Act II - Scene V

[Khlestakov alone.]

KHLESTAKOV: A bad business if he refuses to let me have anything. I'm so hungry. I've never been so hungry in my life. Shall I try to raise something on my clothes? Shall I sell my trousers? No, I'd rather starve than come home without a St. Petersburg suit. It's a shame Joachim wouldn't let me have a carriage on hire. It would have been great to ride home in a carriage, drive up under the porte-cochere of one of the neighbors with lamps lighted and Osip behind in livery. Imagine the stir it would have created. "Who is it? What's that?" Then my footman walks in [draws himself up and imitates] and an-nounces: "Ivan Aleksandrovich Khlestakov of St. Petersburg. Will you receive him?" Those country lubbers don't even know what it means to "receive." If any lout of a country squire pays them a visit, he stalks straight into the drawing-room like a bear. Then you step up to one of their pretty girls and say: "Dee-lighted, madam." [Rubs his hands and bows.] Phew! [Spits.] I feel positively sick, I'm so hungry.