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A monologue from the play by Nikolai Gogol
NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from Revizor, A Comedy. Trans. Max S. Mandell. New Haven: Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor Co., 1908.
No, no, let me–you won’t get it straight. Please, gentlemen, don’t let Petr Ivanovich stop me. I’ll tell it all in order. As soon as I had the pleasure of leaving you, right after you had permitted yourselves to be disturbed by the letter you had received,
I ran at once–please don’t stop me, Petr Ivanovich–I know what you would say. So I, as you will please see, ran to Korobkin, but not finding him at home I turned to Rastakabski,
and not finding him at home, I went to Ivan Kuzmich to inform him of the news you had received, and as I was coming from there I met Petr Ivanovich–by the tartlet stand. Yes!
Having met Petr Ivanovich I asked him, “Have you heard the news Antonovich has received through a trustworthy letter?” But Petr Ivanovich had already heard it from your housekeeper,
Avdotya, who had been sent to Filip Antonovich Puchechuev after something . . . and I don’t know what it was . . . Yes, yes, a keg of Frech brandy. And so Petr Ivanovich and myself went to Puchechuev . . . Now, Petr Ivanovich, do not interrupt me! . . .
We went to Puchechuev, and on the way Petr Ivanovich said to me, “Let us to,” said he, “to the inn. My stomach is just wobbly. They have just received fresh salmon, so we’ll have a lunch.”
But no sooner had we entered the inn, than a young man–yes, yes, of good appearance–in citizen’s clothes–he was walking up and down the room and with such a look of deliberation on his face–physiognomy–manner–and here,
[Turning his hand near his forehead] very, very, very thoughtful. I had a kind of presentiment and said to Petr Ivanovich, “There is something out of the way here!”
Yes, and Petr Ivanovich immediately crooked his finger and summoned the innkeeper, Vlas–his wife gave birth to a child three weeks ago, and such a bouncing boy;
he’ll be like his father, an innkeeper–having called up Vlas, Petr Ivanovich asked him quietly, “Who is this young man?” And Vlas answered, “This,” says he–oh, do not interrupt,
Petr Ivanovich, if you please, do not interrupt me; you would not be able to tell the story any better, so help me, you would not. You lisp–you whistle when you talk.
“This young man,” says he, “is an official.” Yes, “he has come from St. Petersburg,” says he, “and his name,” says he, “is Ivan Aleksondrovich Khlestakov, and he is on his way,”
says he, “to the government of Saratov, and,” says he, “he is introducing himself in the strangest way. He has been living here for nearly two weeks. He has not left the place once.
He charges everything and won’t pay a kopeck,” When he told me this, it dawned upon me here above. [Points to his head] “Oho,” said I to Petr Ivanovich–what’s that?
Yes, yes–you said it first, and then I said it. “Oho,” said I to Petr Ivanovich. “And for what reason is he staying here when he is on his way to Saratov?” . . . Yes, he is the official.
The government inspector referred to in your letter–the revisor!