The Baldwin Library
PERILS OF GREATNESS.
BT GUSTAV NIERITZ.
Eranslatcb from tbe terman,
By Mas. H. C. CONANT.
CHARLES SCRIBNER, 146 NASSAU BTBrT.
ZmjwW scwrdIM to Act of Coop= ton I(be yr IBM by
in &S Clork OAWe oC the ietut Coaft o(de UIted t. hr She
Soothe DIWct MNew lath
ToBrl' 8 N3iNATIOIYp3
hIS Pastry ]p.
' 1HO 'LL buy ? who'll buy ? fresh pies !
Sfine warm pies from Paris! who'll
buy before they get cold ?"
Thus cried, or ratheS sung in a loud mu-
sical voice, a boy of fifteen or sixteen years
of age through the streets of Moscow, the
capital of the Russian empire. And as he
went, he kept his eyes turned up to the win-
dows of the lofty palaces by which hpaused,
as if expecting a purchaser to look oit and
beckon to him. It was not strange, there-
2 ALEXANDER IIENZIKOFI; OR,
fore, that he ran full against a company of
the Strelitzers, or Imperial Body-guard, who
having just made rather too free with brandy,
had all locked arms, by way of concealing
somewhat their unsteady gait.
Look here, boy !" they stammered out
-"just observe-who's here knocking us
down-with your basket I What you got
that's good in it ? let's see !"
Four or five hands. seized upon the bas.
ket, and strove to pull off the cover. This
attempt the boy resisted with all his might,
for he could easily guess how his pies wouldd
slip down unpaid into the stomachs of the
Let them alone !" he cried-" there's
nothing here for you. They are pies for
the Czar Peter, Peter-pies, I tell you, each
one of which costs a ruble."*
"It's all one to me," replied one of the
soldiers, with a laugh, whether they are
.* A Rusian silver ooin.
THE PERTLs OF GRATNESS.
pies for the Princess Sophia, the Czar Iwan,
or Peter. That won't make 'em lie hard on
my stomach. Besides, we want to know
how such dainty matters taste."
The boy persevered in defending his bas-
ket very dexterously against the mad sol-
diers, while he called out incessantly that
they were Peter-pies, which must be eaten
by nobody but the Czar Peter. He would
finally have been overpowered by numbers,
if a superior officer who was just then pass-
ing by, had not been attracted by his cry.
What's going on here ?" he demanded
in a stern voice of the soldiers ; but at the
sight of his glittering, gold-embroidered uni-
form, they staggered back and slunk out of
sight as quickly1s possible.
What were you about with the Strelitz-
ers, pray ?" enquired the officer of the lad,
who, with a flaming countenance and pamt.
ing for breath, was now lifting the cover of
ALEXANDER MENZIKOF ; OR,
his basket to see whether his pies had suf-
fered in the affray. He was so occupied
with this, that he did not even look upl to
the officer as he answered : Aye, aye, the
blackguards wanted to plunder me of my
"But why," asked the officer, "did you
bring in 'the name of the Czar Peter, and
keep crying that they were Peter-pies ?"
that was only a little stratagem of
war", returned the boy, casting up lis
laughing, sparkling eye at the officer. I
only wished to inspire respect for my pies ;
but to be sure, the Czar Peter is my favour-
ite, for he has often bought pies of me."
"You had better not proclaim that every
where, I caution you !" said the officer. The
Princess Sophia might take it ill that you
should prefer the Czar Peter to herpr the
Czar Iwan. In such matters, jokes are
dangerous. Take heed!"
Ha!" said the boy, "whose bread I
THE FlEIL5 0 GUZATNEm.
eat, his song I sing If the Princess So.
phia would buy of me too, and speak as
friqedly to the poor lad as the dear Czar
Peter does, I would like her just as well."
"Ah well, love the Czar Peter as much
as you will !"'said the officer. "Perhaps
he may buy of you again. He dines to-day
with Prince Lolopin ; but who knows
whether the Prince's cook understands mak-
ing such excellent pastry as your French
master ?. You can at least enquire." With
these words the officer went on his way.
The boy did not allow this hint to fall to
the ground. He marched straight to the
Prince's palace and cried his wares in aloud
voice under the windows. Failing of suc-
cess in this attempt, he ventured into the
spacious kitchen. Putting his head half in
at the door, he asked softly: "Will you
buy for the Czar Peter some of the pies he
likes so well V"
The master of the kitchen who was there,
6 ALEXANDER M3NZLKOFI; 03,
surrounded by cooks and female assistants,
answered gruffly : "No, we shall bake them
But the chamberlain of the Prince, who
just then entered the room, and had heard
the boy's question, asked, From whom do
they come then, and how do you know that
the Czar likes them ?"
"The pies," replied'the lad, "are from
the shop of the world'.enowned pastry-cook,
Le Grain, from Paris, and the Cza has of-
ten bought them of me."
"Wait a little, then," said the chamber-
lain, "and I will tell my lord. Sit down there
on the stool till I bring you word."
He left the room, and after a while re-
turned. "You must be patient a little lon-
ger," said he to the lad, "my lord is just
speaking to the Czar, and I dare not inter-
rupt him." He then went away a second
time. Long did the boy wait fn patience.
The spicy odour of the many rich dishes
THE PERILS OF OREATNESS.
preparing in the kitchen, was in itself a
feast. He was weary with running about the
city'all the morning and with his contest with
the soldiers; his seat in the kitchen corner
was so quiet, so cosy. He sunk away into
a soft slumber. His eyes closed, his em-
bracing arms fell from the basket, which
however was still held upon his lap by the
band which fastened it round his neck.
In this situation he was found by the re-
turning chamberlain. The latter immedi-
ately gave a secret wink to the kitchen-
master, and then said to all in the kitchen;
Quick, help bring up three hundred bot-
tles of wine from the cellar; the servants
cannot do it alone." In a moment the kitchen
was empty, and the chamberlain whispered
something ia tie kitchen-master's ear. He
nodded assentingly, and said in a low tone :
But woubd it not be better to take the bs-
ket away from the boy softly, and do it im
,the next room ?"
8 ALEXANDER MENZIKOFF; OR,
By no means," said the chamberlain;
"it would take too long; besides, the boy
But we need not do it to all the pies?"
asked the other.
To be sure, all !" exclaimed the cham-
berlain ; "or we should be instantly betray-
ed if the Czars alone were found poisoned,
and all the rest harmless. We must turn
suspicion on the boy and his master. Of
course, we must get rid of the boy just be-
fore the time when the Czar eats them, or
the matter would come out too soon."
Here both of them approached the sleep-
er, lifted softly the linen cloth which cover-
ed the pies, and scattered over them a white
powder. Having completed this evil deed,
the chamberlain left the room. The kitchen-
master then purposely dropped an empty
copper vessel on the floor, that the returning
cooks and assistants might find the pastry
boy wide awake. Now came the time for
THS PERILS OF GREATNE8B.
placing the innumerable dishes upon the
table. The kitchen swarmed with people.
