The action takes place in Moscow, in the first decade of the reforms of Alexander II. The first act of the play is in the apartment where Yegor Dmitrievich Glumov, a young man, lives with his widow mother. In it, according to the author’s remark, is a clean, well-furnished room.
The room is entered, continuing the conversation begun, Glumov with his mother. Glumov tells her: “I’m all in you – smart, angry and envious” and declares that from now on she will make a career through dating in the light: “Epigrams aside!” This kind of poetry, except for harm, brings nothing to the author. ” Now Glumov will keep a diary for himself and write frankly what he thinks about the people whose attitudes he is striving for.
Hussar Kurchaev, Glumov’s acquaintance, Golutvin with him, a man who has no occupations, comes. They were going to publish a magazine and ask Glumov for his epigrams or a diary about which they had already heard
something. Glumov refuses. Kurchaev, distant relatives of Glumov through the dignitary Nil Fedoseevich Mamaev, tells Glumov about Mamaev’s habit of looking at rented apartments in vain and at the same time teaching everyone, and after talking, he throws a caricature on Mamayev, attributing “the newest self-instruction manual.” Golutvin wants to take her. Kurchaev does not give: “All the same, my uncle.” She remains to Glumov. Kurchaev tells Glimov that Mamaev’s wife is “in love like a cat” in Glumova. Kurchayev and Golutvin leave.
In a subsequent conversation, Glumov and his mother find out that Glumov has already bribed Mamaev’s servant, and Mamayev will now arrive to look at the supposedly rented apartment of the Glumovs.
Is a servant, behind him Mamaev himself. Mamaev reproaches the servant: why did he bring him to a dwelling apartment. Glumov explains that, in need of money, he wants to move from this apartment to a bigger one, and Mamayev declares to bewildered questions: “I’m stupid.” He at first is dumbfounded, but quickly begins
to believe that before him is a young man, eager for advice, teachings and instructions.
Glumova shows Mamayev the caricature of Kurchaev. Mamayev leaves. Manefa comes, “a woman engaged in fortune telling and divination.” Glumov accepts her with deference, gives fifteen rubles, sends him tea and coffee, writes down diaries: Manefa and three rubles to Mamaev’s servant. Suddenly Kurchaev returns, to whom Mamaev, who met along the road, did not order to be shown to his eyes. Kurchayev suspects Glumov of intrigue and tells him about it. They are arguing. Kurchaev leaves. “His uncle banished him, the first step is made.” With these words of Glumov, the first action of the comedy ends.
In Mamaev’s house, the owner and Krutitsky – “an old man, a very important gentleman”, complain about the perniciousness of reforms and changes and their inability to own a pen and “modern style.” Krutitsky has a work written in style, “close to the style of the great Lomonosov,” and Mamayev suggests giving it to Glumov for processing. Both are leaving. Appear Mamaeva and Glumova. Glumova complains about the lack of funds. Mamayeva encourages her, promising Glumov his protection. Entering Mamayev Glumov painted the admiration of his son with his mind. Mamayev, leaving, promises Glumova to give “not money, but better money: advice on how to manage the budget.” Mamayeva, Glumova, starts talking about how Glumov is in love with her. Glumova leaves. Mamaeva flirted with the entered Glumov.
Gorodulin, “a young important gentleman,” arrives. Mamaeva asks Glumov for a place, “of course, good,” calls Glumov and leaves him with Gorodulin. Glumov claims to be a liberal and demonstrates a speech that delighted Gorodulin, who immediately asks to help him prepare a speech. Glumov is ready to write.
Gorodulin is replaced by Mamaev, who is accepted to teach Glamov to take care of his wife. Glumov remains with Mamaeva, explained to her in love and leaves.
At Turusina’s dacha, “a rich widow, ladies of merchants”, surrounded by prizhivkami, fortunetellers, strangers, Turusina, who just left for the city, but ordered to turn the crew because of a bad omen, pronounces her companion, niece Mashenka, for “freethinking” and sympathy for Kurchaev. In addition, she received two anonymous letters, warning against acquaintance with Kurchaev. Mashenka responds that she is a “Moscow young lady” and will not argue, but then let the aunt and find her the groom herself. Mashenka leaves. The guest who lives next door is Krutitsky. Turusina shares with Krutitsky cares: how to find Masha a good groom. Krutitsky recommends Glumov and leaves. Gorodulin arrives. Like Krutitsky, he ridicules Turushina’s predilection for wanderers and prizhivalkam and reports: one of these friends Turusina convicted of fraud and poisoning of a rich merchant. With Gorodulin, the same conversation is repeated with the same result. Gorodulin strongly recommends Turusina Glumova. And finally, in exchange for Gorodulin, Manefa appears. She is a welcome guest. It is received with honor and speeches, and they are listened to with trepidation. She broadcasts, the prizhavalki agree. All in chorus foreshadow Glumov as something already almost supernatural. The appearance of Glumov with Mamayev and Turusin’s promise to love him as a son of his own, the action ends. the clinging-dowers say yes. All in chorus foreshadow Glumov as something already almost supernatural. The appearance of Glumov with Mamayev and Turusin’s promise to love him as a son of his own, the action ends. the clinging-dowers say yes. All in chorus foreshadow Glumov as something already almost supernatural. The appearance of Glumov with Mamayev and Turusin’s promise to love him as a son of his own, the action ends.
