Act IV - Scene IV

[Khlestakov and the Postmaster.]

POSTMASTER: [in uniform, sword in hand. Drawing himself up] I have the honor to present myself—Postmaster, Court Councilor Shpekin.

KHLESTAKOV: I'm glad to meet you. I like pleasant company very much. Take a seat. Do you live here all the time?

POSTMASTER: Yes, sir. Quite so.

KHLESTAKOV: I like this little town. Of course, there aren't many people. It's not very lively. But what of it? It isn't the capital. Isn't that so—it isn't the capital?

POSTMASTER: Quite so, quite so.

KHLESTAKOV: It's only in the capital that you find bon-ton and not a lot of provincial lubbers. What is your opinion? Isn't that so?

POSTMASTER: Quite so. [Aside.] He isn't a bit proud. He inquires about everything.

KHLESTAKOV: And yet you'll admit that one can live happily in a little town.


KHLESTAKOV: In my opinion what you want is this—you want people to respect you and to love you sincerely. Isn't that so?


KHLESTAKOV: I'm glad you agree with me. Of course, they call me queer. But that's the kind of character I am. [Looking him in the face and talking to himself.] I think I'll ask this postmaster for a loan. [Aloud.] A strange accident happened to me and I ran out of cash on the road. Can you lend me three hundred rubles?

POSTMASTER: Of course. I shall esteem it a piece of great good fortune. I am ready to serve you with all my heart.

KHLESTAKOV: Thank you very much. I must say, I hate like the devil to deny myself on the road. And why should I? Isn't that so?

POSTMASTER: Quite so. [Rises, draws himself up, with his sword in his hand.] I'll not venture to disturb you any more. Would you care to make any remarks about the post office administration?

KHLESTAKOV: No, nothing.

[The Postmaster bows and goes out.]

KHLESTAKOV: [lighting a cigar] It seems to me the Postmaster is a fine fellow, too. He's certainly obliging. I like people like that.