The chamberlain also made his appearance
and called out in a loud voice: Now my
boy, let's see your wares. My lord will
take some of your pies, to be ready in case
the Czar has a fancy to taste of them."
The boy joyfully handed out the desired
number, and having received the pay, was di-
rected to go about his business. He obeyed,
but went no further than the next corner
before he stopped to regale himself by count-
ing over his money.
One ruble, two, three, four rubles; five
copees, ten copees, twenty-ah Scamp !.
off with you! Begone! My pies!" Stop-
ping short, he sprang fiercely upon a large
dog, which, attracted by the sweet smell,
had taken possession of the basket, and had
already purloined one of the pies. One,
two, three bites, and the delicate morsel
was gone ; now the do.o stood still, showing
10 ALLIANDLCU M[NZIIKOFF; OR,
his teeth, and awaiting the boy's attack.
Seeing, however, that the pie was lost, the
lad took his basket under his arm and sat
down on a stone to consider his bereave-
ment. The pie," said he to himself, I
shall have to make good to my master, and
that eats up all my gain by the trade. What
will my poor mother say when I come home
with empty hands ? Vile beast was not
bread good enough for your maw, that you
must cram down pies which I have not even
tasted myself? And there he stands coolly
before me, as if mocking me, or perhaps he
thinks to snatch another pie. You may
wait long. I wish it had choked you !"
This unchristian wish seemed about to
be fulfilled. The dog, who had not stirred
from the spot, began to choke, then to yelp
aloud' and to cramp, so that the injured lad
could not but pity him. The howling, whin-
ing, and convulsions of the dog, became
every moment worse, so that many papers
THK9 PERI.SB OF GRCATNS8.
by stopped and looked on. No one could
comprehend what ailed the creature.
"You see now, poor fellow," said the
pastry boy, with a tear in his eye, that
unrighteous gains do not prosper. My
pies do not seem to agree with you."
"The dog has eaten poison," said a by-
stander who seemed to understand the case.
A fearful thought flashed through, the
boy's mind at these words. His slumber in
the princely kitchen, though sweet, had not
been so sound, but that he had received an
impression of the sudden stillness which fol-
lowed the disappearance of all .the cooks
and servants when sent to bring up wine.
As in a dream had he heard the wlispering- *
of the chamberlain and kitchen-master, ano
though he did not understand what they
said to each other, yet a significant word
had now and then caught his ear. These
noirsuddenly occurred to him, and awak-
ened his suspicions. It was, moreover, not
ALZXANDU KZNZIKOPF; OR,
unknown to him that the Princess Sophia
bad no affection for her step-brother the Czar
Peter; since she feared from his great mind
a limitation of her power, and would much
have preferred that his weak brother Iwan
should alone be Czar. Many nobles shared
the feelings of the Princess, and hence it
was by no means improbable that the at-
tempt might be made to take him out of the
way by poison,-a thing common in those
barbarous times. These thoughts rose up
suddenly in.the boy's mind, and he trem-
bled for the Czar's life. The dog, mean-
time, was already dead, and his disfigured
form presented a frightful spectacle
In a trembling voice the boy now explain-
ed to the crowd that the dog had perished
after eating a tart out of his basket; that
the tarts were good when he took them into
the kitchen of Prince Lolopin, and that
they must have been poisoned there; that
they were going to set some of the same
THE PERILS OF GkEATNESM.
before the Czar Peter, and he might already
be dead. He conjured the bystanders with
tears to warn the Czar, to save him if that
were yet possible.
It was the signal for a fearful tumult.
The crowd began to move like an avalanche,
increasing as it went, toward the palace of
the Prince Lolopin. Two powerful Rus-
sians caught up the pastry-boy with his bas-
ket, seated him on their shoulders, and thus
headed the procession. The rest armed
themselves with stones and all sorts of in-
struments, and swore that not one stone
should be left upon another, nor a life inthe
palace be spared, in case the beloved Czar*
should already have been sacrificed.
But the hand of God had watched over
him. Quite contrary to his usual habit, he
had fallen into a long conversation over.the
dinner. The dish containing the poisoned
pastry had stood before him some time un-
touched. Several times had the hypocriti.
14 ALEXANDIER MENZIKOFF; oR,
cal host reminded him that they would be-
come entirely cold; but no sooner did he
stretch out his hand towards the dish, than
a new turn in the conversation diverted him
from his purpose. At length, to the great
joy of the Prince, the Czar took one of the
tarts, and was just on the point of cutting
and eating it, when the infuriated mob were
heard under the windows.
Czar Peter I" roared at once hundreds
of rough voices, "where are you? Show
yourself if you are still alive Out, out,
dear Czar Death to the traitors !"
SLolopin became pale as a corpse. The
Czsar sprang up and went to the window,
accompanied by all the other guests. When
the crowd saw their beloved sovereign open
the window, they rent the air with shouts
"Hurrah! hurrah! Czar Peter? Death
and destruction to the poisoners I" The
Czar by a gesture commanded silence and
78Z PERILS OF ORUATNSI.
was instantly obeyed. What is the mat-
ter," he asked; what would you have ?"
Cries, explanations, threatening, here
broke forth in such wild confusion, that the
Czar could understand nothing. Meantime
all hands were pointed towards the boy
with the basket, who joined his voice to
that of the others.
Le Fort !" said the Czar, laughing, and
turning to his aid-de-camp, "go down, I
pray you, and learn the cause of this tu-
mult. The confusion of tongues is equal
to that of Babel. One cries hurrah! ano-
ther tarts !' a third poison !' It is enough
to drive one crazy."
The officer, the very same who had S&
cued our young hero from the drunken sol-
diers, hastened off, but was met upon the
broad palace stairs by the mob which came
pressing in, the pastry-boy at their head.
He learned every particular of the affair,
and having assured them that the Prince
16 ALEXANDER MENZIMOFF; OR,
had not touched a morsel of the poisoned
Jetry, advised them to disperse in quiet.
they could not be induced to comply, how-
ever, till the Czar had allowed himself to
be escorted home by the rejoicing multitude,
and had given the promise that the thing
should be strictly enquired into, and the
guilty severely punished.
The Trn of lortu.
OR many reasons, the foregoing occur-
rence was suffered to drop out of sight.
It was represented to the people that the
whole affair was a mistake growing out of
the overhaste and forwardness of the pastry-
boy. The chamberlain and kitchen-master,
disappeared ; Prince Lolopin himself ais
dispatched on a foreign embassy eaa means
of withdrawing him from the summary ven-
geance of the populace, who still maintain-
ed and loudly expressed their suspicion of
his guilt. The escape of the criminals from
luinishment was due to the Princess Sophia,
18to ALXANDER ENZIKOFF; OR,
whose political influence was too powerful
for the young Czar Peter.
