Act IV - Scene XIV

[The same and Marya Antonovna.]

MARYA: [running in suddenly] Mamma, papa says you should—[seeing Khlestakov on his knees, exclaims:] Oh, what a situation!

ANNA: Well, what do you want? Why did you come in here? What for? What sort of flightiness is this? Breaks in like a cat leaping out of smoke. Well, what have you found so wonderful? What's gotten into your head again? Really, she behaves like a child of three. She doesn't act a bit like a girl of eighteen, not a bit. I don't know when you'll get more sense into your head, when you'll behave like a decent, well-bred girl, when you'll know what good manners are and a proper demeanor.

MARYA: [through her tears] Mamma, I really didn't know—

ANNA: There's always a breeze blowing through your head. You act like Liapkin-Tiapkin's daughter. Why should you imitate them? You shouldn't imitate them. You have other examples to follow. You have your mother before you. She's the example to follow.

KHLESTAKOV: [seizing Marya's hand] Anna Andreyevna, don't oppose our happiness. Give your blessing to our constant love.

ANNA: [in surprise] So it's in her you are—

KHLESTAKOV: Decide—life or death?

ANNA: Well, there, you fool, you see? Our guest is pleased to go down on his knees for such trash as you. You, running in suddenly as if you were out of your mind. Really, it would be just what you deserve, if I refused. You are not worthy of such happiness.

MARYA: I won't do it again, mamma, really I won't.