REDEMPTION by Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy







A dirty, ill-lighted underground dive; people are lying around drinking, sleeping, playing cards and making love. Near the front a small table at which FÉDYA sits; he is in rags and has fallen very low. By his side is PETUSHKÓV, a delicate spiritual man, with long yellow hair and beard. Both are rather drunk.

Candle light is the only lighting in this Scene.

Petushkóv (R.C. of table C.). I know. I know. Well, that's real love. So what happened then?

Fédya (L. C. of table C., pensively). You might perhaps expect a girl of our own class, tenderly brought up, to be capable of sacrificing for the man she loved, but this girl was a gypsy, reared in greed, yet she gave me the purest sort of self-sacrificing love. She'd have done anything for nothing. Such contrasts are amazing.

Petushkóv. I see. In painting we call that value. Only to realize bright red fully when there is green around it. But that's not the point. What happened?

Fédya. Oh, we parted. I felt it wasn't right to go on taking, taking where I couldn't give. So one night we were having dinner in a little restaurant, I told her we'd have to say good-bye. My heart was so wrung all the time I could hardly help crying.

Petushkóv. And she?

Fédya. Oh, she was awfully unhappy, but she knew I was right. So we kissed each other a long while, and she went back to her gypsy troupe—(Slowly.) Maybe she was glad to go——

[A pause.

Petushkóv. I wonder.

Fédya. Yes. The single good act of my soul was not ruining that girl.

Petushkóv. Was it from pity?

Fédya. I sorry for her? Oh, never. Quite the contrary. I worshipped her unclouded sincerity, the energy of her clear, strong will, and God in Heaven, how she sang. And probably she is singing now, for some one else. Yes, I always looked up at her from beneath, as you do at some radiance in the sky. I loved her really. And now it's a tender beautiful memory.

Petushkóv. I understand. It was ideal, and you left it like that.

Fédya (ruminatingly). And I've been attracted often, you know. Once I was in love with a grande dame, bestially in love, dog-like. Well, she gave me a rendezvous, and I didn't, couldn't, keep it, because suddenly I thought of her husband, and it made me feel sick. And you know, it's queer, that now, when I look back, instead of being glad that I was decent, I am as sorry as if I had sinned. But with Masha it's so different; I'm filled with joy that I've never soiled the brightness of my feeling for her. (He points his finger at the floor.) I may go much further down.

Petushkóv (interrupting). I know so well what you mean. But where is she now?

Fédya. I don't know. I don't want to know. All that belongs to another life, and I couldn't bear to mix that life and this life.

[A POLICE OFFICER enters from up R., kicks a man who is lying on the floor—walks down stage, looks at FÉDYA and PETUSHKÓV, then exits.

Petushkóv. Your life's wonderful. I believe you're a real idealist.

Fédya. No. It's awfully simple. You know among our class—I mean the class I was born in—there are only three courses: the first, to go into the civil service or join the army and make money to squander over your sensual appetites. And all that was appalling to me—perhaps because I couldn't do it. The second thing is to live to clear out, to destroy what is foul, to make way for the beautiful. But for that you've got to be a hero, and I'm not a hero. And the third is to forget it all—overwhelm it with music, drown it with wine. That's what I did. And look (he spreads his arms out) where my singing led me to.

[He drinks.

Petushkóv. And what about family life? The sanctity of the home and all that—I would have been awfully happy if I'd had a decent wife. As it was, she ruined me.

Fédya. I beg your pardon. Did you say marriage? Oh, yes, of course. Well, I've been married, too. Oh, my wife was quite an ideal woman. I don't know why I should say was, by the way, because she's still living. But there's something—I don't know; it's rather difficult to explain—But you know how pouring champagne into a glass makes it froth up into a million iridescent little bubbles? Well, there was none of that in our married life. There was no fizz in it, no sparkle, no taste, phew! The days were all one color—flat and stale and gray as the devil. And that's why I wanted to get away and forget. You can't forget unless you play. So trying to play I crawled in every sort of muck there is. And you know, it's a funny thing, but we love people for the good we do them, and we hate them for the harm. That's why I hated Lisa. That's why she seemed to love me.

