades, Sir Hall Caine, Sir Max Beerbohm, Baron Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett Dunsany, Bret Harte, E. Phillips Oppenheim, Thomas Henry Huxley, A. B. Paterson, John N. Reynolds, Walter Dill Scott, Hans Gustav Adolf Gross, T. S. Eliot, Walt Whitman, Arthur Ransome, Jane Addams, Elizabeth, David Lindsay, Helen Bannerman, Charles A. Oliver, J. M. Barrie, Robert F. Murray, Andrew Lang, Jerome K. Jerome, Francis Thompson, Sydney Waterlow, Andrew Dickson White, Benjamin N. Cardozo, Karl Marx, Edouard Louis Emmanuel Julien Le Roy, Margaret Hill McCarter, Sir Donald Mackenzie Wallace, Howard Trueman, L. M. Montgomery, Frank T. Bullen, Baron Alfred Tennyson Tennyson, Jonathan Nield, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Charles Reade, Ouida, Washington Irving, Benjamin Louis Eulalie de Bonneville, Sir Walter Scott, Stewart Edward White, Arthur Hugh Clough, Baron Edward Bulwer Lytton Lytton, C.-F. Volney, T. Troward, graf Leo Tolstoy, Christopher Morley, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Gilbert White, Percival Lowell, Frederick Marryat, Robert Graves, Thomas Holmes, Wilkie Collins, Maria Edgeworth, Katherine Mansfield, E. Nesbit, Olive Schreiner, Jeronimo Lobo, O. Henry, James Slough Zerbe, Donald Ogden Stewart, Johanna Spyri, Eleanor H. Porter, William Tatem Tilden, Sol Plaatje, Rafael Sabatini, William Makepeace Thackeray, George Gissing, Maksim Gorky, Baron Thomas Babington Macaulay Macaulay, H. G. Keene, Saki, R. B. Cunninghame Graham, Thomas Hughes, David Nunes Carvalho, Vicente Blasco Ibáñez, Carry Amelia Nation, John Fiske, Bernard Shaw, Elbridge Streeter Brooks, William Holmes McGuffey, Edward Everett Hale, Louis Ginzberg, Chester K. Steele, Christopher Marlowe, Plato, John Lord, Shakespeare, Martin Luther, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Howard Pyle, Charles Morris, Edward Carpenter, Maurice Leblanc, James Boswell, William Osler, William Ernest Henley, Theron Q. Dumont, Horatio Alger, Abraham Myerson, Joel Benton, Eden Phillpotts, Anonymous, Robert Louis Stevenson, Lloyd Osbourne, Cleland Boyd McAfee, Robert Williams Wood, H. C. Andersen, Edna Ferber, James Stephens, John Jacob Astor, Alexandre Dumas fils, Hilda Conkling, J. Storer Clouston, Julian Hawthorne, Ernest Albert Savage, Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman, Fernando de Rojas, Richard Harding Davis, Charles Whibley, Thomas Dixon, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, George MacDonald, Thomas H. Burgoyne, Belle M. Wagner, Émile Gaboriau, à Kempis Thomas, United States. Central Intelligence Agency, Herbert Darling Foster, John Chipman Farrar, Lucius Apuleius, Olive Gilbert, Sojourner Truth, Arthur Judson Brown, Burbank L. Todd, Gaston Leroux, Margaret Sanger, Jr. Martin Luther King, Mary Johnston, S. A. Reilly, G. K. Chesterton, Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell, George Iles, E. W. Hornung, Edward Huntington Williams, Henry Smith Williams, Nathaniel W. Stephenson, Ellen Marriage, Homer, Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, J. F. C. Hecker, John Milton, Natalie Sumner Lincoln, Baroness Emmuska Orczy Orczy

ISBN 978-3-7429-1697-6

Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

Es ist ohne vorherige schriftliche Erlaubnis nicht gestattet, dieses Werk im Ganzen oder in Teilen zu vervielfältigen oder zu veröffentlichen.

