The Proposal - CBSE Class 10 NCERT English First Flight Lesson 11 Explanation, Summary, Difficult words
By Ruchika Gupta
CBSE Class 10 English Lesson 11 Explanation Notes
The Proposal Class 10 English First Flight Lesson 11 - Detailed explanation of the lesson along with meanings of difficult words. Also, the explanation is followed by a Summary of the lesson. All the exercises and Question and Answers given at the back of the lesson has been covered.
Class 10 English (First Flight) Chapter 11 - The Proposal
By Anton Chekow
The Proposal Introduction
The Proposal is a one-act play that begins with a young man, Lomov presenting a marriage proposal to his neighbour’s daughter. Before he could actually convey it to the girl, they enter into an argument about Oxen Meadows. Chubukov, the lady’s father also joins the heated discussion. After they end this, they enter into another argument about their dogs and which one is better than the other. In the midst of all this, proposal gets forgotten until Lomov falls off due to his palpitations and Chubukov instantly puts her daughter’s hands in Lomov’s. Unfortunately, the quarrelling still continues.
The Proposal Class 10 CBSE English Poem Summary, Explanation - See Video
The Proposal Summary
The curtain rises with Lomov entering his neighbour Chubukov’s house fully dressed up in his evening attire. Chubukov is surprised to see him well-dressed and asks him the occasion. Lomov reveals that he had come to make a request. Chubukov anticipates that he must have come to ask for money which he doesn’t intend on giving. On being revealed that Lomov had come to ask for Chubulov’s daughter, Natalya’s hand in marriage, Chubukov gets filled with excitement and leaves to call Natalya. Lomov is a 35 year- old gentleman who suffers from palpitations, gets upset very easily and doesn’t sleep well. He thinks it is the best age for him to get married and he is happy that he has his mind made-up about Natalya. According to him, Natalya is average-looking and a good housekeeper. When Natalya arrives, Lomov begins the conversation about how grateful and glad he is that both their families are on good terms since the very beginning. While continuing to talk about his land, he somehow mentions about Oxen Meadows which earlier was a disputed property but is now his. Natalya couldn’t believe a word he was saying because she believes that Oxen Meadows belong to her family. Both of them enter into a heated discussion and act childishly when Chubukov enters just to get the conversation more heated. They shout and scream while Lomov suffers from extreme pounding of the heart, a side pull and a numb foot. They throw Lomov out of the house and continue cursing him. While speaking ill of him, Chubukov unintentionally reveals that he had come with a marriage proposal for Natalya which surprises Natalya and she immediately regrets sending him out. She tells her father to bring him back immediately and Chubukov curses himself on being a father of a grown-up daughter. When Lomov returns, Natalya tries to deviate to another topic and starts talking about shooting. Somehow they enter into an argument involving their dogs. Natalya feels that her Squeezer is better than Lomov’s Guess. They continue arguing when Chubukov enters the scene only to make the situation worse, once again. Everyone gets hyper and Lomov finally falls due to his palpitations. Even then, the cursing continues when suddenly Natalya notices that he is unconscious. They try to get water down his throat but end up getting unsuccessful and declare him dead. It is only when Lomov moves a little bit, they feed him some water and Chubukov forcefully hands over Natalya’s hands to him, gives his blessings and asks them to kiss. Lomov, still not fully conscious doesn’t understand what is going on. When he finally comes to his senses, he expresses his excitement and kisses Natalya’s hands. Natalya, being childish as she is, manipulates him into accepting that Squeezer is better than Guess but Lomov, being adamant as he is, refuses to accept it. Thus, once again, the quarrelling continues.
The Proposal Lesson and Explanation
‘The Proposal’ (originally titled ‘A Marriage Proposal’) is a one-act play, a farce, by the Russian short story writer and dramatist Anton Chekhov. It was written in 1888–89.
The play is about the tendency of wealthy families to seek ties with other wealthy families, to increase their estates by encouraging marriages that make good economic sense. Ivan Lomov, a long time wealthy neighbour of Stepan Chubukov, also wealthy, comes to seek the hand of Chubukov’s twenty-five-year-old daughter, Natalya. All three are quarrelsome people, and they quarrel over petty issues. The proposal is in danger of being forgotten amidst all this quarrelling. But economic good sense ensures that the proposal is made, after all — although the quarrelling perhaps continues!
Farce: a comic dramatic work
The play was originally titled ‘A Marriage Proposal’, written by Russian writer Anton Chekov. He displays how the rich want to marry their children into other wealthy families with the aim of enhancing their wealth. The characters are quarrelsome and often end up fighting over trivial matters. Still, they remember the marriage proposal which will bestow monetary gains and finalise the wedding amidst the fighting.
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.
The curtain rises in Chubukov’s drawing room where Lomov enters fully dressed up in his evening attire. Chubukov stands up to greet 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?
Chubukov welcomes his neighbour Ivan Vassilevitch very politely and asks about his well-being. While shaking hands, he also asks Lomov the reason for his visit.
LOMOV : Thank you. And how may you be getting on?
While thanking Chubukov for asking about his well-being, Lomov asks him about his condition.
CHUBUKOV : We just get along somehow, my angel, thanks to your 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?
Chubukov replies by saying that they somehow manage to survive peacefully with blessings of people like Lomov himself. He asks him to sit down and be comfortable. Surprised by his formal evening attire, he questions the occasion. Chubukov has a very polite way of talking and thus he often refers to Lomov as ‘my angel’, ‘my treasure’, etc.