But on the other hand, the fortune of the
pastry-boy seemed to be made. His name
was Alexander Menzikoff, the son of a peas-
ant in the vicinity of Moscow. Le Forb,
the aid-de-camp, or to speak more correctly,
the most intimate friend of the Czar, had
discovered promising talents in the boy, and
had taken him into his service. No sooner
was this settled, than Alexander hastened
joyfully into the country to announce to his
widowed mother (for his father was dead)
this important change in his circumstances.
S"Mother !" he cried, "just think of my
'Ak. Look at my fine new coat with the
gold.l"seand'gilt buttons! But I have much
Aer ones to beat and brash for my master.
I have much better to eat and to drink than
I used to. Your sour cabbage-soup* is no-
thing to it. But the best is yet to come.
A fourite dih amon.the Rusmas.
THUE "RIL5 OF GRZATNE5L
Every day I am in company with the gra-
cious Czar Peter, not to speak of other dis-
tinguished gentlemen. At the house every
thing is silver and gold; plates, candle-
sticks, snuffers, knives, spoons, forks, the
very firetongs and washbasins,-just think
of it !" The good peasant lifted fer hands
in astonishment. "But I am not through
yet," continued the boy; "the good Czar
is very gracious to me, because I warned
him against the poisoned pies. Not long
since he sent me, as none of his own ser-
vants were just then at Land, to fetch hiW
state-dress. I tell you, mother, it made
mg tremble, to carry in my coarse hands
that fine coat with its blazing stars. What
will you say when I tell you, that o6 aii-
gle stone of such a. star is worth moa than
this whole village with all its houses, aelds
&d meadows ? How happy must a man be
who has a right to wear suchla star on his
.breast. But the Czar has gtown very cau.
20 ALEXANDER MENZIKOF ; OR,
tious since that affair with the pies. He
does not eat right up whatever is set be-
fore him. The princess Sophia, his step-
sister, lately sent him a magnificent dish of
pastry, and ever so many tarts. Do you
think he touched or tasted one of them ?
Not a single bit We servants had the
whole present to ourselves, and I feasted on
them till it gave me a horrible colic. In-
stead of these, I had to buy for the Czar a
roll of the first good baker. But, mother,
it is a queer life that the great lead. When
you are getting up in the morning to go to
your work, they are just going to bed.
;When you eat dinner, they eat breakfast.
Towards evening they sit down to the table
sad stay till far into the night, eating and
drinking so much, you would think they
must burst. Then they play cards tiU
morning. But neither my master nor the
Czar like thv sort of life, and they go into
it only so far 0 they are obliged to.''
TEE PZIRL5 OF GREATNESS.
Well-a-day !" cried the good widow,
" what strange doings !"
I am not always to be a servant," re-
sumed the lad. "My good master has a
whole crowd of teachers come to instruct
me in reading, writing, cyphering, French,
and many other things which you don't
know about. That comes harder to me
sometimes than trudging round with pies.
But I do it willingly, because it so plses
my master, and it may lead, moreover, to
great things for myself."
Alexander now produced from his pockets
a qantity of gold pieces, the gift in part of
the Czar, in part of his master, and other
distinguished gentlemen. Here, dear mo-
ther," said he, I will pay off a little of the
great debt I owe you ; I cannot pay you, I
Vow, for ll your love and care; but I jj
always try to make you. as happy as I ps'-.
The mother wept with joy fier her thank-
22 ALEXA"nZ3 Lm lZIKon; 0l,
ful son. She gave him her fervent blessing,
and prayed God that he might continue to
prosper. Her prayer was heard. Alexan-
der was more and more established in the
favor of his noble patrons. He, on his part,
showed uncommon diligence, zeal, and
fidelity towards both. Such a servant it is
hard to find, and consequently he continu-
ed to rise higher and higher in offices and
When he had grown to manhood and had
become a Secretary, he married a young
woman, the daughter of a peasant to be
sure, but virtuous, modest, and pleasing in
her manners. How happy he was in taking
possession with his young wife, of a small
wooden house in Moscow, which the savings
of his income had enabled him to purchase !
He seemed to himself to be richer than a
kint His mother was not less satisfied
when he took her to his own home, where
TM nFnuS or eGRATNa M. 28
she was treated by the youthful pair with
the tenderest affection.
Thus passed some years in almost undis-
turbed tranquility. Malinka had presented
to her husband two children, the elder a
boy, the younger a girl. New joy for the
happy Alexander Menzikoff! Early in the
morning at his first waking; at noon before
he seated himself at table; at evening when
he returned from labour, his great delight
was in fondling and playing with his chil-
dren. He took them in his arms, sat with
them in his lap, danced with them round
the small apartment; helped them to walk
in leading strings, cared for them in sick-
ness. Every labour for them was but a pleas-
ure to the doting father. Scarcely a day
passed that he did not bring them a toy, a
picture, or some little dainty. Of course
the children were equally fond of him. No
sooner did he enter the door, than the little
Helen stretched out both hands towards him
24 ALEXANDER MEN ZIOFF; oR,
from her mother's lap and shouted for joy,
while Florin clambered to his neck and cov-
ered him with Lisses. The loving mother
and the smiling grandmother, looked on
with sparkling eyes. It was a touching pic-
ture of domestic happiness. On Sundays
and festival-days, it was the greatest joy of
the little family to go into the country and
pay a visit to Matinka's parents. Matinka
carried Helen, Menzikoff led Florin, and
the old mother closed the procession,--nei-
ther of them envying the rich and great
who rolled by in their splendid carriages.
THUS happily did Menzikoff live during
several years. At length the time came
when the Czar created him one of his Coun-
cil. This new and apparently fortunate
occurrence, which made a great addition to
his income, was the cause of many sad
hours to the good Matinka. When Menzi-
koff first returned home from the Council
in his new court-dress, Florin sprang upon
hi* as usual, Helen stretched out her hands
towards the darling father. But he pushed
Florin roughly away. saying: "Heedless
26 ALEXANDER. MENZIKOFF; Olt,
boy will you spoil this costly clothing with
your dirty boots ?" while he more mildly
rejected the proffered embrace of his little
Helen with the words: "Nay, dear, you
would crumple father's ruffles and dim his
bright buttons i"
"Then I may hardly venture to give you
a kiss ?" asked Matinka.
0 wait," said he, till I have changed
my. dress, wife; have a little patience."
But when the dress was changed, the
children still kept at a distance, and even
the wife could not embrace her husband
with her wonted freedom. Of this, how-
ever, he took no notice ; for his mind seem-
ed to be entirely occupied with other
thoughts. After a silent survey of the room,
he at length said: "Everything must be
changed here These wretched straw
chairs, that old sofa, this cracked glass,-
all the old worm-eaten truck must go, and
new furniture take its place. We can no
THE PBRIL OF GIZATINB.
longer eat and drink out of earthenware.
