Page:Dead Souls - A Poem by Nikolay Gogol - vol2.djvu/23

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
13
BOOK ONE

oneself. He passes Milyutinsky's shop, there is a salmon looking out of window, in a manner of speaking, cherries at five roubles the measure. A huge water-melon as big as an omnibus peeps out of window and seems to be looking for some one fool enough to pay a hundred roubles for it—in short, there is temptation at every step, his mouth watering, so to speak, and he must wait. So imagine his position: here on one side, so to say, there is salmon and water-melon, while on the other side they present him with the bitter dish called "to-morrow." "Well," he thinks, "they can do as they like, but I will go," he says, "and rouse all the committee, every one in authority. I shall say, 'do as you like.'" And he certainly was a persistent, impudent fellow, no sense in his head, you understand, but plenty of bounce. He goes to the committee: "Well, what is it?" they say. "Why are you back again? You have been told already." "I can't scrape along anyhow," he says. "I want to eat a cutlet, have a bottle of French wine, enjoy myself in the theatre too, you understand. …" "Well, you must excuse me," said the director. "For all that you must, in a manner of speaking, have patience. You have been given something to keep you for the time, till instructions arrive, and no doubt you will be properly pensioned, for it has never happened yet that among us in Russia a man who has, in a manner of speaking, deserved well of his country should be left without recogni-