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A monologue from the play by Anton Chekhov
NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from Two Plays of Tchekhof. Trans. George Calderon. London: Grant Richards Ltd., 1912.
I bought it. Wait a bit; don’t hurry me; my head’s in a whirl; I can’t speak…. [Laughing] When we got to the sale, Derigánof was there already. Leoníd Andréyitch had only fifteen hundred pounds,
and Derigánof bid three thousand more than the mortgage right away. When I saw how things stood, I went for him and bid four thousand. He said four thousand five hundred.
I said five thousand five hundred. He went up by five hundreds, you see, and I went up by thousands…. Well, it was soon over. I bid nine thousand more than the mortgage, and got it; and now the cherry orchard is mine! Mine!
[Laughing] Heavens alive! Just think of it! The cherry orchard is mine! Tell me that I’m drunk; tell me that I’m off my head; tell me that it’s all a dream!… [Stamping his feet] Don’t laugh at me!
If only my father and my grandfather could rise from their graves and see the whole affair, how their Yermolái, their flogged and ignorant Yermolái, who used to run about barefooted in the winter,
how this same Yermolái had bought a property that hasn’t its equal for beauty anywhere in the whole world! I have bought the property where my father and grandfather were slaves, where they weren’t even allowed into the kitchen.
I’m asleep, it’s only a vision, it isn’t real…. ‘Tis the fruit of imagination, wrapped in the mists of ignorance. [Picking up a set of keys] She’s thrown down her keys; she wants to show that she’s no longer mistress here.
[Jingling them together] Well, what’s the odds? [Musicians can be heard tuning up] Hey, musicians play! I want to hear you. Come everyone and see Yermolái Lopákhin lay his axt to the cherry orchard, come and see the trees fall down!
We’ll fill the place with villas; our grandsons and great-grandsons shall see a new life here…. Strike up, music!