Page:Dead Souls - A Poem by Nikolay Gogol - vol2.djvu/60

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company with those who are better off, who may be of use to you. Don't treat any one or offer any one anything, but manage so that you may be treated, and, what is most important of all, take care of your kopecks and save them up: money's the most reliable thing on earth. A schoolfellow or a friend will cheat you and be the first to fail you in trouble, but your kopeck won't fail you whatever trouble you are in. You can do anything and smash anything in the world with a kopeck.' After giving his son this advice, the father parted from him and was dragged home again by the magpie, and he never saw the boy again; but his words and his admonition sank deeply into Pavlushka's heart.

Next day he began going to school. He did not manifest any marked ability for any branch of study, he was more distinguished by diligence and neatness; on the other hand, he displayed a remarkable ability in another direction—in a practical direction. He instantly took in the situation and succeeded in behaving with his schoolfellows in such a way that they treated him, while he never treated them, and, indeed, sometimes concealed what they had given him and sold it to the very same boys afterwards. Even as a child, he was capable of denying himself anything. Of the half rouble his father had given him he did not spend a kopeck; on the contrary, that same year he added something to it, displaying a resourcefulness almost extraordinary; he moulded a goldfinch in wax