During one of my trips I received an invitation to dine with a rich landowner and hunter, Alexander Mikhailovich G ***. Alexander Mikhalych was not married and did not like women, his society was going to be bachelor and he lived on a broad foot. On that day he expected an important dignitary and experienced excitement incompatible with his wealth. Almost all the guests were unfamiliar to me. I began to get bored when Voynitsyn approached me, an undergraduated student who lived in this house in no way in what capacity. He introduced me to the local wimp Petr Petrovich Lupikhin, a man of small stature, with a high nose and bilious facial features. I listened to his caustic remarks about those present at the dinner.
Suddenly an alarming excitement spread throughout the house: a dignitary arrived. A few minutes later the whole society went to the dining room. The dignitary was seated in a place of honor and during the whole dinner with reverence he was listened to. After dinner, the whole society sat down for cards. I somehow waited for the evening and went to rest.
Because of the abundance of guests, no one slept alone. I could not fall asleep. My neighbor noticed this and started a conversation with me. He began to complain about the lack of originality in it, and then offered to tell the story of his life.
He was born from poor parents in Shchigrovsky district of Kursk province. He did not remember his father, his mother was engaged in his upbringing. His brother died in infancy. When he was 16 years old, my mother drove the tutor away, took her son to Moscow, wrote to the university and died, leaving her son in the care of my uncle, solicitor Koltunu-Babur. Even then he noticed in himself a lack of originality. At university he did not go his own way, but, like everyone else, he joined a circle in which everything was original and original. So he lived in Moscow for 4 years.
When he was 21, he took possession of what was left of his inheritance – his uncle ripped him clean. Leaving the manager of the freedman Vasily Kudryashov, he left for Berlin, where he spent 6 months without knowing European life. The case brought him to the house of one professor. He fell in love with one of the professor’s daughters, from which he periodically sucked under a spoonful, and a cold shiver ran through his stomach. Unable to withstand such happiness, he escaped and 2 more years wandered around Europe.
Returning to Moscow,
he imagined himself to be the most original person, and those who supported this delusion were also found. Soon on his account was launched gossip, which forced him to leave. He retired to his village and occupied himself with farming. In the neighborhood lived a widow-colonel with two daughters. One day he visited them, and six months later he married one of the daughters. Sophia was a kind-hearted creature, but the old virgin’s habits were so full of her that she could not become a wife and mistress. In the fourth year Sophia died from childbirth with her child.
After the death of his wife, he entered the service in the provincial town, but he could not serve for a long time and retired. Over time, he humbled his pride, ambitions ceased. About him began to respond, as an empty, exhausted man, and the police chief told him “you.” A veil fell from his eyes, and he saw the seed as it is-an insignificant, unnecessary, unoriginal person.
He did not name his name, only said: “Call me Hamlet of Shchigrovsky Uyezd”. The next morning he was no longer in the room. He left before dawn.