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  • CBSE Classes 1, 2, 3
    1. Class 1 English Spaeaking
    2. Class 2 English
    3. Class 3 English

  • CBSE Class 4 "Wake Up"
    1. Wake Up; Neha's Alarm Clock
    2. Noses
    3. Run
    4. Why?
    5. Don't be Afraid of the Dark
    6. The Donkey
    7. Hiawatha
    8. A Watering Rhyme
    9. Books
    10. The Naughty Boy

  • CBSE Class 5 "Ice-cream Man"
    1. Ice Cream Man
    2. Wonderful Waste
    3. Bamboo Curry
    4. Team Work
    5. For Want of Nail
    6. My Shadow
    7. Robinson Crusoe
    8. Crying
    9. Food for Thought
    10. My Elder Brother
    11. The Lazy Frog
    12. Rip Van Winkle
    13. Class Discussion
    14. The Talkative Barber
    15. Topsy Turvy
    16. Gulliver's Travel
    17. Nobody's Friend
    18. The Little Boy
    19. Sing a Song of People
    20. The Village Child
    21. The City Child
    22. Around The World
    23. Malu Bhallu
    24. Who will be Ningthou

  • CBSE Class 6 "A Pact with the Sun"
    1. A Tale of Two Birds
    2. The Friendly Mongoose
    3. The Sheherd's Treasure
    4. The Old-Clock Shop
    5. Tansen
    6. The Monkey and the Crocodile
    7. The Wonder called Sleep
    8. A Pact with the Sun
    9. What Happened to the Reptiles
    10. A Strange Wrestling Match

  • CBSE Class 6a "Honey Suckle"
    1. Who did Patrick's Home Work
    2. How the Dog Found himself a Master
    3. The Quarrel
    4. Kalpana Chawla
    5. A Different Kind of School
    6. Who Am I
    7. Fair Play
    8. TA Game of Chance
    9. Vocation
    10. Desert Animals
    11. What If
    12. The Banyan Tree

  • CBSE Class 7, "Honey Dew"
    1. Three Questions
    2. The Squirrels
    3. A Gift of Chappals
    4. The Rebels
    5. The Shed
    6. The Ashes That Made Trees Bloom
    7. Chivvy
    8. Quality
    9. Trees
    10. Expert Detective
    11. Mystery of the Talking Fan
    12. The Invention of Vita-Wonk
    13. Fire: Friend and Foe
    14. A Bicycle in Good Repair
    15. The Story of Cricket

  • CBSE Class 8, "Honey Dew"
    1. The Best Christmas Present
    2. The Tsunami
    3. Macavity: The Mystery Cat
    4. Bipin Choudhury's Lapse of Memory
    5. The Summit Within
    6. This is Jody's Fawn
    7. A Visit to Cambridge
    8. A Short Monsoon Diary
    9. The Great Stone Face 1
    10. The Great Stone Face 2

  • CBSE Class 8a, "It So Happened"
    1. How the Camel got the Hump
    2. Children at Work
    3. The Selfish Giant
    4. The Treasure Within
    5. Pricess September
    6. The Fight
    7. The Open Window
    8. Jalebis
    9. The Comet Part 1.1
    10. The Comet Part 1.2
    11. The Comet Part 2.1
    12. The Comet Part 2.2

  • CBSE Class 9, "Beehive"
    1. The Fun They Had
    2. Sound of Music
    3. The little Girl
    4. Beautiful Mind
    5. The Snake
    6. My Childhood
    7. Packing
    8. Reach for the Top
    9. Bond of Love
    10. Katmandu
    11. If I Were You

  • CBSE Class 9, "Supplementary Reader"
    1. The Lost Child
    2. The Adventure of Toto
    3. Iswaran
    4. In The Kingdom of Fools
    5. The Happy Prince
    6. Weathering The Storm
    7. The Last Leaf
    8. A House is not a Home
    9. The Accidental Tourist
    10. The Beggar

  • CBSE Class 10, "First Flight"
    1. A Letter to God
    2. Nelson Mandela
    3. Two Stories
    4. Anne Frank
    5. Hundred Dresses 1
    6. Hundred Dresses 2
    7. Glimpses of India
    8. Mijbil the Other
    9. Madam Rides the Bus
    10. The Sermon
    11. The Proposal

  • CBSE Class 10, "Footprints"
    1. A triumph of Surgery
    2. The Thief's Story
    3. The Midnight Visiors
    4. A Question of Trust
    5. Footprints without Feet
    6. The Making of a Scientist
    7. The Necklace
    8. The Hack Driver
    9. Bholi
    10. The Book that Saved the earth

