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English CBSE Class 10 NCERT First Flight Chapter 11 The Proposal Line by Line Explanation and Meaning of Difficult Words

THE PROPOSAL

(Explanation)

Characters

STEPAN STEPANOVITCH CHUBUKOV : a landowner

NATALYA STEPANOVNA : his daughter, twenty-five years old

IVAN VASSILEVITCH LOMOV : a neighbour of Chubukov, a large and hearty, but very suspicious, landowner

________

 

A drawing-room in Chubukov‘s house.

Lomov enters, wearing a dress-jacket and white gloves. Chubukov rises to meet him.

Word Meaning
Dress-jacket A formal jacket
Rises Gets up

The scene is of drawing-room in the house of Chubukov. Lomov enters the room. He is wearing a formal jacket and white gloves. Chubukov gets up to meet him.

CHUBUKOV : My dear fellow, whom do I see! Ivan Vassilevitch! I am extremely glad! [Squeezes his hand] Now this is a surprise, my darling… How are you?

LOMOV : Thank you. And how may you be getting on?

Word Meaning
Glad Happy
Squeezes his hand Does hand shake

Chubukov welcomes Lomov. He says that it is so nice to see him. I am very happy. They shake hands. My dear, it is a surprise to see you here. How do you do.

Lomov thanks him and asks how he is doing.

CHUBUKOV : We just get along somehow, my angel, thanks to you prayers, and so on. Sit down, please do… Now, you know, you shouldn’t forget all about your neighbours, my darling. My dear fellow, why are you so formal in your get-up! Evening dress, gloves, and so on. Can you be going anywhere, my treasure?

Word Meaning
My angel My dear
My treasure An important person, My love

Chubukov replies that they are somehow doing well. He thanks Lomov for his greetings and addresses him as an angel. He asks Lomov to remember that they are neighbours. Why are you wearing such a formal evening dress, gloves and other things? Are you going anywhere?

LOMOV : No. I’ve come only to see you, honoured Stepan Stepanovitch.

CHUBUKOV : Then why are you in evening dress, my precious? As if you’re paying a New Year’s Eve visit!

Word Meaning
My precious My dear, An important person

Lomov says that he has come to meet honourable Stephan Stepanovitch.

Chubokov asks why he is wearing an evening dress. It looks as if you have come here on the eve of New Year.

LOMOV : Well, you see, it’s like this. [Takes his arm] I’ve come to you, honoured Stepan Stepanovitch, to trouble you with a request. Not once or twice have I already had the privilege of applying to you for help, and you have always, so to speak… I must ask your pardon, I am getting excited. I shall drink some water, honoured Stepan Stepanovitch. [Drinks.]

Lomov tells Chubukov that he has come to meet Chubukov, the honourable Stepan Stepanovitch. He has come here to make a request to Chubukov. Earlier I have already made requests to you once or twice to help me and I must say that you have always …. I request you to excuse me because I am getting a bit excited. I want to drink some water.

CHUBUKOV : [aside] He’s come to borrow money. Shan’t give him any! [aloud] What is it, my beauty?

LOMOV : You see, Honoured Stepanitch… I beg pardon Stepan Honouritch… I mean, I’m awfully excited, as you will please notice… In short, you alone can help me, though I don’t deserve it, of course… and haven’t any right to count on your assistance…

Word Meaning
Awfully Highly
Right Authority
To count on Demand

Chubukov speaks to himself. He (Lomov) has come to borrow some money. I will not give him any money. But loudly he asks Lomov what is the purpose of his visit.

Lomov tries to speak but he is not able to speak continuously. I beg your pardon. I am highly excited. You might have noticed it. You only can help me though I do not deserve it. Certainly I do not have any right to demand for your help.

CHUBUKOV : Oh, don’t go round and round it, darling! Spit it out! Well?

LOMOV : One moment… this very minute. The fact is I’ve come to ask the hand of your daughter, Natalya Stepanovna, in marriage.

Word Meaning
This very minute Right now

Chubukov advises Lomov not to speak around whatever he wants to say. He request Lomov to directly tell what he wants to say.

Lomov says that he will tell right then. I have come her to ask the hand of your daughter Natalya. [Means he wants to marry Natalya who is daughter of Chubukov]

CHUBUKOV : [joyfully] By Jove! Ivan Vassilevitch! Say it again — I didn’t hear it all!

LOMOV : I have the honour to ask…

Word Meaning
By Jove By God

Chubukov is very happy to listen this. He says my God, please say it again Ivan Vassilevitch. I could not hear properly.

Lomov says that he has the honour to ask …

CHUBUKOV : [interrupting] My dear fellow… I’m so glad, and so on… Yes, indeed, and all that sort of thing. [Embraces and kisses Lomov] I’ve been hoping for it for a long time. It’s been my continual desire. [Sheds a tear] And I’ve always loved you, my angel, as if you were my own son. May God give you both — His help and His love and so on, and so much hope… What am I behaving in this idiotic way for? I’m off my balance with joy, absolutely off my balance! Oh, with all my soul… I’ll go and call Natasha, and all that.

Word Meaning
Interrupt Stop in between,
Indeed Really, Certainly
Continual desire Non-stop desire,
Off the balance Surprised, Confused,

Chubukov starts speaking before Lomov could complete his talk. Chubukov says that he is so happy to know that Lomov wants to marry his daughter. He hugs and kisses Lomov. He says that he has been hoping for this since quite long time. It has been my non-stop wish to marry Natalya to you. I have always loved you as if you are my own son. May God always help and love both of you. But why I am behaving like a fool? I am not able to say anything properly. Probably I am surprised and very happy. Now I will go and call Natasha.

LOMOV : [greatly moved] Honoured Stepan Stepanovitch, do you think I may count on her consent?

CHUBUKOV : Why, of course, my darling, and… as if she won’t consent! She’s in love; egad, she’s like a lovesick cat, and so on. Shan’t be long! [Exit.]

Word Meaning
Greatly moved Highly emotional, Highly impressed
Egad Highly surprised
Lovesick cat One who is in love

Lomov become highly emotional. He asks Chubukov if he can be certain that Natalya would agree for the marriage.

Chubukov replies that she would certainly agree. I am surprised by your question. I think she already loves you. I will come back very soon. He goes out to call Natalya.

