“Slav,” with a haircut in a circle, a “European”, not at all cropped and standing outside the parties of a young man with a haircut, like the author, discuss why there are no good actresses in Russia. The action takes place in the theater. Everyone agrees with the statement that there are no good actresses, but everyone has their own reasons. Slavyanin believes that the whole thing is in the modesty of Russian life and patriarchal society. The European is sure that the Russians are simply emotionally undeveloped, and the cropped comb does not have any opinions on this score. Each person expressed his point of view, they are joined by a man of art and refutes their axiom: he saw a great actress, Russian, who performed not in Moscow or St. Petersburg, but in a small province. Then everything is retold from his lips. The prototype of the “man of art” is MS Shchepkin. The story is dedicated to him.
Being young, he once came to the city of N. He intended to enter the theater, which belonged to the rich prince Skalinsky. Recalling the first performance he saw at the Skalinsky Theater, the artist almost agrees with the “European:” There was something tense, unnatural in how courtyard people represented lords and princesses. “In the second play, the same actress appears on stage. the melodrama of the “Sorceress-thief,” in which she plays the servant Aneta. Its innocent heroine is accused of stealing, and in her
The actor resents the fact that the audience does not cause this wonderful actress to repeat, but release vulgar comments. But he did not waste time on them and hurried backstage to express his admiration to her. But he is not admitted to it, saying that the meeting is possible only with the permission of the prince. The next morning the narrator goes to look for the prince, and in his control stumbles upon a man who on the third day played the lord. This actor was sitting in a straitjacket. The prince, seeing the storyteller-actor, wanted to get him into his troupe, and therefore he chatted with him, explaining that the strictness with regard to the visits of fans to the artists derives from the excessive arrogance of the latter, who are accustomed to playing on the stage of the nobles.
“Aneta”, having met the actor, refers to him as a native person, an art comrade and confesses to him. The narrator sees her as “a statue of graceful suffering,” he is fascinated by her graceful death. Being a serf actress, the landowner, who was its master, saw in her unusual abilities. He gave them the opportunity to germinate and treated her as an equal. He died unexpectedly, without writing a holiday; and as a result it was sold off at a public auction. Its new owner was the prince, who almost immediately began to molest her. She dodged to the last. Finally, the moment came to find out the relationship, and the indignant king said to her: “You are my fortress maid, not an actress.” These words knocked down the unfortunate girl, and she slept with consumption.
The prince did not harass her roughly on the animal, but he methodically harassed her: he took the best roles, spread rumors about her, did not get suits on time, etc. Two months ago, she said, “Anet” was not allowed into the shops and scoffed, that, they say, she hurries to her lovers. “Well, Prince, here’s my hand, my word of honor, that in a year or so I will prove to you that the measures chosen by you are not enough!” This was Anet’s first and last novel. She’s almost nothing about
She did not tell me, but it could be assumed that there was no love in him, and only a trace, only despair. She became pregnant, but did not want the child to be born because she did not want him to share her fate as a serf. She prayed to God for an imminent death. In frustrated feelings, the narrator returns home, where he finds the prince’s invitation to join the troupe. The work seemed very profitable. He leaves the city without answering the letter. Later, he learns that his new friend died after giving birth. The listeners, being agitated, were silent; they expressed themselves as “a beautiful tombstone” by Anet. Silence is broken by the Slav, rising and asking why she did not marry in secret.