Page:Dead Souls - A Poem by Nikolay Gogol - vol1.djvu/34

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Our new-comer had stayed for over a week in the town, driving about to evening-parties and dinners and so passing his time, as it is called, very agreeably. At last he made up his mind to carry his visits beyond the town and to go and see Manilov and Sobakevitch as he had promised. Perhaps he was impelled to this by another more essential reason, by something more serious and nearer to his heart. … But of all this the reader will learn by degrees in due season, if only he has the patience to read through the following narrative, a very long one, since it has later on to cover a wider and wider ground as it approaches its conclusion.

Selifan the coachman was given orders to put the horses into the familiar chaise early in the morning; Petrushka was instructed to remain at home to look after the room and the portmanteau. It will not be amiss for the reader to be made acquainted with these two serfs of our hero's. Although of course they are not very prominent characters but are rather what are called secondary or even tertiary, though the principal events and the mainsprings of the poem do not rest upon them, and only here and there touch and lightly catch upon them, yet the author likes to be extremely circumstantial in everything, and in that