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By– Anton Chekov
IMPORTANT PASSAGES FOR COMPREHENSION
Read the following passages and answer the questions that follow :
CHUBUKOV: We just get along somehow, my angel, thanks to your prayers, and so on. Sit down, please do… Now, you know, you shouldn’t forget all about your neighbours, my darling. My dear fellow, why are you so formal in your get-up! Evening dress, gloves, and so on. Can you be going anywhere, my treasure?
LOMOV: No. I’ve come only to see you, honoured Stepan Stepanovitch. CHUBUKOV: Then why are you in evening dress, my precious? As if you’re paying
a New Year’s Eve visit!.
LOMOV: Well, you see, it’s like this (Takes his arm] I’ve come to you, honoured
Stepan Stepanovitch to trouble you with a request. Not once or twice have I already had the privilege of applying to you for help, and you have always, so to speak… I must ask your pardon. I am getting excited. I shall drink some water honoured Stepan Stepanovitch.
Word-meanings: Get-up = dress (पोशाक): gloves = gloves (दस्ताने): privilege = special right ( विशेषाधिकार)’
(a) What kind of dress is Lomov wearing?
(b) Why Is Lomov in a formal dress?
(c) What does Lomov say about the purpose of his visit?
(d) Why does he drink some water?
(e) Find a word from the passage which means ‘special right’.
(a) Lomov is wearing an evening dress.
(b) He is in a formal dress as he has come for the hand of Chubukov’s daughter.
(c) He says that he has come to make a special request to Chubukov.
(d) He drinks some water because he gets excited.
(e) ‘ privilege’.
Brr… It’s cold! Natalya Stepanovna is an excellent housekeeper, not bad-looking, well-educated. What more do I want? But I’m getting a noise in my ears from excitement. [Drinks] And It’s impossible for me not to marry. In the first place, I’m already 35—a critical age, so to speak. In the second place. I ought to lead a quiet and regular life. I suffer from palpitations, I’m excitable and always getting awfully upset; at this very moment my lips are trembling, and there’s a twitch in my right eyebrow. But the very worst of all is the way I sleep. I no sooner get into bed and begin to go off, when suddenly something in my left side gives a pull, and l can feel it in my shoulder and head… I jump up like a lunatic, walk about a bit and lie down again, but as soon as I begin to get off to sleep there’s another pull! And this may happen twenty times…
Word-meanings: Excellent = very good (शानदार); palpitations = beating of the heart (दिल का धड़कना); twitch = pull with a jerk (फड़कना)
(a) Who is the speaker of these lines?
(b) Why is he eager to marry?
(c) What does the speaker think of Natalya?
(d) What disease does he suffer from?
(e) Find a word from the passage which means ‘mad’.
(a) Lomov is the speaker of these lines.
(b) He is eager to many because he is already 35.
(c) He thinks that she is a good housekeeper.
(d) He suffers from palpitations.
NATALYA: Then smoke. Here are the matches. The weather is splendid now, but yesterday it was so Wet that the workmen didn’t do anything all day. How much hay have you stacked? Just think. I felt greedy Ibd bad a whole field cut, and now I’m not at all pleased about it because I’m afraid my hay may not. I bought 00 hives waited a bit. But what’s this? Why you’re in evening dress! Well. I never! Are you going to a ball or what? Though I must say you look better… Tell me. why are you got up like that?
LOMOV : [excited] You see, honoured Natalya Stepanovna… the fact is. I’ve made up my mind to ask them out… Of course, you’ll be surprised and perhaps even angry. but a… [aside] It’s awfully cold!
Word-meanings : Splendid = beautiful (सुंदर); stacked = stored (संग्रह किया); hay = straw (भूसा): ball = a kind of dance (नाच) I
(a) What does Natalya say about the weather?
(b) Why is she not happy with her action?
(c) What does Natalya say about Lomov’s dress?
(d) Why is Lomov excited?
(e) Find a word from the passage which means ‘fine’.
(a) She says that the weather is fine.
(b) She is not happy in getting her field cut because the hay may not dry up.
(c) She asks him why he is in evening dress.
(d) Lomov is excited because he has come to propose to Natalya.
