At the bottom
Basement, similar to a cave. The ceiling is heavy, with plaster falling down. Light from the audience. On the right behind the fence there is the ash room, near the Bubnov’s bunk, in the corner there is a large Russian stove, opposite the door to the kitchen where Kvashnya, Baron, Nastya live. Behind the oven there is a wide bed behind a cotton curtain. Around the bunks. In the foreground on the stump of a tree is a vice with an anvil. Kvashnya, Baron, Nastya, who is reading a book, is sitting next to her. Anna croaks heavily on the bed behind the curtain. On the plank he looks at the old, torn trousers of the Bubnov. Next to him, Satin, just woken up, lies and growls. On the stove fumbling actor.
The beginning of spring. Morning.
Kvashnya, talking with the Baron, promises never to marry again. Bubnov asked Satin why he “grunts”? Kvashnya continues to develop her idea that she is a free woman
and will never agree “to give herself to the fortress”. The tick rudely cries out to her: “You’re lying, you’ll marry Abramka yourself.”
The Baron snatches from the reading book Nastya and laughs at the vulgar title “Fateful Love.” Nastya and the Baron are fighting over the book.
Kvashnya scolds Ticks with an old goat, who brought his wife to death. The tick is lazily scolded. Kvashnya sure that Ticks do not want to hear the truth. Anna asks for silence in order to die peacefully, Ticks eagerly responds to the words of his wife, and Bubnov philosophically notes: “Noise – death is not a hindrance.”
Kvashnu surprises how Anna lived with such “wickedness” ? The dying man asks to be left alone.
Kvashnya and Baron are going to the bazaar. From the offer to eat ravioli Anna refuses, but Kvashnya still leaves the dumplings. The Baron teases Nastya, tries to anger her, and then hurriesly leaves behind Kvashnia.
Finally awakened Satin wondered who had beaten him the day before And for what. Bubnov argues, is it all the
same, and beat the cards. The actor screams from the stove that Satin will one day be killed. The tick urges the actor to get off the stove and start cleaning the basement. The actor objects, the Baron’s turn. Baron, looking from the kitchen, dissuades his employment – he goes with Kvashnya to the bazaar. Let the actor work, he has nothing to do, or Nastya. Nastya refuses. Kvashnya asks the actor to remove, he will not break. The actor is dissuaded by a disease: it is harmful to breathe dust, his body is poisoned by alcohol.
Satin says incomprehensible words: “sycambras”, “macrobiotics”, “transcendental”. Anna offers her husband to eat ravioli left by Kvashnya. She herself is tormented, foreseeing an early end.
Bubnov asks Satin what these words mean, but Satin has already forgotten their meaning, and in general he was tired of all these conversations, all the “human words” he heard, probably a thousand times.
The actor recalls that he once played Hamlet’s “Hamlet”, quotes from there Hamlet’s words: “Ophelia, Oh, remember me in your prayers!”
The tick, sitting at work, squeaks with a saddle. And Satin recalls that once in his youth he served on the telegraph, read many books, was an educated person!
Bubnov notes skeptically that he heard this story “a hundred times!
The actor is convinced that education is nonsense, the main thing is talent and self-confidence.
Meanwhile, Anna asks to open the door, it’s stuffy. The tick does not agree: he is cold on the floor, he has a cold. An actor approaches Anna and suggests that she be taken to the passage. Supporting the sick, he takes her to the air. Met Kostylev laughs at them, what a “wonderful couple” they are.
