Griboyedov Alexander: другие произведения.

Woe From Wit

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  • Аннотация:
    A.S.Griboyedov WOE FROM WIT (A Four Act Comedy) Translated from the Russian by A.S.Vagapov, Pskov, Russia Now available in book form. Here is the site: http://www.ozon.ru/context/detail/id/6131334/


   A.S.Griboyedov
WOE FROM WIT
(A Four Act Comedy)

   Translated by A.S.Vagapov
   ? Translation, A.Vagapov, 1993



CAST:

   Pavel Afanasyevich Famusov, head of office
   Sofia Pavlovna, his daughter
   Lizzie, maid
   Alexey Stepanovich Molchalin, Famusov's secretary living in his house
   Alexander Andreyevich Chatsky
   Colonel Skalozub, Sergey Dmitriyevich
   The Goriches:
   Natalia Dmitriyevna, young lady
   Platon Mikhailovich, her husband
   Count Tugoukhovsky
   Countess, his wife with six daughters
   The Khryumins:
   Countess, the granny
   Countess, the daughter
   Anton Antonovich Zagoretsky
   Old Khlyostova, Famusov's sister-in-law
   Mr. N.
   Mr. D.
   Repetilov
   Petrushka 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.



ACT 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, then the music ceases. Lizzie is asleep hanging down from the armchair (It is morning. The day is just about to break.)
   Lizzie
   (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!
   (Sofia's voice):
   What time is it?
   Lizzie:
   The house is all in agitation.
   Sofia
   (from her room):
   What is the time?
   Lizzie:
   It is about seven, eight or nine...
   Sofia
   (from the same place):
   It isn't true.
   Lizzie
   (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 Famusov.
   Lizzie:
   It's you, sir ?
   Famusov:
   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.
   Lizzie:
   No, sir... For once...
   I did it quite by chance.
   Famusov:
   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!..
   Lizzie:
   Naughty yourself! The words you say
   Do not befit you, do they?
   Famusov:
   You're modest but the frivolous kind,
   Frivolities and mischief are all you have in mind.
   Lizzie:
   It's you who's frivolous, let go, will you?
   Compose yourself, old man.
   Famusov:
   I'm not quite old.
   Lizzie:
   Should somebody come in, what shall we do?
   Famusov:
   Who may come here now, uncalled?
   Is Sofia asleep?
   Lizzie:
   Just gone to bed.
   Famusov:
   Just now? And what about the night?
   Lizzie:
   She read.
   Famusov:
   The kind of whim she has, you see?
   Lizzie:
   She's reading there under lock and key.
   Famusov:
   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.
   Lizzie:
   When she gets up I'll tell her so,
   You'll wake her up, I'm afraid, please go.
   Famusov:
   I'll wake her up? Why, it is you not me
   Who starts the clock and makes it play a symphony.
   Lizzie
   (raising her voice):
   Now stop it, will you?
   Famusov
   (shutting her mouth):
   Why shout like that?
   Are you going mad?
   Lizzie:
   There's something wrong about it, I fear.
   Famusov:
   About what, my dear?
   Lizzie:
   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.
   Famusov:
   No, it's a lie.
   Sofia:
   (her voice comes from her room)
   Ah, Lizzie!
   Famusov:
   (quickly)
   Hush!
   (Tiptoeing out of the room hurriedly)
   Lizzie
   (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.
   Sofia
   What's up, Liz? You're making such a noise...
   Lizzie
   You find it hard to part, of course,
   Locked up all night -- it is enough, my lady.
   Sofia
   My, it's the break of day already!
   (puts out the candle)
   It's light and gloom. The night's so quick to pass!
   Lizzie
   You may be gloomy. And I feel much worse.
   Your father took me by surprise,
   I shifted, dodged and told him lies.
   (to Molchalin)
   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.
   Sofia
   Happiness takes no account of time.
   Lizzie
   You watch the time or not, it's up to you;
   I'm in for trouble, I shall get my due.
   Sofia
   (to Molchalin)
   Now you must go. We'll have another tedious day.
   Lizzie
   God bless you! Take your hands away!
   (Separates them; Molchalin runs into Famusov in the doorway)



Scene 4

   Sofia, Lizzie, Molchalin, Famusov.
   Famusov
   What a surprise! It's you, Molchalin?
   Molchalin
   Yes.
   Famusov
   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?
   Sofia
   He just came in.
   Molchalin
   I walked around, that is how.
   Famusov
   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.
   Sofia
   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.
   Famusov
   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?
   Sofia
   (through tears)
   Whom by?
   Famusov
   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.
   Lizzie
   May I?
   Famusov
   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!
   Sofia
   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.
   Famusov
   He got where he wanted, did he not?
   Why is he here, uninvited?
   Sofia
   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.
   Famusov
   She'll put the blame on me, it seems.
   I came out of time and got them caught!
   Sofia
   You caught me nodding, I had dreams.
   I'll tell you and you will understand.
   Famusov
   What dreams had you?
   Sofia
   Shall I tell you?
   Famusov
   (sits down)
   Yes, if you can.
   Sofia
   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.
   Famusov
   Don't talk to me about the poor.
   A poor man is not a match for you.
   Sofia
   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.
   Famusov
   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?
   Molchalin
   I heard you voice...
   Famusov
   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?
   Molchalin
   The papers, sir.
   Famusov
   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 tout 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.
   Molchalin
   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.
   Famusov
   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 exit. He makes way to Molchalin at the door)



Scene 5

   Sofia and Lizzie.
   Lizzie
   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.
   Sofia
   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.
   Lizzie
   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.
   Sofia
   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.
   Lizzie
   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.
   Sofia
   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.
   Lizzie
   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.
   Sofia
   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!
   Lizzie
   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...
   Sofia
   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.
   Lizzie
   What trip? Is Chatsky travelling far?
   They say, he took a treatment at a spa,
   It was a cure of idleness among the cripple.
   Sofia
   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?
   Lizzie
   Well, God knows.
   It's none of my affair.
   Sofia
   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?
   Lizzie
   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)
   Sofia
   (regretfully)
   People will gossip, upon my word!
   Lizzie
   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.
   Footman
   Alexander Andreyevich Chatsky.
   (Exits)