LOMOV : No. I’ve come only to see you, honoured Stepan Stepanovitch.
Lomov replies by saying that there is no special occasion and he had just come to see the revered Stepan Stepanovitch.
CHUBUKOV : Then why are you in evening dress, my precious? As if you’re paying a New Year’s Eve visit!
Still curious, Chubukov asks him the reason behind Lomov’s outfit because to him, it seems as if Lomov is paying them a New Year Eve’s visit.
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.]
With all due respect, Lomov grabs Chubukov’s arm and conveys his intention of troubling him with a request. With all the gratitude, Lomov mentions the times when Chubukov has helped him and as he continues talking, he starts getting excited. To calm himself, he drinks water.
CHUBUKOV : [aside] He’s come to borrow money. Shan’t give him any! [aloud] What is it, my beauty?
Shan’t- shall not
Chubukov assumes that Lomov had come to ask for money which he is in no intention of giving to him. He then asks him the matter of concern.
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…
Pardon- forgive or excuse (a person, error or offence)
Awfully- very; extremely
Assistance- the action of helping someone
Tremendously excited and nervous, Lomov couldn’t even speak properly to the extent that he was unable to get Chubukov’s name right. He begs Chubukov’s pardon for his clearly visible excitement. Lomov tells him that he is the only person who could help him in the situation although he doesn’t deserve it and has no right to ask for it.
CHUBUKOV : Oh, don’t go round and round it, darling! Spit it out! Well?
Go round and round- not coming to the main point
Spit it out- speak out
Chubukov didn’t understand what Lomov was referring to and thus, he told him to talk directly.
LOMOV : One moment... this very minute. The fact is I’ve come to ask the hand of your daughter, Natalya Stepanovna, in marriage.
To seek the hand of a girl in marriage- to propose
Lomov finally speaks up only to confess that he had come to ask for his daughter’s hand in marriage.
CHUBUKOV : [joyfully] By Jove! Ivan Vassilevitch! Say it again — I didn’t hear it all!
By Jove- By God
Chubukov couldn’t believe what he just heard out of delight and thus, asks Lomov to repeat what he just said.
LOMOV : I have the honour to ask...
As soon as Lomov continues to repeat his words, he is interrupted by Chubukov who is very excited.
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.
Desire- a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen
Idiotic- very stupid; silly
Extremely delighted Chubukov expresses his cheerfulness and contentment. He fell short of words to express his high spirits. Overwhelmed on seeing his long due desire getting fulfilled, he kissed Lomov. He couldn’t control but shed a tear on hearing the news. He offered his blessing to both Lomov and his daughter Natasha before he realises he had been behaving in a silly way. He then calls Natasha to break her the great news.
LOMOV : [greatly moved] Honoured Stepan Stepanovitch, do you think I may count on her consent?
Consent- agreement to do something
Lomov asks Chubukov if Natalya will consent for this marriage.
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.]
Egad- exclamation (expressing surprise, anger, or affirmation)
Lovesick- longing, yearning or desiring
Chubukov expresses that there is no way Natalya won’t consent because she is longing for his love. He then exits to call her and give the two a chance to talk privately.
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? 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. 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. 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.]
Trembling- shaking or quivering, typically as a result of excitement, anxiety or frailty
Hesitate- pause in indecision before saying or doing something
Housekeeper- a person who manages a household
Palpitations- a noticeably rapid, strong or irregular heartbeat due to agitation, exertion or illness
Twitch- a sudden quick moment or feeling
Lunatic- a person who is mentally ill (not in technical use)
Lomov feels nervous and shakes all over just like he’s got an examination before him. He feels that it is in his favour that he already has his mind made up because if he gave himself time to ponder upon it, his marriage would end up getting delayed or worse, being cancelled. He reassures himself that Natalya Stepanovna would make a great partner as she is average-looking, an excellent housekeeper and well-educated. What else could one ask for? Still excited, he could feel some noises in his ears. He did not give himself the option of not marrying after he had reached the critical age of 35 because he wished to live a normal and ordinary life. He generally suffers from an abnormally high heart rate and gets upset easily. Even at that moment, his lips were trembling and his eyebrow twitching. Above all this, he doesn’t sleep well. Whenever he sleeps, he feels a pull in the right side of his head and shoulder. Then he jumps, walks and lies down, but as soon as he is to get off to sleep, he experiences another pull. This happens for around 20 times.
NATLYA : Well, there! It’s you, and papa said, “Go; there’s a merchant come for his goods.” How do you do, Ivan Vassilevitch?
Chubukov’s daughter Natalya enters the scene only to see Ivan Vassilevitch to her surprise. Her father had told her that some merchant was waiting to get his goods.
LOMOV : How do you do, honoured Natalya Stepanovna?
Lomov asks about her well-being.
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?
Neglige- form of nightgown
She apologises for her apron and dress as they had been shelling peas for drying and asks him to be comfortable. She even offers him lunch.
LOMOV : No, thank you, I’ve had some already.
On being asked for lunch, Lomov tells her that he had already had his.
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? 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?
She then offers Lomov to smoke. She talks about the great weather they were experiencing that day and how bad it was the previous day that the workmen couldn’t do anything the entire day. She starts talking about her haystack and how she had been greedy enough to get the entire field cut which is worrying her now. While talking, she suddenly notices his dress and guesses if he is going for the ball. She compliments him and asks him the occasion.
