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their regimental motto become their protest one in Cyrillic, the other in Glagolitic letters. let the legend which hitherto has been The dignitaries of the Church had been paywell obeyed by both corps on the field of ing unwonted honours to characters which battle be supplemented by an affix of inter- had probably been traced by a schismatic pen, rogation, and be henceforth blazoned on their That the study of Slavonic literature arms and accoutrements after this fashion should have made little progress in France QUO FAS ET GLORIA DUCUNT ?
at the time of the Czar's visit is scarcely to be wondered at. But it does seem strange that it should always have been regarded in our own country with an indifference bor
dering upon contempt, and this carelessness Art. II.-RUSSIAN LITERATURE—TURGUE- is especially remarkable in the case of RusNIEF's Novels.
sian literature. Some of the Slavonic peo1. Sochineniya, I. S. Turgeneva.-[The Works ples, such as the Czekhs, for instance, or the
of I. S. TURGUENIEF.] Moscow. Bulgarians, do not form important national. 2. Russian Life in the Interior. Edited by ities, and have few interests in common with
J. D. MEIKLEJOHN. Black : Edinburgh, us. But this can scarcely be said of the 1855.
Russians, and yet the language their many 3. Fathers and Sons. Translated from the millions speak has always been thought ut.
Russian by EUGENE SCHUYLER. New terly unworthy of our attention. As to the
books they read, so little is known about 4. Smoke; or, Life at Baden. Bentley: them here, that the traveller who returns 1868,
from Russia, and affirms that it really pos5. Récits d'un Chasseur. Traduits par H. sesses a national literature, is often listened DELAVEAU. Paris : 1858.
to with more astonishment than belief. Yet 6. Scènes de la Vie R288e. Traduites par M. Do one can bave any doubt upon
the subject X. MARMIER. Paris : 1858.
who has ever spent an hour in the warehouse 7. Nouvelles Scènes de la Vie Russe. Tra-1 of any of the great publishing houses at St.
duction de H. Delaveau. Paris : 1863. Petersburg, or who has ever strolled along 8. Various French and German Translations the Paternoster Row of Moscow, the long of single Works
line of bookshops which extends from the
St. Nicholas gate of the Kremlin to the In the days of old, when a new king of northern angle of the “Chinese City.” France was being crowned in the cathedral Merely by looking at the titles of the new of Rheims, a certain ancient volume used to books in their windows, it is easy to discover be brought forward at one period of the cer- that the Russian publishers are by no means emony, and on it the new monarch was sol- idle. It is true that many of these books emoly sworn in. This volume, which was are translations, but there are also numbers known as the Texte du Sacre, was as remark- of original works, chiefly travels, biograable for the splendour of its exterior as for phies, histories, and critical, statistical, and the incomprehensibility of its contents. Its philosophical essays, together with a good binding was a mass of gold incrusted with many povels, and a very few poems. Poeprecious stones; when it was oponed, a man- try is just now at a discount in Russia. Inuscript was revealed, beautifully written on deed, all romantic literature is to a certain parchment in two different sets of equally extent discouraged. Young Russia is bent unknown characters. No one knew with on studying natural science and metaphysics, certainty what it was, or how it came there; and under its influence Fact has become inbut tradition averred that it was a copy of ordinately hard of late years, and Fiction the Gospels in some Eastern tongue, and has taken to assuming an unusually reflecthat it possessed unusual claims on the rever- tive and studious air. In some modern ence of the faithful. Successive generations Russian novels the romantic element seems to duly revered it, but no one solved the ques- bear an unduly small proportion to that tion of its language until at last Peter the which at least affects to be philosophical, and Great happened to pay Rheims a visit, and the position of the artist to be unfairly subthe treasures of the cathedral were brought ordinated to that of the teacher. out for his inspection. When the mysteri- instances this is of no importance, but it ous volume was opened before him, he at seems to be not a little unfortunate when the once exclaimed, “Wby, that's my own Sla- artist is one of real power. Of course, realvonic !” And so it really was, turning out, ly great artists are but rarely to be met with when it was examined a century later by a in any country; but Russia at this moment competent scholar, to be a copy of part of possesses at least one writer who is worthy the Gospels, written in two columns, the | to be ranked among them, and it is to his
works that we now propose to call the atten- which he excels, of men whose lives have tion of our readers.