It is not suitable for our rank. Walnut,
porcelain, silver,-that is the style for an
And yet we have been so happy in the
possession of all these things !" replied
Matinka, in a voice of gentle reproach.
"Shall we be so when surrounded with
show and splendour ?"
"Whether that's to be so or not, it'anow
no time to enquire," said Menzikoff; "the
present question is, what is suitable to our
new rank." He looked fixedly before him
lost in deep thought. At length he seemed
to take a sudden resolution. Hastily throw-
ing open the window, he called to a Jew
who was passing by : "Hallo, Jew come up
here !" The Jew heeded not the call, how-
ever, but walked quietly away.
"Just look at the fellow," muttered tIM
new dignitary, angrily,-" doesn't deipn
stop at my call! No wonder, however. Ih
28 ~LMAND3X MErZIKOF; 0R,
must have taken this wooden hovel for a
cheese-monger's dwelling, rather than for
the residence of an imperial counserllr!
Otherwise he would not have dared to be so
insolent. It cannot remain so What per-
son of rank could go scrambling up these
narrow stairs ? What would he think of
these low rooms where he would be afraid
of knocking his head against the ceiling ?
There is here no place for lustres, no chance
for hanging curtains at these cabin-like
windows. It is clear, we must look for
Dear son !" here interposed Menzikoffs
mother, be guided by me. Remain in the
place where you have been so long happy.
Happiness dwells not in palaces, but treach-
ery and murder. I was perfectly contented
in my pleasant hut, and forsook it for this
house only from love to you. Now, after
being so many years accustomed tb it and
grown to feel at home, how'can I leave it
Tu3 gr IL Of GRZATRUA2
for the high, cold rooms of a palace ? It
would kill me; it would be the end of all
my happiness !"
"And how I love everything in this
house," pursued Matinka, these silent wit-
nesses of our happiness I Do you not re-
member, dear husband, that at our wedding
feast, we drank to each other out of that
earthen mug, striped with blue ? That this
dresser with its plates, dishes, and wooden
spoons, was a wedding present to me from
my play-fellows ? This chest, with its gayly
painted garlands, from your friends to
Alexander had, meantime, been pacing up
and down the room. He now stopped be-.
fore his aged mother, saying-tYou are
right, mother. It would be cruel to remove
you from this dwelling to which you have
become so attached. But it shall not be;
you shall still remain here. From this time
the house belongs to you alone. And Ma-
s0 ALEANDER u iNzIKorF; 01,
tinka, these old things shall still remind us
of the happy past, when we come to vish
the dear grandmother. Not one of them
shall be sold."
"Will you then take yourself from me ?'
enquired the aged woman, in a sorrowful
tone ; will you forsake me in my old age ?
Shall I no longer see my dear grandchildren
around me ? My son, it cannot be that your
new honours have made you ashamed of
your mother !"
"How can you speak so strangely, dear
mother !" returned Menzikoff. I only
made the proposition m order to please you.
If it pleases you not, very well!-go con-
tentedly with us. To be sure, the great
lofty apartments with the slippery waxed
Boors, and the strange furniture, will look
rather Spanish to you; but a way may be
found to get along even with this. A quiet,
private little room in the court might he fit-
ted up, to which you could resort when our
TUE PZXILs Of GEEATNEU.
domestic circle was interrupted by distin-
Sguished visitors. I leave the choice to you.
Should you prefer to remain here, the chil-
dren could visit you daily. And I would
besides this keep a maid to wait upon you,
so that you should lack no attention."
Burning tears coursed each other over
the furrowed cheeks of the aged mother.
Alas !" she sighed; never can hiring
hands be as soft as those of one's own child.
When you were a helpless infant, Alexaader,
no price in the world would have tempted
me to entrust you to the hands of others;
day and night I bore you in these now trem-
bling arms. As a return for this, I hoped
that the hand of my son would, when my
end came, close these failing eyes; but
now"-Grief here choked her voice.
All were silent, even the agitated Measi-
But now," she resumed, after a short
pause, "now will my gasping lioe call in
32 AL"4NDKE MaNZIKors; OR,
vain on the names of my.children, at the last
hour ; in vain will my trembling hand reach
out after them ; no loving one will be near
to perform for me the last offices."
Cease, dear mother !" said Menzikoff;
you break my heart. Wretched greatness,
which brings tears to my mother's eyes,
farewell! Quiet yourself, dear mother, I
will request the Czar to relieve me of my
new honours. I thought surely the news of
my advancement would please you."
The mother dried her tears. No," said
she, I do not deserve that. Thankfully
accept what the Czar offers. It is the will
of heaven, and since it must be so, I submit
'Menzikoff rubbed his hands irresolutely.
"No !" said he, at length; it will not do.
If I am to remain Imperial Counsellor, I
must have a house in the neighbourhood of
the Csar, and a room to myself where I can
THE PVEIIA OF GRZAT PSI.
labour undisturbed. It is better, therefore,
That I give up my office."
No, no !" cried his mother eagerly,-" I
was too hasty, too much distressed. Think
no more of it, my son. Forget my com-
plaints I Do what your office requires."
"Just as you please, my good mother !"
returned Menzikoff in a pleased tone. You
looked, indeed, at the dark side of the thidg.
Forget your trouble, and let us rather be
merry and enjoy life. Here is money, Ma-
tinka. Provide the best wine you can find,
that we may drink the Czar's health at din-
But new vexations came with the meal.
Matinka had prepared her husband's fa-
vourite dish, and had hoped for a little praise
from him as her reward. Instead of this,
he picked among his food and scarcely
Doesn't t suit you, husband ?" asked
84 ALEXANDER, ZNENziorF; or,
the anxious wife. "What is the matter,
that you have no appetite ?"
"Take it not ill, dear Matink.a," said
Menzikoff, in some embarrassment. Your
cookery is always good; but I wasthinking
that another style is required in our new
rank. We must have three or four dishes
daily; and then it will not do for a Lady-
Counseltoress to be standing by the kitchen
hearth, making pottage, and shoving about
pots and kettles. I will provide a cook who
shall relieve you of all these cares, and give
you more leisure."
To the good house-mother, one of whose
weightiest and yet most pleasant responsi-
bilities was the preparation of wholesome
food for her family, this speech came like a
clap of thunder. The time had arrived when
her husband despised her skill and preferred
that of foreign hirelings Hot tears ming-
led with her wine, and what ras designed
to cheer her spirits only made them heavier.
THE PERILs OF G33ATH555.
