MARIA SCHONING
Твори О.С. Пушкіна.Переклад англійською мовою.>MARIA SCHONING

 

MARIA SCHONING

(1835)



Anna Harlin to Maria Schoning; W., April 25

My dear Maria,
What has happened to you? For more than four months I have not received a single line from you. Are you in good health? If I had not been so busy all the time, I would have come to visit you, but as you know, twelve miles is not a joke. Without me the household would come to a dead stop: Fritz is no good at it; he is just like a child. Have you perhaps married? No, I am sure you would have thought of me and not neglected to delight your friend with the news of your happiness. In your last letter you wrote that your poor father was still sickly; I hope the spring has helped him, and he is better now. About myself I can say that, thanks to God, I am well and happy. My work brings in little; but I am still incapable of bargaining or charging too much. It might be just as well to learn how to. Fritz is also quite well, though lately his wooden leg has been causing him trouble. He gets about very little, and in bad weather wheezes and groans. Otherwise he is just as cheerful as before, still likes his glass of wine, and has still not finished telling me the story of his campaigns. The children are growing and getting more and more beautiful. Frank is turning out a clever little fellow. Just imagine, dear Maria, he is already running after girls, though he is not yet three. What do you think of that? And what a mischief-maker he is! Fritz can't rejoice in him enough and spoils him terribly: instead of checking the child, he goads him on and delights in his every prank. Mina is much calmer; but then of course she is a year older. I have begun teaching her to read. She is very sharp-witted and, it seems, will be pretty. But what is the good of being pretty? If she will just grow into a good and sensible girl, she will no doubt be happy.
p.s.I am sending you a scarf as a little present: wear it for the first time next Sunday, when you go to church. It was a present to me from Fritz, but red goes better with your black tresses than with my blonde hair. Men do not understand such things. Blue and red are all the same to them. Farewell, my dear Maria; I have chattered long enough. Do write as soon as you can. Give my sincere regards to your dear father. Let me know how he is doing. I shall never forget the three years spent under his roof, during which he treated me, a poor orphan, not as a hired servant but as a daughter. The mother of our pastor advises him to drink red chamomile instead of tea: it is a very common herb - I have even found out its Latin name - any apothecary can point it out to you.

Maria Schoning to Anna Harlin; Арril 28


I received your letter last Friday but have not read it until today. My poor father died just that day, at six o'clock in the morning, and yesterday was his funeral.
I never thought his death was so imminent. Lately he had been doing much better, so much so that Herr Koltz had hopes for his complete recovery. On Monday he even took a walk in our little garden and got as far as the well without running out of breath. When he returned to his room, however, he felt slightly shivery; I put him into bed and ran off for Herr Koltz. He was not at home. When I returned to my father I found him asleep. Sleep, I thought, might relax him and make him feel entirely better. Herr Koltz called on us in the evening. He examined the patient and was unhappy with his condition. He prescribed a new medicine for him. Father awoke in the middle of the night and asked for something to eat; I gave him some soup; he swallowed one spoonful, but did not feel like any more. He dozed off again. The next day he had spasms. Herr Koltz did not leave his bedside. Toward evening his pain abated, but he was seized by such restlessness that he could not lie in the same position for more than five minutes at a time. I had to keep turning him from one side to the other... Toward morning he grew calm and slept for a couple of hours. Herr Koltz left his room, promising to return in about two hours. Suddenly father sat up and called for me. I came and asked what he wanted. He said, "Maria, how come it is so very dark? Open the shutters."
I answered in alarm, "Dear father, can't you see? The shutters are open."
He started searching about him, grasped my hand, and said, "Maria, Maria, I feel very bad - I am dying... Let me give you my blessing while I can."
I threw myself on my knees and placed his hand on my head. He said, "Oh Lord, reward her; oh Lord, I put her in your hands."
He grew quiet; then suddenly his hand felt heavy. Thinking he had fallen asleep again, I did not dare stir for several minutes. Presently Herr Koltz entered, took my father's hand off my head, and said, "Leave him alone now, go to your room."
I glanced at father: he lay there pale and motionless. It was all over.
The good-hearted Herr Koltz did not leave our house for two full days, and made all the necessary arrangements, for I was not in a state to do so. Lately I have been looking after the patient by myself, since there was no one to relieve me. I often thought of you and bitterly regretted that you were not with us...
Yesterday I got up and was preparing to follow the coffin, but all of a sudden felt bad. I went down on my knees in order to take leave of my father at least from a distance. Frau Rotberch remarked, "What a comedienne!" These words, just imagine, my dear Anna, returned my strength to me. I followed the coffin with surprisingly little difficulty. In the church, it seemed to me, everything was exceedingly bright, and everything around me was reeling. I did not weep. I felt suffocated and wanted to burst out laughing all the time. They bore him to the cemetery behind St. Jacob's Church and lowered him into the grave under my eyes. Suddenly I felt like digging it up again, for I had not quite taken my leave of him. But there were still many people walking about the cemetery, and I was afraid Frau Rotberch might remark again, "What a comedienne!"
How cruel it is not to let a daughter say good-bye to her dead father the way she wants to ...
Returning home, I found several strangers, who told me it was necessary to seal all my father's property and papers. They let me stay in my little room, but they carried everything out of it except for the bed and a chair. Tomorrow is Sunday. I shall not be able to wear the scarf you gave me, but I want to thank you for it very much. Give my regards to your husband and kiss Frank and Mina for me. Farewell.
I am writing standing by the windowsill; I have borrowed an inkpot from the neighbours.