Kostylev is interested in Mite, was not Vasilisa here in the morning? The tick did not see. Kostylev scolds Mites, that he occupies a place in the doss house for five rubles, and pays two, one ought to throw a fifty-kopeck piece; “It’s better to hang a loop” – retorts the Tick. Kostylev dreams that he will buy oil of lamp-lamp for this fifty kopecks and he will pray for his and others’ sins, because Ticks does not think about his sins, so he brought his wife to the grave. The tick does not stand up and starts yelling at the master. Returning The actor tells that he has well attached Anna in the passage. The owner notices that the good actor will all be reckoned in the next world, but the actor would be more satisfied if Kostylev had now given him half the debt. Kostylev immediately changes his tone and asks: “Is it possible to equate the kindness of the heart with money?” Kindness is one thing, and duty is another. The actor calls Kostyleva a sham. The master knocks in Ash’s room. Satin laughs that Ash will open, and Vasilisa is with him. Kostylev is angry. Opening the door, Ashes demands money from Kostylev for hours and when he finds out that he did not bring any money, he gets angry and scolds the owner. He shook Kostylev roughly, demanding a debt of seven rubles from him. “When the owner leaves, Peplu is explained that he was looking for his wife.” Satin is surprised that Vaska has not yet nailed Kostylev. “Ashes reply that” there will not be life for such rubbish Satin teaches Ash how to kill Kostylev smartly, then marry Vasilisa and become the owner of the doss house. “Ashes are not happy with this prospect, the dwellers will drink all his property in the tavern, because he’s kind.” Ashes are angry that Kostylev did not wake him up in time, he had just dreamed that he had caught a huge bream Satin laughs that it was not bream, but Vasilisa. Ashes sends to hell all with Vasilisa. The mite that returned from the street is unhappy with the cold. He did not bring Anna, as Natasha took her to the kitchen.
Satin asks Pyatka for a nickle, but the actor says that they need a dime for two. Vasily gives, until the ruble is asked. Satin admires the kindness of the thief, “there are no better people in the world.” Mite notes that they easily get money, so they are good. Satin objects: “Many people easily get money, but few easily part with them,” he argues that if the work is pleasant, he, perhaps, will work. “When work is pleasure, life is good! When labor is a duty, life is slavery!”
Satin and the actor go to the tavern.
Ashes asks Mite about Anna’s health, he says that he will soon die. Ash advises Ticks not to work. “And how to live?” – He is interested in that. “Others live,” – notes Ashes. The mite responds with disdain to others, he believes that he will escape from here. Ashes object: the surrounding people are not worse than Mites, but “they do not have honor and conscience to do.” They will not be dressed in place of boots. “Honor and conscience are needed, who have the power and strength.”
The chilled Bubnov enters and asks Ash about his honor and conscience says that he does not need conscience: “I’m not rich.” Ashes agrees with him, but the Mite is against. Bubnov asked: Does the Ticks want to conscience? Ashes advises Ticks to talk about conscience with Satin and the Baron: they are clever, although drunkards. Bubnov is sure: “Whoever is drunk and clever – two grounds in it.”
Ash recalls how Satin said that it is convenient to have a neighbor of the conscientious, and most to be conscientious “not profitable.”
Natasha leads the wanderer Luka. He politely greets those present. Natasha presents a new guest, offering him to go to the kitchen. Luke assures: the old people – where the heat, there is the homeland. Natasha tells Ticks that later he would come for Anna and be affectionate with her, she dies and is scared. Ash objects that it is not terrible to die, and if Natasha kills him, he will also gladly die of a clean hand.
Natasha does not want to listen to him. Ashes admire Natasha. She is surprised why she rejects him, she will disappear anyway.
“Through you, and disappear,” – assures Bubnov.
Mites and Bubnov say that if Vasilisa knows about this attitude of Ashes to Natasha, both will not be well.
In the kitchen, Luka draws a melancholy song. Ashes are surprised, why people suddenly yearning for attack? He yells to Luka not to howl. Vaska loved to listen to beautiful singing, and this howling makes you sad. Luka is surprised. He thought that he sings well. Luke says that Nastya is sitting in the kitchen and crying over the book. The Baron says that in stupidity. Ashes offer the Baron for half a bottle of booze to bark the dog, standing on all fours. The Baron is surprised at the joy of Vaska. In fact now they are equal. Luke first sees the baron. Counts saw the princes, and the baron – for the first time, “and then spoiled.”