From this day, quiet domestic happiness
vanished from the household of Menzikoff,
and gave place to an empty striving after
show. In the course of the very next week,
Menzikoff removed with his family to a suite
of splendid apartments in the neighbourhood
of the imperial palace. His mother sur-
veyed the stately rooms with indifference,
and preferred remaining in her humble wood-
Two men-servants, a coachman and a
cook, and two maids, were now taken into
service. Horses were bought and an equi-
page set up. The indolence and faithless-
ness of the servants was a new source of
vexation to Matinka. Money, provisions,
oil, coal, wood, and other things necessarily
entrusted to their hands were wasted with-
out conscience. But the worst .of all was
their coarse and vicious influence upon the
386 ALZANDZI YXKZIKOF7; OR,
At first, Menzikoffvisited his mother regu-
larly every day. But very j
business was made the excuse for longer
and longer intervals, till at length the prac-
tice was almost wholly given up. Matinka,
however, kept her promise, and with the aid
of her children, sought to make up to the
pining mother, the absence of her son.
The pleasant hours when Menzikofflived
only for his family, when he danced with
his children round the room, and related to
them charming stories, became fewer and
fewer. He frequently came home ill-hu-
moured and unhappy; for the Czar was
hasty and passionate, and often berated him
soundly. What the servant, the clerk, nay
even the Secretary had formerly borne with
cheerful patience, chafed the imperial coun-
sellor into fury, which, though kept down
in the presence of the Czar, was vented at
home on his servants and family. His re-
TRE PERILS OF GRBATHMS.
turn with such a threatening mien, was the
signal for the' children to steal trembling
out of sight, while Matinka came anxiously
to meet him, striving with gentle words and
caresses to disperse the gathering storm.
Often he shut himself up the whole day in
his office, and allowed no one, t even his
wife, to enter, however pressing the neces-
sity. A large part of his evenings were
spent in distinguished society, from which
he returned home long after midnight, and
generally intoxicated. It was the same
when his new acquaintances were collected
in his own house. Large sums were wasted
at the gaming table, and the sounds of wild
revel made themselves heard even in the
quiet apartment of Matinka, who moistened
her lonely, sleepless pillow with burning
tears. The weekly visits to her parents in
the country, had wholly ceased, and she
now saw them only by stealth. A stiff
Wd ALEXANDER MENZIKOFF; OR,
promenade among people dressed for show,
was her compensation for the delightful
rambles of former times.
THIS anniversary is celebrated among the
Russians with special tokens of rejoic-
ing. So had it ever been in Menzikoff's
family. It was Matinka's study, every year
to devise some new pleasure for her hus-
band's christening-day. This year it cost
her more than usual trouble, on account of
his new tastes, and his estrangement from
quiet domestic enjoyment. She was re-
lieved from her embarrassment by Menzi-
koff himself. A fortnight before the time,
40 ALuXANDUI MENZIXOf ; of,
he said to her one day in an unusually per-
suasive manner: You can do me a great
pleasure on my christening-day, dear Ma-
Say how, dear-husband," cried Matinka
eagerly; I will do anything in the world
to please you."
Listen then," replied he, I can no lon-
ger defer giving a large entertainment. We
shall otherwise be thought miserly. I have
long dreaded it, but there must be a begin-
ning some time or other. It is my wish,
therefore, that you should make all the ar-
rangements for a splendid assembly on that
day. You too, dear wife, must, out of re-
gard to me, dress in a manner becoming a
lady of your rank. I will provide every-
thing necessary. And moreover"-here he
hesitated and paused.
"What more, dear husband ?"
"You are a dear, good woman, and hand-
THE PERILS OF GRIATNRUS.
"But what ?" asked Matinka, blushing.
"You are the best of wives and mothers,
and an excellent housekeeper,-only-
Speak out, dear husband !" begged Ma-
tinka, but with a foreboding heart.
"Nothing is wanting but high breeding,
the manners of the great world. But then
without this you may have the best heart
and understanding, and yet be laughed at
and despised: Smooth words, polished
flatteries, go much farther with the great,
than truth and goodness. You are a rare
diamond, but you are so timid and modest
that you seem no more than a worthlem
pebble. It grieves me to see you so is-
understood. A little practice would make
"Only tell me, dear Alexander, what I
can do to satisfy you."
"Just tlhi-&a mere trifle. I shall engage
the French danciig-master, Genon, to give
42 ALEXANDRE, usENinor; or,
instructions to our Florin in postures, bows,
the customary compliments, and other need-
ful matters. You will be present and ob-
serve everything with care, so that you can
afterwards practice in your own apartment.
A few days before the assembly, we will
have a little private rehearsal to see how
the thing will go."
With a sigh Matinka promised comphance,
and soon after, the spindle-legged dancing-
master made his appearance. His first les-
son was a sad torment to poor Florin. A
hundred times over was he obliged to march
stiffly up and down the room, making a
hundred bows, and lavishing compliments
on the empty chairs. Meanwhile Genon
gave the word of command :
The breast thrown out the head back!
0 fie! don't thrust your foot out so far
behind ; don't turn in your feet; don't
swing your arms so like a club! Now try
THE Pauls 0F OIEZATIS
a bow. 0 not so low, not with your nose
to the ground !"
At first these exercises were mere sport
to Florin; then they became vexatious and
wearisome; at length he began to weep
bitterly. It is of no use'; the torture still
On the following day the dancing-master
brought a little board with two lasts attach-
ed to it. Intt these Florin was obliged to
put his feet, in order to turn them outwards.
This was a sore affliction and cost the poor
boy many'a sad trouble.
But all these exercises were much more
vexatious to the good Matinka, since her
husband here took the place of the dancing-
master, and blamed and scolded without
mercy when she did not please him. With
what sorrowful regret did she look back to
the days when a cheerful greeting and a
heartfelt kiss were of more value to him
44 ALIXANDKR MENZIKOFF; o0,
than all these empty compliments and cere-
Now came the milliners, with their silk
stuffs, veils, laces, ostrich feathers, &c.,
and spread them abroad over the tables and
chairs for Mati a to make her choice.
Tailors and shoemakers appeared to take
measure, jewellers displayed their glittering
wares. She knew not where her head stood.
Am I to show myself in 4his shameless
dress ?" asked Matinka of her husband, when
she had tried on her new attire, while a deep
bhmk overspread her chaste matron face.
Menzikoff shrugged his shoulders. You
will get accustomed to it," said he.-
" Fashion will have it so."
Matinka made no reply, though her feel-
ings were deeply wounded. But when the
new waiting-maid put on her corsets and
began to late them up with all her force,
she could not endure the torture. Ah !"
TEN PXWLS OFo TUIIn.
she cried, "you will suffocate me I I can-
not get my breath. All my ribs ache."
"Nonsense," said Menzikoff sternly.-
" In that case thousands of ladies must have
been suffocated before now."
The next step was to oound her slen-
der waist with an enormous hoop-petticoat
which resembled two inverted kettle-drums.
"What a monster you are making of
me !" said Matinka. "I never shall be able
to get through even the broad folding doors."
You must go in sideways," said Mensi-
koff, who knew counsel for every difficulty.