Scene 7

   Sofia, Lizzie, Chatsky.
   Chatsky
   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.
   Sofia
   No, Chatsky, it is nice to see you around.
   Chatsky
   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.
   Lizzie
   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.
   Sofia
   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.
   Chatsky
   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 madamme 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...
   Sofia
   It's childish.
   Chatsky
   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.
   Sofia
   Your curious look, your questions would embarrass anyone.
   Chatsky
   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.
   Sofia
   Now that you have seen the world
   It's Moscow you're up to scold.
   Well, where is a better place?
   Chatsky
   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.
   Sofia
   I'd bring my aunt and you together, so
   That you might count everyone you know.
   Chatsky
   Your auntie, is she still a virgin? Goddess Athens?
   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?
   Sofia
   He hasn't anyone.
   Chatsky
   Well, he could marry some nice duchess.
   Pulkheria Andreyevna he matches.
   Sofia
   A ballet dancer? No.
   Chatsky
   Yes, he's grand.
   One has to have a rank and own some land,
   Though Guilloment -- oh, by the way,
   Is there still a tendency today
   At meetings, public gathering, on stage
   To mix the Nizhny Novgorod dialect with French?
   Sofia
   A language mixture?
   Chatsky
   Yes, at least of two.
   Sofia
   To mix them into one the way you do?
   Chatsky
   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.
   Sofia
   (aside)
   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?
   Chatsky
   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.
   Sofia
   It will be nice
   If you get burnt,
   And if you don't?



Scene 8

   Sofia, Lizzie, Chatsky, Famusov.
   Famusov
   There's another one!
   Sofia
   A dream of prophecy.
   (Exits)
   Famusov
   (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)
   Famusov
   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)
   Chatsky
   (absent-mindedly)
   Well, Sofia Pavlovna has grown so pretty.
   Famusov
   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...
   Chatsky
   I rarely nourish hopes. I hardly ever do.
   Famusov
   'A dream of prophecy' the words fell on my ear.
   You're thinking of...
   Chatsky
   Me? I have no idea.
   Famusov
   What did she dream of? What is it?
   Chatsky
   I don't interpret dreams.
   Famusov
   No! Don't believe her! Not a bit!
   Chatsky
   I do believe my eyes. Upon my word!
   She is like no one in the world,
   A beauty from a fairy tale!
   Famusov
   Stop harping on it ! Tell us in detail,
   Where have you been? You travelled many years.
   Where are you from?
   Chatsky
   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!
   (Exits)



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!
   (Exits)

The End of Act I



ACT II

Scene 1

   Famusov, Footman.
   Famusov
   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.
   Famusov
   Oh, Alexander Andreyevich! Come, sit down!
   Chatsky
   I see you are engaged.
   Famusov
   (to the footman)
   You go.
   (The footman exits)
   It's next week's plan that we're putting down,
   Something may slip my mind, you know.
   Chatsky
   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 ?
   Famusov
   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?
   Chatsky
   Nobody wants you to, you see,
   I just inquired of you
   If Sofia Pavlovna was feeling well.
   Famusov
   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.
   Chatsky
   It's my affair.
   Famusov
   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.
   Chatsky
   If I propose to her, will you say no?
   Famusov
   Well, first, I should say this:
   You don't be reckless. Think of your estate,
   And what is most important: take up service.
   Chatsky
   I'd love to serve. Servility is what I hate.
   Famusov
   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!
   Chatsky
   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 modesty 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 s 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.
   Famusov
   My Lord! Good heavens! He is a suspect!
   Chatsky
   Today the world is different, really.
   Famusov
   He's dangerous.
   Chatsky
   One can breathe freely.
   Nobody wants to join the foolish crowd.
   Famusov
   He's talking like a book! What is he talking about?
   Chatsky
   They gather at the patron's house to gape and yawn,
   To sit in silence, dine and dance a waltz,
   To show their courtesy, sit up till dawn.
   Famusov
   Now. To preach liberties, that's what he wants.
   Chatsky
   Some travel. Others live in a country-house.
   Famusov
   He doesn't recognize the government of ours.
   Chatsky
   Well, he who serves a noble cause...
   Famusov
   For such a gentleman I'd close all doors
   And keep them miles away from our city.
   Chatsky
   I'll give you rest. Just out of pity...
   Famusov
   I cannot bear it. I'm vexed, impatient.
   Chatsky
   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.
   Famusov
   I've had enough! For you I'll shut the door,
   I shall not tolerate all this perversion any more!
   Chatsky
   I've had my say.
   Famusov
   All right. I have my ears shut.
   Chatsky
   Why should you? I mean no insult.
   Famusov
   (pattering)
   These idlers! Roam around the world,
   And on return they order us about.
   Chatsky
   I've finished now...
   Famusov
   Have mercy, my patience's running out.
   Chatsky
   I don't feel like disputing things.
   Famusov
   You might as well repent of sins.