Luka says that dwellers have a good life. But the Baron recalls how he used to drink coffee with cream while still in bed.
Luke notices: people become smarter with time. “They live all the worse, but they want – everything is better, stubborn!” The Baron is interested in the old man. Who it? He answers: a wanderer. He says that everyone in the world is a stranger, and “our land is a stranger in the sky.” The Baron goes with Vaska to a tavern and, saying goodbye to Luke, calls him a mace. Alyosha comes in with the hormone. He starts screaming and making fools, which is no worse than others, so why does not Medyakin let him walk down the street. Appears Vasilisa and also swears at Alesha, drives him out of sight. He orders Bubnov to drive Alyosha, if he appears. Bubnov refuses, but Vasilisa badly reminds us that if he lives out of mercy, then let him obey the masters.
Being interested in Luka, Vasilisa calls him a crook, since he does not have documents. The mistress looks for Ashes and, not finding it, breaks off on Bubnov for a dirt: “That mote was not!” She angrily screams at Nastia to take it away in the basement. Learning that her sister was here, Vasilisa is even more angry, she screams at the housekeepers. Bubnov is surprised how much this woman has anger. Nastya replies that with such a man as Kostylev, everyone will be brutal. Bubnov explains: the “mistress” came to the lover, did not find him on the spot, that’s why he is angry. Luke agrees to remove the basement. Bubnov learned from Nastia the reason for Vasilisa’s malice: Alyosha blurted out that Vasilisa had fed up with Asp, so she drove the guy. Nastya sighs, that is unnecessary here. Bubnov answers that she is everywhere extra… and all people on earth are superfluous…
Medvedev enters and is interested in Luka, why does not he know? Luke replies that not all the land in his plot is included, left and only. Medvedev asks about Ash and Vasilisa, but Bubnov refuses to know anything. Returns Kvashnya. Complains that Medvedev is calling her to marry. Bubnov approves of this alliance. But Kvashnya explains: a woman is better at hooking than marrying.
Luke leads Anna. Kvashnya, pointing to the patient, said that her husband was brought to death.
There is a noise in the passage. Kostylev calls Abram Medvedev: to protect Natasha, who is beaten by her sister. Luke asks Anna what the sisters did not share. She replies that they are both full, healthy. Anna tells Luka that he is kind and gentle. He explains: “crumble, because it’s soft.”
The second action
The same situation. Evening. On the benches Satin, Baron, Krivoy Zob and Tatar are playing cards, Tick and Actor are watching the game. Bubnov plays drafts with Medvedev. Luke sits beside Anna’s bed. The scene is poorly lit by two lamps. One burns at the gamblers, another – near Bubnov.
Tatar and Krivoy Zob sing, Bubnov also sings. Anna tells Luka about her difficult life, in which she remembers nothing but beatings. Luke comforts her. The Tatar yells at Satin, who is cheating in a card game. Anna recalled how she had been starving all her life, was afraid to devour the family, to eat an extra piece; Is it even in the next world torment? In the basement you can hear the screams of gamblers, Bubnov, and then he sings a song:
As you like, watch…
I will not run away so…
I want to free-eh!
