Anton Pavlovich Chekhov.

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A doctor, recently qualified, supervises the food in a restaurant.
"The food is tinder the special supervision of a doctor." He copies
out the chemical composition of the mineral water; the students
believe him - and all is well.

* * * * *

He did not eat, he partook of food.

* * * * *

A man, married to an actress, during a performance of a play in which
his wife was acting, sat in a box, with beaming face, and from time to
time got up and bowed to the audience.

* * * * *

Dinner at Count O.D.'s. Fat lazy footmen; tasteless cutlets; a feeling
that a lot of money is being spent, that the situation is hopeless,
and that it is impossible to change the course of things.

* * * * *

A district doctor: "What other damned creature but a doctor would have
to go out in such weather?" - he is proud of it, grumbles about it to
every one, and is proud to think that his work is so troublesome; he
does not drink and often sends articles to medical journals that do
not publish them.

* * * * *

When N. married her husband, he was junior Public Prosecutor; he
became judge of the High Court and then judge of the Court of Appeals;
he is an average uninteresting man. N. loves her husband very much.
She loves him to the grave, writes him meek and touching letters when
she hears of his unfaithfulness, and dies with a touching expression
of love on her lips. Evidently she loved, not her husband, but some
one else, superior, beautiful, non-existent, and she lavished that
love upon her husband. And after her death footsteps could be heard in
her house.

* * * * *

They are members of a temperance society and now and again take a
glass of wine.

* * * * *

They say: "In the long run truth will triumph;" but it is untrue.

* * * * *

A clever man says: "This is a lie, but since the people can not do
without the lie, since it has the sanction of history, it is dangerous
to root it out all at once; let it go on for the time being but with
certain corrections." But the genius says: "This is a lie, therefore
it must not exist."

* * * * *

Marie Ivanovna Kladovaya.

* * * * *

A schoolboy with mustaches, in order to show off, limps with one leg.

* * * * *

A writer of no talent, who has been writing for a long time, with his
air of importance reminds one of a high priest.

* * * * *

Mr. N. and Miss Z. in the city of X. Both clever, educated, of radical
views, and both working for the good of their fellow men, but both
hardly know each other and in conversation always rail at each other
in order to please the stupid and coarse crowd.

* * * * *

He flourished his hand as if he were going to seize him by the hair
and said: "You won't escape by that there trick."

* * * * *

N. has never been in the country and thinks that in the winter country
people use skis. "How I would enjoy ski-ing now!"

* * * * *

Madam N., who sells herself, says to each man who has her: "I love you
because you are not like the rest."

* * * * *

An intellectual woman, or rather a woman who belongs to an
intellectual circle, excels in deceit.

* * * * *

N. struggled all his life investigating a disease and studying its
bacilli; he devoted his whole life to the struggle, expended on it all
his powers, and suddenly just before his death it turned out that the
disease is not in the least infectious or dangerous.

* * * * *

A theatrical manager, lying in bed, read a new play. He read three or
four pages and then in irritation threw the play on to the floor,
put out the candle, and drew the bedclothes over him; a little later,
after thinking over it, he took the play up again and began to read
it; then, getting angry with the uninspired tedious work, he again
threw it on the floor and put out the candle. A little later he once
more took up the play and read it, then he produced it and it was a
failure.

* * * * *

N., heavy, morose, gloomy, says: "I love a joke, I am always joking."

* * * * *

The wife writes; the husband does not like her writing, but out of
delicacy says nothing and suffers all his life.

* * * * *

The fate of an actress: the beginning - a well-to-do family in Kertch,
life dull and empty; the stage, virtue, passionate love, then lovers;
the end: unsuccessful attempt to poison herself, then Kertch, life
at her fat uncle's house, the delight of being left alone. Experience
shows that an artist must dispense with wine, marriage, pregnancy. The
stage will become art only in the future, now it is only struggling
for the future.

* * * * *

(Angrily and sententiously) "Why don't you give me your wife's letters
to read? Aren't we relations?"

* * * * *

Lord, don't allow me to condemn or to speak of what I do not know or
do not understand.

* * * * *

Why do people describe only the weak, surly and frail as sinners? And
every one when he advises others to describe only the strong, healthy,
and interesting, means himself.

* * * * *

For a play: a character always lying without rhyme or reason.

* * * * *

Sexton Catacombov.

