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Central University Library
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TLAYS OF TO-DAY AND TO-MORROW

THE LOWE

"DEPTHS

Plays of To-day and To-morrow

DON.
"

By RUDOLF BESIER.
'

is a man who can see and think for himself, and constructs as setting for the result of that activity a form of his own. The construction of Don is as daring as it is original." Mr. Max Beerbohni in The Saturday Review. " and full of good things." Mr. It is a fresh and moving story . . A. B. Walkley in The Times. "'Don' is a genuine modern comedy, rich in observation and courage, and will add to the author's reputation as a sincere dramatist." Mr. E. F. Spence in The Westminster Gazette.

Mr. Besier

'

.

THE EARTH.
"A
attack

By JAMES
and a

B. PAGAN.
vital

magnificent play

at

one and the same time a

and

fearless

on

political

fraud,

brilliantly-written

strong

human

The Daily Chronicle. "'The Earth' must conquer every one by its buoyant irony, its pungent delineations, and not least by its rich stores of simple and wholesome moral feeling." The Pall Mall Gazette.
drama."

LADY PATRICIA.
"

By RUDOLF
'

BESIER.
;

One

us in

most delightful productions which the stage has shown recent years. Mr. Besier' s work would read deliciously it is
of the
it is
'

literary,

witty,

it is

remarkable.

' .
.

.

Lady

Patricia

'

is

much more

than merely a success of laughter. It is also a success of literature. It is difficult, if not impossible, to convey the delicate feeling for words, the quaint, satirical quizzing of Mr. Besier of the firecieuse, the dabblers in sentiment, the poseurs who form the people of his play." The Standatd.

THE MASTER OF MRS. CHILVERS.
By JEROME
play."
"
is

K. JEROME.

" It cannot be denied that Mr. Jerome has written an excellent acting

Glasgow Herald. There is no caricature of the suffragist, and every type in the play both carefully and skilfully drawn." Aberdeen Free Press.

THE WATERS OF BITTERNESS Three and THE CLOD(A Play HOPPER (An Incredible Comedy).
in

Acts)

By

S.

M. Fox.

"I am inclined to think that we shall hear a great deal of Mr. Fox supposing that Mr. Fox writes other plays as clever as 'The Waters of Bitterness,' and supposing that managers think the public clever enough to appreciate them. Anyhow his is a strong and bold debut." Mr. Max Beerbohm in The Saturday Review.

LONDON

:

T.

NEW YORK:

FISHER UNWIN DUFFIELD & CO.

MAXIM GORKY.

FISHED ADELPHI TERRACE .THE LOWER "DEPTHS A TLAT IN FOU^ ACTS BY 3MAXIM gORKI TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL RUSSIAN BY LAURENCE IRVING LONDON: r.

(All tighls reserved.) .

.

F. P. H. BROOKE COLLINGS Myedvyedyeff Kostoloff ALBAN ATTWOOD J. H.The Cast of " The Lower Depths. C." as it at the Kingsway Theatre. was produced December 1911 : Luka Vassilisa Vaska Pepel Natasha The Actor Anna Satine Nastya The Baron Kvashnya Boobnoff Kleeshtsh HOLMAN CLARKE FRANCES WETHERALL O. HEGGIE JEAN BLOOMFIELD LEWIS WILLOUGHBY HAIDEE WRIGHT HERBERT BUNSTON LYDIA YAVORSKA VINCENT CLIVE CLARE GREET E. BREWER The Tartar Alyoshka IVAN BERLYN When . on 2.. London. RICHARD NEVILLE SIDNEY TEVERSHEM .

.

THE FIRST ACT .

.

A wall left is the kitchen door. and an anvil. cave -like cellar. a battered tin In the samovar. two seats. Against the wait. where KVASHNYA. between the stove and the door. is a large bed with dirty print curtains. also another lower block of wood. hammer. The light comes from a square window high The right corner is up in the right wall. The ceiling is with the plaster peeling off. and NASTYA live. strung on wire rings. and NASTYA 11 . . Sleep ingplanks around the walls. middle of the shelter are a large table. To the front by the left wall is a block of wood with a vice. in the stone arched. KVASHNYA is behind the table attending to the samovar.THE FIRST ACT SCENE. partitioned off with thin boards. are two large bundles of miscellaneous keys. In left corner is a large Russian stove . the BARON is chewing some black bread. and pincers. (On the lower block KLESSHTSH is seated At his feet trying keys into old locks. the BARON. it forms PEPEL'S room Close to the door of this room are BOOBNOFF'S sleeping -planks. a stool. all dirty and of plain wood. grimy.

) THE BARON. him are a couple of vizors. some pieces SATINE has only just of buckram. ANNA lies coughing. And after I KVASHNYA.12 is THE LOWER DEPTHS stool. says I've I. that I wouldn't ! KLESSHTSH You lie ! . tried no. What for. a rag. Scattered about on the table. says I . No. (To SATINE. . . out of sight. off to sleep on his planks. he grunts his sleep. tosses about on the stove and coughs. you stow and it's it.) gone in (It is an early spring morning. reading a tattered book behind the curtains. it. mistress says I . BOOBNOFF is seated on his planks with an old hat shape between his knees. . dearie. my own 1 what for should I go and give up my saddle myself with a husband no and passport let alone one of them I wouldn't marry no man American Princes. . The ACTOR. just you see . leaning her elbow on the In the bed. no more marriages for me 1 BOOBNOFF.) Stop that grunting I KVASHNYA. me a free woman. considering how he shall deal with a pair of unstitched old trousers.

) (He laughs. . hand. (Extending . (Reading the title of the book he has snatched " The Fatal Love away from NASTYA. give it stop fooling (The BARON flourishes the in the air. You lie You'll marry Abramka. . THE BARON. KLESSHTSH. What -at ? KLESSHTSH. .. 1 13 . . . NASTYA. . . Quite the to fine lady.) KVASHNYA.) Nastya.) ".) me I lie 1 You red goat. you Just don't you dare to give me telling none of them coarse words. But you'll be married Abramka to. NASTYA.. . THE BARON. . .. . and you know you're just dying .) 1 Give now book . Give it here. . . (To KLESSHTSH. . .THE LOWER DEPTHS KVASHNYA.. you (Striking the book on little fool ! NASTYA'S head. .

her I Morning . you can't stand the truth ! THE BARON. I KVASHNYA. . Might let me die in BOOBNOFF. peace. you poor soul. . . where are you? ANNA. Noise ain't no 'indrance to dying. don't. Moaning moaning . . at last head through the curtains. to 'Ow yer ever 'ave ? live with such a beast ANNA. you . . ha. Ah. . Every blessed day. hag ! Tain't no affair of KVASHNYA. Don't .) managed.} For Heaven's sake don't shout stop quarrelling. ANNA.14 THE LOWER DEPTHS I just see myself Aren't you clever done your wife nearly to death. . (Approaching ANNA. . it. . Nasty a. They're started. . (Putting . . you as 'as KLESSHTSH. Stop yours. KLESSHTSH. KVASHNYA.

THE BARON. in . . thanks. (Goes into kitchen.THE LOWER DEPTHS KVASHNYA. ! . Lord.. 1 . I let you alone. (THE BARON goes out whistling. . . (Growls. Why should I eat? KVASHNYA. it.) ANNA. Just a second ! (To ANNA. .) Lord. . Well.) 'Ud yer like some of my 'ot pies? ANNA. yer gobble it up. KVASHNYA. . . (Softly . then when you feel like a cup Come on. . well I 15 You're such a patient thing 1 .) Must eat. . .. .) Do go. yer NASTYA. . (Coughing. . . Baron. Er you dirty beast (To KLESSHTSH. . . no . nudging NASTYA'S elbow. some I'll leave you 'Ot ones soothing. . Kvashnya ! Time for market. No.) silly 1 Chuck it . . .) after KVASHNYA. . Ain't the chest no easier? THE BARON.

SATINE. . . One of (Raising his head from the stove. . Does SATINE. . . a man can't die twice over.) was that pummelled me yesterday ? SATINE. . The blackguards.) these days you'll get such a real pummelling a pummelling to death. THE ACTOR. Was SATINE. Why rot? SATINE. . Leave though ? it matter much 'oo it was ? it at that. then. that's 'ow it was.16 THE LOWER DEPTHS Can't think who (Sitting up on his planks. Well. Because . But what was it for. THE ACTOR. . BOOBNOFF. yer play in' cards ? Played. it BOOBNOFF. SATINE. Don't talk rot. BOOBNOFF.

. THE BARON. For . . I ! .) ! . . That's none of your business. . Vassilisa can go to the devil. ! It's the Baron's (BARON coming out from the kitchen. . Let Nastya do it. Baron day to sweep. and I'm not . . Hi. .) THE BARON. .. your turn to sweep on to doing other people's jobs. .. Wait yours .) can't 17 What do you mean? How he? KLESSHTSH. I'm off to THE ACTOR. go to blazes fatal love Buck up you there. I've no time for sweeping. till Vassilisa comes she'll soon show yer THE ACTOR. Come down off that stove. . . (Takes book from NASTYA. . . (After a silence. all I It's care . . . .THE LOWER DEPTHS THE ACTOR. . .. What are yer shamming there ? THE ACTOR. .. market with Kvashnya. KLESSHTSH. you may be going to jail. and sweep up. Oh.

I don't see .} NASTYA. (Giving going to sweep up Nastya book.. A bit heavy to-day.. ! I THE ACTOR. . it won't kill yer .. . of . .) Now come without you. (Going into I kitchen.) Just you be sure and sweep up (Goes off pushing the BARON before her. (To BARON through They can do it on ! you was asked kitchen door. . good being born a Baron. . it's always me. . Fat think ! lot . (To ACTOR. puppy ! What now? Give it here And you call yerself a gentleman.. . What next KVASHNYA. . Actor you do it .) Likely indeed. back the for ! You . . (BARON comes out earthen pots strung covered with rags. . THE BARON.) me understood ? ! You're NASTYA.. I don't KVASHNYA.. Yes it.) of kitchen carrying on a pole some and THE BARON. . .18 THE LOWER DEPTHS (Getting up. . . SATINE.) I . .

KLESSHTSH. . . all over . . . won't you? ANNA. ...) . Left some pies for me Kvashnya did you have them. organon. . .. Why . Frightened? get all Don't be frightened . Well.THE LOWER DEPTHS THE ACTOR. . might right. KLESSHTSH . ANNA. you .) Well. . . . Organism . . My poisoned with alcohol. .. KLESSHTSH. Andree Mitritch. I eat? You've to you need . (With pride. .. ANNA.. . should it. meditating on planks.) dust. . . (Approaching ANNA. . eat ! In a bad way . Go and soon. no. what? ANNA.) organism (Seated SATINE. work No. (Coming down from 19 me to inhale is the It's harmful for stove.

-' is thoroughly poisoned with alcohol : ".Your organism. .) Yesterday in the hospital. THE ACTOR. KLESSHTSH. rubbish is organism must be harmful for 1 the me to sweep the floor to inhale the dust. Macrobistik . . Not organon or-ga-nism. . ha I THE ACTOR. . . . SATINE. are you muttering? Words . . SATINE.} THE ACTOR.) If it and . .. (Waving say this.. Come. poisoned why. . as if he had suddenly woken up. his hand at him.20 THE LOWER DEPTHS . . . . . . . . (Smiling.) Organon. here's another for you trans - cendentalistic. . THE ACTOR." he said. . the doctor he said to me . . SATINE. come you never know round . . What SATINE. (Loud. may pull such things happen ! (Goes into kitchen. seriously. Sicambri. then I Oh.

. all of our words. I'm tired. .) whistle. (Strikes his Ophelia ! O think of me in thy prayers (In the distance is heard a cries. THE ACTOR. .. . Words. . .. I (KLESSHTSH coming from KLESSHTSH. Just so at ? of all our human I'm sick of 'em. Let's see the kitchen. . forgotten. and scrapes away with a . mate. In the play of Hamlet " words It's a words.. . : good piece . .. I " " " they say .) to your business .} how you own I play with that broom.. the played grave-digger.. KLESSHTSH down work. . What are you coming SATINE. . sits dull murmur.. .THE LOWER DEPTHS BOOBNOFF. BOOBNOFF. . Keep chest. . . THE ACTOR. . and a police to his file. What does SATINE . 21 it mean ? Don't know . at least a thousand times. speech I've heard 'em every single one . ..

Did you work the telegraph? SATINE. . 'ands all yaller with 'ands dyed 'em that " : ! Well. see? BOOBNOFF. SATINE. . But look . . nothing else. SATINE. . That's just all about it. . . read a heap of books. . . What are you talking about? ." dirt . . .. what of it ? BOOBNOFF. and quantities of curious words. I was in a telegraph office . When I was a chap . . little love difficult. . . .. . shall just die with these 'ere yaller at 'em now. I've received an education . ... There are some very good books . You don't done yer a place of ! let Now I my own one forget it Much good it'd I was a fur -dyer had ! .. rare words. . . the dye all : dyed 'em this and yaller right up to the elbows " I shall never get 'em thought. I ." I clean in this world 'ands.. . I . .22 THE LOWER DEPTHS I SATINE. there's only on 'em . Well. BOOBNOFF. did. . . .

SATINE.. Education's bosh. lend us five kopyeks? BOOBNOFF. . to play . a police . just .. . I knew an actor . All I have's two.. Just off 23 so . . Ah comes ay. five kopyeks KLESSHTSH. but he played heroes in a way that why. .. had to spell out his parts.THE LOWER DEPTHS BOOBNOFF. I say . talent. . .) the great thing is talent.. BoobnofT. . I'll have belief in ! you .. THE ACTOR. ay. I'll believe you a hero. Go to hell ! The whole pack of you ! . Give me . the theatre would just rock . inspector. it all just comparing. .. . it It yer whatever you does to the outside all shows comes . my bones are aching ! THE ACTOR. . five kopyeks and Klesshtsh. . (Seated nursing his knee. . heroes belief you in must have in And talent's .. SATINE. yourself. SATINE. with the delight of the audiences. off. your own powers. a crocodile.

My head's all buzzing.." door open. why must people be thumping each other's heads? BOOBNOFF. Nice for you up there . I've to be on the floor .} Makes no odds who it's for. if I was in your place I'd say " I'm cold enough without no Open it. it was for yer wife. KLESSHTSH. . I KLESSHTSH What can BOOBNOFF. Open .} . . (Sulkily. (Gets up. I'm choking .. You ! haven't got a stiver in the world I know yer ANNA. Eh .. . .. . BOOBNOFF. Andree Mitritch can't breathe ! .. SATINE.. Thanks. . . . . It wasn't for me . Not only each other's other's heads. . I do? the passage door ! KLESSHTSH. ..24 THE LOWER DEPTHS What are you cursing at? SATINE.. but all over each Coin' to buy 'ole bodies.

25 . . . Gallant knight and lady fair. into the passage ? Up her to rise.) Here's a very pretty pair. (He hums an anthem . the choking . way for the KOSTOLOFF. . Pass out. . . . .) THE ACTOR. . . . Get invalids on ! one side there. Ay ay I'm ill myself poisoned with alcohol. THE ACTOR. eh? ANNA. ANNA. . . . then. . . with hands folded behind his head. Having a stroll? in doorway. . . THE ACTOR.} (ANNA coughs: SATINE his lies motionless. . .THE LOWER DEPTHS some thread . . . pass out. pulls a kind (He helps shawl her round of shoulders. like to Would you go out you get.) it's a job. they're late in showin' up to- day our losses ! (Goes out. and supports her towards the passage. approaching Feeling bad.) (After a melancholy look round. (KOSTOLOFF KOSTOLOFF.

glances round suspiciously. and strangle me.. . .) and then month. KLESSHTSH. Er (Pause.. low.26 THE LOWER DEPTHS tune.) is ! How you squeak KLESSHTSH. . . You'd put a rope round my neck. You're near the grave. and you think of nothing but half -roubles. . and inclines his head to the L. . . The bed rouble a your Five roubles' where you sit . have to stick you on half a rouble. KOSTOLOFF.) was something* I wanted to ask you. (Carefully It's . hum.) and (KLESSHTSH his keys jangling with his scraping away file. 1 . . Ain't seen her. There (Quick and KLESSHTSH. . yes I shall worth of room as Heaven's above us. approaching the door of PEPEL'S lot of room that you take up for a room. .) Wife not been here ? .) (Exeunt ACTOR and ANNA. What d'you say? KOSTOLOFF.. I say you squeak. as if he were listening for something in PEPEL'S room. ..

. (With you. you are a wicked man Your wife is perishing through your wickedness . When? . . . there's a noise for (The ACTOR entering. . nor esteems you your work is squeaky. verily. sins. . are good They paid back to you. and wrapped her up. .) THE ACTOR. and yours too.THE LOWER DEPTHS KOSTOLOFF. . KOSTOLOFF. . There Here's what I call a real good fellow. be shall all deeds. start. dis. I've sat her down in the passage. . ! . . . .) Lord. Your sins you don't think about no. KLESSHTSH.. THE ACTOR. . a . no one loves you.) KOSTOLOFF. 27 Why strangle you ? What were the use of that ? Live in the Lord. . What do you come here for baiting me ? (SATINE gives a loud growl. live and prosper. But I shall have to stick you on half a rouble 'ave to that it may buy oil for the sacred lamp burn before the Holy Ikons in atonement of my And my sins will be forgiven me. . . .. turbing to everybody. . Andruishka. Oh.

they shall up. all be reckoned . Suppose you were reward me for my goodness down here. to me. my dear boy. who am an old man. Doing me good for its own sake. out half my debt.. But your debt to me that is . KOSTOLOFF. . In the other world. Old man you old rogue gets 1 .. . He he You are always joking. .) up and goes into the KOSTOLOFF. your debt to me.28 THE LOWER DEPTHS there KOSTOLOFF. . to THE ACTOR. always poking fun. . . The squeaker he's hooked it. How Wipe can I do that ? THE ACTOR. . .. Is the goodness of the heart to be paid for in money? Goodness is above all other gifts. . He he I He has no love for me... . ! . .) (Goes into the kitchen. And accordingly you should pay me back.. (KLESSHTSH passage. my boy every one of our acts. KOSTOLOFF. . THE ACTOR. . all...

