moujiks removed their caps, and one of them, who was the more sensible of the two, and who wore a long beard, replied, “Manilovka, possibly, but not Zamanilovka.”

“Well, then, Manilovka.”

“Manilovka! You must go on a verst farther, and then turn to the right.”

“To the right?” repeated the coachman.

“To the right,” said the moujik. “That is the road to Manilovka, but there is no Zamanilovka. It is called so,—that is, its name is Manilovka; and there’s no Zamanilovka at all. There, right on the hill, you will see a two-floor house built of stone; that’s the owner’s house; that is, the gentleman himself lives there. That’s Manilovka for you; but there’s no Zamanilovka whatever here, and never has been.”

They drove on in search of Manilovka. After going two versts farther, they came to a turning into a cross- country road; but they covered two, three, and even four versts apparently, and still no two-floor stone house was visible. Then Tchitchikoff recollected, that if a friend invites you to visit him at a village fifteen versts off, it means that it is certainly situated about thirty versts away. This proved to be the case as regards Manilovka. The seigneurial house stood alone on a height, exposed to every wind which blew: the slope of the hill upon which it was perched was covered with short turf. Upon it, in the English fashion, were scattered two or three clumps of shrubbery—lilac-bushes, and acacias, with five or six birch-trees rearing their fine-leaved, slender crests. Beneath two of them a summer house was visible, with a green cupola, blue wooden columns, and the inscription, “The Temple of Solitary Meditation.” Lower down there was a pond, covered with green scum, which is no novelty in the English gardens belonging to the Russian landed gentry. At the foot of the hill and also partly on the declivity itself, some wooden cottages stood out, and our hero for some unknown reason began to count them on the spot, and reckoned up over two hundred. Nowhere among them was there a tree or any particle of green stuff: nothing whatever but smooth boards.

The view was enlivened by two women, who with their dresses picturesquely tucked up, were wading up to their knees in the pond, dragging a torn net, in which one could espy two entangled crabs and a glistening flatfish. These women seemed to be quarrelling, and upbraiding each other about something. Far off on one side a pine-forest stretched monotonously blue. The sky was neither clear nor cloudy, but of a light-grey tint; and to complete the picture, there was a cock, that prophet of a change of weather, who, although he had been sorely treated by other cocks, on account of certain matters connected with courtship, crowed very loudly, and even flapped his wings, which were as frowsy as old rugs.

As Tchitchikoff drove into the courtyard, he perceived Maniloff himself standing under the verandah, in a green shalloon coat, and with his hand pressed to his brow, so as to form a screen for his eyes, with which he was surveying the approaching equipage. As the britchka came near to the verandah, his eyes grew merrier, and his smile became broader and broader.

“Pavel Ivanovitch!” he exclaimed at length, as Tchitchikoff descended from the britchka. “So you have remembered us at last!”

The two friends kissed each other heartily, and Maniloff led his guest indoors. This landowner was a well-favoured man in personal appearance: his features were agreeable, but they indicated that he was rather too much permeated with sugar. There was something about his manners and ways indicating that he sought favour and acquaintanceship. He smiled seductively, was of a fair complexion, and had blue eyes. You could not help saying, the first moment you spoke with him, “What a nice agreeable man!” The next moment you would say nothing; but at the third you would remark, “The deuce knows what this fellow is like!” and you would go off as far away from him as possible; in fact if you did not retreat, you would feel bored to death. You expected no quick or arrogant word from him, such as you may hear from almost any person if you touch upon a subject he dislikes. Maniloff never displayed a bad temper; nor had he any hobbies or peculiarities. At home he said very little, and was mostly occupied

  By PanEris using Melati.

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