Scene 3

   Footman
   (enters)
   Colonel Skalozub.
   Famusov
   (hears and sees nothing)
   You will be put to trial, mind.
   Chatsky
   Somebody wants to see you. A man of note.
   Famusov
   I don't hear anything. He must be tried!
   Chatsky
   There's a man with a report.
   Famusov
   I am not listening. He must be tried, tried, tried!
   Chatsky
   There's a man behind.
   Famusov
   (he turns round)
   What's that? A mutiny? I should expect so!
   Footman
   Colonel Skalozub. He's here I mean.
   Famusov
   (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 exits)
   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

   Chatsky
   He's so fussy. There's so much whim.
   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.
   Famusov
   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.
   Skalozub
   (in a low voice)
   Don't do it. Let me do it, please.
   An officer of honour, I'm feeling ill at ease.
   Famusov
   Sergey Sergeyevich, my dear,
   Let me do something for a friend;
   Your hat, your sword, just put them here,
   You may stretch out on this bed.
   Skalozub
   It doesn't matter where I sit.
   (all sit down, Chatsky at a distance)
   Famusov
   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?
   Skalozub
   I'm sorry, I have no idea,
   We never served together, for all I know.
   Famusov
   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.
   Exeptions? 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.
   Skalozub
   In 1813 we cut our teeth,
   First in the 13th regiment, then in the 45th.
   Famusov
   One should be proud of a son like you.
   You have an order, haven't you?
   Skalozub
   It's for the August fight. We were in a trench,
   He got one on a band, I got this for a change.
   Famusov
   He's amiable, smart, as for as I can see.
   A brilliant man your cousin seems to be.
   Skalozub
   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...
   Famusov
   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.
   Skalozub
   I'm a lucky man, you see?
   There's right now a vacancy.
   Some seniors fall in battle,
   Others are cast out of saddle.
   Famusov
   Yes, God gives everyone his due.
   Skalozub
   Some people get on better that I do;
   In the fifteenth division there's a man,
   The brigadier general, to mention only one.
   Famusov
   You have got everything, haven't you?
   Skalozub
   I can't complain. Though it's two years, my friend,
   That I have strived for the regiment.
   Famusov
   There's no occasion for regret
   For I should say, in some respect
   Your rivals you have outdone.
   Skalozub
   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.
   Famusov
   I share your judgement, and I wish you health,
   I also wish you generalship, wealth.
   And then... why should you put it off? --
   It's time to think of your better half.
   Skalozub
   To marry? I don't care if I do.
   Famusov
   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.
   Skalozub
   A city of tremendous size and space.
   Famusov
   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 fiancИ.'
   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 indispensible 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.
   Skalozub
   As far as I can judge,
   To a large extent the fire made it such.
   Famusov
   Don't talk about the fire. Don't tease.
   So much has changed ever since:
   The roads, the houses, the pavements and all . . .
   Chatsky
   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.
   Famusov
   (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.
   Chatsky
   Can't you feel sorry for some other one?
   I am annoyed to hear all your praise.
   Famusov
   Well, anybody would condemn you in my place.
   Chatsky
   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 Zephirs 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 Zephirs 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 shyness 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.
   Famusov
   (to himself)
   He'll let me down, I'm sure.
   (aloud)
   Sergey Sergeyich, I shall go,
   There in my room for you I'll wait.
   (Exits)



Scene 6

   Chatsky, Skalozub.
   Skalozub
   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.
   Sofia
   (runs to the window)
   My God! He's fallen down! He's dead!
   (faints)
   Chatsky
   Who's that?
   Skalozub
   Who is in trouble?
   Chatsky
   She so scared!
   Skalozub
   Who on earth is it?
   Chatsky
   He's hurt. Is he in good shape?
   Skalozub
   Is it our old boy who's got into a scrape?
   Lizzie
   (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.
   Skalozub
   Poor rider! Must have pulled the reins too tight.
   Did he fall down on his breast or on his side?
   (Exits)



Scene 8

   The same people except Skalozub.
   Chatsky
   How can we help her? Tell me, Lizz.
   Lizzie
   There's water over there...
   (Chatsky runs to fetch water. All speak in a low voice until Sofia regains consciousness)
   Pour out a glass!
   Chatsky
   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?
   Lizzie
   Yes, here you are.
   Chatsky
   Look out!
   Molchalin has come round!
   Lizzie
   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.
   Chatsky
   Go on with sprinkling.
   There!
   Sofia
   (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?
   Chatsky
   Whatever happened, never mind!
   He nearly killed you. It serves him right.
   Sofia
   You're killing me with coldness, you!
   I cannot bear the sight of you!
   Chatsky
   Do you expect me to shed tears?
   Sofia
   Go there and help him, if you please.
   Chatsky
   To leave you on your own here?
   Sofia
   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.
   Lizzie
   (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)
   Chatsky
   The way she took it! Fright. Confusion. Faint.
   One only feels that way, I understand.
   About the loss of a dearest friend.
   Sofia
   They're coming here. He cannot raise his hand.
   Chatsky
   I wish I had got killed with him.
   Sofia
   Just keep your wishes to yourself, if you have any.



Scene 9

   Sofia, Lizzie, Chatsky, Skalozub, Molchalin (with his bad arm bandaged)
   Skalozub
   He's alive again.
   He got away with a little pain.
   It was a false alarm, just a mistake.
   Molchalin
   I frightened you. Forgive me for God's sake.
   Skalozub
   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.
   Sofia
   (looking aside)
   Although I know that all is safe
   I'm still shaking in my shoes.
   Chatsky
   (to himself)
   It seems, Molchalin is excused.
   Sofia
   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.
   Chatsky
   (to himself)
   She's making her apology
   For having pitied somebody.
   Skalozub
   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.
   Sofia
   Andrey Andreyich, take my tip!
   You're a generous man. When people are in need,
   You're a friend indeed.
   Chatsky
   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 exits)



Scene 10

   The same people except Chatsky.
   Sofia
   We have a gathering tonight. Will you join us?
   Skalozub
   What time?
   Sofia
   Come early, there'll be friends,
   To piano music we shall dance.
   We're in mourning. So for a ball there's no chance.
   Skalozub
   I'm engaged. Yet I will come tonight.
   I must be off.
   Sofia
   Good bye.
   Skalozub
   (shaking Molchalin's hands)
   I'm your man.
   (Exits)



