[Goes toward the ante-room to the right and meets Nato
with four sheets of music in her hand.
 Abace—20 kopecks.
Nato, Ossep, Chacho.
OSSEP. Yes, yes, reduce your expenses!
CHACHO. Little girl, how quickly you have come back!
NATO. I did not go far, aunt.
CHACHO. What have you in your hand, sweetheart?
NATO. I have bought some new music.
OSSEP [stepping up to them]. Yes, yes, retrench! [Taking a sheet of music out of her hand.] What did you pay for this?
NATO. Four abaces.
OSSEP. And for this [taking another]?
NATO [looking at it]. Six abaces.
OSSEP [taking a third]. And for this?
NATO [fretfully]. One ruble and a half.
OSSEP [taking the last]. And certainly as much for this?
NATO. No, papa; I paid two rubles and a half for that.
OSSEP [angrily]. And one is to economize! Am I to blame for this? What have you bought four pieces for? Was not one or two enough?
NATO [frightened]. I need them.
OSSEP [still more angrily]. Tell me one thing—is this to be endured? If she could play properly at least, but she only drums two or three pieces and says she can play. I cannot play myself, but I have heard persons who played well. They could use these things, but not we. I wish the devil had the man who introduced this! [Throws the music on the floor.] I’ll cut off my hand if she can play properly.
CHACHO. There, there, stop, now!
OSSEP. Whatever she tries to do is only half done: music, languages—she has only half learned. Tell me, what can she do? Is she able to sew anything? or to cut out a dress for herself? Yes, that one seems like a European girl! Ha! ha! Five times I have been in Leipsic, and the daughter of the merest pauper there can do more than she can. What have I not seen in the way of needlework! I gaped with admiration. And she cannot even speak Armenian properly, and that is her mother tongue! Can she write a page without mistakes? Can she pronounce ten French words fluently? Yes, tell me, what can she do? What does she understand? She will make a fine housekeeper for you! The man who takes her for his wife is to be pitied. She be able to share