Glumov brings to Krutitsky the “Treatise on the Harm of Reforms in General” – the treatment of Krutitsky’s thoughts. Krutitsky is satisfied. “Treatise” – a sharp parody of retrograde. Glumov asks Krutitsky to be planted by his father at the wedding and sorts out a little in the service, which Krutitsky notes on his departure.
Comes Cleopatra Lvovna Mamaeva in addition to say a word for Glumova. Cheerful after the departure of Glumov, the old man brings down archaic quotes from her favorite tragedies from her youth, seeing in her aging Mamaeva almost the same age. But it is far more frustrating for her to hear the news about Glamov’s matchmaking with Masha for love, dropped by Krutitsky. “What’s banged her, come with the women.” It’s worse than commanding the division, “Krutitsky perplexed, looking after her.
Glumov at home writes down expenses and impressions in the diary and teaches his mother, who is going to Turusina, how to coax and ask her for her habitation. Suddenly, Mamaeva is. This is unusual, and Glumov is alarmed. The subsequent conversation with her then confirms, then soothes Glumov’s fears. He accepts to explain Mamayeva in her feelings, somewhat abusing eloquence, but she interrupts him with the question: “Are you getting married?” Glumov stumbles, starts up in explanations and, as it seems to him, more or less calms Mamayev. Call at the door. Glumov leaves.
Golutvin came. Glumov, hiding Mamayev in the next room, takes it. It turns out that, in modern terms, he gathered material on Glumov and blackmailed him: if Glumov did not pay, Golutvin would print a libel. With a resolute tone refusing to Golutvin, Glumov actually hesitates, not wanting trouble because of a profitable marriage with Masha. Golutvin climbs into the next room, asking who is there. Glumov barely escapes him, but then decides to catch up and still pay. Mamaeva enters the room, notices the diary, reads about herself something that makes her furious, and carries away.
At first Glumov seems to have “settled everything”. But after making sure that the diary was taken, he comes to despair, scolds himself: “I stole a foolish rancor.” So he gave the audience “Notes of the scoundrel” to themselves written. “
At the dacha where the whole society gathered, Kurchaev, talking with Mashenka about the unprecedented virtues and successes of Glumov, says: “I would argue with someone else, and before passive man I never did it.” Between virtuous conversations with his future wife and mother-in-law, Glumov negotiates with Gorodulin “to trim a good” tract of Krutitsky under the signature of Gorodulin and convinces Mamaev that he will marry in accordance with the calculation. A servant brings a packet passed by someone. It contains the printed article “How People Go Out” with the portrait of Glumov and the missing diary. Mamayev reads the notes aloud, the information on expenses for the hangers-on “for seeing me in a dream,” the sharp characteristics of Krutitsky, Manefa, Turusina. Appears Glumov. He is given a diary and offers to “go away unnoticed.” But Glumov already has nothing to lose. “Why is it imperceptible,” he replies and begins to convict those present already verbally. The essence of denunciations: in the printed article there is nothing new for them. Not so stupid actually are Krutitsky and Mamayev, in order not to feel the falseness in the servility of Glumov: it is simply convenient and pleasant for them. The same with Mamaeva, and with Gorodulin. But both of them suddenly stop the Glumovsky eloquence, starting immediately with him to agree. Glumov leaves. After a pause, everyone agrees that, after a while, we need to “caress” him again. “And that’s what I’m taking on myself” – Mamaeva’s final remarks. so I really do not feel the hypocrisy in pleasing Glumov: it’s just comfortable and pleasant for them. The same with Mamaeva, and with Gorodulin. But both of them suddenly stop the Glumovsky eloquence, starting immediately with him to agree. Glumov leaves. After a pause, everyone agrees that, after a while, we need to “caress” him again. “And that’s what I’m taking on myself” – Mamaeva’s final remarks. so I really do not feel the hypocrisy in pleasing Glumov: it’s just comfortable and pleasant for them. The same with Mamaeva, and with Gorodulin. But both of them suddenly stop the Glumovsky eloquence, starting immediately with him to agree. Glumov leaves. After a pause, everyone agrees that, after a while, we need to “caress” him again. “And that’s what I’m taking on myself” – Mamaeva’s final remarks.