Speaking In Tongues
Scribbling In Voices

(A Four Act Comedy)

Translated by A.S.Vagapov

© Translation, A.Vagapov, 1993


Pavel Afanasyevich Famusov, head of office
Sofia Pavlovna, his daughter

Lizzie, maid

Alexey Stepanovich Molchalin, Famusov's secretary living in his house

Alexandr Andreyevich Chatsky

Colonel Skalozub, Sergey Dmitriyevich

The Goriches:
Natalia Dmitriyevna, young lady
Platon Mikhailovich, her husband

Count Tugoukhovsky
Countess, his wife with six daughters

The Khryumins:
Countess, the granny
Countess, the daughter

Anton Antonovich Zagoretsky

Old Khlyostova, Famusov's sister-in-law

Mr. N.

Mr. D.


Petrushka and some footmen
A large number of guests of all ranks and footmen engaged at departure of guests.
Famusov's waiters.

The scene is laid in Moscow at Famusov's house.


Scene 1

A sitting room with a big clock in it, to the right is Sofia's bedroom door, the sound of a piano and a flute come from Sofia's room, then the music ceases. Lizzie is asleep hanging down from the armchair (It is morning. The day is just about to break.)

(wakes up suddenly, raises from the chair, looks around):
It's dawning! ...Oh! How fast
The night has passsed!
They didn't let me go to bed
«In expectation of a friend».
I had to be on the alert,
It's only now that I could doze
Sitting like this, in such a pose!
I could have fallen from the chair!
It's dawn... They must be unaware...
(knocks at Sofia's door)
Sir! Madame! What a plight!
You have been chattering all night,
Sir, are you deaf? Ma'am, do you hear?
No, they do not seem to fear.
(walks away from the door)
Look out, uninvited guest!
The father may appear!
I serve a loving woman, yes!
(moves to the door again)
It's time to part. Stop that conversation!

(Sofia's voice):
What time is it?


The house is all in agitation.

(from her room):
What is the time?

It is about seven, eight or nine...

(from the same place):
It isn't true.

(goes away):
Ah, this damn amour!
They do not want to get me right...
Those shutters keeping out the light!
I'll put the clock a little on, although
There'll be a row, I know.
(gets on the chair, moves the hour hand; the clock strikes and plays the tune)

Scene 2

Lizzie and Famusov.

It's you, sir ?

Yes, it's me.
(stops the clock music)
You naughty little mischief maker! I didn't know!
I had just wondered what it could be:
Now it's a flute, now it's a piano,
It's much too early in the day
For Sofia to play.

No, sir... For once...
I did it quite by chance.

That's it:
I must be on the watch indeed,
It was intended to be sure.
(cuddles up to her)
You naughty girl, you mischief maker, you are!..

Naughty yourself! The words you say
Do not befit you, do they?

You're modest but the frivolous kind,
Frivolities and mischiefs are all you have in mind.

It's you who's frivolous, let go, will you?
Compose yourself, old man.

I'm not quite old.

Should somebody come in, what shall we do?

Who may come here now, uncalled?
Is Sofia asleep?

Just gone to bed.

Just now? And what about the night?

She read.

The kind of whim she has,you see?

She's reading there under lock and key.

You tell her what: she mustn't spoil her sight
For reading is of little worth. It's just a fashion.
She doesn't sleep from reading French at night,
I fall asleep when I read Russian.

When she gets up I'll tell her so,
You'll wake her up, I'm afraid, please go.

I'll wake her up? Why, it is you not me
Who starts the clock and makes it play a symphony.

(raising her voice):
Now stop it, will you?

(shutting her mouth):
Why shout like that?
Are you going mad?

There's something wrong about it, I fear.

About what, my dear?

You ought to know for you're not a little one:
Young wemen'ssleep is light at down,
They hear every whisper, a door creak, or a sigh,
They hear everything.

No, it's a lie.

(her voice comes from her room)
Ah, Lizzie!

(Tiptoeing out of the room hurriedly)

(alone in the room)
He's gone. Beware of masters, they
Will cause you trouble anyday.
Of all the woes may God deliver us from both
From their love and their wrath.

Scene 3

Lizzie, Sofia candle in hand, followed by Molchalin.

What's up, Liz? You're making such a noise...

You find it hard to part, of course,
Locked up all night -- it is enough, my lady.

My, it's the break of day already!
(puts out the candle)
It's light and gloom. The night's so quick to pass!

You may be gloomy. And I feel much worse.
Your father took me by surprise,
I shifted, dodged and told him lies.
(to Molchalin)
Don't stand like that! Just take your bow,
I see that you are scared, and how!
Look at the clock. Now just look out --
People are long up and about,
And in the house all is in motion:
They're knocking, walking, cleaning, washing.

Happiness takes no account of time.

You watch the time or not, it's up to you;
I'm in for trouble, I shall get my due.

(to Molchalin)
Now you must go. We'll have another tedious day.

God bless you! Take your hands away!
(Separates them; Molchalin runs into Famusov in the doorway)

Scene 4

Sofia, Lizzie, Molchalin, Famusov.

What a surprise! It's you, Molchalin?


What brings you here, at this hour? Do confess.
And, Sofia, you, too. Please tell me why
You got up early today? Don't tell a lie.
How do you come to be together now?

He just came in.

I walked around, that is how.

Now tell me please, old bloke:
Cannot you choose a better place to walk?
And you, young lady, hardly out of bed --
There is a man around! By your side!
You read those silly books at night
And that's the fruit of it, I bet.
The French! With all their fashion shops and streets,
Their books and writers and artists,
They break our hearts, they make our mony fly,
I wonder why
God will not save us from their needles, pins,
Their bonnets, hats and all the other things.

I'm sorry, father, I'm feeling ill at ease,
I'm so scared, I can hardy breathe.
You were so quick to come. My God!
I'm confused.

Well, thanks a lot!
I took you by surprise!
I scared and disturbed you! Very nice!
My dear Sofia, I dare say,
I'm upset myself. All day
I have to run about, full of care and bother.
Now one keeps pestering me now another.
Could I expect the trouble of being told a lie?

(through tears)
Whom by?

Well, I may be reproached that I
Keep grumbling all the time for nothing.
Now don't you cry.
I'll tell you something:
I've given you support and care.
Your mother died. I took on this madame,
Madam Rosiet, your second mere.
A granny with a heart of gold I found for you,
So quick and wise, and of high morals, too.
There is one thing that doesn't do her credit though:
For extra half a thousand or so,
She had the nerve to leave our house...
But anyhow it is boyond her powers.
Just look at me: I'm no boaster,
I'm strong and fresh, althought my hair is grey,
I'm a widower, I'm free, I'm my own master
And of monastic chastity, they say.

May I?

No, do shut up!
The wretched times! You don't know what to open up!
I see nowadays
People grow wise before their years,
The daughters do, so do the old good men.
Who need the languages we learn?
We hire tutors, resident or not,
That teach our daughters everything:
To court
And give a sigh, to sing and dance,
As if they wished to marry them to clowns.
You, visitor? Do you want anything?
From a nowhere man in God forsaken Tver
I made you an assessor and a secretair.
Without me you would have surely been
A nobody. You, man without kith and kin!

I don't know why you should be angry, father.
He's living here, in this house. So what?
He walked to one room and got into another.

He got where he wanted, did he not?
Why is he here, uninvived?

I'll tell you. Well, it goes like this:
When you were here, you and Lizz,
I heard your voice and was so frightened
That I came running like a shot.

She'll put the blame on me, it seems.
I came out of time and got them caught!

You caught me nodding, I had dreams.
I'll tell you and you will understand.

What dreams had you?

Shall I tell you?

(sits down)
Yes, if you can.

Well... Listen... First I see
A fragrant meadow and then me
Looking for some kind of grass,
I don't remember which, alas.
Then comes a gentleman, one of those men
That make at once an old good friend.
A man so tactful, wise, as well as
Shy, you know those poor fellows.

Don't talk to me about the poor.
A poor man is not a match for you.

And then all vanishes: the meadoms and the sky --like magic!
We are in a room. It's dark. Then, just imagine:
Down goes the floor and you come up.
And now the door flys open with a bang,
And in burst monstrous creatures, like a gang.
They fall upon the man, they tear us apart,
I reach for him: he seems so dear to my heart,
You hold him back and take away with you,
And this to hooting, jeering, whistling -- boo!
Then he starts shouting.
I woke up there... Someone was chatting.
It was your voice, yes, it was you.
So I rushed out to find that you were two.

Too bad a dream it is indeed.
I see there's everything in it:
The devil, love and flowers, fright. Too bad!
Well, sir, what do you say to that?

I heard you voice...

It's really strange.
What's there in my voice? Did they arrange
To hear my voice and come around like a clock?
Why did you come on hearing me talk?

The papers, sir.

The papers? Oh what an idea!
What made you care for them, my dear?
Why all this zest?
Now Sofia, I'll set your mind at rest;
Dreams can be strange but I should think
Reality is a more frightful thing.
You looked for grass but in the end
You found a friend.
Well, put tha tout of your head,
Forget the miracles -- they're all wrong.
You'd better go now back to bed.
(To Molchalin)
Show me your papers, come along.

I want to tell you, sir, instead:
The papers are in such a mess!
They will be null and void unless
They're certified
And all put right.

I'm awfully afraid
They might pile up, accumulate.
I know your kind. You'd keep them all
Stuck up for days in a pigeon-hole.
I'd rather have a paper signed.
Once signed -- it's out my mind!
(He and Molchalin exit. He makes way to Molchalin at the door)

Scene 5

Sofia and Lizzie.

The holiday is coming! Time for fun!
To me the day is not a happy one.
My eyes are dim, my heart is blue.
The sin does not much worry me, the rumours do.

I do not care for rumours. Let them be!
Though father will keep crying shame on me.
He always grumbles, scolds and makes one feel unhappy.
You know what he can do now after what happened.

He'll lock you up. That's what he'll do.
I wish he locked up me with you,
I'm afraid, he'll go as far as firing us:
Molchalin, me and all the others.

I'm thinking, happiness is so wayward!
A worse thing happens, yet you get away with it,
For once all worries seemed to be away,
We were lost in music, unaware of time of day,
It seems that fate was guarding us: The time just flew.
No doubt, no alarm... But trouble comes out of the blue.

That's it!
You never listen to my foolish judgement.
I told you many times, and I'll say it again
This love of yours is all in vain.
You wouldn't find a better profit. Listen, please:
Like all the muskovites your father is like this:
He wants a son-in-law with ranks and stars,
Not all of them are rich, alas.
He wishes he had money into the bargain
To live in clover, give a party now and again
Take colonel Skalozub, for instance, he isn't bad:
A would be general and very rich at that.

It's nice!
To hear him talk of ranks and lines!
I'd rather take my own life
Than marry him and be his wife.

He isn't bright. He merely talks a lot.
Of all the men, civilian or not,
There's Chatsky whom I really regard
As most considerate, intelligent and smart.
It's past and gone, Sofia, hence
You shouldn't really take offence.

What's that? I must admit
He's extreemly sensitive and full of wit.
He can make fun like no one else,
You should have heard the jokes he tells!

Oh is that all?
He wept when parting with you, I recall.
I tried to comfort him and asked him why he cried,
«There is a reason,» -- he replied, --
«For noone knows what I may gain
Or lose when I am back again.»
He seemed to know that in a year or two...

Stop talking liberties, will you?
I may have acted thoughtlessly, I know,
I do regret. But who was I unfaithful to?
Can anybody blame me for a breach of faith? Well, no!
Chatsky and I gew up together, that is true.
We were friends in childhood days,
And then he left, and ever since
He rarely visited our place,
He found our house dull, it seems,
And then again he showed affection,
Pretending love, consideration.
He's witty, wise, a man of eloquence,
And he is good at winning friends,
But now he thinks he is too clever...
He took to travelling, which is not bad,
However, if he loved someone, he'd never
Go on a lasting trip like that.