Petushkóv. Why do you say seemed?

Fédya (wistfully). Oh, she couldn't creep into the center of my being like Masha. But that's not what I mean. Before the baby was born, and afterwards, when she was nursing him, I used to stay away for days and days, and come back drunk, drunk, and love her less and less each time, because I was wronging her so terribly. (Excitedly.) Yes. That's it, I never realized it before. The reason why I loved Masha was because I did her good, not harm. But I crucified my wife, and her contortions filled me almost with hatred.

[FÉDYA drinks.

Petushkóv. I think I understand. Now in my case——

[ARTIMIEV enters R. U., approaches with a cockade on his cap, dyed mustache, and shabby, but carefully mended clothes.

Artimiev (stands L. of table). Good appetite, gentlemen! (Bowing to FÉDYA.) I see you've made the acquaintance of our great artist.

Fédya (coolly). Yes, I have.

Artimiev (to PETUSHKÓV). Have you finished your portrait?

Petushkóv. No, they didn't give me the commission, after all.

Artimiev (sitting down on end of table). I'm not in your way, am I?

[FÉDYA and PETUSHKÓV don't answer.

Petushkóv. This gentleman was telling me about his life.

Artimiev. Oh, secrets? Then I won't disturb you. Pardon me for interrupting. (To himself as he moves away.) Damn swine!

[He goes to the next table, sits down and in the dim candlelight he can just be seen listening to the conversation.

Fédya. I don't like that man.

Petushkóv. I think he's offended.

Fédya. Let him be. I can't stand him. If he'd stayed I shouldn't have said a word. Now, it's different with you. You make me feel all comfortable, you know. Well, what was I saying?

Petushkóv. You were talking about your wife. How did you happen to separate?

Fédya. Oh, that? (A pause.) It's a rather curious story. My wife's married.

Petushkóv. Oh, I see! You're divorced.

Fédya. No. (Smiling.) She's a widow.

Petushkóv. A widow? What do you mean?

Fédya. I mean exactly what I say. She's a widow. I don't exist.

Petushkóv (puzzled). What?

Fédya (smiling drunkenly). I'm dead. You're talking to a corpse.

[ARTIMIEV leans towards them and listens intently.

Funny, I seem to be able to say anything to you. And it's so long ago, so long ago. And what is it after all to you but a story? Well, when I got to the climax of torturing my wife, when I'd squandered everything I had or could get, and become utterly rotten, then, there appeared a protector.

Petushkóv. The usual thing, I suppose?

Fédya. Don't think anything filthy about it. He was just her friend, mine too, a very good, decent fellow; in fact the opposite of myself. He'd known my wife since she was a child, and I suppose he'd loved her since then. He used to come to our house a lot. First I was very glad he did, then I began to see they were falling in love with each other, and then—an odd thing began to happen to me at night. Do you know when she lay there asleep beside me (he laughs shrilly) I would hear him, pushing open the door, crawling into the room, coming to me on his hands and knees, grovelling, whining, begging me (he is almost shouting) for her, for her, imagine it! And I, I had to get up and give my place to him. (He covers his eyes with his hands in a. convulsive moment.) Phew! Then I'd come to myself.

Petushkóv. God! It must have been horrible.

Fédya (wearily). Well, later on I left her—and after a while, they asked me for a divorce. I couldn't bear all the lying there was to be got through. Believe me it was easier to think of killing myself. And so I tried to commit suicide, and I tried and I couldn't. Then a kind friend came along and said, "Now, don't be foolish!" And she arranged the whole business for me. I sent my wife a farewell letter—and the next day my clothes and pocketbook were found on the bank of the river. Everybody knew I couldn't swim. (Pause.) You understand, don't you?

Petushkóv. Yes, but what about the body? They didn't find that?

Fédya (smiling drunkenly). Oh yes, they did! You just listen! About a week afterwards some horror was dragged out of the water. My wife was called in to identify it. It was in pretty bad shape, you know. She took one glance. "Is that your husband?" they asked her. And she said, "Yes." Well, that settled it! I was buried, they were married, and they're living very happily right here in this city. I'm living here, too! We're all living here together! Yesterday I walked right by their house. The windows were lit and somebody's shadow went across the blind. (A pause.) Of course there're times when I feel like hell about it, but they don't last. The worst is when there's no money to buy drinks with.

