A.S.Griboyedov

WOE FROM WIT

(A Four-Act Comedy)

Translated by A.S.Vagapov


C A S T :

P a v e l A f a n a s y e v i c h F a m u s o v , head of office

S o f i a P a v l o v n a , his daughter

L i z i e , maid

A l e x e y S t e p a n o v i c h M o l c h a l i n , Famusov's secretary living in his house

A l e x a n d r A n d r e y e v i c h C h a t s k y

C o l o n e l S k a l o z u b , S e r g e y D m i t r i y e v i c h

N a t a l i a D m i t r i y e v n a, young lady } the Goriches P l a t o n M i k h a i l o v i c h , her husband

C o u n t T u g o u k h o v s k y

C o u n t e s s , his wife with six daughters

C o u n t e s s , the g r a n n y } the Khryumins C o u n t e s s , the d a u g h t e r

A n t o n A n t o n o v i c h Z a g o r e t s k y

O l d K h l y o s t o v a , Famusov's sister-in-law

M r. N.

M r. D.

R e p e t i l o v

P e t r u s h k a and some footmen. A large number of guests of all ranks and footmen engaged at departure of guests. Famusov's waiters.

The scene is laid in Moscow at Famusov's house.


A C T 1

Scene 1

A sitting room with a big clock in it, to the right is Sofia's bedroom door, the sound of a piano and a flute come from Sofia's room, and then the music ceases. Lizzie is asleep hanging down from the armchair (It is morning. The day is just about to break)

L i z i e (wakes up suddenly, raises from the chair, looks around)

It's dawning ! . .. Oh! How fast

The night has passed !

They didn't let me go to bed

'In expectation of a friend'.

I had to be on the alert,

It's only now that I could doze

Sitting like this, in such a pose !

I could have fallen from the chair !

It's dawn . . . They must be unaware . . .

(knocks at Sofia's door)

Sir ! Madame ! What a plight !

You have been chattering all night,

Sir, are you deaf ? Ma'am, do you hear ?

No, they do not seem to fear.

(walks away from the door)

Look out, uninvited guest !

The father may appear ! I serve a loving woman, yes !

( moves to the door again)

It's time to part. Stop that conversation !

( S o f i a ' s v o i c e )

What time is it ?

L i z i e

The house is all in agitation.

S o f i a (from her room)

What is the time ?

L i z i e

It is about seven, eight or nine . . .

S o f i a (from the same place)

It isn't true.

L i z i e ( goes away)

Ah, this damn amour !

They do not want to get me right . . .

Those shutters keeping out the light !

I'll put the clock a little on, although

There'll be a row, I know.

(gets on the chair, moves the hour hand; the clock strikes and plays the tune)

Scene 2

Lizzie and Famous

L i z i e

It's you, sir ?

F a m u s o v

Yes, it's me.

( stops the clock music)

You naughty little mischief maker ! I didn't know !

I had just wondered what it could be:

Now it's a flute, now it's a piano,

It's much too early in the day

For Sofia to play.

L i z i e

No, sir . . . For once . . .

I did it quite by chance.

F a m u s o v

That's it:

I must be on the watch indeed,

It was intended to be sure.

(cuddles up to her)

You naughty girl, you mischief maker, you are ! . .

L i z i e

Naughty yourself ! The words you say

Do not befit you, do they ?

F a m u s o v

You're modest but the frivolous kind,

Frivolities and mischief are all you have in mind.

L i z i e

It's you who's frivolous, let go, will you ?

Compose yourself, old man. F a m u s o v

I'm not quite old.

L i z i e

Should somebody come in, what shall we do ?

F a m u s o v

Who may come here now, uncalled ?

Is Sofia asleep ?

L i z i e

Just gone to bed.

F a m u s o v

Just now? And what about the night ?

L i z i e

She read.

F a m u s o v

The kind of whim she has, you see ?

L i z i e

She's reading there under lock and key.

F a m u s o v

You tell her what: she mustn't spoil her sight

For reading is of little worth. It's just a fashion.

She doesn't sleep from reading French at night,

I fall asleep when I read Russian.

L i z i e

When she gets up I'll tell her so,

You'll wake her up, I'm afraid, please go.

F a m u s o v

I'll wake her up ? Why, it is you not me

Who starts the clock and makes it play a symphony.

L i z i e (raising her voice)

Now stop it, will you ?

F a m u s o v (shutting her mouth)

Why shout like that ?

Are you going mad ?

L i z i e

There's something wrong about it, I fear.

F a m u s o v

About what, my dear ?

L i z i e

You ought to know for you're not a little one:

Young women's sleep is light at down,

They hear every whisper, a door creak, or a sigh,

They hear everything.

F a m u s o v

No, it's a lie.

S o f i a (her voice comes from her room)

Ah, Lizzie!

F a m u s o v (quickly)

Hush !

(Tiptoeing out of the room hurriedly)

L i z i e (alone in the room)

He's gone. Beware of masters, they

Will cause you trouble any day.

Of all the woes may God deliver us from both

From their love and their wrath.

Scene 3

Lizzie, Sofia candle in hand, followed by Molchalin.

S o f i a

What's up, Liz ? You're making such a noise . . .

L i z i e

You find it hard to part, of course,

Locked up all night - it is enough, my lady.

S o f i a

My, it's the break of day already !

(puts out the candle)

It's light and gloom. The night's so quick to pass !

L i z i e

You may be gloomy. And I feel much worse.

Your father took me by surprise,

I shifted, dodged and told him lies. (to Molchlin) Don't stand like that ! Just take your bow,

I see that you are scared, and how !

Look at the clock. Now just look out -

People are long up and about,

And in the house all is in motion:

They're knocking, walking, cleaning, washing.

S o f i a

Happiness takes no account of time.

L i z i e

You watch the time or not, it's up to you;

I'm in for trouble, I shall get my due.

S o f i a (to Molchalin)

Now you must go. We'll have another tedious day.

L i z i e

God bless you ! Take your hands away !

(Separates them; Molchalin runs into Famusov in the doorway)

Scene 4

Sofia, Lizzie, Molchalin, Famusov.

F a m u s o v

What a surprise ! It's you, Molchalin ?

M o l c h a l i n

Yes.

F a m u s o v

What brings you here, at this hour ? Do confess.

And, Sofia, you, too. Please tell me why

You got up early today ? Don't tell a lie.

How do you come to be together now ?

S o f i a

He just came in.

M o l c h a l i n

I walked around, that is how.

F a m u s o v

Now tell me please, old bloke:

Cannot you choose a better place to walk ?

And you, young lady, hardly out of bed -

There is a man around! By your side !

You read those silly books at night

And that's the fruit of it, I bet.

The French! With all their fashion shops and streets,

Their books and writers and artists,

They break our hearts, they make our money fly,

I wonder why

God will not save us from their needles, pins,

Their bonnets, hats and all the other things.

S o f i a

I'm sorry, father, I'm feeling ill at ease,

I'm so scared, I can hardy breathe.

You were so quick to come. My God!

I'm confused.

F a m u s o v

Well, thanks a lot !

I took you by surprise !

I scared and disturbed you! Very nice !

My dear Sofia, I dare say,

I'm upset myself. All day

I have to run about, full of care and bother.

Now one keeps pestering me now another.

Could I expect the trouble of being told a lie ?

S o f i a (through tears)

Whom by?

F a m u s o v

Well, I may be reproached that I

Keep grumbling all the time for nothing.

Now don't you cry.

I'll tell you something:

I've given you support and care.

Your mother died. I took on this Madame,

Madam Rosiet, your second mere.

A granny with a heart of gold I found for you,

So quick and wise, and of high morals, too.

There is one thing that doesn't do her credit though:

For extra half a thousand or so,

She had the nerve to leave our house . . .

But anyhow it is beyond her powers.

Just look at me: I'm no boaster,

I'm strong and fresh, although my hair is grey,

I'm a widower, I'm free, I'm my own master

And of monastic chastity, they say.

L i z i e

May I ?

F a m u s o v

No, do shut up!

The wretched times! You don't know what to open up !

I see nowadays

People grow wise before their years,

The daughters do, so do the old good men.

Who need the languages we learn ?

We hire tutors, resident or not,

That teach our daughters everything:

To court

And give a sigh, to sing and dance,

As if they wished to marry them to clowns.

You, visitor? Do you want anything ?

From a nowhere man in God forsaken Tver

I made you an assessor and a secretair.

Without me you would have surely been

A nobody. You, man without kith and kin !

S o f i a

I don't know why you should be angry, father.

He's living here, in this house. So what ?

He walked to one room and got into another.

F a m u s o v

He got where he wanted, did he not ?

Why is he here, uninvited?

S o f i a

I'll tell you. Well, it goes like this:

When you were here, you and Liz,

I heard your voice and was so frightened

That I came running like a shot.

F a m u s o v

She'll put the blame on me, it seems.

I came out of time and got them caught !

S o f i a

You caught me nodding, I had dreams.

I'll tell you and you will understand.

F a m u s o v

What dreams had you ?

S o f i a

Shall I tell you ?

F a m u s o v (sits down)

Yes, if you can.

S o f i a

Well . . . Listen . . . First I see

A fragrant meadow and then me

Looking for some kind of grass,

I don't remember which, alas.

Then comes a gentleman, one of those men

That make at once an old good friend.

A man so tactful, wise, as well as

Shy, you know those poor fellows.

F a m u s o v

Don't talk to me about the poor.

A poor man is not a match for you.

S o f i a

And then all vanishes: the meadows and the sky - like magic !

We are in a room. It's dark. Then, just imagine:

Down goes the floor and you come up.

And now the door flies open with a bang,

And in burst monstrous creatures, like a gang.

They fall upon the man, they tear us apart,

I reach for him: he seems so dear to my heart,

You hold him back and take away with you,

And this to hooting, jeering, whistling - boo !

Then he starts shouting.

I woke up there . . . Someone was chatting.

It was your voice, yes, it was you.

So I rushed out to find that you were two.

F a m u s o v

Too bad a dream it is indeed.

I see there's everything in it:

The devil, love and flowers, fright. Too bad !

Well, sir, what do you say to that ?

M o l c h a l i n

I heard you voice . . .

F a m u s o v

It's really strange.

What's there in my voice? Did they arrange

to hear my voice and come around like a clock ?

Why did you come on hearing me talk ?

M o l c h a l i n

The papers, sir.

F a m u s o v

The papers? Oh what an idea !

What made you care for them, my dear ?

Why all this zest ?

(raises)

Now Sofia, I'll set your mind at rest;

Dreams can be strange but I should think

Reality is a more frightful thing.

You looked for grass but in the end

You found a friend.

Well, put that out of your head,

Forget the miracles - they're all wrong.

You'd better go now back to bed. (To Molchalin) Show me your papers, come along.

M o l c h a l i n

I want to tell you, sir, instead:

The papers are in such a mess !

They will be null and void unless

They're certified

And all put right.

F a m u s o v

I'm awfully afraid

They might pile up, accumulate.

I know your kind. You'd keep them all

Stuck up for days in a pigeon-hole.

I'd rather have a paper signed.

Once signed - it's out my mind !

(He and Molchalin go out. He makes way to Molchalin at the door)

Scene 5

Sofia and Lizzie.

L i z i e

The holiday is coming! Time for fun !

To me the day is not a happy one.

My eyes are dim, my heart is blue.

The sin does not much worry me, the rumours do.

S o f i a

I do not care for rumours. Let them be !

Though father will keep crying shame on me.

He always grumbles, scolds and makes one feel unhappy.

You know what he can do now after what happened.

L i z i e

He'll lock you up. That's what he'll do.

I wish he locked up me with you,

I'm afraid, he'll go as far as firing us:

Molchalin, me and all the others.

S o f i a

I'm thinking, happiness is so wayward !

A worse thing happens, yet you get away with it,

For once all worries seemed to be away,

We were lost in music, unaware of time of day,

It seems that fate was guarding us: The time just flew.

No doubt, no alarm . . . But trouble comes out of the blue.

L i z i e

That's it !

You never listen to my foolish judgement.

I told you many times, and I'll say it again

This love of yours is all in vain.

You wouldn't find a better profit. Listen, please:

Like all the Muscovites your father is like this:

He wants a son-in-law with ranks and stars,

Not all of them are rich, alas.

He wishes he had money into the bargain

To live in clover, give a party now and again

Take colonel Skalozub, for instance, he isn't bad:

A would be general and very rich at that.

S o f i a

It's nice !

To hear him talk of ranks and lines !

I'd rather take my own life

Than marry him and be his wife.

L i z i e

He isn't bright. He merely talks a lot.

Of all the men, civilian or not,

There's Chatsky whom I really regard

As most considerate, intelligent and smart.

It's past and gone, Sofia, hence

You shouldn't really take offence.

S o f i a

What's that ? I must admit

He's extremely sensitive and full of wit.

He can make fun like no one else,

You should have heard the jokes he tells !

L i z i e

Oh is that all ?

He wept when parting with you, I recall.

I tried to comfort him and asked him why he cried,

"There is a reason - he replied -

For no one knows what I may gain

Or lose when I am back again."

He seemed to know that in a year or two . . .

S o f i a

Stop talking liberties, will you ?

I may have acted thoughtlessly, I know,

I do regret. But who was I unfaithful to ?

Can anybody blame me for a breach of faith? Well, no !

Chatsky and I grew up together, that is true.

We were friends in childhood days,

And then he left, and ever since

He rarely visited our place,

He found our house dull, it seems,

And then again he showed affection, Pretending love, consideration.