29 Who but the Devil does love you? KOSTOLOFF. and there she'll be. I see that you are my poor.THE LOWER DEPTHS SATINE.) KOSTOLOFF. . Yet I love all of Oh. What d'you want ? KOSTOLOFF. (Going Vaska to the door and at knocking at it. the kitchen door. .. . (Bawling back). (THE ACTOR makes a grimace. you've a bad tongue you. .) Eh? Who'll be there? What do you mean'? . downtrodden. .) He opens. anxiously. . . (Suddenly ! . (Low. and rapidly. And Vaska . .) SATINE. fallen brothers. useless. . .. (Without looking at KOSTOLOFF..) Who It's is it? KOSTOLOFF.) (THE ACTOR appears PEPEL. Open ! SATINE. me . Vaska ! PEPEL. is he at home? Look ! .. chewing something. me.

talking to myself. . (Opening door. KOSTOLOFF. I wanted to tell you. . . . PEPEL. the seven roubles for the watch Why. into . Where is the money ? KOSTOLOFF. What money? PEPEL.} I . Look here. 'Ave yer brought the money?. then? What's up? KOSTOLOFF. PEPEL. What did you say? SATINE. my . I was just ... the room. see I Don't get too funny on the Vassili (Bangs door. . . . you see . .30 THE LOWER DEPTHS What's that ? SATINE.} Now. (Looking . . KOSTOLOFF. Are you asking me ? KOSTOLOFF. now? . . you.} friend 1 I PEPEL.

. I receive (Sternly. ! PEPEL. .} did you disturb Now. . you three I had the seven fork it up What are for? You about yer blinking waking prowl 1 . Be off. . . .THE LOWER DEPTHS KOSTOLOFF. and bring the money KOSTOLOFF. nothing. what you're KOSTOLOFF.) ... .. watch. I don't want to. . . (Taking him by the shoulder. (Goes off. KOSTOLOFF. 31 What PEPEL. . Sh sh Don't I get angry. you see it was PEPEL. before witI sold a ticker for ten roubles nesses. . Vaska ? What a fellow you are ! You're a good 'un Yesterday.. . and now you don't know yourafter. . what you want ? me for ? What is it KOSTOLOFF. I people up self .) that you should think no stolen goods . . The watch. . PEPEL. I'll be off if you're going ... A dreadful surly lot 1 Who ever did ! . Stolen. . Vaska.

Risk my life for a tihing like that.) wife why don't you settle him. caught a pro-diNever saw such a one out of <a bream gious There I had him on my hook.32 THE LOWER DEPTHS It's THE ACTOR. . . What was he SATINE. woke me up. . . fishing.} . fool. . SATINE. That weren't no bream. you'd . Vaska? . . a farce they're playing. . I like farce. . SATINE. . . . . " " I'd just was just dreading the line'll snap and I out the was thinking to got gaff old devil . just fatten on me . . PEPEL. . You are good ! Why. . it was Vassilisa. and I dream. you'd drink away every The (Sits on the planks. I'm a soft-hearted farthing I had. myself. and become our boss. Good. now in a moment . PEPEL. .1 was having I'd was . . . Then why shu'd marry . Vassilisa . . a fine dream I 1 ! . . You're a sharp lad. . eh ? You don't know? He's after his (Smiling. . . SATINE. . PEPEL. after. . .

you . He hooked PEPEL. Vaska 1 to . 33 You can all go (Angrily. Let's have five kopyeks. . . . of the passage. . taken 'er with 'er into the THE ACTOR. THE ACTOR. 3 . You . Have freeze. . . to the devil I . . you and your . . .} Hum . his .THE LOWER DEPTHS THE ACTOR. . 'as . . . left Anna out there ? She'll . . The old man'll put her out. . down (Sitting SATINE. .} and you can take her with you (KLESSHTSH coming out KLESSHTSH. Vassilisa long ago. . . . Cold . . KLESSHTSH. . . Natasha kitchen. . Give us twenty kopyeks. . five kopyeks. . . . KLESSHTSH. work. Natasha'll see to her. THE ACTOR.} devilish cold.

and 'ow's yer wife? KLESSHTSH. then life's slavery (To Heaps . you'll be wantin' a SATINE. life's jolly then. . I swill (They go out... When it"s a toil. . rouble. come by their money easily. . and I don't say I won't work. She ain't for long. a duty. Yer know I look at you there's no good in all that scraping. ! Crooks are the best folk in KLESSHTSH. . .34 THE LOWER DEPTHS I'd best PEPEL.) PEPEL.) . There 1 .. Nebuchadnezzar like forty THE ACTOR. . {Yawning. . . hurry up . . . few precious You make your work so that it's pleasant to me..) PEPEL. .) Well. .. (Pause. they don't Their money's easily come by work. . I might When your work's a pleasure...) Here. there's Work? to part with it easily.. on. ! I the ACTOR. or . Gee-bral-tar-r the world. . SATINE. . (Grumbling. Come it down I'm going to thousand drunkards. Sardanapalus I Come on.

. but . . 1 live? People manage. . . it seems more like six years. muck I'm ashamed I'm a man.. I've you wait my wife. . 'Ow should PEPEL. . me . KLESSHTSH. (Indifferently. . I They 'aven't no honour nor no PEPEL. . ..THE LOWER DEPTHS KLESSHTSH. been here six months. . 35 What PEPEL. . No worse conscience. * KLESSHTSH. D'you think I shan't get clear of all this? I shall. Call them people ? Rabble. . just . if I leaves all my skin behind ! Them ? . PEPEL. conscience ! Can you get 'em on to your feet in- . . . . . a child. KLESSHTSH. There's no one here any worse that you say what yer like. she'll die. people working I've worked since I was even to look at 'em. . should I jdo ? Nothing. .) Much good of them honour.

then here. 'E 'as is 'e wantin' to borrow some? 'is own supply. on account. . What for ? PEPEL. Won't find no market was old cardboard I'd take some . That's just A it. yes it into us . . .} Ooh ! . . . Why.36 THE LOWER DEPTHS honour and conscience? Honour and conscience does mighty well for them as 'as the power and the strength. Oh. bitter. . . What 'ud rich I do with a conscience? I ain't no man. . of it 'e's sellin' off. PEPEL. BOOBNOFF. if it Now. PEPEL. . BOOBNOFF. BOOBNOFF. Boobnoff ! Got a conscience? BOOBNOFF. PEPEL. . (Re-entering. stead of boots . That's what I say : honour and conscience I they're for the rich. . . . no consciences. says we ain't Here's Klesshtsh lettin' . conscience ? BOOBNOFF.

. . at his waist. They've better 'eads than yours their drinking. LUKA with ft a pack over his shoulder. . 37 You are an ass. KLESSHTSH. 'isself . . . honest people ! PEPEL. ! . D'you think I'd talk to sich ! PEPEL.) Just you let Satine talk to you about consciences . 'E that can be drunk and wise 'E's a man a man should prize. BOOBNOFF. Natasha ! BOOBNOFF. . no man wants one in and that's a fact. for all . . (Twisting his moustache. .. . (NATASHA comes a staff. or try the Baron. Satine says. . but 'e says. every man wants a conscience in his neighbour. Alter her.THE LOWER DEPTHS PEPEL.) kettle and a teapot LUKA. in.. Andruishka (Didactically.) Ah. .) year. Give you good-day. PEPEL. . . . I was honest up to last spring . . (To LUKA.

.. there the old man's PEPEL. . . . girlie dear ! It's all just a place. . A us. new room-mate. . . .. LUKA. . it's ! 'em. where shall I squeeze myself? NATASHA. wonderful Natasha. little . NATASHA. . We've got yer wife in the kitchen you come and fetch 'er. all one to me Sharpers I respect There's no two sorts for me . the old man's warm. . Right. all just fleas . .} Go over there. And you might try and be kinder She hasn't much longer.. Where happy. LUKA. here's a NATASHA.. too. daddy. all little black fellows . Show me. A just Andree more interestin' than you. dearie. . Thanks. . I'm coming. . all about tha-t's the hopping way. . old boy that you've brought NATASHA. Oh. . . . (Pointing to kitchen door.. sight ! . .38 THE LOWER DEPTHS See. KLESSHTSH. . . .. to 'er. .

. (By the passage door. . PEPEL. . to do. . gladly. about your wife. I'm ready to die. (Whistling. . is . . . . Andru. for plunge without a sound. I'll die I should fall by a pure Take a NATASHA as likes . sticky. . Um . aren't you? BOOBNOFF. . . . it's a fearful thing to . . Keep your soft soap for them BOOBNOFF. And hand. . . Oh. NATASHA. . NATASHA. . . too. sticky thread. You know. .) ishka. (Going out. See me. . I'm not afraid. . . very into my ..THE LOWER DEPTHS KLESSHTSH. PEPEL. NATASHA. Ah. . the thing die. . .) it. . Don't forget.. . . . I 39 know. . heart.) Urn . afraid ! This knife. There's no good in knowing. God's moment it I'm not truth. sticky . you're a marvel. .

. . Vassilisa? go. see. PEPEL. Wait her. the girl's all right. Ay. . . PEPEL. I ? I'm sorry for her. .. . BOOBNOFF. KLESSHTSH. . . I . .. . . You She liar 1 I am right down sorry for her. . . 'er own .. .40 KLESSHTSH. . . Ah. . Vassilisa spots you gabbing with BOOBNOFF. till . M'yes. . . she's Why's she so short with me ? Why ? bound to come to grief here. All right ! PEPEL. .. 'as a 'ard life 'ere. You'll bring her to grief. Like the wolf for the lamb. PEPEL. she ain't one to She's a fierce woman. There's a fine girl ! BOOBNOFF. let . What do you mean BOOBNOFF. well.

THE LOWER DEPTHS
PEPEL.
(Lying on the planks.)
yer croakers
!

41

Go

to the devil

.

.

.

KLESSHTSH.
You'll see

wait a bit

!

(LuKA from the

kitchen, singing :)

Through the night we trudge along, Dark as night is all around
.

.

.

KLESSHTSH.

O

Lord

!

.

.

.

another shouter.

.

.

.

PEPEL.
I'm bored.
All's
.

.

.

Why
it

do

I

get this
all

boredom?
. .

going

along well.

yer kind of dry up and

of a sudden, all gets tiresome. .

Then

BOOBNOFF.
Tiresome
?

Hum ....

PEPEL.

Ay
LUKA.

ay.

.

.

.

(Sings

:)
is

All the road

dark before.

.

.

.

PEPEL. Old man

1

Hi

!

(LuKA appearing

in the door.)

42

THE LOWER DEPTHS
Call

LUKA.

me?

PEPEL.
Don't sing
!

LUKA.

You
PEPEL.

don't like it?

When
LUKA.

it

is

good

singing,

I

like

it.

...

That's to say, then, mine

isn't

good?

PEPEL.
You've
hit it.
. .

.

LUKA.
There now
!

I

just always thinking now this is suddenly folks seem not to care for
:

the

did think a way

could sing. That's goes along something I can do. And
I

man he

it.

...

PEPEL.
(Smiling.}
Yes, that's the way.
.

.

.

BOOBNOFF.
Say
ing.
. .

you're
.

bored,

and

now

you're

laugh-

PEPEL.
Let

me

alone,

you crow.

.

.

.

THE LOWER DEPTHS
LUKA.

43

Who
PEPEL.

is

it

says they're bored?

Me

.

.

.

here.

.

.

.

(Re-enter the BARON.)

LUKA.
There now
1
!

There's
there,

a

girlie

there

in

the

kitchen, sitting she's crying
ing.
it

and reading a book, and
is
!

...
is

I

says to her,

all,

eh?"
"
it,"

"What

she says,

in

The tears are flowWhy, my pet, what is she "Oh," says, "it's so sad!" I says, "that's sad?" "Here," the book." And that's how
That she
"
. . .

people pass

their
.
.

time, eh?

It's

all

from

this

boredom.

.

THE BARON.
That's girl's a fool.
. .

.

PEPEL.
Baron
!

Had your

tea?

THE BARON. Had it. ... What
PEPEL.

then?

What

d'you say
?

'ud you like

me

to stand yer

half a bottle

44

THE LOWER DEPTHS
What do you
think
! .

THE BARON.
.
.

What then?

PEPEL.

Go down on

all

fours,

and bark

like

a dog

!

THE BARON.
Fool drunk ?
!

What

are yer talking about

?

Are yer

a gentleman.
all

That'll amuse me you're There was a time you thought and yourself better than your brother man
!

PEPEL. Bark go on

.

.

.

.

.

.

the rest of

it.

.

.

.

THE BARON.
Well,

what then?

PEPEL.

What

!

Why now
to

I

make you bark
it

lik

a dog,

and you've got

do

are yer going to?

THE BARON.
And
if
I

do.

And where 's
all

do know

that I've fallen even

made me go an

your gain if you below you? You fours when I was above you.

BOOBNOFF.
That's true
!

LUKA.
It's true,

and

it's

good.

.

.

.

around. . . live and learn. What LUKA. There's no difference here. 45 What was. When I . life is uproar commencin* from . . . (Laughing. nothing but the bare. . LUKA. . We LUKA. look . . . . But tell me. . THE BARON. PEPEL. Vassili. have you been a Baron? . . and I've I princes saw. . Hey lads. That means all are equal. and this only a but a baron the first that seen ever damaged one. my Your way of life BOOBNOFF. . . what's left's all nothing. . . THE BARON. . dearie. (Laughs. . Our way daybreak. . .) . hey. . . .THE LOWER DEPTHS BOOBNOFF. of . was . We're all of us level . naked man. Baron. . is it ? Is it a spectre ? Counts I've seen.) That's up against you.

Ay! LUKA. .. (Severely. . old 'un ? Where are you from ? What ? I ? THE BARON. . . and give yourself all the airs. . but have you a pass- . . have Yes I. . . are you. THE BARON. . . And whole earth is they say now. as a tramp in the skies. but a man were you born. THE BARON. in my time.46 THE LOWER DEPTHS We've some of us lived better j lain in . and a man you have to die. Tramps we are I'm told. . coffee with cream. . bed of a morning and . .. . THE BARON. . But all all of us are all men ! You can pretend you like. .) port ? Maybe it is . ! ! drunk my coffee . worse they've the will to live better the stiff-necks . . A tramp? LUKA. this all. . I . for all folks gets wiser and busier and though they live worse and . And I see. What LUKA. .

. . BOOBNOFF. I've got some papers for anything. they're . . . Right a rascal ! Well. . . . then an informer? PEPEL. . . Baron? BOOBNOFF. . Why.THE LOWER DEPTHS LUKA. goodbye. Baron. you're 1 . .) And what are you. . . that was one for the gentleman. . Now you're lying. well . . . . (Delighted. . old man . . PEPEL. . But those papers are all the same none of them good for anything. old 'un I How do you now. THE BARON. . THE BARON.) I was only joking. mean? 1 . old man . but none that are good LUKA. Um yes. THE BARON. . What d'yer (Taken aback. . I haven't got any papers myself.) feel Had Mm. let's go to the trakter. (After a slight 47 pause. Oh. . .

whistling.. BOOBNOFF. .. . Ay. me who isn't.) LUKA.. but it leaves its marks. . your passport. the Well. boys I enters. drunk. a man may get over it. come along ! BARON rapidly following. . comes out every now and then. (ALYOSHKA ALYOSHKA. . What are you bawling for? . to be sure. Is it true that that man was a Baron? BOOBNOFF.} (Goes out. . Who It can say? A gentleman 'e 'as been. PEPEL.48 THE LOWER DEPTHS Tell LUKA. friend. .. He's right enough though every now and then breaks out a bit . Hey. LUKA. . like he did about . with a concer- tina. You can see . (By passage door. he hasn't got rid of it yet. this gentility it's like the smallpox . . .) BOOBNOFF.

But I'm . (Good-naturedly. and a drunkard. won't me. . : out of the streets man me.1 am a My master 'e sneers at What is 'e 'imself my master? Fi-i 'E's an a drunkard. This moment the Inspector Many as you like Myedvyedyeff 'e's just thrown me out of the " station 'e said that you keep "See. .. ! I'm a well-bred man.) it. . idiot that's all. .) LUKA. . A straight chap like me to 'ave my mate set over Won't stand it... BOOBNOFF. my master is . . . I 49 beg pardon ." says he. On another jag? / ALYOSHKA.. ! . . 4 lad. . ask your forgiveness . ".. ! ! ! . of character. d-d -don't want (NASTYA stands in the door shaking her head at ALYOSHKA.THE LOWER DEPTHS ALYOSHKA. .. . . ! ! I wish for just such a man that wants nothing You say here's twenty nothing and that's flat roubles But I I don't want nothing. . 'ave it ! (NASTYA comes out 'Ere's a million of the kitchen.) Ay. you've got a bit mixed up.

. such a kid to this. . Poor fellow already . . I told you to keep your carcase out of and now you've come back I . . Nothing I want nothing ! . . men are ! . . . . (In a loud whisper. I me how I'm worse why am worse than others ? I Show me? MyedvyedyefT says. ALYOSHKA.} VASSILISA. . . Good -day VASSILISA.} Lady me'mselle Parle franc. . . . . don't be 'arsh. . . For I I am a wretched man.} Vassilisa ! (VASSILISA opening the door sharply.) Well. and now come ALYOSHKA. . (To ALYOSHKA. NASTYA.50 THE LOWER DEPTHS What fools BOOBNOFF. .) You here again? ALYOSHKA. ais price -current Been on the spree." go and lie down right in the middle of the street crush me. . . (Lying on the floor. . (On his knees before her. . . Puppy. "Keep off the And I I streets or I'll bash in your mug. . Show want nothing. here . . . ! ! . . NASTYA. . eat me.

. I'll teach you . . . . . what's the way.just learnt it Stop that's not the way ! I . . I'll 'ave the 'ole street . Vassilisa 51 play you a funeral would you Karpovna march? . in 'ere. ! .) Clear out ! ALYOSHKA. . ! ! VASSILISA. Well. . . to dare go tattling about me. . (Seizing him by the shoulder . . on you you dirty tattler you cub. . I'm going. That's not the way Funeral march Stop Real music. . It's nothing to me what you are ! You're here out of charity don't forget it.THE LOWER DEPTHS ALYOSHKA. (To BOOBNOFF. . . . ALYOSHKA. .) Never you D'you hear me? let him set foot BOOBNOFF. . VASSILISA. I aint' your watchman here. . . like me to VASSILISA. . . . . How much do you owe me? . . VASSILISA.

yes. (Opens door I and not shouts afraid Karpovna afraid ! I'm Vassilisa out. VASSILISA. .) (LUKA laughs. Passport ! LUKA.) of you n-n-not (Disappears. a bird of passage. Come on I . . . Never reckoned. what are you? LUKA.) VASSILISA. . For the night or to stop? LUKA.. I'll reckon for you ! ALYOSHKA. . Well. . VASSILISA.52 THE LOWER DEPTHS (Calmly. I'll look round. VASSILISA. Well. . . VASSILISA. .. . . A wayfarer . .) BOOBNOFF.

