mysterious inexplicable force draws one to thee? Why does the mournful song that floats all over the length and breadth of thee from sea to sea echo unceasingly in the ear? What is in it, in that song? What is it calls and sobs and clutches at my heart? What are these strains that so poignantly greet me, that go straight to my soul, that throb about my heart? Russia! what wouldst thou of me? What is the mysterious hidden bond between us? Why dost thou gaze at me thus, and why is everything within thee turning upon me eyes full of expectation? … And still full of perplexity I stand motionless; and already a threatening cloud, heavy with coming rain, looms above my head, and thought is numb before thy vast expanse. What does that immense expanse foretell? Is it not here, is it not in thee that limitless thought will arise, since thou art thyself without limit? … Is it not here there should be giants where there is space for them to develop and move freely. And thy mighty expanse enfolds me menacingly, with fearful force reflected in the depths of me; with supernatural power light dawns upon my eyes. … Ah, marvellous, radiant horizons of which the earth knows nothing! Russia!
'Steady, steady, you fool!' Tchitchikov shouted to Selifan.
'I'll hang you,' shouted a courier with moustaches a yard long, who was galloping towards them. 'Don't you see a government carriage,