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
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.
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!
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,
LOMOV : No, mine, honoured Natalya Stepanovna.
NATALYA : Well, I never knew that before. How do you make that
LOMOV : How? Iím speaking of those Oxen Meadows which are
wedged in between your birchwoods and the Burnt
NATALYA : Yes, yes... theyíre ours.
LOMOV : No, youíre mistaken, honoured Natalya Stepanovna,
NATALYA : Just think, Ivan Vassilevitch! How long have they been
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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!
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
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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
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
LOMOV : [weeps] Shut up! My heartís bursting!
NATALYA : I shanít shut up.
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
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,
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
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!
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
LOMOV : Better!
NATALYA : Worse!
CHUBUKOV : Well, thatís a way to start your family bliss! Have some
LOMOV : Heís better!
NATALYA : Worse! Worse! Worse!
CHUBUKOV : [trying to shout her down] Champagne! Champagne!
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
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
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
Fatigue. There is an overall sense of feeling tired.
Disbelief: This occurs particularly if it was a sudden death.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
Author: WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS
Online Lessons with Spoken text and correct pronounciation