) (NASTYA and LUKA laugh. . (To VASSILISA.) ALYOSHKA. . . . you're not gentle. Has she gone. 'E ain't there. ...THE LOWER DEPTHS LUKA. . . Who? BOOBNOFF. it'll arrive with the rest of my luggage.. ALYOSHKA looks out from the kitchen.) Um.. (Whispering. . eh? (Turning on him. eh? A jail-bird 'ud a . (VASSILISA goes to the door of PEPEL'S room. I'll 53 fetch it . (With mother. A bird of passage be nearer the truth. . sigh.) You still here? (ALYOSHKA gives a whistle and disappears.) VASSILISA. VASSILISA. LUKA.) BOOBNOFF.) VASSILISA. . Vaska .

. was BOOBNOFF. . . (Goes into the What's up with you? What's your face all swelled up for? Clean the 'As she floor Natasha have you seen her? been here? I'll have none of this litter. ask if he was? BOOBNOFF.) I NASTYA. VASSILISA.54 THE LOWER DEPTHS Did I VASSILISA. (Calmly. . . . Don't care whose turn.) Then what will you live by? VASSILISA. 'aven't seen her. Don't know VASSILISA. . has he been home? . I saw you was looking all about. To NASTYA. I was looking ? if things it's see Why's I the told room not swept you often have d'yer 'Ow out yet ? to be kept clean ? straight. . come along and put a it's fine I Suppose the inspectors then on me . all of you BOOBNOFF. . kitchen. . It's the actor's turn. . And he . . out you get. VASSILISA.

THE LOWER DEPTHS BOOBNOFF. That's a wild beast of a woman ! LUKA. . Always. yes pigs everywhere it all up . She's a serious lady. d'you hear . LUKA. she came after and 'e . . . see. . . . It's the life that's made her tied to a beast. . Vassilisi? 55 Yes . . as was a husband like BOOBNOFF. she . . Come. VASSILISA. . Did I ask you who she was talking to? Dirt Clean filth Ah. . she don't let the tyin* worry her.. 'er lover. Then. she was. . NASTYA. . Natasha.. was here talking to Klesshtsh. one .} BOOBNOFF. . Does she always rage around like that ? BOOBNOFF. you wasn't 'ere. . Any hers . . . . . . ! 1 ! (Goes out rapidly.

. . . How cleanness . It's not much. . . of course. .) D'yer think I'm yer servant? I shall get drunk to-day I BOOBNOFF. . . 'asn't brains . NASTYA. . I'll drink. LUKA. BOOBNOFF. for this cleaning-up Nastya you see to it. all punishing one another there's no order in life and there's no all sorts ! .56 THE LOWER DEPTHS And that put her out. (Loud. . ! and then I'll cry again and that's all BOOBNOFF. . . I see myself ! (After a silence.) . but some Everybody likes things in order enough. Still. . . girlie ? now you say moment back you were crying " . . Oh-ho-ho ! of people on this earth is putting in order And with all sorts of punishthings and yet ments. drunk ! NASTYA . . That'sflat ! LUKA. what d'you want to drink for. A "I'll get Why.

(NASTYA remains So was shaking her head.THE LOWER DEPTHS LUKA... Why ? Where ? NASTYA. I shall leave here and go somewhere . and wanted chuck 'er and take on with Natasha. .. say that I the sweep up Where do you keep broom ? BOOBNOFF. else. But what for? a reason for it. . . into . BOOBNOOF.. Every pimple has . . I'm not wanted here.. tell 57 me that. 1 the race to be made of it? . . I'm sick of it. to did Vassilisa go for Alyoshka? 'E said that Vaska was sick of 'er. . . . Well? BOOBNOFF.. (LuKA goes Nastya I the passage. . to ah -ha .) NASTYA. .. of men What's Well. then. silent. . . Behind the door in the passage.. Why NASTYA. . . .} 1 .

that the . . daddy.) a big one . (MYEDVYEDYEFF comes with a broom. . . . . . It's true my ward's not worse than the big ones I was comin* off duty I 'ad to as just now. . . . but don't know LUKA. Gets up. . (Goes into kitchen. wanted. . . the bootmaker. . do you know them MYEDVYEDYEFF. whole there's just a leetle piece outside of it. 'E was run in Alyoshka. Now the cause of that. LUKA. of all the people on earth there's and none none of 'em .58 THE LOWER DEPTHS You're not wanted anywhere BOOBNOOF.) in. Seems to me I don't know you. world doesn't lie in your ward . I have to know here's you I every one in my ward . .) LUKA after him MYEDVYEDYEFF. (NASTYA shakes her head. . . but it's . (Over to BOOBNOFF. . . is . . . And all? all the other people. . and goes slowly out into the passage.) MYEDVYEDYEFF.

..} a sort M-yes Vaska . . . (Doubtfully.THE LOWER DEPTHS 59 right in the middle of the road. . and bellowin' " Horses the traffic and all nothing might goin' get run over and so on. the collar. . BOOBNOFF. .. about . 'Er yer comin' to play draughts to-night? MYEDVYEDYEFF. with his con" I want I want nothing certina. What about Vaska? BOOBNOFF. him by . Means . . so I just took .. he's getting along? . Nothing . . . ain't yer heard? . . Coming? M-yes. Why along. same as usual. shouldn't he get along? He's able to get MYEDVYEDYEFF. . 'E's a wild Jad I . Very fond of giving trouble.) Able to? into the passage with a bucket (LuKA goes in his hand. .. there's of talk . . MYEDVYEDYEFF. . BOOBNOFF. . . . . . .

my gallant sentinel Again market he asked me to marry him.. So . . (Sternly..60 THE LOWER DEPTHS I've 'card all sorts of talk. so . so there you are. .. What? MYEDVYEDYEFF..) to But there's a kind of people sprung up who wants make every one look silly. . . lies. .) in general.. It can't make me look silly. in the BoobnofT Hey. ah. MYEDVYEDYEFF. .. . . Let's 'ave brother BOOBNOFF. .. KVASHNYA. What should I lie for ? MYEDVYEDYEFF. . . (KVASHNYA comes in. come I They say that Vaska and Vassilisa what's it to me? I am not her father. . 1 1 .. . . BOOBNOFF. . Maybe ! yer know . Why . . . .. But about Vaska? Ain't yer noticed? BOOBNOFF.. . . . Ah. . and you're lying? Why no everybody knows. I'm her uncle.

I ? Ho-ho KVASHNYA. What. . Now all wait bit . got money. . When my beloved man breathed his last.. I'm always one and the same. it . I 'elped complained none 1 to God for seven years .. to marry it's like throwin' yerself down a 'ole in the ice when you've done it once. 'e's 61 Well. may I never 'ave a roof over my 'ead. it's my sore grizzle pate I've tried it once. . if I didn't just sit up for joy a whole day and night sat and simply couldn't old : believe in my happiness. and what then a sturdy fellow yet. You old ! Let be. you should have complained to the police. yer never ! forget it.THE LOWER DEPTHS BOOBNOFF. . and MYEDVYEDYEFF. KVASHNYA.. If your 'usband beat yer why. . KVASHNYA.. .. a MYEDVYEDYEFF. duckie for a woman point. . .. . . MYEDVYEDYEFF. . 'E's . ? . there are husbands of sorts.

. gone ! . . . feeling for the walls. . LUKA. She's got a 'usband .) we . . it's .62 THE LOWER DEPTHS Nowadays ! MYEDVYEDYEFF. Why do yer leave 'er by . 'Adn't noticed. So now you're making" fun can one neglect a 'uman creature so .) Thanks. . but 'ow ? Whoever it is. . 'as just 'Er maid. . (Pointing.. The poor soul's in quite a weak state. . dear old man.. . all of us is of value. . Slow but sure leads in ANNA. (LUKA LUKA. and groaning. . . . . 'erself? KVASHNYA. . . according to law and order No one is to be beaten wrongfully. daddy pardon us out for a stroll. . leaving her to go alone Which is your place? when she's so Fancy weak? ANNA. look ! LUKA. all in these days . forbidden to beat your wife is strict. . . . you see. all the beating's to be done to keep order. She creeps along the passage. so here are. KVASHNYA. .

. Mr. . not not a row? BOOBNOFF. Go and look. . . ! True. Watch must be kept LUKA. Sergeant.) Loud MYEDVYEDYEFF. There..THE LOWER DEPTHS MYEDVYEDYEFF. ! . . Oh. 63 Suddenly say she Supervision there must be dies? Then there's no end of bother. I'm not quite a sergeant yet. KVASHNYA. Ah.. Sounds like it. LUKA. . . . . cries. MYEDVYEDYEFF. M-yes . . . . though I'm . . the service fight ? I And why part people when they They'll . MYEDVYEDYEFF. . . I've got to go. Not ? The bearing's so very heroic ! (Noise and scuffling in the passage. .

. O Lord ! . . (KOSTOLOFF door.) ANNA. . .64 THE LOWER DEPTHS .) superiors about it. LUKA looks after them. Vassilisa. with her sister. . MYEDVYEDYEFF. BOOBNOFF. poor little Natasha 1 LUKA. left to fight it yer bound to stop fightout in peace ..) What's to be done? . if they was . . . is it fighting? mistress . stop of themselves ing . . . they'd fight it less. The LUKA. cries out. Abraham . ! Come . come ! (KVASHNYA. (Getting off his planks. Must speak to your . BOOBNOFF rush into the passage. . (Coming to ANNA.. Who ANNA..) throwing open the KOSTOLOFF. because they'd not forget so easy. . . . .. . . shaking his head. why. Natasha she's killing her .

. . 65 they've . you look . my him dear father and mild. . It . . . . to me . And you what ANNA. Anna.} END OF THE FIRST ACT. and LUKA. Well. both food enough . like like is your name ? . I've 'ad . health. father . LUKA. they've made me gentle. (Laughs with a grating laugh. knocks . .. . . It's the . . gentle . . my . . .THE LOWER DEPTHS ANNA. . . seems .

.

THE SECOND ACT .

.

. ACTOR are watching the game. LUKA is seated on a stool by ANNA'S bed. (To SATINE. . BARON. yer know. Same scene. BOOB- NOFF. The shelter is lighted by two lamps: one on the wall by the card-players. . When ! Sing ! (He sings:) rises The sun it and it sets. . (On the planks round about the stove SATINE. . ! Shuffle well ! We know you.THE SECOND ACT SCENE. the other on BOOB- NOFF'S planks. THE TARTAR. I stop. WHEN. and the TARTAR are KLESSHTSH and the playing at cards. Night. . WHEN. . is playing draughts with MYEDVYEDYEFF. THE TARTAR. . on his planks. . 60 .) Shuffle . (Harmonising :) In my prison darkness reigns. One more game then BOOBNOFF.

where are yer moving? BOOBNOFF. . (Together :) WHEN Day and night the warders go. They're sure to skin us. . . Why . . . . Look out.. all my wretched life I've trembled my life. (Threatening SATINE with his yer trying to hide a card ? I fist. why. . nothing . yes. er see yer yer beauty 1 WHEN.. strike up ! ! ANNA. why ? . I can't remember when all I . Chuck . . . yes. don't fret ! MYEDVYEDYEFF. . abuse . I been in rags shouldn't get no more to eat all my life . Yells . There. Ah ! yes. wasn't hungry. . . THE TARTAR. Dreaded.70 THE LOWER DEPTHS and BOOBNOFF. . . . . Boobnoff. . missus. . . . . LuKA. Hassan it. . .. else have I seen . . . . nothing besides. Pacing underneath my window.. ANNA.} .

THE LOWER DEPTHS LUKA. They win every time. at tell 'em yer ! ! Prince. There.. .. It's a way er 'ave. (To WHEN. .) damn yer 1 Play the Knave the Knave. . THE ACTOR. darling ! 71 You're tired. . KLESSHTSH. . . . KLESSHTSH . MYEDVYEDYEFF. . SATINE. You let him alone. you chuck it ! Chuck I THE ACTOR. . And I . f THE BARON. Crown him ! BOOBNOFF. Just look it. . um-m. Never mind. there. ANNA . We 'ave the King. I'm dying.

. . But my chains I cannot break. suffer each in his own way. . . . . (Together :) Longing. . and have some fun. All. . ANNA. Look out. Not there as well? other shall it be have to LUKA. ! ! listen ! A little more . .72 THE LOWER DEPTHS that I THE BARON. . they all . can I the suffer? world. . WHEN. with a shake of moves over to BOOBNOFF. BOTH. damned hiding ! don't give you a THE TARTAR. (Gets up with quick steps.) head. I'm not going to run away.) BOOBNOFF. patience. . (Sings:) Take your gun. . .) (Goes into the kitchen. goes to the his gets broken (KLESSHTSH. . that in Oh ! Lord.. One game more. Andruiska. . too. I'm always thinking. . Nothing There won't be nothing Lie and You'll have rest there. . . well so often it The pitcher at last. dearie. longing to be free.

go and (Gathering up the cards.) your nose? Do you want me to ram it under THE ACTOR.THE LOWER DEPTHS THE TARTAR. . (Positively. How " What SATINE. .. Prince. Hassan. (Hotly. SATINE. THE BARON.) never. THE TARTAR. what for? . THE BARON. Then why did yer play with us? . . never in this world.. I've won forty kopyeks. . . (Confused. wrong . (Shouts out.) 73 That card was in your sleeve. Saw it ! Sharper I I'll play no more ! SATINE. and you shriek come. you were beggared . . . .) shake yourself yer know we were sharpers. you're . Just so for?" . one more as I if THE TARTAR. What for? THE TARTAR.) Then play straight.

my heavy chains. why.) All laugh at WHEN.) . Keep .) not beat yer. know? SATINE. WHEN. . . (The TARTAR him. Hassan (Good-naturedly.) If they was to begin living Can't you see honestly. in three days they'd starve. don't yer THE TARTAR. . Tease me not. Oh. it now I ! Better go and . my chains. ! 1 .74 THE LOWER DEPTHS Well. BOOBNOFF. (TARTAR threatens and goes out the BARON with his fist. . Boobnoff And . 'ave some tea . . . . . Come along. THE TARTAR. and I'll . That's honestly ! nothing to me ! They must live WHEN. Oh. . . . after his companion. . You're green. Der you? spits viciously. my heavy clanking chains. Hassanka ! (Goes out singing. I don't know.

THE ACTOR. . KLESSHTSH. . . . I Three kopyeks for me want with three kopyeks . without that no good ever MYEDVYEDYEFF. cation. (Smiling to BARON.) You've had an eduyou came another cropper but can't a card. and you've two . on yer go ! if he's a brainy one . 75 You. . . . . business . . . (Hands apart. . though what do ? . in . . d'yer see ? So .. m-yes BOOBNOFF. .. . . Fifty -three kopyeks in. THE BARON. . your mightiness. yer palm ! .) pened. Er yer winning. SATINE. I've one ! King .THE LOWER DEPTHS SATINE. . Abra'm Ivanitich? MYEDVYEDYEFF. . No talent . None of your shut yer mouth. Devil knows how it hap- . THE ACTOR. . One's good enough. yourself . no belief .

LUKA. . Verses ! What do I want with verses ? THE ACTOR. . .} cleared out the Tartar? Going to have a glass now? THE BARON. . . sometimes they're SATINE. Well. recitationist. old man. what yer like drunk. er yer coming? (Goes out with BARON. They're sad. so youVe (Coming out of kitchen. Come along SATINE. Let's see with us. amusing . What ever's that? THE ACTOR. Verses understand ? LUKA. . . Come yer. . Hi. I'll recite to LUKA. . THE ACTOR. along.) . No better than I am sober. . .76 THE LOWER DEPTHS LUKA.

. Lost how? Hadn't no belief I'm done with. old man. . 1 . . (Strikes his forehead. There can't be no good loved. . . brother. old 'un? LuKA. brother. THE ACTOR. You you don't know how it feels applause why. man. old see I . . . . . . .I'd come on . . before I had a .) BOOBNOFF.. forgotten 1 . fine study. in fergettin' all what yer Where yer love there's yer soul. I'll catch yer up ! Now. brother All up with me. . ...) Can't . . The beginning I've forgotten clean . . . I was poisoned with alcohol. eh.. used to thunder of applause. on you go 1 MYEDVYEDYEFF. soul. THE ACTOR. you'd 'ave 'ad 'im. stand like this and . yEDVYEDYEFF.THE LOWER DEPTHS THE ACTOR. old man. . But now you It's all up. . 77 . (Silence. If I'd gone there.. . . . . for instance. here's a bit out of one poem. I've drunk . . my . give that poem with enormous success I . I'm lost. There ! I've taken yer king . . . it's like vodka . remember a thing remember Used 1 not a word : . . In the past. Coming. . can't to love that piece in a bad way.. stand like this . . . .

Make your mind up.78 THE LOWER DEPTHS No 1 LUKA. it's 1 in a certain town 1 .. . yer see.. Can yer? Anything a man can do . yerself in hand. . Well. . .. this : . if 'e . . . . Yes I LUKA. ning All . m-yes. It's just a name like . what d'yer call it Now you just do Control yourself wait. . There's a 'ospital been built for drunkards and they cure 'em fer nothin'.) I Can't? really can. 1 . . . over again? (Laughs. fer no thin'. and And then get cured and all over again sounds good. . . . . ! In these days they cure people of drunkenness fact Cure them. makes up his mind to do it. brother. too. that a drunkard's a man. . .. . and it's all over again? done. . .) Where? Where is it? LUKA. Take . . from the begin. . begin life be gettin' ready. brother. . ! THE ACTOR. . . . . they rejoice at 'im So stir up and be off. It's recignised. . THE ACTOR.. . . and when 'e wants to be cured. . .) Over again that's fine . . . you can be cured .. . . (Smiling. . . . eh? Um. . it's . (Reflectively. I Why? You .

as to speak. does your old man. silently comes towards his wife. makes his some movements with though wishing hands.) heart. Gran 'pa. .) What's up. comrade? KLESSHTSH. looks at her. . let's talk.) Come now. Takes it to . . darling 1 LUKA. Talk to me. (KLESSHTSH looks round. ! (Goes out.THE LOWER DEPTHS THE ACTOR. (Following him with his eyes.) Nothing.) ANNA. . (In a low voice. (Close to her. What. dearie? ANNA. . stands in for a few secondsand goes out. . .) to goodbye yer. as if awakened. . (Goes slowly to passage door. LUKA. (Suddenly.) Old boy By-bye for the present (Whistles. 79 You're a crank.) it LUKA. .