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!
Lomov begins talking and warns her that she could be surprised or even angry upon hearing. He feels strangely cold.
NATALYA : What’s the matter? [pause] Well?
Natalya asks him the matter of his concern.
LOMOV : I shall try to be brief. You must know, honoured Natalya Stepanovna, that I have long, since my childhood, in fact, had the privilege of knowing your family. My late aunt and her husband, from whom, as you know, I inherited my land, always had the greatest respect for your father and your late mother. The Lomovs and the Chubukovs have always had the most friendly, and I might almost say the most affectionate, regard for each other. And, as you know, my land is a near neighbour of yours. You will remember that my Oxen Meadows touch your birchwoods.
Inherited- received as an heir at the death of the previous holder
Affectionate- readily feeling or showing fondness or tenderness
Oxen meadows- a land full of grass for animals to graze in
Birchwoods- a wood of birch trees
Lomov tries to be brief in his approach. He begins by recalling the good relations between both of their families from the beginning. His late aunt and her husband respected Natalya’s parents. He even mentions that their lands are neighbours to each other and his Oxen Meadows touches their birchwoods.
NATALYA : Excuse my interrupting you. You say, “my Oxen Meadows”. But are they yours?
Natalya questions the integrity of Lomov by asking if the Oxen Meadows that he claims to own are actually his.
LOMOV : Yes, mine.
NATALYA : What are you talking about? Oxen Meadows are ours, not yours!
She couldn’t believe what she was hearing because according to her, the Oxen Meadows are hers.
LOMOV : No, mine, honoured Natalya Stepanovna.
Lomov exclaims that they are his!
NATALYA : Well, I never knew that before. How do you make that out?
Natalya says that she was not aware of it and asked Lomov for an explanation.
LOMOV : How? I’m speaking of those Oxen Meadows which are wedged in between your birchwoods and the Burnt Marsh.
Lomov clarifies and points out the exact Oxen Meadows he is talking about, the ones that are wedged between birchwoods and the Burnt Marsh.
NATALYA : Yes, yes... they’re ours.
Natalya also confirms that she is talking about those particular meadows only.
LOMOV : No, you’re mistaken, honoured Natalya Stepanovna, they’re mine.
Lomov thinks that there is some misunderstanding that Natalya has because he is very sure that they are his.
NATALYA : Just think, Ivan Vassilevitch! How long have they been yours?
Natlaya tells Lomov to think that for how long have the Oxen Meadows been his.
LOMOV : How long? As long as I can remember.
Lomov replies that they have been his forever.
NATALYA : Really, you won’t get me to believe that!
Natalya commented that she could not believe him.
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. 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...
Perpetuity- the state or quality of lasting forever
Lomov mentions that he has proof that the land belongs to him. He even highlights that once Oxen Meadows were a disputed property but the issue had been resolved and they are now his.
He goes back into its history and specifies that his aunt’s grandmother had given the free use of these Meadows in perpetuity to the peasants of her father’s grandfather. According to him, it was given for forty years and the peasants got in the habit of regarding it as their own.
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!
Reckoned- established by calculation
Natalya disagrees! Since childhood, she has heard from her grandfather and great-grandfather that their land extended till the Burnt Marsh. She completely trusted them and doesn’t see any point in arguing about its ownership.
LOMOV : I’ll show you the documents, Natalya Stepanovna!
Lomov insists on showing her the proof.
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.
Natalya thinks of it as some kind of joke because she believes the land is theirs since past three hundred years and now someone comes claiming it to be his property. Although the land isn’t of much worth, only around 300 roubles but Natalya is highly disappointed by the 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...
Implore- Beg someone earnestly to do something
Lomov begs Natalya to at least listen to what he is trying to say. He mentions that her great-grandfather’s peasants used to bake bricks for his aunt’s grandmother and as he continued talking, he was interrupted by Natalya.
NATALYA : I can’t make head or tail of all this about aunts and grandfathers and grandmothers. The Meadows are ours, that’s all.
Natalya expresses her reluctance on listening to any of his tales. She just knows one thing; the Oxen Meadows are hers!
LOMOV : Mine.
Lomov says that they are his.
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!
Natalya disagrees and tells him that he can do anything to prove his theory or wear fifteen such dress jackets (means that she won’t come under the influence of him being well dressed) but she will never accept the fact that they are his. She clarifies that she wants nothing from him and doesn’t intend on giving anything that is hers but the Oxen Meadows are hers.
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 clarifies that even he doesn’t value the Oxen Meadows much but he is just being fair and acting on principle. He even offered to make a present of the meadows to her.
NATALYA : I can make you a present of them myself, because they’re mine! Your behaviour, Ivan Vassilevitch, is strange, to say the least! Up to this we have always thought of you as a good neighbour, a friend; last year we lent you our threshing-machine, although on that account we had to put off our own threshing till November, but you behave to us as if we were gypsies. Giving me my own land, indeed! No, really, that’s not at all neighbourly! In my opinion, it’s even impudent, if you want to know.
Gypsies- a group of nomadic people who travel from one place to another
Impudent- not showing due respect for another person
Natalya offers to make a present of them to him because they are actually hers. She is shocked at how he is offering to gift her property to her only. She mentions that he had been acting very strange and till then, they thought of him as a friendly neighbour but now he is not at all acting neighbourly. Natalya’s family offered him their threshing machine last year even if it meant delaying their own process but he has been treating them oddly. She feels that he is not showing due respect to them.
