A. P. Chekhov
Anna on the neck
“After the wedding, there was not even a light snack.” An 18-year-old girl, Anya, married a 52-year-old official Modest Alekseich. After the wedding they go to the monastery, on a pilgrimage.
On the train, Modest Alexeyich, smiling, recalls one instance: “When Kosorotov received the Order of St. Anne of the second degree and came to thank, His Excellency put it this way:” So you have now three Anne: one in a buttonhole, two on his neck. ” the time to Kosorotov was just returned by his wife, a person who was grumpy and frivolous, who was called Anna, I hope that when I get Anna the second degree, his lordship will not have an occasion to tell me the same thing. ” And Anya thinks that even though she married
The couple began to live in a state apartment. Anya spent days playing the piano, or crying out of boredom, or reading novels and fashion magazines. Modest Alexeyitch at dinner talked about politics, about appointments and rewards, about the fact that family life is not a pleasure, but a duty. In the society Modest Alekseyich made Anya obsequiously bow to people with high ranks. Greedy, when Anya asked him to buy something for her. When Anya came to visit her father and brothers, she felt that they were embarrassed and did not know how to behave. The weak and kind father Petr Leontyitch played on the old harmonium on holidays and still drank. And the brothers “Petya and Andryusha, thin, pale boys with big eyes, took the decanter from him and said in confusion:” Do not, daddy…
With money from Ani after marriage, it became even worse. Only once Peter Leontyitch asked Anina’s husband 50 rubles. Modest Alexeyitch gave money, but he threatened that the last time, since Peter Leontyitch was drinking, which is shameful. And the brothers who came to Ana to visit, too, had to listen to the instructions of Aniina’s husband: “Everyone should have their duties!” Money Modest Alexeyich did not give, but he gave Ana jewelry, saying that it is good to have these things about a rainy day. And often checked: are all things intact.
Long before Christmas Modest Alekseich began to prepare Anya for a traditional winter ball and even gave her 100 rubles for a dress.
It was time for the ball. Anya shone, fascinated even the most indifferent men. Anya noticed even His Excellency himself and invited her to lead a charity bazaar. Things from Ani’s hands were selling like hot cakes. “Artynov, the rich man, approached, not taking his eyes off Ani, he drank a glass of champagne and paid a hundred rubles, then drank some tea and gave another hundred.” Anya “realized that it was created exclusively for this noisy, brilliant, laughing life with music, dances, fans.” Her father, she began to be shy: “she was already ashamed that she had such a poor, such an ordinary father.”
The next day Artynov came to Anya with a visit, and then – His Excellency. When her husband, Modest Alexeyitch, came, “now he also stood with the same servile-respectful expression that she used to see in his presence in the presence of strong and noblemen.” And with enthusiasm, she was sure that nothing would happen to her “She said, clearly pronouncing every word:” Go away, you blockhead! ”
After that, Ani did not have any free day, as she took part in a picnic, then in a walk, then in a play. In the morning, there was a lot of money, but she only sent her husband an account or a note: “immediately pay 100 rubles.”
On Easter, Modest Alexeyich received Anna second degree. His Excellency said: “So now you have three Anneas: one in the buttonhole, two on the neck.” Modest Alekseyich replied: “Now it remains to wait for the birth of little Vladimir, I dare to ask your Excellency for the receivers.” He hinted at Vladimir IV degree and already imagined how he would tell this pun everywhere.
And Anya rode in triplets, went with Artynov to hunt and less and less often visited the father and brothers. Petr Leontich drank stronger than before, there was no money, and the harmonium had long been sold for debt. And when, during the walks, they met Anya on a troika with Artynov, “Pyotr Leontyitch took off the cylinder and was about to shout something, and Petya and Andryusha took him by the arms and said imploringly:” Do not, daddy… Will, Daddy.. . “