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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 146 pages of information about Savva and the Life of Man.

LIPA

He came home to see his folks.  Why, it’s ten years since he left.  He was a mere boy then.

PELAGUEYA

A lot he cares for his folks.  Yegor Ivanovich is just dying to get rid of him.  The neighbors don’t know what to make of him either.  He dresses like a workingman and carries himself like a lord, doesn’t speak to anybody and just rolls his eyes like a saint.  I am afraid of his eyes.

LIPA

Nonsense.  He has beautiful eyes.

PELAGUEYA

Can’t he see that it’s hard for me to be doing all the housework myself?  A while ago he saw me carrying a pail full of water.  I was straining with all my might.  He didn’t even say good morning; just, passed on.  I have met a lot of people in my life, but never anybody whom I disliked so much.

LIPA

I’m so hot, everything seems to be turning round like wheels.  Listen, Polya, if you don’t want to work, don’t.  No one compels you to.

PELAGUEYA

If I won’t work, who will?  Will you?

LIPA

No, I won’t.  We’ll hire a servant.

PELAGUEYA

Yes, of course, you have plenty of money.

LIPA

And what’s the use of keeping it?

PELAGUEYA

I’ll die soon and then you’ll get a servant.  I won’t last much longer.  I have had one miscarriage, and I guess a second child will be the end of me.  I don’t care.  It’s better than to live the way I do.  Oh! (She clasps her waist)

LIPA

But for God’s sake, who is asking you to?  Stop working.  Don’t scrub.

PELAGUEYA

Yes, stop it, and all of you will be going about saying:  “How dirty the house is!”

LIPA (weary from the heat and Pelagueya’s talk)

Oh, I’m so tired of it!

PELAGUEYA

Don’t you think I feel tired too?  What are you complaining about anyhow?  You are a lady.  All you have to do is pray and read.  I don’t even get time to pray.  Some day I’ll drop into the next world all of a sudden just as I am, with my skirt tucked up under my belt:  “Good morning!  How d’you do!”

LIPA

You’ll be scrubbing floors in the next world too.

PELAGUEYA

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