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!
Carafe- an open-topped glass flask used for serving wine or water in a restaurant
He takes it as if Natalya is accusing him of being a landgrabber. He gets offended and mentions that never in his entire life has he grabbed something that is not his. He cannot stand someone accusing him of the same. While sipping on some water, he mentions that the Oxen Meadows are his.
NATALYA : It’s not true, they’re ours!
Natalya still insists that they are theirs.
LOMOV : Mine!
Lomov is adamant on his view.
NATALYA : It’s not true! I’ll prove it! I’ll send my mowers out to the Meadows this very day!
Mowers- a person who cuts grass with a mower
Natalya feels the need to prove her ownership and thus, decides on sending the grass cutters at the location the same day.
LOMOV : What?
Lomov cannot believe what Natalya says.
NATALYA : My mowers will be there this very day!
Natalya insists that the grass cutters will be there that very day.
LOMOV : I’ll give it to them in the neck!
Lomov threatens that he will hit Natalya’s mowers.
NATALYA : You dare!
Natalya threatens that he should not dare to do such a thing.
LOMOV : [Clutches at his heart] Oxen Meadows are mine! You understand? Mine!
Lomov gets aggressive and mentions in a high tone that the Oxen Meadows are his and his only.
NATALYA : Please don’t shout! You can shout yourself hoarse in your own house but here I must ask you to restrain yourself!
Hoarse- sounding rough and harsh
Restrain- prevent from doing something; keep under control or within limits
Natalya asks Lomov to behave and refrain from shouting in her house.
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!
Excruciating- intensely painful; sever; acute; extreme
He makes a mention of his extremely painful increased heart rate and blames it for his tone. Even in such a pain, he doesn’t stop claiming the Oxen Meadows.
NATALYA : Ours!
LOMOV : Mine!
NATALYA : Ours!
LOMOV : Mine! [Enter Chubukov]
CHUBUKOV : What’s the matter? What are you shouting for?
On hearing both of them fight, Chubukov enters to check upon them and asks the subject matter.
NATALYA : Papa, please tell this gentleman who owns Oxen Meadows, we or he?
Natalya asks her father to confirm the ownership of Oxen Meadows.
CHUBUKOV : [to Lomov] Darling, the Meadows are ours!
Chubukov tells Lomov the same thing as Natalya; the Oxen Meadows belong 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...
Lomov questions the claim made by Chubukov and asks him to be reasonable. He continues explaining his side of the story to him and gets interrupted by Chubukov.
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.
Chubukov interrupts and corrects him by mentioning that the only reason that the peasants got to use Oxen Meadows for free was because it was a disputed land. But now, it is very clear to everybody that the Chubukovs own it. He even blames him of not seeing the plan.
LOMOV : I’ll prove to you that they’re mine!
CHUBUKOV : You won’t prove it, my darling —
Chubukov believes Lomov can’t prove something to be his when it’s not.
LOMOV : I shall
Lomov insists that he would prove them to be his.
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!
Chubukov also points out that there is no need to yell. Yelling wouldn’t prove anything. He repeats the same words as Natalya and says that he doesn’t intend on claiming something that is not his and also doesn’t want to give away what is his. He says it out of anger that if Lomov keeps on arguing about the land, he would rather give it to his peasants for free than to him.
LOMOV : I don’t understand! How have you the right to give away somebody else’s property?
Lomov gets offended and asks him how he can give away something that is someone else’s property.
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.
Chubukov gets irritated by the tone in which Lomov chose to speak to him. He mentions that he is twice his age and deserves to be spoken with respect, politeness and all that.
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!
Lomov insists that his impolite tone is a reaction to what Chubukov has been doing, that is, claiming Lomov’s land. He calls Chubukov a bad neighbour and a grabber.
CHUBUKOV : What’s that? What did you say?
Feeling highly disrespected, Stepan asks Lomov to repeat his words.
NATALYA : Papa, send the mowers out to the Meadows at once!
Natalya interferes and asks her father to send the mowers to Oxen Meadows at once.
CHUBUKOV : What did you say, sir?
Still unable to accept what he just heard about himself, he asks Lomov to repeat his words.
NATALYA : Oxen Meadows are ours, and I shan’t give them up, shan’t give them up, shan’t give them up!
Natalya claims to possess Oxen Meadows and refuses to let them go just because someone else is claiming it to be theirs.
LOMOV : We’ll see! I’ll have the matter taken to court, and then I’ll show you!
Lomov threatens to take the matter to court and prove it to them that he is the real owner.
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!
Pettifogger- an inferior legal practitioner, especially one who deals with petty cases or employs dubious practices
Chubukov accuses Lomov that he is just looking for a chance to go to court just like all of the people in his family. He insists that he go on with the proceedings.
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!
Embezzlement- theft or misappropriation of funds placed in one's trust or belonging to one's employer
Lomov refuses to listen anything against his family and mentions that they are all respectable personalities unlike Chubukov’s grandfather who had been tried for embezzlement.
CHUBUKOV : You Lomovs have had lunacy in your family, all of you!
Lunacy- the state of being a lunatic; insanity (not in technical use)
Chubukov mentions that insanity and irrationality runs in the Lomovs.
