Re: A.S.Griboyedov WOE FROM WIT (A Four Act Comedy)
Sofia, Lizzie, Molchalin.
Molchalin, I have lost 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 nonsense, 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?
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 embrace 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 scissors an a needle pad.
There's pomade, and here is another set:
Two bottles of perfume: jasmine 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)
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.)
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
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 constellation of mazurkas and manoeuvres. Love
Is doomed to play the blind man's bluff.
Oh, are you here? I'm very glad.
I wished it so.
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.
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)
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 overwhelmed, 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 mystery 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 dispel 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 drive him mad I really did not intend.
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 mercy 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 aim of life is making fun ?
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.
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 tries to do the pleasing.
He could make merry if he wanted to.
Alas, he only does what the old people here do,
He sits playing with 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 compliant, 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.
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.
The hair dresser. While the curling irons are hot.
We are expecting visitors tonight.
My riddle will remain
Now let me sneak 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.)
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...
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...
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.
We're not acquainted, I don't care.
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 shouldn’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?
Under three ministers he was the head of a board,
He's been transferred down here...
A stupid man. One of the silliest 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.
She loves a man with such a heart!
The liar! How could she mock at me like that?
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...)