He's witty, wise, a man of eloquence,

And he is good at winning friends,

But now he thinks he is too clever . . .

He took to travelling, which is not bad,

However, if he loved someone, he'd never

Go on a lasting trip like that.

L i z i e

What trip ? Is Chatsky travelling far ?

They say, he took a treatment at a spa,

It was a cure of idleness among the cripple.

S o f i a

That's right. He's happy among the queer people.

The one I love is of different make,

Molchalin does his best for other people's sake.

He's modest, shy, polite - beyond compare !

Oh, what a night we spent behind the doors !

Of space and time we were unaware

What were we doing there ? L i z i e

Well, God knows.

It's none of my affair.

S o f i a

He'd take my hand - his manners most refined -

And with a gentle sigh he'd press it to his side.

My hand in his, he'd feast his eyes on me,

I never knew a person as urbane as he.

You're laughing ? Why ? I see no reason

To laugh like that. Say, are you teasing ?

L i z i e

I just recall that gentleman of France

That used to live for some time at your aunt's.

He left. She tried to hide her grief but failed

For she forgot to dye her hair, and it greyed.

(continues laughing)

S o f i a (regretfully)

People will gossip, upon my word !

L i z i e

I'm sorry, and I swear to God,

I only tried to laugh away your grief,

I thought that it might bring you some relief.

Scene 6

Sofia, Lizzie, Servant, followed by Chatsky.

F o o t m a n

Alexander Andreyevich Chatsky. (goes out)

Sofia, Lizzie, Chatsky.

C h a t s k y

It's hardly morning: here I'm down on my knees.

(kisses her hand with passion)

You didn't expect me, did you ? Give me a kiss.

Are you really glad to see me ? Look into my eyes !

For you it's only a surprise.

What a reception ! God !

It seems like just the other day,

It seems like yesterday,

We passed the time till we got bored.

No sign of love ! You look so nice, you do !

You'll never know what I went through,

I can't get over it. Just think :

I covered seven hundred miles at just one bound,

Two days and nights I didn't sleep a wink,

Just snow and wind, and not a soul around,

I'd lose my way and hit the ground,

And the result is your reward.

S o f i a

No, Chatsky, it is nice to see you around.

C h a t s k y

You're glad to see me ? Very good !

Though I must say,

You do not look that way.

It seems, I should have spared the horses

For the result isn't worth the losses.

L i z i e

No, sir, you must not think so

For just a little while ago

We were talking about you.

Ma'me, do confirm, it's is true.

S o f i a

Well, honestly, I don't deserve reproach,

You can't reproach me now or ever

For when I see someone approach

The house - a friend, a stranger or whoever,

I run to ask him whether he

Has seen you, on a coach, go by.

C h a t s k y

That I will not deny.

Blessed are the credulous for they are carefree.

Good gracious ! Am I with you again ?

In Moscow ? You have changed! You're not the same.

Gone is the time ! Gone are the innocent years !

Remember ? We would run about pushing chairs,

We'd disappear then appear again,

Your father and Madame playing a table game,

Into a hideaway we would then sneak - This very corner I suppose it was -

We would be startled by every little creak . . .

S o f i a

It's childish.

C h a t s k y

Yes, of course.

And now at seventeen you're in the bloom of youth,

Inimitable charm - well, I declare!

You know that I'm telling you the truth,

That's why you're so modest- you don't care

What people think of you. Now tell me straight:

Are you in love ? Don't be embarrassed nor hesitate.

S o f i a

Your curious look, your questions would embarrass anyone.

C h a t s k y

For heaven's sake ! You're the only one

That can amaze me. Here in Moscow there is nothing new.

There was a party yesterday, tomorrow there'll be two.

Someone has managed to get married

Another hasn't and is worried.

Nothing has changed. Good gracious !

The same old poems, the same old conversations.

S o f i a

Now that you have seen the world

It's Moscow you're up to scold.

Well, where is a better place ?

C h a t s k y

A place where we don't find ourselves.

Well, how's your father ? Is the old chap

Still loyal, heart and soul, to the English Club ?

How's your uncle ? Is his number up ?

This man . . . a Turk. a Greek . . .or something of the kind

The thin-legged one. His name has slipped my mind.

You'd see him anywhere at all -

The sitting-room, the kitchen and the hall.

How are those three idle gentlemen ?

Are they in search of marriage bonds again ?

With heaps of relatives, some day, they hope

They'll be related with the whole of Europe.

And how's our dearest one ? Do you recall his forehead ?

With "Stage and Masquerade" inscribed on it ?

He has his house painted green.

He's fat while all his actresses are thin.

Once during a ball - remember ? - we discovered

A man that, hidden from the crowd,

Was making sounds of a nightingale -

A summer bird in winter did so well !

There's a relative of yours, a sickly man,

In the science board he got an occupation,

An enemy of books, he now demands a ban

On literacy and education.

And all these people I'm fated now to see,

I'll soon be sick and tired of living here.

Though after travelling East and West

We're find the smoke of Homeland best.

S o f i a

I'd bring my aunt and you together, so

That you might count everyone you know.

C h a t s k y

Your auntie, is she still a virgin ? Goddess Athene ?

And still the fraulein of czarina Catherine ?

She had her house full of dogs and girls to breed.

Talking of breeding, why should people need

To hire crowds of tutors? And one tries

To have them at the lowest price !

I mean, with science all is fine,

But here in Russia, under the threat of a fine

We must acknowledge any creature

To be a History or a Science teacher.

Do you remember our own mentor ?

The cap, the gown that he wore ?

He needed some sign of tuition,

He filled our humble minds with awe,

And we were open to conviction,

From early years we would believe:

Without the Germans we couldn't live.

And Guilloment, the French, the giddy man,

Has he got married ?

S o f i a

He hasn't anyone.

C h a t s k y

Well, he could marry some nice duchess.

Pulkheria Andreyevna he matches.

S o f i a

A ballet dancer ? No.

C h a t s k y

Yes, he's grand.

One has to have a rank and own some land,

Though Guiloment - oh, by the way,

Is there still a tendency to day

At meetings, public gathering, on stage

To mix the Nizhny Novgorod dialect with French ?

S o f i a

A language mixture ?

C h a t s k y

Yes, at least of two.

S o f i a

To mix them into one the way you do ?

C h a t s k y

It sounds natural at least.

My word ! I'm extraordinarily pleased

To see you. Thus

I'm talkative. Taking my chance.

For this Molchalin you have time !

Where is he ? I suppose that I'm

No sillier than he. He still keeps

A seal of silence on his lips.

Or doesn't he ? He used to have a book

Where he would write

All latest songs that caught his sight.

He will get on in life anyway

For silent men are highly praised today.

S o f i a (to her side)

You viper !

(aloud and with ease)

May I ask ?

Have you by any chance, in sorrow or in joy,

Talked favourably of any one of us ?

Not now. Perhaps, when you were a boy ?

C h a t s k y

When all is fragile ? Soft and immature ?

Why go that far ? Here is a good deed for you:

The jingling of the bell still in my mind,

I crossed the snowy desert through the day and night.

I hurried here at a neck break pace

To find you wearing an austere face.

Your coolness, your restraint are tearing me apart,

The way you look:

The face of a holy praying girl . . .

And yet I love you with all my heart.

(a minute of silence)

Now listen, don't I treat you well ?

I never mind a queer man's trick,

I have a laugh and then forget it quick.

And if it were your desire

That I should go into the fire,

I'd do it without thinking twice.

S o f i a

It will be nice

If you get burnt,

And if you don't ?

Scene 8

Sofia, Lizzie, Chatsky, Famusov.

F a m u s o v

There's another one !

S o f i a

A dream of prophecy.

(goes out)

F a m u s o v

(in a low voice, following her with his eyes)

Now, damn the dream !

Scene 9

Famusov, Chatsky (looks at the door through which Sofia left)

F a m u s o v Oh what a trick you've played ! You see,

For three long years we haven't heard from you,

And now you're here, out of the blue.

(they embrace)

Hallo, my friend, come, take your seat,

Let's have a chat a little bit.

You must have got a lot to say,

Tell us your stories without delay.

(both sit down)

C h a t s k y (absent-mindedly)

Well, Sofia Pavlovna has grown so pretty.

F a m u s o v

It is a pity

That all you see is a pretty face.

She must have dropped a casual phrase

Inspiring you with hopes, enchanting you . . .

C h a t s k y

I rarely nourish hopes. I hardly ever do.

F a m u s o v

"A dream of prophecy" the words fell on my ear.

You're thinking of . . .

C h a t s k y

Me ? I have no idea.

F a m u s o v

What did she dream of ? What is it ?

C h a t s k y

I don't interpret dreams.

F a m u s o v

No ! Don't believe her ! Not a bit !

C h a t s k y

I do believe my eyes. Upon my word !

She is like no one in the world,

A beauty from a fairy tale !

F a m u s o v

Stop harping on it ! Tell us in detail,

Where have you been ? You travelled many years.

Where are you from ?

C h a t s k y

No time for that.

I travelled less

Than I had planned.

(raises quickly)

Excuse me, but I hurried here to see you,

I haven't been at home, so I must say good-bye.

I'll come again in an hour's time, I'm sorry,

Though you will be the first to hear my story. (in the doorway) She's charming ! (goes out)

Scene 10

Famusov (alone)

Which of the two it is, I wonder ?

"A dream of prophecy" - she said.

She said it openly, I don't know what she meant.

It's all my fault. Oh what a blunder !

Molchalin made me doubt then. And now I

Have fallen out of the pan into the fire.

One is a pauper, a dandy is the other;

Known as a wasteful man, mischievous and haughty.

Oh, what a lot to be the father

Of a grown-up daughter !

(goes out)

End of Act I

A C T II

Scene 1

Famusov, Footman.

F a m u s o v

Petrushka, you have always new clothes on.

Look at yourself! Your sleeve is torn.

Now, take the calendar and try to make it best.

Read it expressively, don't mumble like obsessed !

No, wait, just take the pad and write: The next week column. Tuesday night -

A trout party. What a temptation ! -

It's Praskovya Fyodorovna's invitation.

Why is the world so strange ? - I ask myself the question.

And when I do, it makes my mind just reel:

A fast is followed by a hearty meal,

And then three days of indigestion.

Write, on that same day , no, Thursday morning

There is a burial ceremony.

The human race, they all forget

That some day all of them shall get

Into the box, so small and tight !

The one who'll leave blessed memory behind,

A noble chamberlain the late man was,

He had the key and let his son have one.

He took a wealthy woman, being a wealthy man

And married off his children, I suppose,

People are mourning now that he has passed away

Kuzma Petrovich! May he rest with peace!

There are bigwigs in Moscow, I should say!

Write down: Thursday, on top of this,

Or perhaps on Friday, or on Saturday,

I must attend a christening day.

The widow hasn't given birth as yet

Though she may, any day, as I expect.

Scene 2

Famusov, Footman, Chatsky.

F a m u s o v

Oh, Alexander Andreyevitch! , come, sit down !

C h a t s k y

I see you are engaged.

F a m u s o v

(to the footman)

You go.

(The footman goes out)

It's next week's plan that we're putting down,

Something may slip my mind, you know.

C h a t s k y

I see, you do not look quite happy,

Is it inopportunely that I arrived ?

Or maybe something wrong has happened

To Sofia Pavlovna? Is she all right ?

F a m u s o v

Oh, what a thing to puzzle brains about !

I'm sad ! Well, do you expect an aged man like me

To cry for joy and dance around ?

C h a t s k y

Nobody wants you to, you see,

I just inquired of you

If Sofia Pavlovna was feeling well.

F a m u s o v

Pah ! Got forgive me ! Hell !

A thousand times you told me that !

Now Sofia Pavlovna is feeling bad,

Now she's the prettiest one on earth.

Are you in love with her ? Oh yes !

You want to marry her, you do.

C h a t s k y

It's my affair.

F a m u s o v

You have to reckon with me, too.

I am related to her, am I not ?

And note:

I'm a father. At least they've always called me so.

C h a t s k y

If I propose to her, will you say no ?

F a m u s o v

Well, first, I should say this:

You don't be reckless. Think of your estate,

And what is most important: take up service.

C h a t s k y

I'd love to serve. Servility is what I hate.

F a m u s o v

That's it !

You're all puffed up with pride and aspiration ! You'd better ask me what your fathers did

And learn from our generation.

People like us or late Maxim Petrovich,

My uncle, he would drive on a tandem coach,

A hundred men on hand, he ate

From a gold and from a silver plate.

He had awards, lived like a lord,

And he attended at the highest court.

Those were the days ! So much unlike the present !

He was in service in Catherine's days. And

Everybody felt important then,

Your bow and scrape they would disdain.

A courtier was even better off,

He'd eat and drink what others didn't dream of.

My uncle, with his haughty temper, serious look,

Compared with him, what is a count or a duke ?

To please superiors he was happy,

He'd creep and crawl like a snake.

Once at a reception it so happened

That he fell down and nearly broke his neck.

The old man groaned in a husky voice

Which won him an imperial smile. Now !

Everybody laughed. What did he do ? He rose

And straightened up to make a bow.

Then suddenly he flopped. This time with aim,

Again a laughter. And a fall again.

Well, what do you think of it ? I think it's nice.

He hurt himself but he was quick to rise.

And ever since, like no one else,

In the royal house he was a welcome guest.

Maxim Petrovich ! A man of high esteem!

Maxim Petrovich! The life's mischievous pranks !

Who fixes pensions and gives people ranks ?

Maxim Petrovich ! Not one of you is a match for him !

C h a t s k y

Exactly ! You may sigh complaining

That our society's degrading.

