Page:Dead Souls - A Poem by Nikolay Gogol - vol2.djvu/259

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Tchitchikov was lolling on the sofa dressed in a new Persian dressing-gown of gold-coloured brocade, and bargaining with a dealer in contraband goods, of Jewish extraction and German accent; before them lay a piece of the very finest Dutch linen for shirts, and two cardboard boxes of excellent soap of the finest quality (it was the same sort of soap that he used to get hold of when he was in the Customs; it really had the property of imparting an incredible freshness to the complexion, and a surprising whiteness to the cheeks). While he was, like a connoisseur, purchasing these products so indispensable for a man of culture, he heard the rumble of an approaching carriage which set the walls and windows of the room faintly vibrating, and his Excellency Alexey Ivanovitch Lyenitsyn walked into the room.

'I appeal to your Excellency's judgment: what do you say to this linen and to this soap, and what do you think of this thing I bought yesterday?' As he spoke Tchitchikov put on his head a cap embroidered with gold and beads and looked like a Persian Shah, full of stateliness and dignity.