The blog for the uncommon people

segunda-feira, 7 de março de 2011

Dead Souls - Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol

At length peasants from a village which happened to be near the scene of the accident tackled the mess; and since a spectacle of that kind is to the Russian muzhik what a newspaper or a club-meeting is to the German, the vehicles soon became the centre of a crowd, and the village denuded even of its old women and children. The traces were disentangled, and a few slaps on the nose forced the skewbald to draw back a little; after which the teams were straightened out and separated. Nevertheless, either sheer obstinacy or vexation at being parted from their new friends caused the strange team absolutely to refuse to move a leg. Their driver laid the whip about them, but still they stood as though rooted to the spot. At length the participatory efforts of the peasants rose to an unprecedented degree of enthusiasm, and they shouted in an intermittent chorus the advice, "Do you, Andrusha, take the head of the trace horse on the right, while Uncle Mitai mounts the shaft horse. Get up, Uncle Mitai." Upon that the lean, long, and red-bearded Uncle Mitai mounted the shaft horse; in which position he looked like a village steeple or the winder which is used to raise water from wells. The coachman whipped up his steeds afresh, but nothing came of it, and Uncle Mitai had proved useless. "Hold on, hold on!" shouted the peasants again. "Do you, Uncle Mitai, mount the trace horse, while Uncle Minai mounts the shaft horse." Whereupon Uncle Minai—a peasant with a pair of broad shoulders, a beard as black as charcoal, and a belly like the huge samovar in which sbiten is brewed for all attending a local market—hastened to seat himself upon the shaft horse, which almost sank to the ground beneath his weight. "NOW they will go all right!" the muzhiks exclaimed. "Lay it on hot, lay it on hot! Give that sorrel horse the whip, and make him squirm like a koramora 22." Nevertheless, the affair in no way progressed; wherefore, seeing that flogging was of no use, Uncles Mitai and Minai BOTH mounted the sorrel, while Andrusha seated himself upon the trace horse. Then the coachman himself lost patience, and sent the two Uncles about their business—and not before it was time, seeing that the horses were steaming in a way that made it clear that, unless they were first winded, they would never reach the next posthouse. So they were given a moment's rest.That done, they moved off of their own accord!

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