But if I look comparing the present

With the glorious past, to me it's evident:

Fresh is the story, yet it is doubtful to me

For glorified and famed was he

Who showed the greatest zeal in bending the knee,

Who fought and won at peace, not in a war,

Hitting his forehead at the floor.

And those in need were in the gutter,

Those at the top were praised and flattered.

It was the age of timidness and fright

Under the mask of loyalty to tsarist might.

I do not mean your dear uncle,

About him I hate to wrangle.

But who would want in our days,

To sacrifice his neck just for the sake

Of fun, or just to make

The crowd laugh, as in that case ?

It seems to me, some aged man,

On seeing that courageous jump,

Must have confessed that, to his shame,

He was unable to do the same.

Although there're rascals everywhere

To be a laughing stock they do not dare.

And hence no favour of the sovereigns they expect.

F a m u s o v

My Lord ! Good heavens ! He is a suspect !

C h a t s k y

To-day the world is different, really.

F a m u s o v

He's dangerous.

C h a t s k y

One can breathe freely.

Nobody wants to join the foolish crowd.

F a m u s o v

He's talking like a book ! What is he talking about ?

C h a t s k y

They gather at the patron's house to gape and yawn,

To sit in silence, dine and dance a waltz,

To show their courteously, sit up till dawn.

F a m u s o v

Now. To preach liberties, that's what he wants.

C h a t s k y

Some travel. Others live in a country-house.

F a m u s o v

He doesn't recognize the government of ours.

C h a t s k y

Well, he who serves a noble cause ...

F a m u s o v

For such a gentleman I'd close all doors

And keep them miles away from our city.

C h a t s k y

I'll give you rest. Just out of pity . . .

F a m

I cannot bear it. I'm vexed, impatient.

C h a t s k y

I have abused your generation;

I give you my authority:

You may cut off part of my commentary

Or, if you want , you may apply

It to the present time - I shall not cry. F a m u s o v

I've had enough! For you I'll shut the door,

I shall not tolerate all this perversion any more ! C h a t s k y

I've had my say.

F a m u s o v

All right. I have my ears shut.

C h a t s k y

Why should you ? I mean no insult.

F a m u s o v (pattering)

These idlers! Roam around the world,

And on return they order us about.

C h a t s k y

I've finished now . . .

F a m u s o v

Have mercy, my patience's running out.

C h a t s k y

I don't feel like disputing things.

F a m u s o v

You might as well repent of sins.

Scene 3

E n t e r F o o t m a n

Colonel Skalozub.

F a m u s o v (hears and sees nothing)

You will be put to trial, mind.

C h a t s k y

Somebody wants to see you. A man of note.

F a m u s o v

I don't hear anything. He must be tried !

C h a t s k y

There's a man with a report.

F a m u s o v

I am not listening. He must be tried, tried, tried !

C h a t s k y

There's a man behind.

F a m u s o v (he turns round)

What's that ? A mutiny ? I should expect so !

F o t m a n

Colonel Skalozub. He's here I mean.

F a m u s o v (stands up)

You stupid asses! I told you a hundred times or more !

Do let him in ! Invite him ! Tell him I'm in !

Tell him I'm glad to see him. Go! be quick !

(The footman goes out)

He's coming now, sir. No more of you cheek.

He's a man of high respect,

Has grabbed a heap of orders, I should say,

He has a rank, as high as you would not expect,

He may be a general any day.

So please be modest when he's there.

Too bad, Alexander Andreyich, dear.

He often comes to see me - I don't care,

You know, I welcome anybody here.

In Moscow tongues are wagging. Well, for instance,

They say, he wants to marry Sofia. Its nonsense !

At heart he may be overjoyed enough,

But I do not intend to marry off

My daughter now, tomorrow or today,

She's too young. Though it's God's will anyway.

Don't argue in his presence, please,

And leave off joking, don't be a tease.

Where is he ? I presume,

He's waiting there in my room.

( hurries away)

Scene 4

C h a t s k y

He's so fussy. There's so much vim

And Sofia? Can she be engaged to him?

They've been avoiding me as if I were a stranger.

Oh, how I wish that she were here, my angel.

Who is this colonel whom he is so infatuated with?

And maybe Famusov is not the only one who is?

Oh, he who goes for three long years away

A fare well to love is doomed to say.

Scene 5

Chatsky, Famusov, Skalozub.

F a m u s o v

Sergey Sergeyich ! You're welcome, dear.

You must be cold. Come here, get warm,

Please join us, it is warmer here;

We'll open up the vent. Just make yourself at home.

S k a l o z u b (in a low voice)

Don't do it. Let me do it, please.

An officer of honour, I'm feeling ill at ease.

F a m u s o v

Sergey Srgeyevich, my dear,

Let me do something for a friend;

Your hat, your sword, just put them here,

You may stretch out on this bed.

S k a l o z u b

It doesn't matter where I sit.

(all sit down, Chatsky at a distance)

F a m u s o v

My dear friend, before it slips my mind

I'll tell you: we are relatives of a kind.

Not close, and no inheritance behind.

I didn't know it, nor did you,

I learned it from your cousin, dear,

Nastasya Nikolaeyevna - is she related to you, too ?

S k a l o z u b

I'm sorry, I have no idea,

We never served together, for all I know.

F a m u s o v

Sergey Sergeyich ! You don't say so !

Oh no! There's nothing I won't do for relatives,

They won't escape me by any means.

I have no outsiders working with me,

I take on children from my family tree.

Exceptions? Well, Molchalin is the only one,

He's business-like, that's why I took him on.

Now when it comes to offering a vacancy or giving an award.

It's natural that for my relatives I should put in a word.

Your cousin happened once to mention

That he had gained a lot from your protection.

S k a l o z u b

In 1813 we cut our teeth,

First in the 13-th regiment, then in the 45-th.

F a m u s o v

One should be proud of a son like you.

You have an order, haven't you ?

S k a l o z u b

It's for the August fight. We were in a trench,

He got one on a band, I got this for a change.

F a m u s o v

He's amiable, smart, as for as I can see.

A brilliant man your cousin seems to be.

S k a l o z u b

He follows some new rules he has acquired;

He was to get promotion but suddenly retired,

He took to reading in his country-house and . . .

F a m u s o v

The youth! They read, then all of a sudden, bump, the end.

You're doing well, you can't be wrong,

You're a colonel though you haven't served too long. S k a l o z u b

I'm a lucky man, you see ?

There's right now a vacancy.

Some seniors fall in battle,

Others are cast out of saddle.

F a m u s o v

Yes, God gives everyone his due.

S k a l o z u b

Some people get on better that I do;

In the fifteenth division there's a man,

The brigadier general, to mention only one.

F a m u s o v

You have got everything, haven't you ?

S k a l o z u b

I can't complain. Though it's two years, my friend,

That I have strived for the regiment.

F a m u s o v

There's no occasion for regret

For I should say, in some respect Your rivals you have outdone.

S k a l o z u b

No, in my corps I'm not the oldest one,

I've been in service now for years,

I know there are so many ways

To be promoted. All I say:

I wish I'd be a general some day.

F a m u s o v

I share your judgement, and I wish you health,

I also wish your generalship wealth.

And then . . . why should you put it off ? -

It's time to think of your better half.

S k a l o z u b

To marry? I don't care if I do.

F a m u s o v

People have daughters, sisters, nieces, too;

There're many marriageable women here.

Indeed, they multiply with every passing year.

Of all the capitals, big or small,

Moscow is surely best of all.

S k a l o z u b

A city of tremendous size and space.

F a m u s o v

Good manners, elegance and grace;

Our life is governed by the laws;

We judge the children by the parents,

"The father makes the son" - the saying goes.

He may be bad but if he inherits

Two thousand hands, then people say:

"He makes a perfect fianc."

And if a man is not of noble birth,

However smart and full of self-respect,

No blessing from the family he should expect.

Or take the bread-and-salt reception,

I welcome all without expectation,

My doors are open to all. Yes.

Especially to foreign guests.

No matter, honest or dishonest, a gentleman or lady,

I always keep my dinner ready.

Look at the people of our city,

They have an imprint of peculiarity.

Look at our youngsters look at these

Boys - our sonnies and grand sonnies,

We scold them and we think them green,

While they can teach their grannies at fifteen.

As for the elders their word is law,

Once they start talking, they let it go,

They always talk with a knowing air,

To contradict them you don't dare,

They're old gentry, they make no bones

About talking on the government's wrongs.

If someone overheard them, they'd be done for.

Not that they put forward new ideas, no !

It's mere finding fault. That is the thing !

Making a noise about nothing.

They carry their arguments too far,

Retired chancellors they think they are.

I'll tell you what: the time has not yet come, - Some day quite indispensable they may become.

As for the ladies they are hard to win.

Don't try to judge them, They will judge everything.

When they come out like one at a table game,

Have patience! I have myself been married. Wait:

They will command an army on the front, they claim,

And will attend the senate to debate.

Irina Vlasyevna! Lukerya Alexevna!

Tatyana Yuryevna! Pulkheria Andryevna !

And if you saw their daughters, you would blush with shame.

His majesty the king of Prussia here once came,

It wasn't girls and their pretty faces that attracted him,

They were well bread and had good manners in his esteem.

They can wear a veil and paint the face,

They never say a word without a grimace,

They sing a French romance

Forcing the highest notes,

With military men they take a chance

Because they say are patriots.

Of all the capitals, big or small,

Moscow is surely best of all.

S k a l o z u b

As far as I can judge,

To a large extent the fire made it such.

F a m u s o v

Don't talk about the fire. Don't tease.

So much has changed ever since:

The roads, the houses, the pavements and all . . .

C h a t s k y

The houses are new, the prejudices are old.

You should be pleased because a prejudice never dies,

It will survive the years, the fashions and the fires.

F a m u s o v (to Chatsky)

Ah you! Just keep your mouth shut,

Do me a favour, it isn't hard.

(to Skalozub)

Well, let me introduce to you this gentleman:

The son of Chatsky, of the late friend of mine.

He doesn't serve, though if he did, he would succeed.

It is a pity, I regret, for he is bright.

How well can he translate and write!

I can't help feeling sorry for this man.

C h a t s k y

Can't you feel sorry for some other one ?

I am annoyed to hear all your praise.

F a m u s o v

Well, anybody would condemn you in my place.

C h a t s k y

I wonder who the judges are !

With age they show hostility to freedom,

They read the press that dates as far

Back as the Crimean war. They call it wisdom.

They're quick to criticize and curse

And always sing the same old song,

They never think they can be wrong.

The older these men are the worse.

Where are those fathers of the nation,

Good models for our generation,

The ones that roll in looted money

With influential friends and relatives on hand?

The ones that feast away their lives of honey

And dwell in houses magnificent and grand?

The houses in which the foul features of the past

Will never be revived by all this foreign caste.

The Moscow they will keep your mouth shut

By sending you a dinner party invitation card.

Or, maybe,

It is the man to whom you used to take me

For a bow when I was a baby?

The leader of outstanding rascals, he

Had a team of loyal servants

That during fight-and-drinking rounds

Had saved his life and honour, but then once

He suddenly exchanged them for three hounds.

And then there is the man, as good as all the others,

He gathered children for his ballet muse

By tearing them away from their mothers.

He set his mind on Zephyrs and Amours

And let the whole of Moscow admire their beauty,

And when it came to setting his accounts

He didn't bother about credits. "Out of sense of duty"

All his Amours and Zephyrs he sold out.

Those are the men that now have grown old and grey,

The men enjoying high respect and estimation.

"They are indeed our fair judges" - you will say.

And if there is a man among the younger generation

That never strives for vacancy nor seeks an occupation

Who sets his mind on science and shows a thirst for knowledge

Or good himself fills him with inspiration

To creativity in art,

They scream: "Disaster! Fire!" and acknowledge

The man to be a dreamer and dangerous at that.

The coat! The coat! They wear it still,

So beautifully made, it used to hide

Their timidness and their flippant mind.

And that's the road that we should take at will.

The wives and daughters, too, affect the coat

And so did I until a while ago.

I'm not an infant now, you know,

On things like that I shall no longer dote.

When some Guard's officers one day

Were on a short time visit here

The women shouted: "Hurrah!"

And threw their bonnets into the air.

F a m u s o v (to himself)

He'll let me down, I'm sure.

(in a loud voice)

Sergey Sergeyich, I shall go,

There in my room for you I'll wait.

(goes out)

Scene 6

Chatsky, Skalozub.

S k a l o z u b

I really appreciate

The way you touched upon

The fact that Muscovites are fond

Of our Guards and Guardsmen, our perfect pets,

Their gold embroidery, the cut of coats and shirts.

Our First Army has never lagged behind;

The waists are narrow. The style is fine,

Our officers are spick and span,

They can speak French . . . Some of them can.

Scene 7

Chatsky, Skalozub, Sofia, Lizzie.

S o f i a (runs to the window)

My God! He's fallen down ! He's dead !

(faints)

C h a t s k y

Who's that ?

S k a l o z u b

Who is in trouble ?

C h a t s k y

She so scared !

S k a l o z u b

Who on earth is it?

C h a t s k y

He's hurt. Is he in good shape ?

S k a l o z u b

Is it our old boy who's got into a scrape ?

L i z i e (trying to help the lady)

"No flying from fate" - the saying goes.

As our Molchalin was mounting the horse

It reared suddenly as if it were scared,

And he fell down bump on his head.

S k a l o z u b

Poor rider! Must have pulled the reins too tight.

Did he fall down on his breast or on his side ?

