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Raving of “ as good or better”
Far-off hills, my girl, are green, Ne'er throw out your dirty water
Till you've fairly in the clean ! Molly White, you're dreaming, dreaming,
Better bush, however bare, Than a castle where it's teeming
Ay, a thousand! in the air ; Toss your head, and hum“No matter"
Ah, my girl, I've something seen; Don't throw out the dirty water
Till you're sure you've in the clean. Molly White, your senses gather
Johnny smiles and Jamie sighs”Is't a glimpse of sunny weather
Makes a summer in your eyes ? Johnny's but a toying trotter
Here at morn and there at e'en Ah! hold fast the dirty water
Till, at least, you see the clean.
Every cluster of your hair
Queen's might give to look so fair!
Snow will sit where sun has been,
If you sat without the clean.
By the hand that paints the morn-
Should have grown amongst the corn! Ah, that tint, my dreaming daughter,
Would it cheer some winter e'en, While you mourned this dirty water
Lost before you got the clean? Molly White, your whiteness such is,
Maybe, few its like have seen; Eyes, too, dark as darkest touches,
O’er the blossom of the bean; Molly, Molly, winters shatter
All the summer pride we've seen, Then's the time to have the water,
Though it weren't quite so clean. Molly White, though richer, rarer,
Were the beauty you can boast, Fair as you, and even fairer,
Have been left to sit a frost; Hold and have, and hum“No matter !"
When the far-off hills look green Ne'er throw out the dirty water,
Till you've fairly in the clean !
RUSSIAN SKETCHES OF RUSSIAN LIFE.
WHEN Mr. Sala, in his “Journey make something of the mind and due North,” or some clever and heart of his subject appear through hasty traveller in his three days, or his eyes, and sit at the angles of his three hours, or three weeks, at mouth, thus giving an air of truthful Petersburg, gives us his first im- vitality to his portrait, which will be pressions of life in Russia, these wanting in the work of an artist impressions are probably no more with no knowledge of the temperalike the truth that underlies the ment of his patron or patroness. appearance, than the few articles
One advantage the strange visitor of clothing that, chance-arranged, has over the native historian, in the once gave Sir Walter Scott the exact eyes of the said visiter's own impression of Lord Byron's outer countrymen and women, when he man. With a preconceived idea publishes his book. Whatever things strong within us, projections will would interest or amuse the greater seem cavities, and cavities projec- number of his readers, if themselves tions, and the interposition of a suit- had been co-visiters with him, are able medium will present things in the very things that will find chief colours not their own, and in falsified place in his volume. So, if he does proportions.
not secure the attention of his public, The abolition of serfdom, and the it will be owing to his deficiency in discontents prevailing at present in observation, or in the power of pleaPoland, and through considerable dis- santly communicating the news he tricts of Russia, will probably bring has to tell. in their train such changes in social Our authority seems to have borne life, that if a stranger now passing a genuine dislike to the fourteen through these countries were to pub- orders of Russian nobility,* and prelish his impressions, and paying a ferred the unsophisticated peasant to visit in a dozen or a score of years, them all. He valued him for his make a new book on the subject, the cleverness, his adaptability to any pictures would scarcely have any new occupation which might fall in mutual resemblance, with the excep- his way,--music, painting, mechanics, tion of the natural features of the stewardship, his skill in make-shifts, localities.
his attachment to his Emperor, his Before the colours disappear, and readiness to assist his fellows, his the structure dissolves for ever, it cheerfulness, and the combination of will be well to fix its tints and out- gentleness and strength which mark lines with something like authentic his character. precision. We have had no end of But the peasant is devoted to the pictures of Russian life by tourists, consumption of vodky (spirits), and French, English, and German. through it he becomes the slave of
The sketches in this paper were the Jew dealer and the Jew moneytaken about forty years since by the lender, as well as to his lord of the hand of a native artist, who was manor. Let us imitate Sterne so far thoroughly cognizant of the charac- as to select one unfortunate peasant, ters and inner life of this subject, bringing his produce into the town and in this respect was as well- where his patron of the tribe of Dan favoured as a portrait painter whose keeps a general store of provisions, sitter is well known to him. If this solid and liquid, the vodky in chief; painter be a man of skill, he will on kwas he does not set much store,
These orders are, in other words, official appointments held under Government. The term Tchinovnik, from Tchin, rank, is applied in a contemptuous sense to some of the lower of these offices. Dignitaries doing the duties of our magistrates, French prefects, procureurs, &c., are elected by the landed proprietors.
“No, “All right,
it being a mere sour fermented cool- came in, you took another."
And in the load of rye, a load of buckwheat, and morning, another.”. “I deny the two cows for sale. The beasts are morning draught.” * Very well; put in the cow-house and stable, and you didn't get your morning; thé as summers are intensely hot, and score follows nevertheless. “At dinner winters the reverse, the very yard you took half a kvart.' No; only attached to these offices is roofed in. a kvarterka.”