LOMOV : It’s cold… I’m trembling all over, just as if I’d got an examination before me. The great thing is, I must have my mind made up. If I give myself time to think, to hesitate, to talk a lot, to look for an ideal, or for real love, then I’ll never get married. Brr… It’s cold! Natalya Stepanovna is an excellent housekeeper, not bad-looking, well-educated. What more do I want?

Word Meaning
Trembling Shivering
Make up mind To decide
Look for Search

Lomov is now thinking to himself. It is cold and I am shivering as if I am about to give an examination. The main thing is that I should take a decision. If I take more time to think, hesitate, talk a lot, search for an ideal or a real love I shall never get married. It is really cold. Natalya takes good care of house. She is not bad looking and is well educated. What more should I want.

But I’m getting a noise in my ears from excitement. [Drinks] And it’s impossible for me not to marry. In the first place, I’m already 35 — a critical age, so to speak. In the second place, I ought to lead a quiet and regular life.

Word Meaning
Ought Must
Quiet Peaceful

Lomov continues to think. But I am getting some noise in my ears due to excitement. (He drinks some more water) And I surely want to get married. Firstly, I am already 35. One can say that it is critical age. [Meaning that he should have got married earlier] Secondly, I must live a peaceful and regular life.

I suffer from palpitations, I’m excitable and always getting awfully upset; at this very moment my lips are trembling, and there’s a twitch in my right eyebrow. But the very worst of all is the way I sleep.

Word Meaning
Palpitation Strong and rapid heartbeat
Awfully Highly
Twitch Shaking quickly

Lomov continues to think. I am suffering from strong and rapid heartbeats. I get excited easily and always get very upset. Even now my lips are trembling. My right eyebrow is shaking. But the worst everything is the way I sleep

I no sooner get into bed and begin to go off, when suddenly something in my left side gives a pull, and I can feel it in my shoulder and head… I jump up like a lunatic, walk about a bit and lie down again, but as soon as I begin to get off to sleep there’s another pull! And this may happen twenty times… [Natalya Stepanovna comes in.]

Word Meaning
Lunatic Mad person

As soon as I go to bed and try to sleep, suddenly my left side gets a pull. I can feel that pull in my shoulders and head. Then I jump out of bed like a mad person. I walk a bit and again lie down in the bed. But as soon as I start sleeping I can feel another pull. And this sequence may happen twenty time. (Natalya enters the room)

NATLYA : Well, there! It’s you, and papa said, “Go; there’s a merchant come for his goods.” How do you do, Ivan Vassilevitch?

LOMOV : How do you do, honoured Natalya Stepanovna?

NATALYA : You must excuse my apron and neglige. We’re shelling peas for drying. Why haven’t you been here for such a long time? Sit down… [They seat themselves.] Won’t you have some lunch?

LOMOV : No, thank you, I’ve had some already.

Word Meaning
Merchant Businessman, Seller
Goods Articles, Materials
Neglige Night gown

Natalya is surprised to see Lomov there. She says that her papa had told that some seller had come to sell some articles. How do you do Ivan Vassilevitch?

Lemov asks how is honourable Natalya.

Natalya says that she is feeling sorry for her casual dress of apron and night gown. She requests Lomov to sit down. She informas that they were getting the outer-cover of groundnut removed. She asks Lomov why he had not come there since a long time. She asks if he would like to take lunch.

Lomov replies that he has already taken lunch

NATALYA : Then smoke. Here are the matches. The weather is splendid now, but yesterday it was so wet that the workmen didn’t do anything all day. How much hay have you stacked?

Word Meaning
Matches Matchbox and its sticks
Splendid Very pleasant
Stacked Piled, Arranged

Natalya asks Lomov to smoke if he wants. She says that there is a matchbox. The weather is very good. But yesterday it was raining therefore workers did not do any work. How much grass you have cut and arranged.

Just think, I felt greedy and had a whole field cut, and now I’m not at all pleased about it because I’m afraid my hay may rot. I ought to have waited a bit. But what’s this? Why, you’re in evening dress! Well, I never! Are you going to a ball or what? Though I must say you look better… Tell me, why are you got up like that?

Word Meaning
Going to a ball Going to a party

Natalya says that she felt very greedy and got the grass of the full field cut. Now I am not happy because rain will spoil the grass. I must have waited a bit more. But why are in your evening dress. I have never seen you in this dress. Are you going for a party? You look better in this dress. But please tell me why are you wearing such good cloths?

LOMOV : [excited] You see, honoured Natalya Stepanovna… the fact is, I’ve made up my mind to ask you to hear me out… Of course you’ll be surprised and perhaps even angry, but a… [aside] It’s awfully cold!

NATALYA : What’s the matter? [pause] Well?

Lomov very excitedly tells honourable Natalya that he has decided to request her to listen to him. Certainly you will be surprised or probably you may become angry. He tells to himself that it is very cold.

Natalya asks him what is the matter? She requests him to tell.

LOMOV : I shall try to be brief. You must know, honoured Natalya Stepanovna, that I have long, since my childhood, in fact, had the privilege of knowing your family. My late aunt and her husband, from whom, as you know, I inherited my land, always had the greatest respect for your father and your late mother.

Word Meaning
Late Aunt Aunt who has expired
Inherited Received as a heir

Lomov tells Natalya that he will speak in short. Honourable Natalya, you must know that since my childhood I know your family. You are aware that I got my land from my late aunt and her husband. They always had a great respect for your father and your late mother.

The Lomovs and the Chubukovs have always had the most friendly, and I might almost say the most affectionate, regard for each other. And, as you know, my land is a near neighbour of yours. You will remember that my Oxen Meadows touch your birchwoods.

Word Meaning
Lomovs Lomov family
Affectionate Fond of , Liked
Regard Respect
Birch Type of tree
Birchwoods Area where birch trees are planted

The Lomov family and Chubukov family have always been friendly to each other. We have always liked each other and have respect for each other. My land is next to your land. Please recall that our Oxen Meadows touch you birchwoods.

NATALYA : Excuse my interrupting you. You say, “my Oxen Meadows”. But are they yours?

LOMOV : Yes, mine.

NATALYA : What are you talking about? Oxen Meadows are ours, not yours!

LOMOV : No, mine, honoured Natalya Stepanovna.

Natalya interrupts Lomov and asks if he said ‘my Oxen Meadows’. But is that land yours?

