present him with a silver bowl like a pumpkin, and perhaps even a holy picture representing his patron saint, and though he will tell them in his speech of thanks that he does not deserve such an honour, he won't tell the truth there; he does deserve it. Mr. Bambaev, your friend, has a wonderfully good heart; it 's true that it 's with him as with the poet Yazikov, who they say used to sing the praises of Bacchic revelry, sitting over a book and sipping water; his enthusiasm is completely without a special object, still it is enthusiasm; and Mr. Voroshilov, too, is the most good-natured fellow; like all his sort, all men who 've taken the first prizes at school, he 's an aide-de-camp of the sciences, and he even holds his tongue sententiously, but then he is so young. Yes, yes, they are all excellent people, and when you come to results, there 's nothing to show for it; the ingredients are all first-rate, but the dish is not worth eating.'
Litvinov listened to Potugin with growing astonishment: every phrase, every turn of his slow but self-confident speech betrayed both the power of speaking and the desire to speak.
Potugin did, in fact, like speaking, and could speak well; but, as a man in whom life had succeeded in wearing away vanity, he waited