It was a little before eight o’clock in the morning when Yakov Petrovitc_olyadkin, a titular councillor, woke up from a long sleep. He yawned,
stretched, and at last opened his eyes completely. For two minutes, however,
he lay in his bed without moving, as though he were not yet quite certai_hether he were awake or still asleep, whether all that was going on aroun_im were real and actual, or the continuation of his confused dreams. Ver_oon, however, Mr. Golyadkin’s senses began more clearly and more distinctl_o receive their habitual and everyday impressions. The dirty green, smoke-
begrimed, dusty walls of his little room, with the mahogany chest of drawer_nd chairs, the table painted red, the sofa covered with American leather of _eddish colour with little green flowers on it, and the clothes taken off i_aste overnight and flung in a crumpled heap on the sofa, looked at hi_amiliarly. At last the damp autumn day, muggy and dirty, peeped into the roo_hrough the dingy window pane with such a hostile, sour grimace that Mr.
Golyadkin could not possibly doubt that he was not in the land of Nod, but i_he city of Petersburg, in his own flat on the fourth storey of a huge bloc_f buildings in Shestilavotchny Street. When he had made this importan_iscovery Mr. Golyadkin nervously closed his eyes, as though regretting hi_ream and wanting to go back to it for a moment. But a minute later he leap_ut of bed at one bound, probably all at once, grasping the idea about whic_is scattered and wandering thoughts had been revolving. From his bed he ra_traight to a little round looking-glass that stood on his chest of drawers.
Though the sleepy, short-sighted countenance and rather bald head reflected i_he looking-glass were of such an insignificant type that at first sight the_ould certainly not have attracted particular attention in any one, yet th_wner of the countenance was satisfied with all that he saw in the looking-
glass. “What a thing it would be,” said Mr. Golyadkin in an undertone, “what _hing it would be if I were not up to the mark today, if something were amiss,
if some intrusive pimple had made its appearance, or anything else unpleasan_ad happened; so far, however, there’s nothing wrong, so far everything’s al_ight.”
Greatly relieved that everything was all right, Mr Golyadkin put the looking-
glass back in its place and, although he had nothing on his feet and was stil_n the attire in which he was accustomed to go to bed, he ran to the littl_indow and with great interest began looking for something in the courtyard,
upon which the windows of his flat looked out. Apparently what he was lookin_or in the yard quite satisfied him too; his face beamed with a self-satisfie_mile. Then, after first peeping, however, behind the partition into his vale_etrushka’s little room and making sure that Petrushka was not there, he wen_n tiptoe to the table, opened the drawer in it and, fumbling in the furthes_orner of it, he took from under old yellow papers and all sorts of rubbish _habby green pocket-book, opened it cautiously, and with care and relis_eeped into the furthest and most hidden fold of it. Probably the roll o_reen, grey, blue, red and particoloured notes looked at Golyadkin, too, wit_pproval: with a radiant face he laid the open pocket-book before him an_ubbed his hands vigorously in token of the greatest satisfaction. Finally, h_ook it out — his comforting roll of notes — and, for the hundredth time sinc_he previous day, counted them over, carefully smoothing out every not_etween his forefinger and his thumb.
“Seven hundred and fifty roubles in notes,” he concluded at last, in a half-
whisper. “Seven hundred and fifty roubles, a noteworthy sum! It’s an agreeabl_um,” he went on, in a voice weak and trembling with gratification, as h_inched the roll with his fingers and smiled significantly; “it’s a ver_greeable sum! A sum agreeable to any one! I should like to see the man t_hom that would be a trivial sum! There’s no knowing what a man might not d_ith a sum like that. . . . What’s the meaning of it, though?” thought Mr.
Golyadkin; “where’s Petrushka?” And still in the same attire he peeped behin_he partition again. Again there was no sign of Petrushka; and the samova_tanding on the floor was beside itself, fuming and raging in solitude,
threatening every minute to boil over, hissing and lisping in its mysteriou_anguage, to Mr. Golyadkin something like, “Take me, good people, I’m boilin_nd perfectly ready.”
“Damn the fellow,” thought Mr. Golyadkin. “That lazy brute might really driv_ man out of all patience; where’s he dawdling now?”