Last of all, they squeezed her feet into a
pair of narrow shoes with very high pointed
heels, in which she could hardly make a
Menzikoff, who knew how difficult it was
for his wife to suppress her complaints over
this new instrument of martyrdom, tried to
comfort her. Only be patient," said he,
"This is only an experiment, and when the
46 ALMXANDIM 3ZIK0F1; Oa,
entertainment is over, you can lay aside
these inconvenient things."
I should like to know," said Matinka,
"what fool invented all these absurdities,
which seem to hg no object but to disfigure
the works of
"That is easily guessed," answered her
husband, laughing. Some short lady who
wanted to seem tall invented the high heels
and towering head-dress. One too lean, or
too fat, or too fleshy, invented the corsets
to get a little shape. A third concealed her
crooked limbs under the hoop-petticoat; a
fourth disguised her grey hair with white
powder; a fifth her faded cheeks under a
coat of paint."
"But why then must I imitate all these
follies ?" asked she. I am neither short,
nor crooked-legged, nor lean, nor gross, have
neither grey hair, nor pale cheeks !"
Fashion will have it so, as I told you
before," said Menzikoff.
TIC P333. OI GalZrms.
All was at length in readiness for the fes-
tal day; the guests invited, the apartments
decorated, the cellar, kitchen and store.
rooms filled with provisions. On the pre-
ceding evening, Matinka was obliged to go
through the final grand rehearsal of her les-
sons in high breeding. Could one believe
that a man otherwise so sensible as Mensi-
koff would condescend to such childish
mummeries? The man who had generally
scarce a moment's leisure for his wife and
children, could now amuse himself several
horse a day in instructing his wife in mn-
-maning compliments. "Now fancy," said
he to Matinka, that I am a distinguished
lady, invited to this entertainment. I will
enter the door and pay my compliments to
you, you will compliment in return, express
your pleasure in making my acquaintance,
a happiness which you have long desired."
But that is not true," returned Matinka,
"It would be a falsehood."
48 ALZIAxDrI a E nziKori; oR,
But you must!" said her husband;
" that is the custom in high society, one
there esteems himself most happy to meet
another whom. he wishes a thousand miles
off, and overloads him with compliments
when he longs to scratch his eyes out. That
is the very thing in which fine breeding
Matinka's honest heart could not compre-
hend this. But the rehearsal began, and
Menzikoff found quch to blame. Now she
cu'tsied too low, now too slightly; now she
spoke too timidly, now too loud, now too
cordially. It seemed to her that she was
walking on burning coals. At length the
play ended not wholly to Menzikotffs satis-
faction. In what forebodings did Matinka
spend the following night !
The next morning brought the hair-dres-
ser. He burnt, singed, and cut mercilessly
iato Matinka's beautiful hair; then he
combed and pulled and twisted; then he
Tn PuRAS OF GLKATRUI.
built up a whole mountain of horse-hair and-
swine's bristles, hair pins and pomade, till
her head became half a yard higher than
usual. Finally he vji j he whole struo.
ture in a cloud of wji er.
Her beautiful nap mplexion was
next covered up in a coating of red and white
paint, the corsets, hoop-petticot, tight
shoes, and ornaments adjusted, and the
image was now ready for exhibition. All
this had consunled mgpy hours, so thay
the time she had taken her position,
magnificent saloon, the sound of carri
was heard, and the visitors began to arlive.
Her head ached violently, her heart throb-
bed painfully against the bones of her cor
sets; yet she must stand with a smiling and
composed mien under all this torture, for
such was the custom of fine society.
The folding doors now flew open. Men-
sikoff, also highly dressed, threw an expre-
sive glance toward his wife, and the mu-
ALEXANDZD UsuNZMo; O0,
tual salutations now began. It went off bet.
ter than Menzikoffhad expected. Matinka's
natural courteousness, that- aftSie feeif
and her inborn supplies the police
of many an e pliment. And yet
Menzikoff he the invited ladies
whisper to an ern French: Our lady
hostess seems t e a perfect little goose."
At this, the irritated man threw, not upon the
insolent guest, but on his innocent wife, a
look wlih mad r tremble.
IHagly at this moment the entrance of
S0ke children changed &e current of bh
thoughts. Florin was dressed exactly li8
h father, and looked like a small picture
of a grown-up man. Droll enough was the
little figure in the ar.powdejed wig with
its black ba~, th~&oidered blue
coat aI' s m all clothes, silk
stocki mHloes ornamented with spark.
fpg buckles, even a miniature sword with a
gidei hilt and silvered sheath had not been
TES 14MILB Of S13ATN35
flfotten. The little flelen was in like
'IaLnner the exact picture other mother.
AIl th l many imakiately sut iuded
the dainty little pa dd ied with each
other in praises and They seoth-
ed Menzikoff's ang his vanity be
did not consider what himself told
his wife, that all'thoseAo ies were mere
They ne~ seatithemaives at ti~ ri
ItLUA 1 table. HealI; a re dAnk, ia
lible amount of costly viands de-
The re|r: was growing more and
IysW ild w*hen in the kldst of the noisy
gaiety, the fo ing doors flew open and an
aged woman plain but decent clothing,
presented herself re te assembly'
guests, P4u Lm aware 6f
th company, aa per-
plexed Sir, shr at length in teo
thus beau. .
I am leekibg my soh,-pardos mymeld.
ALEXANDER X3NZIKOFI; OR,
ness. Does my Alexander live here no
longer? or have I mistaken the house ?"
Her eyes wandered round the splendid at-
semblage in Seeer son.
At the mom entrance Menzikoff
had become pa th; but soon recov-
ering from his panapf spung from his seat
to meet her.
Good mother !" said he with forced cor-
diality; "hete I am. If rejoices me much
tltyoP have goge to make me l .
Come, we will speak with each oth,
With thesawords he drew her int4lMl
a itment, without giving her again as 9
portunity to speak, though sheeveral times
tempted to do so fore following her,
he turned to th th the woes:
"Ex~ l ceor a moment. The
good Bn worth a little trouble."
This was a sad marplot !" muttered he
bitterly between his teeth. He could not
TUC PERILs OF ORZATNIES.
wholly banish the traces of discontent from
his countenance, when after leading his mo-
ther to a seat he constrained himself to say :
" Welcome, good moth it is very kind in
you to come to visit
"My son," return ~other, my
old limbs do indeed refMir wc'ed ser-
vice; but on this day, I haiovercome in-
firmity; I come to give a mother's
wishes, a mother's blessing. True I lave
com with empty hands I witlyllJh
rt. My son, itAstong, long, since
en you; pardon me, therefore, for
you,. Who knows whether it
will ever happen again? If %deed I had
skown you had such a company-"
"Good mother," j~errupted Menzikoj
~ thank you & love, certainly
woladly hoe fi~sJ'r lit&
feast, but I knew too well of
such scenes. Have my servants brought
54 ALEXANDER MENZIKOFF; OR,
you wine and food, and attended properly to
your wants ?"
"Dear Alexander," replied his mother,
" it was not for qjh things that I came
hither; I desired only to feast myself on
your looks, your presence."