* * * * *

N.N., a littérateur, critic, plausible, self-confident, very liberal
minded, talks about poetry; condescendingly agrees with one - and I see
that he is a man absolutely without talent (I haven't read him). Some
one suggests going to Ai-Petri. I say that it is going to rain, but
we set out. The road is muddy, it rains; the critic sits next to me, I
feel his lack of talent. He is wooed and made a fuss of as if he were
a bishop. And when it cleared up, I went back on foot. How easily
people deceive themselves, how they love prophets and soothsayers;
what a herd it is! Another person went with us, a Councillor of State,
middle-aged, silent, because he thinks he is right and despises the
critic, because he too is without talent. A girl afraid to smile
because she is among clever people.

* * * * *

Alexey Ivanitch Prokhladitelny (refreshing) or Doushespasitelny
(soul-saving). A girl: "I would marry him, but am afraid of the
name - Madam Refreshing."

* * * * *

A dream of a keeper in the zoological gardens. He dreams that there
was presented to the Zoo first a marmot, then an emu, then a vulture,
then a she-goat, then another emu; the presentations are made without
end and the Zoo is crowded out - the keeper wakes up in horror wet with
perspiration.

* * * * *

"To harness slowly but drive rapidly is in the nature of this people,"
said Bismarck.

* * * * *

When an actor has money, he doesn't send letters but telegrams.

* * * * *

With insects, out of the caterpillar comes the butterfly; with
mankind it is the other way round, out of the butterfly comes the
caterpillar.[1]

[Footnote 1: There is a play on words here, the Russian word for
butterfly also means a woman.]

* * * * *

The dogs in the house became attached not to their masters who fed and
fondled them, but to the cook, a foreigner, who beat them.

* * * * *

Sophie was afraid that her dog might catch cold, because of the
draught.

* * * * *

The soil is so good, that, were you to plant a shaft, in a year's time
a cart would grow out of it.

* * * * *

X. and Z., very well educated and of radical views, married. In the
evening they talked together pleasantly, then quarreled, then came to
blows. In the morning both are ashamed and surprised, they think
that it must have been the result of some exceptional state of their
nerves. Next night again a quarrel and blows. And so every night until
at last they realize that they are not at all educated, but savage,
just like the majority of people.

* * * * *

A play: in order to avoid having visitors, Z. pretends to be a regular
tippler, although he drinks nothing.

* * * * *

When children appear on the scene, then we justify all our weaknesses,
our compromises, and our snobbery, by saying: "It's for the children's
sake."

* * * * *

Count, I am going away to Mordegundia. (A land of horrible faces.)

* * * * *

Barbara Nedotyopin.

* * * * *

Z., an engineer or doctor, went on a visit to his uncle, an editor;
he became interested, began to go there frequently; then became a
contributor to the paper, little by little gave up his profession; one
night he came out of the newspaper office, remembered, and seized his
head in his hands - "all is lost!" He began to go gray. Then it became
a habit, he was quite white now and flabby, an editor, respectable but
obscure.

* * * * *

A Privy Councillor, an old man, looking at his children, became a
radical himself.

* * * * *

A newspaper: "Cracknel."

* * * * *

The clown in the circus - that is talent, and the waiter in the frock
coat speaking to him - that is the crowd; the waiter with an ironical
smile on his face.

* * * * *

Auntie from Novozybkov.

* * * * *

He has a rarefaction of the brain and his brains have leaked into his
ears.

* * * * *

"What? Writers? If you like, for a shilling I'll make a writer of
you."

* * * * *

Instead of translator, contractor.

* * * * *

An actress, forty years old, ugly, ate a partridge for dinner, and I
felt sorry for the partridge, for it occurred to me that in its life
it had been more talented, more sensible, and more honest than that
actress.

* * * * *

The doctor said to me: "If," says he, "your constitution holds out,
drink to your heart's content." (Gorbunov.)

* * * * *

Carl Kremertartarlau.

* * * * *

A field with a distant view, one tiny birch tree. The inscription
under the picture: loneliness.

* * * * *

The guests had gone: they had played cards and everything was in
disorder: tobacco smoke, scraps of paper, and chiefly - the dawn and
memories.

* * * * *

Better to perish from fools than to accept praises from them.

* * * * *

Why do trees grow and so luxuriantly, when the owners are dead?

* * * * *

The character keeps a library, but he is always away visiting; there
are no readers.

* * * * *

Life seems great, enormous, and yet one sits on one's _piatachok_.[1]

[Footnote 1: The word means five kopecks and also a pig's snout.]

* * * * *

Zolotonosha?[1] There is no such town! No!

[Footnote 1: The name of a Russian town, meaning literally
"Gold-carrier."]

* * * * *

When he laughs, he shows his teeth and gums.

* * * * *

He loved the sort of literature which did not upset him, Schiller,
Homer, etc.