In just indignation he went out into the hall, which consisted of a littl_orridor at the end of which was a door into the entry, and saw his servan_urrounded by a good-sized group of lackeys of all sorts, a mixed rabble fro_utside as well as from the flats of the house. Petrushka was tellin_omething, the others were listening. Apparently the subject of th_onversation, or the conversation itself, did not please Mr. Golyadkin. H_romptly called Petrushka and returned to his room, displeased and even upset.
“That beast would sell a man for a halfpenny, and his master before any one,”
he thought to himself: “and he has sold me, he certainly has. I bet he ha_old me for a farthing. Well?”
“They’ve brought the livery, sir.”
“Put it on, and come here.”
When he had put on his livery, Petrushka, with a stupid smile on his face,
went in to his master. His costume was incredibly strange. He had on a much-
worn green livery, with frayed gold braid on it, apparently made for a man _ard taller than Petrushka. In his hand he had a hat trimmed with the sam_old braid and with a feather in it, and at his hip hung a footman’s sword i_ leather sheath. Finally, to complete the picture, Petrushka, who alway_iked to be in negligé, was barefooted. Mr. Golyadkin looked at Petrushka fro_ll sides and was apparently satisfied. The livery had evidently been hire_or some solemn occasion. It might be observed, too, that during his master’_nspection Petrushka watched him with strange expectance and with marke_uriosity followed every movement he made, which extremely embarrassed Mr.
“Well, and how about the carriage?”
“The carriage is here too.”
“For the whole day?”
“For the whole day. Twenty five roubles.”
“And have the boots been sent?”
“Dolt! can’t even say, ‘yes, sir.’ Bring them here.”
Expressing his satisfaction that the boots fitted, Mr. Golyadkin asked for hi_ea, and for water to wash and shave. He shaved with great care and washed a_crupulously, hurriedly sipped his tea and proceeded to the principal fina_rocess of attiring himself: he put on an almost new pair of trousers; then _hirtfront with brass studs, and a very bright and agreeably flowere_aistcoat; about his neck he tied a gay, particoloured cravat, and finall_rew on his coat, which was also newish and carefully brushed. As he dressed,
he more than once looked lovingly at his boots, lifted up first one leg an_hen the other, admired their shape, kept muttering something to himself, an_rom time to time made expressive grimaces. Mr. Golyadkin was, however,
extremely absent-minded that morning, for he scarcely noticed the littl_miles and grimaces made at his expense by Petrushka, who was helping hi_ress. At last, having arranged everything properly and having finishe_ressing, Mr. Golyadkin put his pocket-book in his pocket, took a fina_dmiring look at Petrushka, who had put on his boots and was therefore als_uite ready, and, noticing that everything was done and that there was nothin_eft to wait for, he ran hurriedly and fussily out on to the stairs, with _light throbbing at his heart. The light-blue hired carriage with a crest o_t rolled noisily up to the steps. Petrushka, winking to the driver and som_f the gaping crowd, helped his master into the carriage; and hardly able t_uppress an idiotic laugh, shouted in an unnatural voice: “Off!” jumped up o_he footboard, and the whole turnout, clattering and rumbling noisily, rolle_nto the Nevsky Prospect. As soon as the light-blue carriage dashed out of th_ate, Mr. Golyadkin rubbed his hands convulsively and went off into a slow,
noiseless chuckle, like a jubilant man who has succeeded in bringing off _plendid performance and is as pleased as Punch with the performance himself.
Immediately after his access of gaiety, however, laughter was replaced by _trange and anxious expression on the face of Mr. Golyadkin. Though th_eather was damp and muggy, he let down both windows of the carriage and bega_arefully scrutinizing the passers-by to left and to right, at once assuming _ecorous and sedate air when he thought any one was looking at him. At th_urning from Liteyny Street into the Nevsky Prospect he was startled by a mos_npleasant sensation and, frowning like some poor wretch whose corn has bee_ccidentally trodden on, he huddled with almost panic-stricken hast into th_arkest corner of his carriage.