Scene 11

   Sofia, Lizzie, Molchalin.
   Sofia
   Molchalin, I have lost 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.
   Molchalin
   I've dressed it and it doesn't ache.
   Lizzie
   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.
   Sofia
   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.
   Molchalin
   No, Sofia Pavlovna, you're too blunt.
   Sofia
   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.
   Molchalin
   Well, if you hold you tongue, they won't.
   Sofia
   Will you be challenged to a duel? I hope not.
   Molchalin
   The vicious tongues, they are more frightful than a pistol shot.
   Lizzie
   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.
   Molchalin
   I don't advise you anything.
   (kisses her hand)
   Sofia
   I'll do it against my will. Although
   I cannot feign pretence, I think.
   What did God bring this Chatsky here for?
   (Exits)



Scene 12

   Lizzie, Molchalin.
   Molchalin
   You're such a happy creature, you!
   Lizzie
   Leave me alone. Without me you're two.
   Molchalin
   You're such a beauty!
   I love you so!
   Lizzie
   And Sofia, too?
   Molchalin
   I love her out of duty,
   I love you...
   (wants to embrace her)
   Lizzie
   Out of boredom. Be off with you!
   Molchalin
   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.
   Lizzie
   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?
   Molchalin
   I'm not well. My arm is dressed, you see?
   At dinner time, when we're two,
   I shall confine the truth to you.
   (Exits through the side door)



Scene 13

   Lizzie, Sofia.
   Sofia
   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.
   (Exits to her room.)



Scene 14

   Lizzie.
   Lizzie
   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.

The End of Act II





ACT III



Scene 1

   Chatsky, then Sofia.
   Chatsky
   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.
   Sofia
   (to herself)
   It is too bad.
   Chatsky
   It isn't me you were looking for, is it?
   Sofia
   I didn't look for you.
   Chatsky
   Maybe, it isn't fit
   That I should ask you. Tell me, be so kind,
   Whom do you love?
   Sofia
   Good heavens! All mankind.
   Chatsky
   And whom do you prefer?
   Sofia
   Well, there are relatives...
   Chatsky
   You love me most of all!
   Sofia
   Some of them, that is.
   Chatsky
   What do I hope for, when all is done?
   I'm prepared to kill myself while she's having fun.
   Sofia
   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...
   Chatsky
   I'm a funny man, you mean to say?
   Sofia
   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.
   Chatsky
   I'm queer! All men are queer as rule.
   He isn't queer who's like a fool.
   Molchalin, for example...
   Sofia
   Well, it isn't new to me;
   You make no bones about pouring out your acidity.
   I hate to bother you. I'll leave.
   Chatsky
   (holding her back)
   Don't go.
   (Aside)
   For once I'll make believe.
   (aloud)
   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.
   Sofia
   (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.
   Chatsky
   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.
   Sofia
   No, it does not apply to him.
   Molchalin wouldn't really seem
   To you so boring, if you knew him well.
   Chatsky
   (with passion)
   Why did you get to know him well?
   Sofia
   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.
   Chatsky
   Playing all day!
   He doesn't contradict when they're wrong!
   (Aside)
   No, she does not respect him, I should say.
   Sofia
   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?
   Chatsky
   Is moral and satire the meaning of this all?
   (aside)
   She doesn't care for him at all!
   Sofia
   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.
   Chatsky
   (aside)
   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.
   Sofia
   Not of my novel anyway.
   Chatsky
   Not of you novel? It's hard to find you out.



Scene 2

   Chatsky, Sofia, Lizzie.
   Lizzie
   (in a whisper)
   Alexander Stepanych is about
   To come in. He's here to see you.
   Sofia
   I'm sorry, I must take to flight.
   Chatsky
   Where to?
   Sofia
   The hair dresser. While the curling irons are hot.
   Chatsky
   So what?
   Sofia
   We are expecting visitors tonight.
   Chatsky
   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, exits and locks the door. Lizzie follows her.)