  • CBSE Class 11, "Snapshots"
    1. The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse
    2. The Address
    3. Ranga's Marriage
    4. Albert Einstein
    5. Mother's Day
    6. Ghat of the Only World
    7. Birth
    8. The Tale of Melon City

  • CBSE Class 11, "Hornbill"
    1. The Portrait of a Lady
    2. Afraid to Die
    3. Discovering Tut
    4. Landscape of the Soul
    5. The Ailing Planet
    6. The Browning Version
    7. The Adventure
    8. Silk Road

  • CBSE Class 12, "Flamingo"
    1. Lost Spring
    2. Deep water
    3. Rat Trap
    4. Indigo
    5. Poet & Pancakes
    6. The Interview
    7. Going Places
    8. My Mother at Sixty-six
    9. An Elementary School
    10. Keeping Quiet
    11. Thingofbeauty
    12. Road Side Stand
    13. Aunt Jennifer's Tigers

  • CBSE Class 12, "Kaleidoscope"
    1. Sell My Dreams
    2. Eveylin
    3. A Wedding in Brownsville
    4. Tommorrow
    5. One Centimeter
    6. Poems by Milton
    7. Poems by Blake

  • CBSE Class 12, "Vistas"
    1. The Third Level
    2. The Tiger King
    3. Journey to the end of the Earth
    4. The Enemy
    5. Wizard hit Mommy
    6. ontheface
    7. Evans
    8. Memories of Childhood

  • English Class 10

    First Flight

    The Russian Wedding.

    A Russian Wedding

    Do you know anything about a Russian marriage ceremony? Read this article about a Russian wedding.

    Preparations for a Russian Wedding: A Russian wedding is very simple. The planning only includes arranging for rings, bridesí dress, cars, and a reception. Earlier, the brideís family paid for the reception, but now-a-days bridesí and groomsí families usually share expenses. A Russian wedding lasts for two days; some weddings last as long as a week, and the occasion becomes something to remember for years. The necessary part of the wedding ceremony is a wedding procession of several cars. The best friends of the groom/ bride meet before the wedding a few times, make posters, write speeches and organise contests. When the groom arrives to fetch the bride for the registration, he has to fight to get her! Russians usually live in apartments in tall buildings, and the groom has to climb several stairs to reach his bride. But at each landing he must answer a question to be allowed to go up. The brideís friends ask difficult questions (sometimes about the bride, sometimes just difficult riddles), and the groom must answer with the help of his friends. For example, he may be shown a few photos of baby girls and he must say which one his bride is. If he guesses wrong, he must pay cash to move ahead. After the marriage registration, the newly-married couple leaves the guests for a tour of the city sights. After two or three hours of the city tour the couple arrives at the reception. The couple sits at a specially arranged table with their family, friends and invited guests. The reception starts with toasts to the couple. A wedding toast is a custom where a close friend or relative of the groom or the bride says a few words to wish the couple, then everyone raises their glass of wine, and drink it up at the same moment. The groom is then asked to kiss the bride. After a few toasts, people start eating and drinking, and generally have fun. After some time, the bride gets Ďstolení! She disappears, and when the groom starts looking for her, he is asked to pay a fee. Usually it is his friends who Ďstealí the bride. Then there are the brideís friends ó they steal the brideís shoe. The groom must pay money for the shoe too. The guests enjoy watching these tussles, and continue partying.

    'The Proposal' originally titled ĎA Marriage Proposalí) is a one-act play, a farce, by the Russian short story writer and dramatist Anton Chekhov. It was written in 1888Ė89.

    The play is about the tendency of wealthy families to seek ties with other wealthy families, to increase their estates by encouraging marriages that make good economic sense. Ivan Lomov, a long time wealthy neighbour of Stepan Chubukov, also wealthy, comes to seek the hand of Chubukovís twenty-five-year-old daughter, Natalya. All three are quarrelsome people, and they quarrel over petty issues. The proposal is in danger of being forgotten amidst all this quarrelling. But economic good sense ensures that the proposal is made, after all ó although the quarrelling perhaps continues!

    A drawing-room in ChubukovĎs house. Lomov enters, wearing a dress-jacket and white gloves. Chubukov rises to meet him.