been a mistake, whose careers have been a Ivan Turguenief's* writings have gained failure, and of women whose love has been a great and widely-extended reputation in unhappy, whose hopes have not been fulfilled. France and in Germany, but in England we This same sympathetic feeling carries him fancy that they are but little known. It is even further. The dumb animals themselves true that two of his novels have been pub- become articulate for him. No one will lished in English, the one under the title of doubt the truth of this who has read the Fathers and Sons, and the other under that of different sketches of dogs which are scatterSmoke, or Life at Baden-Baden, but the first ed about his works. It is probably a some. appeared at New York, and is little known what similar feeling which accounts for on this side of the Atlantic; and the other another of his merits, his singular power was translated in so singular a manner that of describing nature. In this respect, agin M. Turguepief felt bimeelf bound to protest some others also, he reminds us of the auagainst its being supposed to convey à just thor of The Village on the Cliff. He has to idea of his work. Another book of his was a great extent her wonderful faculty of givtranslated from the French, several years ing in a very few touches not only the outago, under the title of Russian Life in the ward presentment of a landscape, but also Interior ; but unfortunately it differs consid- the inner meaning which reveals itself to the erably from the Russian original. No doubt eyes of those who are represented as lookit was made from that eccentric French ver- ing at it. Another great merit in his stories sion f against which M. Turguenief most is the purity of their tone. In this they vigorously protested at the time when it ap- offer a refreshing contrast to the cynical senpeared. It is evident, then, that M. Tur- suality of the modern French school, while guenief has not yet had a fair hearing in at the same time they are utterly opposed to England, otherwise, we feel sure that full anything like insipid sentimentality. It is justice would long ago have been done to easy to trace in them the influence of a his merits. Of how great those merits are shrewd and sarcastic humour, but it is one we hope to be able to give at least some idea which is also kindly. There is a touch of in the following rapid sketch of his leading east wind in the air which breathes around works.
the majority of them, but is healthy and Before commencing it, however, it will be invigorating. Vice is never made seductive as well to say a few words about the princi- in them, nor are apologies offered for crime. pal grounds on which rest M. Turguenief's Some of the best characters introduced into claims to be considered a great writer of fic- them are those of pure-hearted young girls, tion. In the first place, he is original. In whose lives one feels must be honest and his careful studies of men and women he true, and of men who, even if they have at sometimes reminds us of Balzac, and sometimes been weak or erring, have, on the times of Thackeray; but there are few tra- whole, battled manfully against their lower ces of imitation in his work. Then he bas tendencies, and at last attained to a nobler genuine creative power. His characters im- life. Along with this elevation of feeling press us with a sense of their vitality, their should be classed our author's generous in. movements are natural, their talk is easy dignation against all oppression and wrong and unconstrained. And they have marked and especially that sympathy with the so individuality, standing out clearly one from long trodden down masses of his country another. With him the same lay figure does men which gives so much animation to his not enter into a series of pictures, with mere- pictures of peasant life. It needed no sligh: ly a change of costume. There is great courage in a Russian writer seventeen year variety in his drawing. If it sometimes ago to speak as M. Turguenief did about the shows signs of mannerism, it is at all events sorrows and the sufferings of the commoi clear that he has studied a multitude of people. Last, but not least, in the list of M models. In the next place, he is a most Turguepief's merits, must be mentioned th " sympathetic ” writer. He enters, as if by great beauty of his style. Never redundant instinct, into the feelings of the persons to never bald or poor, it serves equally well fo whose ideas he gives expression. And this all occasions. `Even in a translation it i lends a great charm to the descriptions, in easy to recognise the felicity of his expres
sions, the neatness of his dialogue, and th * It is difficult to write Russian name correctly richness of his imagery. in our characters. In French our author styles him- One of the most characteristic of M. Tui self Tourguénelf. In Germany he becomes Turgen: guenief's works is that which first made hi jew, Turgeneff, etc. We have adopted the form employed by Mr. Michell, in his Russian Handbook.