Maria Schoning to Anna Harlin


My dear Anna,
An official came to me yesterday and declared that all of my late father's property must be sold at auction to the benefit of the city treasury, because he had not been taxed according to his financial status: the inventory showed that he had been much wealthier than they had thought. I cannot understand any of this. Lately we had spent a great deal on medicine. All the ready cash I had left was twenty-three thalers; I showed it to the officials, but they said I could keep it, since the law did not require me to surrender it.
Our house will be auctioned off next week, after which I have no idea where I shall go. I have been to see Herr Burgermeister. He received me kindly but declared that there was nothing he could do to help me. I do not know where I could take service. Write to me if you need a maidservant: as you know, I can help you around the house and with needlework; moreover, I can look after the children and
Fritz in case he should fall Ш. I have learned how to look after the sick. Please let me know whether you need me. And do not feel embarrassed about it. I feel sure that it will not change our relationship in the least: in my eyes you will always remain the same good and kind friend.


The old Schoning's house was full of people. They crowded around the table over which the auctioneer presided. He shouted:
"A flannel camisole with brass buttons: X dialers. One -two: anybody with a higher offer? A flannel camisole: X thalers - three."
The camisole passed into the hands of its new owner.
The buyers examined the exhibited items with curiosity and abusive comments. Frau Rotberch scrutinized the dirty linen left unwashed after Schoning's death; she pulled at it and shook it open, repeating, "What trash, what rubbish, what old rags," at the same time raising her bid by one more penny. The innkeeper Hurtz bought two silver spoons, half a dozen napkins, and two china cups. The bed in which Schoning had died was bought by Karoline Schmidt, a girl heavily made up but otherwise of a modest and humble appearance.
Maria, pale as a shadow, stood there silently watching the pillage of her poor belongings. She held X thalers in her hand, ready to buy something from the spoils, but she did not have the courage to outbid the other buyers. People were leaving, carrying their purchases. Two portraits, in frames that had once been gilt-edged but were now fly-specked, were still unsold. One showed Schoning as a young man, in a red coat; the other, his wife Christiana with a lapdog in her arms. Both portraits were painted in sharp, bright outlines. Hurtz wanted to buy these, too, in order to hang them in the corner room of his inn, whose walls were too bare. The portraits were valued at X thalers. Hurtz drew out his purse; but this time Maria overcame her timidity and raised the bid in a trembling voice. Hiirtz threw a contemptuous glance at her and began to haggle. Little by little the price reached Y thalers. Maria at last bid Z. Hurtz gave up, and the portraits remained in her possession. She handed over the price, put the remainder of her money in her pocket, picked up the two portraits, and left the house, not waiting for the end of the auction.
Having walked out on the street with a portrait under each arm, she stopped in bewilderment: where was she to go?
A young man with gold-framed glasses came up to her and very politely offered to carry the portraits for her wherever she wished to take them ...
"I am much obliged to you... but I truly don't know."
She kept wondering where to take the portraits for the time being, until she found a position.
The young man waited a few moments, then went on his way. Maria decided to take the portraits to Koltz, the physician



 

Оригінал твору

Бібліотека ім. О. С. Пушкіна (м. Київ).
А.С. Пушкин. Полное собрание сочинений в десяти томах