Scene 3

   Chatsky, Molchalin.
   Chatsky
   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 Stepanych, you and me
   Didn't have time to have a chat.
   How are you? Not too bad?
   No cares? No troubles now?
   Molchalin
   Just like before.
   Chatsky
   I'm asking 'how?'
   Molchalin
   Day in, day out -- all the same.
   Chatsky
   From playing cards to writing then to cards again?
   Then waiting for the turns of tides?
   Molchalin
   I do my best, without big words,
   Since I've been working in the Archives
   I have received three high awards.
   Chatsky
   You're a man of honour and importance?
   Molchalin
   No, everybody has his own gift...
   Chatsky
   You, too?
   Molchalin
   Yes, I have two:
   Painstakingness and confidence.
   Chatsky
   Two finest gifts. They equal all our gifts combined.
   Molchalin
   Have you not been successful? Haven't you ranks of any kind?
   Chatsky
   The ranks are given by human beings, --
   They make mistakes. I have misgivings.
   Molchalin
   We were so surprised!
   Chatsky
   Why should you?
   Molchalin
   We were sorry for you.
   Chatsky
   You didn't need to.
   Molchalin
   Tatyana Yuryevna once mentioned
   On her return from Petersburg
   That you had some kind of relation
   With ministers. It didn't work...
   Chatsky
   It's none of her affair.
   Molchalin
   Tatyana Yuryevna!
   Chatsky
   We're not acquainted, I don't care.
   Molchalin
   Tatyana Yuryevna!
   Chatsky
   That woman I have never seen
   I hear she is silly.
   Molchalin
   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.
   Chatsky
   What do I need it for?
   Molchalin
   You see you may...
   Get unexpected backing and protection.
   Chatsky
   Sometimes I visit women but not with that intention.
   Molchalin
   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 shouldn't you stay in Moscow, really?
   You'd get awards and live quite merrily.
   Chatsky
   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.
   Molchalin
   It's not a crime, as far as I can see,
   There's Foma Fomich. You know the man?
   Chatsky
   So what?
   Molchalin
   Under three ministers he was the head of a board,
   He's been transferred down here...
   Chatsky
   Oh dear!
   A stupid man. One of the silliest men I know.
   Molchalin
   You don't say so!
   He's the model of eloquence!
   Have you read his books?
   Chatsky
   I don't read nonsense.
   And model nonsense all the more so.
   Molchalin
   No, really. I've read his books and I enjoyed them, too.
   I'm no writer...
   Chatsky
   No, it's plain to see.
   Molchalin
   I'm not brave enough to form my own point of view.
   Chatsky
   Why are you holding back, tell me.
   Molchalin
   I am just a young man and...
   I mustn't have my own judgement.
   Chatsky
   We are no children. Why, should we...
   Respect other men's views only.
   Molchalin
   We must depend on others, you and I.
   Chatsky
   Why should we?
   Molchalin
   We are low rank people, that is why.
   Chatsky
   (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 Dmitrevna, 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
   Natalia Dmitriyevna
   If I'm not mistaken, this is...
   Alexandr Andreyich, is it really you? Oh yes!
   Chatsky
   You're staring at me in such a way.
   Can I have changed so much in these three years?
   Natalia Dmitriyevna
   I thought you were far away.
   When did you come?
   Chatsky
   Today.
   Natalia Dmitriyevna
   For long?
   Chatsky
   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.
   Natalia Dmitriyevna
   I'm married.
   Chatsky
   You should have said it right away.
   Natalia Dmitriyevna
   My husband is a gorgeous man. He's coming in.
   I'll introduce him to you, if you want.
   Chatsky
   I do.
   Natalia Dmitriyevna
   There's something you will like about him,
   Just look and judge, I don't know what.
   Chatsky
   I do believe you. He's your husband, you are tied.
   Natalia Dmitriyevna
   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
   Natalia Dmitriyevna
   Meet Platon Mikhailovich.
   Chatsky
   My stars!
   A good old friend of mine! Oh what a chance!
   Platon Mihkaylovich
   Hello, my brother Chatsky!
   Chatsky
   Platon, my dear,
   Congratulations on your good behaviour.
   Platon Mihkaylovich
   Now, as you see, my friend,
   I've ended up in Moscow in the end.
   Chatsky
   Have you forgotten brothers, friends, the camping ballyhoo?
   Platon Mihkaylovich
   Not really, I have some things to do,
   I play a duet on my flute, I love it so.
   It's in 'la' flat.
   Chatsky
   The same old tune you played five years ago?
   You don't change tastes. It is a good merit.
   Platon Mihkaylovich
   You will remember me when you get married,
   Out of idleness you'll play the same old melody.
   Chatsky
   Do you give way to idleness, my dear?
   Natalia Dmitriyevna
   My husband does a lot
   Of what they don't do nowadays:
   Horse-riding, training... sometimes he's bored.
   Chatsky
   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?
   Natalia Dmitriyevna
   Well, you see, Platon Mikhailovich is not healthy.
   Chatsky
   Do you mean he's fallen ill? May I know when?
   Natalia Dmitriyevna
   He has a headache and a backache now and then.
   Chatsky
   Go to the country. Do more exercise,
   In summer the country-side is a paradise.
   Natalia Dmitriyevna
   Platon Mikhailovich prefers
   The city to a god forsaken place.
   Chatsky
   The city. Moscow... You're strange.
   Do you recall the past?
   Platon Mihkaylovich
   Yes, but things have changed.
   Natalia Dmitriyevna
   My dear,
   It's cool in here,
   You had best
   Button your clothes, your suit, your vest.
   Platon Mihkaylovich
   I'm not the man I used to be...
   Natalia Dmitriyevna
   Look here,
   Darling, you must get buttoned anyway.
   Platon Mihkaylovich
   (speaking calmly)
   Yes.
   Natalia Dmitriyevna
   Get out of the doorway,
   There's a draught there coming from behind.
   Platon Mihkaylovich
   I'm not the man I used to be...
   Natalia Dmitriyevna
   Darling, be so kind,
   Get out of the doorway. Don't stand near.
   Platon Mihkaylovich
   (rolling up his eyes)
   Oh, woman!
   Chatsky
   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...
   Platon Mihkaylovich
   Yes, brother. Those were the days, indeed!



Scene 7

   The same people, Count Tugouhovsky and the countess with their six daughters.
   Natalia Dmitriyevna
   (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)
   1st countess
   Oh, what a vogue!
   2nd countess
   The folds, the pleats!
   1st countess
   The fringes! Everything matches!
   Natalia Dmitriyevna
   No, have a look at my charming satin cloak!
   3rd countess
   Look at my scarf, my brother cousin's present!
   4th countess
   Oh yes!
   5th countess
   It's lovely, isn't it?
   6th countess
   It's a woollen one.
   Countess
   Hush.
   Who's that gentleman? He's so pleasant...
   Natalia Dmitriyevna
   A stranger. Chatsky.
   Countess
   A r-retired man?
   Natalia Dmitriyevna
   Yes, he's been travelling. He's just back home, you see...
   Countess
   And he is not mar-r-ried yet, is he?
   Natalia Dmitriyevna
   He isn't.
   Countess
   Count, come here, be quick!
   Count
   (turns his ear-trumpet to her and groans)
   Ohkm!
   Countess
   I ask you to invite
   Natalia Dmitriyevna's acquaintance to our party,
   Tuesday night.
   Count
   Ahkm!
   (goes up to Chatsky, hangs around him and coughs from time to time)
   Countess
   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?
   Natalia Dmitriyevna
   Well, no.
   Countess
   Is he well off?
   Natalia Dmitriyevna
   Well, no.
   Countess
   (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.
   Countess, the Granddaughter
   Oh grandmamma! We've come too early, I think.
   We are the first to come.
   Natalia Dmitriyevna
   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.
   Countess, the Granddaughter
   (on returning she turns her lorgnette to Chatsky)
   So you're back, Messeur Chatsky! How are you?
   As you were?
   Chatsky
   Why should I change?
   Countess, the Granddaughter
   Did you get married there?
   Chatsky
   Whom should I marry?
   Countess, the Granddaughter
   If you have hopes...
   Our people marry there with no procrastination,
   They let us enter family relations
   With needle-women from nice fashions shops.
   Chatsky
   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.
   Countess, the Granddaughter
   Eh! bon soir! vous voila! Jamais trop diligente,
   Vous nous donner toujours le plaisir de l'attente.
   Zagoretsky
   (to Sofia)
   Have you a ticket for tomorrow's show?
   Sofia
   No.
   Zagoretsky
   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.
   Sofia
   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).
   Zagoretsky
   Platon Mihkaylich...
   Platon Mihkaylovich
   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 Antonych Zagoretsky is his name.
   Beware of him, he's indiscreet,
   And don't play cards with him -- he'll cheat.
   Zagoretsky
   He never bears malice though he's pert.
   Chatsky
   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.
   Platon Mihkaylovich
   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.
   Khlyostova
   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.
   Sofia
   No, not now.
   Khlyostova
   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.
   Chatsky
   (to Platon Mihkailovich, roaring with laughter)
   One has to pay for such a praise,
   And Zagoretsky's run away, to save his face.
   Khlyostova
   Who's the cheerful man? Is he respectable enough?
   Sofia
   This here one? It's Chatsky.
   Khlyostova
   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.
   Famusov
   (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!
   Khlyostova
   Good heavens! You're rumbling louder than a tube.