    CHUBUKOV : My dear fellow, whom do I see! Ivan Vassilevitch! I am extremely glad! [Squeezes his hand] Now this is a surprise, my darling... How are you?
    LOMOV : Thank you. And how may you be getting on?
    CHUBUKOV : We just get along somehow, my angel, thanks to your prayers, and so on. Sit down, please do... Now, you know, you shouldnít forget all about your neighbours, my darling. My dear fellow, why are you so formal in your get-up! Evening dress, gloves, and so on. Can you be going anywhere, my treasure?
    LOMOV : No. Iíve come only to see you, honoured Stepan Stepanovitch.
    CHUBUKOV : Then why are you in evening dress, my precious? As if youíre paying a New Yearís Eve visit!
    LOMOV : Well, you see, itís like this. [Takes his arm] Iíve come to you, honoured Stepan Stepanovitch, to trouble you with a request. Not once or twice have I already had the privilege of applying to you for help, and you have always, so to speak... I must ask your pardon, I am getting excited. I shall drink some water, honoured Stepan Stepanovitch. [Drinks.]
    CHUBUKOV : [aside] Heís come to borrow money. Shanít give him any! [aloud] What is it, my beauty?
    LOMOV : You see, Honoured Stepanitch... I beg pardon Stepan Honouritch... I mean, Iím awfully excited, as you will please notice... In short, you alone can help me, though I donít deserve it, of course... and havenít any right to count on your assistance...
    CHUBUKOV : Oh, donít go round and round it, darling! Spit it out! Well?
    LOMOV : One moment... this very minute. The fact is Iíve come to ask the hand of your daughter, Natalya Stepanovna, in marriage.
    CHUBUKOV : [joyfully] By Jove! Ivan Vassilevitch! Say it again ó I didnít hear it all!
    LOMOV : I have the honour to ask...
    CHUBUKOV : [interrupting] My dear fellow... Iím so glad, and so on... Yes, indeed, and all that sort of thing. [Embraces and kisses Lomov] Iíve been hoping for it for a long time. Itís been my continual desire. [Sheds a tear] And Iíve always loved you, my angel, as if you were my own son. May God give you both ó His help and His love and so on, and so much hope... What am I behaving in this idiotic way for? Iím off my balance with joy, absolutely off my balance! Oh, with all my soul... Iíll go and call Natasha, and all that.
    LOMOV : [greatly moved] Honoured Stepan Stepanovitch, do you think I may count on her consent?
    CHUBUKOV : Why, of course, my darling, and... as if she wonít consent! Sheís in love; egad, sheís like a lovesick cat, and so on. Shanít be long! [Exit.]
    LOMOV : Itís cold... Iím trembling all over, just as if Iíd got an examination before me. The great thing is, I must have my mind made up. If I give myself time to think, to hesitate, to talk a lot, to look for an ideal, or for real love, then Iíll never get married. Brr... Itís cold! Natalya. Stepanovna is an excellent housekeeper, not bad-looking, well-educated. What more do I want? But Iím getting a noise in my ears from excitement. [Drinks] And itís impossible for me not to marry. In the first place, Iím already 35 ó a critical age, so to speak. In the second place, I ought to lead a quiet and regular life. I suffer from palpitations, Iím excitable and always getting awfully upset; at this very moment my lips are trembling, and thereís a twitch in my right eyebrow. But the very worst of all is the way I sleep. I no sooner get into bed and begin to go off, when suddenly something in my left side gives a pull, and I can feel it in my shoulder and head... I jump up like a lunatic, walk about a bit and lie down again, but as soon as I begin to get off to sleep thereís another pull! And this may happen twenty times... [Natalya Stepanovna comes in.]
    NATLYA : Well, there! Itís you, and papa said, ďGo; thereís a merchant come for his goods.Ē How do you do, Ivan Vassilevitch?

