Act II - Scene X

[The Governor, Khlestakov and Dobchinsky.]

GOVERNOR: Would you care to inspect a few institutions in our town now—the philanthropic institutions, for instance, and others?

KHLESTAKOV: But what is there to see?

GOVERNOR: Well, you'll see how they're run—the order in which we keep them.

KHLESTAKOV: Oh, with the greatest pleasure. I'm ready.

[Bobchinsky puts his head in at the door.]

GOVERNOR: And then, if you wish, we can go from there and inspect the district school and see our method of education.

KHLESTAKOV: Yes, yes, if you please.

GOVERNOR: Afterwards, if you should like to visit our town jails and prisons, you will see how our criminals are kept.

KHLESTAKOV: Yes, yes, but why go to prison? We had better go to see the philanthropic institutions.

GOVERNOR: As you please. Do you wish to ride in your own carriage, or with me in the cab?

KHLESTAKOV: I'd rather take the cab with you.

GOVERNOR: [to Dobchinsky] Now there'll be no room for you, Piotr Ivanovich.

DOBCHINSKY. It doesn't matter. I'll walk.

GOVERNOR: [aside, to Dobchinsky] Listen. Run as fast as you can and take two notes, one to Zemlianika at the hospital, the other to my wife. [To Khlestakov.] May I take the liberty of asking you to permit me to write a line to my wife to tell her to make ready to receive our honored guest?

KHLESTAKOV: Why go to so much trouble? However, there is the ink. I don't know whether there is any paper. Would the bill do?

GOVERNOR: Yes, that'll do. [Writes, talking to himself at the same time.] We'll see how things will go after lunch and several stout-bellied bottles. We have some Russian Madeira, not much to look at, but it will knock an elephant off its legs. If I only knew what he is and how much I have to be [on] my guard.

[He finishes writing and gives the notes to Dobchinsky. As the latter walks across the stage, the door suddenly falls in, and Bobchinsky tumbles in with it to the floor. All exclaim in surprise. Bobchinsky rises.]

KHLESTAKOV: Have you hurt yourself?

BOBCHINSKY: Oh, it's nothing—nothing at all—only a little bruise on my nose. I'll run in to Dr. Hübner's. He has a sort of plaster. It'll soon pass away.

GOVERNOR: [making an angry gesture at Bobchinsky. To Khlestakov] Oh, it's nothing. Now, if you please, sir, we'll go. I'll tell your servant to carry your luggage over. [Calls Osip.] Here, my good fellow, take all your master's things to my house, the Governor's. Anyone will tell you where it is. By your leave, sir. [Makes way for Khlestakov and follows him; then turns and says reprovingly to Bobchinsky.] Couldn't you find some other place to fall in? Sprawling out here like a lobster!

[Goes out. After him Bobchinsky. Curtain falls.]