What trip? Is Chatsky travelling far?
They say, he took a treatment at a spa,
It was a cure of idleness among the cripple.

That's right. He's happy among the queer people.
The one I love is of different make,
Molchalin does his best for other people's sake.
He's modest, shy, polite -- beyond compare!
Oh, what a night we spent behind the doors!
Of space and time we were unaware
What were we doing there?

Well, God knows.
It's none of my affair.

He'd take my hand -- his manners most refined --
And with a gentle sigh he'd press it to his side.
My hand in his, he'd feast his eyes on me,
I never knew a person as urbane as he.
You're laughing? Why? I see no reason
To laugh like that. Say, are you teasing?

I just recall that gentleman of France
That used to live for some time at your aunt's.
He left. She tried to hide her grief but failed
For she forgot to dye her hair, and it greyed.
(continues laughing)

People will gossip, upon my word!

I'm sorry, and I swear to God,
I only tried to laugh away your grief,
I thought that it might bring you some relief.

Scene 6

Sofia, Lizzie, Servant, followed by Chatsky.

Alexander Andreyevich Chatsky.

Scene 7

Sofia, Lizzie, Chatsky.

It's hardly morning: here I'm down on my kness.
(kisses her hand with passion)
You didn't expect me, did you? Give me a kiss.
Are you really glad to see me? Look into my eyes!
For you it's only a surprise.
What a reception! God!
It seems like just the other day,
It seems like yersterday,
We passed the time till we got bored.
No sign of love! You look so nice, you do!
You'll never know what I went through,
I can't get over it. Just think:
I covered seven hundred miles at just one bound,
Two days and nights I didn't sleep a wink,
Just snow and wind, and not a soul around,
I'd lose my way and hit the ground,
And the result is your reward.

No, Chatsky, it is nice to see you around.

You're glad to see me? Very good!
Though I must say,
You do not look that way.
It seems, I should have spared the horses
For the result isn't worth the losses.

No, sir, you must not think so
For just a little while ago
We were talking about you.
Ma'me, do confirm, it's is true.

Well, honestly, I don't deserve reproach,
You can't reproach me now or ever
For when I see someone approach
The house -- a friend, a stranger or whoever,
I run to ask him whether he
Has seen you, on a coach, go by.

That I will not deny.
Blessed are the credulous for they are carefree.
Good gracious! Am I with you again?
In Moscow? You have changed! You're not the same.
Gone is the time! Gone are the innocent years!
Remember? We would run about pushing chairs,
We'd disappear then appear again,
Your father and madamme playing a table game,
Into a hideaway we would then sneek --
This very corner I suppose it was --
We would be startled by every little creak...

It's childish.

Yes, of course.
And now at seventeen you're in the bloom of youth,
Inimitable charm -- well, I declare!
You know that I'm telling you the truth,
That's why you're so modest -- you don't care
What people think of you. Now tell me straight:
Are you in love? Don't be ebarrassed nor hesitate.

Your curious look, your questions would embarrass anyone.

For heaven's sake! You're the only one
That can amaze me. Here in Moscow there is nothing new.
There was a party yesterday, tomorrow there'll be two.
Someone has managed to get married
Another hasn't and is worried.
Nothing has changed. Good gracious!
The same old poems, the same old conversations.

Now that you have seen the world
It's Moscow you're up to scold.
Well, where is a better place?

A place where we don't find ourselves.
Well, how's your father? Is the old chap
Still loyal, heart and soul, to the English Club?
How's your uncle? Is his number up?
This man... a Turk, a Greek... or something of the kind,
The thin-legged one. His name has slipped my mind.
You'd see him anywhere at all --
The sitting-room, the kitchen and the hall.
How are those three idle gentlemen?
Are they in search of marriage bonds again?
With heaps of relatives, some day, they hope
They'll be related with the whole of Europe.
And how's our dearest one? Do you recall his forehead?
With «Stage and Masquerade» inscribed on it?
He has his house painted green.
He's fat while all his actresses are thin.
Once during a ball -- remember? -- we discovered
A man that, hidden from the crowd,
Was making sounds of a nightingale --
A summer bird in winter did so well!
There's a relative of yours, a sickly man,
In the science board he got an occupation,
An enemy of books, he now demands a ban
On literacy and education.
And all these people I'm fated now to see,
I'll soon be sick and tired of living here.
Though after travelling East and West
We're find the smoke of Homeland best.

I'd bring my aunt and you together, so
That you might count everyone you know.

Your auntie, is she still a virgin? Goddess Athene?
And still the fraulein of czarina Catherine?
She had her house full of dogs and girls to breed.
Talking of breeding, why should people need
To hire crowds of tutors?And one tries
To have them at the lowest price!
I mean, with science all is fine,
But here in Russia, under the threat of a fine
We must aknowledge any creature
To be a History or a Science teacher.
Do you reember our own mentor?
The cap, the gown that he wore?
He needed some sign of tuition,
He filled our humble minds with awe,
And we were open to conviction,
From early years we would believe:
Without the Germans we couldn't live.
And Guilloment, the French, the giddy man,
Has he got married?

He hasn't anyone.

Well, he could marry some nice duchess.
Pulkheria Andreyevna he matches.

A ballet dancer? No.

Yes, he's grand.
One has to have a rank and own some land,
Though Guilloment -- oh, by the way,
Is there still a tendency today
At meetings, public gathering, on stage
To mix the Nizhny Novgorod dialect with French?

A language mixture?

Yes, at least of two.

To mix them into one the way you do?

It sounds natural at least.
My word! I'm extraodinary pleased
To see you. Thus
I'm talkative. Taking my chance.
For this Molchalin you have time!
Where is he? I suppose that I'm
No sillier than he. He still keeps
A seal of silence on his lips.
Or doesn't he? Heused to have a book
Where he would write
All latest songs that caught his sight.
He will get on in life anyway
For silent men are highly praised today.

You viper!
(aloud and with ease)
May I ask?
Have you by any chance, in sorrow or in joy,
Talked favourably of any one of us?
Not now. Perhaps, when you were a boy?

When all is fragile? Soft and immature?
Why go that far? Here is a good deed for you:
The jingling of the bell still in my mind,
I crossed the snowy desert through the day and night.
I hurried here at a neckbreak pace
To find you wearing an austeer face.
Your coolness, your restraint are tearing me apart,
The way you look:
The face of a holy praying girl...
And yet I love you with all my heart.
(a minute of silence)
Now listen, don't I treat you well?
I never mind a queer man's trick,
I have a laugh and then forget it quick.
And if it were your desire
That I should go into the fire,
I'd do it without thinking twice.

It will be nice
If you get burnt,
And if you don't?

Scene 8

Sofia, Lizzie, Chatsky, Famusov.

There's another one!

A dream of prophecy.

(in a low voice, following her with his eyes)
Now, damn the dream!

Scene 9

Famusov, Chatsky (looks at the door through which Sofia left)

Oh what a trick you've played! You see,
For three long years we haven't heard from you,
And now you're here, out of the blue.
(they embrance)
Hallo, my friend, come, take your seat,
Let's have a chat a little bit.
You must have got a lot to say,
Tell us your stories without delay.
(both sit down)

Well, Sofia Pavlovna has grown so pretty.

It is a pity
That all you see is a pretty face.
She must have dropped a casual phrase
Inspiring you with hopes, enchanting you...

I rarely nourish hopes. I hardly ever do.

«A dream of prophecy» the words fell on my ear.
You're thinking of...

Me? I have no idea.

What did she dream of? What is it?

I don't interpret dreams.

No! Don't belive her! Not a bit!

I do believe my eyes. Upon my word!
She is like no one in the world,
A beauty from a fairy tale!

Stop harping on it ! Tell us in detail,
Where have you been? You travelled many years.
Where are you from?

No time for that.
I travelled less
Than I had planned.
(raises quickly)
Excuse me, but I hurried here to see you,
I haven't been at home, so I must say good-bye.
I'll come again in an hour's time, I'm sorry,
Though you will be the first to hear my story.
(in the doorway)
She's charming!

Scene 10

Which of the two it is, I wonder?
«A dream of prophecy» -- she said.
She said it openly, I don't know what she meant.
It's all my fault. Oh what a blunder!
Molchalin made me doubt then. And now I
Have fallen out of the pan into the fire.
One is a pauper, a dandy is the other;
Known as a wasteful man, mischivious and haughty.
Oh, what a lot to be the father
Of a grown-up daughter!

The End of Act I


Scene 1

Famusov, Footman.

Petrushka, you have always new clothes on.
Look at yourself! Your sleeve is torn.
Now, take the calendar and try to make it best.
Read it expressively, don't mumble like obsessed!
No, wait, just take the pad and write:
The next week column. Tuesday night --
A trout party. What a temptation! --
It's Praskovya Fyodorovna's invitation.
Why is the world so strange? -- I ask myself the question.
And when I do, it makes my mind just reel:
A fast is followed by a hearty meal,
And then three days of indigestion.
Write, on that same day, no, Thursday morning
There is a burial ceremony.
The human race, they all forget
That some day all of them shall get
Into the box, so small and tight!
The one who'll leave blessed memory behind,
A noble chamberlain the late man was,
He had the key and let his son have one.
He took a wealthy woman, being a wealthy man
And married off his children, I suppose,
People are mourning now that he has passed away
Kuzma Petrovich! May he rest with peace!
There are bigwigs in Moscow, I should say!
Write down: Thursday, on top of this,
Or perhaps on Friday, or on Saturday,
I must attend a Christening day.
The widow hasn't given birth as yet
Though she may, any day, as I expect.

Scene 2

Famusov, Footman, Chatsky.

Oh, Alexander Andreyevich! Come, sit down!

I see you are engaged.

(to the footman)
You go.
(The footman exits)
It's next week's plan that we're putting down,
Something may slip my mind, you know.

I see, you do not look quite happy,
Is it inopportunely that I arrived?
Or maybe something wrong has happened
To Sofia Pavlovna? Is she all right ?

Oh, what a thing to puzzle brains about!
I'm sad! Well, do you expect an aged man like me
To cry for joy and dance around?

Nobody wants you to, you see,
I just inquired of you
If Sofia Pavlovna was feeling well.

Pah! Got forgive me! Hell!
A thousand times you told me that!
Now Sofia Pavlovna is feeling bad,
Now she's the prettiest one on earth.
Are you in love with her? Oh yes!
You want to marry her, you do.

It's my affair.

You have to reckon with me, too.
I am related to her, am I not?
And note:
I'm a father. At least they've always called me so.

If I propose to her, will you say no?

Well, first, I should say this:
You don't be reckless. Think of your estate,
And what is most impotant: take up service.

I'd love to serve. Servility is what I hate.

That's it!
You're all puffed up with pride and aspiration!
You'd better ask me what your fathers did
And learn from our generation.
People like us or late Maxim Petrovich,
My uncle, he would drive on a tandem coach,
A hundred men on hand, he ate
From a gold and from a silver plate.
He had awards, lived like a lord,
And he attended at the highest court.
Those were the days! So much unlike the present!
He was in service in Catherine's days. And
Everybody felt important then,
Your bow and scrape they would disdain.
A courtier was even better off,
He'd eat and drink what others didn't dream of.
My uncle, with his haughty temper, serious look,
Compared with him, what is a count or a duke?
To please superiors he was happy,
He'd creap and crawl like a snake.
Once at a reception it so happened
That he fell down and nearly broke his neck.
The old man groaned in a husky voice
Which won him an imperial smile. Now!
Everybody laughed. What did he do? He rose
And straightened up to make a bow.
Then suddenly he flopped. This time with aim,
Again a laughter. And a fall again.
Well, what do you think of it? I think it'snice.
He hurt himself but he was quick to rise.
And ever since, like no one else,
In the royal house he was a welcome guest.
Maxim Petrovich! A man of high esteem!
Maxim Petrovich! The life's mischievous pranks!
Who fixes pensions and gives people ranks?
Maxim Petrovich! Not one of you is a match for him!