name known, the Zapiski Okhotnika, i † Not M. Delaveau's, which is excellent. "A Sportsman's Notes." The stories
contains are exceedingly interesting, even|--that the terrible tragedies of olden days when looked upon merely as ordinary nar. are no longer likely to be repeated,--that ratives, and the descriptive passages scatter. the Russian proprietor is free from those faed over its pages would in themselves be tal temptations which beset the man inte sufficient to attract any lover of the pictu- whose bands is given absolute power over resque ; but its special claim to lasting ad- his fellow-men, and that the Russian peasmiration and respect is based upon the strik ant is no longer a mere chattel, something ing picture it affords of the condition of but a little higher than the beasts of the the Russian peasant before he became a free field, it is well that there should be some man, and the resolute though quiet protest record of the mental degradation, the phy. it offers against such oppression as was so sical suffering, to which the old system gave long endured by the masses of the Russian rise. There is no lack in Russia, even people. It used to be a somewhat danger- among our own countrymen, of critics whose ous matter to call public attention in any sympathies are with the past, whose tendenbut a very guarded manner to the peculiar cies are retrograde, whose leading idea is institution of serfdom. Even in the days that the common people should be ruled by when such a misfortune was no longer to be the stick, and who consider slavery so pafeared as that which befell Radischef,—who, triarchal” an institution as almost to have on the account of the impressions of travel acquired a religious character. For the in which he drew an unusually sobre pic benefit of readers whom those opinions about ture of peasant life, was degraded from of the 'emancipation might affect, it is very fice by the Empress Catherine, and sent to good that such pictures should be generally Siberia—many unpleasantnesses awaited a available as those which M. Turguenief has rash apostle of freedom. The Government drawn of patriarchal manners. might make no sign, but society would be Let us take a glance at a few of their very likely to frown, if any daring enthusi- more striking figures, beginning with that ast said too much about the bondage in affable and judicious proprietor, Arcady which the upper class held the lower. A Pavlich Penochkine. He is a young man who certain amount of liberal sentiment was al. is well received and well spoken of in society, lowed, was even admired, but it was suppos- especially by the ladies, on whom the eleed to be understood that the feelings of the gance of his manners has made a deep im"ruling caste” were not to be too rudely pression. He has received a good educa. ruffled. When M. Turguenief's sketches ap- tion, and he has some acquaintance with peared, it was evident that he had not been music, He dresses with taste, be affects withheld by any fear of what society might French literature, and he plays cards to think of his proceedings
. Quietly, and perfection. As regards his peasants, he is, sometimes almost as if unconsciously, he according to his own account, severe but laid bare some of the social cankers which just. When he punishes them it is alwayswere fretting away the strength of his coun- for their good. “ One must treat them like try; in a few simple words he told this or children," he says, and if he has to strike a that tale of sorrow and of wrong, then left blow, it is done calmly, and without any the sad story to produce its own effect, and sign of anger; it is even accompanied by without a trace of indiscreet enthusiasm or gentle words of expostulation, only at such morbid sentimentality, calmly, as it were times he sets his teeth a little, and his mouth coldly, passed on to another subject. There assumes a disagreeable expression. Such is could be no doubt that the writer felt very the refined and polished gentleman at whose keeply on the subject of the wrongs he des. house M. Turguenief's sportsman happens to cribed, but he had such thorough mastery spend a night. Everything is admirably over bis feelings, that he was able to main-managed there, and the servants are discitain the tone of one who was a disinterested plined to perfection, only their countenances narrator rather than a partisan. And so he wear an anxious look which prevents the produced a far greater and more permanent guest from being quite at bis ease in their effect than could have been secured by any presence.