    LOMOV : How do you do, honoured Natalya Stepanovna?
    NATALYA : You must excuse my apron and neglige. Weíre shelling peas for drying. Why havenít you been here for such a long time? Sit down... [They seat themselves.] Wonít you have some lunch?
    LOMOV : No, thank you, Iíve had some already.
    NATALYA : Then smoke. Here are the matches. The weather is splendid now, but yesterday it was so wet that the workmen didnít do anything all day. How much hay have you stacked? Just think, I felt greedy and had a whole field cut, and now Iím not at all pleased about it because Iím afraid my hay may rot. I ought to have waited a bit. But whatís this? Why, youíre in evening dress! Well, I never! Are you going to a ball or what? Though I must say you look better... Tell me, why are you got up like that?
    LOMOV : [excited] You see, honoured Natalya Stepanovna... the fact is, Iíve made up my mind to ask you to hear me out... Of course youíll be surprised and perhaps even angry, but a... [aside] Itís awfully cold!
    NATALYA : Whatís the matter? [pause] Well?
    LOMOV : I shall try to be brief. You must know, honoured Natalya Stepanovna, that I have long, since my childhood, in fact had the privilege of knowing your family. My late aunt and her husband, from whom, as you know, I inherited my land, always had the greatest respect for your father and your late mother. The Lomovs and the Chubukovs have always had the most friendly, and I might almost say the most affectionate, regard for each other. And, as you know, my land is a near neighbour of yours. You will remember that my Oxen Meadows touch your birchwoods.
    NATALYA : Excuse my interrupting you. You say, ďmy Oxen MeadowsĒ. But are they yours?
    LOMOV : Yes, mine.
    NATALYA : What are you talking about? Oxen Meadows are ours, not yours!
    LOMOV : No, mine, honoured Natalya Stepanovna.
    NATALYA : Well, I never knew that before. How do you make that out?
    LOMOV : How? Iím speaking of those Oxen Meadows which are wedged in between your birchwoods and the Burnt Marsh.
    NATALYA : Yes, yes... theyíre ours.
    LOMOV : No, youíre mistaken, honoured Natalya Stepanovna, theyíre mine.
    NATALYA : Just think, Ivan Vassilevitch! How long have they been yours?
    LOMOV : How long? As long as I can remember.
    NATALYA : Really, you wonít get me to believe that!
    LOMOV : But you can see from the documents, honoured Natalya Stepanovna. Oxen Meadows, itís true, were once the subject of dispute, but now everybody knows that they are mine. Thereís nothing to argue about. You see my auntís grandmother gave the free use of these Meadows in perpetuity to the peasants of your fatherís grandfather, in return for which they were to make bricks for her. The peasants belonging to your fatherís grandfather had the free use of the Meadows for forty years, and had got into the habit of regarding them as their own, when it happened that...
    NATALYA : No, it isnít at all like that! Both grandfather and greatgrandfather reckoned that their land extended to Burnt Marsh ó which means that Oxen Meadows were ours. I donít see what there is to argue about. Itís simply silly!
    LOMOV : Iíll show you the documents, Natalya Stepanovna!
    NATALYA : No, youíre simply joking, or making fun of me. What a surprise! Weíve had the land for nearly three hundred years, and then weíre suddenly told that it isnít ours! Ivan Vassilevitch, I can hardly believe my own ears. These Meadows arenít worth much to me. They only come to five dessiatins, and are worth perhaps 300 roubles, but I canít stand unfairness. Say what you will, I canít stand unfairness.
    LOMOV : Hear me out, I implore you! The peasants of your fatherís grandfather, as I have already had the honour of explaining to you, used to bake bricks for my auntís grandmother. Now my auntís grandmother, wishing to make them a pleasant...
    NATALYA : I canít make head or tail of all this about aunts and grandfathers and grandmothers. The Meadows are ours, thatís all.
    LOMOV : Mine.
    NATALYA : Ours! You can go on proving it for two days on end, you can go and put on fifteen dress jackets, but I tell you theyíre ours, ours, ours! I donít want anything of yours and I donít want to give anything of mine. So there!
    LOMOV : Natalya Stepanovna, I donít want the Meadows, but I am acting on principle. If you like, Iíll make you a present of them.
    NATALYA : I can make you a present of them myself, because theyíre mine! Your behaviour, Ivan Vassilevitch, is strange, to say the least! Up to this we have always thought of you as a good neighbour, a friend; last year we lent you our threshing-machine, although on that account we had to put off our own threshing till November, but you behave to us as if we were gypsies. Giving me my own land, indeed! No, really, thatís not at all neighbourly! In my opinion, itís even impudent, if you want to know.
    LOMOV : Then you make out that Iím a landgrabber? Madam, never in my life have I grabbed anybody elseís land and I shanít allow anybody to accuse me of having done so. [Quickly steps to the carafe and drinks more water] Oxen Meadows are mine!
    NATALYA : Itís not true, theyíre ours!
    LOMOV : Mine!
    NATALYA : Itís not true! Iíll prove it! Iíll send my mowers out to the Meadows this very day!
    LOMOV : What?
    NATALYA : My mowers will be there this very day!
    LOMOV : Iíll give it to them in the neck!
    NATALYA : You dare!
    LOMOV : [Clutches at his heart] Oxen Meadows are mine! You understand? Mine!
    NATALYA : Please donít shout! You can shout yourself hoarse in your own house but here I must ask you to restrain yourself!
    LOMOV : If it wasnít, madam, for this awful, excruciating palpitation, if my whole inside wasnít upset, Iíd talk to you in a different way! [Yells] Oxen Meadows are mine!
    NATALYA : Ours!
    LOMOV : Mine!
    NATALYA : Ours!
    LOMOV : Mine!
    Part 2

    [Enter Chubukov]
    CHUBUKOV : Whatís the matter? What are you shouting for?
    NATALYA : Papa, please tell this gentleman who owns Oxen Meadows, we or he?

