The Seagull

by Anton Chekhov (1896)

Act 4

Nina - Female, Under 25 yrs

Scene partner - Treplieff

Monologue - Dramatic, 1:00 to 2:00 min


I dream every night that you look at me without recognizing me. I have been wandering about on the shores of the lake ever since I came back. I have often been near your house, but I have never had the courage to come in. Let us sit down. Let us sit down and talk our hearts out. It is so quiet and warm in here. Do you hear the wind whistling outside? As Turgenieff says, "Happy is he who can sit at night under the roof of his home, who has a warm corner in which to take refuge." I am a sea-gull — and yet — no. What was I saying? Oh, yes, Turgenieff. He says, "and God help all houseless wanderers."

[Treplieff: Nina! You are crying again, Nina!]

[It is all right. I shall feel better after this. I have not cried for two years.] I went into the garden last night to see if our old theatre were still standing. I see it is. I wept there for the first time in two years, and my heart grew lighter, and my soul saw more clearly again. [See, I am not crying now.] So you are an author now, and I am an actress. We have both been sucked into the whirlpool. My life used to be as happy as a child's; I used to wake singing in the morning; I loved you and dreamt of fame, and what is the reality? To-morrow morning early I must start for Eltz by train in a third-class carriage, with a lot of peasants, and at Eltz the educated trades-people will pursue me with compliments. It is a rough life.

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