. and then you'll be at peace there'll be nothing more that yer need fear nothing Calm. I (PEPEL comes dishevelled. ANNA. silent planks without moving. Just hope.. that's to that's what it is.. . lovie. . pet Because for say can a man find rest here? . . Worse than 'im. . you rest. played draughts . . . now to me. .. Don't move It's very Death it settles all. Dear -gran'pa can't breathe. . that. You die. That's nothing . Did f e beat yer? ANNA. 1 Talk to me. He is sullen. . My finely wife she 'ad a lover a thorough scoundrel. . before death. ! Comes . . . . I LUKA. Um-m. in. I'm dyin' through BOOBNOFF. You're goin' to die. . .. . .) slightly Sits on drunk. MYEDVYEDYEFF. dearie. tender with us. LUKA. . by door. ! . ! . . .. . peace. .80 THE LOWER DEPTHS He's nothing ANNA..

. Mr.." ! ! me ! ! . look at you mildly and I know that same Anna. . . up to God. Ser- geant. . 'E'll fondly. And the Lord.. ..THE LOWER DEPTHS ANNA. Trust There won't be anything Nothing Rest and nothing more They'll lead you " Lord. O Lord . If 81 there too there's suffering ? LUKA. look here. MYEDVYEDYEFF.} just . like . do go ahead. (Severely. behold. I don't see myself yes I'm not though yet exactly a sergeant. and they'll say.. MYEDVYEDYEFF'S his voice. ! M BOOBNOFF. . and He'll " say. that I do know. LUKA..) How do you know what they say up there ? I like that . MYEDVYEDYEFF. (At the sound of PEPEL LUKA. (Conciliatory.) . here is Thy servant. . Anna. It's lifts up head and listens. this. . MYEDVYEDYEFF." 6 . I take two.

Trust I There won't be There won't be anything me Die joyfully. But more.. Then dise.. . for I know 'er peace was very hard she's very weary. . . ! . . LUKA. . ANNA. with her little children. . It's shnple.. ANNA." Let 'er be . PEPEL. . . that . LUKA. Yet . Uncle you are such (Breathing hard. it .. . . and no worry. " Take at her. There'll be nothing more. . . Give rest unto Anna.. . (Rising. . If to live a little ... I may get well ? LUKA. tell you.. Anna.82 THE LOWER DEPTHS He'll say. and may not be.. .} a dear If it is so . What for? For fresh suffering? ANNA.) May be . little . . . Death it's to us . if there's just rest and to feel nothing more. like a mother ! ! ! . I may .. there's I no suffering I just a wee bit could endure a longer. could. into Para. . . . . ... . life .

. . Is What ! the woman really dyin' ? . You shouldn't bellow. you . . Who's PEPEL. .THE LOWER DEPTHS ANNA. You're a good liar nicely Lying's no harm that's cheering in the world are ! you put things there's so little . ! BOOBNOFF. MYEDVYEDYEFF. Ah ho ho . Lord 1 . .) Please now don't A woman's dying here don't dis. 1 LUKA. . .} 83 Oh. that bellowing ? Me I What of it ? MYEDVYEDYEFF.. Ah. dearie. shout turb 'er 1 (To PEPEL in a Low tone. that's what. gran'pa ! ! You're a brick. Folk should PEPEL. bear themselves quietly. yer block ! You're a fine uncle . (Frightened. . I PEPEL. . . LUKA.. . . I respect you. .

disturbin' 'er Shan't have no more coughing then. .84 THE LOWER DEPTHS Ay. I take two. . .. Abramka ! Is Natasha ill ? MYEDVYEDYEFF. . . . Don't matter who I am you'll never see Natasha again . there's no joke about it. . . I want to know. Who do yer think yer are? PEPEL. ! . . .. . Ah. And that's none matter. What's that to you ? PEPEL. but if I choose. I'm done for I'm done for I PEPEL. Abraham ! MYEDVYEDYEFF. .. .. BOOBNOFF. MYEDVYEDYEFF. . Most cough was. Don't call me Abraham. . of your business ! It's a family . PEPEL. ? Was it a bad beating Vassilisa gave her MYEDVYEDYEFF. LUKA.

.. (Leaving the game.. . me and I'd I'd flog the keep quiet " howl Who taughft They say. . yer devils you see Yes. you see. sink the whole lot you of yer. MYEDVYEDYEFF.) Lies 'arm 'ave I done to I . . . . . what cur I And (Shaking. it's truth And I'll give ha I'll a twist . before the beak? MYEDVYEDYEFF. . and showed yer the cribs? " Kostoloff and his wife Who was yer fence? " Mikhail Kostoloff and his wife to ! 1 I D'yer Expect a wolf think whole nest of yer. Lies ! They won't believe yer ! PEPEL. they will. And what good done to me? .} What d'yer say? are yer talkin' of? D'yer think my niece? 85 Who .. Catch 1 I'll catch yer . Ah.THE LOWER DEPTHS MYEDVYEDYEFF. . . for I I 1 MYEDVYEDYEFF. yer robber 1 PEPEL. . " Mikhail yer to rob. Wait PEPEL.. A robber you never could catch. 'ave yer PEPEL. you? Yer scabby . . lies I And . . .

'e 'asn't ! .. matter BOOBNOFF. .) Let be I Not ours to meddle in. ! PEPEL 'E's . . brothers. pray? (Makes an angry grimace and goes out. . (To LUKA. . (Peaceably. . we 'Ere we are and (Not understanding.. (To LUKA. Vassili. BOOBNOFF. . Much good Boldness it yer boldright in . . done good I only say that said nothing to another. . . The gentleman's angry. . is all 'ere cuts . .) if I one man done well. ! MYEDVYEDYEFF. but its place . . .) all know one another. . 'asn't . LUKA. . figure. You're foolish. see things here in a tangle . things here . They'll slice yer 'ead off alive. . . . . no . But who are you. ness has done yer. gone whine to Vassilisa. to I Oh -ho. . .) What Is er you ? . . this I any of your business croaking for? This is a family .) LUKA.86 THE LOWER DEPTHS Ri-ight there LUKA. MYEDVYEDYEFF.

when and was a boy they called me me thief thief's son. A golden a grand country Siberia 'Oo 'as the might 'as the right. . I . . . little me. The way to. . LUKA. ! you're just the kind for there PEPEL. N-no. I mean to go charge of the Crown. . you get out of . . . and My 'e father told Why. is marked out life I for passed his whole in prison.. at the When I go to Siberia.. you truly. to? You tell me that. Where LUKA. . .. . But house I . PEPEL. LUKA. . it. . Now can listen to me you go there ! There you make your own way .THE LOWER DEPTHS PEPEL. lad.. Go . get clear of PEPEL. Ho -ho. they won't don't catch us napping ! 87 Us Yaroslaff if . this ... to Siberia. it's boys war we you shall fight. . tell . . LUKA. But it's country.

good here it you're plainly lying What's for? LUKA. Deaf ? . yerself ? you're crazy ! Why go and destroy BOOBNOFF. What's that ? PEPEL . I ask ? LUKA. . . . Oh. . . . . take my word and go say there. Vaska. good mad same of loafing here ? after the truth? truth And . In all . In what do yer mean I lie ? PEPEL . why are you always lying? LUKA. PEPEL. You yerself. . it's a razor.Why do yer lie. . . You'll thanks. . . Think a ! The might cut like a razor.88 THE LOWER DEPTHS PEPEL. and see fer What's the are yer so bit . you say it's good 1 there. . . . . I don't care ! If it's a razor. LUKA. What is it I don't know that ! you two are jawing about sort ? What of a truth. why . . Old boy. .

that is. . .. . Yer know the truth and every one knows . me . . that (PEPEL looks at the old man fixedly and in surprise.) there? BOOBNOFF. . Just so. . old man : I want 'im to is there a God? (LuKA gives Say now. low voice. ay.) are you looking at? PEPEL.. . if is . . a shavings live . like built 1 shavings . LUKA. there . People just stream . (In a. (To PEPEL. house off is on a and the .. come on Eh ? What LUKA.. I PEPEL... Hold tell on. is a silent smile. .. . Then that means . .) If you believe it you don't believe it. . Shall we go and have some to the trakteer ? tea .) BOOBNOFF. . ... there's not which yer believe in. ... they floats .. Now wait. ..THE LOWER DEPTHS d'yer 89 want? yerself And why? about it.. stop yer croaking listen. .

.) Nastya at home? BOOBNOFF. VASSILISA. (Goes out. encounters VASSILISA.) PEPEL..) Then he clambers and from there on to . . and shuts on to the loudly. you're there. (Over to ANNA. .) PEPEL. (LUKA goes to the passage door. What LUKA. Therefore VASSILISA.) Still alive? LUKA. if me to. .. I'll er yer hanging about here for yer want ? go . . the stove. opens it it. (Towards the door of PEPEL'S room.) I've somethin' to say ter you. Ah . . . you. . (To BOOBNOFF. 'er. planks. Vassili I VASSILISA. .. No.. BOOBNOFF. . Don't disturb VASSILISA. Then I'll go (Goes to door. . .90 THE LOWER DEPTHS alone. . . .

PEPEL. . out with . . ? Ah . come PEPEL. . .. what's wrong? What's annoyin* yer PEPEL. pressing against it her hands. in Can't force people to be kind me to beg for kindness. Goes towards ANNA. I don't mean to. . (VASSILISA draws her handkerchief tight over her chest. ..) it. sick of the whole rigmarole. .. looks carefully behind the curtains. and returns to PEPEL.. of me? And of you. . I'm bored . . . . Thank you for the truth.. . ..THE LOWER DEPTHS VASSILISA.} Vaska . PEPEL. . . .. Out with what? and it ain't . VASSILISA. . I'm not coming VASSILISA. And . .. . 91 (From here ! PEPEL'S room. VASSILISA. What truth? . Well ...

. and the rest of it . . So-o . Well. you I'd consult. a pity. If it was so it's not VASSILISA. That's things.. She turns him. You fancy some one PEPEL..92 THE LOWER DEPTHS That I'm a bore to VASSILISA. . .. I lived with you. I've never really liked yer..) You're beautiful. and . ..} staring at? What er yer Don't yer know me? PEPEL. else? . VASSILISA. VASSILISA.. well ? PEPEL. . . Not your business. . . we've nothing to talk about all ! 1 Nothing at Get away from me ! . or isn't it the truth? (PEPEL looks to at her in silence. . you . . Vassilisa (she her hand on his shoulder. P'raps I might arrange . . .puts (With a sigh. but he shakes it And off} but my 'eart it was never yours.

must be .. That's it.. for a long time . wasn't you. in you. yer love know a man me no more can't . . . . proper way ! We VASSILISA.THE LOWER DEPTHS PEPEL. it's at an end. . . No. What was it over ? help 'is own will .. part peaceably. . but my hope . . When we came drag me out of all this nastiness to free me from my 'usband. . wait together . . . without no rows the . . . I'm a straight chap. my from all this life uncle and p'raps it I banked on you to . 'Twasn't there's sudden soul . . (Lower. now ! It's this.) you've dealt with me nothing for no reason you've laid it on with said yer loved me. . . PEPEL. . no . and all of a PEPEL. . . You Vassili I'll know hide shabby a whip sudden how to conceal things. .. all right. . we are beasts. woman . that I loved . I . . . .) 93 What d'yer say? VASSILISA. Vaska. we must and what 'ave you trained me be to ? VASSILISA. (Suspiciously. We trained . . . .

. . D'you out. . . and you're wily ! VASSILISA. . marry 'er? three hundred more. 'Ow? VASSILISA. know. PEPEL.) I My . close to him. . ? I expected you to pull .. was that thought of you I loved. (Coming . And on 'er.. . sister . me PEPEL. Don't get hot D'yer wish 'er .94 THE LOWER DEPTHS it . that's why you 1 Vassilisa. (Coming up What's it to her. (Low and forcible. . now let's one another. ain't a pincers .) Stop . . you savage Don't dare to lay a finger 1 VASSILISA. . . . ! It can all be done I'll give yer roubles money with I If I can afford it. . to solid PEPEL. look 'ere beat her. . . You aren't a nail. . . I Come. PEPEL. .) 'elp Vaska . Stop now ! quietly and well. I . why is it? for? . . . she's taken yer fancy. you've wits enough . . . follow .

.. from . . now You'll 'ave money can you g"o anyVaska . that's good fer 'er. You savage VASSILISA. . . VASSILISA. get your 'usband in his grave. . then. ! Do yer brag of yer savageness? I don't brag I speak truth. . (Whistling softly. ! . ! . where .THE LOWER DEPTHS VASSILISA. . .. . Relieve me millstone. . The sight of 'er's bad for me on account of you I get spiteful arid I can't hold it in. . I PEPEL. 'usband. .. Think now. . the sister.. your lover doin' time. my . Oh ho -ho you So now we've got to it. . . . . Vaska. | Why doin' time ? You won't yerself some of yer pals get Suppose it was ? think who's to know Natasha yerself. ! . whilst ! . . . . I sort of a 'usband d'yer call 'im? 'E scolds . that myself I can cry with pity for her And I will beat yet I beat her. .} A very crafty notion . . . . Twice through my 'usband 'ave you gone to jail 'E's glued to me through 'is avarice. too. . beat her beat her so . like a limpet four whole years And what .. . . PEPEL.1 torment the girl. set me free for ever.. 95 Rid me of that . . . her . . . she won't be round me. .

. . me . Been everyIt's . (Suddenly stamping with his feet Vaska you devil out. . calls every one 'e's just poison. (To VASSILISA. . .} enters cautiously and steals PEPEL. cleverly. where hunting fer yer. ! here .} Er yer followin' me? ! What. silence and immobility. All I say's above board. It's selves ! me Ah .} You've forgotten to fill the lamps bedtime ! . . Here again. ! ah. It's only a fool (KOSTOLOFF forward. you? (PEPEL leaps up and eyes KOSTOLOFF savagely. . . . that won't see what I want. . . into sin.96 THE LOWER DEPTHS 'er . by yourhaving a talk and shouting . pardon. You do yarn VASSILISA. . . . . .. . I Hag ! (Startled at his I own ask cries.} Beggar . . Oh get away ! Think it over (Sees husband. Natasha. a beggar ! To PEPEL. you lead me . . torments her. (In a scream. You're You're .} KOSTOLOFF. . met by .} Vassilisa. ..) VASSILISA. .

THE LOWER DEPTHS
sow. you, you beggar at her with trembling hands.)
. .

97
.

.

.

.

.

.

.

(Points

(VASSILISA slowly goes to passage looking round at PEPEL.)

door,

PEPEL.
(To KOSTOLOFF.)
out.

Get out of here

.

.

.

clear

...
I'm the master
I

KOSTOLOFF.
(Yells.) thief
!

Clear out yourself,

PEPEL.
(Sullenly.)

Be

off,

Mikhail

1

...
...
I

KOSTOLOFF. You dare
you.
.

to

I'll

show

you.

tell

.

.

(PEPEL
and

seizes

him by the

collar

and shakes

him.

noise is heard from the stove a loud yawning. PEPEL releases
into the passage.)

A

KOSTOLOFF, who runs
PEPEL.

...

(Springing on to the planks.) on that stove?

Who's

there

LUKA.
(Raising his head.)

Eh?

PEPEL.

You?

98

THE LOWER DEPTHS
Me
me
myself.

LUKA.
. . .

... Of

Lord

Jesus

Christ.

PEPEL.
(Closes the

passage door, feels for the bolt
it.)

and
get

can't find

The

devils

I

...

Old man,

down

I

LUKA.
All ri-ight
.

.

.

getting down.

.

.

.

PEPEL.
(Menacingly.)

Why

did yer get on that stove?

LUKA.

Where
PEPEL.

'ud yer 'ave

me

get?

Yer made as you'd gone

in the passage.

LUKA.
In the passage, comrade,
it's

cold for an old

man.

PEPEL.

You
LUKA.

.

.

.

heard?

Ay heard How not to me deaf? Ah, my lad, your
.

hear

?

Ud
is

yer 'ave

happiness

coming
to yer.

to yer

.

.

.it's happiness that's

coming

THE LOWER DEPTHS
PEPEL.
(Suspiciously.)

99

What

'appiness?

In

what

way?
LUKA.

Why,
PEPEL.

in the

way

that took

me on

to the stove.

Ah
LUKA.

.

.

.

why did you make

that

noise

?

Why, because
the

I

was getting aglow
welfare
.

.

.

.

for

orphan

laddie's

.

.

yet

I

knew
. . .

well that the laddie

wrong, that he might be for throttling the old man.
it

might take

all

PEPEL.
Ye-es

...

it

was a near thing.

.

.

.

LUKA.

Ay ... them
PEPEL.

mistakes often get made.

.

.

.

What
LUKA.

are you?

My
woman
way
. .

lad

!

Now
it
!

listen to

cut

Nothing

to

me, what I say do with 'er
' !

:

that

!

keep
listen

out of 'er

way?

She'll put *er 'usband out of the

better ner

you could, yes
. . .

Don't you
at

to her, the devil.
.

Look
all

and why?

Out of
I

ah? Bald these same different

me

sorts of

women ...

should say I've known,

100

THE LOWER DEPTHS
.

maybe, more women than ever there grew hairs And that Vassilisa she upon my head. she's worse than a pagan Finn
. .

.

.

.

!

PEPEL.
I

don't

knoiw

if

I
.
.

ought to thank yer,
.

or

whether you as well

LUKA.
better
in

Don't you say nothin' than what I've said
!

You'll
1

say nothing the one Listen
:

you fancy, put
away.
.

'er

arm

in yours,

and out of here

double-quick time.
.
.

Get out of here, clean

PEPEL.

No
. .

makin' people out

!

Who's good,
.
.

'oo's

bad

.

can't understand a thing.

.

LUKA.
What's there to understand ? There's all sorts men. ... As their hearts tells 'em, so they live good to-day, bad to-morrow. But if
of
.
.
.

that girl's really got hold of yer heart 'er clear off, and 'ave done with it.
. . . .

.

.

.

take
else

.

.Or

you're young, you've time to look go alone out for a wife.

PEPEL.
(Takes him by the shoulder.} me, why are you on to this?

No, you

tell

LUKA.

Now

come,

let

me

go.

.

.

.

Must see

to

Anna

(PEPEL comes traught. . 101 she was rattling so bad. PEPEL. most likely. . . Anna receive into PEPEL. . . . PEPEL.) people. . Well. . merciful servant Lord.THE LOWER DEPTHS . In the trakteer. opens curtains. . . the living. . .) Dead? (Without approaching.) She is gone ! Where will 'er 'us- band be ? PEPEL. . leans forward so as to obtain a sight of the bed. . (Softly. . most . . . the spirit Thy newly departed Thy peace. LUKA. (Softly. (Shuddering.) . thoughtful and dis- Jesus of Christ. looks. . for? (Going to the door. LUKA. . . feels with his hand. .) after him. I don't care for dead . (Goes to Anna's bed.) Care for the living What's there to care . . 'e must know. I'll come with yer. .) LUKA.