Lomov replies yes that land belongs to him.

Natalya says Oxen meadows belongs to them.

Lomov replies honourable Natalya that land belongs to him.

 

NATALYA : Well, I never knew that before. How do you make that out?

LOMOV : How? I’m speaking of those Oxen Meadows which are wedged in between your birchwoods and the Burnt Marsh.

NATALYA : Yes, yes… they’re ours.

LOMOV : No, you’re mistaken, honoured Natalya Stepanovna, they’re mine.

Word Meaning
Make out Find out, Come to know
Wedged in between Lying between
You are mistaken Your understanding or belief is wrong

Natalya says she did not know that before. She asks how did Lomov come to know about it?

Lomov explains that he is talking about the land that is between their birchwood and the Burnt Marsh.

Natalya says that land belongs to them.

Lomov says honourable Natalya, your belief is wrong. That land belongs to him.

 

NATALYA : Just think, Ivan Vassilevitch! How long have they been yours?

LOMOV : How long? As long as I can remember.

NATALYA : Really, you won’t get me to believe that!

Natalaya tells Lomov to recall since what time that land had been his.

Lomov says he remembers it since very long time that the land has always been his.

Natalya expresses surprise and says that she does not believe this.

LOMOV : But you can see from the documents, honoured Natalya Stepanovna. Oxen Meadows, it’s true, were once the subject of dispute, but now everybody knows that they are mine. There’s nothing to argue about.

Word Meaning
Documents Records

Lomov says that she can check from records. It is true that once upon a time there was a dispute about Oxen Meadow. But now everybody knows that the land belongs to me. There is no argument about it.

You see my aunt’s grandmother gave the free use of these Meadows in perpetuity to the peasants of your father’s grandfather, in return for which they were to make bricks for her. The peasants belonging to your father’s grandfather had the free use of the Meadows for forty years, and had got into the habit of regarding them as their own, when it happened that…

Word Meaning
In perpetuity For ever
Peasants Workers,

Lomov explains that grandmother of his aunt had allowed workers of your father’s grandfather to stay in that land for ever. But in return of this permission, the workers were required to make bricks for her without any cost. Because workers of your father’s grandfather were not paying any rent, they developed the habit of saying that the land belonged to them.

NATALYA : No, it isn’t at all like that! Both grandfather and greatgrandfather reckoned that their land extended to Burnt Marsh — which means that Oxen Meadows were ours. I don’t see what there is to argue about. It’s simply silly!

LOMOV : I’ll show you the documents, Natalya Stepanovna!

Word Meaning
Reckoned Knew

Natalya says this is not the truth. Her grandfather and great grandfather knew that their land extended up to Burnt Marsh. Which means that Oxen Meadow is our land. There is nothing to argue about it. Your arguments is foolish.

Lomov says that he can show her records of the land.

NATALYA : No, you’re simply joking, or making fun of me. What a surprise! We’ve had the land for nearly three hundred years, and then we’re suddenly told that it isn’t ours! Ivan Vassilevitch, I can hardly believe my own ears. These Meadows aren’t worth much to me. They only come to five dessiatins, and are worth perhaps 300 roubles, but I can’t stand unfairness. Say what you will, I can’t stand unfairness.

Word Meaning
Dessiatins Unit of area in Russia
Rouble Currency of Russia
Cannot stand unfairness Cannot tolerate cheating

Natalya says that Lomov is joking or making a fun of her. For about three hundred years the land has been with us. And suddenly you tell us that the land belongs to you. I cannot believe my ears Ivan. These meadows are not so costly for me. Area of this land is only five dessiatins and its cost is about 300 roubles. But whatever you say, I cannot tolerate unfairness.

LOMOV : Hear me out, I implore you! The peasants of your father’s grandfather, as I have already had the honour of explaining to you, used to bake bricks for my aunt’s grandmother. Now my aunt’s grandmother, wishing to make them a pleasant…

Word Meaning
Implore Request

Lomov requests Nataya to listen to him. I have already explained to you that workers of your great grandfather used to make bricks for grandmother of my aunt. Grandmother of my aunt wanted to keep them happy …

NATALYA : I can’t make head or tail of all this about aunts and grandfathers and grandmothers. The Meadows are ours, that’s all.

LOMOV : Mine.

Word Meaning
Can’t make head or tail Cannot understand anything

Natalya say she is not able to understand anything that Lomov is telling about aunts and grandfathers. The meadows are ours and that is final.

Lomov says that it belongs to him.

NATALYA : Ours! You can go on proving it for two days on end, you can go and put on fifteen dress jackets, but I tell you they’re ours, ours, ours! I don’t want anything of yours and I don’t want to give anything of mine. So there!

Word Meaning
Go on Continue
Put on Wear

Natalya says that Lomov can continue to try to prove for two complete day or he can wear fifteen jackets. But the land belongs to us, it is ours. I do not want to take any land that belongs to you and I do not want to give you anything that is ours. It is final.

LOMOV : Natalya Stepanovna, I don’t want the Meadows, but I am acting on principle. If you like, I’ll make you a present of them.

Lomov says that he does not want meadows but he was talking on principles. If you like the meadows, I will give it to you as a gift.

NATALYA : I can make you a present of them myself, because they’re mine! Your behaviour, Ivan Vassilevitch, is strange, to say the least!

Word Meaning
Least Minimum

Natalya says that she can gift the meadows to Lomov because it belongs to her. Mr Ivan, your behaviour is very strange. This is the minimum I would say.

Up to this we have always thought of you as a good neighbour, a friend; last year we lent you our threshing-machine, although on that account we had to put off our own threshing till November, but you behave to us as if we were gypsies.

Word Meaning
Put off Postpone
Gypsies Outsiders

Till now we have always considered you as a good neighbour and a friend. Last year we gave our threshing machine to you on loan. Because of that, we had to postpone threshing of our grains till Novemeber. But you are treating us like outsiders.

Giving me my own land, indeed! No, really, that’s not at all neighbourly! In my opinion, it’s even impudent, if you want to know.

Word Meaning
Impudent Disrespectful, Rude

You are giving me my own land. This not the behaviour of a good neighbour. You may like to know that in my opinion your behaviour is disrespectful and rude.