LOMOV: But you can see from the documents, honoured Natalya Stepanovna. Oxen Meadows, it’s true, was once the subject of dispute, but now everybody knows that they are mine. There’s nothing to argue about. You see my aunt’s grandmother gave the free use of these Meadows in perpetuity to the peasants of your father’s grandfather, in return for which they were to make bricks for her. The peasants belonging to your father’s grandfather had the free use of the Meadows for forty years and had got into the habit of regarding them as their own when it happened that…
NATALYA: No. it isn’t at all like that! Both grandfather and great-grandfather reckoned that their land • extended to Burnt Marsh—which means that Oxen Meadows were ours. I don’t see what there is to argue about. It’s simply silly!
Word-meanings : Dispute = quarrel (झगड़ा); in perpetuity = in continuation (लगातार); reckoned = understood (समझा) I
(a) What documents does Lomov offer to show Natalya?
(b) What for did Lomov’s aunt’s grandfather give the Oxen Meadows to
Natalya’s father’s grandfather?
(c) For how many years did the peasants have the free use of the Meadows?
(d) Why does Natalya say that Oxen Meadows are theirs?
(e) Find a word from the passage which means ‘calculated’.
(a) He wants to show her the documents relating to the Oxen Meadows.
(b) He gave the Meadows in lieu of their making bricks for Lomov’s aunt’s
(c) The peasants had the free use of the Meadows for forty years.
(d) She says so because her grandfather and great-grandfather thought that Oxen Meadows extended to Burnt Marsh.
LOMOV: I’ll show you the documents, Natalya Stepanovna!
NATALYA: No, you’re simply joking. or making fun of me. What a surprise! We’ve had the land newly dare a hundred years, and then we’re suddenly told that it isn’t ours! Ivan Vassilevitch. I can hardly believe my own ears. These Meadows aren’t worth much to me. They only come to five dessiatins and are worth perhaps 300 miles. but I can’t stand unfairness. Say what you will, I can’t stand unfairness.
LOMOV: Hear me out, I implore you! The peasants of your father’s grandfather, as I have already had the honour of explaining to you, used to bake bricks for my aunt’s grandmother. Now my aunt’s grandmother, wishing to make them a pleasant…
NATALYA: I can’t make head or tail of all this about aunts and grandfathers and grandmothers. The Meadows are ours, that’s all.
Word-meanings: Dessiatins = a currency (एक मुद्रा): unfairness = injustice (अन्याय): implore = request (प्रार्थना करना ): bake = heat (पकाना): make head or tail = understand (समझना).I
(a ) What documents does Lomov refer to?
(b) According to Natalya, for how many years did her family, own the land in question?
(c) What ‘unfairness’ is Natalya talking of here?
(d) What is the meaning of: “I can’t make head or tail of all this”?
(e) Find a phrase from the passage which means ‘request.’
(a) He refers to the documents showing his ownership of Oxen Meadows.
(b) Her family had the land for three hundred years.
(c) The ‘unfairness’ is that the Meadows belong to Natalya while Lomov lays his claim to them.
(d) “I cannot understand anything of this.”
NATALYA: I can make you a present of them myself because they’re mine! Your behaviour, Ivan Vassilevitch, is strange, to say the least! Up to this, we have always thought of you as a good neighbour, a friend; last year we lent you our threshing-machine, although on that account we had to put off our own threshing till November, you behave to us as if we were gipsies. Giving me my own land, indeed! No, really, that’s not at all neighbourly! In my opinion, it’s even impudent, if you want to know.
LOMOV: Then you make out that I’m a landgrabber? Madam, never in my life have I grabbed anybody else’s land and I shan’t allow anybody to accuse me of having done so. (Quickly steps to the carafe and drinks more water] Oxen Meadows are mine!
Word-meanings: Threshing = separating grain and chaff (अनाज और भूसा अलग करना): gipsies = nomadic (खानाबदोश):/t): impudent = rude (अभद्र); landgrabber = one who grabs others’ land (दूसरे की जमीन हड़पने वाला )
(a) What did Natalya lend to Lomov the previous year?
(b) How did she suffer on account of this?
(c) What had she always thought of Lomov?
(d) According to Natalya, what not ‘at all neighbourly’?
(e) Find a word from the passage which means ‘disrespectful’.
(a) Natalya lent her threshing-machine to Lomov.
(b) As a result, she had to put off her own threshing till November.
