any rising; that, if the captain-ispravnik could not go himself, he need only send his cap, and that this cap alone would drive the serfs to the very locality fixed upon for colonisation. Many staked their estates that this would exterminate the spirit of rebellion in Tchitchikoff’s unruly peasants. Opinions varied greatly: some there were who pronounced in favour of military sternness and severity, even if it were a little excessive; others counselled mildness. The chief of police remarked that a sacred responsibility now rested on Tchitchikoff; that the latter might become, in a certain sense, a father to his serfs, as he expressed it; he might even lead them to a beneficent state of culture, and in this connection he spoke in laudatory terms of the Lancastrian method of mutual instruction.

In this manner did the townspeople discuss and talk the matter over, and many, moved by sympathy, even communicated their advice to Tchitchikoff, and actually went so far as to offer a convoy for the safe transport of the peasants. Tchitchikoff thanked them for their advice, saying that he would not fail to adopt it in case of need, but he declined the escort in a decided manner, saying that it was not in the least necessary; that the serfs whom he had purchased were of an exceedingly peaceable disposition; that they were themselves very well disposed towards the idea of removal, and that no revolt could possibly arise among them under any circumstances whatever. All these discussions and expressions of opinion produced, however, the very happiest results that Tchitchikoff could possibly desire. They gave rise, in fact, to reports that he was neither more nor less than a great millionaire. The inhabitants of the town had already fallen heartily in love with Tchitchikoff, even without this, as we have seen in the first chapter; but now, after all these rumours, they became still more deeply attached to him. Moreover, they were good- natured people, if the truth must be told, and lived together in harmony, treating each other in a friendly fashion with kind-hearted simplicity and gentleness. They were also much given to hospitality, and the man who had tasted their bread and salt, or who had sat out an evening at whist with them, became, in a certain way, their relative; and this was especially the case with Tchitchikoff, with his engaging manners and qualities, for he was really possessed of the great power of pleasing. They took such a fancy to him that he actually could not devise a means of tearing himself from the city; all that he heard was, “Come, one little week; live with us just one little week longer, Pavel Ivanovitch!” In a word, he was petted to death, as the expression runs.

And yet more worthy of note (indeed, a complete subject of surprise) was the impression which Tchitchikoff produced on the ladies. Previously they had had very little to say about him, although they had done him full justice, so far as his agreeable manners in society were concerned; however, from the instant when reports as to his being a millionaire became current, they discovered other qualities in him. The ladies were not in the least interested parties, however: the word “millionaire” was to blame for it all. Not the millionaire himself, but simply the word; for there is something about the very sound of this word, more than about any money-bag, which produces an effect equally on rascally people, on people who are neither one thing nor the other, and upon good people—in short, it takes effect upon everybody. The millionaire has this advantage—that he can see baseness—pure, utterly disinterested baseness —founded upon no calculations whatever. Many know very well that they will receive nothing from him, and that they have no right to receive anything; but they will infallibly anticipate his desires, laugh, pull off their hats, and force an invitation for themselves to the dinner where they know that the millionaire is asked. It is impossible to assert that this tender leaning towards baseness was experienced by the ladies: still, there were many drawing-rooms where they began to say that, of course, Tchitchikoff was not such a very handsome man, but that he possessed the exact amount of good looks which are requisite in a man; that if he had been a little thicker or fatter, it would have been unbecoming. In this connection something was said about a thin man which was of a rather offensive character—that he was in the nature of a toothpick, and indeed not a man at all. Additions of various sorts were made to the attire of the ladies. There was a throng and almost a crush in the bazaar; and a procession was even formed, to such a degree had equipages flocked there. The merchants were amazed to find that some pieces of goods which they had brought from the yearly fair, and which they had not been able to get rid of on account of their rather high price, had now come into fashion all at once, and that customers fairly tore them from each other’s hands. One dame was observed during mass to have such a train to her dress, that it monopolised half the church, so that the chief of police of the district, who chanced to be present,

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