) THE ACTOR. incomprehensible. Don't like it.) At the passage (Emptiness and silence. and begins:) strikes an Then. gentlemen. afraid? PEPEL.. (Standing in the open door. . door a dull. uneven sound is heard. .. Shall we not hail the madman's brain: The brain that spins us golden lies? in the (NATASHA appears ACTOR.) Old man 1 door behind the And tho' the earth to atoms fly. hi Where are yer? I've remembered against ! . What. .102 THE LOWER DEPTHS LUKA. shouts out) Old man. attitude. (They go out quickly. They shall be re-created by The thought within a madman's head. And tho' the sun be quenched and dead. for all our pain If truth still flee our straining eyes. supporting himself the door-posts. Then enter the ACTOR. . listen 1 (He staggers two steps forward.

. yes. there's a hospital for organisms drunkards . . . little (Turns to her. a splendid hospital. spring'll I am going away. THE ACTOR. fare- the darling clear. . . . . find a town . .. and you won't see me NATASHA . . .) old boy .. . Nowhere well. now says goodbye.. . To . . . . stage No one knows that no one I've no name for . . Never said good -day. . I shall be all I'm on the way to regeneration over again. Ah. little . to get cured . .. .. . yer see.THE LOWER DEPTHS NATASHA . . Natasha. . Ophelia . . .. THE ACTOR..) You gaby 1 You're full. . . . . . .. . that's Farewell .) The no more . and . . . marble floor Marble Light. (Barring the way to her. Rubbish . where er yer goin' ? THE ACTOR. as said King Lear. ! . I . 103 (Laughs. on the my name was Svertchkoff Yavolski. I 1 . . come. . . 1 Where's the old man? Natasha. you . 'ere. . . into a monastery clear out. NATASHA . clean food And a marble floor all for nothing yes I'll find it. too. . . it's you . get cured. .

(In the door. . lose yer name ? how that's Dogs even have galltheir names (NATASHA manages to get round the ACTOR. (Goes ANNA'S bed. Can't you understand ing to . . goes to his place. . NATASHA . Look . .) . to Won't cough no more. . THE ACTOR. THE ACTOR. BOOBNOFF. look ! She's dead 1 . you're no man. ... goes over to ANNA'S bed and looks.104 here. .) Look at what? NATASHA Anna . . look. .. she's dead. BOOBNOFF. . (Shaking his head. .) God ! yes . . it's 'is business. . the poor soul . I'll go and tell him . . . can't be. that means.) It . . . . (Moving away. (Goes out. . and NATASHA.) No name. . . THE LOWER DEPTHS . looks..) You tell must Klesshtsh . . . she has lost her name. .

THE LOWER DEPTHS NATASHA. where's the sad- ness? (Enter LUKA. the . .. it . For surely sad.) . . . it's ! well she's . too. Vaska'll break yer . to myself. . . breaks it? I'd . it's BOOBNOFF. . . much matter sooner that he did. one . . (Stretching planks.. . (Lying down. . 'oo . BOOBNOFF. . BOOBNOFF. . TARTAR.. And I shall . .. 105 And for all then . NATASHA Does .) a What rag of some kind over what er yer mumbling? his NATASHA. struck down. die So with all born.. shrunk up. BOOBNOFF. . and KLESSHTSH KLESSHTSH comes behind the others. .. Lord Why live. and you too : die. . .) That's your affair. slowly. I too . . . Waiting for Vaska head for yer. . WHEN. same . NATASHA. So . . ? You see. dead do people live? . . . .

. . . Oh. if she's THE TARTAR. . LUKA. . darling ourselves 1 we pity the dead? The living we don't pity we don't pity why her? . .) be no smell . go over to the bed.) WHEN. . ! For Eh. you. what . . it's all right . KLESSHTSH. 1 WHEN. and how shall and . . Girlie. heard . .. . .) Out into the passage here . Sh Anna. . . You must have her ! out 1 Can't keep dead bodies in . (Low. . . take 'er out.. .) (All Well. in 'eaven. There'll (To the TARTAR. . Good Lord won't yer pity one 'ud speak a kind word ! 'er ? 1 . . NATASHA. (To KLESSHTSH. if some.106 THE LOWER DEPTHS NATASHA. here the living have to sleep. We've dead. You from think she'll smell? her she 'ad . wasted alive.. don't take on . KLESSHTSH looks at his wife over the others 1 shoulders. .

.. in that case yer must borrow one gives five. . in I'm the afraid to . another what *e can.) . . .) from a word 107 And . No . that's what I . . But get the police and quick Else they'll be fancying it was yer doin'. afraid of the living . alone . .THE LOWER DEPTHS BOOBNOFF. . besides. . . . we'll club together . . illness . planks. . . WHEN. go . that must be done informed the police? yer Police ! Klesshtsh ! 'ave KLESSHTSH. and Well. or what . ! not. may wince from death don't wince a word. and all I've got's forty kopyeks. LUKA. (Yawning. . no ! THE TARTAR. (Going out. (Following her. Now . . You be say. . away from BOOBNOFF'S you see I shall dream of the dead always appear in my dreams. . she's got to be buried . . (Moving . . but death . . . lie (Goes to the planks and makes ready to beside the down TARTAR. . .) NATASHA.} Must fetch the police.. . WHEN. . . .} 'er . . it's dark passage.

tilling . . and sleep to it. LUKA. gettin' ready I . Tartars love to sleep. . . NATASHA Come with me. shall feel warmer then. (Low. KLESSHTSH. ..) But . she . Oh ho-o we Hassan. . Lie down. . . come. . (Standing in the middle of the shelter and What am I gazing vacantly in front of him. that's all there is KLESSHTSH.108 THE LOWER DEPTHS .. . how? (No one answers. .. spring soon.} WHEN. mate Now in the country to 'is plough and 'is already peasant's looking to till all ready for . I'll see yer safe I (They go out.) (SATINE and the ACTOR come in. m-yes ! ! Snoring already And we .. 'arrows. . Come .) . A pause. . daddy. Hassan Accursed Mahometan ! ? BOOBNOFF. .) goin' to do now ? WHEN.

) Lie down. . .. keep in the night yer must sleep. Ho -ho ! fixed . ". ! THE ACTOR. 1 . (In quiet . (Shouts out.. If I . No towns. my true SATINE. Way for Miklooka THE ACTOR.. There's nothing. (Goes out quickly ) (SATINE whistles after him. . . (Leaping up. A corpse. my . town and decided Old where are yer? ! 'un. . .) Kent. Fata Morgana. THE ACTOR. money. boys. . the old man diddled yer . Where's the master? can't . B^ranger .. . . a sleepy voice. Yes here aha took a corpse up in our nets poetry... 109 Old 'un ! Hither to me. . . I . wKere's the SATINE.) the master. I'll fetch sleep 'e shan't take .. no peoplenothing at all 1 .. ." We .THE LOWER DEPTHS THE ACTOR. . It's Maklai. Corpses drunkards. You lie 1 THE TARTAR.) BOOBNOFF. .

} END OF THE SECOND ACT. ! .} can't feel. can't . (LuKA appears in the doorway. hear . .110 THE LOWER DEPTHS Corpses Bellow . . SATINE.yell . . . . . corpses corpses can't hear. . (Calls out. .

THE THIRD ACT .

.

) 8 ." Between it and the party wall a narrow passage. right. buds as yet on the black elder branches. by wall. a red the on throwing light party wall. a heap of old planks. At right. the back. The sun is setting. crumbling plaster house in which KOSTOLOFF'S night-shelter is. lying on the pile of timber. Around it are elder bushes. (NATASHA and NASTYA beam. Evening. a high brick party wall." The Waste. Early the snow No spring. being lately melted. At a dark timber wall belonging to some right At sort of an outhouse. side are seated on the by the side.THE THIRD ACT SCENE. so that the further corner reaches almost to the middle of the " Waste. a barn or a stable. In the grey wall are two windows: one on a level with the ground. It shuts out the sky. the other about six feet higher up and closer to the party wall. sledge. the wall the of left grey. BARON on LUKA and the KLESSHTSH is In the "3 ground-floor window BOOBNOFF'S mug. By that wall is a big turned down and a beam about sledge upside twelve feet long. It stands on a slant." strewn with all sorts of At rubbish and overgrown with long grass.

! Precious ? THE BARON. . reeds.) students . in ." . let . a terrible voice. And he 'eld in shook." . " for that reason take my own I must.because of my love for you. you don't like it." 'e says." and threaten to curse marry yer ever . will not consent for my me to me for . too. NASTYA. (With eyes closed. And he says to me own precious love. ." says. relates in a sing-song way) Then at night would he come into the garden and talk with me. says. . . 'e love. . . and 'e pistol. Oo ! Then such it's true they're desperate fellows. . don't listen. Therefore. ! If . as we 'ad agreed and I . When. And his pistol was huge. 'and a . 'is and I shook with dread and anguish. then? " NASTYA. parents. and nodding her head in tune to the words. had been waiting for him a long while. " My imperishable " 'e . (Chewing that these . . . Ho -oh Here her lie. NATASHA. .114 THE LOWER DEPTHS NASTYA. . and pale as honey. loaded with life. " My BOOBNOFF.

Dash along . . to live without you that I cannot. . come Show respect to folk you interfere . . dearie girl. you wretches (Leaping on. . . It's the reason for a word Tell That's where the matter lies ! along. never can I forget you. . 115 e says. . . " For all the crow ! may dye its wings. did yer ? I ! . f . Nastya. . "Farewell. (In astonishment. .THE LOWER DEPTHS ten bullets.) Dirt . you lay and drank coffee." . LUKA.. " Oh. .. don't not in word but in deed.} d'yer think you mongrels D'yer think you For Real love ? can understand love ? You mine it was real (To BARON." And I replied. ! ! And . wait a bit Come now." 1 'cart's Raoul !" BOOBNOFF. .. . . . it's all right ! BOOBNOFF. NASTYA. steady on (Laughs. my .} ? What what's that? Kravol THE BARON. . "my I beloved comrade 'ave decided past recall . . .. Silence. . an educated man. last Come. that matters. 1 ! 1 .} time it was Gaston ! ! Why.. . ..

. NATASHA'S head. . Well. I . . in a I low tone.116 THE LOWER DEPTHS THE BARON. with a smile. mind them . (Turning to one cry . . fit . . . too silent they're going to laugh. . ! .. for ! ! because I love you so wildly. then. and I 'ave nothing nothing at all. loudly and heatedly.. .If they won't believe . side. .) strokes Don't . . . away my my .) " And Joy of my life thou. . . as I shall yer love you as long as a heart beats in this bosom But I say take not away your young life I.) No. my limpid moon it is not possible for me to live without I. ." nothing nothing (Hides her face in her hands. I . I won't any more on. NATASHA. ! I . I am 1 I am . . I am alone . .t is so necessary to your dear parents. . and weeps noiselessly. . . with closed eyes. what are they? They're only jealous to tell about themselves. am what . . . . what then? NATASHA Don't . yer mustn't cry (LUKA. for you are all their joy let me cast give me up life love for out of thee. as though beating to some far-off music. is (Breaks off suddenly. .) . 'cause there's nothing NASTYA. and keeping time with her hands.) for . . . a few minutes. . . she goes on again And then I answer to 'im. won't go if (Re -seats herself.

I you that's right. . Gran'pa .. you had one 'ad one maybe angry with 'im. don't get angry . .. ! It's . . . . hand. .) 117 Ah I .) Degraded creature I Empty ? fellow ! How could you have a soul LUKA. then. (Pressing her hands fast against her bosom. NASTYA. ! . Leave off ! Just shut yer mouth ! God '11 punish yer yet. 'ad nothing 1 Come along. with yer room-mate he's envious. know . ! . indeed it was a Frenchman we called 'im Gastosha ! .) that's 'ow it was God's truth 'E was a student .. . (Bitterly. . (Taking dearie I NASTYA 's nothing I . . not them. . .THE LOWER DEPTHS BOOBNOFF. Old 'un (Also laughing.) .. what damned foolery I THE BARON. (Laughs. then I NASTYA. that's true . . .) " ? All out of a book I It's all a lot of trash ! D'yer think all Fatal Love. . ! Come away." Let 'er alone The ! NATASHA. . and that's what he's laughing for maybe 'e never 'ad one of that real sort believe It's . it was. If you believe you had a real love But don't get why. .

} THE BARON. and I think and expect THE BARON. . think. little . 1 me so . people's so fond of lying it's they was up before the beak . .. . I too is . loved me so ! LUKA. and think .. . didn't Ai ai ai Did 'e and you loved ! yer? (Disappears round the corner. . What? .. so 1 NATASHA. strike me dead 'e if and wore patent boots I'm lying And 'e loved . THE LOWER DEPTHS black beard . ..118 or . let's have it ! NATASHA I . Why just as is if it? . THE BARON. Can't yer see that lies than the truth .. . . . You too? Come. I know 'im 1 It's all right I I believe wear patent boots? too. Good ! BOOBNOFF.. jollier . There's a fool of a girl for yer but such a fool it's incredible ! ! . ... .

it's a hard one has a fiend's temper.. .) Nothing to expect All that was has been expect nothing What then ? Passed. . . I (With a faint smile. . . NATASHA. ended . ? It's 'ard for . . yours Your .. . I shall die and that me scared. (Pause... . ! . . . Tell all me 'oo does live I 'appily . Now. . . THE BARON. . . . . And . .. life. as But always really expectin'. KLESSHTSH. in summer the then suddenly .THE LOWER DEPTHS NATASHA. .. to-morrow . . you may be struck by . . . .') .. In the summer it makes imagine about death .. . . . .. . or something will 'appen something I'm unusual.. I get a fancy that to-morrow . . . come extraordinary something . somebody I think. Just . . matter of fact what is there to expect ? . I've been expectin' long a . that see. .. . gets one storms are about lightning. . (Smiling in 119 a perturbed way. there'll .. .) THE BARON. that sister of NATASHA. .. . ! ! . .. . . (Till then motionless and indifferent. . suddenly .

others. . do they lies Now. . up. . .} . for instance.} souls all want to rouge 'em and grey they .. too gets nothin' from . on . . What's up is the devil ! biting yer ? You.. wantin' to colour her soul . .. must go and make it up with I don't I'll not have the money . for a drink.} all ! all? If for .} THE BARON.120 THE LOWER DEPTHS For all . howlin' that way (KLESSHTSH lies down again in his place.. if . She's used to enough and 'ere she is now . . Um ! . all (LUKA appears from round the corner. mug . . why is it all? THE BARON. I -Natasha . . And an rarely old man.. . . . . her 'e soul. . why . All men they have {Smiling and going off.. With Nastya colourin' 'er clear . . Um ! . . People's it's fond 1 of lying. . indeed... . jumping up. BOOBNOFF. the to put rooge . there's 'e Luka it. . . That's a lie then all right I ! Not for ! Then- there 's no 'arm yes BOOBNOFF... But . muttering. ? .

. . it . 'er . ! Fondle people never does no . 1 . . . near the town of Tomsk. .} LUKA. 'ow good yer are ! . The villa stood in a forest. . NATASHA so . .. I .} One must. good pity I in was once a caretaker a villa . . in the Ay. . . . and we must pity people . dear sir. (Goes out. to-morrow same old tale I Still ! She's Cast on a . ... . . engineer's it was. Daddy. . Why are yer good? LUKA. It's rubbish. .. man comes a then of it Here. . Um that's right. . . nuisance.. Good. . .THE LOWER DEPTHS LUKA. . Go along. . yer where is the see. an now.1 say this if you and so He ordered us. . that's . if ! . yes (Behind party wall the sound of low singing to a concertina is heard. der yer say? the so be . that she 'as 'er weeps 'arm to you? . still the it shall go and make up with 'er. . 121 Now. go and fondle 'arm. . old man ! To-day Raoul. THE BARON. . . why do you tease the girl ? Don't interfere with 'er let 'er cry it gives her pleasure. dearie. be good to some one Christ He pitied all.. it was 'eart of it and it was winter and there I . 1 . It's for 'er own pleasure. .

you woodmen. ' . was Well and good I ! One day NATASHA. . I says " So 'im. lo vie (Laughs. . That's what's rustlin'. . I've says ordered yer off once. they " be off And then. . " " Lie down to the one. " Dearie " for Christ's sake give us some man. I tell 'em to stand off Yes. . Now just you break me off a birch. ! . and you're not gone.. as For I tell you I was riled to say. . . Thieves a sound people rustling ? LUKA." Them bread was my robbers. yer see." other. and out . . I . they flogged one another.} Them was Yes their 'atchet... they're at me with an 'atchet . shouts You rascals out. . . too good peasants both of 'em. . Down they ! . .. ." And they say " We're tired of asking.122 THE LOWER DEPTHS in the 'ouse all alone. . . goes on their knees." They broke it off... you should 'ave asked right out for bread. . . I says to them 'Why. . " Have mercy " I Now. . : men. We'll go away we meant no 'arm. Pick up ay 'em two went. . and to the Now. my wood! you see I " cause of the 'atchet. . . . ! ! Or else it I fire pointin' at And my gun I keeps one and then the other. ." they say " and no one gives it's ask and ask " So all that winter they lived with me." they says. Flog And then they began to beseech me. I 1 little gun. : ! . cruel The one that was called Stepan he'd take my gun : . See my it that the about window so busy openin' " I don't see me. .

THE LOWER DEPTHS . . . . no strength Here's in I I truth I No shelter . . I If I'd not pitied them maybe . And of And Goodbye. were . But the other 'e was Jacob man. M-m-yes lie ! truth. 'e can teach for good very simply . . NATASHA Were they runaways ? .. Why ? To my lights give us just as it is Why 'ide any thin' ? 1 I I can't all the 1 KLESSHTSH.ecstatic way.} BOOBNOFF. . me . gran'pa went were Russia. . .... courts. . and Siberia where's the sense? prison and Prison don't teach nothin' good.. .. runaways Proper moujiks Besides . . (Suddenly leaping up again and shouting out What's truth? Where is an." they say. .. coughing always. . to they going I " there the three of us together we took care the villa. . no that is shelter I I We The must I pant and die the truth devil . that they'd 'ave killed .. . . . . or what not. 123 and go shootin' in the forest. ill. . That's just what they broken out of prison.. 1 A ! . . . . .) truth No work . . . off they . But here am . and Siberia don't but it's the man 'e teaches yes man. convicts ? LUKA. When the spring came " " .) the truth? Here's (Tearing at his rags. .. . . (Pause.