LOMOV : Then you make out that I’m a landgrabber? Madam, never in my life have I grabbed anybody else’s land and I shan’t allow anybody to accuse me of having done so. [Quickly steps to the carafe and drinks more water] Oxen Meadows are mine!

NATALYA : It’s not true, they’re ours!

LOMOV : Mine!

Word Meaning
Grab Snatch, Occupy forcibly
Carafe Jug, Flask
Accuse Blame

Lomov says it means Natalya had determined him to be person who would forcibly occupy a land. Madam in my life I have not snatched land from anybody. I will not allow anybody to put such blame on me. (He quickly moves to a jug and drinks more water). He says that Oxen Meadows are his.

Natalya says it is not true. The land is ours. Lomov says the land is his.

NATALYA : It’s not true! I’ll prove it! I’ll send my mowers out to the Meadows this very day!

LOMOV : What?

NATALYA : My mowers will be there this very day!

LOMOV : I’ll give it to them in the neck!

NATALYA : You dare!

Word Meaning
Mowers People who cut grass
This very day Today itself
Give it in the neck Beat, Punish

Natalya says that it is not true and she will prove it. She will send his workers to the Meadows today itself to cut grass.

Lomov says that he will beat them.

Natalya challenges Lomov to do that.

LOMOV : [Clutches at his heart] Oxen Meadows are mine! You understand? Mine!

NATALYA : Please don’t shout! You can shout yourself hoarse in your own house but here I must ask you to restrain yourself!

LOMOV : If it wasn’t, madam, for this awful, excruciating palpitation, if my whole inside wasn’t upset, I’d talk to you in a different way! [Yells] Oxen Meadows are mine!

NATALYA : Ours!

LOMOV : Mine!

NATALYA : Ours!

LOMOV : Mine!

[Enter Chubukov]

Word Meaning
Clutch Hold tightly
Shout hoarse Shout loudly
Restrain To control
Excruciating Severe, Acute, Intense
Yell Shout

Lomov puts his hand on his heart and says that Oxen Meadows are his.

Natalya asks him not to shout. She says that he can shout loudly in his own house but in her house he must control himself.

Lomov says that now his heart is painfully beating rapidly. And my whole body is upset. Otherwise I would have talked to you in a different way. He says in very loud voice that Oxen Meadows belong to him.

(Chubukov enters)

CHUBUKOV : What’s the matter? What are you shouting for?

NATALYA : Papa, please tell this gentleman who owns Oxen Meadows, we or he?

CHUBUKOV : [to Lomov] Darling, the Meadows are ours!

Chubukov asks what has happened. Why are you shouting.

Natalya asks her papa to tell Lemov who is the owner of Oxen Meadows.

Chubukov tells that the land belongs to them.

LOMOV : But, please, Stepan Stepanovitch, how can they be yours? Do be a reasonable man! My aunt’s grandmother gave the Meadows for the temporary and free use of your grandfather’s peasants. The peasants used the land for forty years and got accustomed to it as if it was their own, when it happened that…

Word Meaning
Reasonable Logical
Accustomed to it Used to it, Have a habit

Lomov say to Chubukov  how can that be yours. Please be a reasonable person. My aunt’s grandmother gave it to peasants of your grandfather for temporary use. The workers had used the land for forty years. They got used to staying on it and started calling it their own land.

CHUBUKOV : Excuse me, my precious. You forget just this, that the peasants didn’t pay your grandmother and all that, because the Meadows were in dispute, and so on. And now everybody knows that they’re ours. It means that you haven’t seen the plan.

LOMOV : I’ll prove to you that they’re mine!

CHUBUKOV : You won’t prove it, my darling —

LOMOV : I shall

Word Meaning
Dispute Disagreement

Chubokov tells Lomov that the workers did not pay anything to your grandmother because the land was in dispute. Now everybody knows that the land belongs to us. It only means that you have not seen the plan.

Lomov says that he will prove that land belongs to him.

Chubokov says that Lomov will not be able to prove.

 

CHUBUKOV : Dear one, why yell like that? You won’t prove anything just by yelling. I don’t want anything of yours, and don’t intend to give up what I have. Why should I? And you know, my beloved, that if you propose to go on arguing about it, I’d much sooner give up the Meadows to the peasants than to you. There!

LOMOV : I don’t understand! How have you the right to give away somebody else’s property?

Chubukov asks Lomov why he is shouting. You will not prove anything by shouting. I do not want to listen to you. I do not want to give up what I own. If you continue to argue with me, I will give the Meadow to the workers than to you.

Lomov says that the property does not belong to Chubukov. Therefore he does not have any authority to give it to anyone.

 

CHUBUKOV : You may take it that I know whether I have the right or not. Because, young man, I’m not used to being spoken to in that tone of voice, and so on. I, young man, am twice your age, and ask you to speak to me without agitating yourself, and all that.

Word Meaning
Agitating Getting angry

Chubukov says he knows what authority he has. Young man nobody has ever spoken to me in such tone. My age is double of your age. Therefore I ask you to speak to me without getting angry.

LOMOV : No, you just think I’m a fool and want to have me on! You call my land yours, and then you want me to talk to you calmly and politely! Good neighbours don’t behave like that, Stepan Stepanovitch! You’re not a neighbour, you’re a grabber!

CHUBUKOV : What’s that? What did you say?

Word Meaning
Have someone on Make fun of

Lomov says that he is not a fool and does not want to make fun of himself. You are calling my land as yours. In spite of that you want me to talk to you peacefully and politely. Good neighbours do not behave like that Mr. Stepan. You are not a neighbour . You are a land grabber.

Chubukov asks Lomov to repeat what he has said.

 

NATALYA : Papa, send the mowers out to the Meadows at once!

CHUBUKOV : What did you say, sir?

NATALYA : Oxen Meadows are ours, and I shan’t give them up, shan’t give them up, shan’t give them up!

LOMOV : We’ll see! I’ll have the matter taken to court, and then I’ll show you!

Natalya asks her father to immediately send people to cut the grass at meadows.

Chubukov asks Lomov what did he say.

Natalya declares that Meadows belongs to them and she will not give it to anyone.

Lomov say that he will take the dispute to the court and then he will show them the proof.

 

CHUBUKOV : To court? You can take it to court, and all that! You can! I know you; you’re just on the look-out for a chance to go to court, and all that. You pettifogger! All your people were like that! All of them!