“Well let it be a Ivan sits to supper, varied according kvarterka;” but the kvart score is to taste by dried fish, linseed oil made. porridge, rye-bread, train-oil, and Sorka and Reefka liberally supply other delicacies, but first sharpens vodka all this time, and when poor his appetite by a glass of vodky. Ivan begins to see indistinctly and Moses does not grudge a gratis glass double, Moses adopts a piece of chalk of this fiery delicacy to promote good with double prong; and whether Ivan fellowship between Ivan and his acknowledges or repudiates the deadly supper mates, and the more they measure, the double score is made. drink the more the spirit is diluted. The account being at the full, some The guests may exclaim against the neighbours of Ivan's are brought in to water, their host gives them full witness the transaction. They reduce liberty to do so, but the more they the chalk marks to silver or paper drink the weaker it grows.
roubles (4s. 6d. or 10d.), poor Ivan is Ivan goes to bed; and next day, made amenable for ten times as much while his poor head is throbbing as he has consumed, and obliged to from his little excess of the previous give up his best cow and all his wheat night, his master calls on him for a to satisfy the well-timed demand. settlement of arrears due for pota- The reader, wondering how so much tions long consumed. The sick and spirit could be consumed and the feverish debtor sits on one side of a consumer still retain consciousness, table, the crafty inn-keeper, provided may consult Liebig. That clever with a piece of chalk, takes his place animal physiologist will satisfy him on the other. Taking out his ac- that, in order to keep up fuel for the count-book, written in the Hebrew interior furnace in northern countries, character, he opens the conference and enable the living machine to “You recollect the three days you resist the effects of the outer intense spent here before the summer St. cold, all aliments that contain carbon Nicholas ?” “Yes." "The first day in abundance are welcome ; and the you took half a kvart* of vodky in the quantity of tallow-candles, train-oil, morning: is not that right ?” “It and alcohol, in every shape, that may is so." Moses makes a chalk score. be harmlessly taken, inadmissible to “When your brother-in-law came in, the delicate mind of the Duchess of you drank another.” Two scores Marmalade, or the Countess of Ormade. At dinner you took two tolania. kvarterkas.” Two full length scores While Ivan and Ivan's brothers are made. “ After dinner," "Ah, three-fourth seas over, Moses, by jupaney arendaryoo,” (a title of re- dicious questions on the circumstances spect), “I am not right in the head: of their lords and masters, obtains give me some vodky."
Hey, Sorka valuable hints, which he turns to (Sarah), Reefka (Rebecca), give the profit, or enables some of his tribe hospodar (esquire) a dram."* Vodky still for a consideration to himself) to brought and drunk; peasant cheers turn to profit in their dealings with up. “ After dinner you took half a these same land proprietors, who kvart.” Right.” “But when Luke were, perhaps are stiil, as incapable of
Kvart, nearly an English pint; Kvarterka, one-eighth of a kvart. There are three principal festivals of St. Nicholas, two a little before Christmas, one in summer. The locality of the sketch is Polish Russia.
wisely directing their concerns as our quaintance. Reefka has, or says she own dead-and-gone owners of estates has, relatives living many miles away most sadly incumbered.
in the forests near the border; and In his concerns with Polish pans thither he periodically repairs to dis(gentlemen) or Russian officers, Dioses pose of the tar and potash they have would proceed with more regard to manufactured. He and his assistants, appearances, but still the principle tucking their baggy trowsers into was the same. He would require a their boots, and getting their outside settlement at a propitious hour (for gabardines secured by the indispenhimself), and when his subjects were sable belt, clamber into their breetchin a very dejected or very exalted kas or tarantas - long travelling mood. He disposed to the large land- cradles, innocent of seats—and make owner on credit, sugar, rum, coffee, themselves comfortable in their piltea, silks, stuffs, &c., and on the day lows and feather-beds, being well of reckoning, received in payment his provided with their darling tea aphemp, flax, corn, &c., and would pur- paratus, their shabashovfy (spirits chase more for ready cash ; and these for the “rest,") goat's-milk-cheese, worthies, seldom inspecting news- radishes, onions, herrings, rye-loaves, papers, and being ignorant of the mar- biscuits, in the shape of thick rings, ketable value of their goods in the and roast goose or kid. seaports or the great Government Arrived at a kartchma, kept by a towns, got only about half prices from relative, he meets a tchinovnic official the many branches of the house of at a quiet hour of the night, and holds Moses and Sons.