He had seen two of his colleagues, two young clerks serving in the sam_overnment department. The young clerks were also, it seemed to Mr. Golyadkin,
extremely amazed at meeting their colleague in such a way; one of them, i_act, pointed him out to the other. Mr. Golyadkin even fancied that the othe_ad actually called his name, which, of course, was very unseemly in th_treet. Our hero concealed himself and did not respond. “The sill_oungsters!” he began reflecting to himself. “Why, what is there strange i_t? A man in a carriage, a man needs to be in a carriage, and so he hires _arriage. They’re simply noodles! I know them — simply silly youngsters, wh_till need thrashing! They want to be paid a salary for playing pitch-farthin_nd dawdling about, that’s all they’re fit for. It’d let them all know, i_nly … ”
Mr. Golyadkin broke off suddenly, petrified. A smart pair of Kazan horses,
very familiar to Mr. Golyadkin, in a fashionable droshky, drove rapidly by o_he right side of his carriage. The gentleman sitting in the droshky,
happening to catch a glimpse of Mr. Golyadkin, who was rather incautiousl_oking his head out of the carriage window, also appeared to be extremel_stonished at the unexpected meeting and, bending out as far as he could,
looked with the greatest of curiosity and interest into the corner of th_arriage in which our hero made haste to conceal himself. The gentleman in th_roshky was Andrey Filippovitch, the head of the office in which Mr. Golyadki_erved in the capacity of assistant to the chief clerk. Mr. Golyadkin, seein_hat Andrey Filippovitch recognized him, that he was looking at him open-eye_nd that it was impossible to hide, blushed up to his ears.
“Bow or not? Call back or not? Recognize him or not?” our hero wondered i_ndescribable anguish, “or pretend that I am not myself, but somebody els_trikingly like me, and look as though nothing were the matter. Simply not I,
not I— and that’s all,” said Mr. Golyadkin, taking off his hat to Andre_ilippovitch and keeping his eyes fixed upon him. “I’m . . . I’m all right,”
he whispered with an effort; “I’m . . . quite all right. It’s not I, it’s no_— and that is the fact of the matter.”
Soon, however, the droshky passed the carriage, and the magnetism of hi_hief’s eyes was at an end. Yet he went on blushing, smiling and mutterin_omething to himself…
“I was a fool not to call back,” he thought at last. “I ought to have taken _older line and behaved with gentlemanly openness. I ought to have said ‘Thi_s how it is, Andrey Filippovitch, I’m asked to the dinner too,’ and that’_ll it is!”
Then, suddenly recalling how taken aback he had been, our hero flushed as ho_s fire, frowned, and cast a terrible defiant glance at the front corner o_he carriage, a glance calculated to reduce all his foes to ashes. At last, h_as suddenly inspired to pull the cord attached to the driver’s elbow, an_topped the carriage, telling him to drive back to Liteyny Street. The fac_as, it was urgently necessary for Mr. Golyadkin, probably for the sake of hi_wn peace of mind, to say something very interesting to his doctor, Krestya_vanovitch. And, though he had made Krestyan Ivanovitch’s acquaintance quit_ecently, having, indeed, only paid him a single visit, and that one th_revious week, to consult him about some symptom. but a doctor, as they say,
is like a priest, and it would be stupid for him to keep out of sight, and,
indeed, it was his duty to know his patients. “Will it be all right, though,”
our hero went on, getting out of the carriage at the door of a five-store_ouse in Liteyny Street, at which he had told the driver to stop the carriage:
“Will it be all right? Will it be proper? Will it be appropriate? After all,
though,” he went on, thinking as he mounted the stairs out of breath an_rying to suppress that beating of his heart, which had the habit of beatin_n all other people’s staircases: “After all, it’s on my own business an_here’s nothing reprehensible in it. . . . It would be stupid to keep out o_ight. Why, of course, I shall behave as though I were quite all right, an_ave simply looked in as I passed. . . . He will see, that it’s all just as i_hould be.”
Reasoning like this, Mr. Golyadkin mounted to the second storey and stoppe_efore flat number five, on which there was a handsome brass door-plate wit_he inscription —
KRESTYAN IVANOVITCH RUTENSPITZ Doctor of Medicine and Surgery
Stopping at the door, our hero made haste to assume an air of propriety, ease,
and even of a certain affability, and prepared to pull the bell. As he wa_bout to do so he promptly and rather appropriately reflected that it might b_etter to come to-morrow, and that it was not very pressing for the moment.
But as he suddenly heard footsteps on the stairs, he immediately changed hi_ind again and at once rang Krestyan Ivanovitch’s bell — with an air,