The Cherry Orchard

by Anton Chekhov

Version by Jean-Claude Van Itallie

Act II: Lyubov Andreyevna

Read by: Emma Rye

Oh, my sins. I’ve always been reckless with money, tossed it away like a lunatic. Then I married a man who had a genius for debt. Champagne killed him in the end – he was always drunk. Then, oh Lord – another man. I fell in love, became his mistress. Then – my first punishment came like a blow on the head… My boy Grisha, my beautiful little boy, was drowned, here in this river. I went away… Shut my eyes. I wanted never to come back, never to see this river again… I didn’t want to know where I was or what I was doing. I went abroad. But he followed me… He was merciless, brutal. He wouldn’t leave me alone. I had a villa near Menton. He fell ill there. I nursed him. For three years day and night I had no rest.  He exhausted me. He used up my soul. Last year I sold the villa to pay our debts. In Paris he robbed me, and went to live with another woman. I tried to poison myself… so senseless, humiliating. Then suddenly I felt a yearning for Russia, for my homeland and my little girl…Oh, God have mercy. Forgive my sins. Don’t punish me any more. This came from Paris today. He begs me to forgive him and come back. I seem to hear music from somewhere.