On the other side in the little drawing-room a love scene was apparently taking place between two persons: their daughter Natashenka and a teacher of the district school, called Shchupkin. We'll catch him. A blessing with an ikon is sacred and binding. He couldn't get out of it, if he brought it into court. As though I didn't know your writing! And what a queer man you are!
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On the other side in the little drawing-room a love scene was apparently taking place between two persons: their daughter Natashenka and a teacher of the district school, called Shchupkin. We'll catch him. A blessing with an ikon is sacred and binding. He couldn't get out of it, if he brought it into court.
As though I didn't know your writing! And what a queer man you are! You are a writing master, and you write like a spider! How can you teach writing if you write so badly yourself? That means nothing. The great thing in writing lessons is not the hand one writes, but keeping the boys in order.
You hit one on the head with a ruler, make another kneel down. Besides, there's nothing in handwriting! Nekrassov was an author, but his handwriting's a disgrace, there's a specimen of it in his collected works. He'd always be writing poems to me. You'll be crazy when you read it. It would draw a tear from a stone! And if I write you a real poem, will you let me kiss your hand? Shchupkin jumped up, and making sheepish eyes, bent over the fat little hand that smelt of egg soap.
May you live -- be fruitful -- and multiply. Oh, you are taking from me my only treasure! Shchupkin's mouth fell open with amazement and alarm. The parents' attack was so bold and unexpected that he could not utter a single word. I'm spliced! There's no escape! Kleopatra, give me the ikon. What had happened? The writing master raised himself and saw that he was saved; in her flutter the mamma had snatched from the wall the portrait of Lazhetchnikov, the author, in mistake for the ikon.
Old Peplov and his wife stood disconcerted in the middle of the room, holding the portrait aloft, not knowing what to do or what to say. The writing master took advantage of the general confusion and slipped away.
This story is featured in our collection of Short-Short Stories to read when you have five minutes to spare. Return to the Anton Chekhov Home Page, or. Read the next short story; Aborigines. Henry H. Create a library and add your favorite stories. Get started by clicking the "Add" button.
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A Blunder (Illustrated)
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“A Blunder” by Anton Chekhov
Taken from his The Complete Short Stories collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Chekhov may be exploring the theme of aspirations. Both Ilya and Kleopatra wish for their daughter Natashenka to be married. So enthusiastic are they at the prospect that she might marry Shchupkin that they are eavesdropping at the door listening to Natashenka and Shchupkin talking. This may be important as though Ilya and Kleopatra are enthusiastic that Natashenka might marry there is also an element of anxiety or desperation.