[He drinks.

Artimiev. (rising and approaching them). Excuse me, but you know I've been listening to that story of yours? It's a very good story, and what's more a very useful one. You say you don't like being without money, but really there's no need of your ever finding yourself in that position.

Fédya. (interrupting). Look here, I wasn't talking to you and I don't need your advice!

Artimiev. But I'm going to give it to you just the same. Now you're a corpse. Well, suppose you come to life again!

Fédya. What?

Artimiev. Then your wife and that fellow she's so happy with—they'd be arrested for bigamy. The best they'd get would be ten years in Siberia. Now you see where you can have a steady income, don't you?

Fédya. (furiously). Stop talking and get out of here!

Artimiev. The best way is to write them a letter. If you don't know how I'll do it for you. Just give me their address and afterwards when the ruble notes commence to drop in, how grateful you'll be!

Fédya. Get out! Get out, I say! I haven't told you anything!

Artimiev. Oh, yes, you have! Here's my witness! This waiter heard you saying you were a corpse!

Fédya. (beside himself). You damn blackmailing beast——


Artimiev. Oh, I'm a beast, am I? We'll see about that! (FÉDYA rises to go, ARTIMIEV seizes him.) Police! Police! (FÉDYA struggles frantically to escape.)

[The POLICE enter and drag him away.




In the country. A veranda covered by a gay awning; sunlight; flowers; SOPHIA KARÉNINA, LISA, her little boy and nurse.

Lisa (standing C. in door. To the little boy, smiling), Who do you think is on his way from the station?

Misha (excitedly). Who? Who?

Lisa. Papa.

Misha (rapturously). Papa's coming! Papa's coming!

[Exits L. through C. door.

Lisa (contentedly, to SOPHIA KARÉNINA). How much he loves Victor! As if he were his real father!

Sophia Karénina (on sofa L. knitting—back to audience). Tant mieux. Do you think he ever remembers his father?

Lisa (sighing). I can't tell. Of course I've never said anything to him. What's the use of confusing his little head? Yet sometimes I feel as though I ought. What do you think, Mamma?

Sophia Karénina. I think it's a matter of feeling. If you can trust your heart, let it guide you. What extraordinary adjustments death brings about! I confess I used to think very unkindly of Fédya, when he seemed a barrier to all this. (She makes a gesture with her hand.) But now I think of him as that nice boy who was my son's friend, and a man who was capable of sacrificing himself for those he loved. (She knits.) I hope Victor hasn't forgotten to bring me some wool.

Lisa. Here he comes. (LISA runs to the edge of the veranda.) There's some one with him—a lady in a bonnet! Oh, it's mother! How splendid! I haven't seen her for an age!


Anna Pávlovna (kissing LISA). My darling. (To SOPHIA KARÉNINA.) How do you do? Victor met me and insisted on my coming down.

[Sits bench L. C. beside SOPHIA.

Sophia Karénina. This is perfectly charming!

[Enter VICTOR and MÍSHA.

Anna Pávlovna. I did want to see Lisa and the boy. So now, if you don't turn me out, I'll stay till the evening train.

Karénin. (L. C., kissing his wife, his mother and the boy). Congratulate me—everybody—I've a bit of luck, I don't have to go to town again for two days. Isn't that wonderful?

Lisa. (R. C.). Two days! That's glorious! We'll drive over to the Hermitage to-morrow and show it to mother.

Anna Pávlovna. (holding the boy). He's so like his father, isn't he? I do hope he hasn't inherited his father's disposition.

Sophia Karénina. After all, Fédya's heart was in the right place. Lisa. Victor thinks if he'd only been brought up more carefully everything would have been different.

Anna Pávlovna. Well, I'm not so sure about that, but I do feel sorry for him. I can't think of him without wanting to cry.

Lisa. I know. That's how Victor and I feel. All the bitterness is gone. There's nothing left but a very tender memory.