Exactly! You may sigh compalaining
That our society's degrading.
But if I look comparing the present
With the glorious past, to me it's evident:
Fresh is the story, yet it is doubtful to me
For glorified and famed was he
Who showed the greatest zeal in bending the knee,
Who fought and won at peace, not in a war,
Hitting his forehead at the floor.
And those in need were in the gutter,
Those at the top were praised and flattered.
It was the age of timidness and fright
Under the mask of loyalty to tsarist might.
I do not mean your dear uncle,
About him I hate to wrangle.
But who would want in our days,
To sacrify his neck just for the sake
Of fun, or just to make
The crowd laugh, as in that case?
It seems to me, some aged man,
On seeing that courageous jump,
Must have confessed that, to his shame,
He was unable to do the same.
Although there're rascals everywhere
To be a laughing stock they do not dare.
And hence no favor of the sovereigns they expect.

My Lord! Good heavens! He is a suspect!

Today the world is different, really.

He's dangerous.

One can breathe freely.
Nobody wants to join the foolish crowd.

He's talking like a book! What is he talking about?

They gather at the patron's house to gape and yawn,
To sit in silence, dine and dance a waltz,
To show their courtesy, sit up till dawn.

Now. To preach liberties, that's what he wants.

Some travel. Others live in a country-house.

He doesn't recognize the goverment of ours.

Well, he who serves a noble cause...

For such a gentleman I'd close all doors
And keep them miles away from our city.

I'll give you rest. Just out of pity...

I cannot bear it. I'm vexed, impatient.

I have abused your generation;
I give you my authority:
You may cut off part of my commentry
Or, if you want, you may apply
It to the present time -- I shall not cry.

I've had enough! For you I'll shut the door,
I shall not tolerate all this pervesion any more!

I've had my say.

All right. I have my ears shut.

Why should you? I mean no insult.

These idlers! Roam around the world,
And on return they order us about.

I've finished now...

Have mersy, my patience's running out.

I don't feel like disputing things.

You might as well repent of sins.

Scene 3

Colonel Skalozub.

(hears and sees nothing)

You will be put to trial, mind.

Somebody wants to see you. A man of note.

I don't hear anything. He must be tried!

There's a man with a report.

I am not listening. He must be tried, tried, tried!

There's a man behind.

(he turns round)
What's that? A mutiny? I should expext so!

Colonel Skalozub. He's here I mean.

(stands up)
You stupid asses! I told you a hundred times or more!
Do let him in! Invite him! Tell him I'm in!
Tell him I'm glad to see him. Go! be quick!
(The footman exits)
He's coming now, sir. No more of you cheek.
He's a man of high respect,
Has grabbed a heap of orders, I should say,
He has a rank, as high as you would not expect,
He may be a general any day.
So please be modest when he's there.
Too bad, Alexander Andreyich, dear.
He often comes to see me -- I don't care,
You know, I welcome anybody here.
In Moscow tongues are wagging. Well, for instance,
They say, he wants to marry Sofia. Its nonsense!
At heart he may be overjoyed enough,
But I do not intend to marry off
My daughter now, tomorrow or today,
She's too young. Though it's God's will anyway.
Don't argue in his presence, please,
And leave off joking, don't be a tease.
Where is he? I presume,
He's waiting there in my room.
(hurries away)

Scene 4

He's so fussy. Theres so much whim.
And Sofia? Can she be engaged to him?
They've been avoiding me as if I were a stranger.
Oh, how I wish that she were here, my angel.
Who is this colonel whom he is so infatuated with?
And maybe Famusov is not the only one who is?
Oh, he who goes for three long years away
A fare well to love is doomed to say.

Scene 5

Chatsky, Famusov, Skalozub.

Sergey Sergeyich! You're welcome, dear.
You must be cold. Come here, get warm,
Please join us, it is warmer here;
We'll open up the vent. Just make yourself at home.

(in a low voice)
Don't do it. Let me do it, please.
An officer of honour, I'm feeling ill at ease.

Sergey Sergeyevich, my dear,
Let me do something for a friend;
Your hat, your sword, just put them here,
You may stretch out on this bed.

It doesn't matter where I sit.
(all sit down, Chatsky at a distance)

My dear friend, before it slips my mind
I'll tell you: we are relatives of a kind.
Not close, and no inheritence behind.
I didn't know it, nor did you,
I learned it from your cousin, dear,
Nastasya Nikolaeyevna -- is she related to you, too?

I'm sorry, I have no idea,
We never served together, for all I know.

Sergey Sergeyich! You don't say so!
Oh no! There's nothing I won't do for relatives,
They won't escape me by any means.
I have no outsiders working with me,
I take on children from my family tree.
Exeptions? Well, Molchalin is the only one,
He's business-like, that's why I took him on.
Now when it comes to offering a vacancy or giving an award.
It's natural that for my relatives I should put in a word.
Your cousin happened once to mention
That he had gained a lot from your protection.

In 1813 we cut our teeth,
First in the 13th regiment, then in the 45th.

One should be proud of a son like you.
You have an order, haven't you?

It's for the August fight. We were in a trench,
He got one on a band, I got this for a change.

He's amiable, smart, as for as I can see.
A brilliant man your cousin seems to be.

He follows some new rules he has acquired;
He was to get promotion but suddenly retired,
He took to reading in his country-house and...

The youth! They read, then all of asudden, bump, the end.
You're doing well, you can't be wrong,
You're a colonel though you haven't served too long.

I'm a lucky man, you see?
There's right now a vacancy.
Some seniors fall in battle,
Others are cast out of saddle.

Yes, God gives everyone his due.

Some people get on better that I do;
In the fifteenth division there's a man,
The brigadeer general, to mention only one.

You have got everything, haven't you?

I can't complain. Though it's two years, my friend,
That I have strived for the regiment.

There's no occasion for regret
For I should say, in some respect
Your rivals you have outdone.

No, in my corps I'm not the oldest one,
I've been in service now for years,
I know there are so many ways
To be promoted. All I say:
I wish I'd be a general some day.

I share your judgement, and I wish you health,
I also wish you generalship, wealth.
And then... why should you put it off? --
It's time to think of your better half.

To marry? I don't care if I do.

People have daughters, sisters, nieces, too;
There're many marriageable women here.
Indeed, they multiply with every passing year.
Of all the capitals, big or small,
Moscow is surely best of all.

A city of tremendous size and space.

Good manners, elegance and grace;
Our life is governed by the laws;
We judge the children by the parents,
«The father makes the son» -- the saying goes.
He may be bad but if he inherits
Two thousand hands, then people say:
«He makes a perfect fiance.»
And if a man is not of noble birth,
However smart and full of self-respect,
No blessing from the family he should expect.
Or take the bread-and-salt reception,
I welcome all without expection,
My doors are open to all. Yes.
Especially to foreign guests.
No matter, honest or dishonest, a gentleman or lady,
I always keep my dinner ready.
Look at the people of our city,
They have an imprint of peculiarity.
Look at our youngsters, look at these
Boys -- our sonnies and grandsonnies,
We scold them and we think them green,
While they can teach their grannies at fifteen.
As for the eldgers their word is law,
Once they start talking, they let it go,
They always talk with a knowing air,
To contradict them you don't dare,
They're old gentry, they make no bones
About talking on the goverent's wrongs.
If someone overheard them, they'd be done for.
Not that they put forward new ideas, no!
It's mere finding fault. That is the thing!
Making a noise about nothing.
They carry their arguments too far,
Retired chansellors they think they are.
I'll tell you what: the time has not yet come,
Some day quite indespensible they may become.
As for the ladies they are hard to win.
Don't try to judge them, They will judge everything.
When they come out like one at a table game,
Have patience! I have myself been married. Wait:
They will command an army on the front, they claim,
And will attend the senate to debate.
Irina Vlasyevna! Lukerya Alexevna!
Tatyana Yuryevna! Pulkheria Andryevna!
And if you saw their daughters, you would blush with shame.
His majesty the king of Prussia here once came,
It wasn't girls and their pretty faces that attracted him,
They were well bread and had good manners in his esteem.
They can wear a veil and paint the face,
They never say a word without a gremace,
They sing a French romance
Forcing the highest notes,
With military men they take a chance
Because they say are patriots.
Of all the capitals, big or small,
Moscow is surely best of all.

As far as I can judge,
To a large extent the fire made it such.

Don't talk about the fire. Don't tease.
So much has changed ever since:
The roads, the houses, the pavements and all . . .

The houses are new, the prejudices are old.
You should be pleased because a prejudice never dies,
It will survive the years, the fashions and the fires.

(to Chatsky)
Ah you! Just keep your mouth shut,
Do me a favour, it isn't hard.
(to Skalozub)
Well, let me introduce to you this gentleman:
The son of Chatsky, of the late friend of mine.
He doesn't serve, though if he did, he would succeed.
It is a pity, I regret, for he is bright.
How well can he translate and write!
I can't help feeling sorry for this man.

Can't you feel sorry for some other one?
I am annoyed to hear all your praise.

Well, anybody would condemn you in my place.

I wonder who the judges are!
With age they show hostility to freedom,
They read the press that dates as far
Back as the Crimean war. They call it wisdom.
They're quick to criticize and curse
And always sing the same old song,
They never think they can be wrong.
The older these men are the worse.
Where are those fathers of the nation,
Good models for our generation,
The ones that roll in looted money
With influential friends and relatives on hand?
The ones that feast away their lives of honey
And dwell in houses magnificent and grand?
The houses in which the foul features of the past
Will never be revived by all this foreign caste.
The Moscow they will keep your mouth shut
By sending you a dinner party invitation card.
Or, maybe,
It is the man to whom you used to take me
For a bow when I was a baby?
The leader of otstanding rascals, he
Had a team of loyal servants
That during fight-and-drinking rounds
Had saved his life and honour, but then once
He suddenly exchanged them for three hounds.
And then there is the man, as good as all the others,
He gathered children for his ballet muse
By tearing them away from their mothers.
He set his mind on Zephirs and Amours
And let the whole of Moscow admire their beauty,
And when it came to setting his accounts
He didn't bother about credits. «Out of sense of duty»
All his Amours and Zephirs he sold out.
Those are the men that now have grown old and grey,
The men enjoying high respect and estimation.
«They are indeed our fair judges» -- you will say.
And if there is a man among the younger generation
That never strives for vacansy nor seeks an occupation
Who sets his mind on science and shows a thirst for knowledge
Or good himself fills him with inspiration
To creativity in art,
They scream: «Disaster! Fire!» and acknowledge
The man to be a dreamer and dangerous at that.
The coat! The coat! They wear it still,
So beautifully made, it used to hide
Their timidness and their flippant mind.
And that's the road that we should take at will.
The wives and daughters, too, affect the coat
And so did I until a while ago.
I'm not an infant now, you know,
On things like that I shall no longer dote.
When some Guard's officers one day
Were on a short time visit here
The women shouted: «Hurrah!»
And threw their bonnets into the air.

(to himself)
He'll let me down, I'm sure.
Sergey Sergeyich, I shall go,
There in my room for you I'll wait.

Scene 6

Chatsky, Skalozub.

