Monday, August 15, 2005
From Uncle Vanya
SONIA. What can we do? We must live our lives. [A pause] Yes, we shall live, Uncle Vanya. We shall live through the long procession of days before us, and through the long evenings; we shall patiently bear the trials that fate imposes on us; we shall work for others without rest, both now and when we are old; and when our last hour comes we shall meet it humbly, and there, beyond the grave, we shall say that we have suffered and wept, that our life was bitter, and God will have pity on us. Ah, then dear, dear Uncle, we shall see that bright and beautiful life; we shall rejoice and look back upon our sorrow here; a tender smile--and--we shall rest. I have faith, Uncle, fervent, passionate faith. [SONIA kneels down before her uncle and lays her head on his hands. She speaks in a weary voice] We shall rest. [TELEGIN plays softly on the guitar] We shall rest. We shall hear the angels. We shall see heaven shining like a jewel. We shall see all evil and all our pain sink away in the great compassion that shall enfold the world. Our life will be as peaceful and tender and sweet as a caress. I have faith; I have faith. [She wipes away her tears] My poor, poor Uncle Vanya, you are crying! [Weeping] You have never known what happiness was, but wait, Uncle Vanya, wait! We shall rest. [She embraces him] We shall rest. [The WATCHMAN'S rattle is heard in the garden; TELEGIN plays softly; MME. VOITSKAYA writes something on the margin of her pamphlet; MARINA knits her stocking] We shall rest. It's a good way to end a play or maybe this: SHAMRAEFF. Here is the stuffed sea-gull I was telling you about. [He takes the sea-gull out of the cupboard] You told me to have it done. TRIGORIN. [looking at the bird] I don't remember a thing about it, not a thing. [A shot is heard. Every one jumps.] ARKADINA. [Frightened] What was that? DORN. Nothing at all; probably one of my medicine bottles has blown up. Don't worry. [He goes out through the door on the right, and comes back in a few moments] It is as I thought, a flask of ether has exploded. [He sings] "Spellbound once more I stand before thee." ARKADINA. [Sitting down at the table] Heavens! I was really frightened. That noise reminded me of-- [She covers her face with her hands] Everything is black before my eyes. DORN. [Looking through the pages of a magazine, to TRIGORIN] There was an article from America in this magazine about two months ago that I wanted to ask you about, among other things. [He leads TRIGORIN to the front of the stage] I am very much interested in this question. [He lowers his voice and whispers] You must take Madame Arkadina away from here; what I wanted to say was, that Constantine has shot himself. The curtain falls. The tone of it. I love the tone.