Scene 12

   The same people and Skalozub, then Molchalin enters.
   Famusov
   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.
   Khlyostova
   You were here... in the regiment of... grenadiers?
   Skalozub
   (in a loud voice)
   You mean Novozemlyansk, the regiment of musketeers?
   It was her majesty's subunit -- quite another story.
   Khlyostova
   I don't distinguish regiments, I'm sorry.
   Skalozub
   There is a difference in full-dress coats,
   The shoulder loops, the tabs and shirts.
   Famusov
   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)
   Khlyostova
   (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.
   Molchalin
   (giving her a card)
   Your party will be monsieur Kock,
   Foma Fomich and I.
   Khlyostova
   Thank you, old bloke.
   (raises)
   Molchalin
   Your spits is lovely. Small and sleek.
   I patted him. He is as smooth as silk.
   Khlyostova
   Thank you, my dear.
   (goes out followed by Molchalin and many others)



Scene 13

   Chatsky, Sofia and some strangers, who gradually disperse.
   Chatsky
   Well, he has cleared the atmosphere...
   Sofia
   Please don't go on.
   Chatsky
   What makes you fear?
   I meant to praise him for he had commended
   The angry guest.
   Sofia
   With bitter words you would have ended.
   Chatsky
   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.
   (Exits)



Scene 14

   Sofia, then Mr. N.
   Sofia
   (to herself)
   This man, he always puts me out,
   He's angry, envious and proud,
   He is the humiliating kind!
   Mr. N.
   (coming up to her)
   I see, you are lost in thought.
   Sofia
   It's Chatsky.
   Mr. N.
   Has he changed? Or what?
   Sofia
   He is insane.
   Mr. N.
   Oh! Has he lost his mind?
   Sofia
   Not quite...
   Mr. N.
   But are there any indications?
   Sofia
   (stares at him)
   I think so.
   Mr. N.
   Oh at his age? How come? Good gracious!
   Sofia
   Well, nothing can be done.
   (Aside)
   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.
   (Exits)



Scene 15

   Mr N then Mr D
   Mr N.
   He's mad!... That's what she thinks!... My eyes!
   There must be reasons... It can't be otherwise.
   You heard the news?
   Mr D.
   What news?
   Mr N.
   About Chatsky.
   Mr D.
   No.
   Mr N.
   He's off his head!
   Mr D.
   I don't think so.
   Mr N.
   I'm telling you what others say.
   Mr D.
   And now you are getting out of your way
   To spread the news, my dear.
   Mr N.
   I'll go and ask if someone knows it here.
   (Exits)



Scene 16

   Mr D. then Zagoretsky.
   Mr D.
   Believe the tattler! He'll repeat
   Just any nonsense coming to his ear.
   You know about Chatsky?
   Zagoretsky
   What is it?
   Mr D.
   He's mad!
   Zagoretsky
   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.
   Mr D.
   Why, he was here just now, here in this room.
   Zagoretsky
   They have unchained him, I presume.
   Mr 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.
   Zagoretsky
   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?
   Countess, the Granddaughter
   Of whom?
   Zagoretsky
   Of Chatsky, he was here in the room.
   Countess, the granddaughter
   I know, we had a chat.
   Zagoretsky
   Congratulation!
   He is mad.
   Countess, the granddaughter
   What?
   Zagoretsky
   Yes, he's mad.
   Countess, the granddaughter
   Imagine, I myself have noticed that;
   I bet we said it with one voice.



Scene 18

   The same people and countess, the grandmother.
   Countess, the granddaughter
   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!
   Countess, the grandmother
   (Speaking with a strong French accent)
   Will you speak louder, my friend, I cannot hear?
   I have my ears stuffed...
   Countess, the granddaughter
   No time, my dear!
   (points to Zagoretsky)
   Il vous dira toute l'histoire...
   I'll ask...
   (exits)



Scene 19

   Zagoretsky, Countess, the grandmother.
   Countess, the grandmother
   What's that? Is there a fire?
   Zagoretsky
   For all this turmoil Chatsky is the reason.
   Countess, the grandmother
   Did you say Chatsky? Who has put the man to prison?
   Zagoretsky
   He had his forehead wounded, and he lost his head.
   Countess, the grandmother
   He's a freemason, unfaithful, is that what you said?
   Zagoretsky
   No use to talk to her.
   (Exits)
   Countess, the grandmother
   Anton Antonych, dear!
   Now there he comes. He's hurrying. He's in fear.



