One wise man said: if you want to learn more about the writer’s work, study the man and his surroundings. To feel Chekhov, I visit places where he lived with interest. Melikhovo`s estate of in the Moscow region is one of those places.
Anton Pavlovich lived here for eight years. And, apparently, he lived here quite happy. There were written more than four dozen works, including the play “Seagull”. A marble plaque hangs on the wall of a small wing, built for creative solitude: “My house, where it was written “Seagull”. House is called: the wing of the “Seagull”. There is a nice garden with a beautiful straight alley in Chekhov’s estate as in the play; everyone also played bingo in the evenings.
Creative solitude was necessary Anton Pavlovich, because guests often ran over in Melikhovo. Chekhov positively liked that there always be “colloquially and merrily” around his. But he had to leave from time to time, to go to his study and write a new idea. It was a hospitable house, judging by the large dining table, which flaunts Dresden faience set for many people.
“You come into a cozy dining room, you see lovely friendly faces, you immediately feel peace. A hot dinner waiting for us in the dining room with cheap wallpaper under the oak”, – remembered one of the writer`s guest.
Here is a table with a sugar bowl, tweezers and a Chekhov`s cup, from which he drank tea. It is very graceful. It`s white with a gilded rim. By the way, Anton Pavlovich liked to take coffee for cheerfulness of spirit. Here is a “smart” coffee pot with alcohol, which was brought by his brother Mikhail. But Chekhov did not like to bother: when “official person Misha” left for the service, he brewed his coffee in a simple coffee pot. With all his passion for literature, which Chekhov jokingly called his mistress, he devoted a lot of time to his “legitimate wife” – medicine. Chekhov said:
“I’m not a gentleman, I’m a doctor I’ll treat you.” at the first acquaintance with Melikhovo`s peasants. Reception of patients began at five o’clock in the morning.
He expressed readiness to serve the zemstvo, refusing to pay for the work of the district doctor in the fight against cholera. He took over the maintenance of 25 villages, two factory villages and the monastery of David’s deserts.
Another curious fact: The County Council held a ban on the construction of the tannery on the Lutorka river from which the local population took water. Once Anton Pavlovich noticed: sometime will be convinced that I am the good physician.
It’s true! It is a pity that the snow cover did not allow to see the orchard and the garden “South of France”, where the writer liked to tinker: he planted plants and cared for them, wrote out seeds from abroad. But the ice shell did not prevent to admire a pond near the house where the writer sat with a fishing rod, being an avid fisherman. Even he brought fry perch and carp from Moscow, which he produced in his “aquarium”. And now about Brom and Hina. No, it’s not medicine, it’s Chekhov’s favorite dog. Chekhov`s sister gave them medical names, he considered such treatment to their pets familiarly gave them middle names – Hina Markovna and Brom Isaevich.
Dachshunds occurred from crossing a simple mongrel with a crocodile, differed ugly appearance and unusual mind as Chekhov joked. He considered them an example of worldly wisdom and loved his pets. Dogs did not differ exemplary behavior – they barked at the servants, cought patients for his pants, rummaging around in the flower pots, dragged around the house galoshes, but for all that enjoyed special privileges, to the extent that they were allowed to sleep in the master bedroom.
Appreciating the Chekhov`s works, I still very much respect him as a person and his surroundings.