Anna Pávlovna. (sighing). I'm sure of it. Lisa. Isn't it funny? It all seemed so hopeless back there, and now see how beautifully everything's come out!

Sophia Karénina. Oh, by the way, Victor, did you get my wool?

Karénin. I certainly did. (Brings a bag and takes out parcels.) Here's the wool, here's the eau-de-cologne, here are the letters—one on "Government Service" for you, Lisa—— (Hands her the letter. LISA opens letter, then strolls R, reading it, suddenly stops.) Well, Anna Pávlovna, I know you want to make yourself beautiful! I must tidy up, too. It's almost dinner time. Lisa, you've put your another in the Blue Room, haven't you?


[LISA is pale. She holds the letter with trembling hands and reads it, KARÉNIN seeing her.

What's the matter, Lisa? What is it?

Lisa. He's alive. He's alive. My God! I shall never be free from him. (VICTOR crosses to LISA.) What does this mean? What's going to happen to us?

Karénin (taking the letter and reading). I don't believe it.

Sophia Karénina. What is it? (Rising.) What's the matter? Why don't you tell us?

Karénin. He's alive! They're accusing us of bigamy! It's a summons for Lisa to go before the Examining Magistrate.

Anna Pávlovna. No—no! It can't be!

Sophia Karénina. Oh, that horrible man!

Karénin. So it was all a lie!

Lisa (with a cry of rage). Oh! I hate him so! Victor!—Fédya!——My God! I don't know what I'm saying. I don't know what I'm saying.

[Sinks in chair down R.

Anna Pávlovna (rising). He's not really alive?

[Lights dim and out.




The room of the examining magistrate, who sits at a table talking to MÉLNIKOV, a smartly dressed, languid, man-about-town.

At a side-table a CLERK is sorting papers.

Magistrate. (sitting R. of table R. C.). Oh, I never said so. It's her own notion. And now she is reproaching me with it.

Mélnikov. (sitting C. back to audience). She's not reproaching you, only her feelings are awfully hurt.

Magistrate. Are they? Oh, well, tell her I'll come to supper after the performance. But you'd better wait on. I've rather an interesting case. (To the CLERK.) Here, you, show them in.

Clerk. (sitting C. facing audience). Both? Excellency. Magistrate. No, only Madame Karénina.

[CLERK exits L. I.

Clerk (calling off stage). Madame Protosova, Madame Protosova.

Magistrate. Or, to dot my i's, Madame Protosova.

Mélnikov (starting to go out). Ah, it's the Karénin case.

Magistrate. Yes, and an ugly one. I'm just beginning the investigation. But I assure you it's a first-rate scandal already. Must you go? Well, see you at supper. Good-bye.


[The CLERK shows in LISA; she wears a black dress and veil.

Magistrate. Please sit down, won't you? (He points to a chair L. C. LISA sits down.) I am extremely sorry that it's necessary to ask you questions.

[LISA appears very much agitated. MAGISTRATE appears unconcerned and is reading a newspaper as he speaks.

But please be calm. You needn't answer them unless you wish. Only in the interest of every one concerned, I advise you to help me reach the entire truth.

Lisa. I've nothing to conceal.

Magistrate (looking at papers). Let's see. Your name, station, religion. I've got all that. You are accused of contracting a marriage with another man, knowing your first husband to be alive.

Lisa. But I did not know it.

Magistrate (continuing). And also you are accused of having persuaded with bribes your first husband to commit a fraud, a pretended suicide, in order to rid yourself of him.

Lisa. All that's not true.

Magistrate. Then permit me to ask you these questions: Did you or did you not send him 1200 rubles in July of last year?

Lisa. That was his own money obtained from selling his things, which I sent to him during our separation, while I was waiting for my divorce.

Magistrate. Just so. Very well. When the police asked you to identify the corpse, how were you sure it was your husband's?

Lisa. Oh, I was so terribly distressed that I couldn't bear to look at the body. Besides, I felt so sure it was he, and when they asked me, I just said yes.

Magistrate. Very good indeed. I can well understand your distraction, and permit me to observe, Madame, that although servants of the law, we remain human beings, and I beg you to be assured that I sympathize with your situation. You were bound to a spendthrift, a drunkard, a man whose dissipation caused you infinite misery.

