Page:Dead Souls - A Poem by Nikolay Gogol - vol2.djvu/227

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217
BOOK TWO

them. Though he did assert that he had land in the Kherson province, its existence was somewhat hypothetical. He had proposed to buy the estate in the Kherson province because land was sold there for a mere song, and was even given away on condition that peasants were settled upon it. He thought, too, he ought to make haste to buy what runaway and dead souls any one had left, for the landowners were one after another hurrying to mortgage their estates, and soon there would not be a spot left in Russia that was not mortgaged to the Government. All these ideas one after another filled his mind and prevented him from sleeping. At last slumber, which had, as the saying is, held all the household in its embrace for the last four hours, embraced Tchitchikov also. He slept soundly. …