Tevye the Dairyman
At that time I wasn't at all the man you see today. Of course, I was the same Tevye but not really the same. How do they say: the same yente but sporting a different hat. In what way was I different? May it not happen to you, but I was a beggar in rags […] compared to that time, today I am a wealthy man [who goes] out every morning to the market, then drive from dacha to dacha in Boiberik. I drop in on this one, on that one, the biggest businessmen from Yehupetz, chat a little with each one like I'm also somebody […] you're looking at me Pani Sholem Aleichem, and probably thinking to yourself, Aha! This Tevye is really some Jew! (2.2)
[…] even high-up Christians have begged me to sell them my merchandise.
"We hear, Tevel," they say, "that you're an honest man even though you're a filthy Jew." Would you ever hear a compliment like that from a Jew? […] You never hear a kind word from our little Jews. (2.115)
I stopped people along the way and asked them if they had seen or heard of Menachem-Mendl. "If," they said, "his name is Menachem-Mendl, that's not enough. There are lots of Menachem-Mendls around here. What's his last name?"
"I haven't any idea," I said. "At home in Kasrilevka he's known by his mother-in-law's name, Menachem-Mendl Leah-Dvossi's. […]"
"That's still not enough. What is his business? What does he deal in, your Menachem-Mendl?" […]
"He deals in gold imperials," I said, "and options, and he sends off telegrams to Saint Petersburg, to Warsaw."
"Oh?" They began to laugh, then laughed louder and louder. "You mean the crook Menachem-Mendl! Why don't you just go across the street? There you'll find brokers running around like rabbits, and yours is probably one of them." (3.63-67)