I can not break the chain…
Crooked Zob singing along. The Tatar yells that the Baron hides the card in his sleeve, cheats. Satin reassures Tatar, saying that they know: they are crooks, why did he agree to play with them? The Baron reassures him that he lost the dime, and screams at the trash. Curve Zob explains to Tatar that if the doss-mongers begin to live honestly, they will starve to death in three days! Satin curses Baron: an educated man, and did not learn to plunder cards. Abram Ivanych lost to Bubnov. Satin calculates the winnings – fifty-three kopecks. The actor asks for three kopecks, and then he himself is surprised, why do they need him? Satin calls Luka in the tavern, but he refuses. The actor wants to read the poems, but he realizes with horror that he has forgotten everything, has drunk his memory. Luke reassures the actor that he is being treated for drunkenness, but he has forgotten which city the hospital is in. Luke convinces the actor that he will be cured, he will regain his strength, he will again live well. Anna calls Luke to talk to her. The tick is in front of the wife, then leaves. Luke feels sorry for the tick – he is ill, Anna says that she is not up to her husband. From it, she withered. Luke comforts Anna that she will die and she will feel better. “Death – it all calms… it is affectionate for us… You’ll die – you’ll rest!” Anna is afraid that suddenly, and in the next world, she is in for a meal. Luke says that the Lord will call her and say that she lived hard, let now rest. Anna asks, what if she recovers? Luka is interested: for what, is the new flour? But Anna wants to live again, she even agrees to suffer, if then she is waiting for peace. Ash enters and screams. Medvedev tries to calm him down. Luka wants to be quiet: Anna dies. Ashes agrees with Luka: “You, grandfather, I’ll respect you, you, brother, well done. Fairy-tales say nice! Lies, nothing… little brother, nice in the world! “
Vaska asks Medvedev whether she beat Vasilisa strongly against Natasha? The policeman dissuades: “that’s family, not him, Ash, business.” Vaska assures that if he wants, Natasha will leave with him. Medvedev is outraged that the thief dares to make plans for his niece. He threatens to bring the Ashes to clean water. In the beginning Vaska in passion says: try. But then he threatens that if he is taken to the investigator, he will not remain silent. He will tell that Kostylev and Vasilisa pushed him to steal, they stole the stolen goods. Medvedev is sure that no one will believe a thief. But Ash confidently says that they will believe in the truth. Ashes and Medvedev threatened that he himself would be confused. The policeman leaves, so as not to run into trouble. Ash smugly notes: Medvedev ran to complain to Vasilisa. Bubnov advises Vaska to be careful. But Ash, Yaroslavl, bare hands can not take. “If the war – we will fight,” – threatens the thief.
Luke advises Peple to go to Siberia, Vaska jokes that he will wait when he is taken for a public account. Luke argues that such as Ash, in Siberia are needed: “There are such – it is necessary.” Ash answers that his way was predetermined: “My way is indicated to me!” The parent spent all his life in prisons and ordered the same thing for me… When I was little, at that time I was called a thief, a thief-son… ” Luka praises Siberia, calls it the “golden side”. Vaska wondered why Luke was lying. The old man replies: “And what you really need is painful… think about it, she really is, maybe, a shoe for you…” Ashes asks Luka if there is a God? The old man replies: “If you believe – there is, you do not believe – no… What you believe in, it is.” Bubnov goes to the tavern, and Luka, slamming the door, as if leaving, carefully climbs onto the stove. Vasilisa goes to Ash’s room and calls Vasily. He refuses; he was tired of everything, and so was she. Ashes looks at Vasilisa and admits that, despite her beauty, he never had a heart for her. Vasilisa is offended that Ash so suddenly fell out of love. The thief explains that not suddenly, she does not have a soul, like animals, she and her husband. Vasilisa confesses to him that he loved in him the hope that he would get her out of here. She offers her a sister to Ash, if he releases her from her husband: “Take this one off me.” Ashes grins: it’s great she thought of everything: her husband – in a coffin, a lover – in hard labor, and herself… Vasilisa asks him to help through his friends, if Ash himself does not want. The payment will be Natalia. Vasilisa is jealous of beating her sister, and then she cries for pity. Quietly entered Kostylev finds them and screams at his wife: “Beggar… a pig…”
Ashes drive Kostylev, but he is the master and decides where he should be. The ashes heavily shake Kostylev’s scruff of the neck, but Luka rattles on the stove, and Vaska releases the master. Ashes realized that Luke had heard everything, but he did not deny it. Especially he began to make noise, so that Ash did not strangle Kostylev. The old man advises Vaska to stay away from Vasilisa, take Natasha, and go with her away from here. Ashes can not decide how to be. Luka says that Ashes is still young, he will have time to “get a woman, let’s go from here alone until he is killed here.”