Give ! me to breathe room to breathe Why ! am I What's to me . . Touched 'im up a bit ! . (PEPEL comes slowly round the corner. . . 'Is raving don't matter. . . turning as he goes. Ai ai Where's ai 'e ! It's run off a real shock to? 'e's 'ad.) LUKA.124 THE LOWER DEPTHS what do I What room want with the truth? . . theatres. . . . . . old man. LUKA. . Lord Jesus . ... . 'E let it . . BOOBNOFF.. . You. NATASHA. go . the truth? guilty? Can't live blast it I can't live Live hell let us live and there is the truth ! ! . KLESSHTSH. . . .. fine The way they do in the not Often 'appens that way ! . BOOBNOFF. now listen. got used to the life. I I say to you blast it 1 (Rushes off round the corner. . I loathe And that's a truth blast the every one truth Now do you hear ? Now do you know ? ! . ! . .) . love ! You . you go about and you soothe every one. .} truth. . .. You talk about (Quivering with excitement.. I tell yer .

nothin' to be cocky about ? If yer value people by their work . if yer want to . . They're gone in the Square service . . was it? What's up with 'im? he was scalded.. ! ! -in? NATASHA..it's gone right to yer PEPEL. . . that..} Don't like 'im and 'aughty. . (Imitates KLESSHTSH. a 'orse can give any man points 'e Natasha Your people says nothin' pulls and (Sitting . . . When yer run like 'eart. my wily old boy. Peace be to this 125 honest assemblage I Well. Work. LUKA. .. . Luka. spiteful 'e's beastly down. . . . You ought a -shouting I to 'ave 'card just now 'ow one fell PEPEL. then to evenin' .THE LOWER DEPTHS PEPEL. . Klesshtsh.) I am a working man. 'E's runnin* as if What. it . . . story of yer life ? been givin' them the LUKA. means . Every one's beneath 'im.

So. righteousness and there must be dwelling in that land an ex. . " In a land of righteousness.) Now .. In wha-at? LUKA. For instance. people ! they respect one another. ." . BOOBNOFF. ! . and when ably it 'E was poor. see that you're free for once . lived misergot so bad with 'im that still even " Never 'eart. . .. yes. he'd only just smile and 'e'd say I can bear it mind A little more waiting and I've done with all this life and I shall go off to the land of righteousness. was that land. . case : .. you say truth ment for man with the truth. .126 THE LOWER DEPTHS I PEPEL. ceptional kind of people . a novelty ! LUKA. . good it's . BOOBNOFF. now 'ere's a I knew a man 'oo believed in a land of righteousness. .. them and all about them " And there was that man wonderfully good 'oo was always wantin' to go and seek the just natural to . (Reflectively to . . . . . There must." 'e " on the earth be a land of said. is . . It was : I I lyin' down didn't 'elp 'im 'e didn't lose his one delight. see .. . .. and to help one another . . land of righteousness.it's not always a good treatcan't always heal the soul . .

not. . came an books and plans 'e sort was in Siberia was a scholar that scholar 'ad.) NATASHA . very latest. Well. Stop now. . yer books and yer plans they're no use if there isn't any land of righteousness.." look There must be. undoes 'is plans scholar : of thing. What ? None ? (BOOBNOFF laughs. . . . ." " : well 1 If . . and every all this 'e . for a righteousness one nowhere no land of righteousness.. . are the says . there's quite true. " . . . . . . but there isn't such ! ." 'e says. no. Well? 127 Did 'e go? BOOBNOFF." The scholar " " was offended. and which is the way there?" At once the scholar opens 'is 'e looked looked books. 'ad. PEPEL. My plans. " .THE LOWER DEPTHS PEPEL. and there isn't nowhere not any land of . where does the land of righteousness lie. uncle? LUKA." 'e says. It's the countries there are all marked. Where ? Ho. The man won't 'e believe. be so kind. you will . ho LUKA. ! And there then to this place exile. . Then the man if says to the Show me. .

so it much for your land of right. . . BOOBNOFF. . (Silence.) PEPEL. .) All of it's made up.. . Robbery You're a swindler. wasn't to be found. M-yes eousness . LUKA. PEPEL. I'm sorry for that man. not a (In I . . . low tones. ! scholar ".') And after that 'e went 'ome and 'anged 'imself ! (All are silent. looks at PEPEL and NATASHA.. and then the man " Can't be I've lived and lived and grew angry. that's NATASHA . with a smile..128 THE LOWER DEPTHS 1 righteousness at all. the devil cheerful tale. ... .. and gives 'im one 1 whack on 'is ear ! Then another . suffered and suffered and always believed there is and your plan says that there's not " " Then 'e says to the scholar Ah. .. (Sullen.. not a you you scum ! ! 1 : . 'E couldn't stand the deceit.. . NATASHA.. .) Oh." Well.

. I PEPEL. LUKA. are yer off? To it little Russia. Eh(Nodding towards window. If they'd found anything arranged better than ... .. . little But they must be 'elped. Ho. . .I'm . 'Ow d'yer think will they find it? LUKA. . ? They'll find it I Who finds 1 wishes finds . . yes I wishing patience ! a better People are way. they'd 'ave . always . They're arranging must be respected. . a story. Where LUKA. . 9 . .THE LOWER DEPTHS BOOBNOFF. .. . . children live in hay-hay God I'll soon be leaving you. . one they I . . Well.} LUKA. . ho. . God seeking and 'em give PEPEL. ho There's notion a righteousness It's 129 all . ho 1 (Disappears from window. I 1 .) 'E laughs . who wishes strongly NATASHA. . . . If people will . 1 the land of ! ! Ho. told that they've found there a new faith 'ave to look into . .

. . . I . .. . .. . . I . .. . Natasha I ! I'll 1 ! .130 THE LOWER DEPTHS I . . . for PEPEL. . be I don't believe in conscience. . Come I'm going It's Natasha. To prison? told you I'll chuck thieving God's truth I can chuck it What I've said I'll do I'll work. .. ... see . . . 'elp yer God grant it . 'elp? I'm without 'elp . (Decisively. knows all.. and they live in honour though they don't help I I know . . read and write. . . . friend True a man ought to respect 'imself. NATASHA. .. . so as I can able to respect myself. Christ That's true. . different Must live ... I NATASHA. . . LUKA. Where? PEPEL. .} Once more I'm ter again this ter 'e talk yer . . . Here's 'e been tellin* me to go to Siberia on my own hook let's go together eh? D'yer it don't think my life. me do I It ain't that 1 I ain't . . 'Ow can myself. . . 1 ! : . jar me ? Ah. feel ! But this thing I : better must Must live I live . with me . . . consoles myself because I see others steals more than me. . repentin' .

all 'ave me " Vaska's a thief. should I go with you? As to . Some (Sorrowfully. . But when then? It isn't for the first time..THE LOWER DEPTHS PEPEL. a Vassili. was expectin' somethin'. . . NATASHA And where . . . .. . . . . I don't I believe .. well? ... you're yer straight if .. . . I've . . loving you. . . PEPEL. Yer see . : I 'ave thief thief . as though pity. . I don't much love you. . the son of a Eh? There it is Set down a : ! been a might from badness yes but I 'ave been a because no one ever called me anythin' else. then sometimes I can't bear to see you when it's one sees nothing bad in one's sweetlove heart but I see . . You'll love me never fear I I'll 1 make you care watched only you'll say yes I over a for see a year." Aha thief I my cradle a thief . NATASHA .} not in any words. . . . . . . I've 131 been from 1 always said to thief.. . And feels uneasy I to-day my 'cart's 'eavy . .. Say now. . . . . way. It's . .. . . .. .. Natasha... . . PEPEL. .. At times you do please me . . you started on this to-day. .

the window and listens. . . . a wolf's life little joy in and whatit .. . . a man . Never mind that. PEPEL. . . . PEPEL. . 'elp way me. My (Gloomily. . but my sister . . it is .. good . .. . what (Agitated. you love me. . . She .. it's all rotten . Per'aps yer might pity me.} don't count. and 'er own way go on the loose. I thought different .132 girl 'e .. (VASSILISA. like a man in a swamp ever I catches at . . they ... of .. When there's no clean.. if she weren't so .. Well. . . . yer put up with stale stuff. . loves yer very much. .. 'er? That sort LUKA. . .. If as she'd be mine altogether. Your sister . THE LOWER DEPTHS .. and can't But you're like a young it fir-tree.. I . . life's . good. to .. fresh bread. .. ... . . yet 'olds firm. ... .} not soft . and may rock. girlie. to . Well. . no hold nowhere . and all She But she wants other things. so 'ot after for good money I'd gladly 'ave taken 'er . in her best dress..} appears in NATASHA. . . . wants money 'er . yer can trust . When yer can't get good bread. .

Only . . I've . . it's certain 'E's the right sort f good man . . I I 1 say you go with him. 133 And you so. I don't to nobody. she's just a fierce And a good lad keep on remindin' 'im 'e's a good lad. .) Come. to it. . .. NATASHA. it's . and already talkin' PEPEL. . not . . ! beast and 'er husband what can one say of 'im ? There's no words bad enough for the old man and all of this life 'ere what can it lead to? But the lad's strong.. . dearie. 'E'll believe mean. ..) There 'e's . " don't forget it And think. But I've nowhere go . Vaska. say yer will 1 . . . . . as e shan't forget it. yet. of I'm not his wife killin'.. I know this.THE LOWER DEPTHS LUKA.. you go ! with 'im just . . .. too. that you're a .. NATASHA (Smiling.. . Nowhere thought of believe to. where else is there you could go to ? um ? Your sister. dearie. go . Natasha. . " Only you say to 'im. but that way I'd kill I'll . . . One way go. let yer ... PEPEL. yer. Sooner yer. (Putting his arm round her. .

. Ah. . . . . . speak it before God time you strike me. Vaska . . 'and rot off. . . . . . . woman . A (Out of the window. lovie. PEPEL.} I say. never doubt dearer to 'im than 'e to you.134 THE LOWER DEPTHS But this one thing. and I ! the first I'll me.} snake 1 . You're VASSILISA. if I touches yer ! It's all right. or any way insult either 'ang myself . NATASHA. May my LUKA... . (Low. PEPEL. or .. Oh Lord ! She's seen ah. . What er yer frightened for ! ? No one dare touch yer VASSILISA.. I know ! . ! LUKA. 'E can't beat.. . Natasha He'll not beat yer. So that's arranged ! love council ! NATASHA Vaska I She's there.. for 'e can't love. poisonous .} pretty . it. now Don't fear. (Pressing herself to him.

and PEPEL.THE LOWER DEPTHS VASSILISA. don't do nothing ! I . (KOSTOLOFF KOSTOLOFF.. So that's 'ow I get left I .. . you're beginning a PEPEL. . Hold you She's no longer yer servant Natasha. (Going out. I thought you was goin' to KOSTOLOFF. Natasha the ! enters.. . .} What not er yer after 'ere. don't go .) . sluggard? at yer relatives . . (To KOSTOLOFF. You stop ordering bit early ! . ..) . . .. *E 'its 135 yer with words. we're . Tittle-tattling? Grumbling ready? ? And not samovar ? the table touched NATASHA . . That's ! none of your ! goin' Keep to your do as yer ordered own business where business . .. ! NATASHA. never mind ! Now did she is . 'er ? mine KOSTOLOFF. .) Church. Yours ? When you buy Fer 'ow much? (VASSILISA laughs. .

working yer up don't yer under- PEPEL. she's drawing yer on stand? .136 THE LOWER DEPTHS you be off.) We'll see ! (Goes out. Vaska ! . . (Disappearing from window. aha 1 She's lying all .) I'll arrange you a wedding. . you lie ! You won't have it your way ! VASSILISA. . Yes . .. ain't I terrified I LUKA. . (Clenching his fist at her. PEPEL. . PEPEL. Vassili be off I for see . LUKA. You're pleased to you'll learn that it's think it funny a cryin' matter I I Maybe VASSILISA..) VASSILISA. And Vaska 1 it won't be the way that I don't want.'". . 'ow terrible ! Oh. . Oh.

. Soon. Where my KOSTOLOFF. live like beetles as ever *e pleases. But a man ought just to live on one spot. I ... they say. Ain't to yer ? see. eyes draw me. . they say? LUKA. you're going away. . KOSTOLOFF. On taste.. . KOSTOLOFF. Under a firm stone no water flows. A man . my old man I . place earth. Just so. KOSTOLOFF. Men ought not to each one popping about . not ought to settle 'imself in one wander at random over the . . . 137 my old man ? LUKA. . Well.THE LOWER DEPTHS KOSTOLOFF. you mean. That's for a stone.. stoppin* in one place LUKA. Where? LUKA. So . the tramp.

. . what is . . Why. but only pray for . man 'as for that 'e forsakes all earthly cares as to pray. . a useless use . . Get on ! KOSTOLOFF. Consider ... But supposing that every place his place? KOSTOLOFF. Yes. to follow a righteous life . .. out of sight . ... . to live in the don't annoy . .. don't interfere. a man not like others . .. . a vagrant . yes still ! Well. . . don't wish for nothing. . all good people ? . . A man apart .. 'E ought people live's none of 'is business. .. all the sins of thine .. . It's . woods . judge no one all .) are you what sort of a pilgrim But you You've no passport . ! let 'im keep it to 'imself and If 'e *e then he's a real pilgrim. . a man. . keep But 'Ow people without reason. And that's the way. . a good should 'ave a passport . .... . 'e is silent.... . that shows 'e's a tramp . in the fastnesses . . Suppose 'e a real pilgrim knows somethin' that's no good to any one though it be true enough but there's not good in every truth he ? . ... . LUKA. world so . . 'e ought to be of he ought to labour. man . for . (Pause.. .. .. ! And the interfere with no one. .. passports . for mine for for all. . yes \ . .138 THE LOWER DEPTHS is LUKA..

. . But uncle but are you aware my wife a policeman. for me. as you are so you remain. . . be you a without no . . KOSTOLOFF. . Suppose Lord God 'Imself It's says. 'as an (VASSILISA comes in. . man the " ! bother . And if I . .. . . . thus. . and then there are others are men.) VASSILISA. . all for example. . . whatever that . . . " . . people and men LUKA. .. put and by KOSTOLOFF. settled Mikhail. KOSTOLOFF. . . ! me no riddles.THE LOWER DEPTHS LUKA. I say there in is ground grows and there's land that's it it . . gettin' at? Now . . go and 'ave yer tea. Where's the riddle that won't take seed fertile . What er yer LUKA. Won't do . What stuff . that 139 There are people... Don't give I'm as clever as you. . you . Mikhail Ivanitch. . ? . . .

(To husband.. . . 'oo Your tongue's knows you're . . see.140 THE LOWER DEPTHS get out of here clear out KOSTOLOFF. VASSILISA. you sell you for one. From look out to-day take yer carcase ! off ! or else LUKA.) Come on. . It's me they're threatening to sell. . three kopyeks. BOOBNOFF. . Yes. BOOBNOFF. you get out. they'd For three kopyeks? Why. get a . . Call caught reward Call uncle up uncle a runaway. old man. . . .) that fer three What's that for sale? What's kopyeks? LUKA. (At window. . . Here's fer yer of this place I ! ! VASSILISA.. . KOSTOLOFF. Uncle I . old man and ! a sight too long not a runaway. might . . . yes. . . . think if *e .

141 .. . . if I 'adn't gone off in time. world . appetite 1 . You sprang up . Maybe I'd be in prison. . That's best. . Urn? . yer (Disappears corner. BOOBNOFF. . in the . just like a devil from under the stove? VASSILISA. BOOBNOFF.. Wish you a good VASSILISA. (Turning round. LUKA.. .} What 'eaps of shady people and every kind of swindlers. LUKA. .. This night I'm off. .THE LOWER DEPTHS KOSTOLOFF. I know. . . You say true. LUKA. Never outstay your welcome. (Going with his wife.} with her husband round the LUKA. .} rotten toadstool I Shut your mouth .

. . and altogether we was see the wars. . . That was the best Leave 'em to go on changing dogs into racoons I 1 BOOBNOFF. We my in 'ad dread- broke my I cracked yard 'Owever. the master was all 'e was a rare 'and at changing dog's right cat's too coat. master. I'd 'ave drunk away the shop. . ! see. So I beat the wife . . . Once 'e pulled out . kangaroo A knock out So you see the wife took up with 'im and they were that gone on one another into . . re-dyin' it. . ! . . or get me out of the world some'ow. . . . .. To . and the master me. . Drinkin' spelli ? Ah ! . . . .142 THE LOWER DEPTHS This way . my . . Only that the shop was in the wife's name and I was left as you see Though. thought thought of it pulled myself up in time and wife . . that I feared they might poison me. . .. LUKA. . BOOBNOFF. beard and once wife over the noddle with an iron 'alf Then I'd get wild too . they get the best of myself I'd kill But powerful ! my I . And then to cleared off. rib. . . . my wife took up with the say truth. . to tell the For. into racoon : True. . musk-rat and all sorts. of all this I . I 'as those drinking spells. ful fights. I nothin' can it 1 come . . yer truth. . . LUKA.

. . that stuff into You won't go anywhere Old man why did ! . . it's a all yer pour 'is ears ? THE ACTOR. I'll drink it ! THE ACTOR. To-day I worked. . I I But it's all gone yet. have. You lie ! Uncle ! tell 'im that 'e lies ! I- am . LUKA.} SATINE. leave nothin' but my It's awful skin. beloved of the gods my life going to be? Blown myself. and I'm sober 1 . You pack Get out of fools 1 Give it here. (To SATINE. I SATINE. Rot ! pack of lies. How's that? Here they are two five kopyeks. into smithereens uncle there are sharpers in the world cleverer than me 1 . what's Tell me. The worst yer can Once I begin to put it down I do in everything. swept the floor going and took no vodka. . 1 That's all towards it.THE LOWER DEPTHS 143 BOOBNOFF.) And you why do you lead 'im away? SATINE. What's more I'm lazy. 'ow I 'ate work 1 (SATINE and ACTOR enter quarrelling. ! . you magician.

One of the boys in my I . . danced splendidly . yet . It's to remember . 'Ow did yer get out of yer SATINE.. Actor 1 Come along 'ere I (The in front of ACTOR comes to the window. no fool .144 THE LOWER DEPTHS agreeable LUKA. . . daddy in 1 Four years and seven months .. I and I want to understand the ways of men You're a look at you I don't understand . played . did I sit prison after the prison . . . brother. . . .. LUKA. . stage liked to amuse people fine. . but why? 1 You LUKA. and sits BOOBNOFF on the sill. . . I was a great wag. little old chappie all . ! bold fellow. 1 BOOBNOFF. have to know bearings. You're merry. on . Konstantine . nowhere to go I .. good time In early days.. . Prison. the . Konstantine all at once .) SATINE. . SATINE. .. . eh? Aren't you just curious.