( goes out)

Scene 8

The same people except Skalozub.

C h a t s k y

How can we help her? Tell me, Liz.

L i z i e

There's water over there . . .

(Chatsky runs to bring water. All speak in a low voice until Sofia regains consciousness)

Pour out a glass!

C h a t s k y

Well, there it is,

Let loose the lacing, give her air,

Now rub the temples with the vinegar,

Now sprinkle water. See? It really

Helps. She's breathing freely.

Have you a fan?

L i z i e

Yes, here you are.

C h a t s k y

Look out!

Molchalin has come round !

L i z i e

It's idleness that torments her.

Well, isn't it a pity, sir ?

She cannot bear to see a man

Dash to the ground, like we can.

C h a t s k y

Go on with sprinkling.

There !

S o f i a ( with a deep sigh)

Who's speaking ?

It's like a dream.

(speaks fast in a loud voice now)

Where is he? What has happened to him ?

C h a t s k y

Whatever happened, never mind !

He nearly killed you. It serves him right.

S o f i a

You're killing me with coolness, you !

I cannot bear the sight of you !

C h a t s k y

Do you expect me to shed tears ?

S o f i a

Go there and help him, if you please.

C h a t s k y

To leave you on your own here ?

S o f i a

I just don't need you. Do you hear ?

It's true: about others you are not worried.

If your own dad were killed, you wouldn't care.

(to Lizzie)

Let's go.

L i z i e (taking her a little aside)

No, wait. Just don't get flurried.

He's safe and sound. Look out there!

(Sofia looks out into the window)

C h a t s k y

The way she took it ! Fright. Confusion. Faint.

One only feels that way, I understand.

About the loss of a dearest friend.

S o f i a

They're coming here. He cannot raise his hand.

C h a t s k y

I wish I had got killed with him.

S o f i a

Just keep your wishes to yourself, if you have any.

Scene 9

Sofia, Lizzie, Chatsky, Skalozub, Molchalin (with his bad arm bandaged)

S k a l o z u b

He's alive again.

He got away with a little pain.

It was a false alarm, just a mistake.

M o l c h a l i n

I frightened you. Forgive me for God's sake.

S k a l o z u b

I didn't know you would be frightened.

As you dashed in we were startled,

You fainted suddenly. And now it's clear,

There was no reason to feel fear.

S o f i a (looking aside)

Although I know that all is safe

I'm still shaking in my shoes.

C h a t s k y (to himself)

It seems, Molchalin is excused.

S o f i a

I never fear for myself.

Say, when the coach gets overturned

I wait until they put it right,

Set it in order. And on I ride.

I fear for others, for myself I don't.

It doesn't care whom I fear for.

C h a t s k y (to himself)

She's making her apology

For having pitied somebody.

S k a l o z u b

Now let me tell you something about a dame,

A certain countess, Lasova by name.

She rides a horse. A widow, she prefers

To ride without her admirers.

She was so hardly hurt the other day,

The jockey must have turned his eyes away.

A clumsy woman, now she's lost a rib. So she's looking for a man. In short,

She needs a husband for support.

S o f i a

Andrey Andreyich, take my tip !

You're a generous man. When people are in need,

You're a friend indeed.

C h a t s k y

I've made my every effort now, and I've

Succeeded in bringing you back to life.

I don't know though

Whom I have done it for.

(takes his hat and leaves)

Scene 10

The same people except Chatsky.

S o f i a

We have a gathering tonight. Will you join us ?

S k a l o z u b What time ?

S o f i a

Come early, there'll be friends,

To piano music we shall dance.

We're in mourning. So for a ball there's no chance.

S k a l o z u b

I'm engaged. Yet I will come tonight.

I must be off.

S o f i a

Good bye.

S k a l o z u b ( shaking Molchalin's hands)

I'm your man.

(goes out)

Scene 11

Sofia, Lizzie, Molchalin.

S o f i a

Molchalin, I have almost lost my mind.

Don't risk your life. Be careful if you can.

You know how dear you are to me.

Now tell me, please, how is your arm ?

Shall I give you any kind of remedy ?

Or call a doctor? It will do no harm.

M o l c h a l i n

I've dressed it and it doesn't ache.

L i z i e

I bet, it's nonsense, just a fake;

For dressing there isn't any need,

And you will not avoid publicity

For Chatsky will make fun of it,

And Skalozub will spread it through the city.

He'll tell his story carrying it too far,

He's fond of making jokes. All people are.

S o f i a

Which of the two I care for ?

It's up to me - I can say "yes" or "no.

Molchalin, I restrained my feeling,

When I came in my mind was reeling,

I couldn't breathe when they were there,

To look at you I didn't dare.

M o l c h a l i n - No, Sofia Pavlovna, you're too blunt.

I wish I could be restraint, I can't.

I nearly jumped out of the window then,

And I don't care about any one of them,

Let people grin or scold me if they want.

M o l c h a l i n

Well, if you hold you tongue, they won't.

S o f i a

Will you be challenged to a duel? I hope not.

M o l c h a l i n

The vicious tongues, they are more frightful than a pistol shot.

L i z i e

They're sitting there, I presume.

You'd better rush into the room

With a cheerful look, a happy face,

Tell them the words they want to hear,

They will believe words of praise.

As to Alexander Andreyich he

Will be just happy to converse

With you about the bygone years.

Just give a smile and he will do

Anything under the sun for you.

M o l c h a l i n

I don't advise you anything.

(kisses her hand)

S o f i a

I'll do it against my will. Although

I cannot feign pretence, I think.

What did God bring this Chatsky here for ?

(goes out)

Scene 12

Lizzie, Molchalin.

M o l c h a l i n

You're such a happy creature, you !

L i z i e

Leave me alone. Without me you're two

M o l c h a l i n

You're such a beauty !

I love you so !

L i z i e

And Sofia, too ?

M o l c h a l i n

I love her out of duty,

I love you . . .

( wants to embrace her)

L i z i e

Out of boredom. Be off with you !

M o l c h a l i n

I have three things for you: here is

A toilet set, it's got two mirrors,

One outside and one inside. Nice work.

There's carving, gilt. Just have a look.

This little thing with a beads ornament. Not bad.

Nice little scissors an a needle pad.

There's pomade, and here is another set:

Two bottles of perfume: jasmine and mignonette.

L i z i e

You know in things I take no interest.

You'd better tell me why

You're so dissolute with me while with the mistress

You're always modest, shy ?

M o l c h a l i n

I'm not well. My arm is dressed, you see ?

At dinner time, when we're two,

I shall confine the truth to you.

(goes out through the side door)

Scene 13

Lizzie, Sofia.

S o f i a

There's no one in the father's room. Too bad !

I'll miss the dinner. I'm not well today.

Go to Molchalin, tell him that

I want to see him right away.

( goes to her room.)

Scene 14

Lizzie.

L i z i e

So strange these people seem to be !

She craves for him, he craves for me,

And I'm . . . the only one who's scared of love,

Barman Petrusha, my sweetest dove.

End of Act II

A C T III

Scene 1

Chatsky then Sofia.

C h a t s k y

I'll wait till she confides to me.

Whom does she care for ? Molchalin! Skalozub! Who is it ?

Molchalin used to be so stupid,

A miserable creature, it was plain to see.

He hasn't grown any wiser. And the other one

Is rough and hoarse, a husky man.

A constellation of mazurkas and manoeuvres. Love

Is doomed to play the blind man's bluff.

And I . . .

(enter Sofia)

Oh, are you here? I'm very glad.

I wished it so.

S o f i a (to herself)

It is too bad.

C h a t s k y

It isn't me you were looking for, is it ?

S o f i a

I didn't look for you.

C h a t s k y

Maybe, it isn't fit

That I should ask you. Tell me, be so kind,

Whom do you love ?

S o f i a

Good heavens! All mankind.

C h a t s k y

And whom do you prefer ?

S o f i a

Well, there are relatives . . .

C h a t s k y

You love me most of all!

S o f i a

Some of them, that is.

C h a t s k y

What do I hope for, when all is done ?

I'm prepared to kill myself while she's having fun.

S o f i a

Shall I be frank with you ?

It's not polite to laugh at everyone.

You always have a ready tongue

When people don't behave the way you do.

And you . . .

C h a t s k y

I'm a funny man, you mean to say ?

S o f i a

You're menacing. You look and talk that way.

You have a lot of other negatives like that,

Self criticism wouldn't do you bad.

C h a t s k y

I'm queer! All men are queer as rule.

He isn't queer who's like a fool.

Molchalin, for example . . .

S o f i a

Well, it isn't new to me;

You make no bones about pouring out your acidity.

I hate to bother you. I'll leave.

C h a t s k y (holding her back)

Don't go.

(To his side)

For once I'll make believe.

(in a loud voice)

Let's drop it. Arguments aside !

I'm sorry for Molchalin for I wasn't right;

He may be different from what he used to be,

Such changes do occur, I will agree,

Changes in minds and morals, governments and rules,

There are important people that were known to be fools,

I'm afraid to mention them but you'll agree:

Some weren't successful in the army, some in poetry

And others - everybody says -

Have grown much too clever in recent years.

Molchalin may be bright and bold, it's true,

But has he got emotions, passions

To think the world without you

To be just vanity and ashes ?

And is he sensitive enough

To have his heart-beat speeded up by love ?

So that whatever he might think and do

Would be entirely for you ?

That's what I feel, but words just fail me.

I'm overwhelmed, I'm in despair,

It's such a feeling that I couldn't wish an enemy.

And he? Just hangs his head and doesn't seem to care,

He's timid. All such men are quiet,

He has a mystery of some kind.

Good knows what is it you've inspired

In him. Something he never had in mind.

Of all the merits, quite a few

He has inherited from you.

It isn't he who's sinful, it is you.

No, no, he may be wise and clever, too.

Is he a match for you? - that is the question.

As someone you grew up together with

A friend of yours, your nearest relation,

I want you to dispel my doubts, please,

So that I take the loss with ease.

I shall take care not to lose my mind,

I'll go away to fall in reverie

And never think of love. Yet I shall find

A way to having fun and making merry.

S o f i a (to herself)

To drive him mad I really did not intend.

( aloud )

Why on earth should I pretend ?

Molchalin could have lost his hand.

I helped him, you should understand,

You were there and you saw it too,

And it did not occur to you,

It was the gesture of a friend.

Though, maybe, you're right to some extent,

For him I may be biased,

Now tell me really,

Why should you talk so freely

Of your contempt for people, and never make disguise ?

You don't show mercy even to the humblest one.

You're always at it. Always joking, always having fun.

No matter who is mentioned during table-talks

Down on his head you hail your biting jokes.

C h a t s k y

My goodness ! Am I really the kind of man

Whose only aim of life is making fun ?

Meeting with funny people is adoring

Though for the most part I find them boring.

S o f i a

No, it does not apply to him.

Molchalin wouldn't really seem

To you so boring, if you knew him well.

C h a t s k y ( with passion )

Why did you get to know him well?

S o f i a

I never tried. It was the wish of God.

Just look how many friends he's got.

He's been in service for three years,

When father loses temper for no reason

Molchalin never takes offence.

He's kind and tries to do the pleasing.

And incidentally,

He could make merry if he wanted to.

Alas, he only does what the old people here do,

He sits playing with them all day long.

C h a t s k y

Playing all day!

He doesn't contradict when they're wrong !

(to his side)

No, she does not respect him, I should say.

S o f i a

One can be prompt and smart but deathly boring,

Another's always swearing and scolding

Just to attract attention, grow the gossip seeds.

Is that the kind of wit a family needs?

C h a t s k y

Is moral and satire the meaning of this all?

(to his side)

She doesn't care for him at all !

S o f i a

With every virtue his character is graced.

He's modest and compliant, though not smart.

He has no signs of worry on his face

And doesn't suffer wrong at heart.

He isn't finding fault with all and everything,

That's why I love him so.

C h a t s k y (to the side)

She doesn't love him. It can be seen.

(aloud)

And I can tell you more

To help you finish up Molchalin's portrait.

And Skalozub? Ah, what a treat!

He loves the army so!

His posture and his manners and the way

He looks and talks make him a hero.

S o f i a

Not of my novel anyway.

C h a t s k y

Not of you novel? It's hard to find you out.

Scene 2

Chatsky, Sofia, Lizzie.

L i z i e (in a whisper)

Alexander Stepanich is about

To come in. He's here to see you.

S o f i a

I'm sorry, I must take to flight.

C h a t s k y

Where to ?

S o f i a

The hair dresser. While the curling irons are hot.

C h a t s k y

So what ?

S o f i a

We are expecting visitors tonight.

C h a t s k y

All right.

My riddle will remain

Unsolved again.

Now let me sneak into your room where . . .

Everything is wonderful the walls, the air,

The memories of bygone years will do me best

They'll buck me up and give me rest.

I shan't stay long there, a minute, maybe two,

And then, just think, in the English Club

I shall spend days just listening to

The gossip about Molchalin, Skalozub . . .

Sofia shrugs her shoulders, departs and locks the door. Lizzie follows her.

Scene 3

Chatsky, Molchalin.

C h a t s k y

Has Sofia really chosen him? She might.

He can be quite a husband though he isn't bright

One doesn't need to be so brilliant

To have a family and children.

He is polite, obliging, has a good complexion . . .

(Enter Molchalin)

Now there he comes on tiptoe silently.

How did he manage to win Sofia's affectation ?

(addressing to him)

Well, Alexey Stepanich, you and me

Didn't have time to have a chat.

How are you? Not too bad ?

No cares ? No troubles now ?

M o l c h a l i n

Just like before.

