Ансельм Людмила Николаевна
Rehearsal of "Idiot"

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  • © Copyright Ансельм Людмила Николаевна (luanselm@yahoo.com)
  • Размещен: 01/11/2019, изменен: 01/11/2019. 66k. Статистика.
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  • Аннотация:
    In the play Dostoevsky rehearses with his characters the last scenes from novel "Idiot".The author investigates the question why Dostoevsky needed a mentally ill hero to depict the ideal person.

  •   Rehearsal of "THE IDIOT"
       Ludmila Anselm
      translation by JIM Clinton
      Fyodor Mikhailovich DOSTOEVSKY;
      Maria Dmitrievna - The first wife of DOSTOEVSKY;
      Parfyon Semenovich Rogozhin - a character in the novel "IDIOT";
      Lev Nikolaevich Myshkin (Prince) - another character in "IDIOT".
      Scene: The apartments of Fyodor Mikhailovich DOSTOEVSKY: in Saint-Peterburg, Kuznetsk and Tver. It could be the same room because all actions happen in DOSTOEVSKY"S mind. Dostoevsky is writing of his great novel "The Idiot". The heroes of his novel appear in this room. A curtain divides the apartment. Maria Dmitrievna lies in back of the curtain.
      Two characters from the novel of DOSTOEVSKY "THE IDIOT" show the poles of DOSTOEVSKY"S life and mind, Rogozhin is angry, and Prince Myshkin is epileptic and trying to be Christ like.
      Time: Before and after the death of Maria Dmitrievna - the first wife of DOSTOEVSKY.
      Act I
       Scene 1
      The study in Dostoevsky"s house in Petersburg. Dostoevsky sits at a table he is writing his novel. Maria Dmitrievna enters in the room.
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Fedya, who was in your room?
      DOSTOEVSKY. Masha, it was your doctor. I told him that you are sleeping. He didn't want to awake you.
      MARIA DMITRIEVNA. What did he say?
      DOSTOEVSKY. He asked me where we lived in Siberia. And I said we lived in Semipalatinsk.
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Why was he interested in that?
      DOSTOEVSKY. He said that the climate there is excellent... especially for tuberculoses patients.
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. He said that we shouldn"t have come to Europe?
      DOSTOEVSKY. He didn"t say to Europe, but to Petersburg.
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. And what did you say?
      DOSTOEVSKY. We can"t go back to Siberia. We were so eager to come here and I must work here.
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. I knew that! (Begins to cough.) You think only about yourself, and you spit on my needs... (The cough begins lauder.)
      DOSTOEVSKY. Masha, don"t worry; you"ve started coughing again.
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Who is over there in the corner? They are moving! They are devils...Devils! Take them away!
      DOSTOEVSKY. Dear Masha, there is nobody in the corner. The Doctor said you must rest. He will come later. Try to sleep...
      MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Well I'll go... But I'll come back and control if you throw out your Devils.
      Scene 2
      Dostoevsky sits down at the table. Two figures appear behind him: Prince and Rogozhin. Prince coughs.
       DOSTOEVSKY. Who"s there?
       PRINCE. It"s us, your old acquaintances. PRINCE Myshkin.
       ROGOZHIN. It"s me, Parfyon Rogozhin!
       DOSTOEVSKY. Yes, of course... Let us continue our rehearsal... I want to explain you, I'm writing now a novel about a positively beautiful man. It is very difficult task to describe such a person, especially in our days. I want you to help me and support. me... Do you understand me?
      PRINCE. Yes, we understood you...
      DOSTOEVSKY. Let us continue our rehearsal. I forgot where were we last time?
       PRINCE. We were at just before my meeting with Rogozhin.
      DOSTOEVSKY. Yes. I must warn you this scene is very important. I hope you remember your words. Prince begins...
       PRINCE. Well... Some thing happened to me today... This morning I came to Petersburg from Moscow. As I was getting off the train I saw eyes looking hotly at me in the crowd. It even seemed to me that I imagined it; as I looked intently I did not notice anything else. But the impression was unpleasant...
      DOSTOEVSKY. I want to emphasize, Prince, that this scene is most crucial scene in my novel. I called it "fraternization". You meet with ROGOZHIN as rivals, because you love the same woman and part as brothers. You are supposed to play this scene in a special way. It should be both tense and confiding at the same time... Do you understand me?
       PRINCE. Yes, I'll try.
      DOSTOEVSKY. So, you"ve come to Petersburg and are going to Rogozhin"s house. You open the street door, start up the front stairway, come to his door and knock on it... Rogozhin himself opens the door. Rogozhin, now it"s your turn. At the sight of Prince you are so rooted to the ground that you stand like a stone idol. Well, Parfyon, go,go...
      ROGOZHIN imitates a stone idol.
      DOSTOEVSKY. Well, Prince, what are your lines?
      PRINCE . Parfyon, perhaps I"ve come at the wrong time? I"ll go then...
      ROGOZHIN. The right time, the right time. Please, come in.
      Prince comes in, goes towards the armchair, and is about to take a seat.
      DOSTOEVSKY. No, not so fast. You come up to the chair, chance to turn to him under the impression of Rogozhin"s gaze. It is as if something pierces you... (To Rogozhin) Rogozhin, now your gaze...
      Prince turns to Rogozhin, looks at him and sits down).
       DOSTOEVSKY. No, no, you"re again in too much of a hurry. You"re supposed to stop and look for some time straight into Rogozhin"s eyes. You need to try and stand down his stare, and you"ll sit down when Rogozhin says: "Sit down!" The main thing for you is to bear his gaze.
      ROGOZHIN. And what should I do?
       DOSTOEVSKY. You are grinning with some embarrassment, as if at a loss, and then - your lines according to the text.
       ROGOZHIN. Why are you staring? Sit down!
      (Prince sits down).
      PRINCE. Parfyon, tell me straight out, did you think I might come to Petersburg today, or not?
       ROGOZHIN. That you would come, I did think... But how should I know you"d come today?
       DOSTOEVSKY. Not bad, Parfyon, just add some more malice. Repeat!
       ROGOZHIN. But how should I know you"d come today?
      PRINCE. But even if you had known I"d come today, why get so irritated?
      DOSTOEVSKY. Yes, Prince, exactly so, ignoring his tone of voice.
      ROGOZHIN Why do you ask?
       PRINCE. This morning, as I was getting off the train, I saw a pair of eyes looking at me exactly the way you were just looking at me.
       ROGOZHIN. Aha! Whose eyes were they?
       PRINCE. I don"t know, in the crowd - it even seems to me that I imagined it. You know, Parfyon, I felt almost the way I did five years ago, when I was still having fits...
       ROGOZHIN. So, maybe you did imagine it, I don"t know...
       DOSTOEVSKY. And now, Parfyon, you are to smile a twisted smile. Do you understand me?
       ROGOZHIN. I think so.
       DOSTOEVSKY. Well, come on...
      ROGOZHIN (smiles). So, maybe you did imagine it, I don"t know. Do you remember how we met you, when we were in the same train, in the autumn. I came from Pskov to Petersburg and you, driving from Shwitzerland. It was cold, and you... in a cloak, remember... and those overshoes...