    CHUBUKOV : [to Lomov] Darling, the Meadows are ours!
    LOMOV : But, please, Stepan Stepanovitch, how can they be yours? Do be a reasonable man! My auntís grandmother gave the Meadows for the temporary and free use of your grandfatherís peasants. The peasants used the land for forty years and got accustomed to it as if it was their own, when it happened that...
    CHUBUKOV : Excuse me, my precious. You forget just this, that the peasants didnít pay your grandmother and all that, because the Meadows were in dispute, and so on. And now everybody knows that theyíre ours. It means that you havenít seen the plan.
    LOMOV : Iíll prove to you that theyíre mine!
    CHUBUKOV : You wonít prove it, my darling ó
    LOMOV : I shall
    CHUBUKOV : Dear one, why yell like that? You wonít prove anything just by yelling. I donít want anything of yours, and donít intend to give up what I have. Why should I? And you know, my beloved, that if you propose to go on arguing about it, Iíd much sooner give up the Meadows to the peasants than to you. There!
    LOMOV : I donít understand! How have you the right to give away somebody elseís property?
    CHUBUKOV : You may take it that I know whether I have the right or not. Because, young man, Iím not used to being spoken to in that tone of voice, and so on. I, young man, am twice your age, and ask you to speak to me without agitating yourself, and all that.
    LOMOV : No, you just think Iím a fool and want to have me on! You call my land yours, and then you want me to talk to you calmly and politely! Good neighbours donít behave like that, Stepan Stepanovitch! Youíre not a neighbour, youíre a grabber!
    CHUBUKOV : Whatís that? What did you say?
    NATALYA : Papa, send the mowers out to the Meadows at once!
    CHUBUKOV : What did you say, sir?
    NATALYA : Oxen Meadows are ours, and I shanít give them up, shanít give them up, shanít give them up!
    LOMOV : Weíll see! Iíll have the matter taken to court, and then Iíll show you!
    CHUBUKOV : To court? You can take it to court, and all that! You can! I know you; youíre just on the look-out for a chance to go to court, and all that. You pettifogger! All your people were like that! All of them!
    LOMOV : Never mind about my people! The Lomovs have all been honourable people, and not one has ever been tried for embezzlement, like your grandfather!
    CHUBUKOV : You Lomovs have had lunacy in your family, all of you!
    NATALYA : All, all, all!
    CHUBUKOV : Your grandfather was a drunkard, and your younger aunt, Nastasya Mihailovna, ran away with an architect, and so on...
    LOMOV : And your mother was hump-backed. [Clutches at his heart] Something pulling in my side... My head.... Help! Water!
    CHUBUKOV : Your father was a guzzling gambler!
    NATALYA : And there havenít been many backbiters to equal your aunt!
    CHUBUKOV : My left foot has gone to sleep... Youíre an intriguer....Oh, my heart! And itís an open secret that before the last elections you bri... I can see stars... Whereís my hat?
    NATALYA : Itís low! Itís dishonest! Itís mean!
    CHUBUKOV : And youíre just a malicious, doublefaced intriguer! Yes!
    LOMOV : Hereís my hat. My heart! Which way? Whereís the door? Oh I think Iím dying! My footís quite numb...
    [Goes to the door.]
    CHUBUKOV : [following him] And donít set foot in my house again!
    NATALYA : Take it to court! Weíll see!
    [Lomov staggers out.]
    CHUBUKOV : Devil take him!
    [Walks about in excitement.]
    NATALYA : What a rascal! What trust can one have in oneís neighbours after that!
    CHUBUKOV : The villain! The scarecrow!
    NATALYA : The monster! First he takes our land and then he has the impudence to abuse us.
    CHUBUKOV : And that blind hen, yes, that turnip-ghost has the confounded cheek to make a proposal, and so on! What? A proposal!
    NATALYA : What proposal?
    CHUBUKOV : Why, he came here to propose to you.
    NATALYA : To propose? To me? Why didnít you tell me so before?
    CHUBUKOV : So he dresses up in evening clothes. The stuffed sausage! The wizen-faced frump!
    NATALYA : To propose to me? Ah! [Falls into an easy-chair and wails] Bring him back! Back! Ah! Bring him here.
    CHUBUKOV : Bring whom here?
    NATALYA : Quick, quick! Iím ill! Fetch him!
    CHUBUKOV : Whatís that? Whatís the matter with you? [Clutches at his head] Oh, unhappy man that I am! Iíll shoot myself! Iíll hang myself! Weíve done for her!
    NATALYA : Iím dying! Fetch him!
    CHUBUKOV : Tfoo! At once. Donít yell!
    [Runs out. A pause.]
    NATALYA : [Natalya Stepanovna wails.] What have they done to me? Fetch him back! Fetch him!
    [A pause. Chubukov runs in.]