LOMOV : Never mind about my people! The Lomovs have all been honourable people, and not one has ever been tried for embezzlement, like your grandfather!

Word Meaning
On the look out To find an excuse, In the search of
Pettifogger One who fights for small reasons
embezzlement Theft, Robbery

Chubukov tells that Lomov can take the matter to the court. I know you are trying to find an excuse to go to the court. You are a person who will fight even for small reasons. Every member of your family is of that nature.

Lomov asks Chubukov not to worry about his family members. Family of Lomov had honourable people. They have never tried to make a theft or robbery, like your grandfather did.

 

CHUBUKOV : You Lomovs have had lunacy in your family, all of you!

NATALYA : All, all, all!

CHUBUKOV : Your grandfather was a drunkard, and your younger aunt, Nastasya Mihailovna, ran away with an architect, and so on…

LOMOV : And your mother was hump-backed. [Clutches at his heart] Something pulling in my side… My head…. Help! Water!

Word Meaning
Lunacy Madness
Drunkard In the habit of drinking

Chubukov says that the family of Lomov have a history of madness. All of you are mad. Chubukov says that your grandfather was in the habit of drinking. Your younger aunt ran away with an architect.

Lomov says your mother had a hump on her back. Lomov holds his hand to his heart. Something is pulling inside my body. I want to drink some water.

 

CHUBUKOV : Your father was a guzzling gambler!

NATALYA : And there haven’t been many backbiters to equal your aunt!

CHUBUKOV : My left foot has gone to sleep… You’re an intriguer….Oh, my heart! And it’s an open secret that before the last elections you bri… I can see stars… Where’s my hat?

Word Meaning
Guzzling gambler A habitual gambler
Backbiter Who talk bad about others in their absence
Intriguer One who makes evil plans

Chubukov says that father of Ivan was a habitual gambler.

Natalya says that mother of Lomov always used to talk bad about others.

Chubukov says that his left foot has gone to sleep. You can make evil plans to harm someone. And everybody knows that during last election … I can see stars, where is my hat.

 

NATALYA : It’s low! It’s dishonest! It’s mean!

CHUBUKOV : And you’re just a malicious, doublefaced intriguer! Yes!

LOMOV : Here’s my hat. My heart! Which way? Where’s the door? Oh I think I’m dying! My foot’s quite numb… [Goes to the door.]

Word Meaning
Malicious Ill natured, Evil
Double faced One who talk different at different times

Natalya says to Lomov that he is a dishonest and a mean person.

Chubukov says that Lomov is a ill-natured and dishonest person, who talks different things at different times

Lomov picks up his hat. His heart is beating rapidly. His foot has become numb. He is going towards the door to go out of the house.

 

CHUBUKOV : [following him] And don’t set foot in my house again!

NATALYA : Take it to court! We’ll see! [Lomov staggers out.]

CHUBUKOV : Devil take him! [Walks about in excitement.]

NATALYA : What a rascal! What trust can one have in one’s neighbours after that!

Word Meaning
Rascal Devil, Scoundrel, Rude

Chubokov goes behind Lomov and tells him not to come to his house again.

Natalya tells Lomov to take the matter to the court. They will handle it. Natalya says that Lomov is a rude person. We cannot trust such neighbours.

CHUBUKOV : The villain! The scarecrow!

NATALYA : The monster! First he takes our land and then he has the impudence to abuse us.

Word Meaning
Scarecrow Loafer, Dangerous
Impudence Indecency, Disrespectful

Chubukov says that Lomov is a villain and a dangerous person.

Natalya says that he is a monster. First he took our land. Then has the indecency to abuse us.

 

CHUBUKOV : And that blind hen, yes, that turnip-ghost has the confounded cheek to make a proposal, and so on! What? A proposal!

NATALYA : What proposal?

Word Meaning
Blind hen Someone who cannot understand anything
Turnip ghost An untruthful person
Confounded cheek Confused person

Chubukov says that Lomov cannot understand anything. He is untruthful. (He speaks lies). He is a confused person. And he had come here with a proposal.

Natalya asks what was the proposal.

CHUBUKOV : Why, he came here to propose to you.

NATALYA : To propose? To me? Why didn’t you tell me so before?

CHUBUKOV : So he dresses up in evening clothes. The stuffed sausage! The wizen-faced frump!

Word Meaning
Stuffed sausage Fat person
Wizen faced frump Ugly looking old fashioned person

Chubukov says that Lomov had come to propose Natalya to marry him.

Natalya says why Chubukov did not tell this before.

Chubukov says Lomov was wearing evening party clothes. He is a fat person. He has face that is thin and looks ill. He is an ugly looking person.

NATALYA : To propose to me? Ah! [Falls into an easy-chair and wails] Bring him back! Back! Ah! Bring him here.

CHUBUKOV : Bring whom here?

NATALYA : Quick, quick! I’m ill! Fetch him! [Hysterics.]

Word Meaning
Wails Cries loudly

Natalya sits on an easy chair and starts crying loudly. He had come to propose me. She requests her father to bring Lomov back. Chubulov is surprised. Natalya asks her father to bring back Lomov quickly.

 

CHUBUKOV : What’s that? What’s the matter with you? [Clutches at his head] Oh, unhappy man that I am! I’ll shoot myself! I’ll hang myself! We’ve done for her!

NATALYA : I’m dying! Fetch him!

CHUBUKOV : Tfoo! At once. Don’t yell! [Runs out. A pause.]

NATALYA : [Natalya Stepanovna wails.] What have they done to me? Fetch him back! Fetch him! [A pause. Chubukov runs in.]

Chubukov asks Natalya what is wrong with her. I am such an unhappy person. He holds his head. I want to shoot myself. I have harmed her.

Natalya asks her father to bring back Lomov quickly.

Chubukov asks Natalya to stop crying. Natalya repeatedly asks to bring back Lomov.

 

CHUBUKOV : He’s coming, and so on, devil take him! Ouf! Talk to him yourself; I don’t want to…

NATALYA : [wails] Fetch him!

CHUBUKOV : [yells] He’s coming, I tell you. Oh, what a burden, Lord, to be the father of a grown-up daughter! I’ll cut my throat I will, indeed! We cursed him, abused him, drove him out; and it’s all you… you!