You take life easily ! Yet yell the locksmith 'ow he did 'ere just ai . nothing ! SATINE. . nine years have passed since Ah.. For my own off it. . in I killed I the rascal in a and .THE LOWER DEPTHS LUKA. ! What were you in for? rascal.. What shall I be up to now? 10 . ho SATINE.. . . He'll get used to it. . SATINE. . . Yes.. For a rage cards. Was the killing for a woman? SATINE. . Anyhow you come . LUKA. . My happened long ago. . . the prison learned to play . . of a girl. Klesshtsh ? LUKA. died . . . . . now was ai ai ! . . she was a real brick my sister was. and sister . . . . 145 Oh -ho. . . . I sister. LUKA.." 'e cries . don't care for being questioned all that . " there's 'There's " no work.. brother.. then. .

.. .. Thinkin' tools . and a hundred more working. . . . That's what yer say before men.. Hey.} ! he comes in ! (KLESSHTSH bowed. I don't work thousands all see? All chuck d'yer No one will do anything then what '11 work happen ! . . . do nothing ! KLESSHTSH... I should be ashamed . his head SATINE. They'll all die of hunger ! . Men aren't ashamed to let you live Come off Think now you stop worse than a dog. give you some advice Simply dig up the world I'll ! . . widower for? ! What do yer hang yer head What are you pondering? KLESSHTSH. ! ! ! KLESSHTSH. . all gone for the funeral SATINE. (Softly..) comes slowly. .146 THE LOWER DEPTHS See 'ere LUKA. SATINE. . what shall I do ? I've got ! no . . .

you " there's a ought to go to the fugitives ".. . (NATASHA window Stop! . LUKA. Wait a there ! bit . people they call the " fugitives. (Agitated . . " What for? . . . NATASHA.) Vassili . I know . heard crying . . .THE LOWER DEPTHS LUKA. SATINE. children . 1 . . scuffling. KOSTOLOFF " A h ! heretic ! hag ! " ) VASSILISA. . . . Lord ! Brothers ... from KOSTOLOFF'S out. . ancient. . call 'im . . .) If these are your notions. . What 'ave I done? ") LUKA. the sound of broken and the shrill cry of crockery.) Hi ! in there ! ." . . (In call trepidation. . Beating me .. SATINE. there.. . Vaska. I'll teach her .) Natasha ! It was her cryin'- Ah \ (From the KOSTOLOFFS' apartment is heard noise. . killing me. . . . (Shouts in at the window. Oh. 147 (To SATINE. they're no is fools. ..

. at (Running out. on. now.) KLESSHTSH.) Vassili . Quiet on the stage. . rubs his hands firmly Then begins to mutter something together. . They've look. . with a hatchet. stopped 'er mouth I'll go and (The noise KOSTOLOFFS' apartment to die away as if they had gone out into the passage. . . ain't . Va a a . Come LuKA. sister. The cry of an old man heard: " " The loud slam of a door. . I . .) once ! . were. Evening twilight.we'll act as witnesses 1 (Following witness 'im. . . no sort of a It's . BOOBNOFF. ! SATINE. Stop ! in the diminishes. (Seated on the sledge. . SATINE.I'll find *im THE ACTOR. . dear ! . quick and fetch NATASHA Sister . their beatin' 'er. old man . . . seems which seems. . It's nothin' uncommon. . .148 THE LOWER DEPTHS Here. BOOBNOFF. as to it cut off all sound.

} (A few seconds of ominous somewhere silence. .. . What right have you got F VASSILISA.No hope. then. then} live. a volume of sound. then? .. .} THE TARTAR. It increases and approaches. Call Vaska ! . .THE LOWER DEPTHS at first indistinguishable. . . Must have a roof 1 Man . Jail -bird 1 . .} (TARTAR runs in.} roof nothing . . in the passage. . .. I'm her sister 1 Let me go. . that's all. his right hand bandaged. chaos of cries. . quick give it 1 (A police whistle. KOSTOLOFF.} Individual voices are dis- VASSILISA. followed by MYEDVYEDYEFF. 149 'Ow. 'Ere's a pretty pass light ! 1 murder in broad day- (Enter WHEN.. . tinguishable. alone . (Slowly he goes out.) . When 'im SATINE. . Must well? alone No (Aloud.

Abraham It's in. . . (Feeling for his cord. whistling in her ears. . to get at her sister. Here I give up my .) SATINE. (KOSTOLOFF runs KOSTOLOFF. .} whistle. is who trying is ALYOSHKA persons men and women. leaping about her like a madman. And you ? Do yer own duty 1 MYEDVYEDYEFF. .) ! Stop 'im ! . all dishevelled. Ha I gave 'im one for 'imself ! MYEDVYEDYEFF. murder ! (From around the corner come KVASHNYA and NASTYA. Would you? you damned .) owl ! . dragging VASSILISA. (To VASSILISA. Seize 'im ! . shriekAlso other tattered ing. .150 THE LOWER DEPTHS ! WHEN. You you've been fighting. SATINE moves backwards towards the house. too ? THE TARTAR. supporting NATASHA. roaring.

. near the party wall. (Taking away NATASHA. . aren't you ashamed? Er you mad? off MYEDVYEDYEFF.) Aha . with power- movements. I've got yer 1 SATINE. Vaska Robber (Getting behind the corner. (Seizes SATINE. . . leave . . . are struggling in a mass near the They passage. take Vaska footpad ! . . When (All ! flay 'em . Vaska . . .) Karpovna. and set her down on in the pile of wood. draw NATASHA away to the R.THE LOWER DEPTHS VASSILISA. . help 1 I Abraham I Seize ! ..... jail -bird 151 go. .) us brothers. Vaska. . forces them. Let pieces..) his way through PEPEL.} (PEPEL rushes ful and silently. Where are you Natasha? KOSTOLOFF. you ! I'll tear you to KVASHNYA.

take me . . .) save me . truth . this They're relations .152 THE LOWER DEPTHS PEPEL. child's Look. an accident mustn't talk wildly. NATASHA. (Cries to SATINE. . . .. The samovar upset. Vassilisi .. . .. is . Beat robber Vaska ! I Good people I .) PEPEL VASSILISA. (Half fainting.. . . rushes to NATASHA. what you? I KVASHNYA. . THE TARTAR. I They've scalded the NASTYA. .. beat the MYEDVYEDYEFF.) a family matter er 1 Let be . I You swinging (KOSTOLOFF falls so that only the upper part of his body is in sight. . . you old goat (Violently he strikes the old man. . Maybe .} round... look the savages poor feet.. must 'ave the . . . .

. . leave me to deal with them 1 BOOBNOFF. . . the " " Some one's in " devil! it! The for crowd decreases. the old man some one's finished im. Go .) body . (Looks at him. seems not to take it in. the throng. .) BOOBNOFF. . I say . .} (NASTYA and KVASHNYA rush of KOSTOLOFF. goes to PEPEL. see ! Dead ! Murdered (All gather round KOSTOLOFF in the BooBNOFF comes out from passage. (Low}. (The noise on the stage goes out like blazing wood extinguished by water. Separate half -whispered ejaculations: " Not "Done it this time!" really?" "Let^s get out of it!" "Oh.THE LOWER DEPTHS VASSILISA. . 153 Good folk I ! look here I look. Vaska 1 the old man ! It's done now ! PEPEL.} (BOOBNOFF and the TARTAR go to the off. .} and call take 'im to the hospital .

} But It's come your way.) What. Hold on ! WHEN. . And now ! PEPEL. I ! ! MYEDVYEDYEFF. (Doming from NATASHA. the devils ! . 'is murderer I saw it Good people Vaska? the police ! I Vaska murdered 'im I saw it . ! . To VASSILISA. Here it is 1 (He whistles. . They tore it away.} (SATINE and WHEN pounce upon him VASSILISA rushes into the passage. Croaked the old dog I I can't I serve you the same? (Rushes at her. darling friend? AbraPolice You've got to go on trial. cries my 'usband ! VASSILISA. ham Whistle .154 THE LOWER DEPTHS ground. (Getting up from the triumphantly} Killed 'im there's I out .) SATINE. . Vaska. . (Reappearing.. MYEDVYEDYEFF runs after him.) Take 'er away (Looks at the OLD MAN. . ALYOSHKA. Proo I Where are you jumping to ? VASSILISA.) Well? You're glad? (Touches the body with his foot.) ..

. .. to kill 'er 'usband . . Ah .. . She wished for it . So. . talked to me to-night . and ? loud. . See 'ow way they've mangled me. nothing ! Manslaughter that's all That doesn't cost you much. so that she I She might overhear it all? Good people is 'is lover you know it . . . .. . . What I want's to bring Vassilisa in . .... . Vaska.. it was she they are at one 'e was in their got 'im to kill 'er 'usband and I was in their way. Vassili. Vaska. me to.) .. . . . .... NATASHA. . and I will bring 'er into it. VASSILISA. . I saw 'im I I gave 'im three Can't have good taps. 'as urged me . she 'as urged . Vassili one I My sister Good people They are at and him they are at one I They had arranged it all ! So. . . Hold Vaska SATINE. . needed much Call me as a witness. . I don't want to acquit myself. all know it She . . it 155 don't funk I is that's . . ! I ! understand. ! . . (Suddenly . PEPEL. .. ! 'E killed 'im.. .. ! . .THE LOWER DEPTHS SATINE. . . that's why you . . . . .

Inspector. They'll sink yer between 'em WHEN.. Natalya I No. No understanding it.. I . 'Ere's a muddle 1 Take 1 care.} They've killed . Natalya say? ! say . Natasha. . . . . NATASHA They of yer. You lie She's Vaska's the murderer ! lying ! I . . think what you're saying VASSILISA. he 'as killed him. they all saw it..156 THE LOWER DEPTHS What d'yer PEPEL. . (//z . God's sake. Mr.. what d'yer SATINE.. What a world it is 1 PEPEL. . He. I the passage.. a thief Your worships. . it can't be you do really? . .. Vassili. . The devil's in it all ! VASSILISA.. I saw it.. .. ... . you can't believe that me and her SATINE. . are at one 1 Curse you both ! Both SATINE. my 'usband Vaska Pepel.

you can 'ear them The it's . . the wretch . (Her mind wandering. . . . And take me let me go to to prison they are judge. . . . . . prison END OF THE THIRD ACT. . . . my sister police and Vaska they're murderers .it's she. my her sister. the murderers ! Take them ! ! . . she's urged him persuaded lover there 'e is. people ! . . . . .THE LOWER DEPTHS NATASHA.} 157 Good . . For Christ's sake . him . . .

.

THE FOURTH ACT .

.

. moving and groaning from time to time. BARON. Behind the table KLESSHTSH is seated. Wind in the yard. The ACTOR is turning about on the stove and cough- The scene is lighted by ing. he is mending a concertina for a leak in the bellows. PEPEL'S room is Setting of First Act. At the other end of the table SATINE. . and in the place where KLESSHTSH (In the corner sat there is no anvil. three bottles of beer. police. Y-yes . .THE FOURTH ACT SCENE. a large hunk of black bread. . during all of that shindy . TARTAR where PEPEL'S room was the lies. . and NASTYA. Night. a lamp in the middle of the table. In front of them a bottle of vodka. . Vanished before the fire. gone. THE BARON. Just like smoke dies before SATINE.} KLESSHTSH. Just as evildoers flee the faces of the just I . the partition is broken.. . . . 'e cleared out. .

. .. . understood everythin' . . . . . .} And on . like slops are when THE BARON. the . good . . you 'asn't no pity. everythin' .} To your health. whole . dead . . . 'E was good was the little old man you're not men you're mildew .. . . . . An here interesting old boy yes she's fallen in love with him.102 THE LOWER DEPTHS . . KLESSHTSH SATINE. . . (Laughing. . 1 Nasturka NASTYA. he was for a lot of yer you've no teeth. (Smiling. 'im In love with 'im 'E 'Onest I . 1 I THE BARON. in love with . 1 saw . . . But NASTYA.. . arid . 'E 'ad pity .} Or a plaster on a boil. You may pity . (Drinks. lady 1 SATINE. SATINE.. . Does it help yer if I pity yer? KLESSHTSH. it's but it is that not that you should 'ave yer shouldn't give offence . . .

Yes I . . . . " . moreover punishments to be inflicted by justices of the peace. . an act for the regulation of And. tells ." THE BARON. . Prince ? THE TARTAR. Don't offend people there's the law ! SATINE. The soul ought to be the Koran. Just just . different ones . . . . .} The old 'un was good . criminal and correctional. you know .THE LOWER DEPTHS THE TARTAR. THE BARON. . . . We call that " The code of punishments. . 'ad the law in soul's good. Koran law. . THE TARTAR. your Koran ought to be yer . hand 163 (Sitting on the planks and nursing his damaged like a child. . What law. What then? THE TARTAR. 'Oo 'as the law in 'is Lose the law and yer done for 'is soul ! 1 THE BARON." . .

(Testing concertina. a new law.. wheezes. . .. .164 THE LOWER DEPTHS damn . In your slippers. you won't soon get rid of it. Mahomet gave ! the Koran . Just so. Live it. Then in course of time the Koran's not enough time gives its own law. must . a code . Each time gives . KLESSHTSH.. . of ... went by and gave A strong law . And what (Bangs her glass on the table. ... . .. .. . 1 THE BARON.} why do I live here with you? I'll go go off to some place .. THE BARON. SATINE. *e said : 'Ere's the law Do as it's written there.. . . " . NASTYA. to the end away of the world for . Naked 1 On all fours ! . it ! . Time punishments ". . . THE TARTAR. its own law. but the Prince 'e says right live by the law . . lady? NASTYA.. Try it.} Wheezes. . by the gospel. . SATINE. .. . .. . . .

of tragedy what on earth's she called? The Goddess . (Getting yer fool ! up from the stove. . and take the Actor with yer on some goose chase he's learned that. . I'll crawl look at your mug. . NASTYA. all people . . I ! THE BARON. 'ow ! . he'll go ! he'll go ! just see ! THE BARON. . what's . Yes.. . . servant of the Goddess . SATINE. . . there's a 'ospital for organons. . ! If it's only not to have to it . . Quite a picture. .) Or-ga-nisms SATINE. . 'er . Merci. name? of plays. He who. . Go off at 'e's on. . exactly half a verst from the end of the world. . . . monsieur? THE ACTOR. THE ACTOR. . THE ACTOR. Yes. For organons poisoned with alcohol. lady . all revolts me ! All life .THE LOWER DEPTHS THE BARON.. . 165 if on all fours . Ah.

. .. Aphrodite ! . . Baron THE BARON. No. The old 'un's an ass. . sick and exhausted I die ". . Atropos .. THE BARON. .. . to with em it It's all the old . . Why do you live ? Why ? ! ! Yes " THE BARON. . man . verses of Be*ranger yes ! He'll find 'im a place where there's no . You bellow " 1 1 Kean or genius and excess " : don't . ! " ! HeartGet ye . you shall see hence. Hera 'ell . That ditch shall be my Nothing tomb. The Muse Muse. monsieur ! THE ACTOR... ! Not a Goddess but a ! SATINE. d'yer see. . Clods ! Goths ! less creature. THE ACTOR. . ye dismal spirits .. anything.106 THE LOWER DEPTHS idiot THE ACTOR. . that's ? screwed into the Actor . no .. " Mel-po-me-ne he'll go .. .

. and then . . KLESSHTSH. . . ears . 'ell . . Let 'em shout . lady I KLESSHTSH.. . NASTYA. . lady ! SATINE. let 'em That's ! ! . . . . THE BARON. the old 'im.THE LOWER DEPTHS THE ACTOR. 'e didn't like it. . . .. (Looking up from the table wrings her hands. all 'inder folk. that old our people's heads. Baron split their sense.. Shriek ! Let 'em listen ! THE BARON. Quiet. he's just turned yer know. own . I don't quite take you.. Don't yes. Silence. You lie ! You're a 'umbug yerself ! THE BARON. man put it . You lie ! 167 I will bellow I NASTYA. 'E pointed 'em some place never showed 'em the way. . The truth . .. too.) . . The old 'un was a humbug.. as the old bird . ! Oh.

. inI I've read know Beautifully. . . (Striking his hand on the cattle ! table. it's lying screens.. . .. . . . 'ere ? and But the see without it yer can't breathe.. . . . right 'e was I Yes . . . 1 You're old fer as dead as bricks. THE LOWER DEPTHS 'E stood firm against the truth .168 didn't. and Not a thing do yer underThe old 'un's no humyer lie ! . affectingly they lie I There's the con- . ! . .. where 's there truth . man . . Look 'and at 'is workin* off. it supports. . yer pity people that lie out of pity for their neighbours. ! ! spiredly. . some But him . . . devil take you. 'ave to 'ave there's 'is 'and sawed of yer now and some truth SATINE. that's own master who don't depend on others and don't feed on others why should he lie? Lying's the religion Truth's the God of of slaves and masters. the free man ! . . Prince there 'e's spoiled . bug ! truth ! What is the truth? Man there's the He understood that you don't .. understand the but out of There's lots of . preceptive the burden that crushes the hand of the justify I labourer . . The weak of spirit and them know about lies soling the lie ! that live on the sap of others ... . 'e'll . to lay blame on the starving. Baron are the worst of stand .} Silence ! You're the old all of yer 1 I man all . (Calmer. .') Boys shut up about You... .. his them that need and others it . . the lie to lie. ! I He lied yes.