Scene 20

   Countess, the grandmother and Count Tugoukhovsky.
   Countess, the grandmother
   Count, count! This count attends
   All balls, though he can hardly breathe.
   You, count, did you hear me?
   Count
   Ah-hm?
   Countess, the grandmother
   He's hard to talk with,
   At least you saw the policeman nearby?
   Count
   Eh-hm?
   Countess, the grandmother
   Who was this Chatsky imprisoned by?
   Count
   Weh-hm?
   Countess, the grandmother
   Give him a haversack! Let him go soldiering!
   He breaks the law! Isn't he daring?
   Count
   Uh-hm?
   Countess, the grandmother
   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.
   Khlyostova
   He's off his head! I beg to state it.
   It is so sudden! So unexpected!
   Did you hear it, Sofia?
   Platon Mikhailovitch
   Who made it known? You?
   Natalya Dmitriyevna
   Oh, dear, everybody.
   Platon Mikhailovitch
   Then you don't doubt. As for me, I do.
   Famusov
   (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.
   Khlyostova
   He is always making fun of us.
   He burst out laughing when I mentioned gifts.
   Molchalin
   He talked me out of working in the Archives.
   Countess, the granddaughter
   And as for me I was compared with modistes.
   Natalya Dmitriyevna
   He told my husband he should settle in the country-house.
   Zagoretsky
   All things considered he is mad.
   Countess, the granddaughter
   I judge it from his eyes.
   Famusov
   He takes after his mother. No surprise!
   She's known to have lost mind a half a dozen times.
   Khlyostova
   Strange things can happen in this world,
   A man his age should turn insane!
   He must have drunk from young.
   Countess
   It's true!..
   Countess, the granddaughter
   No doubt. Upon my word!
   Khlyostova
   He would drink glasses of champagne!
   Natalya Dmitriyevna
   He drank it by the bottle!
   Zagoretsky
   (with passion)
   No!
   It's by the barrel for all I know.
   Famusov
   Well, drinking isn't bad as such,
   A man may drink a drop too much td
   It's education that's to blame
   That many people go insane.
   There are so many mental cases, views, ideas, really!
   Khlyostova
   These boarding schools, lyceums and all that,
   As well this Lancaster teaching theory,
   They all can easily drive you mad.
   Countess
   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.
   Skalozub
   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.
   Famusov
   Sergey Sergeyich! No! To nip it in the bud
   I'd take all books and burn them up like that!
   Zagoretsky
   (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.
   Khlyostova
   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.
   Famusov
   Four hundred.
   Khlyostova
   Three, sir.
   Famusov
   Four.
   Khlyostova
   No! Three.
   Famusov
   My calendar...
   Khlyostova
   The calendars are never right.
   Famusov
   Four hundred men! Stop arguing with me!
   Khlyostova
   No, three! I know other people property!
   Famusov
   Four hundred, do you understand me?
   Khlyostova
   No, three hundred! Three, three, three.



Scene 22

   The same people and Chatsky.
   Natalia Dmitriyevna
   Now there he is!
   Countess, the granddaughter
   Hush!
   Everybody
   Hush!
   (Stepping back from him.)
   Khlyostova
   He'll make a fuss!
   He'll want to have it out with us
   Famusov
   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.
   Chatsky
   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.
   Khlyostova
   He's blaming Moscow, do you hear?
   Famusov
   We'd better keep away from him.
   (makes signs to Sofia)
   Hm, Sofia has shut her ears.
   Sofia
   (to Chatsky)
   What makes you angry, tell us, please?
   Chatsky
   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, gray-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 "madamme", "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)

The 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.
   Footman
   The coach of Khryumina!
   Countess, the granddaughter
   (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!
   Countess, the grandmother
   I'm tired, darling, let's get under way.
   I'll go to grass straight from the ball some day.
   (Both exit the house)



Scene 2

   Platon Mikhailovich and Natalia Dmitriyevna. One footman is bustling around, another shouts from the porch:
   The coach of Gorich!
   Natalia Dmitriyevna
   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!
   Platon Mikhailovitch
   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.
   Natalia Dmitriyevna
   You make pretence, you're not good at it;
   You want to be reputed to be old
   Unable to activity.
   (Exits accompanied by the footman)
   Platon Mikhailovitch
   (speaking coldly)
   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...
   The footman
   The mistress! She's waiting in the coach. She's angry.
   Platon Mikhailovitch
   (with a sigh)
   All right, all right, I'm coming.
   (Exits)



Scene 3

   Chatsky and the Footman accompanying him.
   Chatsky
   Tell them to bring the coach immediately.
   (The footman exits)
   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, greetings, hugging -- 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?
   The footman
   Well, the coachman is out of sight.
   Chatsky
   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)
   Repetilov
   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...
   Chatsky
   Stop talking nonsense! And don't lie!
   Repetilov
   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.
   Chatsky
   Or what a queer self abasement!
   Repetilov
   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?
   Chatsky
   Since you are here for the ball you may
   Go home. It will be over in an hour.
   Repetilov
   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?..
   Chatsky
   And have you read it? Say,
   You, Repetilov? Tell me really.
   Repetilov
   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!
   Chatsky
   I say! You ought to know the limits when you lie!
   There's a reason to be filled with grief.
   Repetilov
   You may congratulate me for I know
   Most clever people now. I'm not bored any more.
   Chatsky
   Do you feel bored tonight?
   Repetilov
   Not just tonight. Do you know where I was?
   Chatsky
   Well, I suppose,
   You were in a club.
   Repetilov
   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?
   Chatsky
   My dear friend, you scare me.
   Where is it? In the Club?
   Repetilov
   Oh yes.
   Chatsky
   There are extraordinary measures
   About chucking all of you with all your secrets out.
   Repetilov
   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!
   Chatsky
   I do not care for them, nor you. Where shall I go?
   Why should I? In the dead of night? Well, no.
   Repetilov
   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.
   Chatsky
   Why be so frantic? What's the goal?
   Repetilov
   We make a noise, my brother.
   Chatsky
   Noise? Well, is that all?
   Repetilov
   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'tmuch to say about these two,
   But I can name our genius, if you want me to,
   It is Udushyev Ippolit Martynych.
   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...
   The footman
   (standing at the porch)
   The coach of Skalozub!
   Repetilov
   Who's coach you said?



