• The longer and more carefully we look at a funny story, the sadder it becomes

    Nikolai Gogol
  • Two turtle doves will show theeWhere my cold ashes lieAnd sadly murmuring tell theeHow in tears I did die

    Nikolai Gogol
  • Like all of us sinners, General Betrishchev was endowed with many virtues and many defects. Both the one and the other were scattered through him in a sort of picturesque disorder. Self-sacrifice, magnanimity in decisive moments, courage, intelligence--and with all that, a generous mixture of self-love, ambition, vanity, petty personal ticklishness, and a good many of those things which a man simply cannot do without

    Nikolai Gogol
  • Also, though not over-elderly, he was not over-young

    Nikolai Gogol
  • He never looks you straight in the eye; or if he does, it is somehow vaguely, indefinitely; he does not pierce you with the hawk's eye or the falcon's gaze of a cavalry officer. The reason for that is that he sees, at one and the same time, both your features and those of some plaster Hercules standing in his room, or else he imagines a painting of his own that he still means to produce. That is why his responses are often incoherent, not to the point, and the muddle of things in his head increases his timidity all the more

    Nikolai Gogol
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