I really appreciate
The way you touched upon
The fact that muskovities are fond
Of our Guards and Guardsmen, our perfect pets,
Their gold embroidery, the cut of coats and shirts.
Our First Army has never lagged behind;
The waists are narrow. The style is fine,
Our officers are spick and span,
They can speak French... Some of them can.

Scene 7

Chatsky, Skalozub, Sofia, Lizzie.

(runs to the window)
My God! He's fallen down! He's dead!

Who's that?

Who is in trouble?

She so scared!

Who on earth is it?

He's hurt. Is he in good shape?

Is it our old boy who's got into a scrape?

(trying to help the lady)
«No flying from fate» -- the saying goes.
As our Molchalin was mounting the horse
It reared suddenly as if it were scared,
And he fell down bump on his head.

Poor rider! Must have pulled the reins too tight.
Did he fall down on his breast or on his side?

Scene 8

The same people except Skalozub.

How can we help her? Tell me, Lizz.

There's water over there...
(Chatsky runs to fetch water. All speak in alow voice until Sofia regains consciousness)
Pour out a glass!

Well, there it is,
Let loose the lacing, give her air,
Now rub the temples with the vinegar,
Now sprinkle water. See? It really
Helps. She's breathing freely.
Have you a fan?

Yes, here you are.

Look out!
Molchalin has come round!

It's idleness that torments her.
Well, isn't it a pity, sir?
She cannot bear to see a man
Dash to the ground, like we can.

Go on with sprinkling.

(with a deep sigh)
Who's speaking?
It's like a dream.
(speaks fast in a loud voice now)
Where is he? What has happened to him?

Whatever happened, never mind!
He nearly killed you. It serves him right.

You're killing me with coldness, you!
I cannot bear the sight of you!

Do you expect me to shed tears?

Go there and help him, if you please.

To leave you on your own here?

I just don't need you. Do you hear?
It's true: about others you are not worried.
If your own dad were killed, you wouldn't care.
(to Lizzie)
Let's go.

(taking her a little aside)
No, wait. Just don't get flurried.
He's safe and sound. Look out there!
(Sofia looks out into the window)

The way she took it! Fright. Confusion. Faint.
One only feels that way, I understand.
About the loss of a dearest friend.

They're coming here. He cannot raise his hand.

I wish I had got killed with him.

Just keep your wishes to yourself, if you have any.

Scene 9

Sofia, Lizzie, Chatsky, Skalozub, Molchalin (with his bad arm bandaged)

He's alive again.
He got away with a little pain.
It was a false alarm, just a mistake.

I frightened you. Forgive me for God's sake.

I didn't know you would be frightened.
As you dashed in we were startled,
You fainted suddenly. And now it's clear,
There was no reason to feel fear.

(looking aside)
Although I know that all is safe
I'm still shaking in my shoes.

(to himself)
It seems, Molchalin is execused.

I never fear for myself.
Say, when the coach gets overturned
I wait until they put it right,
Set it in order. And on I ride.
I fear for others, for myself I don't.
It doesn't care whom I fear for.

(to himself)
She's making her apology
For having pitied somebody.

Now let me tell you something about a dame,
A certain countesss, Lasova by name.
She rides a horse. A widow, she prefers
To ride without her admirers.
She was so hadly hurt the other day,
The jockey must have turned his eyes away.
A clumsy woman, now she's lost a rib.
So she's looking for a man. In short,
She needs a husband for support.

Andrey Andreyich, take my tip!
You're a generous man. When people are in need,
You're a friend indeed.

I've made my every effort now, and I've
Succeded in bringing you back to life.
I don't know though
Whom I have done it for.
(takes his hat and exits)

Scene 10

The same people except Chatsky.

We have a gathering tonight. Will you join us?

What time?

Come early, there'll be friends,
To piano music we shall dance.
We're in mourning. So for a ball there's no chance.

I'm engaged. Yet I will come tonight.
I must be off.

Good bye.

(shaking Molchalin's hands)
I'm your man.

Scene 11

Sofia, Lizzie, Molchalin.

Molchalin, I have alost lost my mind.
Don't risk your life. Be careful if you can.
You know how dear you are to me.
Now tell me, please, how is your arm?
Shall I give you any kind of remedy?
Or call a doctor? It will do no harm.

I've dressed it and it doesn't ache.

I bet, it's nousense, just a fake;
For dressing there isn't any need,
And you will not avoid publicity
For Chatsky will make fun of it,
And Skalozub will spread it through the city.
He'll tell his story carrying it too far,
He's fond of making jokes. All people are.

Which of the two I care for?
It's up to me -- I can say «yes» or «no».
Molchalin, I restrained my feeling,
When I came in my mind was reeling,
I couldn't breathe when they were there,
To look at you I didn't dare.

No, Sofia Pavlovna, you're too blunt.

I wish I could be restraint, I can't.
I nearly jumped out of the window then,
And I don't care about any one of them,
Let people grin or scold me if they want.

Well, if you hold you tongue, they won't.

Will you be challenged to a duel? I hope not.

The vicious tongues, they are more frightful than a pistol shot.

They're sitting there, I presume.
You'd better rush into the room
With a cheerful look, a happy face,
Tell them the words they want to hear,
They will believe words of praise.
As to Alexander Andreyich he
Will be just happy to converse
With you about the bygone years.
Just give a smile and he will do
Anything under the sun for you.

I don't advise you anything.
(kisses her hand)

I'll do it against my will. Although
I cannot feign pretence, I think.
What did God bring this Chatsky here for?

Scene 12

Lizzie, Molchalin.

You're such a happy creature, you!

Leave me alone. Without me you're two.

You're such a beauty!
I love you so!

And Sofia, too?

I love her out of duty,
I love you...
(wants to embrance her)

Out of boredom. Be off with you!

I have three things for you: here is
A toilet set, it's got two mirrors,
One outside and one inside. Nice work.
There's carving, gilt. Just have a look.
This little thing with a beads ornament. Not bad.
Nice little sissors an a needle pad.
There's pomade, and here is another set:
Two bottles of perfume: jassmine and mignonette.

You know in things I take no interest.
You'd better tell me why
You're so dissolute with me while with the mistress
You're always modest, shy?

I'm not well. My arm is dressed, you see?
At dinner time, when we're two,
I shall confine the truth to you.
(Exits through the side door)

Scene 13

Lizzie, Sofia.

There's no one in the father's room. Too bad!
I'll miss the dinner. I'm not well today.
Go to Molchalin, tell him that
I want to see him right away.
(Exits to her room.)

Scene 14


So strange these people seem to be!
She craves for him, he craves for me,
And I'm... the only one who's scared of love,
Barman Petrusha, my sweetest dove.

The End of Act II


Scene 1

Chatsky, then Sofia.

I'll wait till she confides to me.
Whom does she care for? Molchalin! Skalozub! Who is it?
Molchalin used to be so stupid,
A miserable creature, it was plain to see.
He hasn't grown any wiser. And the other one
Is rough and hoarse, a husky man.
A constellaton of mazurkas and manouvres. Love
Is doomed to play the blind man's bluff.
And I...
(Enter Sofia)
Oh, are you here? I'm very glad.
I wished it so.

(to herself)
It is too bad.

It isn't me you were looking for, is it?

I didn't look for you.

Maybe, it isn't fit
That I should ask you. Tell me, be so kind,
Whom do you love?

Good heavens! All mankind.

And whom do you prefer?

Well, there are relatives...

You love me most of all!

Some of them, that is.

What do I hope for, when all is done?
I'm prepared to kill myself while she's having fun.

Shall I be frank with you?
It's not polite to laugh at everyone.
You always have a ready tongue
When people don't behave the way you do.
And you...

I'm a funny man, you mean to say?

You're menacing. You look and talk that way.
You have a lot of other negatives like that,
Self criticism wouldn't do you bad.

I'm queer! All men are queer as rule.
He isn't queer who's like a fool.
Molchalin, for example...

Well, it isn't new to me;
You make no bones about pouring out your acidity.
I hate to bother you. I'll leave.

(holding her back)
Don't go.
For once I'll make believe.
Let's drop it. Arguments aside!
I'm sorry for Molchalin for I wasn't right;
He may be different from what he used to be,
Such changes do occur, I will agree,
Changes in minds and morals, governments and rules,
There are important people that were known to be fools,
I'm afraid to mention them but you'll agree:
Some weren't successful in the army, some in poetry
And others -- everybody says --
Have grown much too clever in recent years.
Molchalin may be bright and bold, it's true,
But has he got emotions, passions
To think the world without you
To be just vanity and ashes?
And is he sensitive enough
To have his heart-beat speeded up by love?
So that whatever he might think and do
Would be entirely for you?
That's what I feel, but words just fail me.
I'm overwhelwed, I'm in despair,
It's such a feeling that I couldn't wish an enemy.
And he? Just hangs his head and doesn't seem to care,
He's timid. All such men are quiet,
He has a mistery of some kind.
Good knows what is it you've inspired
In him. Something he never had in mind.
Of all the merits, quite a few
He has inherited from you.
It isn't he who's sinful, it is you.
No, no, he may be wise and clever, too.
Is he a match for you? -- that is the question.
As someone you grew up together with
A friend of yours, your nearest relation,
I want you to dispell my doubts, please,
So that I take the loss with ease.
I shall take care not to lose my mind,
I'll go away to fall in reverie
And never think of love. Yet I shall find
A way to having fun and making merry.

(to herself)
To drive him mad I really did not intend.
(aloud )
Why on earth should I pretend?
Molchalin could have lost his hand.
I helped him, you should understand,
You were there and you saw it too,
And it did not occur to you,
It was the gesture of a friend.
Though, maybe, you're right to some extent,
For him I may be biased,
Now tell me really,
Why should you talk so freely
Of your contempt for people, and never make disguise?
You don't show mercey even to the humblest one.
You're always at it. Always joking, always having fun.
No matter who is mentioned during table-talks
Down on his head you hail your biting jokes.

My goodness! Am I really the kind of man
Whose only ai
Meeting with funny people is adoring
Though for the most part I find them boring.

No, it does not apply to him.
Molchalin wouldn't really seem
To you so boring, if you knew him well.

(with passion)
Why did you get to know him well?

I never tried. It was the wish of God.
Just look how many friends he's got.
He's been in service for three years,
When father loses temper for no reason
Molchalin never takes offence.
He's kind and trys to do thepleasing.
And incindentally,
He could make merry if he wanted to.
Alas, he only does what the old people here do,
He sits playingwith them all day long.

Playing all day!
He doesn't contradict when they're wrong!
No, she does not respect him, I should say.

One can be prompt and smart but deathly boring,
Another's always swearing and scolding
Just to attract attention, grow the gossip seeds.
Is that the kind of wit a family needs?

Is moral and satire the meaning of this all?
She doesn't care for him at all!

With every virtue his character is graced.
He's modest and complient, though not smart.
He has no signs of worry on his face
And doesn't suffer wrong at heart.
He isn't finding fault with all and everything,
That's why I love him so.

She doesn't love him. It can be seen.
And I can tell you more
To help you finish up Molchalin's portrait.
And Skalozub? Ah, what a treat!
He loves the army so!
His posture and his manners and the way
He looks and talks make him a hero.

Not of my novel anyway.

Not of you novel? It's hard to find you out.

Scene 2

Chatsky, Sofia, Lizzie.

(in a whisper)
Alexander Stepanych is about
To come in. He's here to see you.

I'm sorry, I must take to flight.

Where to?

The hair dresser. While the curling irons are hot.

So what?

We are expecting visitors tonight.