       (ROGOZHIN laughs.)
       DOSTOEVSKY. Now you are laughing with an unconcealed malice, exactly with malice. Prince, but you should smile, in response. Why are you frowning? Let me fix your false eyebrow. It"s not quite right. Come up to the light. (They go together to the window.) Prince, you"re trembling all over? Take care of yourself.
       PRINCE.I should warn you about those eyes at the railway station. I am sure he was there. The gaze was heavy, hot, exactly like his. It"s hard for me to talk to him, and you want me to inspire him with trust and love!
       DOSTOEVSKY. Well, of course! It can"t be otherwise. It"s been planned like this.
       PRINCE. Why do you throw me together with such a person: he is a terrible man. He has the stamp of a criminal.
       DOSTOEVSKY. But he isn"t mean.
      PRINCE. That"s good... But how can I love him? The fact that he isn"t mean is not enough to love him.
       DOSTOEVSKY. You forgot Christ"s first commandment: love your neighbor as yourself.
       PRINCE. No, I didn"t forget it at all. But am I able?
       DOSTOEVSKY. Prince, if not you, who else? So conceived my novel. There must be at least one fine person. I"ve long been tormented by the idea: to describe a really fine person... There"s nothing more difficult in the world... Prince, don't discourage me with your doubts.
       PRINCE. Do you believe that it"s possible: to love your neighbor as yourself?
       DOSTOEVSKY. I am a child of the century, the child of unbelief and doubt. And nevertheless, God sometimes sends me the moments when I love and find that others love me Such moments help me make up a symbol of faith for myself. In the whole world there is only one really beautiful person, it's Christ. Moreover, if anybody should prove that Christ is not the truth, I"d rather stay with Christ than with the truth.
      (Female laughter is heard and a cough from behind the wall. Prince and Rogozhin start and are about to leave.)
       DOSTOEVSKY. Stay, that"s Masha. She is there, in the next room. Perhaps she woke up. Let"s continue. Whose turn is it?
       PRINCE. Mine... (To Rogozhin). You"ve settled here for good?
       ROGOZHIN. Yes, this is my home. Where else?
       PRINCE. We haven"t seen each other for a long time. The wedding; you"ll be celebrating here?
       ROGOZHIN. Yes, here.
       PRINCE. Will it be soon?
       ROGOZHIN. It's doesn"t depend on me...
       PRINCE. Parfyon, I"m not your enemy and have no intention of interfering with you...
       DOSTOEVSKY. Stop! This is a very crucial moment of your meeting. Here, Prince, you should add more emotion, secret, hidden. You are rivals, you love one and the same woman...
       ROGOZHIN. Yes, we love Nastasya Philippovna...
       DOSTOEVSKY. But you love her in a different way. One loves with pity the other with passion. Nastasya Philippovna is a fantastic woman. When she finally made up her mind to marry Rogozhin, she came rushing to the Prince, almost from the foot of the marriage altar with Rogozhin, begging Prince to save her from Rogozhin. You both don"t understand her. Rogozhin thinks that she loves another man, and the Prince believes that she is sick, and distressed in body and mind. Is that clear to you now? Prince, now your words...
       PRINCE. Yes... Parfyon, I"m not your enemy and have no intention of interfering with you in any way... I"ve come to reassure you, because you are dear to me. I love you very much. Now I"m going and never coming again. Farewell!
       (Prince stands up and is about to leave. Here the "rehearsal" reading between "anger" and "attempted love" just begins to evaporate. The actors slowly start to become their play characters, still occasionally reading some play script lines)
      DOSTOEVSKY. No, Prince, where are you going? What about brotherhood?
       PRINCE. Brotherhood ... it means, I should stay?
       DOSTOEVSKY (excitedly). Of course! This is just the very beginning of your conversation. Rogozhin, your words. Repeat: stay with me..
       ROGOZHIN. Stay with me for a while. I haven"t seen you for a long time. When you"re not in front of me, I start hating you. Over these three months, I"ve hated you every minute. Now you haven"t been with me a quarter of an hour, and all my spite is gone... I love you again as before. Stay with me for a while...
       PRINCE. When I"m with you, you trust me, and when I"m gone, you immediately start suspecting me.
       ROGOZHIN. I trust your voice when I"m with you. I know we"ll never be equals, you and me... And we love in different ways; too, You say you love her out of compassion. I"ve got no such compassion for her. She"s laughing at me while she is with another man...
      (Heard is a sound of something dropped, coughing and crying from behind the wall. Rogozhin and Prince rise to leave.)
       DOSTOEVSKY. Don"t leave. She is behind the wall.
       ROGOZHIN. She either laughs, or cries.
       DOSTOEVSKY. Yes, don't worry... She Interferes with my focus, distracts me.
      ROGOZHIN. You've been fussing over your novel all the time, but I doubt that you have ever loved anybody.
       DOSTOEVSKY. Parfyon, will you hang this portrait on the wall?
      (Rogozhin hangs up the portrait of Maria Dmitrievna.)
       PRINCE (looking at the portrait). The amazing face. It is cheerful, but she has suffered terribly. This face is proud, awfully proud. But I don"t know whether she is kind. Oh, I wish she were. Then all would be saved.
       DOSTOEVSKY. Prince, these are your lines, but from another scene.
       PRINCE. However they fit. Ah, I wish she were kind. All would be saved! Well said!
       ROGOGHIN. That... is the picture of the woman asleep, behind the wall?
       DOSTOEVSKY. Yes, this is the portrait of my wife, Maria Dmitrievna Isayeva, while in Semipalatinsk. We got acquainted there. I had just been released from a traumatic prison term... She was married to a modest customs officer Isayev. She took such a passionate interest in my fate that I could do nothing but fall in love with her. Isayev used to drink a lot, was disorderly, had a lot of debts, and lost his job. After two years without a job Isayev got, at last, a new job as an "inn host specialist".
       ROGOZHIN. You mean he managed taverns?
       DOSTOEVSKY. Yes, it was very humiliating, but what was to be done? They were supposed to go to the awful backwoods, seven hundred miles from Semipalatinsk, to the wild Siberian town Kuznetsk. I got crazy at the thought of separation with Maria Dmitrievna. They were leaving at the end of May. My friend Vrangel and I planed to see them. Vrangel, made Isayev drunk, Isayev fell asleep. I sat with Maria Dmitrievna. It was a miraculous may night... At last, the moment of separation came. The horses were taking Masha away.
       In August I got news from Maria Dmitrievna of her husband"s death. And suddenly I got a letter from her with the following question: "If there were a man, elderly, with a kind character, having a job, and if this man proposed to her, what should her answer be?" She asked my advice. At the same time she adds that she loves me. I felt thunderstruck, and cried the whole night. Then I made up my mind during my official trip to Barnaul to stop by Kuznetsk...
      Scene 2
      Flash back: A healthy Maria Dmitrievna"s room in Kuznetsk. Enters Dostoevsky. He has just arrived at Kuznetsk.
      MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Fedor Mihailovich, at last! We have practically lost hope of seeing you. Travel problems?