Word Meaning
Grown up Adult

Chubokov says Lomov is coming back. He asks Natalya to herself talk to Lomov. He says it is really a problem to be a father of an adult daughter. I will certainly cut my own throat. We abused him, we cursed him, we asked him to leave our house and now you want to talk to him.

 

NATALYA : No, it was you!

CHUBUKOV : I tell you it’s not my fault. [Lomov appears at the door] Now you talk to him yourself.[Exit.]

LOMOV : [Lomov enters, exhausted.] My heart’s palpitating awfully. My foot’s gone to sleep. There’s something that keeps pulling in my side….

Natalya says that all those thing were done by Chubukov.

Chubukov replies that it was not his mistake. (Lomov come back into the room.) Chubukov says to Natalya that she should talk to Lomov.

Lomov is very tired. He says that his heart is beating rapidly. My foot has gone to sleep. Something is pulling inside my body.

 

NATALYA : Forgive us, Ivan Vassilevitch, we were all a little heated. I remember now: Oxen Meadows… really are yours.

LOMOV : My heart’s beating awfully. My Meadows… My eyebrows are both twitching….

NATALYA : The Meadows are yours, yes, yours. Do sit down. [They sit] We were wrong.

Natalya requests Ivan to forgive them. She says that they had become a bit angry. Now I can recall that oxen Meadows are yours.

Lomov says his heart is beating rapidly. My both eyebrows are shaking.

Natalya asks Lomov to sit down. She again says that Meadows were of Lomov. They were wrong.

 

LOMOV : I did it on principle. My land is worth little to me, but the principle…

NATALYA : Yes, the principle, just so. Now let’s talk of something else.

LOMOV : The more so as I have evidence. My aunt’s grandmother gave the land to your father’s grandfather’s peasants…

Word Meaning
Evidence Proof

Lomov says that he had argued on principles. My land is not very costly.

Natalya says that she agrees for the principles. She suggests Lomov to talk about some other thing.

Lomov says that he has a proof that grandmother of my aunt had permitted peasants of your great grandfather …

 

NATALYA : Yes, yes, let that pass. [aside] I wish I knew how to get him started. [aloud] Are you going to start shooting soon?

LOMOV : I’m thinking of having a go at the blackcock, honoured Natalya Stepanovna, after the harvest. Oh, have you heard? Just think, what a misfortune I’ve had! My dog Guess, who you know, has gone lame.

Word Meaning
Let it pass Leave the topic
Harvest Crop
Lame Not able to walk

Natalya asks Lomov to leave that topic. She tells to herself that it would have been better if she knew how to make him talk. She asks Lomov if he was going for hunting very soon.

Lomove replies that he was planning to go to blackcock after cutting of all the crop. He has a problem. His dog named Guess has become lame.

NATALYA : What a pity! Why?

LOMOV : I don’t know. Must have got his leg twisted or bitten by some other dog. [sighs] My very best dog, to say nothing of the expense. I gave Mironov 125 roubles for him.

NATALYA : It was too much, Ivan Vassilevitch.

LOMOV : I think it was very cheap. He’s a first-rate dog.

Word Meaning
Pity Sympathy
First rate Best

Natalya expresses her sympathy and asks why Guess has become lame.

Lomov says that probably it twisted its leg or some other dog had bit it. Guess is my best dog. I had purchased it from Mirnov by paying 125 roubles.

Natalya says it was very high price.

Lomov replies that he bought the dog at very cheap price because it is the best dog.

 

NATALYA : Papa gave 85 roubles for his Squeezer, and Squeezer is heaps better than Guess!

LOMOV : Squeezer better than Guess? What an idea! [laughs] Squeezer better than Guess!

Natalya says that her father had bought his dog Squeezer for 85 roubles. And Squeezer is much better dog that Guess.

Lomov laughs at the statement of Natalya. [Means he is not accepting that Squeezer is better than Guess]

 

NATALYA : Of course he’s better! Of course, Squeezer is young, he may develop a bit, but on points and pedigree he’s better than anything that even Volchanetsky has got.

LOMOV : Excuse me, Natalya Stepanovna, but you forget that he is overshot, and an overshot always means the dog is a bad hunter!

Word Meaning
Pedigree Family history
Overshot A dog having upper jaw longer than lower jaw

Natalya says that certainly Squeezer is better that Guess. Squeezer is young and he will grow up. But on number of points won in dog shows and family history, Squeezer is better than the dog owned by Volchanetsky.

Lomov syas that Squeezer is an overshot type of dog. An overshot is considered a bad hunter.

 

NATALYA : Overshot, is he? The first time I hear it!

LOMOV : I assure you that his lower jaw is shorter than the upper.

NATALYA : Have you measured?

LOMOV : Yes. He’s all right at following, of course, but if you want to get hold of anything…

Natalya says that for first time she has heard that Squeezer is overshot.

Lomov assures her that its lower jaw is shorter.

Natalya asks if he had measured its jaws.

Lomov says Squeezer is certainly good at chasing but if it wants to catch anything, it will have problem.

 

NATALYA : In the first place, our Squeezer is a thoroughbred animal, the son of Harness and Chisels while there’s no getting at the pedigree of your dog at all. He’s old and as ugly as a worn-out cab-horse.

Word Meaning
Thoroughbred From forefathers of same breed
Worn-out Old, Tired
Cab-horse Horse used for pulling a cab

Natalya says that our Squeezer is a thoroughbred. He is son of Harness and Chisels. But family history of your dog is not known. He is old and ugly like a horse that pulls a cab.

 

LOMOV : He is old, but I wouldn’t take five Squeezers for him. Why, how can you? Guess is a dog; as for Squeezer, well, it’s too funny to argue. Anybody you like has a dog as good as Squeezer… you may find them under every bush almost. Twenty-five roubles would be a handsome price to pay for him.

Lomov agrees that Guess is old but he would not exchange him even for fives dogs like Squeezers. Because Guess a dog but it is very funny to talk anything about Squeezer. Dogs like Squeezer can be found anywhere – under any bush. Even 25 roubles will be a very high price for it.

 

NATALYA : There’s some demon of contradition in you today, Ivan Vassilevitch. First you pretend that the Meadows are yours; now, that Guess is better than Squeezer. I don’t like people who don’t say what they mean, because you know perfectly well that Squeezer is a hundred times better than your silly Guess. Why do you want to say he isn’t?