All right.
My riddle will remain
Unsolved again.
Now let me sneek into your room where...
Everything is wonderful the walls, the air,
The memories of bygone years will do me best,
They'll buck me up and give me rest.
I shan't stay long there, a minute, maybe two,
And then, just think, in the English Club
I shall spend days just listening to
The gossip about Molchalin, Skalozub...

(Sofia shrugs her shoulders, exits and locks the door. Lizzie follows her.)

Scene 3

Chatsky, Molchalin.

Has Sofia really chosen him? She might.
He can be quite a husband though he isn't bright
One doesn't need to be so brilliant
To have a family and children.
He is polite, obliging, has a good complexion...
(Enter Molchalin)
Now there he comes on tiptoe silently.
How did he manage to win Sofia's affectation?
(addressing to him)
Well, Alexey Stepanych, you and me
Didn't have time to have a chat.
How are you? Not too bad?
No cares? No troubles now?

Just like before.

I'm asking «how?»

Day in, day out -- all the same.

From playing cards to writing then to cards again?
Then waiting for the turns of tides?

I do my best, without big words,
Since I've been working in the Archives
I have received three high awards.

You're a man of honour and importance?

No, everybody has his own gift...

You, too?

Yes, I have two:
Painstakingness and confidence.

Two finest gifts. They equal all our gifts combined.

Have you not been successful? Haven't you ranks of any kind?

The ranks are given by human beings, --
They make mistakes. I have misgivings.

We were so surprised!

Why should you?

We were sorry for you.

You didn't need to.

Tatyana Yuryevna once mentioned
On her return from Petersburg
That you had some kind of relation
With ministers. It didn't work...

It's none of her affair.

Tatyana Yuryevna!

We're not aquainted, I don't care.

Tatyana Yuryevna!

That woman I have never seen
I hear she is silly.

Come on! Is that the one I mean?
Tatyana Yuryevna's well known! High rank officials, chiefs,
They are all her friends and relatives,
You'd better go and see her one fine day.

What do I need it for?

You see you may...
Get unexpected backing and protection.

Sometimes I visit women but not with that intention.

She's so well-mannered, pretty, unpretentious,
She gives most splendid balls on all occasions,
From Christmas to the Easter holidays, and then
She has festivities in her country-house again.
Why shouln't you stay in Moscow, really?
You'd get awards and live quite merrily.

When I'm busy I mean business as a rule,
And when it's time to play I play the fool,
And I do not belong to those
Who're capable of doing both.

It's not a crime, as far as I can see,
There's Foma Fomich. You know the man?

So what?

Under three ministers he was the head of a board,
He's been transferred down here...

Oh dear!
A stupid man. One of the stilliest men I know.

You don't say so!
He's the model of eloquence!
Have you read his books?

I don't read nonsense.
And model nonsense all the more so.

No, really. I've read his books and I enjoyed them, too.
I'm no writer...

No, it's plain to see.

I'm not brave enough to form my own point of view.

Why are you holding back, tell me.

I am just a young man and...
I mustn't have my own judgement.

We are no children. Why, should we...
Respect other men's views only.

We must depend on others, you and I.

Why should we?

We are low rank people, that is why.

(almost aloud)
She loves a man with such a heart!
The lier! How could she mock at me like that?

Scene 4

Evening. All doors are wide open except the door leading to Sofia's room. In the background some doors are being opened. The footmen are bustling about. One of them, the head footman, says:

Hey, Filka, Fomka, hurry up, you folk!
Bring tables, brushes, candles, chalk!
(Knocks at Sofia's door)
Elisabeth, please tell the mistress:
Natalia Dmitrevna, her husband, is at the porch.
Now there is another coach.

(All break up. Chatsky is left alone...)

Scene 5

Chatsky, Natalia Dmitriyevna, a young lady

Natalia Dmitriyevna
If I'm not mistaken, this is...
Alexandr Andreyich, is it really you? Oh yes!

You're staring at me in such a way.
Can I have changed so much in these three years?

Natalia Dmitriyevna
I thought you were far away.
When did you come?


Natalia Dmitriyevna
For long?

I don't know, I shall see.
I say, you have changed surprisingly.
You've put on weight. You're such a lovely creature!
You look so fresh and young to-day!
There's a fire, colour, joy in every feature.

Natalia Dmitriyevna
I'm married.

You should have said it right away.

Natalia Dmitriyevna
My husband is a gorgeous man. He's coming in.
I'll introduce him to you, if you want.

I do.

Natalia Dmitriyevna
There's something you will like about him,
Just look and judge, I don't know what.

I do believe you. He's your husband, you are tied.

Natalia Dmitriyevna
No, he's a good man in his own right.
Platon Mikhaylich is so precious! He's my only one.
He is retired. He used to be a military man.
And everybody says, all those who knew him then,
He's one of the most courageous, gifted men,
And had he not resigned
He would become the Moscow commandant.

Scene 6

Chatsky, Natalia Dmitiyevna, Platon Mikhailovich

Natalia Dmitriyevna
Meet Platon Mikhailovich.

My stars!
A good old friend of mine! Oh what a chance!

Platon Mihkaylovich
Hello, my brother Chatsky!

Platon, my dear,
Congratulations on your good behaviour.

Platon Mihkaylovich
Now, as you see, my friend,
I've ended up in Moscow in the end.

Have you forgotten brothers, friends, the camping ballihoo?

Platon Mihkaylovich
Not really, I have some things to do,
I play a duet on my flute, I love it so.
It's in «la» flat.

The same old tune you played five years ago?
You don't change tastes. It is a good merit.

Platon Mihkaylovich
You will remember me when you get married,
Out of idleness you'll play the same old melody.

Do you give way to idleness, my dear?

Natalia Dmitriyevna
My husband does a lot
Of what they don't do nowadays:
Horse-riding, training... sometimes he's bored.

Who told you, dear fellow, you should you laze?
Go join a regiment. You'll get a squadron, sir.
Are you a junior or a field officer?

Natalia Dmitriyevna
Well, you see, Platon Mikhailovich is not healthy.

Do you mean he's fallen ill? May I know when?

Natalia Dmitriyevna
He has a headache and a backache now and then.

Go to the country. Do more exercise,
In summer the country-side is a paradise.

Natalia Dmitriyevna
Platon Mikhailovich prefers
The city to a god forsaken place.

The city. Moscow... You're strange.
Do you recall the past?

Platon Mihkaylovich
Yes, but things have changed.

Natalia Dmitriyevna
My dear,
It's cool in here,
You had best
Button your clothes, your suit, your vest.

Platon Mihkaylovich
I'm not the man I used to be...

Natalia Dmitriyevna
Look here,
Darling, you must get buttoned anyway.

Platon Mihkaylovich
(speaking calmly)

Natalia Dmitriyevna
Get out of the doorway,
There's a draught there coming from behind.

Platon Mihkaylovich
I'm not the man I used to be...

Natalia Dmitriyevna
Darling, be so kind,
Get out of the doorway. Don't stand near.

Platon Mihkaylovich
(rolling up his eyes)
Oh, woman!

Well, may God judge you, dear.
You're right, you're different from what you were.
It wasn't long ago. Wasn't it last year?
We were in the regiment. Just at the break of day
You would get on the horse to ride away,
You'd ride around exposed to the autum wind...

Platon Mihkaylovich
Yes, brother. Those were the days, indeed!

Scene 7

The same people, Count Tugouhovsky and the countess with their six daughters.

Natalia Dmitriyevna
(in a high voice)
Count Pyotr Ilyich! Countess! Good heavens!
Countess Zizzie, Mimmie!
(Loud kissing.Then everybody sits down taking an all round view of one another)

1st countess
Oh, what a vogue!

2nd countess
The folds, the pleats!

1st countess
The fringes! Everything matches!

Natalia Dmitriyevna
No, have a look at my charming satin cloak!

3rd countess
Look at my scarf, my brother cousin's present!

4th countess
Oh yes!

5th countess
It's lovely, isn't it?

6th countess
It's a woolen one.

Who's that gentleman? He's so pleasant...

Natalia Dmitriyevna
A stranger. Chatsky.

A r-retired man?

Natalia Dmitriyevna
Yes, he's been travelling. He's just back home, you see...

And he is not mar-r-ried yet, is he?

Natalia Dmitriyevna
He isn't.

Count, come here, be quick!

(turns his ear-trumpet to her and groans)

I ask you to invite
Natalia Dmitriyevna's aquaintance to our party,
Tuesday night.

(goes up to Chatsky, hangs around him and caughs from time to time)

With children that's the way it is:
They want a ball while father looks for ways
Of finding dancers. They are rare nowadays.
Has he a noble r-rank?

Natalia Dmitriyevna
Well, no.

Is he well off?

Natalia Dmitriyevna
Well, no.

(in a loud voice)
Eh, count, come back! I call it off!

Scene 8

The same people and countess Khrumins, the grannie and her granddaughter.

Countess, the Granddaughter
Oh grandmaman! We've come too early, I think.
We are the first to come.

Natalia Dmitriyevna
She's abusing us!
She' the first to come! She thinks that we are nothing!
She's angry. Not yet married. May God forgive the lass.

Countess, the Granddaughter
(on returning she turns her lorgnette to Chatsky)
So you're back, Messeur Chatsky! How are you?
As you were?

Why should I change?

Countess, the Granddaughter
Did you get married there?

Whom should I marry?

Countess, the Granddaughter
If you have hopes...
Our people marry there with no procrastination,
They let us enter family relations
With needle-women from nice fashions shops.

Poor creatures! Do they have to bear
Reproaches from the girls that immitate modistes
Because they dare to prefer
To see them live than just their lists?

Scene 9

The same people and many other guests. Among them Zagoretsky. Men come in, take a bow and walk aside, they walk about the rooms. Sofia comes out of her room. Everybody goes up to meet her.

Countess, the Granddaughter
Eh! bon soir! vous voila! Jamais trop diligente,
Vous nous donner toujours le plaisir de l'attente.

(to Sofia)
Have you a ticket for tomorrow's show?


Then let me give you this.
It would have been quite useless
If someone else had tried
To please you, for I searched and I inquired
About it everywhere. I should say
There wasn't any to be had since yesterday.
Nobody had one at the office. I asked
The manager, afriend of mine, -- alas!
This morning I was quite a bother
I turned to one, then to another,
Then, finally, I got this one, of course.
I took it from an old sick man by force,
He's a friend of mine, on plays he isn't keen,
So let him sit at home for once.

I'm greatful to you. And my special thanks
For all the trouble you have taken.
(More people come. Meanwhile Zagoretsky goes up to the men).

Platon Mihkaylich...

Platon Mihkaylovich
Get out of here!
Go to the women. Tell them lies and sneer,
I'll tell the truth about you, if you please.
It's worse than lies.
(to Chatsky)
Well, here he is!
What do they call such people, may I ask you?
What is the milder word? He's a man of fame,
An outrageous swindler and a rascal,
Anton Antonych Zagoretsky is his name.
Beware of him, he's indescreet,
And don't play cards with him -- he'll cheat.

He never bears malice though he's pert.

It would be funny, if you felt hurt.
Apart from honesty there are so many consolations:
They scold you here, and there you get congratulations.

Platon Mihkaylovich
No, brother, they will scold you here and there,
And they will welcome you just everywhere.
(Zagoretsky disappears in the croud.)

Scene 10

The same people and Khlyostova.

It's not a joke for me at sixty five, my dear,
To get to you, it's such long and tiresome way!
I drove an hour from Pokrovka over here,
I'm exhausted, and the night is just a doomsday.
I took this blackamoor girl with me
And the little dog -- to keep me company.
Let someone feed them alms from the supper tray.
Good evening, countess.
(sits down)
Well, Sofia, my love,
You want to see the kind of blackamoor I have?
The kind of creatures God creates!
The curly hair. The hunch of shoulder blades.
She's angry, has the habits of a cat.
She's as black as pitch. She looks so bad!
I'll send for her, if you allow,
She's there in the girl's room.