      DOSTOEVSKY: No, I"ve come straight to you.
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA: Why so late? I didn"t know what to think...
      DOSTOEVSKY: Maria Dmitrievna, I had tried my best...
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA: Iwaited for you and went out on to the porch, almost caught cold. Thank to Boris Nikolaevich, he persuaded me not to stay outside.
       DOSTOEVSKY: Boris Nikolaevich?
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA: Yes, Vergunov Boris Nikolaevich.
       DOSTOEVSKY: Aha, Vergunov. The teacher...
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA: He is a young, promising teacher.
       DOSTOEVSKY: I knew him in Semipalatinsk.
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA: That"s very good that you know him...
      DOSTOEVSKY: Maria Dmitrievna, I wanted...
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Don't interrupt me! I want to say Boris Nikolaevich needs your help. He gets a low salary. It's only you who can help him.
       DOSTOEVSKY. How can I help him?
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. You have a lot of friends! ...Could you ask your friend Vrangel to help Boris Nikolaevich?
       DOSTOEVSKY. Maria Dmitrievna, you really have a chivalrous heart! I am ready to help Boris Nikolaevich, but we"ll talk about this later. I"ve come for another reason. We need a very long conversation.
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Oh, you scare me.
       DOSTOEVSKY. Firstly I talk to you about our future. This is the question of vital importance...
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Please take a seat, the floorboards are shaky. My nerves are on edge.
       DOSTOEVSKY (Sits down, then jumps up). Firstly...
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. You again...
       DOSTOEVSKY (Sits down). First of all, concerning the letter with your question. Why did you write this letter to me?
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. My God, Fyodor Mikhailovich, you yourself are to blame for this. Your letter about the pancake parties, the dances with the Semipalatinsk women made me desperate. I was tortured by the thought: "You, my last and devoted friend, are already about to forget me"...
       DOSTOEVSKY. Yes, I understand you. You were alone sick mistrustful, jealous and sad about your the lost friend... you decided to find out if my heart stood as earlier. Is that so, Maria Dmitrievna?
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. (Impatiently.) Yes, yes, absolutely correct.
      DOSTOEVSKY. Do you state that all your letters are just your jealously and test?
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. (Stands at the door listening to something.) Well, all is clear already. Let"s drop the subject. I"m tired.
       DOSTOEVSKY. No, on the contrary, Maria Dmitrievna, we"ve just started our conversation. I haven"t yet told you the main point. You shouldn"t get desperate... we have some hope. I wrote a letter to Totleben himself, about our joint future...
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. What Totleben?
      DOSTOEVSKY. The general, he knows my novels. I supposed, he could put in a word for me. We"ll go back to Russia. We"ll live well, gain something... I will write and published.
      MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Well. We can"t talk longer just now.
      DOSTOEVSKY. Just a second. Now the last question but the most important one. Maria Dmitrievna, you wrote in your last letter that you wanted to tell me something but you were afraid.
      MARIA DMITRIEVNA. I did? I don"t remember...
       DOSTOEVSKY. Remember you wrote: "Come as soon as possible, we"ll laugh at the gossips" tricks who promised to make me get married". Whom do they marry you to this time?
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Let"s drop this subject.
      DOSTOEVSKY. No, let"s not. It has gnawed inside me too long.
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Fyodor Mikhailovich, please, I beg of you...
       DOSTOEVSKY. No, I will not stop. Until I find out everything I won"t leave you alone. I swear!
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. I am warning you, and you"ll be sorry...
       DOSTOEVSKY. So there really is something! And just who do the Kuznetsk gossips propose to you as a husband now? You don"t answer, but I persist... Who is he?
       MARIA DMITRIEVNА (reluctantly). A teacher.
       DOSTOEVSKY. Is this teacher old?
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. No, he isn"t.
       DOSTOEVSKY. Is he well off?
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. No! No and no! He is living here he has nothing. He is twenty-four years old.
       DOSTOEVSKY (pause). It is Vergunov! Why didn"t I think of him? He is a whole five years younger then you! How can you? You are an educated, clever person, and now you are ready to marry a youth who knows nothing, barely educated!
       DOSTOEVSKY. A man without any significance, anybody who gets paid four hundred rubles. You ruin yourself!
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. How dare you speak about Boris Nikolaevich in this way? He is honest, noble. You don"t know anything about him. I forbid speaking about him... I love him.
       DOSTOEVSKY: Masha, how can you be like this? Slapping me straight, It hurts me...
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Yes, I love him, and I don"t hide it.
       DOSTOEVSKY. I don"t understand how such different people can get along...
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. I can"t bear it any longer! He is honest, noble, cheerful... I feel comfortable with him!
       DOSTOEVSKY. Masha, think what will finally happen to you in poverty with a bunch of children? You"ll stay Kuznetsk forever.
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. I can"t, any longer... I"ll call Boris Nikolaevich. He should talk with you.
       DOSTOEVSKY. Wait, Maria Dmitrievna, you have a kind, trustful heart. It"s very easy to mislead you. You"ll ruin yourself! God knows of the one who considered wife beating lawful.
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. What do you mean by wife beating?
       DOSTOEVSKY. Didn"t your first husband?
      MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Leave him in peace...
       DOSTOEVSKY. Maybe, you didn"t see the way a husband beats a wife? But I saw... Having tied the wife with a rope, he begins beating methodically, calmly and listening to the screams and complaints poor woman with enjoyment.
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Stop it stop!
       DOSTOEVSKY. You have to listen to all. The strokes are falling more and more often, he becomes flushed, develops a taste for it. He becomes tipsy from the brute screams of the suffering as if from wine. Finally the wife"s screams fade, she stops crying and only groans... Suddenly he drops the belt, and going crazy grabs a stick breaks it on her back after the three last strokes - that"s enough! Then he moves away, sits down at the tables, sighs and begins drinking kvass.
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA (accusingly). If you saw all this, why didn"t you interfere to help the poor woman?
       DOSTOEVSKY. I couldn"t. There exist such circumstance, when one can"t interfere. (Pause).
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA (thoughtful). Fyodor Mikhailovich, I beg of you, please, talk with Boris Nikolaevich in private. Tell him the same things you"ve just told me, both about different people, and needs... I"ll call him right away...
       (She stands and starts to walk).
       DOSTOEVSKY. Where are you going?
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. He is in the next room. I"ll get him right now.
       DOSTOEVSKY. This plan of yours... it"s necessary?
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Yes... Why have you become so gloomy? Not all has been decided yet. I can still change my mind. Remember: "You, and I, and nobody else". Just a minute...
       Maria Dmitrievna exit.
      Scene 3
      Back to the present:
      Dostoevsky"s study. Dostoevsky, Prince, Rogozin.
       DOSTOEVSKY. She cried, kissed my hand, but she loved another man. I stayed there two days. I don"t know what kind of two days I spent: they were both bliss and torture! By the end of the second day I had become full of hope. She said: "You, and I, and nobody else". Prince, what"s up with you? (Pause)
      PRINCE. Rogozhin is full of suspicions again...
       DOSTOEVSKY. I"ll just leave you alone and you... Rogozhin, what's going on?
