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No one who has remarked the Russian with candour, who judges from what he sees, and not from what he has heard or read, will hesitate to pronounce him one of the best tempered creatures in the creation. He will bear the curse and scorn, and frequently the blows of his superior, with mildness. Revenge, almost sanctioned by insults, never maddens his blood; and knowing, perhaps, how hard it is to suffer without resisting, he is scarcely ever seen to strike the animal over which he has power. His horse is seldom propelled by any other influence than a few cherishing and cheerful sounds; if this encouragement encreases not his pace, he does not, heated with savage fury, dissect the wretched beast with the scourge, beat out an eye, or tear out the tongue; no! his patient driver begins to sing to him, and the Russians are all famous singers, as I shall hereafter tell; if the charms of music have no influence on his legs, he then begins to reason with him; “ You
silly fellow ! why don't you go on faster? come, get on, get " on, don't you know that to-morrow is a prashnick (a fast day) " and then you will have nothing to do but to eat?" By this time the sulky jade has generally had her whim out, and trots on gaily. His horse is the object of his pride and comfort; well observing the wisdom of a Russian proverb, “ It is not the horse but the oats that carry you :” as long as the animal will eat he feeds him; and his appearance generally honours, and his grateful services remunerate, the humanity of his master. A Russian, in the ebullition of passion, may
do a ferocious thing, but never an ill-natured one. under heaven surpasses him in the gaiety of the heart. His little national song cheers him wherever he goes.
Where a German would smoke for comfort, the Russian sings. There is nothing cold about him but his wintry climate; whenever he speaks, it is with good-humour and vivacity, accompanied by the most animated gestures; and although I do not think that the Graces would at first pull caps about him, yet in the dance, for spirit and agility, I would match and back him against any one of the most agile sons of carelessness in the Champs Elysées.
every one will
In his religious notions, the Russian knows not the meaning of bigotry, and what is better, of toleration. He mercifully thinks that
go to heaven, only that the Russians will have the best place. When these simple children of Nature address each other, it is always by the affectionate names of my father, my mother, my brother, or my sister, according to the age and sex of the party. To these good qualities of the heart let me add the favourable and manly appearance of the Russians, I mean the proper Russian : during my stay in their residence I never saw one man that was either lame or deformed, or who squinted, and they are remarkable for the beauty of their teeth. Their dress is plain and simple, consisting of a long coat of woollen cloth, reaching to the knees, and folding before, fastened round the middle by a sash, into which
his thick leather gloves are generally tucked, and frequently it holds his axe; his drawers are of the same stuff with his coat, and his legs are usually covered with heavy boots, or swathed round with bandages, for they scarcely ever wear stockings, and for shoes he uses coarse sandals made of cloth and the matted bark of linden or birch ; his hair is always cropped : the dress of the common women did not appear to me to vary much from that of our own females of the same degree; it consisted of a tunic, generally of some shewy colour, with the sleeves of the shift appearing. The milk-women looked very well in this dress; and the manner in which they carry an ashen bow, from the ends of which are suspended little jars covered with matted birch bark, resting upon one shoulder, gives them an uncommonly graceful appearance. When the tradesmen's wives go out, they generally cover the top of their
caps with a large rich silk handkerchief, which falls behind; this appeared to be a very favourite decoration.
Prudence demands some little knowledge of a character before we associate with it, and it is with great pleasure that in this early stage I present the Russian.
What of good he has he owes to himself; his foibles, and they are few, originate elsewhere: he is the absolute slave of his lord, and ranks with the sod of his domains; of a lord whose despotism is frequently more biting than the Siberian
blast. Never illumined by education, bruised with ignoble blows, the object and frequently the victim of baronial rapacity, with a wide world before him, this oppressed child of nature is denied the common right of raising his shed where his condition may be ameliorated, permitted only to toil in a distant district under the protection of that disgraceful badge of vassalage, a certificate of leave, and upon his return compellable to lay the scanty fruits of his labour at the feet of his master; and finally, he is excluded from the common privilege which nature has bestowed upon the birds of the air and the beasts of the wilderness, of chusing his mate he must marry when and whom his master orders. Yet under all this pressure, enough to destroy the marvellous elasticity of a Frenchman's mind, the Russian is what I have depicted him.If the reader is not pleased with the portrait, the painter is in fault.
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PEDESTRIANS, HOW CONSIDERED-THB SCAFFOLDING OF THE NEW
KAZAN CHURCH-GREAT INGENUITY OF COMMON RUSSIANS-THE
MARKET~THE KNOUT-CRUELTY OF THE EMPRESS ELIZABETH PUNISHMENT OF TWO LOVELY FEMALES.
As I have described that focus of trade the Gostinnoi dovr, I must not omit to mention, that in the continuation of the Perspective towards the admiralty, an Englishman of the name of Owens carries on a prodigibus trade, chiefly in English manufactures; his house, which is a very magnificent one, has twenty-five rooms en suite, which are filled with the most beautiful merchandize; each room is a separate shop, and attended by persons who are solely attached to it: the promenade, through magazines of music, of books, of jewels, of fashions, &c. is very agreeable, and I believe perfectly novel. The respectable and enterprising proprietor is said frequently to receive one thousand pounds sterling in one day: it is the constant and crowded resort of all the fashion of Petersburg.
In the streets I rarely ever saw a Russian above the lowest