An Artist Fedotov

While he is showing off, the cook — his mistress — who is in the family way, shows the master a pair of worn-down boots, as much as to say: “We haven’t the money to pay the boot maker, my dear sir, while you go on the spree!” The officer is indignant: “How dare you say that, don’t you know who I am?”

The order-bearer is striking an attitude in imitation of an antique hero. Instead of a laurel wreath, however, his head is covered with curlpapers, his shabby old dressing gown replaces the toga, and instead of wearing sandals, our hero is barefooted. In all other respects he is the very image of a patrician. This incongruous analogy heightens the humour of the situation and makes a laughing-stock of the smug hero.

Pavel Fedotov - The new cavalier“The New Cavalier”, of course, is not mere criticism of an individual braggart and bully. The picture gives the spectator food for thought on many a social aspect of the times, such as the intellectual poverty of order-bear­ers, bureaucratism and bribery, the depravity and heartlessness of men who are generously awarded ranks and medals.


to show off — красоваться, рисоваться

in the family way — в интересном положении (ждёт ребёнка)

to go on the spree — кутить

to strike an attitude — принимать (театральную) позу

a laurel wreath  — лавровый венок

curlpaper — папильотка

toga — тога

patrician  — 1) ист. патриций; 2) аристократ

incongruous — несочетаемый (нелепый)

smug hero — самодовольный герой

braggart — хвастун

bully — задира

many a social aspect — не один социальный аспект

bureaucratism  — бюрократизм

bribery — взяточничество, продажность

depravity — порочность, развращённость, испорченность

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