I N the autumn of 1903 Anton Pavlovich came to Moscow in very ill health. Nevertheless, he was present at almost all the rehearsals of his new play, the name of which he could not yet
decide upon. Once of an evening he telephoned me to come to him on business. He was sick and could not leave the house. To visit Anton Pavlovich was a rare happiness. I dropped all my affairs and rushed to see him. He was very high-spirited, notwithstanding his illness. Apparently he did not wish to speak of the business on hand at once, but to leave it for the very end, just as children like to leave sweets for the very end of a meal. Meanwhile we all sat at the tea table and laughed, because it was impossible not to laugh in Chekhov's presence. But tea finished, Anton Pavlovich led me to his study, closed the door, sat down in his traditional corner of the divan, and made mesit before him. But even then he did not begin with the business on hand at once, still keeping it for dessert. Meanwhile he was trying to persuade me that some of the actors did not fit their parts and should be replaced by others.