IVANOFF

A PLAY

By Anton Checkov

Contents

CHARACTERS

IVANOFF

ACT I

ACT II

ACT III

ACT IV

CHARACTERS

NICHOLAS IVANOFF, perpetual member of the Council of Peasant Affairs

ANNA, his wife. Nee Sarah Abramson

MATTHEW SHABELSKI, a count, uncle of Ivanoff

PAUL LEBEDIEFF, President of the Board of the Zemstvo

ZINAIDA, his wife

SASHA, their daughter, twenty years old

LVOFF, a young government doctor

MARTHA BABAKINA, a young widow, owner of an estate and daughter of a rich merchant

KOSICH, an exciseman

MICHAEL BORKIN, a distant relative of Ivanoff, and manager of his estate

AVDOTIA NAZAROVNA, an old woman

GEORGE, lives with the Lebedieffs

FIRST GUEST
SECOND GUEST
THIRD GUEST
FOURTH GUEST

PETER, a servant of Ivanoff

GABRIEL, a servant of Lebedieff

GUESTS OF BOTH SEXES

The play takes place in one of the provinces of central Russia

IVANOFF

ACT I

The garden of IVANOFF'S country place. On the left is a terrace and the facade of the house. One window is open. Below the terrace is a broad semicircular lawn, from which paths lead to right and left into a garden. On the right are several garden benches and tables. A lamp is burning on one of the tables. It is evening. As the curtain rises sounds of the piano and violoncello are heard.

IVANOFF is sitting at a table reading.

BORKIN, in top-boots and carrying a gun, comes in from the rear of the garden. He is a little tipsy. As he sees IVANOFF he comes toward him on tiptoe, and when he comes opposite him he stops and points the gun at his face.

IVANOFF. [Catches sight of BORKIN. Shudders and jumps to his feet] Misha! What are you doing? You frightened me! I can't stand your stupid jokes when I am so nervous as this. And having frightened me, you laugh! [He sits down.]

BORKIN. [Laughing loudly] There, I am sorry, really. I won't do it again. Indeed I won't. [Take off his cap] How hot it is! Just think, my dear boy, I have covered twelve miles in the last three hours. I am worn out. Just feel how my heart is beating.

IVANOFF. [Goes on reading] Oh, very well. I shall feel it later!

BORKIN. No, feel it now. [He takes IVANOFF'S hand and presses it against his breast] Can you feel it thumping? That means that it is weak and that I may die suddenly at any moment. Would you be sorry if I died?

IVANOFF. I am reading now. I shall attend to you later.

BORKIN. No, seriously, would you be sorry if I died? Nicholas, would you be sorry if I died?

IVANOFF. Leave me alone!

BORKIN. Come, tell me if you would be sorry or not.

IVANOFF. I am sorry that you smell so of vodka, Misha, it is disgusting.

BORKIN. Do I smell of vodka? How strange! And yet, it is not so strange after all. I met the magistrate on the road, and I must admit that we did drink about eight glasses together. Strictly speaking, of course, drinking is very harmful. Listen, it is harmful, isn't it? Is it? Is it?

IVANOFF. This is unendurable! Let me warn you, Misha, that you are going too far.

BORKIN. Well, well, excuse me. Sit here by yourself then, for heaven's sake, if it amuses you. [Gets up and goes away] What extraordinary people one meets in the world. They won't even allow themselves to be spoken to. [He comes back] Oh, yes, I nearly forgot. Please let me have eighty-two roubles.

IVANOFF. Why do you want eighty-two roubles?

BORKIN. To pay the workmen to-morrow.

IVANOFF. I haven't the money.

BORKIN. Many thanks. [Angrily] So you haven't the money! And yet the workmen must be paid, mustn't they?

IVANOFF. I don't know. Wait till my salary comes in on the first of the month.

BORKIN. How is it possible to discuss anything with a man like you? Can't you understand that the workmen are coming to-morrow morning and not on the first of the month?

IVANOFF. How can I help it? I'll be hanged if I can do anything about it now. And what do you mean by this irritating way you have of pestering me whenever I am trying to read or write or——

BORKIN. Must the workmen be paid or not, I ask you? But, good gracious! What is the use of talking to you! [Waves his hand] Do you think because you own an estate you can command the whole world? With your two thousand acres and your empty pockets you are like a man who has a cellar full of wine and no corkscrew. I have sold the oats as they stand in the field. Yes, sir! And to-morrow I shall sell the rye and the carriage horses. [He stamps up and down] Do you think I am going to stand upon ceremony with you? Certainly not! I am not that kind of a man!

ANNA appears at the open window.

ANNA. Whose voice did I hear just now? Was it yours, Misha? Why are you stamping up and down?

BORKIN. Anybody who had anything to do with your Nicholas would stamp up and down.

ANNA. Listen, Misha! Please have some hay carried onto the croquet lawn.

BORKIN. [Waves his hand] Leave me alone, please!