NATALYA : All, all, all!
Natalya repeats after her father.
CHUBUKOV : Your grandfather was a drunkard, and your younger aunt, Nastasya Mihailovna, ran away with an architect, and so on...
Drunkard- a person who is habitually drunk
Chubukov calls Lomov’s grandfather an alcohol addict, breaks the news that Lomov’s younger aunt ran away with an architect.
LOMOV : And your mother was hump-backed. [Clutches at his heart] Something pulling in my side... My head.... Help! Water!
Hump- A rounded protuberance found as an abnormality on the back of a person
Lomov mentions that Chubukov’s mother was hump-backed. While he was saying this, he felt a pull on his side and head. Thus, he calls for help and water.
CHUBUKOV : Your father was a guzzling gambler!
Guzzling- greedy (here)
Gambler- a person who gambles; speculator
As the blame game is on, Chubukov calls Lomov’s father a greedy gambler.
NATALYA : And there haven’t been many backbiters to equal your aunt!
Natalya calls Lomov’s aunt a backbiter and that no one could match her level.
LOMOV : 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?
Intriguer- someone who tricks, deceives or cheats
Lomov complains that his foot is numb. Calls Chubukov a plotter. Saya that he has pain in his heart. He adds that in the last elections, Chubukov was …… he does not complete the sentence as he feels dizzy. He calls for his hat.
NATALYA : It’s low! It’s dishonest! It’s mean!
Natalya calls his act low, dishonest and mean.
CHUBUKOV : And you’re just a malicious, doublefaced intriguer! Yes!
Malicious-intending or intended to do harm
Chubukov further call him names.
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.]
Numb- deprived of the power of physical sensation
Lomov finally finds his hat and starts asking for direction towards the door. With his heart pounding and foot numb, he feels that he is dying.
CHUBUKOV : [following him] And don’t set foot in my house again!
Chubukov screams in anger and tells Lomov not to step foot in his house again.
NATALYA : Take it to court! We’ll see! [Lomov staggers out.]
And Natalya tells him to take the matter to court in order to show that they are not afraid.
CHUBUKOV : Devil take him! [Walks about in excitement.]
Chubukov calls for the devils to take Lomov along.
NATALYA : What a rascal! What trust can one have in one’s neighbours after that!
Natalya comments that Lomov is a devil and is unreliable.
CHUBUKOV : The villain! The scarecrow!
Chubukov further calls him names.
NATALYA : The monster! First he takes our land and then he has the impudence to abuse us.
Natalya is surprised how Lomov first claimed their land to be his own and then possessed the audacity to abuse them.
CHUBUKOV : And that blind hen, yes, that turnip-ghost has the confounded cheek to make a proposal, and so on! What? A proposal!
In the process of cursing him and calling him names, Chubukov reveals the real reason behind Lomov’s visit that had been overshadowed by the argument related to Oxen Meadows. He couldn’t believe his audacity to come with a proposal for her daughter.
NATALYA : What proposal?
Unaware about the subject matter, Natalya asks her dad which proposal is he talking about.
CHUBUKOV : Why, he came here to propose to you.
Chubukov clarifies that Lomov came here to ask for Natalya’s hand in marriage.
NATALYA : To propose? To me? Why didn’t you tell me so before?
Surprised at hearing this, Natalya tells her father that he should have told this to her earlier.
CHUBUKOV : So he dresses up in evening clothes. The stuffed sausage! The wizen-faced frump!
He further calls Lomov names and expresses displeasure on seeing his audacity to come there in the evening dress.
NATALYA : To propose to me? Ah! [Falls into an easy-chair and wails] Bring him back! Back! Ah! Bring him here.
Natalya is stunned at the news. She falls into the chair and instantly demands to call him back.
CHUBUKOV : Bring whom here?
Chubukov is not very sure who she is referring to.
NATALYA : Quick, quick! I’m ill! Fetch him! [Hysterics.]
She tells her father to call him back at the very moment.
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!
Chubukov couldn’t register Natalya’s change of behaviour towards Lomov and thus, he calls himself an unhappy man. He intends on shooting himself or hanging himself.
NATALYA : I’m dying! Fetch him!
Natalya says that she is about to die. Lomov be summoned.
CHUBUKOV : Tfoo! At once. Don’t yell! [Runs out. A pause.]
Chubukov asks his daughter to calm down and stop yelling. He runs away to call Lomov.
NATALYA : [Natalya Stepanovna wails.] What have they done to me? Fetch him back! Fetch him! [A pause. Chubukov runs in.]
Natalya asks her father to hurry. Chubukov returns.
CHUBUKOV : He’s coming, and so on, devil take him! Ouf! Talk to him yourself; I don’t want to...
He informs Natalya that Lomov is coming. He doesn’t intend on talking to him and thus, asks her to have a word with him herself.
NATALYA : [wails] Fetch him!
Natalya cries for Lomov.
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!
He is unable to accept what just happened. He feels that it is both a burden and a curse to be a grown-up girl’s daughter. He wants to cut his throat off because at one moment they cursed, abused and threw him out of their house and at the other, they are calling him back to accept the proposal.
NATALYA : No, it was you!
Natalya blames her father for abusing him.
CHUBUKOV : I tell you it’s not my fault. [Lomov appears at the door] Now you talk to him yourself. [Exit.]
Chubukov clarifies that it was not his fault when Lomov appears at the door, he tells Natalya to handle the situation herself.
