Breakfast at the head of the
dining room. Morning. A set table with a snack. The action takes place in the estate of the leader of the local nobility. Nikolai Ivanovich Balagolayev invited one of his neighbors, a judge and a former leader in the morning, to resolve the dispute between Kaurova, the 45-year-old widow of the lieutenant and her brother, landowner Ferapont Bezpandin, a retired college registrar. The dispute lasts for three years. Both, Kaurova and Bespandin, a native aunt left her estate by will, and they, as the leader says: “Well, they can not share, even if you crack” …
Both are terribly obstinate and mercilessly traded; on the stubbornness of his sister – a kind of Gogol’s Box of Dead Souls, only more aggressive and impudent. Gogol himself attended the reading of the comedy; according to his contemporaries, he said about Kaurov: “A woman is good”!
“It came to the court before the trial, the higher authorities were asked to give petitions: have they long to trouble?” Says the leader. “So I finally decided to stop, so to speak, with a firm hand the root of evil, stop, finally, today I have a date for a meeting, but this is the last time, and there I will take other measures… Let the court sort them out. “
At first the widow pretends to be obedient to the sheep: “I agree with everything, I am a gentle man… I will not contradict Nikolai Ivanovich, where I am, I’m a widow defenseless: I’m hoping for you… And Ferapont Ilyich (her brother) wants me. .. Well, God be with him, if only the children did not kill the children.
Then the swara begins.
“- Here, you see – with what is the main difficulty: Mr. Bespandin and sister they do not want to live in the same house; therefore, the estate should be divided and section it is not possible – says in the course of the leader of the dispute.!.
Finally Bespandin ready to concede house, but hopes for a reward.
“Nikolai Ivanovich Kaurova, this is a cunning, this is a trick on his part, Nikolai Ivanovich, he hopes to get the best land, hemp, and so on.” What does he have a house for? He has his own. .
Bespandin. Koli it so bad…
Kaurova. And hemp I did not give in. Excuse me! I am a widow, I have children… What would I do without hemp, judge for yourself.
Bespandin. Koli it is bad…
Kaurova. will your…
Bespandin. Koli it so badly, conceding it to me, and let you be rewarded.
Kaurova. Yes! I know your reward! .. some ten ishku worthless, stone on stone, or, even worse, swamp any where one cane, which even the peasants do not eat cows!
Balagalayev. There is no such swamp in your estate…
Kaurova. Well, not a swamp, so something else like that. No, the...
Finally, Alupkin, one of the landowners, who only recently settled in these places, can not stand it.
” – What do all the women in this district have?
“There are worse things,” replied the neighbor, the poor landowner Mirvolin, and Alena
Kaurova will again reprimand, having seized the right moment: “Why are you looking at me like that, my father?” Or do you have such a custom in Tambov? Whence suddenly appeared, no one knows, no one knows, and what kind of person, the Lord knows him, but look at how he mocks! ”
And later, and not that it will be:” You are crazy! He’s crazy. “
And Bespandin at some point will take up arms against him:
“Dear Sir, let me find out from what right…
Alupkin: Do you intercede for your sister?”
Bespandin: “Not at all for my sister: my sister is my fuck!” but I am for the honor of the name. ”
But the leader tried to solve the problem after all:
“Gentlemen, let me, let me… I must ask you to keep silent for a while.” I propose the following: we will now divide the whole dacha into two sections, in one there will be a house with estate, and to another, we add some extra land, and then let them choose.
Bespandin. I agree.
Kaurova. and I do not agree.
Balagalaev. Why do not you agree?
Kaurova. and who first have to choose?
Balagalayev. We cast lots.
Kaurov. Save, Lord, and have mercy! What are you saying! No way! Ali
Balashaliev orders us to read the original section project on the notebook, but there are endless details… “The direction of the line from the point, A” … “To point B, at the corner of the dam…” The owner of the first The plot is obliged to relocate two yards to its account in the second section; and to use the hemp for the evicted peasants to use for two years… ”
Kaurova: I do not intend to resettle the peasants, I do not intend to give in to the hemp.”
These ridiculous, bazaar disputes last long.
And where is the nobility’s honor, education, nobility? Alas, anything can happen in any class.
After long disputes, ridiculous insults, the reader is ready to repeat after the leader: “The head seems to be coming around… Excuse me, gentlemen… I’m not able… I do not understand what you’re saying to me, I can not, I can not, I can not! ”
“Well, let’s have a drink, Mirvolin, let’s drink,” the judge of one of the present, poor landowner, is calling. “There is an amicable sharing for you!” “The
life and customs of the landlord environment.” The situation is heavy and unhappy, the struggle for one’s interests is fierce. “But what about the wordless serfs?