C h a t s k y

I'm asking "how ?"

M o l c h a l i n

Day in, day out - all the same.

C h a t s k y

From playing cards to writing then to cards again ?

Then waiting for the turns of tides ?

M o l c h a l i n

I do my best, without big words,

Since I've been working in the Archives

I have received three high awards.

C h a t s k y

You're a man of honour and importance ?

M o l c h a l i n

No, everybody has his own gift . . .

C h a t s k y

You, too ?

M o l c h a l i n

Yes, I have two:

Painstakingness and confidence.

C h a t s k y

Two finest gifts. They equal all our gifts combined.

M o l c h a l i n

Have you not been successful ? Haven't you ranks of any kind ?

C h a t s k y

The ranks are given by human beings, -

They make mistakes. I have misgivings.

M o l c h a l i n

We were so surprised !

C h a t s k y

Why should you ?

M o l c h a l i n

We were sorry for you. C h a t s k y You didn't need to.

M o l c h a l i n

Tatyana Yuryevna once mentioned

On her return from Petersburg

That you had some kind of relation

With ministers. It didn't work . . .

C h a t s k y

It's none of her affair.

M o l c h a l i n

Tatyana Yuryevna!

C h a t s k y

We're not acquainted, I don't care.

M o l c h a l i n

Tatyana Yuryevna!

C h a t s k y

That woman I have never seen

I hear she is silly.

M o l c h a l i n

Come on! Is that the one I mean ?

Tatyana Yuryevna's well known! High rank officials, chiefs,

They are all her friends and relatives,

You'd better go and see her one fine day.

C h a t s k y

What do I need it for ?

M o l c h a l i n

You see you may . . .

Get unexpected backing and protection. C h a t s k y

Sometimes I visit women but not with that intention.

M o l c h a l i n

She's so well-mannered, pretty, unpretentious,

She gives most splendid balls on all occasions,

From Christmas to the Easter holidays, and then

She has festivities in her country-house again.

Why don't stay in Moscow, really ?

You'd get awards and live quite merrily.

C h a t s k y

When I'm busy I mean business as a rule,

And when it's time to play I play the fool,

And I do not belong to those

Who're capable of doing both.

M o l c h a l i n

It's not a crime, as far as I can see,

There's Foma Fomich. You know the man ?

C h a t s k y

So what ?

M o l c h a l i n

Under three ministers he was the head of a board,

He's been transferred down here . . .

C h a t s k y

Oh dear !

A stupid man. One of the silliest men I know.

M o l c h a l i n

You don't say so !

He's the model of eloquence !

Have you read his books ?

C h a t s k y

I don't read nonsense.

And model nonsense all the more so.

M o l c h a l i n

No, really. I've read his books and I enjoyed them, too.

I'm no writer . . .

C h a t s k y

No, it's plain to see.

M o l c h a l i n

I'm not brave enough to form my own point of view.

C h a t s k y

Why are you holding back, tell me.

M o l c h a l i n

I am just a young man and . . .

I mustn't have my own judgement.

C h a t s k y

We are no children. Why, should we . . .

Respect other men's views only.

M o l c h a l i n

We must depend on others, you and I.

C h a t s k y

Why should we?

M o l c h a l i n

We are low rank people, that is why.

C h a t s k y (almost aloud)

She loves a man with such a heart!

The liar ! How could she mock at me like that ?

Scene 4

Evening. All doors are wide open except the door leading to Sofia's room. In the background some doors are being opened. The footmen are bustling about. One of them, the head footman, says:

Hey, Filka, Fomka, hurry up, you folk !

Bring tables, brushes, candles, chalk !

(Knocks at Sofia's door)

Elisabeth, please tell the mistress:

Natalia Dmitrivna, her husband, is at the porch.

Now there is another coach.

( All break up. Chatsky is left alone . . . )

Scene 5

Chatsky, Natalia Dmitriyevna, a young lady

N a t a l i a D m i t r i y e v n a

If I'm not mistaken, this is . . .

Alexandr Andreyich, is it really you ? Oh yes !

C h a t s k y

You're staring at me in such a way.

Can I have changed so much in these three years ?

N a t a l i a D m i t r i y e v n a

I thought you were far away.

When did you come ?

C h a t s k y

Today.

N a t a l i a D m i t r i y e v n a

For long ?

C h a t s k y

I don't know, I shall see.

I say, you have changed surprisingly.

You've put on weight. You're such a lovely creature !

You look so fresh and young to-day !

There's a fire, colour, joy in every feature.

N a t a l i a D m i t r i y e v n a

I'm married.

C h a t s k y

You should have said it right away.

N a t a l i a D m i t r i y e v n a

My husband is a gorgeous man. He's coming in.

I'll introduce him to you, if you want.

C h a t s k y

I do.

N a t a l i a D m i t r i y e v n a

There's something you will like about him,

Just look and judge, I don't know what.

C h a t s k y

I do believe you. He's your husband, you are tied.

N a t a l i a D m i t r i y e v n a

No, he's a good man in his own right.

Platon Mikhaylich is so precious! He's my only one.

He is retired. He used to be a military man.

And everybody says, all those who knew him then,

He's one of the most courageous, gifted men,

And had he not resigned

He would become the Moscow commandant.

Scene 6

Chatsky, Natalia Dmitiyevna, Platon Mikhailovich

N a t a l i a D m i t r i y e v n a

Meet Platon Mikhailovich.

C h a t s k y

My stars !

A good old friend of mine! Oh what a chance !

P l a t o n M i h k a y l o v i c h

Hello, my brother Chatsky !

C h a t s k y

Platon, my dear,

Congratulations on your good behaviour.

P l a t o n M i h k a y l o v i c h

Now, as you see, my friend,

I've ended up in Moscow in the end.

C h a t s k y

Have you forgotten brothers, friends, the camping ballyhoo ?

P l a t o n M i h k a y l o v i c h

Not really, I have some things to do,

I play a duet on my flute, I love it so.

It's in "la" flat.

C h a t s k y

The same old tune you played five years ago ?

You don't change tastes. It is a good merit.

P l a t o n M i h k a y l o v i c h

You will remember me when you get married,

Out of idleness you'll play the same old melody.

C h a t s k y

Do you give way to idleness, my dear ?

N a t a l i a D m i t r i y e v n a

My husband does a lot

Of what they don't do nowadays:

Horse-riding, training . . . sometimes he's bored.

C h a t s k y

Who told you, dear fellow, you should you laze?

Go join a regiment. You'll get a squadron, sir.

Are you a junior or a field officer?

N a t a l i a D m i t r i y e v n a

Well, you see, Platon Mikhailovich is not healthy.

C h a t s k y

Do you mean he's fallen ill ? May I know when ?

N a t a l i a D m i t r i y e v n a

He has a headache and a backache now and then.

C h a t s k y

Go to the country. Do more exercise,

In summer the country-side is a paradise.

N a t a l i a D m i t r i y e v n a

Platon Mikhailovich prefers

The city to a god forsaken place.

C h a t s k y

The city. Moscow . . . You're strange.

Do you recall the past?

P l a t o n M i h k a y l o v i c h

Yes, but things have changed.

N a t a l i a D m i t r i y e v n a

My dear,

It's cool in here,

You had best

Button your clothes, your suit, your vest.

P l a t o n M i h k a y l o v i c h

I'm not the man I used to be . . .

N a t a l i a D m i t r i y e v n a

Look here,

Darling, you must get buttoned anyway.

P l a t o n M i h k a y l o v i c h (speaking calmly) Yes. N a t a l i a D m i t r i y e v n a

Get out of the doorway,

There's a draught there coming from behind.

P l a t o n M i h k a y l o v i c h

I'm not the man I used to be . . .

N a t a l i a D m i t r i y e v n a

Darling, be so kind,

Get out of the doorway. Don't stand near.

P l a t o n M i h k a y l o v i c h

(rolling up his eyes)

Oh, woman !

C h a t s k y

Well, may god judge you, dear.

You're right, you're different from what you were.

It wasn't long ago. Wasn't it last year ?

We were in the regiment. Just at the break of day

You would get on the horse to ride away,

You'd ride around exposed to the autumn wind . . .

P l a t o n M i h k a y l o v i c h

Yes, brother. Those were the days, indeed!

Scene 7

The same people, count Tugouhovsky and the countess with their six daughters.

N a t a l i a D m i t r i y e v n a (in a high voice)

Count Pyotr Ilyich! Countess! Good heavens! Countess Zizzie, Mimmie!

(Loud kissing. Then everybody sits down taking an all round view of one another)

1 - s t c o u n t e s s

Oh, what a vogue !

2 - n d c o u n t e s s

The folds, the pleats !

1 - s t c o u n t e s s

The fringes ! Everything matches !

N a t a l i a D m i t r i y e v n a

No, have a look at my charming satin cloak !

3 - d c o u n t e s s

Look at my scarf, my brother cousin's present !

4 - t h c o u n t e s s

Oh yes !

5 - t h c o u n t e s s

It's lovely, isn't it ?

6 - t h c o u n t e s s

It's a woollen one.

C o u n t e s s

Hush.

Who's that gentleman? He's so pleasant . . .

N a t a l i a D m i t r i y e v n a

A stranger. Chatsky.

C o u n t e s s

A r-retired man ?

N a t a l i a D m i t r i y e v n a

Yes, he's been travelling. He's just back home, you see . . .

C o u n t e s s

And he is not mar-r-ried yet, is he ?

N a t a l i a D m i t r i y e v n a He isn't.

C o u n t e s s

Count, come here, be quick !

C o u n t (turns his ear-trumpet to her and groans)

Ohkm !

C o u n t e s s

I ask you to invite

Natalia Dmitriyevna's acquaintance to our party,

Tuesday night.

C o u n t

Ahkm !

( goes up to Chatsky, hangs around him and coughs from time to time)

C o u n t e s s

With children that's the way it is:

They want a ball while father looks for ways

Of finding dancers. They are rare nowadays.

Has he a noble r-rank ?

N a t a l i a D m i t r i y e v n a

Well, no. C o u n t e s s

Is he well off ?

N a t a l i a D m i t r i y e v n a

Well, no.

C o u n t e s s (in a loud voice)

Eh, count, come back ! I call it off !

Scene 8

The same people and countess Khrumins, the granny and her granddaughter.

C o u n t e s s , the G r a n d d a u g h t e r

Oh grandmamma! We've come too early, I think.

We are the first to come.

N a t a l i a D m i t r i y e v n a

She's abusing us!

She' the first to come ! She thinks that we are nothing !

She's angry. Not yet married. May God forgive the lass.

C o u n t e s s , the G r a n d d a u g h t e r

(she turns her lorgnette to Chatsky)

So you're back, Masseur Chatsky! How are you ?

As you were ?

C h a t s k y

Why should I change ?

C o u n t e s s , the G r a n d d a u g h t e r

Did you get married there ?

C h a t s k y

Whom should I marry ?

C o u n t e s s , the G r a n d d a u g h t e r

If you have hopes . . .

Our people marry there with no procrastination,

They let us enter family relations

With needle-women from nice fashions shops.

C h a t s k y

Poor creatures! Do they have to bear

Reproaches from the girls that imitate modistes

Because they dare to prefer

To see them live than just their lists? Scene 9

The same people and many other guests. Among them Zagoretsky. Men come in, take a bow and walk aside, they walk about the rooms. Sofia comes out of her room. Everybody goes up to meet her.

C o u n t e s s , the G r a n d d a u g h t e r

Eh! bon soir! vous voila! Jamais trop diligente,

Vous nous donner toujours le plaisir de l'attente.

Z a g o r e t s k y (to Sofia)

Have you a ticket for tomorrow's show?

S o f i a

No.

Z a g o r e t s k y

Then let me give you this.

It would have been quite useless

If someone else had tried

To please you, for I searched and I inquired

About it everywhere. I should say

There wasn't any to be had since yesterday.

Nobody had one at the office. I asked

The manager, a friend of mine, - alas !

This morning I was quite a bother

I turned to one, then to another,

Then, finally, I got this one, of course.

I took it from an old sick man by force,

He's a friend of mine, on plays he isn't keen,

So let him sit at home for once.

S o f i a

I'm grateful to you. And my special thanks

For all the trouble you have taken.

(More people come. Meanwhile Zagoretsky goes up to the men).

Z a g o r e t s k y

Platon Mihkaylich. . .

P l a t o n M i h k a y l o v i c h

Get out of here!

Go to the women. Tell them lies and sneer,

I'll tell the truth about you, if you please.

It's worse than lies.

(to Chatsky)

Well, here he is!

What do they call such people, may I ask you?

What is the milder word? He's a man of fame,

An outrageous swindler and a rascal,

Anton Antonich Zagoretsky is his name.

Beware of him, he's indiscreet,

And don't play cards with him - he'll cheat.

Z a g o r e t s k y

He never bears malice though he's pert.

C h a t s k y

It would be funny, if you felt hurt.

Apart from honesty there are so many consolations:

They scold you here, and there you get congratulations.

P l a t o n M i h k a y l o v i c h

No, brother, they will scold you here and there,

And they will welcome you just everywhere.

Zagoretsky disappears in the crowd

Scene 10

The same people and Khlyostova. K h l y o s t o v a

It's not a joke for me at sixty five, my dear,

To get to you, it's such long and tiresome way !

I drove an hour from Pokrovka over here,

I'm exhausted, and the night is just a doomsday.

I took this blackamoor girl with me

And the little dog - to keep me company.

Let someone feed them alms from the supper tray.

Good evening, countess. (sits down)

Well, Sofia, my love,

You want to see the kind of blackamoor I have ?

