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NATALYA: I can make you a present of them myself, because they’re mine! Your behaviour, Ivan Vassilevitch, is strange, to say the least! Up to this we have always thought of you as a good neighbour, a friend; last year we lent you our threshing-machine, although on that account we had to put off our own threshing till November, but you behave to us as if we were gypsies. Giving me my own land, indeed! No, really, that’s not at all neighbourly! In my opinion, it’s even impudent, if you want to know.
LOMOV: Then you make out that I’m a landgrabber? Madam, never in my life have I grabbed anybody else’s land and I shan’t allow anybody to accuse me of having done so. [Quickly steps to the carafe and drinks more water] Oxen Meadows are mine!
NATALYA: It’s not true, they’re ours!
LOMOV: Mine!
Natalya was incensed by Lomov's Oxen Meadows offer and responded by offering to give him Oxen Meadows as a gift because she believed it to be hers in the first place. She was also surprised by his offer to give her her own land to herself. She added that Lomov had been acting quite strangely and that up until that point, they had considered him a good neighbour, but that was not the case anymore. Last year, Natalya's family offered him their threshing machine, even though it would have delayed their process, but he has been treating them impolitely. She thought he wasn't treating them with the proper respect.
Natalya's words hurt Lomov, and he replied that she was treating him like a land robber, which caused him to feel bad. He claimed that he never had in his life sought to take something that wasn't rightfully his. He hated when someone else accused him of the same thing. He drank more water and said, 'Oxen Meadows are his'. Lomov started drinking water because he was so stressed.
Again Natalya and Lomov began to argue that Oxen Meadows belonged to them.
Meaning of difficult words:
Threshing To remove the seeds of crop plants by hitting them
Put off To postpone something
Carafe A flask-like vessel used for serving water, juices, etc.
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2007). The Proposal - Anton Chekov (pp. 142-161). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.