       ROGOZHIN. I was thinking here: Prince gives up Nastasya Filippovna to me too easily. As if he stopped loving. But why did he gallop here like mad? Out of pity. I cannot understand this...
       PRINCE.You think I"m lying?
       ROGOZHIN. No, I believe you, but just don"t understand... Perhaps your pity for her is stronger than my love.
       PRINCE. How come that you cannot tell your love from hate? And when this passes, so the disaster probably, will be worse. I have to impress this on you, brother Parfyon.
      ROGOZHIN. What? That I"ll stab her?
       PRINCE (Shudders). You"ll hate her very much for this love of yours, for all the torment that you"re having right now.
       DOSTOEVSKY. Right, Prince, to hate her for this love full of jealously. Well said.
       PRINCE. It"s still a wonder to me how she can be going to marry you. It means she gets premonitions you know. Anybody but you would be better because you can really stab her, and she, maybe, understands this.
       DOSTOEVSKY. Prince, you should sooth Rogozhin, and you on the contrary... you should speak carefully, choosing your words...
       PRINCE. Why should I choose words?
       DOSTOEVSKY. Because he is suffering. He is jealous of Nastasiya Filippovna, and jealously is such a passion... You should feel sorry for Rogozhin.
      PRINCE. Parfyon, who knows maybe God will bring you together after all.
      ROGOZHIN That will never happen.
      PRINCE (to Dostoevsky). You see! He reacts to everything with negativity, even aggression.
      DOSTOEVSKY. Don"t pay attention to him, go on... go on.
       PRINCE. Parfyon, if you love her so much, wouldn"t you like to earn her respect? Otherwise it would mean that she consciously would either rush to drown or the disaster in marrying you. Don"t you...
       DOSTOEVSKY. You started so well...
       PRINCE. I have a premonition. I can"t... He scares me...
       ROGOZHIN (grinning). Am I so scary?
      DOSTOEVSKY. Parfyon , don"t grin. Go on...
       ROGOHZIN. Heh! Prince, you actually don"t get it.
       PRINCE. I don"t understand you.
       ROGOZHIN. Why, perhaps, he really doesn"t understand. Heh-heh! Just as I love her, she loves another man... And do you know who the other? It's you!
       PRINCE. Me?
       ROGOZHIN. Yes, you! She only thinks that she cannot marry you because she would disgrace you. She is afraid to ruin your life, but she can marry me, that"s all right with me, that"s the way she thinks of me...
       PRINCE . Why, how could she run away from you to me, and... from me?
       ROGOZHIN. And from you to me! Ha! How we can know what can come to her mind! She rushes from one to the other, because, I"m probably even scarier than the river. She is marrying me out of desperation...
       DOSTOEVSKY. Parfyon, easy... you shouldn"t scare people.
       ROGOZHIN. If she marries me, I"m telling you, she"ll marry me out of malice, out of spite...
       PRINCE. Well, how can you... how can you?
       ROGOZHIN. Why don"t you finish? Do you want me to say: "Well, how can she marry him now?" I know, you think so.
       PRINCE. All this is jealously, Parfyon. What"s the matter with you?
       The prince sees Rogozhin"s knife on the table and takes it.
       ROGOZHIN. Put it down, It"s mine!
       DOSTOEVSKY. Parfyon, why did you take out the knife before the play requires it?
      (Dostoevsky takes the knife from Prince's hands. Rogozin snatches the knife from Dostoevsky and puts it back).
       Parfyon, easy. Everything depends on you, too.
       PRINCE. Parfyon , how distorted your face has become! I didn"t want to come back to Peterburg. I wanted to forget all that belonged here... Well, good-bye!
      (Prince again takes the knife off the table. Rogozin again snatches it away, and puts it into a book).
      PRINCE. Do you cut book pages with it?
       ROGOZHIN. Yes, the pages.
       PRINCE. But it"s brand-new.
       ROGOZHIN. Well, what if it"s new? Can"t I buy a new knife?
       PRINCE (takes Dostoevsky aside). He can kill with this knife. Fyodor Mikhailovich, take it away from him. You can"t put up with this. I can"t... I can"t so... Spare me... (Crying.)
       DOSTOEVSKY. Prince, calm down. You"re overdoing it.
       PRINCE. I"m really scared.
       DOSTOEVSKY. Well, what"s with you? You have such scenes ahead, but you... spare your nerves. What are you afraid of?
       PRINCE. I"m not afraid for myself, I"m afraid for her life. I can"t stand this. Maybe... no brotherhood?
      ROGOZHIN. That"s right. I don"t understand why we need this... brotherhood.
       DOSTOEVSKY. Between rivals, brotherhood is the highest, clearest test for humaneness. I feel that your meeting should end on such a high note.
       ROGOZHIN. And how shall we act brotherly?
       DOSTOEVSKY. According to the Christian custom you"ll exchange crosses.
       ROGOZHIN. To exchange? It"s possible.
       DOSTOEVSKY. And at the end of this scene there"ll be the following: Parfyon, you"ll yield Nastasiya Filippovna to the Prince...
       ROGOZHIN. Me, to yield? I"m not even going...
       DOSTOEVSKY. You"re not going to do this now, but at the end of the scene you"ll yield. I"ve planned it this way. There "s a special beauty here. And beauty will save the world. Prince, am I right?
      PRINCE. Right, right... You"re right about beauty, but can an exchange of crosses in humane nature?
      DOSTOEVSKY. If one believes in God, it can.
      ROGOZHIN. And if one doesn"t?
       PRINCE. Did you hear that? Here is the seamy side of Rogozhin. So, with his lack of faith... All this brotherhood will reduce to one momentary impression.
      DOSTOEVSKY. We"ll see to what it"ll reduce to.
       PRINCE (takes Dostoevsky to the site). I know, you"ve planned something. Your idea is very clear. I shan"t be able to save Nastasiya Filippovna, Rogozhin will stab her with your acquiescence, and I"ll have to forgive him everything, and embrace him like a brother in the final scene. That is why you need our brotherhood. But I cannot embrace the murderer. I am warning you beforehand.
       DOSTOEVSKY. It"s impossible, Prince. You slow me down. There"s nothing more difficult in the world than to portray a beautiful person. Because this is an immense task! Do you remember how Chris forgave the robber who confessed. The robber! And you...
       PRINCE. But that was Christ. Don"t torture me I won"t bear it. I know my limits. This is a big strain for me. Let me go. I"m begging you...
      (Heard is coughing and laughing behind the wall).
       DOSTOEVSKY. No, Prince. Calm down. You"ll do what I"ve planned: you"ll both forgive and embrace each other like brothers. You"ll do everything...
      PRINCE. Shall I do? I? For whose sake?
       DOSTOEVSKY. For her sake. For the sake of the beauty... You"ll embrace each other like brothers.
      (Coughing and laughing behind the wall).
      Scene 4
      FLASH BACK: Maria Dmitrievna in her room in Kuznetsk. Enter Dostoevsky.