LOMOV : [Lomov enters, exhausted.] My heart’s palpitating awfully. My foot’s gone to sleep. There’s something that keeps pulling in my side....
Lomov enters completely exhausted. He doesn’t feel well because of his palpitations, numb feet and pulls on one side.
NATALYA : Forgive us, Ivan Vassilevitch, we were all a little heated. I remember now: Oxen Meadows... really are yours.
Natalya, surprisingly in a completely different tone gives clarification for how they treated him earlier. She suddenly remembers that the Oxen Meadows are his.
LOMOV : My heart’s beating awfully. My Meadows... My eyebrows are both twitching....
While trying to talk about the Meadows, he expresses that his heart is pounding and eyebrows twitching.
NATALYA : The Meadows are yours, yes, yours. Do sit down. [They sit] We were wrong.
Natalya confirms that the Oxen Meadows are his and asks him to sit down. She accepts her mistake and says that they were wrong.
LOMOV : I did it on principle. My land is worth little to me, but the principle...
Lomov said that although the land is worth little but he was just acting on principle. He was just being fair.
NATALYA : Yes, the principle, just so. Now let’s talk of something else.
Natalaya tells him to change the topic in the hope of bringing up the proposal.
LOMOV : The more so as I have evidence. My aunt’s grandmother gave the land to your father’s grandfather’s peasants...
Lomov doesn’t stop with his clarifications and again mentions that his aunt’s grandmother gave the land to her father’s grandfather’s peasants.
NATALYA : Yes, yes, let that pass. [aside] I wish I knew how to get him started. [aloud] Are you going to start shooting soon?
Natalya asks him to change the topic. She thinks how could she bring him to discuss the marriage proposal. She asks Lomov if he shall resume shooting.
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.
Lame- unable to walk without difficulty as the result of an injury or illness affecting the leg or foot; limping
Upon being asked, Lomov shares his plans about shooting. He plans on going to the blackcock after the harvest. He then shares the news that his dog Guess suffers difficulty in walking properly.
NATALYA : What a pity! Why?
She shows her sympathy and asks how he had gone lame.
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.
Lomov is not sure of the reason but he suspects that he might have got his leg twisted or bitten by some other dog. He highly regrets it as it was his best dog and he had paid a high amount, that is, 125 roubles for it.
NATALYA : It was too much, Ivan Vassilevitch.
Natalya thinks he had paid a very high price for such a dog.
LOMOV : I think it was very cheap. He’s a first-rate dog.
He thinks it was very low for a first-rate dog like Guess.
NATALYA : Papa gave 85 roubles for his Squeezer, and Squeezer is heaps better than Guess!
She mentions that he rather gave 85 roubles for her dog Squeezer who is way better than Guess.
LOMOV : Squeezer better than Guess? What an idea! [laughs] Squeezer better than Guess!
He finds it extremely funny 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.
Natalya confidently says that Squeezer is any day better. He is young but he may develop a bit. He is the best when it comes to points and pedigree, even beats what 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!
Lomov highlights that her Squeezer is an overshot which means he is bad at hunting.
NATALYA : Overshot, is he? The first time I hear it!
She doesn’t agree with what Lomov is saying about Squeezer being an overshot.
LOMOV : I assure you that his lower jaw is shorter than the upper.
He further confirms by saying that Squeezer’s lower jaw is smaller than the upper jaw.
NATALYA : Have you measured?
LOMOV : Yes. He’s all right at following, of course, but if you want to get hold of anything...
He mentions that Squeezer is fine when it comes to simply following someone but not at other things like grabbing something.
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.
Natalya brags about her dog being a thoroughbred, the son of Harness and Chisels. She says that Guess, on the other hand, is old and ugly as a worn-out cab-horse.
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 says that although his dog is old, but is still any day better than Squeezer to the extent that he won’t exchange Guess for 5 Squeezers. He doesn’t think of Squeezer as an extra ordinary dog. He can be found almost under every bush and that he is not worth more than 25 roubles.
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?
Natalya feels that there is something wrong with Lomov’s judgement. First, he falsely claimed Meadows to be his and then, he is saying that Guess is better than Squeezer. She feels that he is out of his mind and does not mean what he is saying which is a trait she absolutely dislikes. She doesn’t get why he thinks his dog is better than Squeezer.
LOMOV : I see, Natalya Stepanovna, that you consider me either blind or a fool. You must realise that Squeezer is overshot!
Lomov says that Natalya thinks he is either blind or foolish but iinsists that her dog is overshot.
NATALYA : It’s not true.
LOMOV : He is!
NATALYA : It’s not true!
LOMOV : Why shout madam?
NATALYA : Why talk rot? It’s awful! It’s time your Guess was shot, and you compare him with Squeezer!
They start fighting again. Natalya says that Lomov is talking rubbish. Guess must be shot dead rather than being compared to Squeezer.
LOMOV : Excuse me, I cannot continue this discussion, my heart is palpitating.
Lomov mentions that he is unable to talk on the topic since his heart is pounding very fast.
NATALYA : I’ve noticed that those hunters argue most who know least.
Natalya taunts Lomov and says that those who argue the most know the least.
LOMOV : Madam, please be silent. My heart is going to pieces. [shouts] Shut up!
Lomov tells Natalya to stay quiet as he is not feeling well.
