The Three Sisters – Monologue (Irina)

A monologue from the play by Anton Chekov

IRINA (twenty)

When I woke up to-day and got up and dressed myself, I suddenly began to feel as if everything in this life was open to me,

and that I knew how I must live. Dear Ivan Romanovitch, I know everything. A man must work, toil in the sweat of his brow, whoever he may be,

for that is the meaning and object of his life, his happiness, his enthusiasm. How fine it is to be a workman who gets up at daybreak and breaks stones in the street,

or a shepherd, or a schoolmaster, who teaches children, or an engine-driver on the railway…. My God, let alone a man,

it’s better to be an ox, or just a horse, so long as it can work, than a young woman who wakes up at twelve o’clock,

has her coffee in bed, and then spends two hours dressing…. Oh it’s awful! Sometimes when it’s hot,

your thirst can be just as tiresome as my need for work. And if I don’t get up early in the future and work,

Ivan Romanovitch, then you may refuse me your friendship.

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