No, not now.

Imagine, they're exposed like animals for show...
I hear... there's a city somewhere in Turkey...
Who got the girl for me? Do you want to know?
Anton Antonich Zagoretsky.
(Zagoretsky steps forward)
He's a lier, gambler, thief, a man of no esteem!
(Zagoretsky disappears)
I keep my doors locked up for him.
He's good at doing a service: sister Praskovya and I,
Two blackamoor children we have each received.
He says he bought them at the market. It's a lie.
God bless him anyway! I've got a gift.

(to Platon Mihkailovich, roaring with laughter)
One has to pay for such a praise,
And Zagoretsky's run away, to save his face.

Who's the cheerful man? Is he respectable enough?

This here one? It's Chatsky.

Well, what makes him laugh?
What is he glad about? What does he mean?
Laughing at aged people is a sin.
You used to dance with him when you were small,
I'd pull his ears but it didn't help at all.

Scene 11

The same people and Famusov.

(in a loud voice)
We're waiting now for count Pyotr Ilyich.
Oh here he is! I was there in the rear,
Where is Skalozub Sergey Sergeyevich?
He's a conspicuons man. No, he is not here.
Sergey Sergeyich Skalozub!

Good heavens! You're rumbling louder than a tube.

Scene 12

The same people and Skalozub, then Molchalin enters.

Sergey Sergeyich, you're late,
You made us wait and wait and wait.
(leads him to Khlyostova)
This is my sweetheart, do you know?
I told her about you long ago.

You were here... in the regyment of... grenadiers?

(in a loud voice)
You mean Novozemlyansk, the regiment of musketeers?
It was her majesty's subunit -- quite another story.

I don't distingish regiments, I'm sorry.

There is a difference in full-dress coats,
The shoulder loops, the tabs and shirts.

Now come along, count , I shall make you laugh:
We're playing whist. It's curious enough.
(leads Skalozub and the count away with him)

(to Sofia)
It's like a noose off neck indeed.
Your father is so silly. What does he need
This burly fellow for? He didn't even ask
To introduce this man to us.

(giving her a card)
Your party will be monsieur Kock,
Foma Fomich and I.

Thank you, old bloke.

Your spits is lovely. Small and sleek.
I patted him. He is as smooth as silk.

Thank you, my dear.
(goes out followed by Molchalin and many others)

Scene 13

Chatsky, Sofia and some strangers, who gradually disperse.

Well, he has cleared the atmosphere...

Please don't go on.

What makes you fear?
I meant to praise him for he had commended
The angry guest.

With bitter words you would have ended.

I'll tell you what I thought about:
These aged women tend to get quite hot,
They always need someone around
To serve them as a lightening-rod.
Molchalin, he's the kind of man
That can appease disputes like no one can!
He'll pat a dog, he'll show his greatest skill
In playing cards! He's another Zagoretsky!
You told me all his merits then,
You must have failed to mention some of them.

Scene 14

Sofia, then Mr. N.

(to herself)
This man, he always puts me out,
He's angry, envious and proud,
He is the humiliating kind!

Mr. N.
(coming up to her)
I see, you are lost in thought.

It's Chatsky.

Mr. N.
Has he changed? Or what?

He is insane.

Mr. N.
Oh! Has he lost his mind?

Not quite...

Mr. N.
But are there any indications?

(stares at him)
I think so.

Mr. N.
Oh at his age? How come? Good gracious!

Well, nothing can be done.
He does belive it !
Ah, Chatsky! You are fond of making fun,
There's a cap and bells for you, young man!
Take it or leave it.

Scene 15

Mr N then Mr D

Mr N.
He's mad!... That's what she thinks!... My eys!
There must be reasons... It can't be otherwise.
You heard the news?

Mr D.
What news?

Mr N.
About Chatsky.

Mr D.

Mr N.
He's off his head!

Mr D.
I don't think so.

Mr N.
I'm telling you what others say.

Mr D.
And now you are getting out of your way
To spread the news, my dear.

Mr N.
I'll go and ask if someone knows it here.

Scene 16

Mr D. then Zagoretsky.

Mr D.
Belive the tattler! He'll repeat
Just any nonsens coming to his ear.
You know about Chatsky?

What is it?

Mr D.
He's mad!

Oh yes, I know, I heard.
I do recall how it occured.
His roguish uncle said he was insane;
He got him caught and send him to a mental home in chain.

Mr D.
Why, he was here just now, here in this room.

They have unchained him, I presume.

Mr D.
We don't need newspapers with you around.
I'll go and see what people talk about.
I shall ask everyone. But it's a secret. See?

Scene 17

Zagoretsky, then countess, the granddaughter.

Who's Chatsky here? The name's familiar to me.
I used to know a Chatsky once.
Have you ever heard of him by any chance?

Countess, the Granddaughter
Of whom?

Of Chatsky, he was here in the room.

Countess, the granddaughter
I know, we had a chat.

He is mad.

Countess, the granddaughter

Yes, he's mad.

Countess, the granddaughter
Imagine, I myself have noticed that;
I bet we said it with one voice.

Scene 18

The same people and countess, the grandmother.

Countess, the granddaughter
Oh grand'maman, it's great! I just rejoice!
You heard about the trouble, didn't you?
I say! Isn't it lovely! It's really something new!

Countess, the grandmother
(Speaking with a strong French accent)
Will you speak louder, my friend, I cannot hear?
I have my ears stuffed...

Countess, the granddaughter
No time, my dear!
(points to Zagoretsky)
Il vous dira toute l'histoire...
I'll ask...

Scene 19

Zagoretsky, Countess, the grandmother.

Countess, the grandmother
What's that? Is there a fire?

For all this turmoil Chatsky is the reason.

Countess, the grandmother
Did you say Chatsky? Who has put the man to prison?

He had his forehead wounded, and he lost his head.

Countess, the grandmother
He's a freemason, unfaithful, is that what you said?

No use to talk to her.

Countess, the grandmother
Anton Antonych, dear!
Now there he comes. He's hurrying. He's in fear.

Scene 20

Countess, the grandmother and Count Tugoukhovsky.

Countess, the grandmother
Count, count! This count attends
All balls, though he can hardly breethe.
You, count, did you hear me?


Countess, the grandmother
He's hard to talk with,
At least you saw the policeman nearby?


Countess, the grandmother
Who was this Chatsky imprisoned by?


Countess, the grandmother
Give him a hoversack! Let him go soldiering!
He breaks the law! Isn't he daring?


Countess, the grandmother
Yes! He is an outrageous alien!
That's was he is! A downright Voltarian!
What? What? He's deaf. Take out the hearing trumpet,
Poor hearing is bad. Talking is hampered.

Scene 21

The same people and Khlyostova, Sofia, Molchalin, Platon Mikhailovitch, Natalia Dmitriyevna, countess, the granddaughter, Zagoretsky, Skalozub, then Famusov and many others.

He's off his head! I beg to state it.
It is so sudden! So unexpected!
Did you hear it, Sofia?

Platon Mikhailovitch
Who made it known? You?

Natalya Dmitriyevna
Oh, dear, everybody.

Platon Mikhailovitch
Then you don't doubt. As for me, I do.

(coming in)
Whom are you talking about?
Chatsky? Why doubt? It's true!
I was the first to have discovered it,
I wonder why he isn't bound to bed.
He has the nerve to abuse the goverment.
If you should bow bending your body
To our sovereign or anybody,
You will be called a rascal and a toady.

He is always making fun of us.
He burst out laughing when I mentioned gifts.

He talked me out of working in the Archives.

Countess, the granddaughter
And as for me I was compared with modistes.

Natalya Dmitriyevna
He told my husband he should settle in the country-house.

All things considered he is mad.

Countess, the granddaughter
I judge it from his eyes.

He takes after his mother. No surprise!
She's known to have lost mind a half a dozen times.

Strange things can happen in this world,
A man his age should turn insane!
He must have drunk from young.

It's true!..

Countess, the granddaughter
No doubt. Upon my word!

He would drink glasses of champaigne!

Natalya Dmitriyevna
He drank it by the bottle!

(with passion)
It's by the barrel for all I know.

Well, drinking isn't bad as such,
A man may drink atd
It's education that's to blaim
That many people go insane.
There are so many mental cases, views, ideas, really!

These boarding schools, lyceums and all that,
As well this Lancaster teaching theory,
They all can easily drive you mad.

There is an Institute in Petersburg, I have been told,
The Institute of Pe-da-go-gics, I think it's called.
What the professors do there they propagate
Dissent and unebelief. A relative of mine,
He studied there. He's a graduate,
And any time can be employed
In a farmacy or somewhere in the line.
A chemist, botanist, he's trying to avoid
The fair sex. He doesn't care
Much for promotion or career,
He's my nephew, my dear and near.

I have good news: there is an education plan, I hear,
For boarding schools, lyceums and gymnasiums,
They'll teach there simply, like they do it here.
They will use books on some occasions.

Sergey Sergeyich! No! To nip it in the bud
I'd take all books and burn them up like that!

(speaking humbly)
No, there are books and books. You know,
If I were engaged in censorship,
I'd deal with fables: Oh! I Love them so!
The mockery of lions, eagles, sheep,
No matter what one thinks,
They're animals, and yet their kings.

It doesn't matter if it's books or drinking
That caused his lunacy. And I'm thinking
With sympathy of Chatsky, I should say,
He really deserves it, in a Christian way.
He had three hundred souls, and he was bright.

Four hundred.

Three, sir.


No! Three.

My calendar...

The calendars are never right.

Four hudred men! Stop arguing with me!

No, three! I know other people property!

Four hundred, do you understand me?

No, three hundred! Three, three, three.

Scene 22

The same people and Chatsky.

Natalia Dmitriyevna
Now there he is!

Countess, the granddaughter

(Stepping back from him.)

He'll make a fuss!
He'll want to have it out with us

Good Lord! Forgive our trespass!
(With caution.)
You're not yourself, my dear. Let me feel your pulse,
You need a sleep after the journey; you're ill.

That's right. I cannot bear the pains I feel.
I'm suffering a millon torments
From friendly squeezes, shuffles, exclamations, comments,
(comes up to Sofia)
My heart is overwhelmed with grief,
I feel out of place,I'm lonely here.
No, Moscow doesn't give relief.

He's blaiming Moscow, do you hear?

We'd better keep away from him.
(makes signs to Sofia)
Hm, Sofia has shut her ears.

(to Chatsky)
What makes you angry, tell us, please?