Scene 5

   The same people and Skalozub. He comes down the stairs.
   Repetilov
   (stepping towards him)
   Ah Skalozub, my dear friend!
   Wait, wait. Don't go away.
   (Hugging him.)
   Chatsky
   Where shall I go?
   (goes into the porters' lodge)
   Repetilov
   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 campaign up to the chin,
   Then they will teach you something you and I
   Would never think of, or imagine.
   Skalozub
   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 Voltaire 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.
   Repetilov
   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.
   His 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
   Zagoretsky
   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.
   Repetilov
   (with regret)
   All are apart! And all keep mute!
   If someone leaves, the other follows suit.
   First Chatsky vanished, then the colonel did.
   Zagoretsky
   What do you think of Chatsky?
   Repetilov
   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.
   Zagoretsky
   And did you notice that
   He's sort of mad?
   Repetilov
   It's rubbish!
   Zagoretsky
   Everybody says so.
   Repetilov
   No, it's a lie!
   Zagoretsky
   Ask people.
   Repetilov
   No.
   Zagoretsky
   Oh there they come: the count, the countess
   And their daughters.
   Repetilov
   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.
   Zagoretsky
   Now, ladies, tell me, if you please,
   Is Chatsky mad?
   1st countess
   No doubt, he is.
   2nd countess
   Well, anyone will tell you that.
   3rd countess
   The Dryanskys, the Varlyanskys,
   The Khvorovs, the Skatchkovs.
   4th countess
   It isn't new for everybody knows.
   5th countess
   Who doubts then?
   Zagoretsky
   This here man does not believe.
   6th countess
   You!
   All together
   Messeur Repetilov! You! Messeur Repetilov is it true?
   How can you be against us all?
   Why should you? Don't feel ashamed at all?
   Repetilov
   (shuts his ears)
   I didn't know it was so open, sorry.
   The countess
   He is a dangerous man,
   Don't listen to his story.
   It is about time to lock him in,
   I think he's a Jacobine.
   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?
   Khlyostova
   (from the stair)
   The cards. You didn't pay the debt.
   Countess
   I owe you.
   Everybody
   (to one another)
   Far you well.
   (The family departs, so does Zagoretsky.)



Scene 8

   Repetilov, Khlyostova, Molchalin.
   Repetilov
   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?
   Khlyostova
   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.
   Goodbye! It's time to come to reason.
   (Molchalin goes into his room. She departs.)



Scene 9

   Repetilov and his footman.
   Repetilov
   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.
   Chatsky
   (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.
   Sofia
   (above the stair, candle in hand)
   It's you, Molchalin?
   (closes the door quickly)
   Chatsky
   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.
   His footman
   (from the porch)
   The cab... You need...
   Chatsky
   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.
   Lizzie
   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).
   Lizzie
   You, sir, you heart of stone, thick skin!
   Molchalin
   Ah Lizzie! Who sent you over here?
   Lizzie
   The lady.
   Molchalin
   There's one thing I'm thinking of:
   These cheeks, these veins and all
   Have not yet seen the flush of love.
   What makes you want to be at beck and call?
   Lizzie
   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.
   Molchalin
   The wedding? Whom with?
   Lizzie
   With the lady.
   Molchalin
   There's room for hope before the wedding.
   Lizzie
   But sir!
   Is there any other fiancИ?
   Molchalin
   Who knows? I'm scared to think
   About one thing:
   I'm afraid that Pavel Afanasiych 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.
   Sofia
   (aside)
   Oh what a wicked man!
   Chatsky
   (from behind the column)
   A scoundrel he is!
   Lizzie
   Aren't you ashamed?
   Molchalin
   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.
   Lizzie
   They are all guardians of yours.
   Molchalin
   Now I pretend to be a lover
   To please the daughter of one of those...
   Lizzie
   The one that feeds you, gives you cover?
   Sometimes ranks, too?
   Well, that will do.
   Molchalin
   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)
   Sofia
   (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.
   Molchalin
   Why Sofia Pavlovna...
   Sofia
   Don't say a word.
   I can do anything. Don't talk, for goodness sake.
   Molchalin
   (falls down on his knees, Sofia pushes him away)
   Remember please! Have mercy. Look and see!
   Sofia
   I don't remember anything. Forget me!
   Molchalin
   (grovels at her feet)
   Have pity...
   Sofia
   Don't be mean. Get up. You wretched thing.
   I don't want any answer. For I know
   You'll tell a lie again...
   Molchalin
   Have mercy...
   Sofia
   No. No. No.
   Molchalin
   I said it just for fun... don't make a fuss...
   Sofia
   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.
   Molchalin
   Well, as you wish.
   Sofia
   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...
   Chatsky
   (comes up quickly between them)
   Yes, you pretender!
   Lizzie and Sofia
   Oh! Oh!
   (Lizzie drops the candle out of fright. Molchalin goes into his room.)



Scene 13

   The same people, except Molchalin.
   Chatsky
   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 scarified!
   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 hurtful men! The scourge!
   Molchalins are as pleased as Punch!
   Sofia
   (in tears)
   Don't speak. It is my fault through and through,
   But who could think he was so cunning!
   Lizzie
   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.
   Famusov
   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.
   Chatsky
   (to Sofia)
   So is it you whom I should thank for all this lie?
   Famusov
   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 lazy bone!
   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.
   Chatsky
   (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, today?
   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!
   (Exits)



Scene 15

   All except Chatsky.
   Famusov
   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 threateningly!
   Do you intend to ruin me, my love?
   Isn't my fate deplorable enough?
   My goodness!
   What will countess
   Marya Aleksevna say to this?



THE END

  

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