Word Meaning
Demon Very big
Contradition Lie

Natalya says to Lomov that today whatever he is telling is a big lie. First you told that Meadows belong to you. Now you are telling that Guess is better than Squeezer. I do not like people who do not say what they mean to say. You very well know that Squeezer is hundred times better that your foolish dog Guess. And you are saying that Squeezer is not better than Guess.

 

LOMOV : I see, Natalya Stepanovna, that you consider me either blind or a fool. You must realise that Squeezer is overshot!

NATALYA : It’s not true.

LOMOV : He is!

NATALYA : It’s not true!

LOMOV : Why shout madam?

Lomov says that probably Natlaya is considering him to be a blind or a fool. She must realise that Squeezer is over shot.

Natalya does not agree to it. Lomov asks Natalya not to shout.

 

NATALYA : Why talk rot? It’s awful! It’s time your Guess was shot, and you compare him with Squeezer!

LOMOV : Excuse me, I cannot continue this discussion, my heart is palpitating.

NATALYA : I’ve noticed that those hunters argue most who know least.

Word Meaning
Rot Rubbish
Awful Bad

Natalya say that all the talk is rubbish and bad. Your dog Guess should be shot down and you want to compare it with Squeezer.

Lomov says that he does not want to continue discussion. His heart is beating rapidly.

Natalya says that those person who do not know anything tend to argue most.

 

LOMOV : Madam, please be silent. My heart is going to pieces. [shouts] Shut up!

NATALYA : I shan’t shut up until you acknowledge that Squeezer is a hundred times better than your Guess!

LOMOV : A hundred times worse! Be hanged to your Squeezer! His head… eyes… shoulder…

Word Meaning
Acknowledge Accept

Lomov requests Natalya to remain silent because he is having great pain in his heart. In a very loud voice he tell Natalya to shut up.

Natalya replies that she will not remain silent till Lomov accepts that Squeezer is better than Guess.

Lomov says that Squeezer is hundred time worse. It should be hanged.

 

NATALYA : There’s no need to hang your silly Guess; he’s half-dead already!

LOMOV : [weeps] Shut up! My heart’s bursting!

NATALYA : I shan’t shut up. [Enter Chubukov.]

CHUBUKOV : What’s the matter now?

NATALYA : Papa, tell us truly, which is the better dog, our Squeezer or his Guess.

Natalya says that there is no need to hang his silly dog Guess because it is already half dead.

Lomov asks Natalya to remain silent because his heart is about to burst.

But Natalya refused to remain silent.

Chubukov comes in and asks what is the matter.

Natalya asks him if their dog Squeezer is better than Lomov’s Guess.

 

LOMOV : Stepan Stepanovitch, I implore you to tell me just one thing: is your Squeezer overshot or not? Yes or no?

CHUBUKOV : And suppose he is? What does it matter? He’s the best dog in the district for all that, and so on.

LOMOV : But isn’t my Guess better? Really, now?

Lomov requests Chubukov to tell only one thing if the Squeezer is overshot or not.

Chubukov replies that it does not matter. Even if it is overshot, it is the best dog in the district.

Lomov asks if his dog Guess is better.

 

CHUBUKOV : Don’t excite yourself, my precious one. Allow me. Your Guess certainly has his good points. He’s purebred, firm on his feet, has well-sprung ribs, and all that. But, my dear man, if you want to know the truth, that dog has two defects: he’s old and he’s short in the muzzle.

Chubukov advises Lomov not to get excited. Your Guess has won many points in dog show. He has good family history. He can run fast. He has good body build and many other good things. But it has two defects. It is old and its mouth is short or small.

 

LOMOV : Excuse me, my heart… Let’s take the facts. You will remember that on the Marusinsky hunt my Guess ran neck-and-neck with the Count’s dog, while your Squeezer was left a whole verst behind.

CHUBUKOV : He got left behind because the Count’s whipper-in hit him with his whip.

Word Meaning
Count A high official in European countries
Neck and neck Very close competition
Verst Distance of about 1.1 KM
Whipper-in Person who whips dogs

Lomov says excuse me my dear, let us understand the truth. Please recall that on the day of Marusinsky hunt [it was race for the dogs] my Guess had run very close to Count’s dog. Your squeezer was far behind by about one KM.

Chubukov says that it was because Squeezer got hit by the whipper-in of the Count

 

LOMOV : And with good reason. The dogs are running after a fox, when Squeezer goes and starts worrying a sheep!

Lomov says what an argument Chubukov has put. All the dogs were running behind a fox and the Squeezer started running after a sheep.

 

CHUBUKOV : It’s not true! My dear fellow, I’m very liable to lose my temper, and so, just because of that, let’s stop arguing. You started because everybody is always jealous of everybody else’s dogs. Yes, we’re all like that! You too, sir, aren’t blameless! You no sooner begin with this, that and the other, and all that… I remember everything!

Chubukov says that it is not true. I am likely to get angry. Therefore please stop arguing. You started arguing because everybody is jealous of other’s dog. We all are like that. You also have the same weakness. I remember everything that had happened during the race.

 

LOMOV : I remember too!

CHUBUKOV : [teasing him] I remember, too! What do you remember?

Lomov and Chubukov both say that they remember everything about the race.

LOMOV : My heart… my foot’s gone to sleep. I can’t…

NATALYA : [teasing] My heart! What sort of a hunter are you? You ought to go and lie on the kitchen oven and catch black beetles, not go after foxes! My heart!

Word Meaning
Black beetle Cockroach

Lomov says that his foot has gone to sleep.

Natalya teases him by questioning what kind of hunter he is. He should go in the kitchen and kill cockroaches. He should not try to hunt foxes.

 

CHUBUKOV : Yes really, what sort of a hunter are you, anyway? You ought to sit at home with your palpitations, and not go tracking animals. You could go hunting, but you only go to argue with people and interfere with their dogs and so on. Let’s change the subject in case I lose my temper. You’re not a hunter at all, anyway!

Chubukov agrees with Natalya and says that Lomov is a bad hunter. He should sit at home with his rapid heartbeats. He should not chase animals. You want to go for hunting but start arguing with people about their dogs. Let us change the topic otherwise I may get angry. You are not at all a hunter.