       DOSTOEVSKY. Masha, we have to discuss all things before the wedding. I"ve been so happy since you said "yes". I thought that we had to buy some things for the wedding. I"ve borrowed a thousand rubles in silver from my relative. I need your advice: what if I write a letter to my brother and ask him to find something interesting for you to wear? ... Why are you silent? Aren"t you happy about the coming events?
      MARIA DMITRIEVNA. I"m worried about Boris Nikolayevich. I"m afraid...
       DOSTOEVSKY. What"s with him?
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. As if you didn"t know...
       DOSTOEVSKY. Masha, we"ve already agreed that, as soon as we celebrate the wedding, I"ll write a letter to Vrangel. A letter requesting him to use his influence to get Boris Nikolaevich a higher rank.
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Fyodor Mikhailovich, how easy! Your reasoning is: first we celebrate the wedding, then you write the letter... But Boris Nikolaevich can"t accept it...
       DOSTOEVSKY. Why can"t he? He accepted it before. I have already written to Vrangel...
      MARIA DMITRIEVNA. It was different before. And now people will say that he"s paid off. That he changed his happiness for a rank.
       DOSTOEVSKY. Masha, who will say?
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Anyone who knows him. Boris Nikolaevich is still in his own rank while you have turned from soldier into an officer
       DOSTOEVSKY. Masha, I really want to help him, and I feel sincerely sorry for him. There was jealousy between us, but now that you have said "yes", now he is dearer to me than a brother... Do you believe me, Masha?
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. As for me, I believe... But will Boris Nikolaevich and all the others believe you?
       DOSTOEVSKY. What should I do for everybody to believe me? I"m ready to do everything for Boris Nikolaevich.
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Everybody should see your good attitude towards Boris Nikolaevich. Only then he can accept your help.
       DOSTOEVSKY. Well, Masha, say what"s to be done?
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA: I don"t know myself... He'll come soon. It"s necessary to make a decision as soon as possible...
       DOSTOEVSKY. Do you want me to have it out with him?
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Yes, it"s absolutely necessary. You"ve just said that he is dearer to you than a brother.
       DOSTOEVSKY. It"s really like that. Do you want us to act brotherly, and you"ll be our only witness?
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. No, it"s necessary for everyone to see that you"re like brothers...
       DOSTOEVSKY. Yes, yes, brotherhood - is a peak of relations between rivals like Boris Nikolaevich and I are...
       DOSTOEVSKY. Yes, absolutely correct.
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA: And do you know what I"ve made up? Well, Boris Nikolaevich should participate in the wedding as a guarantor. The whole Kuznetsk society will be present, and everyone will see that there"s nothing bad between you.
       DOSTOEVSKY. Masha, it"s impossible! Impossible!
       DOSTOEVSKY. Boris Nikolaevich, will never agree to this, it"ll be hard for him...
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Don"t you decide on behalf of Boris Nikolaevich. I"ll talk him into this. He"ll do this because of me. And besides, I can"t so quickly find four groomsmen among the men familiar to me...
       DOSTOEVSKY. Masha, everyone knows about your relations...
      MARIA DMITRIEVNA. All this was in the past. And now that everyone will see that Boris Nikolaevich is a groomsman, they"ll understand...
       DOSTOEVSKY. They won"t understand. On the contrary, they"ll be all eyes...
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. And do you know what I think? You yourself should ask Boris Nikolaevich to be a groomsman at our wedding.
       DOSTOEVSKY. Masha, no way, I cannot do this...
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Well, dear, for my sake...
       DOSTOEVSKY. There is such nervous stress. Can Boris Nikolaevich stand it? May be he will act something...
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Well, what act? For God"s sake... what kind of act?
       DOSTOEVSKY. I don"t know what act. Something tragic, pathetic... He can do anything; he"ll call for your death...
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. My God, what thoughts are crossing your mind! You don"t know him at all...
       DOSTOEVSKY. Or he can grab your hand and haul you forcibly from the altar...
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. He will do nothing of the kind. I"m sure.
       DOSTOEVSKY. Why are you so sure of him?
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. I know him better. And as for the wedding I can just change my mind... Well, why have you made a long face? Boris Nikolaevich may come at any moment and understand everything by your face? Ts-s-s! First, tell that you love him, and then invite him to the wedding...
      DOSTOEVSKY. But I can"t, I can"t...
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Well, I"ll invite him myself, but in your presence, and you"ll only nod by your head in agreement. And then you should say something, something unexpected, unusual. And fraternize in the end... Well, do smile... Remember: "You and I..."
       DOSTOEVSKY. Yes, Masha, I remember very well...
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA Ts-s-s! No, it seemed to me... (Knock on the door).
       It"s him! Him!
      Scene 5
      Back to the present: Dostoevsky"s study. Dostoevsky, Rogozhin and Prince Myshkin.
      DOSTOEVSKY (musing). Nothing happened at the wedding, but I experienced such an the extreme nervous shock, it seemed to me that Vergunov would seize her hand and drag her away from the altar, or she herself would cry out: "Take me away from here!" and he would take her, only out of revenge and stab her, probably, for her not to come back.
       ROGOZHIN. We"d better go on, for the Prince is tired. I'm afraid for him... He can't withstand...
       DOSTOEVSKY. So, where were we?
      ROGOZHIN. Then Prince was about to leave my room...
      DOSTOEVSKY. Ys, yes, Parfyon, you are showing him the way to the exit, walking in front of him... you, Prince, accordingly, are following him... here, you are entering a big hall and see pictures on the walls. Parfyon, will you hang up the pictures, those ones that are in the corner.
       PRINCE. Fyodor Mikhailovich, may I ask you for a minute, please, I need you very much... I"d like to tell you...
       DOSTOEVSKY. Wait, please, Parfyon, don"t forget to hang up the copy of the picture by Hans Holbein "The Savior".
       PRINCE. I need you just for a minute...
       ROGOZHIN. Which one is "The Savior"?
       DOSTOEVSKY. The ugly one that looks like a drowned man.
       PRINCE (aside to Dostoevsky). Fyodor Mikhailovich, do you remember about the knife? Take it from Rogozhin. May end very badly...
       DOSTOEVSKY. Well, Prince, why do you harp on the same string: knife, knife?
      PRINCE. I can"t do anything with myself... If you don"t take it away...
       ROGOZHIN. All"s ready.
      (Dostoevsky examines the pictures, stops in front of "The Saviour").
       DOSTOEVSKY. It"s called "The Saviour"... Parfyon, give me the knife.
       ROGOZHIN. What knife?
       DOSTOEVSKY. The one you placed in the book.
       ROGOZHIN (hands over the knife). What do you need it for?
       DOSTOEVSKY. There"s a rope hanging over here.
      (Cuts off the rope and puts the knife onto the table).
      That"s better now.
       ROGOZHIN. All these pictures here were bought for a ruble or two in auctions by my father. An expert looked them over. Rubbish, he says... But this picture, "Savior" is not rubbish... I do like to look at this picture... Prince, I wanted to ask you: are you a believer?
      PRINCE. Well, one can lose one"s belief looking at it. ... You're asking and looking at me in an awful way.
      ROGOZHIN. Yes, that"s another thing going...
       PRINCE. What do you mean? I just joked, and you took it so seriously. And why did you ask me whether I believed in God or not?
