Girl: But I am calm! Stop fussing! It’s true. My tears will dry. You don’t really think that I’d go and drown myself or something, do you?
Girl: Tell me! You wouldn’t have acted that way, would you? You wouldn’t have hurled a shameful sneer at a girl who’d come to you herself; you wouldn’t have made fun of her weak, tender heart. You’d have spared her. You’d have realized that she was lonely, unable to take care of herself, unable to prevent herself from falling in love with you, that she hadn’t done anything wrong… that she hadn’t done anything… Ah, my God, my God!
Guy: Nastenka! You’re torturing me, Nastenka! You’re tearing at my heart, you’re killing me! I can’t remain silent! I must tell you, at last, all that has accumulated inside me.
Girl: What’s come over you?
Guy: Nastenka, everything I’m going to tell you now is absurd, impossible, idiotic! I know that it can never happen, but I can’t remain silent. So, in the name of your present suffering, I beg you to forgive me in advance!
Girl: Well, what is it?
Guy: I know it cannot be, but I love, Nastenka. That’s what it is. Now you know everything. Now see if you can still talk to me the way you did before, if you can listen to what I;m going to say—but what of it?
Girl: I’ve known all along that you loved me, but I thought that you just loved me simply—you know… Oh, good gracious!
Guy: It was simply at first, Nastenka, but now—now—I’m exactly in the position you were in, Nastenka when you came to him with that bundle of yours. In fact, my plight is even more hopeless than yours was then, for he wasn’t in love with anyone, but you are.
Girl: What are you saying? You puzzle me altogether. But listen, why o you… I mean, how is it that… Ah, God, I don’t know what I’m saying. But you…
Guy: Well, what am I to do, Nastenka, what? I’m to blame for having abused… but no, no, it’s not my fault, really—I know it, I feel it—for my heart tells me I’m right. There’s mp way I can harm you or offend you! I was your friend before, and I’m your friend now. I haven;t betrayed a thing. And now, Nastenka, the tears are running down my checks; let ‘em run, they aren’t hurting anyone. They’ll dry, Nastenka…
Girl: Oh come, sit down, sit down. Ah, dear God!
Guy: No, Nastenka, I won’t sit down; I can’t stay here. You shouldn’t see me anymore. I’ll tell you all I have in my heart, then leave. I want only to tell you that you’d never have found out I love you. I’d have kept my secret. I wouldn’t have inflicted my selfishness upon you at suck a moment. No! But I couldn’t keep it to myself. It was you who brought it up; it’s your fault, it’s all your fault. You can’t send me away.
Girl: But no, of course not. I don’t intend to send you away.
Guy: So you won’t send me away? But I was going to run away from you anyway. I’ll leave too, but first I must tell you everything because I could hardly ear it when you were talking and crying and so full of despair, because… Well, because—let me say it, Nastenka, so much love… And I felt terribly bitter because I couldn’t keep silent, I had to talk. I had to, Nastenka.
Girl: yes, yes tell me, talk to me! It must seem strange to you that I should say that, but go on, speak! I’ll explain later, I’ll explain everything!
Guy: You’re sorry for me, Nastenka, you’re simply sorry for me. Well, the way I look at it—what is lost is lost, what has been done cannot be undone. Isn’t that so? Now you know everything, and that’s the point of departure. All right then, that’s fine, but listen to this: while you were sitting here crying, I thought—oh, please let me tell you what I thought—I thought—of course I’m well aware it cannot be, Nastenka—I thought that somehow or other, without it having anything to do with me… you didn’t love him anymore… In that case, before—I would’ve behaved in such a way that you’d have come to love me… For you said yourself that you’d almost fallen in love with me, Nastenka, you said so yourself! And what then? Nothing much. That’s just about all I had to say! All I have left to describe is what it would have been like had you fallen in love with me. But there’s not much I can say about that. So listen, my friend Nastenka, for you’re still my friend—I am, of course, a simple man, poor and unimportant, but that’s not what matters ( I keep straying from the subject out of shyness, nastenka); only—I’d have loved you so much that even if you’d still gone on loving that man, you’d still never have felt my love as an imposition upon you. You’d only have heard a grateful, warm heart beating by your side and felt its proximity every second… Ah, Nastenka, Nastenka, what have you done to me?
Girl: Stop, I don’t want you to cry! Come, get up, come with me, and stop crying! Stop it! Come, perhaps I’ll tell you something. After all, he’s abandoned me, forgotten me, even though I still him, for I don’t want to lie to you… But tell me truly: if, for instance, I did come to love you—that’s is, if I only—oh, my dear, dear friend, when I think how I hurt you, when I laughed at your love, pretending to congratulate you for not falling in love with me— Ah, God, how could I have failed to foresee… How stupid I was! But now I’ve made up my mind—I’ll tell you everything.
Guy: You know what, Nastenka, I’ll go away! I simply torment you when I’m near you. Now, because of me. But I don’t want to add to your sorrow. I am the guilty one, Nastenka, but forgive me and farewell!