 

LOMOV : And are you a hunter? You only go hunting to get in with the Count and to intrigue. Oh, my heart! You’re an intriguer!

CHUBUKOV : What? I am an intriguer? [shouts] Shut up!

LOMOV : Intriguer!

CHUBUKOV : Boy! Pup!

LOMOV : Old rat! Jesuit!

CHUBUKOV : Shut up or I’ll shoot you like a partridge! You fool!

Word Meaning
Partridge A bird
Intrigue To make evil plans

Lomov says that Chubukov is not a hunter. He goes for hunting to give company to Count and to make evil plans. You are an intriguer.

Chubokov questions the statement of Lomov.

They tell each other to shut up. Chubukov tells Lomov to shut up otherwise he will shoot Lomov just like a partridge.

 

LOMOV : Everybody knows that — oh, my heart! — your late wife used to beat you… My feet… temples… sparks… I fall, I fall!

CHUBUKOV : And you’re under the slipper of your house-keeper!

LOMOV : There, there, there… my heart’s burst! My shoulders come off! Where is my shoulder? I die. [Falls into an armchair] A doctor!

Lomov tells that everybody is aware that late wife of Chubokov used to beat Chubukov. Lomov is feeling uneasy about his feet and temples.

Chubukov says that Lomov is wearing slippers of his servant.

Lomov feels that his heart is about to burst and his shoulder is breaking. He thinks that he is about to die. He requests to call a doctor.

 

CHUBUKOV : Boy! Milksop! Fool! I’m sick! [Drinks water] Sick!

NATALYA : What sort of a hunter are you? You can’t even sit on a horse! [To her father] Papa, what’s the matter with him? Papa! Look, Papa! [screams] Ivan Vassilevitch! He’s dead!

Chubukov say that he is not feeling well. Chubukov drinks some water.

Natalya asks Lomov what kind of hunter he is. He cannot even ride a horse. She tell  his father to examine what is happening to Lomov. She tells that Lomov is dead.

 

CHUBUKOV : I’m sick! I can’t breathe! Air!

NATALYA : He’s dead. [Pulls Lomov’s sleeve] Ivan Vassilevitch! Ivan Vassilevitch! What have you done to me? He’s dead. [Falls into an armchair] A doctor, a doctor! [Hysterics.]

CHUBUKOV : Oh! What is it? What’s the matter?

NATALYA : [wails] He’s dead… dead!

Chubokov says that he is not feeling well, he cannot breathe.

Natalya pulls Lomov’s sleeve and asks what has happened to you. She declares that Lomov is dead. She sits in a chair. She shouts very loudly to call a doctor. When her father asks what has happened, she once again tells that Lomov is dead.

 

CHUBUKOV : Who’s dead? [Looks at Lomov] So he is! My word! Water! A doctor! [Lifts a tumbler to Lomov’s mouth] Drink this! No, he doesn’t drink. It means he’s dead, and all that. I’m the most unhappy of men! Why don’t I put a bullet into my brain? Why haven’t I cut my throat yet? What am I waiting for? Give me a knife! Give me a pistol! [Lomov moves] He seems to be coming round. Drink some water! That’s right.

Chubukov looks at Lomov and realised that he was dead. He fills some water in the tumbler (glass) and asks Lomov to drink. But he does not drink. So Chubukov believes that Lomov is dead. Chubukov says that he is very unhappy person. He wants to put a bullet in his own head. He wants to cut his own throat with knife. Lomov moves a bit. Chubukov says Lomov is becoming alive. He gives some water to Lomov, who drinks.

 

LOMOV : I see stars… mist… where am I?

CHUBUKOV : Hurry up and get married and — well, to the devil with you! She’s willing! [He puts Lomov’s hand into his daughter’s] She’s willing and all that. I give you my blessing and so on. Only leave me in peace!

Lomov says that he is seeing stars and mist.

Chubukov asks Lomov to quickly get married. Natalya is ready to marry. He puts Lomov’s hand into hand of Natalya. He gives them blessings. Now I will have peace.

 

LOMOV : [getting up] Eh? What? To whom?

CHUBUKOV : She’s willing! Well? Kiss and be damned to you!

NATALYA : [wails] He’s alive… Yes, yes, I’m willing.

CHUBUKOV : Kiss each other!

Lomov is not able to understand clearly.

Chubukov again says that Natalya is ready to marry.

Natalya starts crying. She is happy that Lomov is still alive and that she is ready to marry him. Chubukov asks them to kiss each other.

 

LOMOV : Eh? Kiss whom? [They kiss] Very nice, too. Excuse me, what’s it all about? Oh, now I understand … my heart… stars… I’m happy. Natalya Stepanovna… [Kisses her hand] My foot’s gone to sleep.

NATALYA : I… I’m happy too…

CHUBUKOV : What a weight off my shoulders, ouf!

Word Meaning
Weight off my shoulder Responsibility completed

Lomov asks to whom should he kiss. Why should he kiss? Now I understand. [He understood that they are getting married]. I am so happy to marry Natalya. He kisses her hand. My foot has gone to sleep.

Natalya says that she is also happy.

Chubukov says that now he has completed his responsibility.

 

NATALYA : But, still you will admit now that Guess is worse than Squeezer.

LOMOV : Better!

NATALYA : Worse!

Natalya tells Lomov to accept that Guess is worse than Squeezer. They both do not agree to each other.

 

CHUBUKOV : Well, that’s a way to start your family bliss! Have some champagne!

LOMOV : He’s better!

NATALYA : Worse! Worse! Worse!

CHUBUKOV : [trying to shout her down] Champagne! Champagne!

CURTAIN

Chubokov says that it a nice way of starting a family with an argument. Lomov and Natalya do not agree to each other. Chubukov tries to stop Natalya from speaking. He says that everybody should now drink Champagne.

Curtain falls. The play ends.

****

 

Important Links
The Proposal – Textbook Q&A The Proposal – Extra Q&A
The Sermon at Benaras – Explanation A Letter to God – Explanation
The Sermon at Benaras – Textbook Q&A A Letter to God – Textbook Q&A
The Sermon at Benaras – Extra Q&A A Letter to God – Extra Q&A
Re-arrange Exercises Error Finding Exercises
Active-Passive Rules Gap Filling Exercises
Passages Direct-Indirect Speech Rules
Story Writing Tips Letter Writing

 

 

 


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