       ROGOZHIN. Well, nothing. I"d wanted to ask you before... many people are unbelievers nowadays.
       ROGOZHIN opens the door. They stand in confusion for a while.
      PRINCE (Holds out his hand). So good-bye.
       ROGOZHIN: Good-bye.
      (Shakes the proffered hand).
       DOSTOEVSKY. Wait, Prince, I"ve decided that you can"t leave this way.
       PRINCE. Yes, I feel so, too, but I don"t know what else we can say to each other... May be you has an idea...
       DOSTOEVSKY. Yes... Wait for one minute...You began speaking about faith... you should go on with this idea... Well, Prince you've recently come back from abroad, and everything strikes you here: drunkenness, Russian poverty, crime, and of course, Russians" attitude toward God. You should catch the idea of how people believe Russia. Develop this idea to Rogozhin. Tell him about some encounters you had.
      PRINCE. Some encounters, some encounters...
      Laughing behind the wall turns to coughing and cursing. Maria DMITRIEVNA is shouting: "Doctor! Doctor!" Prince and ROGOZHIN disappear.
      Scene 6
      Flash back: The Dostoyevsky"s room in the city of Tver. Maria Dmitrievna stands at the window with a shawl on her shoulders. Enters Dostoevsky.
       DOSTOEVSKY Masha, are you going for a walk?
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. How can I walk? I didn"t even have a decent hat, only the summer.
       DOSTOEVSKY. Yes, it"s very wet outside. And do you know who I saw just now?
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. And, who did you see?
       DOSTOEVSKY. You"ll never guess... Boris Nikolaevich.
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. It"s impossible! You"re mistaken. Boris Nikolaevich is in Kuznetsk. He has nothing to do here.
       DOSTOEVSKY. And I thought so... But you"re not right, I saw him as I see you now.
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA: Where did you see him?
       DOSTOEVSKY: At the railroad station. He was buying a ticket...
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. I must be going. I need to bring him back.
       DOSTOEVSKY. Why?
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. I hurt him. He told me that In Siberia I looked better, and that now... I yelled at him. What"s to be done? I must go, don"t stop me.
       DOSTOEVSKY. It"s already too late.
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Why, is it late?
       DOSTOEVSKY. He"s gone.
      MARIA DMITRIEVNA. How gone?
       DOSTOEVSKY. Got on the train and went.
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. How do you know that he"s gone?
       DOSTOEVSKY. I saw with my own eyes.
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. He will never come back now. I must be going...
       DOSTOEVSKY. Masha, how can you go out, the weather is humid, and you"ll catch cold.
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Let me catch cold let me get sick...
       DOSTOEVSKY. You don"t even have a proper hat. Look in the mirror.
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA (Looking in the mirror). You"re right. I can"t go out anywhere. Sit down and write...
       DOSTOEVSKY. Write? What?
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. A letter to your dear brother... You'll ask him to buy a hat for me...
       DOSTOEVSKY. Masha, I"ll write later.
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. But I don"t need it later. I need it right now. Take some paper, a pen, take a seat... Immediately! Write! "My wife doesn"t have, -- I say, write, -- any hat. Please, do something about it..."
      DOSTOEVSKY (Writes). Not so fast.
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. I cannot so fast. "And just think... she stays a whole month locked up in a room... without breathing fresh air, turning yellow, getting thinner?" Have you written, "turning yellow, getting thinner"? "Constitutionals are needed for good health, and that"s why I wish for a hat... for her. There"s nothing to buy in the local shops."
       DOSTOEVSKY. Well, how come there"s nothing? I saw them there, and they are rather nice.
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. They"re ugly, ugly! They are all for summer and ugly, but it"s autumn now. Write: "My wife wants one for everyday use... for autumn. So go to madam Vickman and buy, if there"re not any - order one. The hat should be gray or lilac without any decorations and excesses, without flowers... But elegant, and in no way - white... In Semipalatisk I got a hat for nine rubles, but it was so elegant it could only suit a countess".
       DOSTOEVSKY. Masha, what"s the reason to mention the old...
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Have you written, "... Suit only a countess"? Now the main point: "Madam Vickman has ribbons with lengthwise stripes, gray and white. It would be good to have them for the hat"... Why aren"t you writing?
       DOSTOEVSKY. Masha, you know, my brother is very busy, and he has a family...
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Exactly, I know your brother well. He will buy something unnecessary. He needs precise instructions. You"ll go to our local shop tomorrow and buy a small sample of these ribbons...
       Why are you grinning? What"s funny?
       DOSTOEVSKY. I just thought: if Gogol had been in my shoes whether he would"ve written "The Dead Souls" or not?
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. I knew you"d make up some lame excuse. You"ve imagined you"re Gogol. But you"re not Gogol! And remember my words: you"ll never become Gogol!
      Scene 7
      Back to present: Dostoevsky"s study. Dostoevsky, Prince, and Rogozhin.
       DOSTOEVSKY (absently). Ah, how long have you been here?
       PRINCE. Why... we"ve just come in...
       DOSTOEVSKY. Have you heard about Gogol? May be, she"s right... I"ll never be able to write this novel. It tortures me awfully as none of the previous ones...
       PRINCE. Well.... Parfyon, I"ll tell you a story... In the morning I went out for a stroll round the town, and saw a drunken soldier staggering about the pavement, cuts all over. He came up to me: "Sir, would you buy my silver cross." I saw a cross in his hand, but it was really tin, one could see at a glance. I gave him a twenty kopeck piece, and put on the cross at once... One could see by his face how happy he was that he had cheated the gentleman... He immediately went to spend his cross on drink. No doubt about it...
       ROGOZHIN. Is the cross you bought from the soldier on you?
       PRINCE. Yes, it"s on me.
       ROGOZHIN. Show it to me.
      (Prince shows the cross but doesn"t take it off).
       ROGOZHIN. Give it to me.
       PRINCE. Why? Aren"t you...?
       ROGOZHIN. I"ll be wearing this one, and I"ll take off my gold cross for you to wear...
       PRINCE. Do you want to exchange crosses? If you wish Parfyon. I am happy: let"s be brothers.
      (ROGOZHIN and Prince exchange crosse).
       DOSTOEVSKY. Well, thank God... and now embrace each other at parting, and you, Parfyon, say: "So, take her away if fate is such! She is yours! I give up!" Remember Rogozhin just a few words...
      (Heard is a heart-rending scream Maria Dmitrievna runs into the room. Disappear Rogozhin and Prince).
      MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Devils! Devils! Drive the devils away!
       DOSTOEVSKY. Where are the devils? Where do you see the devils?
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA . Over there, in the corner. They were here...
       DOSTOEVSKY. There"s nobody there, let"s go and see.
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. I heard voices, you were talking to somebody. Open the window! Kish! Kish! Open, please, they will leave through the window.
       DOSTOEVSKY. Masha, I can"t open it you"ll catch cold. Who are you afraid of?
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Devils! Devils! We must drive them away.
       DOSTOEVSKY. I can"t open it, you"re ill. I"m worried about you, I don"t understand...
