Act IV - Scene VII

[Khlestakov, Bobchinsky, and Dobchinsky.]

BOBCHINSKY: I have the honor to present myself—a resident of this town, Piotr, son of Ivan Bobchinsky.

DOBCHINSKY: I am Piotr, son of Ivan Dobchinsky, a squire.

KHLESTAKOV: Oh, yes, I've met you before. I believe you fell? How's your nose?

BOBCHINSKY: It's all right. Please don't trouble. It's dried up, dried up completely.

KHLESTAKOV: That's nice. I'm glad it's dried up. [Suddenly and abruptly.] Have you any money?

DOBCHINSKY: Money? How's that—money?

KHLESTAKOV: A thousand rubles to lend me.

BOBCHINSKY: Not so much as that, honest to God I haven't. Have you, Piotr Ivanovich?

DOBCHINSKY: I haven't got it with me, because my money—I beg to inform you—is deposited in the State Savings Bank.

KHLESTAKOV: Well, if you haven't a thousand, then a hundred.

BOBCHINSKY: [fumbling in his pockets] Have you a hundred rubles, Piotr Ivanovich? All I have is forty.

DOBCHINSKY: [examining his pocket-book] I have only twenty-five.

BOBCHINSKY: Look harder, Piotr Ivanovich. I know you have a hole in your pocket, and the money must have dropped down into it somehow.

DOBCHINSKY: No, honestly, there isn't any in the hole either.

KHLESTAKOV: Well, never mind. I merely mentioned the matter. Sixty-five will do. [Takes the money.]

DOBCHINSKY: May I venture to ask a favor of you concerning a very delicate matter?

KHLESTAKOV: What is it?

DOBCHINSKY: It's a matter of an extremely delicate nature. My oldest son—I beg to inform you—was born before I was married.


DOBCHINSKY: That is, only in a sort of way. He is really my son, just as if he had been born in wedlock. I made up everything afterwards, set everything right, as it should be, with the bonds of matrimony, you know. Now, I venture to inform you, I should like to have him altogether—that is, I should like him to be altogether my legitimate son and be called Dobchinsky the same as I.

KHLESTAKOV: That's all right. Let him be called Dobchinsky. That's possible.

DOBCHINSKY: I shouldn't have troubled you; but it's a pity, he is such a talented youngster. He gives the greatest promise. He can recite different poems by heart; and whenever he gets hold of a penknife, he makes little carriages as skilfully as a conjurer. Here's Piotr Ivanovich. He knows. Am I not right?

BOBCHINSKY: Yes, the lad is very talented.

KHLESTAKOV: All right, all right. I'll try to do it for you. I'll speak to—I hope—it'll be done, it'll all be done. Yes, yes. [Turning to Bobchinsky.] Have you anything you'd like to say to me?

BOBCHINSKY: Why, of course. I have a most humble request to make.

KHLESTAKOV: What is it?

BOBCHINSKY: I beg your Highness or your Excellency most worshipfully, when you get back to St. Petersburg, please tell all the high personages there, the senators and the admirals, that Piotr Ivanovich Bobchinsky lives in this town. Say this: "Piotr Ivanovich lives there."

KHLESTAKOV: Very well.

BOBCHINSKY: And if you should happen to speak to the Czar, then tell him, too: "Your Majesty," tell him, "Your Majesty, Piotr Ivanovich Bobchinsky lives in this town."

KHLESTAKOV: Very well.

BOBCHINSKY: Pardon me for having troubled you with my presence.

KHLESTAKOV: Not at all, not at all. It was my pleasure.

[Sees them to the door.]