(c) She had always thought of Lomov as a good neighbour.
(d) According to Natalya, laying claim over her land is not ‘at all neighbourly’.
CHUBUKOV: Dear one, why yell like that? You won’t prove anything just by yelling. I don’t want anything of yours and don’t intend to give up what I have. Why should I ? And you know, my beloved, that if you propose to go on arguing about it, I’d much sooner give up the Meadows to the peasants than to you. There!
LOMOV: I don’t understand! How have you the right to give away somebody else’s property?
CHUBUKOV: You may take it that I know whether I have the right or not. Because of the young man. I’m not used to being spoken to in that tone of voice, and so on. I, young man, am twice your age and ask you to speak to me without agitating yourself, and all that.
LOMOV: No, you just think I’m a fool and want to have me on! You call my land yours, and then you want me to talk to you calmly and politely! Good neighbours’ don’t behave like that. Stepan Stepanovitch! You’re not a neighbour, you’re a grabber!
Word-meanings : Yelling = shouting (चिल्लानाt); give up = renounce (त्याग देना);right = claim (दावा); agitating = becoming exciting (उत्तेजित होना): calmly = peacefully (शांति से ) I
(a) What is Lomov yelling for?
(b) What does Chubukov threaten to do?
(c) According to Chubukov, how should Lomov speak to him?
(d) What does Lomov call Chubukov?
(e) Find a word from the passage which means ‘shouting’.
(a) Lomov is yelling to make it clear that Oxen Meadows are his.
(b) He threatens to give the Meadows to the peasants.
(c) Lomov should speak to him respectfully because he is twice his age.
(d) He calls Chubukov a landgrabber.
LOMOV: Squeezer better than Guess ‘? What an idea! [laughs] Squeezer better than Guess!
NATALYA: Of course he’s better ! Of course, Squeezer is young, he may develop a bit, but on points, and pedigree he’s better than anything that even Volchanetsky has got. LOMOV: Excuse me. Natalya Stepanovna, but you forget that he is overshot, and an overshot always means the dog is a bad hunter!
NATALYA: Overshot, is he? The first time I hear it!
LOMOV: I assure you that his lower jaw is shorter than the upper.
NATALYA: Have you measured?
LOMOV: Yes. He’s all right at following, of course. but if you want to get hold of anything…
Word-meanings: Pedigree = race (जाति); overshot = when the lower jaw is shorter than the upper (जब निचला जबड़ा ऊपरवाले से छोटा हो )
(a) Who are ‘Squeezer’ and ‘Guess’ here?
(b) How, according to Natalya, is Squeezer ‘better’ than Guess?
(c) What is the major handicap with ‘Squeezer’?
(d) What is the effect of a dog being overshot?
(e) Find a word from the passage which means ‘breed’.
(a) ‘Squeezer’ is Natalya’s dog and ‘Guess’ Lomov’s.
(b) ‘Squeezer’ is ‘better’ because he is young and has a good pedigree.
(c) The major handicap with ‘Squeezer’ is that he is overshot.
(d) A dog is overshot when his lower jaw is shorter than the upper.
LOMOV: He is old, but I wouldn’t take five Squeezers for him. Why, how can you? Guess is a dog; as for Squeezer, well, it’s too funny to argue. Anybody you like has a dog as good as Squeezer… you may find them under every bush almost. Twenty-five roubles would be a handsome price to pay for him.
NATALYA: There’s some demon of contradiction in you today, Ivan Vassilevitch. First, you pretend that the Meadows are yours; now, that Guess is better than Squeezer. I don’t like people who don’t say what they mean, because you know perfectly well that Squeezer is a hundred times better than your silly Guess. Why do you want to say he isn’t?
LOMOV: I see, Natalya Stepanovna, that you consider me either blind or a fool. You must realise that Squeezer is overshot!
Word-meaning : Contradiction = disagreement (असहमति )
(a) What is funny, according to Lomov?
(b) What does Natalya say about her own dog?
(c) Where can you find dogs like Squeezer, according to Lomov?
(d) How does Lomov interpret Natalya’s accusation of him?
(e) Which Russian currency has been mentioned in these lines?
(a) According to Lomov, it is funny to say that Squeezer is better than Guess.