There in that room they have an incidental meeting:
The little Frenchan from Bordeau, puffed up with pride
Was telling them: he had a fright
To go to the Barbarian Russia. So he came and found
There was caressing all around.
With not a single Russian face,
The language spoken was Francaise.
It looked as though he were in France
Among his friends, in his province,
And if you saw him, he would appear
To you as if he were a petty monarch here,
With clinging ladies, always looking smart,
He's happy here, while we arn't.
There came a storm of exaltation
With screames and moans and violent elation.
«Oh France! The land beyond compare!» --
Two sister countess came out to declare --
The lesson they had learnt in their green years.
There is no arguing with countess.
I said I wanted everyone to hear it,
I wished that God could crush the evil spirit
Of meaningless blind slavish immitation
And fill someone with inspiration,
The one that would be able to
Deter us with a solid hand
From miserable longing for a foreign land.
I may be called
An old-believer, yet I think
Our North is worse a hundrefold
Since I adopted the new mode,
Having abandoned everything:
Our customs and our conditions,
The language, moral values and traditions,
And, in exchange of the grand gown,
Regadless of all trends
And common sense,
We put on this apparel of a clown:
A tail, a funny cut -- oh, what a scene!
It's tight and doesn't match the face;
This funny, gray-hairedshaven chin!
«Which covers thee discovers thee!» -- there's a phrase.
If we adopt traditions from abroad with ease
We'd better learn a little from Chinese,
Their ignorance of foreign lands.
Shall we awaken from the power of ailien fashions
So that our wise and cheerful Russians
Might never think us to be Germans?
«Can European culture be compared
With our culture?» -- I once heard.
«How can the words such as "madamme", "mademoiselle"
Be turned to Russian? Is it "girl"?»
No sooner than I said it, fancy,
They burst out laughing. They laughed at me.
«Ha! Girl! Ha-ha, isn't it wonderful!
Ha -- Girl! Ha-ha, isn't it aweful!»
I got so angry and I cursed,
I was about to retort,
But they broke up, dispersed.
I'll tell you what:
Both here in Moscow and in Petersburg, you know,
A man that hates pretence and all that's done for show
And is unfortunate to have in mind
A few ideas of some kind
And wants to openly speak out!
Look out..
(Looks around, everybody is dancing a waltz. The older people make their ways to card tables)

The End of ACT III


Central hall in Famusov's house; a big stair leading from the first floor and a number of accessory stairs adjoining it from the mezzaniness; downstairs on the right (to the people in the play) is the exit to the porch and to the porter's lodge; to the left is Molchalin's room. Night. A faint light. Some footmen are buslting, others sleep in expectation of their masters.

Scene 1

Countess, the grandmother, countess, the granddaughter lead by their footman.

The coach of Khryumina!

Countess, the granddaughter
(while beeing wrapped up)
Oh, what a ball!
This Famusov! The kind of guests he called!
Some ugly creatures from the other world!
No one to talk to or to dance with. Not a soul!

Countess, the grandmother
I'm tired, darling, let's get under way.
I'll go to grass straight from the ball some day.
(Both exit the house)

Scene 2

Platon Mikhailovich and Natalia Dmitriyevna. One footman is bustling around, another shouts from the porch:

The coach of Gorich!

Natalia Dmitriyevna
Oh my life, my soul,
My precious one, oh, why are you so sad?
(kisses her husband on the forehead)
You had some fun at Famusov's, I'm sure you had!

Platon Mikhailovitch
I don't like parties but I'm all yours,
And I obey you just because
I want to please you, I just sit
Keeping my vigils. On hearing commands,
However sad, I go to dance.

Natalia Dmitriyevna
You make pretence, you're not good at it;
You want to be reputed to be old
Unable to activity.
(Exits accompanied by the footman)

Platon Mikhailovitch
(speaking coldly)
There's nothing bad about a ball,
It pains to be in captivity;
Nobody forces us to marry!
For some it is a predetermined thing...

The footman
The mistress! She's waiting in the coach. She's angry.

Platon Mikhailovitch
(with a sigh)
All right, all right, I'm coming.

Scene 3

Chatsky and the Footman accompaying him.

Tell them to bring the coach immediately.
(The footman exits)
The day has passed and with the day
The hazes and illusions are away;
The haze of hope that filled my soul up until recently.
What did I hope to find here after a long absence?
Where is the beauty of encounters and people's sympathy,
Those cheers, greetings, huggings -- nonsense!
When you are ridding on a coach you see
Vast, boudless plain before you.
Everything's lively, light and blue,
And there is always something new,
You drive an hour, two, a day and then
You reach a stopping place for rest, you look around
And see the same deserted plain.
It makes me sad to think about it.
(The footman comes back)

The footman
Well, the coachman is out of sight.

You go and look for him, we cannot stay here for night.
(The footman goes out again )

Scene 4

Chatsky, Repetilov (the latter runs into the hall from the porch, falls down and puts himself straight hurriedly)

God damn it! Oh my Lord!
My eyes! Where are you from, my friend?
Mon cher! My dear friend! Just from abroad?
They used to be so critical of me. They said
I was a chatterer a man of superstitions,
That I endulged in premonitions.
Just now -- how do you account for that? --
I stumbled in the doorway and fell flat.
I hurried here as if I knew
That I was going to see you.
Make fun of me, and say that I,
As always, want to tell a lie.
For you I feel affection of some kind,
A kind of ailment passion and ...
I bet my soul, you'll never find
Another friend
So true to you! Upon my life!
I do not care, if I lose my wife,
My children, or I'm left alone
In the whole wide world, all on my own.
I do not care if I live or die...

Stop talking nonsense! And don't lie!

It's natural that you should hate me,
I find it easy to talk to other people.
With you I always seem to be
So humble, miserable, stupid, simple.

Or what a queer self abasement!

Do scold me! I'm far from being complacent,
And when I think about the way
I used to idle... Say, what's the time now?

Since you are here for the ball you may
Go home. It will be over in an hour.

The ball? Where we are bound
By the decorum, and where we cannot break away
From a heavy burden? Have you read the book about?..

And have you read it? Say,
You, Repetilov? Tell me really.

Call me a vandal! I deserve it, that is.
I highly valued people that were silly,
And all my life I raved about balls and parties,
I would forget my children and my wife.
I'd play and lose, they put me in a ward,
I kept a dancer. One was not enough,
But I had three of them. My God!
I drank like mad! I wouldn't sleep nine days on end, oh my!
I denied everything: the law and honour and belief!

I say! You ought to know the limits when you lie!
There's a reason to be filled with grief.

You may congratulate me for I know
Most clever people now. I'm not bored any more.

Do you feel bored tonight?

Not just tonight. Do you know where I was?

Well, I suppose,
You were in a club.

That's right.
The English Club, and, frankly speaking,
I'm now straight from a noisy meeting.
I promised them to hold my tongue. So mums the word, agreed?
We have a circle. A society. And that's a secret.
We have our sessions Thursdays, see?

My dear friend, you scare me.
Where is it? In the Club?

Oh yes.

There are extraordinary measures
About chucking all of you with all your secrets out.

You needn't be afraid. We talk aloud
But nobody can make anything out.
Me too, when hearing people talk about prison cells and juries,
About Byron and that stuff, I just get curious,
I listen carefully, and it's a pity
I don't get anything for my stupidity,
Ah Alexander, we've been missing you.
Now listen, dear, I should ask you to
Do me a favour, let's go there now,
I'll introduce you, if you allow,
To such nice people! They're not like me, to tell the truth,
They're so wonderful. The cream of youth!

I do not care for them, nor you. Where shall I go?
Why should I? In the dead of night? Well, no.

Come on! Who is asleep now? Why hesitate?
Let's go! The people there are just great!
A dozen of daring hot heads,
But when we talk you'd think we're hundreds.

Why be so frantic? What's the goal?

We make a noise, my brother.

Noise? Well, is that all?

This isn't time and place for explanation,
It is a state affair in a way,
Though it is not an urgent situation,
Such things are not done in a day.
What kind of people are they? Well, here's my story:
There is for instance count Grigory,
A queer man, he is great fun,
Has all the makings of an Englishman,
His hair is always in good trim.
Are you familiar? You ought to meet him,
There's another man. He's Yevdokim Vorkulov.
You should have heard him sing! His voice is such a love!
There is a song he sings, you know?:
«Ah! Non lashiar me, no, no, no.»
There are two men, Levon and Borya, they're brothers,
Nice people. Just like all the others.
There isn'tmuch to say about these two,
But I can name our genius, if you want me to,
It is Udushyev Ippolit Martynych.
Have you read much of him? At least an inch.
I recommend you. Though he doesn't seem
To write anything now. If I were to decide,
I'd whip him with a rod repeating: «Write, write, write»;
You'll find an extract in a journal, by the way,
It's called «A Point Of View And Something»".
What is it all about? Everything.
He knows everything. We save him for an evil day.
Our leader is like no one else in our Russian land,
I needn't give his name, you will understand.
A night-time robber and a duel fan,
He was in exile in Kamchatka, no surprise,
From there he returned an Aleutian man.
He's a rogue: with clever men it can't be otherwise,
But when he, filled with frenzied inspiration,
Starts holding forth on honesty
He reddens ridden with obsession
And bursts out crying. So do we.
Such are the people, they are really a rarity
I'm one of them. I'm a mediocrity,
I'm lazy, not so well advanced. It's aweful!
But when I set to work straining my mind
I sit an hour like a fool
And bear out a pun of a kind,
Some people find my thought amusing
And putting half a dozen heads together
Make up a sketch, another six compose the music,
Still other six will clap their hands,
They're birds of a feather.
You are laughing, man,
But that's the way it is,
I'm not endowed by God with capabilities
But I'm kind. That's why they like me.
They pardon me when I tell lies...

The footman
(standing at the porch)
The coach of Skalozub!

Who's coach you said?

Scene 5

The same people and Skalozub. He comes down the stairs.

(stepping towards him)
Ah Skalozub, my dear friend!
Wait, wait. Don't go away.
(Hugging him.)

Where shall I go?
(goes into the porters's lodge)

I haven't heard of you since long ago.
You've joined a regiment, they say.
Are you familiar?
(Looking around to see Chatsky.)
The stubborn man. He's gone.
You are the one
Whom I was looking for? Let's go with me.
There are a lot of people at Grigory's
About forty of us, you will see.
A bunch of wit, that's what it is.
They'll talk all night without getting tired.
First they will treat you to shampaign up to the chin,
Then they will teach you something you and I
Would never think of, or imagine.

Man, you won't have it on me with erudition.
Tell someone else. And if you wish, then
A seargent from my regiment will serve
As a Voltair to your Grigory and yourself.
He'll get you into ranks of three
And if you say a word, he'll calm you down quickly.

Well, service is the only thing you whant to know.
I, too, should strive for ranks, but I'm
A failure. I miscarried years ago,
I was in civil service at the time,
Baron von Klotz had an ambition
To get a minister's position.
And I
Had an eye
To be his son in law,
I made no bones about it.
His wife and he
Played cards with me.
I lost tremendous sums of money,
I built a house in Fontanka street,
The place where the Baron lived.
A house with columns. Huge! So costly!
I married their daughter finally.
Did I get dowery! Hell! No! And no promotions.
The son of law of a German. There was no use.
He was afraid of rumours and reproaches
For being biased to his relatives,
The deuce!
His secretaries! The miserable riff-raff!
The wretched scriblers! They are important now.
They've got on in the world, and how!
Look in the calendar: the ranks, the crosses and the service.
Lakhmotyev Alexey was really clever to suggest;
We need most drastic remedies
For our stomachs won't digest.
(stops talking, seeing that Zagoretsky has taken Skalozub's place, who left the house by then)

Scene 6

Repetilov, Zagoretsky

Go on. Go on. To be sincere,
I'm as liberal as you.
I'm straight, I speak without fear,
That's why I've lost so much. I've got my due.

(with regret)
All are apart! And all keep mute!
If someone leaves, the other follows suit.
First Chatsky vanished, then the colonel did.

What do you think of Chatsky?

He's man of wit.
I met him now, there was a chat
About a vaudeville and that;
I liked the talk though nobody talked sense.
Chatsky and I... We are good friends.

And did you notice that
He's sort of mad?

It's rubbish!

Everybody says so.

No, it's a lie!

Ask people.


Oh there they come: the count, the countess
And their daughters.

Staff and nonsense, that is.

Scene 7

Repetilov, Zagoretsky, the count and the countess with their six daughters; a little later Khlyostova comes down the front stair. Molchalin holds her by the hand, the footmen fuss about.

Now, ladies, tell me, if you please,
Is Chatsky mad?

1st countess
No doubt, he is.

2nd countess
Well, anyone will tell you that.

3rd countess
The Dryanskys, the Varlyanskys,
The Khvorovs, the Skatchkovs.

