this one, on perceiving that despatch was required, demanded six times the worth of the job. Rage as our hero would; call him villain, thief, a robber of travellers; hint as he would of the Day of Judgment—the blacksmith would not yield in the least: he thoroughly maintained his character, and not only refused to abate the price, but even loitered over the work for five hours and a half instead of two.

During this interval our friend had the satisfaction of passing through those agreeable moments, familiar to every traveller, when everything is packed up in his trunks, and when only some bits of cord and paper, and a variety of rubbish is strewn about his room—when he neither belongs to the road nor to home, but gazes from his window upon the passers-by threading their way along, discussing or thinking over their money affairs, and raising their eyes in stupid curiosity at him, and then, after one glance, pursuing their road. Everything in existence—everything that he beholds—the little shop opposite his window, and the old woman who lives in the house over the way, and who approaches her short-curtained window to look at him—everything is hateful to him; still he does not retreat from his own window. There he stands, now shivering, again directing his troubled attention upon everything before him; and in his vexation at having to wait, he crushes perchance a fly which has been buzzing and beating against the pane, just beneath his finger.

But there is an end to all things, and with our hero the longed-for moment at last arrived; all was ready; the dashboard of the britchka had been properly repaired, the wheel was provided with a new tire, the horses were led back from the watering-trough, and the rascally blacksmiths had taken their departure, counting their silver roubles, and wishing our friend a good journey as they went. At length the britchka was packed; two hot kalatchi,1 just purchased, were put in; and Selifan had already thrust something for himself into his pocket, as he sat on the box. Finally our hero seated himself in his equipage; while the waiter of the inn, clad in his stout cotton surtout, waved his cap; and the lackeys, coachmen, and others who had assembled gazed at the departure of the strange gentleman. Then, amid all the other incidents which accompany an exit, the britshka, which had remained for so long a time in the town, and which has possibly so greatly wearied the reader, emerged from the gate of the inn.

“Glory to God!” thought Tchitchikoff, and he crossed himself. Selifan cracked his whip; Petrushka mounted beside him, after first hanging on the step for awhile; and our hero, installing himself as comfortably as possible, and wrapping himself in his Georgian rug, placed a leather pillow behind his back, and closely hugged the hot meat-pies. The equipage began dancing and jolting about, owing to the pavement, which, seemingly, possessed a power of projection. Our hero gazed with undefined feelings at the houses, the garden-walls, and the streets, which, on their side, seemed to leap as they retreated slowly behind him, and which, perchance, he would never behold again during the whole course of his existence.

As they turned into a fresh street, the britchka was forced to come to a halt, for an interminable funeral procession was passing along. Tchitchikoff thrust out his head, and ordered Petrushka to inquire who was being buried, and he learned that it was the procurator. Full of unpleasant feelings he promptly hid himself in a corner, covered himself with his rug, and drew the curtain. When the equipage was thus brought to a standstill, Selifan and Petrushka, reverently removing their hats, took observations as to who were there, in and on what they rode, and how many of them there were in all, including both foot-mourners and persons in carriages. Their master, after giving them strict orders not to recognise anyone, or to salute any of their lackey friends, also began peeping through the small pane of glass which was set in his leather curtain.

Behind the coffin marched all the officials, with their heads bare. He began to fear that they might recognise his equipage, but they were not thinking of that. They did not even engage in those various worldly discussions, such as the people who accompany a corpse generally indulge in. Their minds were centred upon themselves at that juncture of affairs: they were wondering what sort of a person the new governor- general would be, how he would take hold of matters, and how he would treat them. After the officials, who were on foot, followed some coaches, from which gazed ladies in mourning caps. It was obvious, from the movements of their lips and hands, that they were engaged in a brisk conversation: possibly

  By PanEris using Melati.

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