And yet," said Menziloff in embarrass-
ment, "I must soon leave you. My guests,
-my duty as host-indeed I must go back
to the company. But I will immediately
send in *our daughter-in-law and the chil-
dren, and see that refreshments are brought
Your guests have been here some time
already"' asked she.
"' 0 yes; these five hours !"
S" And they are all good and well-known
frnnds of yours to whom you are under ob-
CAtainly, some of them I have been
acquainted with full half a year and havr
been invited.ten times to their houses; of
TRE PERILS OF W .W
course I am, you see, greatly indebted to
If then," replied the old woman in a
very earnest voice, you have already given
four hours to the ac4FuAIces of half a
year, surely you will not grudge to her who
has been your best friend for thirty-two
years .and who fed you daily for fifteen
Pears,-you will not grudge to her one quar-
ter of an hour."
Menzikoff felt his ingratitude, buq instead
of endeavoring to atone for it, he considered
himself injured, and answered in a reproach.
ful tone: "Mother, you do me injustice,
you know not what I have to lke into ac-
count. I will send in my wife, she will chat
with you better than I; still I hope to se*
you before jou return home." He left the
room without giving her time for a rdy.
SSwimming in tears the old women was
left sitting alone. But a moment after, the
door again opened, and there hastened in
4 rAL K N ENzIKoFV; o0,
as fast as the high heeled shoes would per-
-nit, an unknown highly-dressed lady, fol-
owed by two equally unknown children.
ihe rose respectfully to greet them; but
iatinka fell upon her neck, and covered
%er venerable face with kisses.
Grandmother grandmother !" shouted
Florin and Helen, while both tried to find a
place in her lap. *
When Matinka had first seen her hus-
band's mother enter the banquet-room, she
would instantly have sprung from her chair
and flown to welcome her, had not a stern
glance from Menzikoff prevented. But she
had saton thorns till her husband returned
with the request that she would bestow a
few moments on the good old Manmmy.
Scarcely had she left the room, when Men-
zikoff was on all sides assailed with the
question, "Was that old woman truly your
No, save me !" said he quietly, looking
THRE PERILS OF GIRMAIIP
round with a smile upon the enquiring faces
of his guests. My own mother has long
been dead. The good creature was my
nurse, and was always accustomed to call
me her foster-son, and to treat me as such.
Why should I forbid her this little indul-
The explanation was, or seemed to be,
satisfactory, and the old mother and her en-
tree were soon forgotten. Thus had a son
been ashamed of his mother, without whose
faithful care he would never have grown
up to manhood.
But the welcome of Matinka and her chil-
dren was sincere and heartfelt. Indeed Ma-
tinka quite forgot her distinguished guests,
as well as the direction of her husband, to
hasten back with the least possible delay.
The good old mother looked at her
daughter-in-law, and shook her head. I
hardly know you," said she, but Matinka
in her plain household dress suited me much
58 ALnZAnMDKR mXNZIorr; oR,
better than the Lady counselloress in her
fine attire, I hardly dare to come near you,
to touch your hand, or to give you a kiss."
"Oh dear !" sighed Matinka, "my old
dress is much dearer to me too, than this
stiff whalebone thing. See how I have
crushed it in coming through the door!
My head aches with the weight I carry on it;
these high narrow shoes torment my feet ;
the corsets will not let me draw one good
breath; this dirty paint on my face makes
me sick of myself."
The children uttered similar complaints.
"Just look, Grandmother," said Tlorin,
' what a sack I have to lug round on my
back !" By a quick jerking motion, he
threw the hair-bag this way and that, shak-
ing a whole cloud of powder out of his pe-
rite which whitened his blue velvet cloak.
"How is it," asked his Grandmother,
"that you have all at once got such a mon-
strous head of hair ?"
TWE 13 ILS 0 F GIRU M.
0 it's all false !" cried Florin, lifting
the peruke and hair-bag from his head and
presenting to the astonished grandmother on
the point of his sword. I should like it
very well," he continued, ."if the sword
were a real one; but this is only an empty
sheath with a hilt, with which I can do no
good fighting." He threw the peruke on
the ground and began to flourish his sword
about his sister, whose broad whalebone
hips he belabored with sturdy blows. At
this, Helen began to scamper round the
room, Florin pursuing her; but in the midst
of their sport Helen slipped on the smooth
floor, Florin fell over her, and in the scram-
ble, the dress of both was disordered beyond
At this moment, Menzikoff entered to as-
certain the cause of his wife's long abese.
He found the children in a high frolic on
the floor, and his wife's apparel in a most
forlorn state. One of her whalebone hips
60 ALKZANDCR MENZIKOFF; OR,
was shattered, the other was slipped out of
place. Spots and streaks of paint had been
washed from her face by tears, but reappear-
ed, in part on her white lace frill, in part on
his mother's cheeks. Nothing but the aged
matron's presence hindered the full outburst
of his passion at this provoking spectacle.
The children, however, did not escape so
easily. He hurled one to the right, the
other to the left into a corner, adding sun-
dry cuffs and blows over and above. But
to his wife he merely said with a quivering
lip: "The proverb is true, that what is
once stamped a penny can never become a
dollar. A peasant you were born, and a
peasant you must remain. Stay here the
rest of the evening, your appearance in that
garb would too plainly show what a folly ,
committed when I took you as my wife."
With these cruel words he strode out of the
room without listening to his mother, who
would fain have made peace between them.
THIN PZllS or O@KA1355
But when he re-appeared before his
guests, it was with a smooth brow and
smiling lips. Not a trace of anger was
visible in his countenance as he made his
courteous apology to the company. My
wife," said he, "begs your pardon a thou-
sand times, and regrets that she can no
longer enjoy the pleasure of your society.
A sudden and violent headache to which she
is occasionally subject, deprives her of the
happiness which she knows how to. prise
at its full value."
As Menzikoffs guests were themselves in
the constant practice of similar falsehoods
in their social intercourse, this did not
strike them as at all singular. A few words
of hypocritical sympathy and regret were
uttered, and the gentlemen turned again to
their wine-bottles, and the ladies to their
Pour Matinka, meanwhile, was left in the
deepest aliction. -Such bitter words, such
ALEXADKR AIRNZI2KoFF; 0,
unsparing reproaches, had her husband never
before spoken. She felt with a sudden
shock that the tie which bound her to her
husband, the tie which she had thought so
strong, now, threatened to snap in twain.
What I was he sorry that she was his wife ?
Fearful word Her aged mother, herself in
need of comfort, was now obliged to be the
comforter. They mourned together over
their common grief, while the children hung
round them sobbing under the pain of their
father's blows. At length Matinka laid
aside her unfortunate dress, and putting on
her ordinary attire, conducted the feeble
grandmother back to her humble dwelling.
