A monologue from the play by Alexander Ostrovsky
NOTE: This translation by George Rapall Noyes was first published in 1917 by Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. It is now a public domain work and may be performed without royalties.

NADYA: What comparison could there be between country and city life! Everything is different there, in the city; the people themselves, and even the whole social order are entirely different. When I was in Petersburg with the mistress, one had only to take a look at the sort of people who came to see us, and at the way our rooms were decorated; besides, the mistress took me with her everywhere; we even went on the steamer to Peterhof, and to Tsarskoe Selo. Yes indeed, it was so splendid that words can't describe it! Because, no matter how much I may tell you about it, if you haven't seen it yourself, you'll never understand. And when a yound lady, the mistress's niece, was visiting us, I used to chat with her the whole evening--for the most part about the ways of high society, about her dancing partners, and about the officers of the guard. And as she was often at balls, she told me what they talked about there, and whom she had liked best. Only how fine those young ladies are! They're very gay. And where did they learn all that? Afterwards we lived a whole winter in Moscow. Seeing all this, my dear, you try to act like a born lady yourself. Your very manners change, and you try to have a way of talking of your own. You see, the ladies promised to marry me off, so I am trying to educate myself, so that no one'll be ashamed to take me. You know what sort of wives our officials have; well, what a lot they are! And I understand life and society ten times better than they do. Now I have just one hope: to marry a good man, so I may be the mistress of my own household. You just watch then how I'll manage the home; it will be no worse at my house than at a fine lady's. What a joy it would be to marry a really fine man! I, thank God, am able to distinguish between people: who is good, who bad. That's easy to see at once from their manners and conversation.

Home · Theatre Links · Monologues · One Act Plays · Bookstore · © 2006