The old man notices that Anna died. Ash does not like the dead. Luke replies that you must love the living. They go to the tavern to inform Ticks about the death of his wife.
The actor remembered the poem of Paul Beranger, who in the morning wanted to tell Luka:
Gentlemen! If the truth is holy
The world can not find the way, –
Honor to the madman, who will bring to the
Mankind a golden dream!
If tomorrow the earth our way To
illuminate our sun forgot,
Tomorrow the whole world would light up The
thought of a madman of some…
Natasha, listening to the actor, laughs at him, and he asks where Luke went? As soon as the heat becomes, the Actor is going to go looking for a city in which to cure drunkenness. He admits that his scenic pseudonym Sverchkov-Zavolzhsky, but here nobody knows and does not want to know, it’s very insulting to lose the name. “Even dogs have nicknames.” Without a name, there is no person. “
Natasha sees Anna dead and talks about it to Akter and Bubnov. Bubnov notices: there will be nobody to cough at night. He warns Natasha: The ashes “will break her head,” Natasha will still die from someone. The newcomers look at Anna, and Natasha is surprised that no one regrets Anna. Luke explains that the living must be pitied. “We do not regret living… we ourselves can not regret ourselves… where is there!” Bubnov philosophizes – everyone will die. Everyone advises Ticks to report the death of his wife to the police. He grieves: he only has forty cents, why should Anna be buried? Curve Zob promises that he will collect in a doss house on a five-kopeck – a dime. Natasha is afraid to go through the dark porch and asks Luka to accompany her. The old man advises her to be afraid of the living.
The actor shouted to Luka that he should name the city where he was treated for drunkenness. Satin is convinced that everything is a mirage. There is no such city. The Tatar stops them not to shout at the dead. But Satin says that the dead do not care. Luke appears in the doorway.
act Cluttered with various trash wasteland. In the depth of the wall of refractory bricks, to the right a log wall and all overgrown with weeds. To the left is the wall of Kostylev’s doss house. In the narrow passage between the walls lie boards and timber. Evening. On the boards sat Natasha and Nastya. On the driftwood, Luke and the Baron, Ticks and Baron are next to each other.
Nastya talks about her former supposedly dating with a student enamored of her, ready to shoot herself because of her love for her. Bubnov laughs at Nastya’s fantasies, but the Baron asks not to interfere with lying further.
Nastya continues to fantasize that a student’s parents do not consent to their marriage, he can not live without her. She supposedly gently bids farewell to Raul. Everyone laughs – last time the lover was called Gaston. Nastya is indignant that they do not believe her. She claims: she had true love. Luke comforts Nastya: “Tell me, girl, nothing!” Natasha reassures Nastya that all of envy behaves this way. Nastya continues to fantasize what tender words she spoke to her lover, persuading him not to deprive himself of life, not to upset his beloved parents / Baron laughs – this is the story from the book “Fateful Love.” Luke also comforts Nastya, she believes her. The Baron laughs at Nastya’s stupidity, though, noting her kindness. Bubnov is surprised: why people like to love lies. Natasha sure: it is more pleasant than truth. Here she dreams, that tomorrow the stranger will come special and happen very special. And then he understands that there is nothing to wait for. The Baron picks up her phrase that there is nothing to wait for, and he does not expect anything. Everything already… was! Natasha says that sometimes she imagines herself dead and becomes eerie. The Baron feels sorry for Natasha, who is tormented by her sister. She asks: who is easier?
Suddenly, the tick screams that it’s not all bad for everyone. If it were for everyone, it’s not so insulting. Bubnov is surprised by the outcry of Mite. The Baron goes to put up with Nastya, otherwise she will not give him a drink.