NATALYA : I shan’t shut up until you acknowledge that Squeezer is a hundred times better than your Guess!
Natalya continues arguing and refuses to stop until he accepts that her dog Squeezer is better than his Guess.
LOMOV : A hundred times worse! Be hanged to your Squeezer! His head... eyes... shoulder...
Lomov exclaims that it could never be true and that her Squeezer is the worst.
NATALYA : There’s no need to hang your silly Guess; he’s half-dead already!
Natalya says that Guess is old and half dead.
LOMOV : [weeps] Shut up! My heart’s bursting!
He tells her to stop arguing again as his heart is palpitating.
NATALYA : I shan’t shut up. [Enter Chubukov.]
Natalya refuses to be quiet.
CHUBUKOV : What’s the matter now?
Chubukov enters and asks the matter of their argument this time.
NATALYA : Papa, tell us truly, which is the better dog, our Squeezer or his Guess.
Natalya, just like the other time, asks Chubukov who is the better dog, knowing fully well his answer.
LOMOV : Stepan Stepanovitch, I implore you to tell me just one thing: is your Squeezer overshot or not? Yes or no?
Lomov, on the other hand, asks him a more direct question. He asks whether his Squeezer is an overshot or not.
CHUBUKOV : And suppose he is? What does it matter? He’s the best dog in the district for all that, and so on.
Chubukov replies by saying that it doesn’t matter even if Squeezer is an overshot because he is the best dog in the district.
LOMOV : But isn’t my Guess better? Really, now?
Lomov, being unshakeable about his opinion, still thinks Guess is better and asks Chubukov the same.
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 mentions that although Guess has certain good qualities, but he also possesses some defects. He is purebred, firm on his feet, has well-sprung ribs and all that but on the other hand, he is old and short in muzzle.
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.
Lomov refuses to accept it and starts listing the facts. He begins by referring to the Marusinsky hunt where Guess gave a good competition to the Count’s dog but Squeezer was running far behind.
CHUBUKOV : He got left behind because the Count’s whipper-in hit him with his whip.
Chubukov clarifies that it happened because poor Squeezer got hit in his whip by the Count’s dog.
LOMOV : And with good reason. The dogs are running after a fox, when Squeezer goes and starts worrying a sheep!
Lomov even mentions that the dogs were running after a fox unlike Squeezer, who began troubling 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 refuses to agree and mentions that if they continue to argue, he may very easily lose his temper, thus, he suggests on ending the heated discussion. He thinks that everybody is jealous of other’s dogs. Also, he is very well aware how Lomov will carry on the argument by pointing out stuff but he too, remembers everything.
LOMOV : I remember too!
Lomov exclaims that even he remembers everything.
CHUBUKOV : [teasing him] I remember, too! What do you remember?
Chubukov repeats in a teasing manner, “I remember, too” and then asks him what does he actually remember.
LOMOV : My heart... my foot’s gone to sleep. I can’t...
He cries that his heart is pounding and foot has gone numb.
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!
Natalya teases Lomov by talking about what kind of a hunter is he who keeps on saying “My heart! My heart!” He must catch black beetles, not 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. He says that Lomov must sit at home with his palpitations. He must not go tracking animals or rather, he could go and do what he is best at, that is, arguing whose dog is better. He again insists on deviating the topic or else, he might lose his temper.
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!
He pounces back at Chubukov by insulting him that he is not even an actual hunter. He only goes there to be included in the count. He repeats about his heart while cursing and calling him an intriguer.
CHUBUKOV : What? I am an intriguer? [shouts] Shut up!
Chubukov screams and tells him to keep quiet.
LOMOV : Intriguer!
CHUBUKOV : Boy! Pup!
LOMOV : Old rat! Jesuit!
Both of them start calling each other names!
CHUBUKOV : Shut up or I’ll shoot you like a partridge! You fool!
Patridge- a short-tailed game bird with mainly brown plumage, found chiefly in Europe and Asia
Chubukov threatens Lomov to shoot him like a bird and calls him a fool.
LOMOV : Everybody knows that — oh, my heart! — your late wife used to beat you... My feet... temples... sparks... I fall, I fall!
Lomov starts getting personal even though his heart and feet hurt. He specifies that it is well-known that his wife used to beat him.
CHUBUKOV : And you’re under the slipper of your house-keeper!
Chubukov in return says that everyone knows that he is under the control of his housekeeper.
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’s heart feels like its burst and his shoulder came off. He suddenly falls into a chair and calls for a doctor.
CHUBUKOV : Boy! Milksop! Fool! I’m sick! [Drinks water] Sick!
Chubukov doesn’t stop cursing him while drinking water.
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!
Even Natalya doesn’t stop cursing and she suddenly notices that Lomov is lying still as if 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.]
Natalya while holding his sleeve anticipates that he is dead. While panicking and crying, she asks her father to call a doctor.
CHUBUKOV : Oh! What is it? What’s the matter?
Chubukov asks Natalya what happened.
NATALYA : [wails] He’s dead... dead!
Natalya cries 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 too, gets panicked and tries to get some water down his throat but Lomov doesn’t drink. He concludes that Lomov’s dead and starts cursing himself. He considers himself the most unhappy and wonders why he hasn’t cut his throat or pulled a bullet into his brain yet. He suddenly notices that Lomov is moving and he asks him to drink some water.
LOMOV : I see stars... mist... where am I?