The kind of creatures God creates !

The curly hair. The hunch of shoulder blades.

She's angry, has the habits of a cat.

She's as black as pitch. She looks so bad !

I'll send for her, if you allow,

She's there in the girl's room.

S o f i a No, not now.

K h l y o s t o v a

Imagine, they're exposed like animals for show . . .

I hear . . . there's a city somewhere in Turkey . . .

Who got the girl for me? Do you want to know ?

Anton Antonich Zagoretsky.

(Zagoretsky steps forward)

He's a liar, gambler, thief, a man of no esteem !

(Zagoretsky disappears)

I keep my doors locked up for him.

He's good at doing a service: sister Praskovya and I,

Two blackamoor children we have each received.

He says he bought them at the market. It's a lie.

God bless him anyway! I've got a gift.

C h a t s k y (to Platon Mihkailovich, roaring with laughter)

One has to pay for such a praise,

And Zagoretsky's run away, to save his face.

H l y o s t o v a

Who's the cheerful man? Is he respectable enough ?

S o f i a

This here one? It's Chatsky.

H l y o s t o v a

Well, what makes him laugh ?

What is he glad about ? What does he mean ?

Laughing at aged people is a sin.

You used to dance with him when you were small,

I'd pull his ears but it didn't help at all.

Scene 11

The same people and Famusov.

F a m u s o v (in a loud voice)

We're waiting now for count Pyotr Ilyich.

Oh here he is ! I was there in the rear,

Where is Skalozub Sergey Sergeyevich ?

He's a conspicuous man. No, he is not here.

Sergey Sergeyich Skalozub !

K h l y o s t o v a

Good heavens! You're rumbling louder than a tube.

Scene 12

The same people and Skalozub, then Molchalin comes.

F a m u s o v

Sergey Sergeyich, you're late,

You made us wait and wait and wait.

(leads him to Khlyostova.)

This is my sweetheart, do you know?

I told her about you long ago.

K h l y o s t o v a

You were here... in the regiment of . . . grenadiers ?

S k a l o z u b (in a loud voice)

You mean Novozemlyansk, the regiment of musketeers ?

It was her majesty's subunit - quite another story.

K h l y o s t o v a

I don't distinguish regiments, I'm sorry.

S k a l o z u b

There is a difference in full-dress coats,

The shoulder loops, the tabs and shirts. F a m u s o v

Now come along, count , I shall make you laugh:

We're playing whist. It's curious enough.

(leads Skalozub and the count away with him)

K h l y o s t o v a (to Sofia)

It's like a noose off neck indeed.

Your father is so silly. What does he need

This burly fellow for? He didn't even ask

To introduce this man to us.

M o l c h a l i n (giving her a card)

Your party will be monsieur Kock,

Foma Fomich and I.

K h l y o s t o v a

Thank you, old bloke.

(raises)

M o l c h a l i n

Your spits is lovely. Small and sleek.

I patted him. He is as smooth as silk.

K h l y o s t o v a

Thank you, my dear.

(goes out followed by Molchalin and many others.)

Scene 13

Chatsky, Sofia and some strangers, which gradually disperse.

C h a t s k y

Well, he has cleared the atmosphere . . .

S o f i a

Please don't go on.

C h a t s k y

What makes you fear?

I meant to praise him for he had commended

The angry guest.

S o f i a

With bitter words you would have ended.

C h a t s k y

I'll tell you what I thought about:

These aged women tend to get quite hot,

They always need someone around To serve them as a lightening-rod.

Molchalin, he's the kind of man

That can appease disputes like no one can!

He'll pat a dog, he'll show his greatest skill

In playing cards! He's another Zagoretsky!

You told me all his merits then,

You must have failed to mention some of them.

(goes out)

Scene 14

Sofia, then Mr N.

S o f i a (to herself)

This man, he always puts me out,

He's angry, envious and proud,

He is the humiliating kind!

M r N. (coming up to her)

I see, you are lost in thought.

S o f i a

It's Chatsky.

M r N.

Has he changed ? Or what ?

S o f i a

He is insane.

M r N.

Oh ! Has he lost his mind ?

S o f i a

Not quite . . . M r N.

But are there any indications ?

S o f i a (stares at him)

I think so.

M r N.

Oh at his age ? How come ? Good gracious !

S o f i a

Well, nothing can be done.

(To her side)

He does believe it !

Ah, Chatsky! You are fond of making fun, There's a cap and bells for you, young man !

Take it or leave it. ( goes out )

Scene 15

Mr N. then Mr D

M r N.

He's mad ! . . . That's what she thinks ! . . . My eyes !

There must be reasons . . . It can't be otherwise.

You heard the news?

M r D.

What news?

M r N.

About Chatsky.

M r D.

No.

M r N.

He's off his head !

M r D.

I don't think so.

M r N.

I'm telling you what others say.

M r D.

And now you are getting out of your way

To spread the news, my dear.

M r N.

I'll go and ask if someone knows it here.

(goes out)

Scene 16

Mr D. then Zagoretsky.

M r D.

Believe the tattler ! He'll repeat

Just any nonsense coming to his ear.

You know about Chatsky ?

Z a g o r e t s k y

What is it ?

M r D.

He's mad!

Z a g o r e t s k y

Oh yes, I know, I heard.

I do recall how it occurred.

His roguish uncle said he was insane;

He got him caught and send him to a mental home in chain.

M r D.

Why, he was here just now, here in this room.

Z a g o r e t s k y

They have unchained him, I presume.

M r D.

We don't need newspapers with you around.

I'll go and see what people talk about.

I shall ask everyone. But it's a secret. See ?

Scene 17

Zagoretsky, then countess, the granddaughter.

Z a g o r e t s k y

Who's Chatsky here ? The name's familiar to me.

I used to know a Chatsky once.

Have you ever heard of him by any chance ?

C o u n t e s s , the g r a n d d a u g h t e r

Of whom?

Z a g o r e t s k y

Of Chatsky, he was here in the room.

C o u n t e s s , the g r a n d d a u g h t e r

I know, we had a chat.

Z a g o r e t s k y

Congratulation!

He is mad.

C o u n t e s s , the g r a n d d a u g h t e r

What?

Z a g o r e t s k y

Yes, he's mad.

C o u n t e s s , the g r a n d d a u g h t e r

Imagine, I myself have noticed that;

I bet we said it with one voice.

Scene 18

The same people and countess, the grandmother.

C o u n t e s s , the g r a n d d a u g h t e r

Oh grandmamma, it's great ! I just rejoice !

You heard about the trouble, didn't you ?

I say ! Isn't it lovely! It's really something new !

C o u n t e s s , the g r a n d m o t h e r ( Speaking with a strong French accent)

Will you speak louder, my friend, I cannot hear?

I have my ears stuffed . . .

C o u n t e s s , the g r a n d d a u g h t e r

No time, my dear !

(points to Zagoretsky)

Il vous dira toute l'histoire . . .

I'll ask . . .

(goes out) Scene 19

Zagoretsky, Countess, the grandmother.

C o u n t e s s , the g r a n d m o t h e r

What's that? Is there a fire?

Z a g o r e t s k y

For all this turmoil Chatsky is the reason.

C o u n t e s s , the g r a n d m o t h e r

Did you say Chatsky? Who has put the man to prison?

Z a g o r e t s k y

He had his forehead wounded, and he lost his head.

C o u n t e s s , the g r a n d m o t h e r

He's a franc mason, unfaithful, is that what you said?

Z a g o r e t s k y

No use to talk to her. (goes out)

C o u n t e s s , the g r a n d m o t h e r

Anton Antonich, dear!

Now there he comes. He's hurrying. He's in fear.

Scene 20

Countess, the grandmother and count Tugoukhovsky.

C o u n t e s s , the g r a n d m o t h e r

Count, count! This count attends

All balls, though he can hardly breathe.

You, count, did you hear me?

C o u n t

Ah-hm?

C o u n t e s s , the g r a n d m o t h e r

He's hard to talk with,

At least you saw the policeman nearby?

C o u n t

Eh-hm?

C o u n t e s s , the g r a n d m o t h e r

Who was this Chatsky imprisoned by?

C o u n t

Weh-hm?

C o u n t e s s , the g r a n d m o t h e r

Give him a hover sack! Let him go soldiering!

He breaks the law! Isn't he daring?

C o u n t

Uh-hm?

C o u n t e s s , the g r a n d m o t h e r

Yes! He is an outrageous alien!

That's was he is! A downright Voltarian!

What? What? He's deaf. Take out the hearing trumpet,

Poor hearing is bad. Talking is hampered.

Scene 21

The same people and Khlyostova, Sofia, Molchalin, Platon Mikhailovitch, Natalia Dmitriyevna, countess, the granddaughter, Zagoretsky, Skalozub, then Famusov and many others.

K h l y o s t o v a

He's off his head! I beg to state it.

It is so sudden ! So unexpected !

Did you hear it, Sofia ?

P l a t o n M i k h a i l o v i t c h

Who made it known ? You ?

N a t a l y a D m i t r i y e v n a

Oh, dear, everybody.

P l a t o n M i k h a i l o v i t c h

Then you don't doubt. As for me, I do.

F a m u s o v (coming in)

Whom are you talking about ?

Chatsky ? Why doubt ? It's true !

I was the first to have discovered it,

I wonder why he isn't bound to bed.

He has the nerve to abuse the government.

If you should bow bending your body

To our sovereign or anybody,

You will be called a rascal and a toady.

K h l y o s t o v a

He is always making fun of us.

He burst out laughing when I mentioned gifts.

M o l c h a l i n

He talked me out of working in the Archives.

C o u n t e s s , the g r a n d d a u g h t e r And as for me I was compared with modistes.

N a t a l y a D m i t r i y e v n a

He told my husband he should settle in the country-house.

Z a g o r e t s k y

All things considered he is mad.

C o u n t e s s , the g r a n d d a u g h t e r

I judge it from his eyes.

F a m u s o v

He takes after his mother. No surprise !

She's known to have lost mind a half a dozen times.

K h l y o s t o v a

Strange things can happen in this world,

A man his age should turn insane !

He must have drunk from young.

C o u n t e s s

It's true ! . .

C o u n t e s s , the g r a n d d a u g h t e r

No, doubt. Upon my word !

K h l y o s t o v a He would drink glasses of Champaign

N a t a l y a D m i t r i y e v n a

He drank it by the bottle !

Z a g o r e t s k y (with passion)

No !

It's by the barrel for all I know.

F a m u s o v

Well, drinking isn't bad as such,

A man may drink a drop too much.

It's education that's to blame

That many people go insane.

There are so many mental cases views, ideas, really!

K h l y o s t o v a

These boarding schools, lyceums and all that,

As well this Lancaster teaching theory,

They all can easily drive you mad.

C o u n t e s s

There is an Institute in Petersburg, I have been told,

The Institute of Pe-da-go-gics, I think it's called.

What the professors do there they propagate

Dissent and unbelief. A relative of mine,

He studied there. He's a graduate,

And any time can be employed

In a pharmacy or somewhere in the line.

A chemist, botanist, he's trying to avoid

The fair sex. He doesn't care

Much for promotion or career,

He's my nephew, my dear and near.

S k a l o z u b

I have good news: there is an education plan, I hear,

For boarding schools, Lyceums and gymnasiums,

They'll teach there simply, like they do it here.

They will use books on some occasions.

F a m u s o v

Sergey Sergeyich! No! To nip it in the bud

I'd take all books and burn them up like that!

Z a g o r e t s k y (speaking humbly)

No, there are books and books. You know, If I were engaged in censorship,

I'd deal with fables: Oh! I Love them so!

The mockery of lions, eagles, sheep,

No matter what one thinks,

They're animals, and yet their kings.

K h l y o s t o v a

It doesn't matter if it's books or drinking

That caused his lunacy. And I'm thinking

With sympathy of Chatsky, I should say,

He really deserves it, in a Christian way.

He had three hundred souls, and he was bright.

F a m u s o v

Four hundred.

K h l y o s t o v a

Three, sir.

F a m u s o v

Four.

K h l y o s t o v a

No! Three. F a m u s o v

My calendar . . .

K h l y o s t o v a

The calendars are never right.

F a m u s o v

Four hundred men! Stop arguing with me!

K h l y o s t o v a

No, three! I know other people property!

F a m u s o v

Four hundred, do you understand me?

K h l y o s t o v a

No, three hundred! Three, three, three.

Scene 22

The same people and Chatsky.

N a t a l i a D m i t r i y e v n a

Now there he is!

C o u n t e s s , the g r a n d d a u g h t e r

Hush!

E v e r y b o d y

Hush!

(Stepping back from him.)

K h l y o s t o v a

He'll make a fuss!

He'll want to have it out with us

F a m u s o v

Good Lord! Forgive our trespass! (With caution.)

You're not yourself, my dear. Let me feel your pulse,

You need a sleep after the journey; you're ill.

C h a t s k y

That's right. I cannot bear the pains I feel.

I'm suffering a million torments

From friendly squeezes, shuffles, exclamations, comments,

( comes up to Sofia.)

My heart is overwhelmed with grief,

I feel out of place, I'm lonely here.

No, Moscow doesn't give relief.

K h l y o s t o v a

He's blaming Moscow, do you hear?

F a m u s o v

We'd better keep away from him.

( makes signs to Sofia )

Hm, Sofia has shut her ears.

S o f i a (to Chatsky)

What makes you angry, tell us, please ?

C h a t s k y

There in that room they have an incidental meeting:

The little Frenchman from Bordeaux, puffed up with pride

Was telling them : he had a fright

To go to the Barbarian Russia. So he came and found

There was caressing all around.