Bubnov is dissatisfied with the fact that people lie. Okay, Nastya is used to “make up her face to color up… a blush on the soul leads.” But why does Luke lie without any benefit for himself? Luke pronounces the Baron so that he does not take care of Nastya’s soul. Let her cry if she wants to. The Baron agrees. Natasha asks Luke why he is kind. The old man is sure that someone should be kind. “A man’s time to regret… it’s good…” He tells the story of how, being a watchman, he pitied the thieves who climbed to the cottage guarded by Luka. Then these thieves turned out to be good muzhiks. Luke concludes: “If I do not regret them, they might have killed me… or else… And then – the court and prison, and Siberia… what’s the use?” Prison does not teach good, and Siberia does not teach teach… and a man – will teach… yes! A person – can teach good… it’s very simple! “
Bubnov himself can not lie and always speaks the truth. The tick jumps up as if stung and screams, where Bubnov sees the truth? “There is no work – that’s the truth!” The tick hates everyone. Luke and Natasha regret the Tick, resembling a madman. Ashes asks about Mite and adds that he does not like him – he is sickly angry and proud. What is proud of? Horses are the most hardworking, so are they above a human?
Luke, continuing the conversation started by Bubnov about the truth, tells such a story. There lived in Siberia a man who believes in “righteous land”, which is inhabited by special good people. This man endured all the wrongs and injustices in the hope that one day he would go there, it was his favorite dream. And when a scientist came and proved that there is no such land, this man struck a scientist, cursed him with a scoundrel, and struck himself. Luka says that he will soon leave the doss house in the “Khokhl”, look at the faith there.
Ash asks Natasha to leave with him, she refuses, but Ashes promises to quit stealing, he is literate – will work. He offers to go to Siberia, assures: it is necessary to live differently than they live, it is better “to respect yourself you could.”
He was called a thief from childhood, so he became a thief. “Call me another way, Natasha,” Vaska asks. But Natasha does not trust anyone, she is waiting for something better, she already presses her heart, but Natasha does not like Vaska. Sometimes he likes her, and sometimes he looks sick at him. Ash persuades Natasha that in time she will love him, as he does her. Natasha asks with a mockery, how does it make it possible for Ashes to love two at the same time: her and Vasilisa? Ash answers that it is drowning, as in a quagmire, for what it will grasp, all rotten. He could have loved Vasilisa if she had not been so greedy for money. But she does not need love, but money, will, debauchery. Ashes confess that Natasha is another matter.
Luka persuades Natasha to leave with Vaska, only to remind him more often that he is good. And here, with whom she lives? Her relatives are worse than wolves. And Ashes is a tough guy. Natasha does not believe anyone. Ashes are sure that she has one road… but he will not let her in there, he’ll kill himself better. Natasha is surprised that Ashes is not yet a husband, and is already going to kill her. Vaska embraces Natasha, and she threatens that if Vaska touches her with her finger, she will not tolerate it, she will get carried away. Ashes fear that his hands will wither if he offends Natasha.
Vasilisa, who was standing at the window, heard everything and said: “Here you are, let’s have a council! Yes love! ..” Natasha is frightened, and Ashes is sure that no one now dares to offend Natasha. Vasilisa argues that Vasily does not know how to offend or love. He is more in words than de facto. Luke is surprised at the virulence of the “mistress” language.
Kostylev drives Natalya to set up the samovar and set it on the table. Ashes intercedes, but Natasha stops him, so that he does not command it, “early yet!”.
Ashes tell Kostylev that they mocked Natasha and that’s enough. “Now she’s mine!” The Kostylevs laugh: he has not yet bought Natasha. Vaska threatens not to be very happy, as if he did not have to cry. Luke drives the Ashes, whom Vasilisa incites, wants to provoke. Ash threatens Vasilisa, and she tells him that it will not come to pass as conceived by Ashes.
Kostylev is wondering if it’s true that Luke decided to leave. He replies that he will go where his eyes look. Kostylev says it’s not good to wander. But Luke calls himself a wanderer. Kostylev scolded Luka for the lack of a passport. Luke says that “there are people, but there are people.” Kostylev does not understand Luka and is angry. And he answers that Kostylev will never be a man, even if to him “the Lord God himself commands.” Kostylev drives Luka, Vasilisa joins her husband: Luke’s tongue is long, let him go. Luka promises to go into the night. Bubnov confirms that it is always better to leave in good time, telling his story of how he escaped hard labor in time. His wife contacted the master-furrier, but so adroitly that, one day, they will poison Bubnov, so that he does not interfere.
