Anton Antonovich Skvoznik-Dmokhanovsky
Anton Antonovich Skvoznik-Dmokhanovsky (ahn-TOHN ahn-TOH-nuh-vihch SKVOHZ-nihk-dmew-hahn-OHF-skih), the prefect of a small provincial town in early nineteenth century Russia. He has received a warning letter from a friend that an inspector general is coming, traveling incognito, to visit the district in an attempt to find evidence of bribery and injudicious acts. The prefect calls a meeting of the citizens and orders them to mend their ways. He does not take kindly to their criticism that he has been taking bribes and recently had the wife of a noncommissioned officer beaten.
Ivan Alexandrovich Hlestakov
Ivan Alexandrovich Hlestakov (ih-VAHN ah-lehk-SAHN-druh-vihch hlehs-tah-KOHF), a smartly dressed traveler who, taking lodgings at the local inn, is mistaken for the inspector. A shrewd opportunist, he accepts money and gifts, goes to stay at the prefect’s house, and accepts an invitation to an official dinner at the hospital. He gets drunk and goes to sleep. When he awakes, he makes love to the prefect’s daughter and asks to marry her. He then requests five hundred rubles from complaining shopkeepers, borrows a coach, and, after writing to a friend an account of his...
(The entire section is 583 words.)