Girl: Wait, listen to me! Can’t you wait?
Guy: Wait? Wait for what?
Girl: I do love him but I’ll get over it. I’m bound to. In fact, I’m already getting over it. I feel it… One can never tell I might even overcome it today. Because I hate him—he was making fun of me, and he never loved me; because, finally I myself—I love you… Yes—I love you—I love you the way you love me. Remember, I told you that before; you heard me! Because you’re a better mean than he is; you’re more honorable; because he…
Girl: Wait, wait, I’ll get over it in a moment… Don’t think these tears mean that… I feel weak… You know, you mustn’t think I’m fickle and irresponsible, that I’m so quick to forget and to betray. I’ve loved him for a whole year, and I swear to god that I’ve never, not once, been unfaithful to him. Not even in thought. But he’s scorned that; he’s made light of my feelings. Well, good luck to him! But he has also wounded me and slighted my love. No, I don’t love him, for I can only love one who is generous, understanding, and kind, because I myself am like that—so he’s unworthy of me. All right, I wish him all the best! It’s better like this than finding out later that I had deluded myself, than discovering too late what sort of man he is… Anyways, it’s over! But come to think of it, my dear, maybe all my love for him was nothing but a delusion; maybe it began as a childish adventure; maybe It was caused by the wish to escape from under my grandmother’s thumb; maybe I was destined to love a man other then him, a man who could feel for me, understand me, and… But let’s leave that! All I want to say is that if, although I love—no, rather loved—him—although, you might say… If you think your love is great enough to displace my former love… If you will take pity on me and not leave me to fave my destiny all alone without offering me consolation, support, and hope—if you’re willing to love me gratitude—I mean my love—will, in the end, be worthy of your love… Here, will you take my hand now?
Guy: Nastenka! Nastenka! Oh, Nastenka!
Girl: Enough, enough for now, that’s definitely enough. Everything has been said now, hasn’t it? Right? And you’re happy and so am I. Not another word about it. Wait. Spare me. For heaven’s sake talk of something else!
Guy: Right, Nastenka, enough! I’m happy now, I… So, Nastenka, let’s talk of something else. Quickly. Yes, I’m ready…
Guy: I live all by myself now, Nastenka. But tomorrow… Of course, you know, I’m poor. I’ve only twelve hundred rubles, but it doesn’t matter, for—
Girl: Of course not. And then my grandmother has a pension. So she won’t be a liability. She must, of course, come and live with us.
Guy: Certainly, of course she must live with us. The only snag is that Matryona—
Girl: Ah! And we have out Fyokla!
Guy: Matryona’s kind. The only thing wrong with her is that she has absolutely no imagination. But it doesn’t matter!
Girl: Never mind, they can live together. Anyway you’re coming over to live with us tomorrow.
Guy: What did you say say? Come to you place? That’s fine by me!
Girl: Yes, you must rent our top floor room. It’s empty now. There was an old woman living there, but she’s left, and I know Grandma wants to let it to a young man. I asked her,“Why a young man?” and she said: “I’m getting old, see, but don;t you get it into your head, Nastenka, that I’m trying to marry you off.” So I guessed that was the reason.
Guy: Ah, Nastenka!
Girl: All right, that’s enough now. And, by the way, where do you live? I’ve forgotten.
Guy: Over there, by that bridge, in the Barasnikov house.
Girl: The large house?
Guy: Yes, it’s quite large.
Girl: I know it. It’s a nice house, but forget it anyway and come and live with us. Quickly.
Guy: I’ll come tomorrow, Nastenka, no later than tomorrow. I’m somewhat late with my rent, but that’ll be all right. I’ll be getting my pay soon.
Girl: You know what? Perhaps I’ll give private lessons. First I’ll learn something myself, then I’ll teach it.
Guy: It’s all turned out wonderfully… And soon I’m due for a bonus, Nastenka.
Girl: Then, starting tomorrow, you’ll be my lodger.
Guy: Yes, and we’ll go to see The Barber of Seville, for they’ll be putting it on again soon.
Girl: Yes, yes, let’s, and if not The Barber, we’ll go and see something else.
Guy: All right, something else then. That would be better of course. I should have thought of it myself…
Girl: It’s time for me to go back home now, enough of this childish stuff!
Guy: All right, Nastenka, but I—I won’t be able to go to sleep tonight, so I don’t think I’ll go home.
Girl: I don’t expect to sleep either. Nevertheless, I want you to see me to my door.
Guy: Most certainly.
Girl: But this time it must be for you.
Guy: Yes, yes, of course.
Girl: Do I have your promise? For I must get home in the end.
Guy: I promise.
Girl: Then let’s go.
Guy: Let’s go Nastenka, and look at the sky: it will be a wonderful day tomorrow. What a blue sky! What a moon! Look at that yellow cloud about to veil the moon. Look at it! Look at it—no, it has just missed the moon. Look at it—look!
Guy: Nastenka, who is it, Nastenka?
Girl: It’s him!