    CHUBUKOV : Heís coming, and so on, devil take him! Ouf! Talk to him yourself; I donít want to...
    NATALYA : [wails] Fetch him!
    CHUBUKOV : [yells] Heís coming, I tell you. Oh, what a burden, Lord, to be the father of a grown-up daughter! Iíll cut my throat I will, indeed! We cursed him, abused him, drove him out; and itís all you... you!
    NATALYA : No, it was you!
    CHUBUKOV : I tell you itís not my fault. [Lomov appears at the door] Now you talk to him yourself.
    LOMOV : [Lomov enters, exhausted.] My heartís palpitating awfully. My footís gone to sleep. Thereís something that keeps pulling in my side....
    NATALYA : Forgive us, Ivan Vassilevitch, we were all a little heated. I remember now: Oxen Meadows... really are yours.
    LOMOV : My heartís beating awfully. My Meadows... My eyebrows are both twitching....
    NATALYA : The Meadows are yours, yes, yours. Do sit down. [They sit] We were wrong.
    LOMOV : I did it on principle. My land is worth little to me, but the principle...
    NATALYA : Yes, the principle, just so. Now letís talk of something else.
    LOMOV : The more so as I have evidence. My auntís grandmother gave the land to your fatherís grandfatherís peasants...
    NATALYA : Yes, yes, let that pass. [aside] I wish I knew how to get him started. [aloud] Are you going to start shooting soon?
    LOMOV : Iím thinking of having a go at the blackcock, honoured
    Natalya Stepanovna, after the harvest. Oh, have you heard? Just think, what a misfortune Iíve had! My dog Guess, who you know, has gone lame.
    NATALYA : What a pity! Why?
    LOMOV : I donít know. Must have got his leg twisted or bitten by some other dog. [sighs] My very best dog, to say nothing of the expense. I gave Mironov 125 roubles for him.
    NATALYA : It was too much, Ivan Vassilevitch.
    LOMOV : I think it was very cheap. Heís a first-rate dog.
    NATALYA : Papa gave 85 roubles for his Squeezer, and Squeezer is heaps better than Guess!
    LOMOV : Squeezer better than Guess? What an idea! [laughs] Squeezer better than Guess!
    NATALYA : Of course heís better! Of course, Squeezer is young, he may develop a bit, but on points and pedigree heís better than anything that even Volchanetsky has got.
    LOMOV : Excuse me, Natalya Stepanovna, but you forget that he is overshot, and an overshot always means the dog is a bad hunter!
    NATALYA : Overshot, is he? The first time I hear it!
    LOMOV : I assure you that his lower jaw is shorter than the upper.
    NATALYA : Have you measured?
    LOMOV : Yes. Heís all right at following, of course, but if you want to get hold of anything...
    NATALYA : In the first place, our Squeezer is a thoroughbred animal, the son of Harness and Chisels while thereís no getting at the pedigree of your dog at all. Heís old and as ugly as a worn-out cab-horse.
    LOMOV : He is old, but I wouldnít take five Squeezers for him. Why, how can you? Guess is a dog; as for Squeezer, well, itís too funny to argue. Anybody you like has a dog as good as Squeezer... you may find them under every bush almost. Twenty-five roubles would be a handsome price to pay for him.
    NATALYA : Thereís some demon of contradition in you today, Ivan Vassilevitch. First you pretend that the Meadows are yours; now, that Guess is better than Squeezer. I donít like people who donít say what they mean, because you know perfectly well that Squeezer is a hundred times better than your silly Guess. Why do you want to say he isnít?
    LOMOV : I see, Natalya Stepanovna, that you consider me either blind or a fool. You must realise that Squeezer is overshot!
    NATALYA : Itís not true.
    LOMOV : He is!
    NATALYA : Itís not true!
    LOMOV : Why shout madam?
    NATALYA : Why talk rot? Itís awful! Itís time your Guess was shot, and you compare him with Squeezer!
    LOMOV : Excuse me, I cannot continue this discussion, my heart is palpitating.
    NATALYA : Iíve noticed that those hunters argue most who know least.
    LOMOV : Madam, please be silent. My heart is going to pieces.
    [shouts] Shut up!
    NATALYA : I shanít shut up until you acknowledge that Squeezer is a hundred times better than your Guess!
    LOMOV : A hundred times worse! Be hanged to your Squeezer! His head... eyes... shoulder...
    NATALYA : Thereís no need to hang your silly Guess; heís half-dead already!
    LOMOV : [weeps] Shut up! My heartís bursting!
    NATALYA : I shanít shut up.
    [Enter Chubukov.]
    CHUBUKOV : Whatís the matter now?
    NATALYA : Papa, tell us truly, which is the better dog, our Squeezer or his Guess.
    LOMOV : Stepan Stepanovitch, I implore you to tell me just one thing: is your Squeezer overshot or not? Yes or no?