Lisa (interrupting). Please, I loved him.

Magistrate (tolerantly). Of course. Yet naturally you desired to be free, and you took this simple course without counting the consequence, which is considered a crime, or bigamy. I understand you, and so will both judges and jury. And it's for this reason, Madam, I urge you to disclose the entire truth.

Lisa. I've nothing to disclose. I never have lied. (She begins to cry.) Do you want me any longer?

Magistrate. Yes. I must ask you to remain a few minutes longer. No more questions, however. (To the CLERK.) Show in Victor Karénin. (To LISA.) I think you'll find that a comfortable chair. (Sits L. C.)

[Enter KARÉNIN, stern and solemn.

Please, sit down.

Karénin. Thank you. (He remains standing L. U.) What do you want from me?

Magistrate. I have to take your deposition.

Karénin. In what capacity?

Magistrate (smiling). In my capacity of investigating magistrate. You are here, you know, because you are charged with a crime.

Karénin. Really? What crime?

Magistrate. Bigamy, since you've married a woman already married. But I'll put the questions to you in their proper order. Sure you'll not sit down?

Karénin. Quite sure.

Magistrate (writing). Your name?

Karénin. Victor Karénin.

Magistrate. Rank?

Karénin. Chamberlain of the Imperial Court.

Magistrate. Your age?

Karénin. Thirty-eight.

Magistrate. Religion?

Karénin. Orthodox, and I've never been tried before of any charge. (Pause.) What else?

Magistrate. Did you know that Fedor Protosov was alive when you married his wife?

Karénin. No, we were both convinced that he was drowned.

Magistrate. All right. And why did you send 1200 rubles to him a few days before he simulated death on July 17th?

Karénin. That money was given me by my wife.

Magistrate (interrupting him). Excuse me, you mean by Madame Protosova.

Karénin. By my wife to send to her husband. She considered this money his property, and having broken off all relations with him, felt it unjust to withhold it. What else do you want?

Magistrate. I don't want anything, except to do my official duty, and to aid you in doing yours, through causing you to tell me the whole truth, in order that your innocence be proved. You'd certainly better not conceal things which are sure to be found out, since Protosov is in such a weakened condition, physically and mentally, that he is certain to come out with the entire truth as soon as he gets into court, so from your point of view I advise....

Karénin. Please don't advise me, but remain within the limits of your official capacity. Are we at liberty to leave?

[He goes to LISA who takes his arm.

Magistrate. Sorry, but it's necessary to detain you. (KARÉNIN looks around in astonishment.) No, I've no intention of arresting you, although it might be a quicker way of reaching the truth. I merely want to take Protosov's deposition in your presence, to confront him with you, that you may facilitate your chances by proving his statements to be false. Kindly sit down. (To CLERK.) Show in Fedor Protosov.

[There is a pause. The CLERK shows in FÉDYA in rags, a total wreck. He enters slowly, dragging his feet. He catches sight of his wife, who is bowed in grief. For a moment he is about to take her in his arms—he hesitates--then stands before the MAGISTRATE.

Magistrate. I shall ask you to answer some questions.

Fédya. (rises, confronting the MAGISTRATE). Ask them.

Magistrate. Your name?

Fédya. You know it.

Magistrate. Answer my questions exactly, please.

[Rapping on his desk.

Fédya (shrugs). Fedor Protosov.

Magistrate. Your rank, age, religion?

Fédya. (silent for a moment). Aren't you ashamed to ask me these absurd questions? Ask me what you need to know, only that.

Magistrate. I shall ask you to take care how you express yourself.

Fédya. Well, since you're not ashamed. My rank, graduate of the University of Moscow; age 40; religion orthodox. What else?

Magistrate. Did Victor Karénin and Elizaveta Andreyevna know you were alive when you left your clothes on the bank of the river and disappeared?

Fédya. Of course not. I really wished to commit suicide. But—however, why should I tell you? The fact's enough. They knew nothing of it.

Magistrate. You gave a somewhat different account to the police officer. How do you explain that?