* * * * *

N., a teacher, on her way home in the evening was told by her friend
that X. had fallen in love with her, N., and wanted to propose. N.,
ungainly, who had never before thought of marriage, when she got home,
sat for a long time trembling with fear, could not sleep, cried, and
towards morning fell in love with X.; next day she heard that the
whole thing was a supposition on the part of her friend and that X.
was going to marry not her but Y.

* * * * *

He had a liaison with a woman of forty-five after which he began to
write ghost stories.

* * * * *

I dreamt that I was in India and that one of the local princes
presented me with an elephant, two elephants even. I was so worried
about the elephant that I woke up.

* * * * *

An old man of eighty says to another old man of sixty: "You ought to
be ashamed, young man."

* * * * *

When they sang in church, "Now is the beginning of our salvation," he
ate _glavizna_ at home; on the day of St. John the Baptist he ate no
food that was circular and flogged his children.[1]

[Footnote 1: _Glavizna_ in Russian is the name of a fish and also
means beginning; the root of the verbs "to behead" and "to flog" are
the same.]

* * * * *

A journalist wrote lies in the newspaper, but he thought he was
writing the truth.

* * * * *

If you are afraid of loneliness, do not marry.

* * * * *

He himself is rich, but his mother is in the workhouse.

* * * * *

He married, furnished a house, bought a writing-table, got everything
in order, but found he had nothing to write.

* * * * *

Faust: "What you don't know is just what you want; what you know is
what you can't use."

* * * * *

Although you may tell lies, people will believe you, if only you speak
with authority.

* * * * *

As I shall lie in the grave alone, so in fact I live alone.

* * * * *

A German: "Lord have mercy on us, _grieshniki_."[1]

[Footnote 1: _Grieshniki_ means "sinners," but sounds like
_grietchnieviki_ which means "buckwheat cakes."]

* * * * *

"O my dear little pimple!" said the bride tenderly. The bridegroom
thought for a while, then felt hurt - they parted.

* * * * *

They were mineral water bottles with preserved cherries in them.

* * * * *

An actress who spoilt all her parts by very bad acting - and this
continued all her life long until she died. Nobody liked her; she
ruined all the best parts; and yet she went on acting until she was
seventy.

* * * * *

He alone is all right and can repent who feels himself to be wrong.

* * * * *

The archdeacon curses the "doubters," and they stand in the choir and
sing anathema to themselves (Skitalez).

* * * * *

He imagined that his wife lay with her legs cut off and that he nursed
her in order to save his soul....

* * * * *

Madame Snuffley.

* * * * *

The black-beetles have left the house; the house will be burnt down.

* * * * *

"Dmitri, the Pretender, and Actors." "Turgenev and the Tigers."
Articles like that can be and are written.

* * * * *

A title: Lemon Peel.

* * * * *

I am your legitimate husband.

* * * * *

An abortion, because while birthing a wave struck her, a wave of the
ocean; because of the eruption of Vesuvius.

* * * * *

It seems to me: the sea and myself - and nothing else.

* * * * *

Education: his three-year-old son wore a black frock-coat, boots, and
waistcoat.

* * * * *

With pride: "I'm not of Yuriev, but of Dorpat University."[1]

[Footnote 1: Yuriev is the Russian name of the town Dorpat.]

* * * * *

His beard looked like the tail of a fish.

* * * * *

A Jew, Ziptchik.

* * * * *

A girl, when she giggles, makes noises as if she were putting her head
in cold water.

* * * * *

"Mamma, what is a thunderbolt made of?"

* * * * *

On the estate there is a bad smell, and bad taste; the trees
are planted anyhow, stupidly; and away in a remote corner the
lodge-keeper's wife all day long washes the guest's linen - and nobody
sees her; and the owners are allowed to talk away whole days about
their rights and their nobility.

* * * * *

She fed her dog on the best caviare.

* * * * *

Our self-esteem and conceit are European, but our culture and actions
are Asiatic.

* * * * *

A black dog - he looks as if he were wearing goloshes.

* * * * *

A Russian's only hope - to win two hundred thousand roubles in a
lottery.

* * * * *

She is wicked, but she taught her children good.

* * * * *

Every one has something to hide.

* * * * *

The title of N.'s story: The Power of Harmonies.

* * * * *

O how nice it would be if bachelors or widowers were appointed
Governors.

* * * * *

A Moscow actress never in her life saw a turkey-hen.

* * * * *

On the lips of the old I hear either stupidity or malice.