ANNA. Oh, what manners! They are not becoming to you at all. If you want to be liked by women you must never let them see you when you are angry or obstinate. [To her husband] Nicholas, let us go and play on the lawn in the hay!

IVANOFF. Don't you know it is bad for you to stand at the open window, Annie? [Calls] Shut the window, Uncle!

[The window is shut from the inside.]

BORKIN. Don't forget that the interest on the money you owe Lebedieff must be paid in two days.

IVANOFF. I haven't forgotten it. I am going over to see Lebedieff today and shall ask him to wait.

[He looks at his watch.]

BORKIN. When are you going?

IVANOFF. At once.

BORKIN. Wait! Wait! Isn't this Sasha's birthday? So it is! The idea of my forgetting it. What a memory I have. [Jumps about] I shall go with you! [Sings] I shall go, I shall go! Nicholas, old man, you are the joy of my life. If you were not always so nervous and cross and gloomy, you and I could do great things together. I would do anything for you. Shall I marry Martha Babakina and give you half her fortune? That is, not half, either, but all—take it all!

IVANOFF. Enough of this nonsense!

BORKIN. No, seriously, shan't I marry Martha and halve the money with you? But no, why should I propose it? How can you understand? [Angrily] You say to me: "Stop talking nonsense!" You are a good man and a clever one, but you haven't any red blood in your veins or any—well, enthusiasm. Why, if you wanted to, you and I could cut a dash together that would shame the devil himself. If you were a normal man instead of a morbid hypochondriac we would have a million in a year. For instance, if I had twenty-three hundred roubles now I could make twenty thousand in two weeks. You don't believe me? You think it is all nonsense? No, it isn't nonsense. Give me twenty-three hundred roubles and let me try. Ofsianoff is selling a strip of land across the river for that price. If we buy this, both banks will be ours, and we shall have the right to build a dam across the river. Isn't that so? We can say that we intend to build a mill, and when the people on the river below us hear that we mean to dam the river they will, of course, object violently and we shall say: If you don't want a dam here you will have to pay to get us away. Do you see the result? The factory would give us five thousand roubles, Korolkoff three thousand, the monastery five thousand more—

IVANOFF. All that is simply idiotic, Misha. If you don't want me to lose my temper you must keep your schemes to yourself.

BORKIN. [Sits down at the table] Of course! I knew how it would be! You never will act for yourself, and you tie my hands so that I am helpless.

Enter SHABELSKI and LVOFF.

SHABELSKI. The only difference between lawyers and doctors is that lawyers simply rob you, whereas doctors both rob you and kill you. I am not referring to any one present. [Sits down on the bench] They are all frauds and swindlers. Perhaps in Arcadia you might find an exception to the general rule and yet—I have treated thousands of sick people myself in my life, and I have never met a doctor who did not seem to me to be an unmistakable scoundrel.

BORKIN. [To IVANOFF] Yes, you tie my hands and never do anything for yourself, and that is why you have no money.

SHABELSKI. As I said before, I am not referring to any one here at present; there may be exceptions though, after all—[He yawns.]

IVANOFF. [Shuts his book] What have you to tell me, doctor?

LVOFF. [Looks toward the window] Exactly what I said this morning: she must go to the Crimea at once. [Walks up and down.]

SHABELSKI. [Bursts out laughing] To the Crimea! Why don't you and I set up as doctors, Misha? Then, if some Madame Angot or Ophelia finds the world tiresome and begins to cough and be consumptive, all we shall have to do will be to write out a prescription according to the laws of medicine: that is, first, we shall order her a young doctor, and then a journey to the Crimea. There some fascinating young Tartar——

IVANOFF. [Interrupting] Oh, don't be coarse! [To LVOFF] It takes money to go to the Crimea, and even if I could afford it, you know she has refused to go.

LVOFF. Yes, she has. [A pause.]

BORKIN. Look here, doctor, is Anna really so ill that she absolutely must go to the Crimea?

LVOFF. [Looking toward the window] Yes, she has consumption.

BORKIN. Whew! How sad! I have seen in her face for some time that she could not last much longer.

LVOFF. Can't you speak quietly? She can hear everything you say. [A pause.]

BORKIN. [Sighing] The life of man is like a flower, blooming so gaily in a field. Then, along comes a goat, he eats it, and the flower is gone!

SHABELSKI. Oh, nonsense, nonsense. [Yawning] Everything is a fraud and a swindle. [A pause.]