Fédya. Which police officer? Oh yes, the one who arrested me in that dive. I was drunk, and I lied to him—about what, I don't remember. But I'm not drunk now and I'm telling you the whole truth. They knew nothing; they thought I was dead, and I was glad of it. Everything would have stayed all right except for that damned beast Artimiev. So if any one's guilty, it's I.

Magistrate. I perceive you wish to be generous. Unfortunately the law demands the truth. Come, why did you receive money from them?

[FÉDYA is silent.

Why don't you answer me? Do you realize that it will be stated in your deposition that the accused refused to answer these questions, and that will harm (he includes LISA and VICTOR in a gesture) all of you?

[FÉDYA remains silent.

Aren't you ashamed of your stubborn refusal to aid these others and yourself by telling the entire truth?

Fédya (breaking out passionately). The truth—Oh, God! what do you know about the truth? Your business is crawling up into a little power, that you may use it by tantalizing, morally and physically, people a thousand times better than you.... You sit there in your smug authority torturing people.

Magistrate. I must ask you——

Fédya (interrupts him). Don't ask me for I'll speak as I feel. (Turning to CLERK.) And you write it down. So for once some human words will get into a deposition.

[Raising his voice, which ascends to a climax during this speech.

There were three human beings alive: I, he, and she.

[He turns to his wife with a gesture indicating his love for her. He pauses, then proceeds.

We all bore towards one another a most complex relation. We were all engaged in a spiritual struggle beyond your comprehension: the struggle between anguish and peace; between falsehood and truth. Suddenly this struggle ended in a way that set us free. Everybody was at peace. They loved my memory, and I was happy even in my downfall, because I'd done what should have been done, and cleared away my weak life from interfering with their strong good lives. And yet we're all alive. When suddenly a bastard adventurer appears, who demands that I abet his filthy scheme. I drive him off as I would a diseased dog, but he finds you, the defender of public justice, the appointed guardian of morality, to listen to him. And you, who receive on the 20th of each month a few kopeks' gratuity for your wretched business, you get into your uniform, and in good spirits proceed to torture—bully people whose threshold you're not clean enough to pass. Then when you've had your fill of showing off your wretched power, oh, then you are satisfied, and sit and smile there in your damned complacent dignity. And....

Magistrate (raising his voice. Rising excitedly). Be silent or I'll have you turned out.

Fédya. God! Who should I be afraid of! I'm dead, dead, and away out of your power. (Suddenly overcome with the horror of the situation.) What can you do to me? How can you punish me—a corpse?

[Beating his breast.

Magistrate. Be silent! (To CLERK, who is down L.) Take him out!

[FÉDYA turns, seeing his wife, he falls on his knees before her ... kisses the hem of her dress, crying bitterly.

[Slowly he rises, pulls himself together with a great effort, then exits L.

[The lights dim and out.




A corridor at the lower courts; in the background a door opposite which stands a GUARD; to the right is another door through which the PRISONERS are conducted to the court. IVÁN PETROVICH in rags enters L., goes to this last door, trying to pass through it.

Guard (at door R. C.). Where do you think you're going, shoving in like that?

Iván Petrovich. Why shouldn't I? The law says these sessions are public.

Guard. You can't get by and that's enough.

Iván Petrovich (in pity). Wretched peasant, you have no idea to whom you are speaking.

Guard. Be silent!

[Enter a YOUNG LAWYER from R. I.

Lawyer (to Petrovich). Are you here on business?

Iván Petrovich. No. I'm the public. But this wretched peasant won't let me pass.

Lawyer. There's no room for the public at this trial.

Iván Petrovich. Perhaps, but I am above the general rule.

Lawyer. Well, you wait outside; they'll adjourn presently.

[He is just going into courtroom through door R. C. when PRINCE SERGIUS enters L. and stops him.

Prince Sergius. How does the case stand?

Lawyer. The defense has just begun. Petrúshin is speaking now.

Prince Sergius. Are the Karénins bearing up well?

Lawyer. Yes, with extraordinary dignity. They look as if they were the judges instead of the accused. That's felt all the way through, and Petrúshin is taking advantage of it.

