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The Empire of the Czar Astolphe de Custine

The Empire of the Czar

Astolphe de Custine

Published
ISBN : 9781230325774
Paperback
96 pages
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1843 edition. Excerpt: ... find perfect models ofMoreThis historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1843 edition. Excerpt: ... find perfect models of Grecian statues, several of which I have indeed already seen in Petersburg, where the nobles are often attended by the men born on their distant estates. A low and confined room adjoined this immense shed- it reminded me of the cabin of some river boat- walls, ceiling, floor, seats, and tables, were all of wood rudely hewn. The smell of cabbage and pitch was extremely powerful. In this retreat, almost deprived of air and light, for the doors were low, and the windows extremely small, I found an old woman busy serving tea to four or five bearded peasants, clothed in pelisses of sheepskin, the wool of which is turned inwards, for it has already, and for some days past, become rather cold. These men were of short stature. Their leather pelisses were rather tasteful, but they were very ill scented: I know nothing except the perfumes of the nobles that could be more so. On the table stood a bright copper kettle and a teapot. The tea is always of good quality, well made, and, if it is not preCHARACTER OF THE RUSSIANS. 179 This is the 1st of August. ferred pure, good milk is every where to be obtained. This elegant beverage served up in barns, I say barns for politeness-sake, reminds me of the chocolate of the Spaniards. It forms one of the thousand contrasts with which the traveller is struck at every step he takes among these two people, equally singular, though in many of their ways as different as the climates they inhabit. I have often said that the Russian people have a sentiment of the picturesque: among the groups of men and animals that surrounded me in this interior of a Russian farm house, a painter would have found subjects for several charming pictures. The red or blue shirt of the peasants is buttoned over...