He always speaks eloquently and at great length, so much so that on some occasions, particularly at merchants' weddings, they have to resort to assistance from the police to stop him. "I have come for you, old man!" began Poplavsky, finding him at home. "Put on your hat and coat this minute and come along.

All at once he ceased speaking, and gaping with astonishment, turned to Poplavsky. "I say! he's alive," he said, staring with horror. "Who's alive?" "Why, Prokofy Osipitch, there he stands, by that tombstone!" "He never died! It's Kirill Ivanovitch who's dead." "But you told me yourself your secretary was dead." "Kirill Ivanovitch was our secretary. You've muddled it, you queer fish.

"Oh, the secretary!" yawned Zapoikin. "You mean the drunken one?" "Yes. There will be pancakes, a lunch . . . you'll get your cab-fare. Come along, dear chap. You spout out some rigmarole like a regular Cicero at the grave and what gratitude you will earn!" Zapoikin readily agreed. He ruffled up his hair, cast a shade of melancholy over his face, and went out into the street with Poplavsky.

As the funeral procession set off from the church to the cemetery, one of the deceased's colleagues, called Poplavsky, got into a cab and galloped off to find a friend, one Grigory Petrovitch Zapoikin, a man who though still young had acquired considerable popularity. Zapoikin, as many of my readers are aware, possesses a rare talent for impromptu speechifying at weddings, jubilees, and funerals.