    CHUBUKOV : And suppose he is? What does it matter? Heís the best dog in the district for all that, and so on.
    LOMOV : But isnít my Guess better? Really, now?
    CHUBUKOV : Donít excite yourself, my precious one. Allow me. Your Guess certainly has his good points. Heís purebred, firm on his feet, has well-sprung ribs, and all that. But, my dear man, if you want to know the truth, that dog has two defects: heís old and heís short in the muzzle.
    LOMOV : Excuse me, my heart... Letís take the facts. You will remember that on the Marusinsky hunt my Guess ran neck-and-neck with the Countís dog, while your Squeezer was left a whole verst behind.
    CHUBUKOV : He got left behind because the Countís whipper-in hit him with his whip.
    LOMOV : And with good reason. The dogs are running after a fox, when Squeezer goes and starts worrying a sheep!
    CHUBUKOV : Itís not true! My dear fellow, Iím very liable to lose my temper, and so, just because of that, letís stop arguing. You started because everybody is always jealous of everybody elseís dogs. Yes, weíre all like that! You too, sir, arenít blameless! You no sooner begin with this, that and the other, and all that... I remember everything!
    LOMOV : I remember too!
    CHUBUKOV : [teasing him] I remember, too! What do you remember?
    LOMOV : My heart... my footís gone to sleep. I canít...
    NATALYA : [teasing] My heart! What sort of a hunter are you? You ought to go and lie on the kitchen oven and catch black beetles, not go after foxes! My heart! CHUBUKOV : Yes really, what sort of a hunter are you, anyway? You ought to sit at home with your palpitations, and not go tracking animals. You could go hunting, but you only go to argue with people and interfere with their dogs and so on. Letís change the subject in case I lose my temper. Youíre not a hunter at all, anyway!
    LOMOV : And are you a hunter? You only go hunting to get in with the Count and to intrigue. Oh, my heart! Youíre an intriguer!
    CHUBUKOV : What? I am an intriguer? [shouts] Shut up!
    LOMOV : Intriguer!
    CHUBUKOV : Boy! Pup!
    LOMOV : Old rat! Jesuit!
    CHUBUKOV : Shut up or Iíll shoot you like a partridge! You fool!
    LOMOV : Everybody knows that ó oh, my heart! ó your late wife used to beat you... My feet... temples... sparks... I fall, I fall!
    CHUBUKOV : And youíre under the slipper of your house-keeper!
    LOMOV : There, there, there... my heartís burst! My shoulders come off! Where is my shoulder? I die. [Falls into an armchair] A doctor!
    CHUBUKOV : Boy! Milksop! Fool! Iím sick! [Drinks water] Sick!
    NATALYA : What sort of a hunter are you? You canít even sit on a horse! [To her father] Papa, whatís the matter with him? Papa! Look, Papa! [screams] Ivan Vassilevitch! Heís dead!
    CHUBUKOV : Iím sick! I canít breathe! Air!
    NATALYA : Heís dead. [Pulls Lomovís sleeve] Ivan Vassilevitch! Ivan Vassilevitch! What have you done to me? Heís dead. [Falls into an armchair] A doctor, a doctor!
    CHUBUKOV : Oh! What is it? Whatís the matter?
    NATALYA : [wails] Heís dead... dead!
    CHUBUKOV : Whoís dead? [Looks at Lomov] So he is! My word! Water! A doctor! [Lifts a tumbler to Lomovís mouth] Drink this! No, he doesnít drink. It means heís dead, and all that. Iím the most unhappy of men! Why donít I put a bullet into my brain? Why havenít I cut my throat yet? What am I waiting for? Give me a knife! Give me a pistol! [Lomov moves] He seems to be coming round. Drink some water! Thatís right.
    LOMOV : I see stars... mist... where am I?
    CHUBUKOV : Hurry up and get married and ó well, to the devil with you! Sheís willing! [He puts Lomovís hand into his daughterís] Sheís willing and all that. I give you my blessing and so on. Only leave me in peace!
    LOMOV : [getting up] Eh? What? To whom?
    CHUBUKOV : Sheís willing! Well? Kiss and be damned to you!
    NATALYA : [wails] Heís alive... Yes, yes, Iím willing.
    CHUBUKOV : Kiss each other!
    LOMOV : Eh? Kiss whom? [They kiss] Very nice, too. Excuse me, whatís it all about? Oh, now I understand ... my heart... stars... Iím happy. Natalya Stepanovna... [Kisses her hand] My footís gone to sleep.
    NATALYA : I... Iím happy too...
    CHUBUKOV : What a weight off my shoulders, ouf!
    NATALYA : But, still you will admit now that Guess is worse than Squeezer.
    LOMOV : Better!
    NATALYA : Worse!
    CHUBUKOV : Well, thatís a way to start your family bliss! Have some champagne!
    LOMOV : Heís better!
    NATALYA : Worse! Worse! Worse!
    CHUBUKOV : [trying to shout her down] Champagne! Champagne!
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    A Guide to Coping with the Death of a Loved One.

