A monologue from Act III

by: Anton Chekhov

NOTE: Translated from the Russian by George Calderon, this version of The Cherry Orchard was published in 1915. It is now a public domain work and may be performed without royalties.

LOPAKHIN: I did. I bought it. Wait a bit; don't hurry me; my head's in a whirl; I can't speak. . . . [Laughing.] When we got to the sale, Deriganof was there already. Leonid Andreyitch had only fifteen hundred pounds, and Deriganof bid three thousand more than the mortgage right away. When I saw how things stood, I went for him and bid four thousand. He said four thousand five hundred. I said five thousand five hundred. He went up by five hundreds, you see, and I went up by thousands. . . . Well, it was soon over. I bid nine thousand more than the mortgage, and got it; and now the cherry orchard is mine! Mine! [Laughing.] Heavens alive! Just think of it! The cherry orchard is mine! Tell me that I'm drunk; tell me that I'm off my head; tell me that it's all a dream! . . . [Stamping his feet.] Don't laugh at me! If only my father and my grandfather could rise from their graves and see the whole affair, how their Yermolai, their flogged and ignorant Yermolai, who used to run about barefooted in the winter, how this same Yermolai had bought a property that hasn't its equal for beauty anywhere in the whole world! I have bought the property where my father and grandfather were slaves, where they weren't even allowed into the kitchen. I'm asleep, it's only a vision, it isn't real. . . . 'T is the fruit of imagination, wrapped in the mists of ignorance. [Picking up Madame Ranevsky's keys and smiling affectionately.] She's thrown down her keys; she wants to show that she's no longer mistress here. . . . [Jingles them together.] Well, well, what's the odds? Hey, musicians play! I want to hear you. Come, every one, and see Yermolai Lopakhin lay his axe to the cherry orchard, come and see the trees fall down! We'll fill the place with villas; our grandsons and great-grandsons shall see a new life here. . . . Strike up, music! Here comes the new squire, the owner of the cherry orchard!