* * * * *

"Mamma, Pete did not say his prayers." Pete is woken up, he says his
prayers, cries, then lies down and shakes his fist at the child who
made the complaint.

* * * * *

He imagined that only doctors could say whether it is male or female.

* * * * *

One became a priest, the other a _Dukhobor_, the third a philosopher,
and in each case instinctively because no one wants really to work
with bent back from morning to night.

* * * * *

A passion for the word uterine: my uterine brother, my uterine wife,
my uterine brother-in-law, etc.

* * * * *

To Doctor N., an illegitimate child, who has never lived with his
father and knew him very little, his bosom friend Z., says with
agitation: "You see, the fact of the matter is that your father misses
you very much, he is ill and wants to have a look at you." The father
keeps "Switzerland," furnished apartments. He takes the fried fish out
of the dish with his hands and only afterwards uses a fork. The vodka
smells rank. N. went, looked about him, had dinner - his only feeling
that that fat peasant, with the grizzled beard, should sell such
filth. But once, when passing the house at midnight, he looked in at
the window: his father was sitting with bent back reading a book. He
recognized himself and his own manners.

* * * * *

As stupid as a gray gelding.

* * * * *

They teased the girl with castor oil, and therefore she did not marry.

* * * * *

N. all his life used to write abusive letters to famous singers,
actors, and authors: "You think, you scamp,..." - without signing his
name.

* * * * *

When the man who carried the torch at funerals came out in his
three-cornered hat, his frock coat with laces and stripes, she fell in
love with him.

* * * * *

A sparkling, joyous nature, a kind of living protest against
grumblers; he is fat and healthy, eats a great deal, every one likes
him but only because they are afraid of the grumblers; he is a nobody,
a Ham, only eats and laughs loud, and that's all; when he dies, every
one sees that he had done nothing, that they had mistaken him for some
one else.

* * * * *

After the inspection of the building, the Commission, which was
bribed, lunched heartily, and it was precisely a funeral feast over
honesty.

* * * * *

He who tells lies is dirty.

* * * * *

At three o'clock in the morning they wake him: he has to go to his job
at the railway station, and so every day for the last fourteen years.

* * * * *

A lady grumbles: "I write to my son that he should change his linen
every Saturday. He replies: 'Why Saturday, not Monday?' I answer:
'Well, all right, let it be Monday.' And he: 'Why Monday, not
Tuesday?' He is a nice honest man, but I get worried by him."

* * * * *

A clever man loves learning but is a fool at teaching.

* * * * *

The sermons of priests, archimandrites, and bishops are wonderfully
like one another.

* * * * *

One remembers the arguments about the brotherhood of man, public good,
and work for the people, but really there were no such arguments, one
only drank at the University. They write: "One feels ashamed of the
men with University degrees who once fought for human rights and
freedom of religion and conscience" - but they never fought.

* * * * *

Every day after dinner the husband threatens his wife that he will
become a monk, and the wife cries.

* * * * *

Mordokhvostov.

* * * * *

Husband and wife have lived together and quarreled for eighteen years.
At last he makes a confession, which was in fact untrue, of having
been false to her, and they part to his great pleasure and to the
wrath of the whole town.

* * * * *

A useless thing, an album with forgotten, uninteresting photographs,
lies in the corner on a chair; it has been lying there for the last
twenty years and no one makes up his mind to throw it away.

* * * * *

N. tells how forty years ago X., a wonderful and extraordinary man,
had saved the lives of five people, and N. feels it strange that every
one listened with indifference, that the history of X. is already
forgotten, uninteresting....

* * * * *

They fell upon the soft caviare greedily, and devoured it in a minute.

* * * * *

In the middle of a serious conversation he says to his little son:
"Button up your trousers."

* * * * *

Man will only become better when you make him see what he is like.

* * * * *

Dove-colored face.

* * * * *

The squire feeds his pigeons, canaries, and fowls on pepper, acids,
and all kinds of rubbish in order that the birds may change their
color - and that is his sole occupation: he boasts of it to every
visitor.

* * * * *

They invited a famous singer to recite the Acts of the Apostles at the
wedding; he recited it, but they have not paid his fee.

* * * * *

For a farce: I have a friend by name Krivomordy (crooked face) and
he's all right. Not crooked leg or crooked arm but crooked face: he
was married and his wife loved him.

* * * * *

N. drank milk every day, and every time he put a fly in the glass and
then, with the air of a victim, asked the old butler: "What's that?"
He could not live a single day without that.

* * * * *

She is surly and smells of a vapor bath.

* * * * *

N. learned of his wife's adultery. He is indignant, distressed, but


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