an interesting conference with him. On occasions of balls, weddings, Next day, he rides into the wood, and and elections, the wife and daughters comes on a file of carts conveying of the country magnate would resort the tar and soda towards the kartchto Reefka for all things needful; and ma, where it may be disposed of. On not being always provided with their way, they meet the mysterious money, would be obliged to bribe her tchinovnic visitant of the previous with coops of fowl and tubs of butter, evening, who is now in company with as interest, to let them have the need a Cossack officer. “Oh, ho!” this ful goods which, in most cases, would worthy exclaims, speaking to Moses be short in weight and measure, and as if he had never before laid eyes on about twice as dear as they could be him ; contraband goods in these purchased for cash in open market. barrels, I'll wager.” “Oh, sir, would
Guests, with large sums of money, you suspect an honest well-known occasionally lodge with Moses, and man of business, such as I am known deliver to him or to Reef ka their bags to be, to attempt to evade the laws of of gold ducats, till they depart next our good Emperor ?" day; and the bag of ducats is ho- prove your loyalty.” He takes a nestly delivered to the owner at his piercer and hammer, and knocks and departure, having, in the night-time, probes, and at last cries discontentundergone a trifling operation. Moses edly, “Ah, I see we can make nothing has sat in a private room, and with of you to-day. There is no contrathe aid of a lamp, a magnifying-glass, band here. Some other time you will and a nice, curve-shaped scissors, has fall into our hands; meantime, go to trimmed every one of the full weight- the —," and the Cossack officer ed coins, and his assistant has rubbed thinks, or pretends to think, that all others on a rough cloth covered with is legal and above board, and the Ema mysterious black powder ; and the peror duly honoured. cloth being burned in a furnace, and And Moses goes, not as directed, the clippings melted along with these but rejoicing to the kartchma kept by rubbings, a pretty little ingot is ob- Reefka's relative, and the barrels are tained, which would have rejoiced conveyed to a convenient place, and the eyes of Manus Mac O'Neil, the the centres, really filled with tar or terrible goldfinder of the "Irish potash, not disturbed ; but out of Rogues and Rapparees."
the ends are extracted silk-stuffs, After a glance at one other mode linens, cambrics, laces, trinkets, peradopted by Moses for turning an ho- fumery (Moses' relatives and their nest penny, we will renounce his ac- kartchmas being always near the fron
tier). Now are produced a brazier, his ancestors had been engaged, formstamps, black and red marking-ink, ing a sort of genealogical tree of noble and melted tin ; and the practitioners descent. stamp and brand the goods as neatly The one great object of the fashionas if done at the custom-house. Our able noble in Petersburg, and of the merchant returns to his home and the proprietor of an estate in the country wife worthy of such a husband ; and is to “keep up appearances ;' and the next Sabbath they revel on tarts “living beyond his means," is the baked with honey and poppies, kugel plan adopted by both for attaining (paste fried in goose-fat), roast goose, it. boiled lokshena (macaroni and milk), Mr. G.'s available income is derived and tzimes--a hotch-potch of carrots, from the annual poll-tax paid by his honey, fat, and spices ; and Moses, in serfs, and all that their labour of his jubilee, reduces his interest on three days per week can produce for loans for the next fortnight, from two his benefit. to one and a half per cent. per week. On this he must keep up household Moses' frauds on his beloved Emperor state, being obliged to convert several and father will be discovered by some of his serfs into domestic tchinovnics, individual of one of the fifteen orders the change having generally the of nobility ; but has not Moses the worst effect on the moral character of means of convincing the noble that the once estimable individuals. So it will be for his interest to hold his besides the genuine working domespeace; and is there any record of tics, of which there are many, must a Russian noble-to wit, a tchinovnic be reckoned the confidential agent noble, hesitating between a bribe and for the management of law-suits (M. his duty to his great father ?
Josel in this instance), the commisBut Moses' cousin, Josel, is perhaps, sary or head steward over the whole a more important personage than property, the under steward, the Moses himself. He rents sundry marshalek, presiding over the table mills and kartchmas on the estate of service and the domestics, the studMr. Gologordoffsky; he is agent for master who governs the stables and himself, his lady, and his servants, grooms, the head cook, the houseand privy councillor to boot. He keeper, the kapel meister (music masis the walking newspaper and scandal- ter), with his chorus of twelve, who monger of all that happens within along with straining their throats on somewhat less than a hundred miles. all needful occasions, wait at table, He sits with the great man of an make hay, and work in the garden. evening over a bowl of punch, and Then there is the chaplain, the tutors gives him all the news current in the for the children, the French gouverGovernment town,* counsels him as to neur, and Madame, who gives_her the best mode of getting rid of his services to the young ladies. Each corn, spirits, wood, charcoal, &c.; and of these young ladies has besides a arranges for procuring him loans, him- confidential maid ; their lady mother selfoftenfurnishing the money, though is not without one, and the lord of pretending to be the mere agent the house is sure to have his. between his patron and Ivan Doffsky A wight, with several law-suits on or Richard Roffsky. Moreover, he hands, naturally embraces occasions devises with him the most satisfactory to disconcert his legal foeman. Mr. mode of continuing hereditary law- G., being at variance with a certain suits, or commencing new ones, for M. Protzessvaveetch, is not sorry to Russian country gentlemen are as show his daughters and obsequious litigious as so many Normandy pea- household staff, the opportunity he sants. For instance, our gentleman has seized on to break his heart. with the long name was accustomed “Come! I must show you the kartchto point out to admiring visitors the ma I am building on the boundary of long succession of law-suits in which my estate, and under the very nose
* Every one of the fifty Gubernias of Russia is provided with a capital, ruled by a governor, assistant-governor, police chief, procureur, &c. These officers, as before stated, are elected by the owners of the land.