Act II - Scene II

[Osip and Khlestakov.]

KHLESTAKOV: Here! [Hands him his cap and cane.] What, been warming the bed again!

OSIP: Why should I have been warming the bed? Have I never seen a bed before?

KHLESTAKOV: You're lying. The bed's all tumbled up.

OSIP: What do I want a bed for? Don't I know what a bed is like? I have legs and can use them to stand on. I don't need your bed.

KHLESTAKOV [walking up and down the room]. Go see if there isn't some tobacco in the pouch.

OSIP: What tobacco? You emptied it out four days ago.

KHLESTAKOV [pacing the room and twisting his lips. Finally he says in a loud resolute voice]. Listen—a—Osip.

OSIP: Yes, sir?

KHLESTAKOV [In a voice just as loud, but not quite so resolute]. Go down there.

OSIP: Where?

KHLESTAKOV [in a voice not at all resolute, nor loud, but almost in entreaty]. Down to the restaurant—tell them—to send up dinner.

OSIP: No, I won't.

KHLESTAKOV: How dare you, you fool!

OSIP: It won't do any good, anyhow. The landlord said he won't let you have anything more to eat.

KHLESTAKOV: How dare he! What nonsense is this?

OSIP: He'll go to the Governor, too, he says. It's two weeks now since you've paid him, he says. You and your master are cheats, he says, and your master is a blackleg besides, he says. We know the breed. We've seen swindlers like him before.

KHLESTAKOV: And you're delighted, I suppose, to repeat all this to me, you donkey.

OSIP: "Every Tom, Dick and Harry comes and lives here," he says, "and runs up debts so that you can't even put him out. I'm not going to fool about it," he says, "I'm going straight to the Governor and have him arrested and put in jail."

KHLESTAKOV: That'll do now, you fool. Go down at once and tell him to have dinner sent up. The coarse brute! The idea!

OSIP: Hadn't I better call the landlord here?

KHLESTAKOV: What do I want the landlord for? Go and tell him yourself.

OSIP: But really, master—

KHLESTAKOV: Well, go, the deuce take you. Call the landlord.

[Osip goes out.]