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A country house on a terrace. In front of it a garden. In an
avenue of trees, under an old poplar, stands a table set for tea,
with a samovar, etc. Some benches and chairs stand near the
table. On one of them is lying a guitar. A hammock is swung near
the table. It is three o'clock in the afternoon of a cloudy day.

MARINA, a quiet, grey-haired, little old woman, is sitting at the
table knitting a stocking.

ASTROFF is walking up and down near her.

MARINA. [Pouring some tea into a glass] Take a little tea, my

ASTROFF. [Takes the glass from her unwillingly] Somehow, I don't
seem to want any.

MARINA. Then will you have a little vodka instead?

ASTROFF. No, I don't drink vodka every day, and besides, it is
too hot now. [A pause] Tell me, nurse, how long have we known
each other?

MARINA. [Thoughtfully] Let me see, how long is it? Lord--help me
to remember. You first came here, into our parts--let me
think--when was it? Sonia's mother was still alive--it was two
winters before she died; that was eleven years
ago--[thoughtfully] perhaps more.

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