Bubnov beat his wife, and the master – his. Bubnov even thought about how to “bite” his wife, but he suddenly remembered and left. The workshop was written on his wife, so he was a goal as a falcon. This is facilitated by the fact that Bubnov is a drunken drunkard and lazy very much, as he himself admits to Luke.
Appear Satin and Actor. Satin demands that Luka confess to lying to the actor. The actor did not drink vodka today, but worked – the street chalk. He shows the money he has earned – two five-a-talents. Satin offers to give him money, but the actor says that he earns his way.
Satin complains that he blew into the cards “all shreds.” There’s a “cleverer than me!” Luke calls Satin a cheerful person. Satin recalls that as a young man he was funny, loved people to laugh, to represent on stage. Luka wondered how Satin had reached the present life? Satin is unpleasant to take care of the soul. Luka wants to understand how such a clever man and suddenly fell to the very bottom. Satin responds that he spent four years and seven months in prison, and after the prison, there is nowhere to go. Luka wondered why Satin was in jail? He answers that for the scoundrel, whom he killed in passion and irritation. In prison and in cards learned to play.
“Because of whom did he kill?” Luke asks. Satin replies that because of her own sister, however, he does not want to say anything more, and yes, my sister died nine years ago, she was glorious.
Satin asks the returned Mite why he is so gloomy. The locksmith does not know what to do, there is no tool – all the funeral was “eaten”. Satin advises not to do anything – just to live. But Ticks is ashamed for such a life. Satine objects, because people are not ashamed that they have doomed Ticks to such a beastly existence.
Natasha’s cry is heard. She is hit again by her sister. Luke advises to call Vaska Ashes, and the Actor runs after him.
In the fight involved Krivoi Zob, Tatar, Medvedev. Satin tries to push Vasilisa away from Natasha. Appears Vaska Ashes. He pushes everyone away, runs after Kostylev. Vaska sees that Natasha’s feet are boiled with boiling water, she almost in unconscious condition tells Vasily: “Take me, bury me.” Vasilisa appears and shouts that Kostylev was killed. Vasily does not understand anything, he wants to take Natasha to the hospital, and then pay off with her offenders. (On the stage, the light goes out, and some surprised voices and phrases are heard.) Then Vasilisa shouts in a triumphant voice that her husband Vaska Ashes was killed. Calling the police. She says she saw everything herself. Ashes approaches Vasilisa, looks at the corpse of Kostylev and asks, and whether to kill her, Vasilisa? Medvedev is calling the police. Satin reassures Ashes: murder in a fight is not a very serious crime. He, Satin, also beat the old man and is ready to make a witness. Ashes confesses: Vasilisa encouraged him to kill her husband. Natasha suddenly shouts that Ash and her sister are at the same time. Vasilisa was hampered by her husband and sister, so they killed her husband and scalded her, overturning the samovar. The ashes are stunned by Natasha’s accusation. He wants to refute this terrible accusation. But she does not listen and curses her abusers. Satin is also surprised and tells Peple that this family “will drown him.”
Natasha almost deliriously screams that her sister taught, and Vaska Ashes killed Kostylev, and himself asks to be put in jail.
The action is the fourth
setting of the first action, but there is no room for Ashes. A tick is sitting at the table and repairing the accordion. At the other end of the table are Satin, Baron, Nastya. They drink vodka and beer. The Actor is fumbling on the stove. Night. Outside the wind.
The tick did not notice how Luke disappeared in the turmoil. The Baron adds: “… like smoke from the face of fire.” Satin says in the words of prayer: “Such sinners disappear on behalf of the righteous.” Nastya intercedes for Luka, calling all present rust. Satin laughs: Luke for many was like a croak for toothless, and the Baron adds: “As a plaster for abscesses.” The tick also stands up for Luka, calling him compassionate. The Tatar is convinced that the Koran should be a law for people. The tick agrees – we must live according to the laws of God. Nastya wants to get out of here. Satin advises her to take with him the actor, they are on the way.