'E stamps 'imself on the whole carpent'ring trade shoves the whole thing twenty years forward. . .. masses people. (Trying to speak in LUKA'S voice and to imitate his demeanour. .) " Why they live for Now. . Bravo like a 169 Finely spoken decent man ! ! ! I agree ! You talk SATINE. .. .. . folk so often talk like rogues ? I've forgotten a lot. own way looks at I asked own Once everything through eyes. .. . when decent The old .. He . there's carpenters . Shan't a rogue sometimes speak the truth. a carpenter such as never was in all the world above 'em all never was his like fer carpent'ring. . . Locksmiths then bootmakers and other working folk and all the agricultural and even the gentry they : : . (NASTYA pours out a it glass of beer and gives to SATINE. let's say. .) SATINE. . . . . but I shall know something ! 'un ! He had like acid brains.THE LOWER DEPTHS THE BARON. He laughs.. . .. . . man. Fill worked on me does on a dirty old coin. . . . . . . . . dearie and the rest And then out of them a the better ! carpenter's born . . . him: "Daddy! why are men alive?" The old lives his . . man his . ! Let's drink to his health up.. And so for all the others.

got off the stove. service rose and rose. horses .} ACTOR has SATINE. dearie boy. Under Nicholas. held a high post. . thinks for 'e's livin' fer 'imself. .170 THE LOWER DEPTHS man ! live for the better Each it's . that we must respect children the little bits of mites For the little children there must be no cramping Never interfere with the .. ... stops working at the con- The BARON. 'e why have been born for our 'appiness . .. and also listens. cooks. go on livin' till the better man " ! (NASTYA looks fixedly into KLESSHTSH SATINE'S face. Gustave Debille. . with his head lowered. . .} man? old So . . bring 'elp. my grandIn the father. . and what 'e can do . (Thoughtfully.. family .. . was in our family ..} THE BARON. we 'as A to 'undred years and maybe longer. ! all in their way live for the better man 'e Therefore you must show reit's spect unto all 'e is. .. .. . clear we can't know who was born. an . .. drums with his fingers softly on the table.. to may us Arid) the most of all . it For the better M-yes. . . Hundreds of serfs . . .. yet it turns out that better man.. . " All.. . certina. . Noblemen originally French. . . Riches.. . . of Catherine's time. . ! ! children : respect the mites " ! (Pause. .. .

) There was no carriages ! SATINE. . in ! A house in . Stop. Lies ! 171 'E never did ! THE BARON. Never 'ad ! THE BARON. .} Petersburg arms. ) What ? Well . from where he watches the scene. (With exultation.THE LOWER DEPTHS NASTYA. . and goes to one side. ten footmen ! . . ! A house Carriages with coats -of - (KLESSHTSH takes the concertina^ gets up.) NASTYA. (Shouts out. . and after ! NASTYA. . .) N -never 'ad ! THE BARON. NASTYA. . I'll kill you ! NASTYA. Nasturka ! Don't rile 'im. (Preparing to run. Silence 1 I say . 'E never did ! THE BARON. Moscow . (Leaping up .

rage .) You. (Triumphant. won't SATINE. I thought there'd be a .. documents. . (Returning to table. . . I've them ! And forget about your uncle's can't carriages . .) fight. too believe me ? (Cries in despair.) A -ah. . out with . (Worn Satine. . Just wait. 'Ad no gran'father ! 'Ad nothin' ! (SATINE laughs. Stole myself be jeered got proofs. . Ah Silly folk ! ! Very bad ! THE BARON. damn it let ! at. tell 'er the ! slut. too don't his fists you're laughing It's true. NASTYA. sits on . yer My grandfather .. .. You . . .) damn you NASTYA. got 'im. . in a carriage that was you go anywhere. pounding all ! on the table. I . the . bench.. D'yer know believe now 'ow it is when people won't yer ? KLESSHTSH. THE TARTAR. .) THE BARON.172 THE LOWER DEPTHS spawn ! THE BARON.

to character.) Devil take .. (Growing you're . . able . .) ? NASTYA.. . SATINE. . That she should dare. . What . 'E's only I . Get some It's of use. or even a father and mother. . But it .. D'yer hear 'im? Should dare I . coolly. Why. I've no strength of . . anyhow I 173 NASTYA. THE BARON. . judge things seems time. . SATINE ? . . . calmer. er yer going to the hospital 1 .? Been out long since ! came out and disappeared No findin' 'er. Nastya. (Pause. yer .. 1 .. . . How's she any worse than laughing in her you Though past we'll take it that she's had no carriages and grandfathers.? SATINE.. er yer thinking of. To Natasha.THE LOWER DEPTHS THE BARON. . NASTYA.

in penal servitude .. . SATINE. You're better off in penal servitude. That's to say KLESSHTSH. That's where yer ought all to be .) What are you saying? Are you mad? THE BARON. .174 THE LOWER DEPTHS she's a goner. . all mixed up together all mixed up . It's interestin' to see who's goin' to floor which ? Vaska Vassilisa.. or she him? NASTYA. . ... . . But Vaska go to penal servitude.. Try it ! Touch me ! THE BARON.. .. Now I'm just her insults ! going to give her one . NASTYA. SATINE. (Astonished. like rubbish . I'll try it I . . For manslaughter only to prison. . .. for NASTYA. dust-hole. . SATINE. Vassilisa'll he'll win I She's cunning. . in the Pity. .

) KLESSHTSH You . . . You idiot I can't . Laughing? it That's a lie too I You don't find funny I THE ACTOR. . she's such an NASTYA. live Ah. . .} does me an offence what I a life -long offence what then? Forgive? No matter Nothing man a and if man I I THE BARON. Let 175 be ! Don't ! touch her . call Give no offence to (Laughs.) You ought to know that I'm I'm on a different level to you! You . .) Thrash 'em 1 . 1 (Laughter of the men.THE LOWER DEPTHS SATINE. (To NASTYA. . stupid I A little apple ! THE BARON... give offence to folk that old I 1 can't get him out of my no head folk. .. . you poor wretch Why you you on me like a worm does in a little apple I . (Gloomily. . be angry .. muck I NASTYA.

THE TARTAR. to NASTYA. (Gloomily . Wolves 1 may yer choke 1 yer wolves I THE ACTOR. 1 She's a bad ! woman the Russian Not the Tartar woman woman the law woman knows Tartar the Scolding wilful I .) Here ! Stop ! What are you running for ? NASTYA.. (After her.176 THE LOWER DEPTHS only I NASTYA. now I'm goin' ..) teach her manners . could ! I'd give yer .) that's it on 'ow 1 THE TARTAR. yer THE BARON. ) Amen .. Why ninny 1 break the crockery? La . No. .) Go to the devil I SATINE. (Takes cup from table and throws the ground. If . (Getting up.... O-o. . (Running away.

. SATINE. . Thanks Bedtime soon. Everywhere see that . The huzzy ! KLESSHTSH. . goes spreads TARTAR THE BARON. goes over to the corner where his planks are. But 'er Finished (Trying the concertina. . THE BARON.} 'E's on the master didn't come for 'er. men . Come on drink ! KLESSHTSH. ! .) planks. . . SATINE.. you it's that they're all men all right (The something on his on his knees. (Having had a drink.THE LOWER DEPTHS KLESSHTSH. (Pointing the TARTAR out to SATINE. . . .} It's all right. >' . . loose. and prays. Are you getting used to us? KLESSHTSH. at first yer don't find ! then you look round. .. Give 'er 177 a shaking. . there's . ! .) 12 Look I .

That's mag! . I ! Baron good I to feel yourself a man (Gets up. ! ! . . and therefore is free ! . He's a Stop alone (Laughs. he pays for everything himself for belief. ! A man his affair Yes.178 THE LOWER DEPTHS good I SATINE. I am walk the streets people eye me for a ..} Devil knows why ! ! chap. . . for wisdom. . All is in man.. . When I'm drunk . . I like everything. is man? ! . him . ! not lower him with pity Let's drink to Mankind It's . Mahomet . man pays everything himself. the old 'un. ! all for is man exists only man. Mankind Not pity him must respect him . hands and of his brains nificent That sounds You must respect mankind all ! the rest the ! There work of his ! Man . SATINE. to-day am . .. for love.. Napoleon.) That's prodigious In that is the beginning and . that's A man ! . them. for unbelief. a scoundrel yes. ! THE BARON.) I'm a ticket ! of -leave. and . is . . . I. .. . . When a murderer. . Let . He prays ? Fine . not them no It's you.. . You're always good when you're drunk clever. A that's the truth What not you. . mighty. not me. in one (Draws in the air the a with his man face of D'yer see? finger. . good. . It's ! ! end of all. can believe or I not believe free . ! The man .

. Baron? That isn't it. . I'm . . Man is higher 1 ! ! ! than that. there's .. ! 179 and they draw away. but what did I learn? Married in a frock-coat. .THE LOWER DEPTHS crook after . Loafer " work work guard Why To fill my belly? I've always despised people who (Laughs. . . . . . warm don't . causometimes. isn't that. . Rubbish fear? ! There's nothing that a man should THE BARON. that's the thing to I haven't got that.) It worry too much about stuffing themselves. after ? SATINE. . (Nodding . It seems to me all my life I've done nothing but dress up and why? Went to school wore the uniform of the Institute for the Sons of the Nobility Don't remember. Never anything have I understood. .. .. his head. . . . . . . You're getting at it that's prime I ! one's heart. . know how (Looks round then softly. . . . . tiously) I. Man is higher than repletion ! THE BARON. and an overbut I picked out the wrong wife and coat why? Don't understand. Squandered all I Yer know . . . . in some way I'm clumsy. and they often say to me.) .. brother. ber from when first I can remembeen inside my noddle a sort of fog. and they glare " blackme. . I'm afraid because what D'you see? Get in a funk . . . .

. . . I should say stupid. must have been born for some reason. . And all .. . (Smiling.. to ? I'll go. For me ..) THE ACTOR. ..) THE ACTOR. . Yes and I think it's stupid. For after all . . . SATINE.ah? That's funny. ! it's all right 1 THE BARON. Tartar ! (Pause. . A pause.. she . . .) Prince ! (The TARTAR turns his head.} So . run she Where's where she is ? . . . .. like in a dream . . . . his the better man head. . . Entered the Court of Exchequer uniform. and a cap with a cockade made away with some Government money they then I got put me into the convict's gown into this lot here.. . . . . .. .. . .) (Shaking . . . Nastya ! . wore trousers THE LOWER DEPTHS some . . Not very. . . (Goes out. . ... Man is born for Probably.180 had. . pray. That off . . . and see . . . sort of a grey pea-jacket and red but where did it all get to? Never noticed. . . . But I .Eh? SATINE. . . THE BARON. . .

BOOBNOFF. Why? THE ACTOR. drinks. and another sticking out of the pocket of his pea- he jacket. Pray for me. (Gets quickly from the stove. . THE TARTAR.) I'm SATINE. off where? (Enter MYEDVYEDYEFF jacket. . A camel it's . of a donkey I Only with no ears. (After a silence. . off ! and almost runs into the passage. woman's drunk. carrying a packet has a bottle of vodka in one armpit. Hi. in a wadded .THE LOWER DEPTHS THE TARTAR. a kind .) Pray yerself 1 THE ACTOR. is but not In both one hand BOOBNOFF cracknels. .) MYEDVYEDYEFF. you. . . Chuck it ! Yerself yer a kind of a donkey. of and BOOBNOFF very drunk. pours himself some vodka with trembling hands. . 181 . goes to the table.

BOOBNOFF. . .) yer the bottle. (To SATINE..182 THE LOWER DEPTHS . yer 'e know stupid and good. know 1 They bound . A I good man he 'un. nostrils. but a wrong to 'ave wits But. . ... .. Wire Jumble. You put the cracknels on the table. . BOOBNOFF.. 'e's may be . . it MYEDVYEDYEFF. Sharpers . look at boy. . get Where's every one? Why's there no one 'ere? up . . about the camel. it's my treat ! SATINE. MYEDVYEDYEFF A it camel. You'll soon drink all you've got. . . BOOBNOFF. . . all True So 1 I You're right. . there.. have one hand free. got . . 'Ere. 'ave all clever they're be to clever. eh? ... not no teeth. hears with it hasn't its got no ears at . . can yer get me up on 'im . then you'll . all . blockhead 1 . in all Chum trakteers 1 I've all been looking for stills 1 the all the 1 Take my 'ands is full SATINE. 'asn't no 'orns.

With Yes. . Give it me all in a lump 1 BOOBNOFF. eat. (Going to table. . I'll play cards with it ! . . Don't bark. my God Come.. . and a .. . . . a five kopyeks . mates. . drink. . A man's a sad creature come along to me to my free trakteer For you Saline 'ere. I'd . .. . The 'ole . . . don't don't turn yer nose up. ! 1 SATINE. . . .. . . BOOBNOFF. . . . . Soon. I loves to stand treat If I was rich . . . . I 1 . troupe of singers. listen to the singers gladden yer 'earts. . ! Ooo-r-r I Yer peacock 1 I growl Drink.. ..THE LOWER DEPTHS BOOBNOFF.. . Then At once? Right a and here's here's a rouble twenty kopyeks . ..) Not here. all. yer say? capital 183 This time I've gathered some pile. I treats everybody Why. . be ! jolly. SATINE. That'll do I It's safer with me. a two kopyeks capital? ! . take 'alf of all my capital you This way I'd build a free trakteer ! I music... a little When ! Where's When? KLESSHTSH.

Um. . 1 I you. . in barefooted. only all .. Go and like soak yourself . . I . the money is it ? is placed in your keepin' 'ow much BOOBNOFF.184 THE LOWER DEPTHS am a witness . You? You're nesses. . . we want no wit- . . . . I look at yer ! And it's . (Comes soaking. . drinking that's a poor game very good That does 'arm. 1 . a camel . I'm frozen. . and sings:) If my Then nozzle weren't so bonny. over . . . fellows Cold 1 MYEDVYEDYEFF. . But..} Fellows I my feet are BOOBNOFF. only when yer Klesshtsh . drunk yer anythin' like a man.. brother . drinking does 'arm ! You sing and you play that's 1 ! ALYOSHKA. gossip ? If one was to ask : 'Oo is that . ALYOSHKA.. Why. MYEDVYEDYEFF. my gossip wouldn't love me. ! My concertina mended? (Dances.

. . brother. All the same. . I've not got a penny! Oh. .) Yer lie ! She's not dyin' : she's disappeared without tellin' no one 1 (SATINE laughs. some figures. I It's am so good! cold 1 (WHEN act enters. Keep still. then until the end of the other male and female They undress. the other's MYEDVYEDYEFF. brother 'e's I A man with no niece not an uncle ! ALYOSHKA. .) BOOBNOFF. aren't I a merry boy? gossip My And Oh. snore. get on to the planks.) . 185 You're no done with " ! You're no one now. You're just auntie's darling hubby ! BOOBNOFF. One of yer dyin' nieces is in gaol. . . . ALYOSHKA. " in these days bobby you're " No bobby " nor no uncle.THE LOWER DEPTHS BOOBNOFF. (Proudly. . Your Excellency ! The retired drum -major I has 'er savings.

. You come here I THE TARTAR. Means the a hand gutter for you. is out the yard The ! cold. BOOBNOFF. it means a noise. . in in. . Prince. Boobnoff? BOOBNOFF. mate I My beloved . Ah. When there's singing. In the night yer must sleep I Sing songs in the day ! SATINE. . down ? . That's all right.) 'Ave they cut it . Hassan ? . man Go and drink Nothing like it I (KVASHNYA comes KVASHNYA. How all right? There'll be a noise. .) my dear good ! people 1 Out in the yard. {Going to him.. . what er yer good for 'ands A . . the slush my man here? Mannie . by 'is I and 'is I back. . Prince I 'ow's yer 'and? off? .186 THE LOWER DEPTHS What made yer 'ook it? WHEN. eh THE TARTAR. I Sit . let's sing. Without man's valued No hand no 1 WHEN.. Come 'ere .

. . Look . but you . I've got my . . . Boobnoff . .. you're a disorderly crew. MYEDVYEDYEFF. . seein' as 'ad discipline. . it? jacket again a bit on. account of the . (Going into the kitchen. will. . now . together. my friend. slush ! No foolery. It's the only way. On .. and the cold the slush 1 KVASHNYA. . . A man like 'im 'as got to be kept strict. it's time ! . birthday . .} SATINE.. Got on to my me . ... I (Exit. yes . I thought 'e's 'e keep 'ouse would be a 'elp to .. I want to .. . at me . Why are yer so beastly strict with him? KVASHNYA. Come to bed. and it seems What d'yer mean by MYEDVYEDYEFF. We me .} Sleep. . the . .. 187 Me? KVASHNYA.THE LOWER DEPTHS MYEDVYEDYEFF.. ah? . ..

That's true. let 'im go my book ! woman's view That don't suit SATINE. . than you you'd never live I'd see yer a fellow like you one week in twenty you'd gamble away me and my very insides better . fat bones good forty stone. and brains not a ha'porth I . > You've chosen your help wrong. KVASHNYA. So now Alyoshka ! ! ALYOSHKA. . . . I've said. there's Flesh. gettin' drunk.} would. . . Yes here am I 1 KVASHNYA.. 1 SATINE. a woman Wonderful woman ! 1 I've said.. .188 THE LOWER DEPTHS . (Laughs. . with me .... 1 . No . there. . I? No 'arm. What's this you've been saying about me ? ALYOSHKA. my girl ! I KVASHNYA..

I thought that was beatin' 'im when you seized 'is 'old of 'air. you are. (Smiling. just you don't see school ? ! Why talk do you carry 'is out . ALYOSHKA. . . cause of your took to drinkin'. the night through. of It's And yer 'urt 'e's feelin's too. I'm the very first superfine sort of man for I just go where my eyes lead me any job ! ! BOOBNOFF. When . You're a pretty sort of man. 189 I've got a deal of you're wrong No. KVASHNYA. (By the TARTAR'S planks. . they'll not let us sleep Come and . .) KVASHNYA. . Then drink I the sayin's true.THE LOWER DEPTHS KVASHNYA. Alyoshka ! ALYOSHKA. then. and why did yer say that I beat ! my man? ALYOSHKA.) Come 1 along ! ! It's no use drink . .) Fool ! Then tales . . . And there brains. even a bear likes (KLESSHTSH and SATINE laugh.

! ! . I'll pay ! WHEN. . . BARON on the threshold. Drink? . squat Ah. Boobnoff. ! sing. BOOBNOFF. . . . Pour 'im out. BOOBNOFF. Does a man want much ? I've drunk a bit and When Strike me lad happy I ! pals I'll ! ! ! . Let's 'ear yer to yer ! ! THE TARTAR. yer devil fetch the wine We'll drink. Well. . .-) The sun it rises and it sets . . . . WHEN. (Going on.} In my prison is all is dark! (The door opened suddenly.) . ALYOSHKA. And I'll play SATINE. (Sings .190 THE LOWER DEPTHS Why not. Satine When. we'll rollick death comes we've got to die .

with wide -opened eyes. . . .. .. goes over to the table.out there ! over there the Actor ! On . 191 ! Go . you the waste he's . Ah ! . Hi . (In a low voice. . . and slowly.. .} SATINE. go . . NASTYA appears behind his back. he's spoiled the song . the fool THE END.. . AIL look at the BARON.THE LOWER DEPTHS THE BARON. hanged himself (Silence. .} .

Sjjt (Jlrtsljam TQtttt. LIMITED WOKING AND LONDON. . UNWIN BROTHERS.

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UC SOUTHERN REGIONAL LIBRARY FAOLIT .

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