4th countess
It isn't new for everybody knows.

5th countess
Who doubts then?

This here man does not believe.

6th countess

All together
Messeur Repetilov! You! Messeur Repetilov is it true?
How can you be against us all?
Why should you? Don't feel ashamed at all?

(shuts his ears)
I didn't know it was so open, sorry.

The countess
He is a dangerous man,
Don't listen to his story.
It is about time to lock him in,
I think he's a Jacobine.
To listen to him he is wittier
Than anyone on earth, even duke Peter.
Your Chatsky!!!... Come along, count, you take Kate
Or Zizzie with you. Are we six or seven?

(from the stair)
The cards. You didn't pay the debt.

I owe you.

(to one another)
Far you well.
(The family departs, so does Zagoretsky.)

Scene 8

Repetilov, Khlyostova, Molchalin.

Good heaven!
Anfisa Nilovna! Oh poor Chatsky! There!
Who needs your wisdom and your care?
And what's the use of going out of one's way?

It is God's wish. Anyway
He will be treated. Maybe cured in the end.
While you're quite incurable, my friend,
What on earth made you come round?
Molchalin, you don't try to please me,
Don't see me out.
Goodbye! It's time to come to reason.
(Molchalin goes into his room. She departs.)

Scene 9

Repetilov and his footman.

It's coming to the break of day.
Where shall I go to now? Yes, where?
Come, put me in the cab. Take me away.
Take me just anywhere.

Scene 10

The last light goes down.

(comes out of the footman's room)
What's that? I can't believe my ears!
It isn't fun. It's evil, it appears.
How come? As if by miracle or majesty
They all talk nonsense about me!
For some it's like a funny trick,
While others seem quite sympathetic...
Who was the first to spin the yarn?!
Somebody raised a noise -- no sooner said than done --
And there you have public opinion.
Does Sofia know it? They have told her, yes.
Not that she meant to spite me -- no!
She doesn't care if it's me or someone else,
She had some fun and doesn't want to know,
She doesn't care for anyone -- for me or him.
Why did she faint then, God only knows.
Is it her shattered nerves or is it just a whim
That comes and goes?
I thought it was a sign of passion -- I was wrong.
She would have broken down just as well
If she hadseen someone step on
A pussy's or a puppy's tail.

(above the stair, candle in hand)
It's you, Molchalin?
(closes the door quickly)

It's Sofia! Oh, yes, I see her!
Good Lord! My head's burning and my blood begins to stir.
She has turned up, or is it just dreams?
I'm out of my mind, it seems.
I'm used to mysteries and I
Should not deceive myself, should I?
This time it's not a vision, it's a date.
She called Molchalin, so I'd rather wait.

His footman
(from the porch)
The cab... You need...

(Pushes him out)
I'll stay and keep an eye on it
Till morning. Once I am to drain a cup of woe
Let it be so.
Let it be now, not afterwards. For a delay
Won't save me anyway.
The door is opening.
(hides himself behind a column)

Scene 11

Chatsky is hidden. Lizzie, candle in hand.

Good heaven! I'm filled with fear
My torturer, the lady... sent me here.
Black night! The empty hall!
I'm scared of ghosts. Or any living soul.
This Chatsky, he is like an eye sore.
She says she saw him down on this floor.
(Looks around)
A lot he cares about walking around!
By now he's surely got out!
He put his love off for another day, I bet!
He hurried home and -- straight to bed.
But I must call him anyway.
(knocks at Molchalin door)
Wake up! Will you wake up! I say!
The lady calls you, do you hear?
Be quick, you must get through unseen.

Scene 12

Chatsky is behind the column, Lizzie, Molchalin (stretches his arms and yawns), Sofia (sneeks down the stair).

You, sir, you heart of stone, thick skin!

Ah Lizzie! Who sent you over here?

The lady.

There's one thing I'm thinking of:
These cheeks, these veins and all
Have not yet seen the flush of love.
What makes you want to be at beck and call?

You suitors shouldn't stay in bed
Idling away your time and lazing,
For handsome is who doesn't get
Enough of sleep before the wedding.

The wedding? Whom with?

With the lady.

There's room for hope before the wedding.

But sir!
Is there any other fiancee?

Who knows? I'm scared to think
About one thing:
I'm afraid that Pavel Afanasiych may
Take us by surprise some day.
He'll curse me! Fire me! I'll be frank: you see,
Sofia has nothing to adore her for.
I wish her well. She will stop loving me,
Like she's not in love with Chatsky any more.
I wish I cared half as much for her
As I do care for you, my dear.
Alas, no matter how I try to stir
My feelings -- I cool down when I see Sofia.

Oh what a wicked man!

(from behind the column)
A scoundrel he is!

Aren't you ashamed?

My father taught me this:
I must please all and everyone --
The host of house I would live in,
The boss I'd work with and the man
That would keep my clothes clean,
The sweeper of the yard, and, just in case,
His dog to win its love and kindness.

They are all guardians of yours.

Now I pretend to be a lover
To please the daughter of one of those...

The one that feeds you, gives you cover?
Sometimes ranks, too?
Well, that will do.

Let's go. We've talked enough.
Let's share our sad girl's love.
Let me embrace you, most sincerely.
(Lizzie pushes him away)
I wish you were Sofia, really.
(He wants to go, but Sofia doesn't let him)

(almost in a whisper.Talking is in a low voice during the whole scene)
Don't you come near. I have heard it!
You scoundrel! What a shame! Oh what a mistake.

Why Sofia Pavlovna...

Don't say a word.
I can do anything. Don't talk, for goodness sake.

(falls down on his knees, Sofia pushes him away)
Remember please! Have mercy. Look and see!

I don't remember anything. Forget me!

(grovels at her feet)
Have pity...

Don't be mean. Get up. You wretched thing.
I don't want any answer. For I know
You'll tell a lie again...

Have mercy...

No. No. No.

I said it just for fun... don't make a fuss...

You'd better now leave me alone
Or else I'll wake up everyone,
And I don't care, if I ruin both of us.
(Molchalin raises)
I wish that I had never known you.
Do not expect me to complain, reproach or cry.
Get out of the house so that I
Might never hear of you again.

Well, as you wish.

Or else
I'll tell papa the truth. I'll get my due,
But I don't care about the consequence.
Now go! No, wait. You should be glad that you
Were more than shy
When you and I
Had dates at nights,
And even in the daytime
When everyone could see
You were dishonest, but not so saucy,
And I'm
Pleased to have discovered everything,
There's nothing
To reproach me of. There are no withesses
Except when I lost consciousness.
Chatsky was here... no...

(comes up quickly between them)
Yes, you pretender!

Lizzie and Sofia
Oh! Oh!
(Lizzie drops the candle out of fright. Molchalin goes into his room.)

Scene 13

The same people, except Molchalin.

She's quick to faint. Now it can be justified,
There's a reason for it this time.
That is the answer for the riddle for I'm
Aware to whom I have been sacrified!
I just restrained myself which wasn't wise,
I saw it -- I did not believe my eyes!
As for the sweetheart who has betrayed a friend
And has ignored a woman's fear and shame,
He's hidden now behind the door in an attempt
To shirk the answer. Oh this fortune's game!
Repudiated heartful men! The scourge!
Molchalins are as pleased as Punch!

(in tears)
Don't speak. It is my fault through and through,
But who could think he was so cunning!

There's a knock! A noise! People are coming!
The father will be greatful to you.

Scene 14

Chatsky, Sofia, Lizzie, Famusov, a crowd of footmen, candle in hand.

Be quick! Be quick! Come here! Follow me!
Bring candles, lanterns, I can't see!
Where are the footmen? My! I see familiar faces!
My daughter Sofia Pavlovna! What a disgrace it is!
Where is she? Whom with?! Upon my life!
She's like her mother, my deceased wife.
My better half: each time I got away
She'd find a man to pass the time of day!
For heaven's sake! How did he win your heart?
Wasn't it you who called him mad?
I have been silly, blind. Oh my!
It is a plot. And all the guests and he
Were involved in that conspiracy.

(to Sofia)
So is it you whom I should thank for all this lie?

No, brother, you're cheating, and I'll never let it pass.
I don't believe you, it's an invention of your own.
You, Filka, crazy stupid ass!
I made a doorman out of a lazybone!
Whatever happens, he never knows!
Where were you? Where did you go?
Why did you not lock up the doors?
How come, you missed all this? How come, you didn't you know?
I'll send you to the farm, to work there in the fields.
About selling me you'd make no bones.
You, watchful girl! With your perpertual tricks;
That is the fruit of love of fashion shops and clothes!
You've learnt to pimp and pander lovers.
I'll put you right. I know what I can do.
Go feed the paultry! Move to the service-house!
My dear daughter, you, too, will get your due,
Have patience; my decision will be simple:
You will not live here in Moscow with the people.
In a day or two I'll send you off
To a God-forsaken place,your aunt's, near Saratov.
You'll pass the time there grieving,
Sitting tambour in hand, card-reading.
And I should ask you, Chatsky, this:
You will not visit her by any means,
With you I'll draw the line at this:
All doors will be locked up for you by all the families.
I'll do my best to make a din,
I'll make the whole of Moscow learn it.
I'll make it public, ring the toscin,
I'll write the ministers, the sovereign and the Senate.

(after a short silence)
I try to come to reason, But I can't,
I listen but I do not understand.
As if I needed further explanation,
I'm at a loss... I'm in expectation...
I'm blind! I wanted a reward
For all my efforts!... I just rushed along.
I hurried here for I thought
That happiness was close, but I was wrong.
The kind of a choice you've made. My goodness! You!
Just think of whom you have preferred me to!
Whom did I talk to, humbly, lovingly, today?
Why did I waste my words of tenderness in such a way?
Why did you inspire hope in me?
Why didn't you tell me openly
That you had turned the past to fun
And that your memories ignore
All we had felt and said and done?
I'm still feeling as before.
And neither travels nor diversions
Have killed my tenderest emotions.
I lived with them through thick and thin.
If you had told me that you hated everything:
My coming home, the way I talk,
The sight of me, the way I walk,
I should have broken off with you
And would not have tried of course,
To find out who your admirer was...
(With derision)
You'd better now put up with him.
What is the use of worrying?
Just make the most of him. Make him an errand boy,
A sort of a domestic envoy,
A husband and a page, a husband and a footman,
The dream of every Moscow gentleman.
Enough! I'm proud to have broken off with you.
And you, sir, you hold rank in reverence.
I wish that you remained in blissful ignorance:
The aim of marrying Sofia I don't pursue.
There'll be another, a well behaved one,
A toady and a business-minded man.
With all those merits and with many more
He'll make an equal to his father-in-law.
So I'm englightened. You should realize:
The dreams are over, and the scales are off my eyes.
Now I can have a bitter word
With you that used to court her
And with the whole wide world.
Where do I find myself by evel fortunes?
How can I bear this crowd of torturers?
They ostracize me! Curse me! All those story tellers!
Betrayers of love and enemies as well as
Ungainly connoisseurs and cunning laymen,
Malicious aged men and women
That grow descreet living on lies.
You all have made me known as a fool.
You're right: he will get out of the fire who
After remaining a day with you,
And breathing air with people of your kind
Will not get out of his mind.
Away from Moscow! Catch me being here again!
I'll go around the world in search
Of a place with room for outraged feeling!..
The coach! The coach!

Scene 15

All except Chatsky.

Well, he's off his head, you see?
Now tell me seriously:
What did this madman talk about here?
Calling me names! Talking of Moscow threateningly!
Do you intend to ruin me, my love?
Isn't my fate deplorable enough?
My goodness!
What will countess
Marya Aleksevna say to this?