A journey due north, notes of a residence in Russia ... 1856

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Page 80 - I have yet travelled through have a different manner of examining your luggage. Your crusty, phlegmatic Englishman turns over each article separately but carefully. Your stupid Belgian rummages your trunk, as if he were trying to catch a lizard ; your courteous Frenchman either lightly and gracefully turns up your fine linen, as though he were making a lobster salad, or — much more frequently — if you tell him you have nothing to declare, and are polite to him, just peeps into one corner of your...
Page 230 - ... illusion."** Travellers tell us that on the flat roof of his stove the Russian peasant is supposed to pass the only happy period of his life — that of his dozing slumbers ; and that it is positively a standard and deeply-rooted impression or superstition (call it which you will) with the moujik, that while he is in dreamland, he really walks and talks, and eats and drinks, and loves. and is free, and enjoys himself; and that his waking life — the life in which he is kicked, and pinched, and...
Page 332 - ... for her noble proprietor's amusement, when he and his guests were drunk with wine ; there, if she offended him, to be sent to hew wood and draw water, to go clad in grey sacking instead of gauze and silk, and spangles ; to have those tresses shorn away, whereon the diamond sprays...
Page 332 - ... by all ballerine. In a word, she had triumphed ; but it was never exactly ascertained in what ballet she made her debut. It was certain, however, that she had been engaged at the Academic, and that her engagement had been rescinded during the war time ; the manager having, with fiendish ingenuity, endeavoured to seduce her into dancing in a ballet whose plot was inimical to Russian interests. But, the fair Nadiejda, patriotic as fearless, indignantly refused to betray her country and her Czar....
Page 326 - Land, who, in a thousand respects, might run or be driven in couples with the Muscovites — such a nation of filling up formalists as are the Russians. In Russia, indeed, can you appreciate in its highest degree the inestimable benefits of a lot of forms. The Russian five-copeck (twopenny-halfpenny) postage-stamp is as important-looking, as far as fierceness and circumference go, as that foul mass of decayed rosin and wax, symbolising rottenness and corruption somewhere, whilom attached, in a species...
Page 339 - is one eminently due to •the mother-tongue of our late enemies. It is, indeed, for vocal purposes a most mellifluous and harmonious language, and, for softness and euphony, is about five hundred per cent, more suited to musical requirements than the French language. As to its superiority over our own (for singing) I at once and candidly admit it. I don't think that from my due northern antecedents, I shall be accused of entertaining any very violent Russian sympathies, or that I shall be denounced...
Page 332 - Imperiale a piece of her mind : she demanded her passports, and danced back to St. Petersburg — there to be feted, and caressed, and braceleted, and earringed, and bouqueted, and re-engaged at the Balschoi Teatr...
Page 333 - I believe was awarded to her by the government for the Spartan fortitude with which she had withstood the insidious promptings of the malevolent Fransoutz, she was certainly entitled to the medal of St. Anne of the first class, set in brilliants of the finest water, for the heroism she displayed in coming back to Russia at all. The return of Regulus to Carthage was nothing to it. Shiningly, indeed, does her self-denying conduct contrast with that of the other (vocal) operatic star, M. Ivanhoff, who,...
Page 335 - The other elements (to say nothing of the name of that bold rebel : oh, scour me the Chiaja and turn up the sleepers at Naples' street-corners, for another Masaniello ! for we live in evil days, and the paralytic remnants of the Holy Alliance are crying out to be knocked down and jumped upon, and thrown out of window, and put out of their pain as soon as possible) — those revolutionary elements would suggest allusions, and those allusions might be inimical _to Russian interests.
Page 335 - Club had presented a petition against her. The abonnes had drawn up a memorial against her. They considered her to be inimical to French interests. Two feuilletonistes of the highest celebrity and social position had declared publicly that they would decline and return the retaining fee, sent by debutantes and accepted by feuilletonistes, as a matter of course, in such cases.

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