Lomov, as he gains consciousness, is not sure where he is. He is dazed.
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!
Chubukov hurriedly asks him to get married to his daughter at that very moment. He puts Natalya’s hand into Lomov’s and says that she is willing. He gives them his blessings and asks them to leave him in peace and all that.
LOMOV : [getting up] Eh? What? To whom?
Lomov, still unaware about his surrounding asks Chubukov who is he asking him to marry.
CHUBUKOV : She’s willing! Well? Kiss and be damned to you!
Chubukov exclaims that Natalya is willing and insists on them kissing each other.
NATALYA : [wails] He’s alive... Yes, yes, I’m willing.
Natalya is happy that he is alive and hurriedly says that she is willing to marry him.
CHUBUKOV : Kiss each other!
He 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.
Lomov still doesn’t understand until Natalya kisses him. He suddenly remembers, gets excited and then kisses her hand but complains that his foot is numb again.
NATALYA : I... I’m happy too...
Natalya expresses her happiness too.
CHUBUKOV : What a weight off my shoulders, ouf!
Chubukov feels relieved after marrying his daughter.
NATALYA : But, still you will admit now that Guess is worse than Squeezer.
Natalya again resumes the topic about dogs and manipulates him into saying that her Squeezer is better than his Guess.
LOMOV : Better!
NATALYA : Worse!
CHUBUKOV : Well, that’s a way to start your family bliss! Have some champagne!
LOMOV : He’s better!
NATALYA : Worse! Worse! Worse!
Lomov and Natalya argue while Chubukov offers them a drink.
CHUBUKOV : [trying to shout her down] Champagne! Champagne!
Chubukov, tired of them fighting, shouts that it is time for some Champagne.
The Proposal- Question & Answers
1. What does Chubukov at first suspect that Lomov has come for? Is he sincere when he later says "And I've always loved you, my angel, as if you were my own son"? Find reasons for your answer from the play.
A. Chubukov suspects that Lomov has come to ask for money. He is not sincere when he says that he has loved him as his son because we notice that Chubukov tries to be friendly and loving on the face while he is rude and selfish within.
2. Chubukov says of Natalya: "... as if she won't consent! She's in love; egad, she's like a lovesick cat…"Would you agree? Find reasons for your answer.
A. I agree with Chubukov's statement because when Natalya comes to know that Lomov had come with a marrigare proposal, she becomes desperate for him. She starts wailing and asks her father to bring him back.
3. Find all the words and expressions in the play that the characters use to speak about each other, and the accusations and insults they hurl at each other. (For example, Lomov in the end calls Chubukov an intriguer; but earlier, Chubukov has himself called Lomov a "malicious, doublefaced intriguer." Again, Lomov begins by describing Natalya as “an excellent housekeeper, not bad-looking, well-educated.”)
A. Several words and expressions have been used by the characters to describe each other. Some of them are as follows -
Chbukov - grabber, intriguer, old rat, Jesuit.
Natalya - a lovesick cat, an excellent housekeeper, not bad looking, well educated.
Lomov - a good neighbour, a friend, impudent, pettifogger, a malicious double - faced intriguer, rascal, blind hen, turnip ghost, a villian, a scarecrow, monster, stuffed sausage, wizen faced frump, pup, milksop.
The Proposal- Grammar Exercises
Q. Look up the following phrases in a dictionary to find out their meaning, and then use each in a sentence of your own.
(i) You may take it that
(ii) He seems to be coming round
(iii) My foot’s gone to sleep
A. (i) You may take it that - something maybe taken to be true in the manner as told
You may take it that none of us knows him.
(ii) He seems to be coming round - recovering from unconsciousness
Suddenly Lomov blacked out but he seemed to be coming round after a few seconds.
(iii) My foot’s gone to sleep - you cannot feel the foot for a short time.
As I kept sitting on the floor, my foot went off to sleep.
Q. Here is an excerpt from an article from the Times of India dated 27 August 2006. Rewrite it, changing the sentences in direct speech into reported speech. Leave the other sentences unchanged.
"Why do you want to know my age? If people know I am so old, I won't get work!" laughs 90-year-old A. K. Hangal, one of Hindi cinema's most famous character actors. For his age, he is rather energetic. "What's the secret?" we ask. "My intake of everything is in small quantities. And I walk a lot," he replies. "I joined the industry when people retire. I was in my 40s. So I don't miss being called a star. I am still respected and given work, when actors of my age are living in poverty and without work. I don't have any complaints," he says, adding, "but yes, I have always been underpaid." Recipient of the Padma Bhushan, Hangal never hankered after money or materialistic gains. "No doubt I am content today, but money is important. I was a fool not to understand the value of money earlier," he regrets.
A. 90-year-old A. K. Hangal, one of Hindi cinema’s most famous character actors laughed when he asked us why we wanted to know his age. He felt that nobody would give him work if they came to know that he was so old. For his age, he is rather energetic. We asked him what was the secret behind him being energetic. He replied that he eats everything in small quantities and walks a lot. He was in his forties when he joined the industry, the age at which many people retire from work. He doesn’t miss being called a star. He is respected, given work while some actors of his age live in poverty and have no work to do. He adds that he does not have any complaints but adds that he has always been underpaid. Recipient of the Padma Bhushan, Hangal never hankered after money or materialistic gains. He regrets that no doubt he is content today, but money is important. He was a fool not to understand the value of money earlier.