Page:Dead Souls - A Poem by Nikolay Gogol - vol1.djvu/214

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Happy is the traveller who, after a long and wearisome journey with its cold and sleet, mud, posting-station superintendents waked out of their sleep, jingling bells, repairs, disputes, drivers, blacksmiths and all sorts of rascals of the road, sees at last the familiar roof with its lights flying to meet him. And there rise before his mind the familiar rooms, the delighted outcry of the servants running out to meet him, the noise and racing footsteps of his children, and the soothing gentle words interspersed with passionate kisses that are able to efface everything gloomy from the memory. Happy the man with a family and nook of his own, but woe to the bachelor!

Happy the writer who, passing by tedious and repulsive characters that impress us by their painful reality, attaches himself to characters that display the loftiest virtues of humanity, who, from the great whirlpool of human figures flitting by him daily, has selected only the few exceptions, who has never tuned his lyre to a less exalted key, has never stooped from his pinnacle to his poor, insignificant fellow-creatures, but without touching the earth has devoted himself entirely to his elevated images that are utterly remote from it. His fair portion is doubly worthy of envy; he lives in the midst of them