‘Happy New Year, Happy New Year…’

So what made you feel so poorly?’

I can’t remember… I… I was doing the rounds…’

So did you have lots of people to visit?’

(…)

No, not really… just a few… I came home from church… had a cup of tea, then I set off for Nikolay Mikhailich’s…(…) From there I went down Ofitserskaya Street to Kachalkin’s…(…) From Kachalkin’s I crossed to the Vyborg Side and dropped by Ivan Ivanych’s…

(…)

From Ivan Ivanych’s’ Sinkleteyev continues, ‘I went to shake hands with Khrymov the merchant… I dropped in to wish his family a Happy New Year… They suggested we raise a glass… And how could I refuse? You offend people if you refuse… So, I downed about three glasses… ate a bit of sausage… And from there I went across to the Petersburg Side to pay a call on Likhodeyev… He is a good man…

(…)

From there I went to Pelageya Emelyanovna’s… Who sat me down to breakfast and treated me to coffee. The coffee made me break out in a sweat – it must have gone to my head… From Pelageya Emelyanovna I went to Obleukhov… Vasily Obleukhov he’s called, it was his name day… So I couldn’t upset him by refusing a piece of name day cake…

(…)

I had a piece of cake, a shot of rowanberry liqueur and on to Sadovaya Street to visit Izyumov… At Izyumov’s I had a cold beer… that hit the spot… From Izyumov I went to Koshkin, and then to Karl Karlich… and from there to my uncle, Pyotr Semyonich… His niece Nastya gave me some hot chocolate to drink… Then I dropped in on Lyapkin… No, I tell a lie, it wasn’t Lyapkin, it was Darya Nikodimovna… I went to Lyapkin after visiting her… Anyway, I felt fine all the time… Then I visited Ivanov, Kurdyukov and Shiller, and I also visited Colonel Poroshkov, and I felt fine there too… I visited Dunkin the merchant… He insisted I had a glass of cognac and ate some sausage and cabbage… I had about three glasses… and I ate a couple of sausages, but I still felt alright… It was only when I was leaving Ryzhov’s that I felt my head… beginning to spin… I started to feel weak… I don’t know why…’

You have worn yourself out… Have a little rest, and we will send you home…’

I can’t go home…’ groans Sinkleteyev. ‘I still have to call on my brother-in-law Kuzma Vavilich… the executor, and Natalya Egorovna… There are a lot of people I still haven’t visited…’

And you shouldn’t be visiting them either.’

I have… You’ve got to wish people a Happy New Year… It’s important…

New Year Martyrs by Anton Chekhov

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