Page:Dead Souls - A Poem by Nikolay Gogol - vol2.djvu/49

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39
BOOK ONE

ing up the whole length of it. Tchitchikov, putting his head out, told Petrushka to inquire whose funeral it was, and learned that it was the prosecutor's. Overcome by an unpleasant feeling he hid himself in the corner, covered himself with the leather apron, and pulled the curtain over the window. While the chaise was held up, Selifan and Petrushka, devoutly taking off their hats, were looking to see who were driving or riding, and how and in or on what they were doing so, counting how many there were on foot and in carriages, and their master, bidding them not greet or recognise any of their acquaintances, began timidly looking too through the little pane in the leather curtain. All the officials walked bareheaded after the coffin. He began to be afraid that his carriage might be recognised, but no one noticed it. They were not even indulging in the trivial talk which is usually kept up by persons attending a funeral. At that moment all their thoughts were concentrated on themselves: they were wondering what the new governor-general would be like, how he would set to work and how he would take them. The officials who were walking were followed by carriages out of which peeped ladies in mourning caps. From the movements of their hands and their lips, it could be seen that they were engaged in eager conversation: possibly they, too, were discussing the arrival of the governor-general, and speculating about the balls he would give, and were busily chattering about