With not a single Russian face,

The language spoken was Francaise.

It looked as though he were in France

Among his friends, in his province,

And if you saw him, he would appear

To you as if he were a petty monarch here,

With clinging ladies, always looking smart,

He's happy here, while we aren't.

There came a storm of exaltation

With screams and moans and violent elation.

"Oh France! The land beyond compare!" -

Two sister countess came out to declare -

The lesson they had learnt in their green years.

There is no arguing with countess.

I said I wanted everyone to hear it,

I wished that god could crush the evil spirit

Of meaningless blind slavish imitation

And fill someone with inspiration,

The one that would be able to

Deter us with a solid hand

From miserable longing for a foreign land.

I may be called

An old-believer, yet I think

Our North is worse a hundredfold

Since I adopted the new mode,

Having abandoned everything :

Our customs and our conditions,

The language, moral values and traditions,

And, in exchange of the grand gown,

Regardless of all trends

And common sense,

We put on this apparel of a clown:

A tail, a funny cut - oh, what a scene !

It's tight and doesn't match the face;

This funny, grey-haired shaven chin !

'Which covers thee discovers thee!'- there's a phrase.

If we adopt traditions from abroad with ease

We'd better learn a little from Chinese,

Their ignorance of foreign lands.

Shall we awaken from the power of alien fashions

So that our wise and cheerful Russians

Might never think us to be Germans?

"Can European culture be compared

With our culture?" - I once heard.

"How can the words such as "Madame", "mademoiselle"

Be turned to Russian? Is it "girl"?

No sooner than I said it, fancy,

They burst out laughing. They laughed at me.

"Ha! Girl! Ha-ha, isn't it wonderful!

Ha- Girl! Ha-ha, isn't it awful!"

I got so angry and I cursed,

I was about to retort,

But they broke up, dispersed.

I'll tell you what:

Both here in Moscow and in Petersburg, you know,

A man that hates pretence and all that's done for show

And is unfortunate to have in mind

A few ideas of some kind

And wants to openly speak out !

Look out..

(looks around, everybody is dancing a waltz. The older people make their ways to card tables)

END OF ACT III

ACT IV

Central hall in Famusov's house; a big stair leading from the first floor and a number of accessory stairs adjoining it from the mezzanines; downstairs on the right (to the people in the play) is the exit to the porch and to the porter's lodge; to the left is Molchalin's room. Night. A faint light. Some footmen are bustling, others sleep in expectation of their masters.

Scene 1 Countess, the grandmother, countess, the granddaughter lead by their footman.

F o o t m a n

The coach of Khryumina !

C o u n t e s s , the g r a n d d a u g h t e r

(while being wrapped up)

Oh, what a ball!

This Famusov! The kind of guests he called !

Some ugly creatures from the other world !

No one to talk to or to dance with. Not a soul !

C o u n t e s s , the g r a n d m o t h e r

I'm tired, darling, let's get under way. I'll go to grass straight from the ball some day.

(Both leave the house) Scene 2

Platon Mikhailovich and Natalia Dmitriyevna. One footman is bustling around, another shouts from the porch:

The coach of Gorich!

N a t a l i a D m i t r i y e v n a

Oh my life, my soul,

My precious one, oh, why are you so sad ?

(kisses her husband on the forehead)

You had some fun at Famusov's, I'm sure you had !

P l a t o n M i k h a i l o v i t c h

I don't like parties but I'm all yours,

And I obey you just because

I want to please you, I just sit

Keeping my vigils. On hearing commands,

However sad, I go to dance.

N a t a l i a D m i t r i y e v n a

You make pretence, you're not good at it; You want to be reputed to be old

Unable to activity.

(goes out accompanied by the footman)

P l a t o n M i k h a i l o v i t c h

(speaking coolly)

There's nothing bad about a ball,

It pains to be in captivity;

Nobody forces us to marry!

For some it is a predetermined thing...

T h e f o o t m a n

The mistress! She's waiting in the coach. She's angry.

P l a t o n M i k h a i l o v i t c h

(with a sigh)

All right, all right, I'm coming.

(goes out)

Scene 3

Chatsky and the Footman accompanying him.

C h a t s k y

Tell them to bring the coach immediately.

(The footman goes out)

The day has passed and with the day

The hazes and illusions are away;

The haze of hope that filled my soul up until recently.

What did I hope to find here after a long absence ?

Where is the beauty of encounters and people's sympathy,

Those cheers, hugs and greetings, - nonsense !

When you are ridding on a coach you see

Vast, boundless plain before you.

Everything's lively, light and blue,

And there is always something new,

You drive an hour, two, a day and then

You reach a stopping place for rest, you look around

And see the same deserted plain.

It makes me sad to think about it.

(The footman comes back)

Ready?

T h e f o o t m a n

Well, the coachman is out of sight.

C h a t s k y

You go and look for him, we cannot stay here for night.

(The footman goes out again )

Scene 4

Chatsky, Repetilov (the latter runs into the hall from the porch, falls down and puts himself straight hurriedly)

R e p e t i l o v

God damn it! Oh my Lord!

My eyes! Where are you from, my friend ?

Mon cher! My dear friend! Just from abroad ?

They used to be so critical of me. They said

I was a chatterer a man of superstitions,

That I indulged in premonitions.

Just now - how do you account for that ? -

I stumbled in the doorway and fell flat.

I hurried here as if I knew

That I was going to see you.

Make fun of me, and say that I,

As always, want to tell a lie.

For you I feel affection of some kind,

A kind of ailment passion and ...

I bet my soul, you'll never find

Another friend

So true to you ! Upon my life !

I do not care, if I lose my wife,

My children, or I'm left alone

In the whole wide world, all on my own.

I do not care if I live or die...

C h a t s k y

Stop talking nonsense! And don't lie !

R e p e t i l o v

It's natural that you should hate me,

I find it easy to talk to other people.

With you I always seem to be

So humble, miserable, stupid, simple.

C h a t s k y

Or what a queer self abasement !

R e p e t i l o v

Do scold me ! I'm far from being complacent,

And when I think about the way

I used to idle... Say, what's the time now ?

C h a t s k y

Since you are here for the ball you may

Go home. It will be over in an hour. R e p e t i l o v

The ball ? Where we are bound

By the decorum, and where we cannot break away

From a heavy burden ? Have you read the book about ? . .

C h a t s k y

And have you read it ? Say,

You, Repetilov ? Tell me really.

R e p e t i l o v

Call me a vandal ! I deserve it, that is.

I highly valued people that were silly,

And all my life I raved about balls and parties,

I would forget my children and my wife.

I'd play and lose, they put me in a ward,

I kept a dancer. One was not enough,

But I had three of them. My God!

I drank like mad! I wouldn't sleep nine days on end, oh my !

I denied everything: the law and honour and belief !

C h a t s k y

I say ! You ought to know the limits when you lie !

There's a reason to be filled with grief.

R e p e t i l o v

You may congratulate me for I know

Most clever people now. I'm not bored any more.

C h a t s k y

Do you feel bored tonight ?

R e p e t i l o v

Not just tonight. Do you know where I was ?

C h a t s k y

Well, I suppose,

You were in a club.

R e p e t i l o v

That's right.

The English Club, and, frankly speaking,

I'm now straight from a noisy meeting.

I promised them to hold my tongue. So mums the word, agreed ?

We have a circle. A society. And that's a secret.

We have our sessions Thursdays, see ?

C h a t s k y

My dear friend, you scare me.

Where is it ? In the Club ?

R e p e t i l o v

Oh yes.

C h a t s k y

There are extraordinary measures

About chucking all of you with all your secrets out.

R e p e t i l o v

You needn't be afraid. We talk aloud

But nobody can make anything out.

Me too, when hearing people talk about prison cells and juries,

About Byron and that stuff, I just get curious,

I listen carefully, and it's a pity

I don't get anything for my stupidity,

Ah Alexander, we've been missing you.

Now listen, dear, I should ask you to

Do me a favour, let's go there now,

I'll introduce you, if you allow,

To such nice people! They're not like me, to tell the truth,

They're so wonderful. The cream of youth ! C h a t s k y

I do not care for them, nor you. Where shall I go ?

Why should I ? In the dead of night ? Well, no.

R e p e t i l o v

Come on! Who is asleep now ? Why hesitate ?

Let's go! The people there are just great !

A dozen of daring hot heads,

But when we talk you'd think we're hundreds.

C h a t s k y

Why be so frantic ? What's the goal ?

R e p e t i l o v

We make a noise, my brother.

C h a t s k y

Noise? Well, is that all ?

R e p e t i l o v

This isn't time and place for explanation, It is a state affair in a way,

Though it is not an urgent situation,

Such things are not done in a day.

What kind of people are they ? Well, here's my story:

There is for instance count Grigory,

A queer man, he is great fun,

Has all the makings of an Englishman,

His hair is always in good trim.

Are you familiar? You ought to meet him,

There's another man. He's Yevdokim Vorkulov.

You should have heard him sing! His voice is such a love!

There is a song he sings, you know?:

"Ah! Non lashiar me, no, no, no."

There are two men, Levon and Borya, they're brothers,

Nice people. Just like all the others.

There isn't much to say about these two,

But I can name our genius, if you want me to,

It is Udushyev Ippolit Martinich.

Have you read much of him ? At least an inch. I recommend you. Though he doesn't seem

To write anything now. If I were to decide,

I'd whip him with a rod repeating: "Write, write, write";

You'll find an extract in a journal, by the way,

It's called "A Point Of View And Something".

What is it all about? Everything.

He knows everything. We save him for an evil day.

Our leader is like no one else in our Russian land,

I needn't give his name, you will understand.

A night-time robber and a duel fan,

He was in exile in Kamchatka, no surprise,

From there he returned an Aleutian man.

He's a rogue: with clever men it can't be otherwise,

But when he, filled with frenzied inspiration,

Starts holding forth on honesty

He reddens ridden with obsession

And bursts out crying. So do we.

Such are the people, they are really a rarity

I'm one of them. I'm a mediocrity,

I'm lazy, not so well advanced. It's awful!

But when I set to work straining my mind

I sit an hour like a fool

And bear out a pun of a kind,

Some people find my thought amusing

And putting half a dozen heads together

Make up a sketch, another six compose the music,

Still other six will clap their hands,

They're birds of a feather.

You are laughing, man,

But that's the way it is,

I'm not endowed by God with capabilities

But I'm kind. That's why they like me.

They pardon me when I tell lies...

T h e f o o t m a n (standing at the porch)

The coach of Skalozub!

R e p e t i l o v

Who's coach you said?

Scene 5

he same people and Skalozub. He comes down the stairs.

R e p e t i l o v (stepping towards him)

Ah Skalozub, my dear friend!

Wait, wait. Don't go away.

(Hugging him.)

C h a t s k y

Where shall I go?

(goes into the porters' lodge.)

R e p e t i l o v

I haven't heard of you since long ago.

You've joined a regiment, they say.

Are you familiar?

(Looking around to see Chatsky.)

The stubborn man. He's gone.

You are the one

Whom I was looking for? Let's go with me.

There are a lot of people at Grigory's

About forty of us, you will see.

A bunch of wit, that's what it is.

They'll talk all night without getting tired.

First they will treat you to Champaign up to the chin,

Then they will teach you something you and I

Would never think of, or imagine.

S k a l o z u b

Man, you won't have it on me with erudition.

Tell someone else. And if you wish, then

A sergeant from my regiment will serve

As a Voltair to your Grigory and yourself.

He'll get you into ranks of three

And if you say a word, he'll calm you down quickly.

R e p e t i l o v

Well, service is the only thing you want to know.

I, too, should strive for ranks, but I'm

A failure. I miscarried years ago,

I was in civil service at the time,

Baron von Klotz had an ambition

To get a minister's position.

And I

Had an eye

To be his son in law,

I made no bones about it.

He's wife and he

Played cards with me.

I lost tremendous sums of money,

I built a house in Fontanka street,

The place where the Baron lived.

A house with columns. Huge! So costly!

I married their daughter finally.

Did I get dowry! Hell! No! And no promotions.

The son of law of a German. There was no use.

He was afraid of rumours and reproaches

For being biased to his relatives,

The deuce!

His secretaries! The miserable riff-raff!

The wretched scribblers ! They are important now.

They've got on in the world, and how!

Look in the calendar: the ranks, the crosses and the service.

Lakhmotyev Alexey was really clever to suggest;

We need most drastic remedies

For our stomachs won't digest.

( stops talking, seeing that Zagoretsky has taken Skalozub's place, who left the house by then)

Scene 6

Repetilov, Zagoretsky.

Z a g o r e t s k y

Go on. Go on. To be sincere,

I'm as liberal as you.

I'm straight, I speak without fear,

That's why I've lost so much. I've got my due.

R e p e t i l o v (with regret)

All are apart! And all keep mute!

If someone leaves, the other follows suit.

First Chatsky vanished, then the colonel did.

Z a g o r e t s k y

What do you think of Chatsky?

R e p e t i l o v

He's man of wit. I met him now, there was a chat

About a vaudeville and that;

I liked the talk though nobody talked sense.

Chatsky and I... We are good friends.

Z a g o r e t s k y

And did you notice that

He's sort of mad?

R e p e t i l o v

It's rubbish!

Z a g o r e t s k y

Everybody says so.

R e p e t i l o v

No, it's a lie!

Z a g o r e t s k y

Ask people.

R e p e t i l o v

No.

Z a g o r e t s k y

Oh there they come: the count, the countess - And their daughters.

