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Page:The Prose Tales of Alexander Poushkin (Bell, 1916).djvu/423

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413
THE EGYPTIAN NIGHTS.

the heights of poesy down to the bookkeeper's desk, but he understood very well the necessities of this world, and he assisted the Italian in his mercantile calculations. The improvisatore, during this part of the business, exhibited such savage greed, such an artless love of gain, that he disgusted Charsky, who hastened to take leave of him, so that he might not lose altogether the feeling of ecstasy awakened within him by the brilliant improvisation. The Italian, absorbed in his calculations, did not observe this change, and he conducted Charsky into the corridor and out to the steps, with profound bows and assurances of eternal gratitude.