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. You never understood, you understood nothing. Why did you bring me here? Why didn"t you leave me in Semipalatinsk? I felt well there. I am asking you!
       DOSTOEVSKY. Masha, you yourself wanted to leave Semipalatinsk.
      MARIA DMITRIEVNA. You imagined yourself a writer! Said a lot promises: "We"ll live well... My works will be published. We"ll have money, gain something"... What have we gained? Where is your money? We"ve gained tuberculosis!
       DOSTOEVSKY. Masha, calm down. Don"t... that"s harmful to your health...
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Harmful? No, I"ll tell you what I think of you.
       DOSTOEVSKY. Masha, do you remember: "You and I, and nobody..."
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Well, I"ve never loved you, not a day...
       DOSTOEVSKY. Don"t, Masha! You"re sick now. You know that you"re telling a lie. I was head over heels in love with you, and you loved me...
      MARIA DMITRIEVNA. I"ve never loved you. Remember, on the eve of our wedding, at night, I said to you: "And now I"d like to stay alone" ... And you went away... but I wasn"t alone. I was with him. As soon as you left...
       DOSTOEVSKY. Shut up! Who? Were you with Vergunov?
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA. Yes! I spent the whole night on the eve of our wedding with him, we didn"t close our eyes, and we felt great together. Why are you quiet? Do you hear, I said: "We felt great, two of us." And I was with him later, after the wedding. He visited me in Tver, in Moscow... And we loved each other until I got sick. I loved him, not you. What do I love you for? What"s the use of you sitting here day and night, writing on and on, walking to and fro? No peace of all. Seduced me, made a lot of unrealizable promises. What are you? The same convict as you were... Convict! Convict! That"s who you are!
       DOSTOEVSKY. Shut up! Shut up!
      (He rushes to the window, throws open the window).
       MARIA DMITRIEVNA (Laughs). I know how to get rid of the devils.
      (She leaves the room. Dostoevsky grabs the knife, starts cutting the ropes off the pictures. The pictures fall down. Appear Rogozhin and Prince).
       DOSTOEVSKY. Take away everything, everything. Nothing works out. All is over. There won"t be any novel. You may go you"re free...
       PRINCE (to Rogozhin). It"s necessary to take the knife from him, other wise, who knows... you must do this, Parfyon, I can"t.
       ROGOZHIN. What"s the problem? Come on, Fyodor Mikhailovich. Let us rehearse! (Takes away the knife). And that"s that...
       DOSTOEVSKY. Parfyon, what wrong with you?
       PRINCE. You are distracted for nothing. We haven"t yet finished.
       DOSTOEVSKY. I don"t know how to go on writing. Have you heard how she told me off? And moreover, touching the sore spot...
       PRINCE. Maria Dmitrievna is an insane person, plus she is ill with consumption... You should feel sorry for her.
       ROGOZHIN. We"d rather finish... Almost nothing is left, the very finale.
       DOSTOEVSKY. No, I can"t now, I can"t.
       PRINCE. You should try... The very end.
       DOSTOEVSKY. I don"t know how to write when the foundation of the novel has been ruined... I was proceeding with such difficulties, and she in one moment... ruined my ideas...
       PRINCE. Fyodor Mikhailovich, remember: "Love your neighbor as you yourself". What is a wonderful words...
       DOSTOEVSKY. Easier said than done. How can you love your neighbors? In my opinion, it"s impossible! I think Christ"s universal love for all people is a kind of impossible miracle on earth. It"s true that he was God, but we aren"t gods. You can abstractly love your neighbor, and even sometimes from afar, but close by - almost never.
      MARIA"S DMITRIEVNA VOICE. Call the doctor! Call the doctor! Fedya, I"m in terrible pain. I"ve hurt you! I did this because of jealousy. I was jealous of you. While in Semipalatinsk... Do you remember her name? A young girl, an old man was forcing her to have sex with him. My God, what was her name?
       DOSTOEVSKY. Marina.
       MARIA"S DMITRIEVNA VOICE. And then, then you left me for Paris, and I know that you weren"t there alone. I"ll never do this again! Call the doctor... Doctor!
      DOSTOEVSKY. Masha, wait a little, I now, now...
      MARIA"S DMITRIEVNA VOICE: Better call a priest... I"m dying...
      Scene 8
      Back to present: Dostoevsky"s study partitioned off by a curtain. Prince and Rogozhin. Dostoevsky spies on them, hiding.
       ROGOZHIN. Prince, I think that we have to rehearse.
       PRINCE. How is that? Without Dostoevsky?
       ROGOZHIN. He isn"t in the mood for rehearsing now. May be he will come later.
      PRINCE. Parfyon, spare me I am not quite myself.
       ROGOZHIN (in whisper). I see. But there little left to rehearse. Just the last scene. And in that you are not quite yourself anyhow, perhaps, for the better... And the circumstances are appropriate.
      PRINCE. What circumstances?
      ROGOZHIN. I won"t explain this to you now. You"ll see and understand later. We"re short of time. Dostoevsky can appear at any time, who knows how he"ll respond to this...
      PRINCE. I can"t make out what you"re saying. Why are you whispering?
      ROGOZHIN. I"ll tell you later, later... And now I"m going to start my lines... I will began, and then your words... Do you remember the words?
      PRINCE. Yes, yes...
      ROGOZHIN. Well. Come on, come on... Follow me, brother.
       PRINCE. Is Nastasya Filippovna at home?
       ROGOZHIN. Yes.
       PRINCE. And what about you?
      ROGOZHIN. Let"s go. Follow me...
       PRINCE (frightened) . And where is Nastasya Filippovna?
       ROGOZHIN (motions to the curtain). She"s here.
       PRINCE. But where?
       ROGOZHIN. Let"s go. I"ll show you.
       PRINCE. Why don"t you light a candle?
       ROGOZHIN. No, better not. Sit down. Sit a while.
      (They sit down in the chairs).
      ROGOZHIN. I thought: I"ll bring you here to spend the night, so that this night together...
       PRINCE (asking a second time). Rogozhin, where Nastasya Filippovna?
       Nodding towards the curtain.
       PRINCE. Asleep?
       ROGOZHIN (Looks at Prince intently). Okay, let"s go, only you... Well, let"s go!
      (Raises the curtain, stops, and turning to Prince, nods towards the curtain).
      Come in.
       PRINCE. It"s dark here.
       ROGOZHIN. You can see.
       PRINCE. I can barely see...
       ROGOZHIN. Go closer.
      PRINCE (surprised). It"s Masha! Maria Dmitrievna!...
      (Prince takes one-step closer, stops. Looks at the motionless body of Maria Dmitrievna. He is trembling).
       ROGOZHIN. it"s Maria Dmitrievna. You know it"s our rehearsal. We must image that it"s Nastsaya Phillipovna who is dead. Let"s get out.
      (They sit down. Rogozhin looks in Prince's face).
      You"re trembling before a fit. And I just can"t think what I"m going to do with you now? May be we continue the rehearsal...
       PRINCE. Yes,yes. Now my words... I say:"It was you?"
      (Nodding towards MARIA DMITRIEVNA).