R e p e t i l o v

Staff and nonsense, that is.

Scene 7

Repetilov, Zagoretsky, the count and the countess with their six daughters; a little later Khlyostova comes down the front stair. Molchalin holds her by the hand, the footmen fuss about.

Z a g o r e t s k y

Now, ladies, tell me, if you please,

Is Chatsky mad?

1 - s t c o u n t e s s

No doubt, he is.

2 - n d c o u n t e s s

Well, anyone will tell you that.

3 - d c o u n t e s s

The Dryanskys, the Varlyanskys,

The Khvorovs, the Skatchkovs.

4 - t h c o u n t e s s

It isn't new for everybody knows.

5 - t h c o u n t e s s

Who doubts then?

Z a g o r e t s k y

This here man does not believe.

6 - t h c o u n t e s s

You!

A l t o g e t h e r

Masseur Repetilov! You! Masseur Repetilov is it true?

How can you be against us all?

Why should you? Don't feel ashamed at all?

R e p e t i l o v (shuts his ears)

I didn't know it was so open, sorry.

T h e c o u n t e s s

He is a dangerous man,

Don't listen to his story.

It is about time to lock him in,

I think he's a Jacobin. To listen to him he is wittier

Than anyone on earth, even duke Peter.

Your Chatsky ! ! ! . . . Come along, count, you take Kate

Or Zizzie with you. Are we six or seven?

K h l y o s t o v a (from the stair)

The cards. You didn't pay the debt.

C o u n t e s s

I owe you.

E v e r y b o d y (to one another)

Far you well.

(The family departs, so does Zagoretsky.)

Scene 8

Repetilov, Khlyostova, Molchalin.

R e p e t i l o v

Good heaven!

Anfisa Nilovna! Oh poor Chatsky! There!

Who needs your wisdom and your care?

And what's the use of going out of one's way? K h l y o s t o v a

It is God's wish. Anyway

He will be treated. Maybe cured in the end.

While you're quite incurable, my friend,

What on earth made you come round?

Molchalin, you don't try to please me,

Don't see me out.

Good by! It's time to come to reason.

( Molchalin goes into his room. She departs.)

Scene 9

Repetilov and his footman.

R e p e t i l o v

It's coming to the break of day.

Where shall I go to now? Yes, where?

Come, put me in the cab. Take me away.

Take me just anywhere.

(departs) Scene 10

The last light goes down.

C h a t s k y (comes out of the footman's room)

What's that? I can't believe my ears!

It isn't fun. It's evil, it appears.

How come? As if by miracle or majesty

They all talk nonsense about me!

For some it's like a funny trick,

While others seem quite sympathetic...

Who was the first to spin the yarn?!

Somebody raised a noise - no sooner said than done -

And there you have public opinion.

Does Sofia know it? They have told her, yes.

Not that she meant to spite me - no!

She doesn't care if it's me or someone else,

She had some fun and doesn't want to know,

She doesn't care for anyone - for me or him.

Why did she faint then, God only knows.

Is it her shattered nerves or is it just a whim

That comes and goes?

I thought it was a sign of passion - I was wrong.

She would have broken down just as well

If she had seen someone step on

A pussy's or a puppy's tail.

S o f i a (above the stair, candle in hand)

It's you, Molchalin?

(closes the door quickly)

C h a t s k y

It's Sofia! Oh, yes, I see her !

Good Lord! My head's burning and my blood begins to stir.

She has turned up, or is it just dreams ?

I'm out of my mind, it seems.

I'm used to mysteries and I

Should not deceive myself, should I ?

This time it's not a vision, it's a date.

She called Molchalin, so I'd rather wait.

H i s f o o t m a n (from the porch)

The cab... You need...

C h a t s k y

Hush.

(Pushes him out)

I'll stay and keep an eye on it Till morning. Once I am to drain a cup of woe

Let it be so.

Let it be now, not afterwards. For a delay

Won't save me anyway.

The door is opening.

( hides himself behind a column.)

Scene 11

Chatsky is hidden. Lizzie, candle in hand.

L i z i e

Good heaven ! I'm filled with fear

My torturer, the lady... sent me here.

Black night! The empty hall!

I'm scared of ghosts. Or any living soul.

This Chatsky, he is like an eye sore.

She says she saw him down on this floor.

(Looks around)

A lot he cares about walking around !

By now he's surely got out !

He put his love off for another day, I bet !

He hurried home and - straight to bed.

But I must call him anyway.

( knocks at Molchalin door)

Wake up! Will you wake up! I say !

The lady calls you, do you hear ?

Be quick, you must get through unseen.

Scene 12

Chatsky is behind the column, Lizzie, Molchalin (stretches his arms and yawns), Sofia (sneaks down the stair).

L i z i e

You, sir, you heart of stone, thick skin !

M o l c h a l i n

Ah Lizzie! Who sent you over here ?

L i z i e

The lady.

M o l c h a l i n

There's one thing I'm thinking off:

These cheeks, these veins and all

Have not yet seen the flush of love.

What makes you want to be at beck and call?

L i z i e

You suitors shouldn't stay in bed

Idling away your time and lazing,

For handsome is who doesn't get

Enough of sleep before the wedding.

M o l c h a l i n

The wedding ? Whom with ?

L i z i e

With the lady.

M o l c h a l i n

There's room for hope before the wedding.

L i z i e But sir !

Is there any other fianc ?

M o l c h a l i n

Who knows? I'm scared to think

About one thing:

I'm afraid that Pavel Afanasich may

Take us by surprise some day.

He'll curse me! Fire me! I'll be frank: you see,

Sofia has nothing to adore her for.

I wish her well. She will stop loving me,

Like she's not in love with Chatsky any more.

I wish I cared half as much for her

As I do care for you, my dear.

Alas, no matter how I try to stir

My feelings - I cool down when I see Sofia.

S o f i a (to the side)

Oh what a wicked man!

C h a t s k y (from behind the column)

A scoundrel he is!

L i z i e

Aren't you ashamed?

M o l c h a l i n

My father taught me this:

I must please all and everyone -

The host of house I would live in,

The boss I'd work with and the man

That would keep my clothes clean,

The sweeper of the yard, and, just in case,

His dog to win its love and kindness.

L i z i e

They are all guardians of yours.

M o l c h a l i n

Now I pretend to be a lover

To please the daughter of one of those...

L i z i e

The one that feeds you, gives you cover ?

Sometimes ranks, too ?

Well, that will do.

M o l c h a l i n

Let's go. We've talked enough.

Let's share our sad girl's love.

Let me embrace you, most sincerely.

(Lizzie pushes him away)

I wish you were Sofia, really.

(He wants to go, but Sofia doesn't let him)

S o f i a ( almost in a whisper. Talking is in a low voice during the whole scene)

Don't you come near. I have heard it!

You scoundrel ! What a shame ! Oh what a mistake.

M o l c h a l i n

Why Sofia Pavlovna...

S o f i a Don't say a word.

I can do anything. Don't talk, for goodness sake.

M o l c h a l i n

(falls down on his knees, Sofia pushes him away)

Remember please! Have mercy. Look and see!

S o f i a

I don't remember anything. Forget me ! - 173 - M o l c h a l i n (grovels at her feet)

Have pity...

S o f i a

Don't be mean. Get up. You wretched thing.

I don't want any answer. For I know

You'll tell a lie again...

M o l c h a l i n

Have mercy...

S o f i a

No. No. No.

M o l c h a l i n

I said it just for fun . . . don't make a fuss . . .

S o f i a

You'd better now leave me alone

Or else I'll wake up everyone,

And I don't care, if I ruin both of us.

(Molchalin raises)

I wish that I had never known you.

Do not expect me to complain, reproach or cry.

Get out of the house so that I

Might never hear of you again.

M o l c h a l i n

Well, as you wish.

S o f i a

Or else

I'll tell papa the truth. I'll get my due,

But I don't care about the consequence.

Now go ! No, wait. You should be glad that you

Were more than shy

When you and I

Had dates at nights,

And even in the daytime

When everyone could see

You were dishonest, but not so saucy,

And I'm

Pleased to have discovered everything,

There's nothing

To reproach me of. There are no witnesses

Except when I lost consciousness.

Chatsky was here . . . no . . .

C h a t s k y (comes up quickly between them)

Yes, you pretender!

L i z i e and S o f i a

Oh! Oh!

(Lizzie drops the candle out of fright. Molchalin goes into his room.)

Scene 13

The same people, except Molchalin.

C h a t s k y

She's quick to faint. Now it can be justified,

There's a reason for it this time.

That is the answer for the riddle for I'm

Aware to whom I have been sacrificed!

I just restrained myself which wasn't wise,

I saw it- I did not believe my eyes !

As for the sweetheart who has betrayed a friend

And has ignored a woman's fear and shame,

He's hidden now behind the door in an attempt

To shirk the answer. Oh this fortune's game!

Repudiated hateful men! The scourge!

Molchalins are as pleased as Punch!

S o f i a (in tears)

Don't speak. It is my fault through and through,

But who could think he was so cunning!

L i z i e

There's a knock! A noise! People are coming!

The father will be grateful to you.

Scene 14

Chatsky, Sofia, Lizzie, Famusov a crowd of footmen, candle in hand.

F a m u s o v

Be quick! Be quick! Come here! Follow me !

Bring candles, lanterns, I can't see !

Where are the footmen? My! I see familiar faces !

My daughter Sofia Pavlovna! What a disgrace it is !

Where is she ? Whom with?! Upon my life !

She's like her mother, my deceased wife.

My better half: each time I got away

She'd find a man to pass the time of day!

For heaven's sake! How did he win your heart?

Wasn't it you who called him mad?

I have been silly, blind. Oh my!

It is a plot. And all the guests and he

Were involved in that conspiracy.

C h a t s k y (to Sofia)

So is it you whom I should thank for all this lie?

F a m u s o v

No, brother, you're cheating, and I'll never let it pass.

I don't believe you, it's an invention of your own.

You, Filka, crazy stupid ass !

I made a doorman out of a lazybones !

Whatever happens, he never knows !

Where were you ? Where did you go ?

Why did you not lock up the doors ?

How come, you missed all this ? How come, you didn't you know ? I'll send you to the farm, to work there in the fields.

About selling me you'd make no bones.

You, watchful girl ! With your perpetual tricks;

That is the fruit of love of fashion shops and clothes !

You've learnt to pimp and pander lovers.

I'll put you right. I know what I can do.

Go feed the poultry ! Move to the service-house !

My dear daughter, you, too, will get your due,

Have patience; my decision will be simple:

You will not live here in Moscow with the people.

In a day or two I'll send you off

To a god-forsaken place, your aunt's, near Saratov.

You'll pass the time there grieving,

Sitting tambour in hand, card-reading.

And I should ask you, Chatsky, this:

You will not visit her by any means,

With you I'll draw the line at this:

All doors will be locked up for you by all the families.

I'll do my best to make a din,

I'll make the whole of Moscow learn it.

I'll make it public, ring the tocsin,

I'll write the ministers, the sovereign and the Senate.

C h a t s k y (after a short silence)

I try to come to reason, But I can't,

I listen but I do not understand.

As if I needed further explanation,

I'm at a loss... I'm in expectation...

(Passionately)

I'm blind! I wanted a reward

For all my efforts !... I just rushed along.

I hurried here for I thought

That happiness was close, but I was wrong.

The kind of a choice you've made. My goodness ! You !

Just think of whom you have preferred me to !

Whom did I talk to, humbly, lovingly, to-day ?

Why did I waste my words of tenderness in such a way ?

Why did you inspire hope in me ?

Why didn't you tell me openly

That you had turned the past to fun

And that your memories ignore

All we had felt and said and done?

I'm still feeling as before.

And neither travels nor diversions

Have killed my tenderest emotions.

I lived with them through thick and thin.

If you had told me that you hated everything:

My coming home, the way I talk,

The sight of me, the way I walk,

I should have broken off with you

And would not have tried of course,

To find out who your admirer was...

(With derision)

You'd better now put up with him.

What is the use of worrying?

Just make the most of him. Make him an errand boy,

A sort of a domestic envoy,

A husband and a page, a husband and a footman,

The dream of every Moscow gentleman.

Enough! I'm proud to have broken off with you. And you, sir, you hold rank in reverence.

I wish that you remained in blissful ignorance:

The aim of marrying Sofia I don't pursue.

There'll be another, a well behaved one,

A toady and a business-minded man.

With all those merits and with many more

He'll make an equal to his father-in-law.

So I'm enlightened. You should realize:

The dreams are over, and the scales are off my eyes.

Now I can have a bitter word

With you that used to court her

And with the whole wide world.

Where do I find myself by evil fortunes ?

How can I bear this crowd of torturers ?

They ostracize me! Curse me! All those story tellers !

Betrayers of love and enemies as well as

Ungainly connoisseurs and cunning laymen,

Malicious aged men and women

That grow discreet living on lies.

You all have made me known as a fool.

You're right: he will get out of the fire who

After remaining a day with you,

And breathing air with people of your kind

Will not get out of his mind.

Away from Moscow ! Catch me being here again !

I'll go around the world in search

Of a place with room for outraged feeling ! . .

The coach ! The coach !

(goes out)

Scene 15

All except Chatsky.

F a m u s o v

Well, he's off his head, you see ?

Now tell me seriously:

What did this madman talk about here ?

Calling me names ! Talking of Moscow threatingly !

Do you intend to ruin me, my love ?

Isn't my fate deplorable enough ?

My goodness !

What will countess

Marya Aleksevna say to this ?

T H E E N D
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