At breakfast, in the morning, amount of hot and angry declamation. His Arcady Pavlich appears to be in an exceedquiet words sank deep into hearts that a ingly good humour. Presently, however, storm of abuse would only have hardened; he lifts a glass of wine to his lips, and his the subdued tone of his slight but thorough face immediately darkens. "Whiy basn't ly true sketches produced a lasting effect the chill been taken off the wine ?” he asks. upon eyes which would merely have been of. The servant he addresses grows pale, but fended by exaggerated and bighly coloured makes no reply. “Surely you hear my pictures of suffering. Now that the old question, my good friend ? " quietly continorder of things has given place to the new, I ues his master, without taking his eye off
eir lat dy iho ty, ele
him. The unfortunate servant fidgets of their turn, and now he wants to take this little, but remains silent. Arcady Pavlich my third son from me. Yesterday, my fawatches hin for a minute as if be were de- ther, he took away my last cow from me, liberating. You may go," he says at last, and beat my wife; don't let him utterly de and then rings the bell. It is answered by stroy us, O our supporter!". The proprie. a thick-set, brutal-looking man, to whom the tor turns to his steward and asks what all master of the house—who has apologized to this means. The reply is that the old man his guest, with a kindly smile on his lips, is idle, and a drunkard, "and insolent, and for entering upon this little matter of busi- that he is greatly in debt to his master. ness in his presence-says in a low voice, Arcady Pavlich turns with dignity to his and without the least trace of angry feelings, suppliants, and reads them a lesson on the
“Let Theodore ... be seen to." "Itevils of drunkenness and sloth, and the exshall be done,” says the thick-set man, and treme wickedness of not paying what is due disappears. "Such are the inconveniences to a landlord. of country life ! ” says Arcady Pavlich, in French, and with perfect cheerfulness. Not
* Father, Arcady Pavlich!' cried the old
man in despair, ' have pity! protect us! I infinding his spirits raised by this little scene, solent! As before the Lord God, I declare that the visitor is about to take his leave, but we are utterly ruined. Sofron Yakovlich [the his host cannot think of losing sight of him. Bourmister] ħates me, and why does he hate Arcady Pavlich bas a small estate called me? God be his judge! He will utterly ruin Shipilovka, which he has not seen for a long us, father. . . . Behold this is the only son I
tears filled the time, and which is close to the ground over have left—and him too ... which his guest is going to shoot. So he old man's yellow eyes, over which the lids offers to drive there with him, and makes dropped heavily. 'Pity us, my Lord, proteot him promise to sleep at Shipilovka, in the ci And it isn't us only– the young peasant house of the Bourmister, the steward or was beginning. manager of the property. Somewhat against “ Arcady Pavlich hastily interrupted him. his will the visitor consents, and the two "And who spoke to you-eh?
No one companions find themselves that evening oc- speaks to you, so hold your tongue. And what cupying the best room in the cottage of the is the meaning of all this? Be quiet, you're manager, whom Arcady Pavlich is never told! be quiet! Why, good heaven, this is weary of praising as a model servant.
simply mutiny! No, no, brother! I don't The
recommend you to rebel against me. I'llnext morning they go over the farm, which Here Arcadý Pavlich took a step forward, but is in excellent order. Everything seems then in all probability he remembered I was flourishing except the peasants, who all look present; he turned back and put his hands in pale and thin. The (proprietor is charmed his pockets, Je vous demande bien pardon, mon with all he sees, and explains to his friend cher,' he said, with a forced smile, considerably the advantages of the obrok system, accord lowering his voice, ' C'est le revers de la méing to which his peasants pay him money tinued; without looking at the peasants, .-I
, very good, very good,' he coninstead of giving him their labour. Sud- will give orders ..
will give orders . . . very good, be off with denly there appear before him, and fling you. The peasants did not rise. "Be off, ) themselves at his feet, two peasants, -one a will give orders, I tell you.' youth, the other an old man,-barefooted, Arcady Pavlich turned his back on them miserably clad in coarse shirts, tied round 'Always unpleasantnesses,' he muttered be the waist with pieces of rope. Arcady Pav-tween his teeth, and went homewards. .. lich asks them what they want, knitting his The two suppliants remained where they were brow the while and biting his lip. They ment, and then, without looking behind then
a little longer, gazed at each other for a mo make no reply, only they blink their eyes, went slowly home."' * and draw their breath quickly.' He repeats his question. The old man bends his sur
Soon after witnessing this pleasant scene burnt, wrinkled neck, his pale lips work, he the narrator is shooting in the neighbour cries with a broken voice, “ Protect us, my hood, and he asks the peasant who accompa Lord," and again prostrates himself, strik- nies him à few questions about Arcady: ing the ground with his forehead. The estate. His companion gives him an accoun young peasant does the same. Their master of how Shipilovka is managed. Sofron th looks down on them with a dignified air. Bourmister, he says, is its real master. A At length they speak. They have come to the peasants are in debt to him, and he doe complain to him of the way in which the what he likes with them, uses them as I Bourmister oppresses them. “ He has ut- pleases, squeezes all their money from then terly ruined us, my father," says the old
* It may be as well to state that the extracts man, whose name is Antip. " He has al- this article are translated from the original Ru ready sent two of my sons to the army out sian.