       ROGOZHIN. I... Because, because if it"s your illness, and a fit, and shouting, somebody may hear it in the street...They'll figure that people are spending the night in the apartment, and come in.
      PRINCE. Wait, what about now, Parfyon, what do you want now?
       ROGOZHIN. See, I just have doubts about your trembling... We"ll spend the night here together... There"s no other bed here, so I decided to take the pillows from the two sofas, and I"ll arrange them next to each other there, by the curtain... For you and me, so we"re together... Because if they come in, they"ll start questioning me: "Who killed Nastasya Phillipovna?" and I"ll tell them it was I, and they"ll take me away... So let her lie now, next to us...
       PRINCE. Yes, yes...
       ROGOZHIN. I don"t want to confess or let them take her out...
       PRINCE. Not for anything, not... any case...
       ROGOZHIN. That"s how I decided, too... We"ll spend night quietly. I"m also afraid its stuffy and there"ll be a smell. Do you notice the smell or not?
       PRINCE. Maybe I do, I don"t know... By morning there"ll be...
       ROGOZHIN. I covered her with oilcloth, and the sheets on top of the oilcloth, and I put four uncorked bottles of some liquid... Because of the smell, brother. Let's go to her... What, you can"t get up?
       PRINCE. My legs won"t walk. It"s from fear I know it... The fear will pass, and I"ll get up...
      (Enters Dostoevsky from hiding).
       DOSTOEVSKY. What are you doing here?
      PRINCE. T-ss, t-ss.
       ROGOZHIN. We are rehearsing... Quiet.
      DOSTOEVSKY. What are you rehearsing?
      ROGOZHIN. The final scene.
      DOSTOEVSKY. How dare you, in Masha"s presence. Masha is dead, and you...
      ROGOZHIN. The circumstances are very appropriate. Just don"t hinder us, please. There"s a little left... But only the Prince is trembling all the time. I"m afraid he"ll break down...
      PRINCE. The fear will pass, and I"ll get up...
      ROGOZHIN. Wait, I"ll make up the bed meanwhile, and then you can lie down... and I"ll down with you... I thought I might bring a lot of flowers here... We could buy some bouquets and lay flowers all around her? But I think it"d be a pity...
       DOSTOEVSKY. Well, that"ll do, you"re still marking time. I need to stay alone, alone with Masha... Leave me...
       PRINCE (to Rogozhin). Listen, listen, and tell me: what did you use? A knife? The same?
       ROGOZHIN. That same one.
       PRINCE. Wait now! I also want to ask you, Parfyon... I have a lot to ask you, about everything, did you want to kill her before?
       ROGOZHIN. I don"t know if I wanted to or not... the whole thing happened this morning, between three and four... I kept it like a bookmark in a book... And... and this is still a wonder to me: the knife seemed to go in about three inches... but only about half a table-spoon of blood came out....
       PRINCE. That, that I know, that I"ve read about... it"s called an internal hemorrhage, if the blow goes straight to the heart.
      DOSTOEVSKY. Well, it"s over; it"s time to finish. My patience exhausted. Nothing works out with you. Go away! Get out of here! Now!
       ROGOZHIN (Tries to lift Prince). Prince can"t walk his legs won"t carry him.
       DOSTOEVSKY. So, help him to walk, do me favor.
      (ROGOZHIN tries to raise Prince up; leans over him, Prince embraces him).
       Come on; take him in your arms.
      (ROGOZHIN takes Prince in his arms. Prince strokes Rogozhin"s head, embraces him).
       DOSTOEVSKY (joyful). Forgiveness! Parfyon, he forgave you, he embraced you like a brother. Well done, Prince! Now everything came together.
       ROGOZHIN. What came together?
       DOSTOEVSKY. All that I planned. Now I can finish up the novel.
       ROGOZHIN (looks at face of Prince). Just look at him. It happened to him involuntarily. Look in his eyes, in his eyes.
       DOSTOEVSKY (shakes Prince). Prince, Prince, come to yourself. All, all is over, stand up! What"s up with him? Oh, that"s ill luck.
      ROGOZHIN. What"s to be done? I am sorry for Prince. And you, repeating on and on: "Forgiveness, forgiveness", but he is not right, he out of his mind, and you don't understand this. He embraced me unconsciously... What shall we do? What"s to be done?
      DOSTOEVSKY. Yeah, the thing turn out.
      (Dostoevsky gets up and starts nervously walking around the room).
       DOSTOEVSKY. Parfyon, listen. I"ve been thinking about the following: while forgiving the robber Christ was nailed to the cross. He suffered awfully, and forgave before his death. Who knows what state he was in at that moment?
       ROGOZHIN. It"s well known; he was in the agony of death.
       DOSTOEVSKY. That"s it, exactly. Maybe, he wasn"t right in the head, either, and that was why he forgave the robber.
       ROGOZHIN. So, you don"t believe in God? How could you begin writing such a novel? And you ruined Prince by your rehearsals, you"ve tortured
       Prince. God will never forgive you.
       DOSTOEVSKY. God himself sent his son onto the cross. Who knows why he did that?
       ROGOZHIN. He did that to redeem human sins, everybody knows this.
       DOSTOEVSKY. God asked some puzzles... an awful lot of secrets... let's assume He sent Him for the salvation of the human race, then, how do you consider the crucifixion? Did God, therefore, show his love for people, or it was an experiment, like Jove, is just one of the many "bet" with Satan? Parfyon , look at this Christ.
      (Dostoevsky brings Rogozhin for the painting by Hans Holbein. Rogozhin some time listening to Dostoevsky. Prince starts to moan softly , and Rogozhin takes Prince on his hands and went away. Dostoevsky not noticing, continued to talk).
      Parfyon look at this picture... Scary face is smashed with blows, swollen, with terrible, bloody bruises, the eyes open, eyes squinted... But it"s scary, when you look at this corpse of the tortured man, it is one particular and curious question: if such a corpse, saw everything the disciples and saw women, all who believed in Him, how could they believe that that Martyr would rise again? Here the question arises that if so terrible a death, and so strong the laws of nature, how to overcome them? Nature dreaming when you look at this picture -- in the form of some huge machine of the latest devices that senselessly captured and absorbed in that great and invaluable creature -- a creature that one was worth the whole nature, the whole earth, which was created -- it may be, solely for the appearance of this creature!
      (Dostoevsky looks around).
      Parfyon! Where are you? Gone... All gone... Now I can with Mary to say goodbye.
      (Dostoevsky sits at the table, begins to write).
      "Masha is lying on the table. I will get to see her? She loved me infinitely, and I loved her too, but we didn't live it happily. Despite the fact that I was positively miserable, in her insecure and painful nature -- we are all the more attached to each other...
      To Love a person as yourself, the commandments of Christ -- it is impossible that "I" lets. But the highest use, which can make people from their personality, from the full development of the "I" is, as it were, to destroy this "I" give it whole and everything and everyone completely and utterly...
      And this is the greatest happiness!

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  • © Copyright Ансельм Людмила Николаевна (luanselm@yahoo.com)
  • Обновлено: 01/11/2019. 66k. Статистика.
  • Пьеса; сценарий: Драматургия
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