Satin and the Baron list the muses of art, can not recall the patroness of the theater. The actor tells them – this Melpomene, calls them ignoramuses. Nastya shouts and waves. Satin advises the Baron not to interfere with the neighbors to do what they want: let them scream, they go no one knows where. The Baron calls Luka a charlatan. Nastya indignantly calls him the charlatan himself.
The tick remarks that Luke “did not like the truth, rebelled against her.” Satin screams that “man is the truth!”. The old man was lying because of compassion for others. Satin says that he read: there is a truth of consolation, reconciling. But this lie is needed by those who are weak in soul, who is shielded by it as a shield. Who is master, not afraid of life, that lie is not needed. “Lies are the religion of slaves and masters, the truth is the God of the free man.”
The Baron recalls that his family, who had come from France, was rich and well-to-do under Catherine. Nastya interrupts: the Baron invented everything. He’s angry. Satin calms him down, “… forget about grandfather’s carriages… in the carriage of the past – you will not go anywhere…”. Satin asks Nastya about Natasha. She says that Natasha left the hospital for a long time and disappeared. The dwellers speculate who will “sit down” someone more tightly, Vaska Aspil Vasilisa or she Vaska. They come to the conclusion that Vasily
A is cunning and will “turn around”, and Vaska will go to hard labor in Siberia. The Baron again quarrels with Nastya, explaining to her that he does not like him, Baron. Nastya laughs in response – the Baron lives on her handouts, “like a worm – an apple.”
Seeing that the Tatar has gone to pray, Satin says: “Man is free… he pays for everything himself, and therefore he is free! .. Man is the truth.” Satin asserts that all people are equal. “There is only a man, everything else is the work of his hands and his brain.” Man! It’s great! It sounds… proud! ” Then he adds that one should be respected and not humiliated by pity. He tells of himself that he is a “convict, a murderer, a sharper,” when he walks along the street, people are shunned by him, called a charlatan, they say that we have to work. And for what to work? To be full? Satin is convinced: “Man is above satiety!” The Baron is admired by Satin, he himself is afraid. Since then, as he began to realize himself, he has “a fog in his head”. He had such an impression of life that he only changed clothes: he wore a uniform, or a coat, then a poor little clothes. When he squandered the state money, he put on his convict robes. All this is pretty stupid. The Baron asks himself: “Ah… for some reason I was born… ah?” Satin replies Luke’s words: “Man is born for the better.”
The actor slides off the stove, asks Tatar to pray for him, but the Tatar responds: “Pray yourself.” The actor, after drinking vodka, almost runs to the canopy. Satin is surprised by the behavior of the actor. In the doss house includes drunk Bubnov and Medvedev. They are surprised at the lack of people, are interested in where everyone went. Bubnov says that he is kind, if he was rich, he would keep a free inn for the poor. Here’s Satin would have. But Satin wants now to get something from Bubnov, and he gives away the only ruble that he had left, and a trifle for five and two kopecks. Satin claims that this money will be more valuable for him.
Alyosha enters. When he learned that Tie had mended the accordion, he took it and sang it.
Kvashnya comes and complains that it’s cold outside. She sees that Medvedev drank, and scolds him. Satin intercedes. And Kvashnya explains that she took Medvedev into his roommates, so that he would protect her, and he took it into his head. It’s no good. Satin laughs that Kvashnya chose herself a bad helper. She agrees, but Satin will not go to her roommates, and if she did, then a week later she would lose it to the cards. He agrees: “It’s true, mistress! I’ll lose…”
Doss-mongers are going to have fun at night. For now they sing a song: “The sun rises and sets, And in my prison it’s dark!”
The Baron rushes in and screams that the actor was struck. Satin quietly says: “Eh… spoiled the song… fool!”