Boris Godunov

by Alexsander Pushkin

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A Suite of Lighted Rooms


   MNISHEK. With none but my Marina doth he speak,
   With no one else consorteth—and that business
   Looks dreadfully like marriage. Now confess,
   Didst ever think my daughter would be a queen?

   VISHNEVETSKY. 'Tis wonderful.—And, Mnishek, didst thou think
   My servant would ascend the throne of Moscow?

   MNISHEK. And what a girl, look you, is my Marina.
   I merely hinted to her: "Now, be careful!
   Let not Dimitry slip"—and lo! Already
   He is completely tangled in her toils.

   (The band plays a Polonaise. The PRETENDER and
   MARINA advance as the first couple.)

   MARINA. (Sotto voce to Dimitry.) Tomorrow evening at eleven, beside
   The fountain in the avenue of lime-trees.

   (They walk off. A second couple.)

   CAVALIER. What can Dimitry see in her?

   DAME.                                How say you?
   She is a beauty.

   CAVALIER.      Yes, a marble nymph;
   Eyes, lips, devoid of life, without a smile.

   (A fresh couple.)

   DAME. He is not handsome, but his eyes are pleasing,
   And one can see he is of royal birth.

   (A fresh couple.)

   DAME. When will the army march?

   CAVALIER.                     When the tsarevich
   Orders it; we are ready; but 'tis clear
   The lady Mnishek and Dimitry mean
   To keep us prisoners here.

   DAME.                    A pleasant durance.

   CAVALIER. Truly, if you...

   (They walk off; the rooms become empty.)

   MNISHEK.          We old ones dance no longer;
   The sound of music lures us not; we press not
   Nor kiss the hands of charmers—ah! My friend,
   I've not forgotten the old pranks! Things now
   Are not what once they were, what once they were!
   Youth, I'll be sworn, is not so bold, nor beauty
   So lively; everything—confess, my friend—
   Has somehow become dull. So let us leave them;
   My comrade, let us go and find a flask
   Of old Hungarian overgrown with mould;
   Let's bid my butler open an old bottle,
   And in a quiet corner, tete-a-tete,
   Let's drain a draught, a stream as thick as fat;
   And while we're so engaged, let's think things over.
   Let us go, brother.

   VISHNEVETSKY.     Yes, my friend, let's go.


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