Prince Sergius. What of Protosov?

Lawyer. He's frightfully unnerved, trembling all over, but that's natural considering the sort of life he's led. Yes, he's all on edge, and he's interrupted, both judge and jury several times already.

Prince Sergius. How do you think it will end?

Lawyer. Hard to say. The jury are mixed. At any rate I don't think they'll find the Karénins guilty of premeditation. Do you want to go in?

Prince Sergius. I should very much like to.

Lawyer. Excuse me, you're Prince Sergius Abréskov, aren't you? (To the Prince.) There's an empty chair just at the left.

[The guard lets PRINCE SERGIUS pass.

Iván Petrovich. Prince! Bah! I am an aristocrat of the soul, and that's a higher title.

Lawyer. Excuse me.

[And exits down R. C. into courtroom.

[PETUSHKÓV, FÉDYA'S companion in the dive, enters approaching IVÁN PETROVICH.

Petushkóv (R.). Oh, there you are. Well, how're things going?

Iván Petrovich (L.). The speeches for the defense have begun, but this ignorant rascal won't let us in. Curse his damned petty soul.

Guard (C.) Silence! Where do you think you are?

[Further applause is heard; door of the court opens, and there is a rush of lawyers and the general public into the corridor.

A Lady. Oh, it's simply wonderful! When he spoke I felt as if my heart were breaking.

An Officer. It's all far better than a novel. But I don't see how she could ever have loved him. Such a sinister, horrible figure.

[The other door opens over L.; the accused comes out.

The Lady (this group is down R.). Hush! There he is. See how wild he looks.

Fédya (seeing IVÁN PETROVICH). Did you bring it?


Petrovich. There.

[He hands FÉDYA something; FÉDYA hides it in his pocket.

Fédya (seeing PETUSHKÓV). How foolish! How vulgar and how boring all this is, isn't it?

[Men and women enter door L. and stand down L. watching.

[Enter PETRÚSHIN, from R. C., FÉDYA'S counsel, a stout man with red cheeks; very animated.

Petrúshin (rubbing his hands). Well, well, my friend. It's going along splendidly. Only remember, don't go and spoil things for me in your last speech.

Fédya (takes him by the arm). Tell me, what'll the worst be?

Petrúshin. I've already told you. Exile to Siberia.

Fédya. Who'll be exiled to Siberia?

Petrúshin. You and your wife, naturally.

Fédya. And at the best?

Petrúshin. Religious pardon and the annulment of the second marriage.

Fédya. You mean—that we should be bound again—to one another——

Petrúshin. Yes. Only try to collect yourself. Keep up your courage. After all, there's no occasion for alarm.

Fédya. There couldn't be any other sentence, you're sure?

Petrúshin. None other. None other.

[Exits R. I. FÉDYA stands motionless.

Guard (crosses and exits L. I. Calling). Pass on. Pass on. No loitering in the corridor.

[VICTOR and LISA enter from door L. Start to go off L. when pistol shot stops them.

Fédya (He turns his back to the audience, and from beneath his ragged coat shoots himself in the heart. There is a muffled explosion, smoke. He crumples up in a heap on the floor. All the people in the passage rush to him.) (In a very low voice.) This time—it's well done... Lisa....

[People are crowding in from all the doors, judges, etc. LISA rushes to FÉDYA, KARÉNIN, IVÁN PETROVICH and PRINCE SERGIUS follow.

Lisa. Fédya!... Fédya!... What have you done? Oh why!... why!...

Fédya. Forgive me—— No other way—— Not for you—but for myself——

Lisa. You will live. You must live.

Fédya. No—no—— Good-bye—— (He seems to smile, then he mutters just under his breath.) Masha.

[In the distance the gypsies are heard singing "No More at Evening." They sing until the curtain.

You're too late——

[Suddenly he raises his head from LISA'S knees, and barely utters as if he saw something in front of him.

Ah.... Happiness!...

[His head falls from LISA'S knees to the ground. She still clings to it, in grief and horror. He dies.

[The lights dim and out.



Content is available under the GNU Free Documentation License
Public Domain; Copyright Policy; Disclaimers;
More Great Authors

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional