No. 8 Introduction and Scene
There! No more talk tonight.
It's bedtime, Tanya.
You must be up in time for church tomorrow.
Now sleep, my child.
I can't sleep, Nanny. It's so sultry.
Open the window and sit by me.
Tanya, what's wrong with you?
so tell me more about the past.
Well, let me think now. In the old days
my head was full of any number
of fairy stories and children's tales,
of ancient legends and romance.
Today, though, my poor memory's failing;
those tales are quite forgotten.
Ah! My mind grows weaker every day,
Tell me something else, then.
When you were just a girl like me,
did you not fall in love at all?
Now really, Tanya! What a question!
No one in those days spoke of love,
and if i'd used that word my husvand's mother
would have sent me packing!
Then why did you get married, Nanny?
God willed it so, and so it happened,
when I was only just thirteen.
Vanya was even younger still.
The match was settled by our parents,
my dowry fixed, and then one day
my father blessed me with a kiss.
I cried, and no one could console me.
Weeping, my friends unbound my braids
and led me solemnly to church.
And so I went to lice with strangers...
But you're not listening to me, child!
Oh, Nanny, Nanny, I'm so wretched, so unhappy,
I feel like burstin into tears and sobbing,
for my heart is breaking.
There, there, my child, you must be ill.
But God will cure you, you shall see.
Come, let me sprinkle holy water on you.
You're all on fire.
I ama not ill;
I'll tell you, Nanny, I'm... I'm in love!
So leave me now, please leave me now,
for I'm in love!
I beg you, leave me here alone.
First vring my table with some paper,
my pen as well. I'll gi ti bed then.
Good night; sleep soundly, Tanya!
No. 9 Letter Scene
To write is foolishness, I know it,
but as I love him, I must show it.
And though I languish evermore,
I'll learn what rapture lies in store!
Desire has poisoned me with longing;
all day I only think of him.
For though I hide in my despair,
my fatal tempter finds me there;
my tempter haunts my footsteps everywhere!
No, that won't do! I'll start another.
What's wrong with me? I'm all on fire.
I can't think how to start.
"I had to write, my heart compelled me;
what is there more that I need say?
Henceforth I know that you'll disdain me
for acting rashly in this way.
But if you'd only show compassion
and think how wretched I must be,
you'll surely not abandon me!
At first I meant to hide my secret;
believe me, I had hoped that you would neber know it;
never know, never know!"
Oh, yes, I'd sworn that I would hide my love,
and not betray this madness that consumes me.
But now I can't subdue my passion any more;
fate will decide whatever lies in store.
I shall declare myself and trust in my confession!
"Whatever brought you to this lonely place?
For since I live here in seclusion
I never would have seen your face,
or would have known such bitter torment.
My heart would soon have grown contented
and then as time went by, who knows,
I might have chanced to find another,
agreed to honour and respect him,
and made faithful, loving wife..."
No, there could never be another
to whom I'd give my love!
My life is bound to yours for ever;
this is decreed by heacen above.
Now my existence has a meaning,
that noble soul for which I sigh.
I know that God above has sent you
to guard and to love me till I die!
Often I'd seen you in my dreaming;
your face and form had long been dear.
Nightly you whispered in my ear;
your words disturbed me with their meaning.
And then... that dream of mine came true.
For when we met, I straightway knew you,
and in that instant, beating wildly,
my heart cried out to me; "Love him, love him!"
For you were always there beside me
when, sick at heart, I knelt in prayer.
Your nobke oresence seemed to guide me
when I would hepl the poor and
needy in charity.
Yes, it is your beloved vision
that comes in this moment of decision
to stand beside me as I write,
and fill my heart with new emotion,
with whispered promise of devotion,
that brings me comgort and delight.
"Are you an angel sent to guard me,
or will you tempt and then discard me?
Resolve these doubts I can't dispel.
Could all my dreams be self-delusion?
Am I too innocent to tell?
Has Fate prepared its own conclusion?"
"No, vome what may, I'm now resolved
to lay my worthless life before you.
Pity my burning tears and grant me
your protection, I implore you,
I inplore you!
Imagine, I am alone;
there's no one here who understands me.
I fear my reason will desert me;
to find release I'd gladly die.
I long for you,
I long for you to be my saviour;
one word can set my heart on fire
or simply stifle my desire,
to leave me desolate and wretched!"
It's finished! Dare I read it through?
For shame and terror now assail me.
But since his honour is my pledge
I boldly trust he will not fail me!
No. 10 Scene and Duet
Ah, night is over!
The rising sun
awakes another day.
There goes the shepherd;
the world's at peace.
But I'm not, I'm not!
It's time to dress, my dear. Wake up!
Why, what is this? You're up already!
You must have risen with the lark.
Last night I feared thatyou were ill.
but, thank the Lord, that's over now and done with.
You're quite your cheeful self again.
Your cheeks have got their colour back.
Oh, Nanny, may I ask a favour?
Of course, my darling, tell me what.
Don't think that... really... or suspect that...
Just promise, promise that you'll do it!
There, there, I'll give my word of honour.
Then make your grandson go in secret
to take this note to him - you know -
that gentleman who lives nearby,
and make his promise that he'll never reveal
who weote it or from whom it came.
To whom? I didn't catch the name.
I'm growing slow of understanding.
We're got so many neighbours here,
I cannot know them all, I fear.
Speack up, now, and tell me as plainly as you can.
Nanny, how can you be so stupid!
My dear, I must be getting old,
my wits have started to forsake me.
But onve they were as bright as gold
and that's why the master put you into my keeping.
Oh, Nanny, what does all that matter?
I tell you that my letter is for
the neighbour who was here the other day.
I understand now.
It myst be taken to Onegin's house.
Please don't be angry that my mind's astray,
I'm growing older every day.
I understand now.
So send your grandson with my letter to Onegin.
Please don't be angry that my mind's astray.
I'm growing older every day.
But Tanya, why have you turned paler?
Truly, there's no cause for dismay;
just send your grandson on his way!