    Martha is having difficulty sleeping lately and no longer enjoys doing things with her friends. Martha lost her husband of 26 years to cancer a month ago.

    Anya, age 17, doesnít feel like eating and spends the days in her room crying. Her grandmother recently died.

    Both of these individuals are experiencing grief. Grief is an emotion natural to all types of loss or significant change.

    Although grief is unique and personal, a broad range of feelings and behaviours are commonly experienced after the death of a loved one.

    Sadness. This is the most common, and it is not necessarily manifested by crying.

    Anger. This is one of the most confusing feelings for a survivor. There may be frustration at not being able to prevent the death, and a sense of not being able to exist without the loved one.

    Guilt and Self-reproach. People may believe that they were not kind enough or caring enough to the person who died, or that the person should have seen the doctor sooner. ē Anxiety. An individual may fear that she/he wonít be able to care for herself/himself.

    Loneliness. There are reminders throughout the day that a partner, family member or friend is gone. For example, meals are no longer prepared the same way, phone calls to share a special moment donít happen.

    Fatigue. There is an overall sense of feeling tired.

    Disbelief: This occurs particularly if it was a sudden death.

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    Good Grief.

    Soon after my wife died ó her car slid off an icy road in 1985 ó a school psychologist warned me that my children and I were not mourning in the right way. We felt angry; the proper first stage, he said, is denial.

    In late August this year, my 38-year-old son, Michael, died suddenly in his sleep, leaving behind a 2-year-old son and a wife expecting their next child.

    There is no set form for grief, and no Ďrightí way to express it. There seems to be an expectation that, after a great loss, we will progress systematically through the well-known stages of grief. It is wrong, we are told, to jump to anger ó or to wallow too long in this stage before moving towards acceptance.

    But I was, and am, angry. To make parents bury their children is wrong; to have both my wife and son taken from me, for forever and a day, is cruel beyond words.

    A relative from Jerusalem, who is a psychiatrist, brought some solace by citing the maxim: ĎWe are not to ask why, but what.í The Ďwhatí is that which survivors in grief are bound to do for one another. Following that advice, my family, close friends and I keep busy, calling each other and giving long answers to simple questions like, ďHow did your day go today?Ē We try to avoid thinking about either the immediate past or the bereft future. We take turns playing with Max, Michaelís two-year-old son. Friends spend nights with the young widow, and will be among those holding her hand when the baby is born.

    Focusing on what we do for one another is the only consolation we can find.

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    Joy and Sorrow.

    Then a woman said, ďSpeak to us of Joy and Sorrow.Ē
    And he answered:
    Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
    And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled
    with your tears.
    And how else can it be?
    The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
    Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the
    potterís oven?
    And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed
    out with knives?
    When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only
    that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
    When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in
    truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
    Some of you say, ďJoy is greater than sorrow,Ē and others say, ďNay, sorrow
    is the greater.Ē
    But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
    Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board,
    remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

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    For Anne Gregory

    ďNever shall a young man, Thrown into despair By those great honey-coloured Ramparts at your ear, Love you for yourself alone And not your yellow hair.Ē

    ďBut I can get a hair-dye And set such colour there, Brown, or black, or carrot, That young men in despair May love me for myself alone And not my yellow hair.Ē

    "I heard an old religious man But yesternight declare That he had found a text to prove That only God, my dear, Could love you for yourself alone And not your yellow hair.Ē


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