Vassili Verestchagin, Painter, Soldier, Traveler: Autobiographical Sketches, Volume 1

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Page 117 - Behold the fowls of the air ; they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns ; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.
Page 201 - As you approach the town, it is hard to believe that it is empty : you cannot help hoping to meet some human being, if it be only a robber. But not a soul is to be seen anywhere. The houses are for the most part uninjured, and also the paintings on the walls and on the wooden lattice-work of the windows. Potsherds and fragments of articles of every conceivable kind were lying all about — vessels of iron and clay of all sizes, a quantity of copper coins strung on a string, dresses, caps, plaits...
Page 202 - ... a long and tedious siege, made their way into the fortress. Then came a merciless butchery, in which no one was spared. Skulls and bones lie literally in heaps against the walls here and all around the fortress; at many points, eg, by several of the gates, the skulls were piled up to a great hight. In the fields round the town, too, lie skulls ; as far as the eye can reach, skulls, and skulls, and again skulls. The wolves and the jackals have already done their work; the raven* are still engaged...
Page 201 - Calmucks side by side with the miniature slippers of Chinese women. I put a pair of extraordinarily small slippers in my pocket as a memento. But above all, skulls are to be seen lying about everywhere. The town is like a vast tomb, and the whole impression it produces is terrible. I wandered about for a whole day in B.'s company, and then for several...
Page 201 - ... irrigation canals are silted up and the soil is quite dry. In the town similar sights meet the eye. Wonderful groves and avenues, the work of years, are sometimes completely destroyed or going to decay. As you approach the town it is hard to believe it is empty; you cannot help hoping to meet some unnan being, if it be only a robber.
Page 203 - ... thousand strong, came this way to help the besieged ; but a force of only a few hundred Dunghans fell upon them, drove them back, and killed them to the very last man. What wonderful energy on the part of the insurgent...
Page 203 - Ihe people to throng in to their prayers and their amusements. For three whole weeks I lived with one Cossack and one Tartar in a wretched cabin outside the walls of the fortress, and every day from morning till evening I roamed about, looking at everything, drawing and painting. Occasionally a wild goat would stray into the courtyard where I was painting, stand transfixed with astonishment, and then rush off at full speed across the steppe.
Page 203 - II had enough to occupy me; from the governor's palace to the simple little houses of the common people, all the dwellings were habitable, all were painted, all decorated with paintings, sculptures, bas-reliefs, flowers, dragons, etc. Theaters of an original construction, Buddhist temples in which some colossal idols were still intact (though...

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