THE LOWER DEPTHS – Monologue (Nastya)

A monologue from the play by Maxim Gorky

NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from The Moscow Art Theatre Series of Plays. Ed. Oliver M. Sayler. New York: Brantanos, 1922.


At night he came into the garden. I had been waiting for him quite awhile. I trembled with fear and grief–he trembled, too . . .

he was a white as chalk–and he had the pistol in his hand . . . and he says to me in a dreadful voice: “My precious darling …

My one and only love,” he says, “my parents,” he says, “refuse to give their consent to our wedding–and threaten to disown me because of my love for you.

Therefore,” he says, “I must take my life.” And his pistol was huge–and loaded with ten bullets . . . “Farewell,” he says,

“beloved comrade! I have made up my mind for good and all . . . I can’t live without you . . .” and I replied: “My unforgettable friend–my Raoul–joy of my life!

My bright moon! I, too, I can’t live without you–because I love you madly, so madly–and I shall keep on loving you as long as my heart beats in my bosom.

But–” I say–“don’t take your young life! Think how necessary it is to your dear parents whose only happiness you are.

Leave me! Better that I should perish from longing for you, my life! I alone! I–ah–as such, such! Better that I should die–it doesn’t matter . . .

I am of no use to the world–I have nothing, nothing at all–

[Covers her face with her hand and weeps–then jumping up.] 

Shut up, you bastards! Ah–you lousy mongrels! So help me God–it happened! It happened! He was a student, a Frenchman–

Gastotcha was his name–he had a little black beard–and patent leathers–may God strike me dead if I’m lying!

And he loved me so–my God, how he loved me!

Read the play here

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