and they dare not complain. Then the conduct. Not only does she absolutely resportsman describes what had occurred in fuse to sell Matrena, but she banishes the his presence. The peasant expresses his pity poor girl to a distant village among the for Antip. “The poor old man will be ut- steppes. Her would-be purchaser is in deterly ruined,” he says; "the Bourmister will spair. The image of Matrena is always have him beaten to death. The fact is, he before his eyes, coarsely clad, and exposed to has borne him a grudge ever since one day the inclemency of the weather and the blows when the old man had words with him in the of a brutal overseer. At length one day he Communal Assembly, and he will never rest rides over to her place of exile, and
manages till he has eaten him up. He has already to obtain an interview with her. The
poor deprived Antip of two sons, beartless wretch girl has grown pale and thin,—the tears pour that he is.” And there the story ends, with from her eyes. He tells her that she must out a word of comment.
not go on living there,—that he will carry Here is another illustration of the working her off. At first she refuses, although weepof that system which so often demoralized ing bitterly, and the following conversation the lord as much as it degraded the vassal. ensues : Why should you stay here ?” he It is taken from one of the stories in which asks; you couldn't be worse off than you M. Turguenief has depicted the position of a are now. Tell me truly: you've felt the girl of the peasant class, whose youth and weight of the starost's* hand, haven't you ?" beauty only serve to bring sorrow upon her. Matrena's cheeks grow red and her lips The lot of women has always been a hard quiver. “But,” she says, “it would be the one in Russia, but as a general rule the ruin of my people at home.” “Why, what peasant's wife or daughter has been inured would they do to your people-exile them ?" to hardship all her life, and therefore may " Oh yes! They would be sure to exile my not feel it very keenly. Now and then, how brother at all events." “And your father ?" ever, it has bappened that she has been raised "No, not my father; he is the only good for a time from her position of humility and tailor they have.” “There, then, you see privation, and either from caprice or affec- he wouldn't be hurt; and it wouldn't kill tion she has been well and kindly treated, your brother.” And so at length he prevails, and may
grown babituated to a and one night he carries her off to his house. life of luxury. She has become conscious of. For some time he is perfectly happy. feelings and emotions which had never man- Matrena becomes dearer to him every day. ifested themselves before, new tastes have She can play the guitar, and sing and dance ; developed themselves, and a power of enjoy- she even learns to read and write. Her ment has become hers which entails a cor- father finds out where she is, and comes seresponding capacity for suffering. And then, cretly to visit her. All goes well till one perhaps, without a moment's warning, in the unfortunate day, when, while she is driving very height of her new-born happiness, she Karataef in his sledge, she takes it into her has suddenly been deprived of everything head to pay a visit to the village of her miswhich has made existence pleasant to her, tress. Unluckily the old lady meets them, and has been sent back with ignoming to the and recognises her runaway slave. The next dull monotony, often the crushing misery, of day she commences a lawsuit against her the peasant's life. And to bring about this neighbour for stealing her live stock. He change, to inflict this punishment, and then manages for a time to stave off inquiry,
but tranquilly to watch its operation, was often the old lady is obstinate, and declares she is the special delight of some mean nature, the ready to spend ten thousand roubles on the favourite revenge prompted by feminine vin- suit rather than give it up. Things go badly dictiveness.
with him. Costs accumulate, and he beA proprietor named Karataef has fallen comes crippled by debts; at last he falls ill in love with a young peasant girl who be- from anxiety. One evening, when he is alone longs to one of his neighbours, an old lady in his room—for Matrena has been hidden of considerable wealth. It is more than a away in a farm at a short distance from his passing fancy, for Matrena is well fitted to house—the door opens, and she enters. At gain and retain his affections; so he deter- first he thinks that she has been driven from mines to purchase her from her mistress. her hiding-place, but she tells him that she One day, therefore, he calls upon the old lady, has come of her own accord,—that she can. imagining that it is only a question of money, not bear to see him ruined for ber sake, and and that all he has to do is to pay some five that she is going to give herself up to her hundred roubles; but, to his utter conster- mistress. He remonstrates with her, but pation, the old lady will have nothing to say she says that her mind is made up, that she to his offer beyond giving him a sound scolding, and some excellent advice about good * The starosta is the head of a commune.