(b) She says that her dog is a hundred times better than Lomov’s dog.
(c) According to him, you can find dogs like Squeezer under every bush.
(d) He thinks that she considers him either blind or a fool.
CHUBUKOV: Don’t excite yourself, my precious one. Allow me. Your Guess certainly has his good Points. He’s purebred, firm on his feet. has well-sprung ribs, and all that. But, my dear man, if you want to know the truth, that dog has two defects: he’s old and he’s short in the muzzle.
LOMOV: Excuse me, my heart… Let’s take the facts. You will remember that on the Marusinsky hunt my Guess ran neck-and-neck with the Count’s dog, while your Squeezer was left a whole verst behind.
CHUBUKOV: He got left behind because the Count’s whipper-in hit him with his whip.
LOMOV: And with good reason. The dogs are running after a fox when Squeezer goes and stars worrying a sheep!
Word-meanings: Muzzle = nose and mouth of an animal (थूथन); a whole verst = much behind (बहुत पीछे); whip = cane with a string (चाबुक)
(a) What are the two good points of Guess, according to Chubukov?
(b) What are the two defects of Guess?
(c) What happened to Squeezer on the Marusinsky hunt?
(d) How was Squeezer different from other dogs?
(e) Find a word from the passage which means ‘nose and mouth part of an animal’.
(a) According to Chubukov. Guess is purebred and is firm on his feet.
(b) He is old and is short in the muzzle.
(c) He was ‘left a much behind’.
(d) Squeezer ran after a sheep while other dogs ran after a fox.
PASSAGES FOR PRACTICE (UNSOLVED)
NATALYA : (teasing] My heart! What sort of a hunter are you? You ought to go and lie on the kitchen oven and catch black beetles, not go after foxes! My heart!
CHUBUKOV: Yes really, what sort of a hunter are you, anyway? You ought to sit at home with your palpitations, and not go tracking animals. You could go hunting, but you only go to argue with people and interfere with their dogs and so on. Let’s change the subject in case I lose my temper. You’re not a hunter at all, anyway!
LOMOV: And are you a hunter? You only go hunting to get in with the Count and to intrigue. Oh, my heart! You’re an intriguer! ,
CHUBUKOV: What? I am an intriguer? /shouts/ Shut up !
CHUBUKOV: Boy! Pup! ‘
LOMOV: Old rat! Jesuit!
CHUBUKOV: Shut up or I’ll shoot you like a partridge! You fool!
Word-meanings: Beetles = insects (कीड़े): tracking = following (पीछे करना): pup = small dog (छोटा कुत्ता); partridge = a bird (तीतर)
(a) What ought to Lomov to do, according to Natalya?
(b) What should Lomov do, according to Chubukov?
(c) Why does Lomov go for hunting, according to Natalya’s father?
(d) Why does Chubukov go for hunting, according to Lomov?
(e) Find a phrase from the passage which means ‘plotter’.
CHUBUKOV: Who’s dead?[Looks at Lornov] So he is! My word! Water! A doctor [ Life a tumbler to Lomov’s mouth ] Drink this! No, he doesn’t drink. It means he’s dead, and all that. I’m the most unhappy of men ! Why don’t I put a bullet into my brain? Why haven’t I cut my throat yet? What am I waiting for?
Give me a knife ! Give me a pistol! [Lomov moves] He seems to be Coming round. Drink some water! That’s right.
LOMOV: I see stars.., mist… where am I?
CHUBUKOV: Hurry up and get married and—well. to the devil with you! She’s willing! [He puts Lomov hand into his daughter’s.) She’s willing and all that. I give you my blessing and so on. Only leave me in peace!
LOMOV [getting up] : Eh ? What ? To whom ?
CHUBUKOV: She’s willing! Well? Kiss and be damned to you!
NATALYA (wails]: He’s alive… Yes. yes. I’m willing.
CHUBUKOV: Kiss each other!
Word-meanings : Tumbler = glass (गिलास); mist = fog (धुन्ध): be damned = an abuse (गाली )I
(a) Who appears to be dead to Chubukov?
(b) What does Chubukov call for to bring Lomov to life?
(c) Why does Chubukov put Natalya’s hand in Lomov’s hand?
(d) Who is willing to marry Lomov?
(e) Find a word from the passage which means ‘glass’.