She and her children thep sought their beds,
but it was very long ere sleep visited their
AN occasion which has often had a similar
influence in like cases, now came unex-
pectedly to bind Menzikoff as firmly as ever
to his Matinka. This was a long journey
on which he was to accompany. the Czar.
The you ngpnd doble-minded prince felt, as
once Solomon did, that -much was still
needed to fit him to govern wisely id hap-
pily a great nation. He therefaiusr olved
to undertake a journey through Europe,
that he might acquire by familiar inter-
course with good and wise rulers, the neces-
64 ALBXANDeR MENZIOIIO; on,
sary qualities and virtues of a father of his
people. He desired also to learn business
by personal examination and enquiry, the
4"1ans by which the arts and sciences,
trade and manufactures could best be fos-
tered. He carried out this great and praise-
worthy design with a zeal and perseverance,
which with justice gained him the surname
of the Great." He, the ruler of a mighty
empire, held it not beneath his dignity to
wield the carpenter's heavy axe with his
own hands, to labor at the blacksmith's
forge, to stand sentinel as a common soldier.
Thus he gave to his subjects an example of
industry and subordination, and laid the
foundation for the greatness and prosperity
Menzikoff, who had won the favor of the
Ciar by his many attractive and useful qua-
lities, was now to join the numerous train
chosen to accompany him on this long jour-
ney. The approaching sep6ftion endeared
T115 PERILS 0F ORRATNUS
his own family to him. Again did he treat
his mother, his wife and children with all
his former tenderness. He sought with the
utmost assiduity to provide everything need.
ful for their comfort during his absence.
At length the parting came. With many
tears he bade farewell to his weeping fami-
ly, promising never to forget them, and to
send them regular information of what befel
At first this promise was well kept. Was
it owing to the greater distance, the various
distracting novelties and occupations, or
other hindrances, that his letters gradually
became more unfrequent and at length
ceased altogether ?
Immediately after her husband's depal-
ture, Matinka had abandoned her splendid.
residence, and returned to the lowly dwel-
ling of her mother-in-law, to whom she.now
devoted the tenderest cares. She did not
unelect, meanwhile, the educatie and train.
66 Dui wZZMOvw; OR,
ing of her children. Teachers were pro-
vided to instruct them, and they were ac-
customed, moreover, to active industry, and
usefulness. "How will your father rejoice,"
she often said to them, "if he finds you
greatly improved on his return !" The chil-
dren were docile and affectionate, and tried
to give all possible satisfaction to her
The good grandmother felt her strength
decrease daily. I shall never see my
Alexander again !" said she, in the anticipa-
tion of approaching death. I should be
comfortless at the thought," she continued
Sbut for the hope of being united with him
in another life. I have lived long enough,
God had bestowed on me many joys. I
should be ungrateful if I did not acknow-
ledge his goodness. We are indeed never
quite satisfied on earth,-I could have wish-
ed that my son should close my eyes. But
the will of the Lord be done!"
TNl FrXLG or oftATrNU5.
It was not his will to grant this wish.
Menzikoff had not been gone three months
when his mother departed to her eternal
home. She died in full possession of her
senses, just after calling her daughter and
grandchildren to the bed-side and bestow-
ing upon them and on her absent son, her
As she lay in her coffin ready for burial,
and her relatives, after the Russian custom,
had kissed her remains, Matinka said to her
two children: "What self-reproach would
you now feel, if you had grieved your graal-
mother by your bad behavior, or by your
unkindness hurried her to the grave. All
the tears you could shed would not awaken
her again to life."
The children felt the truth of their mo-
ther's wards, and promised ibal to their mo-
ther also they would give no occasion of
sorrow, that the pangs of coosience might
not diturb them on their deaied.
66 ALEXANDER NENZIKOFl; o0,
The good old mother was laid at rest in
her grave. The bereaved family, returned
from the burial, sad, silent and lonely, and
longed for the absent father. Suddenly the
door opened and an under-officer of the
Strelitzers hastily stepped in. Astonished
at the unexpected visit, Matinka arose to re-
ceive .her bearded visitor, when she found
herself clasped in his arms. "I truly be-
lieve, Matinka," cried he, when he observed
her terror, that you do not know your own
brother. Look at me." At this Matinka
fell joyfully on his neck, crying, "Dear
Simondw you have become almost a stran-
ger to me. How is it that I see you here ?
I thought never to behold you again. What
an unlocked for joy !"
"I have been transferred into the Stre-
litzers," said he, and am truly glad of it
as it. brings me near you. But say, where
is your husband ?"
Matinka informed him of.the caun of
TUa mItrA or oKUATNun
Menzikoff's absence. Simonow's counte-
nance lowered during the narration, and at
its close he shook his head significantly and
replied: "It is not you alone, dear sister,
who has reason to complain over the long
delay of the Czar, but the whole nation
from highest to lowest. Instead of looking
after the welfare of his people, he gi4 up
the charge to unfaithful ministers, file he
is travelling over tbhe world for pleasure.
He cares nothing for his faithful Russians,
but foreigners are to him all in all. What
they counsel, that he does. In the end he
will become a renegade from our holy faith,
will bring in that of the foreign heretics and
establish it here. But it won't happen so
long as a Strelitzer can move his arm !"
With this he slapped his side arms so
fiercely that the children trembled with
Brother brother !" cried Matinka ax-
ious*ly "you have scarcely entered the
70 ALEXANDER UUNZIKOIF; OR,
guard, and yet the spirit of sedition has
taken possession of you. Will you never
grow wise ? What have your comrades
ever gained by their mutinies? Nothing
but exile and the gallows, you will never
rest, till you all perish together. Dearest
brother, I conjure you, give not ear so
readily to the whispers of evil minded
men. Leave to Providence the care of the
nation. If the Czar does not rule accord-
ing to his will, he will take from him' his
place. But do you give to Cesar what be-
longs to Cesar."
"You don't understand the matter," said
Simonow, "you women are made to endure;
we men, to act. Wait quietly, and see what
the end will be !"
But Matinka could not wait quietly, for
her brother's state of mind threw her i a
fever of anxiety. She had good causa-for
,'this, as we shall presently see.'
ONE evening Matinka and her children
Were performing their evening devotions,
when they wre interrupted by the sound of
confused uproar in the street. Crowds of
men ran hemiLy along the road, doors were
opened and shut, and from the distance,
sounded a wild tumultuous cry. Matinka's
anxiety rose to the highest pitch when a
loud report of cannon followed by many
others was heard from the same quarter.
" Ah, Heaven I it is the Strelitsers I" she
exclaimed* in anguish of heart. Hempre-
72 ALEId NR MZEZIEOFl; OR,
sage was too well founded. The guard,
seven thousand strong, had risen in arms,
refused to acknowledge the Czar Peter's
government, and wished to place the prin-
cess Sophia at once on the throne. The
uproar extended through all the streets of
the great city. The shots greg thicker;
more terrific the shrieks of the flying and
wounded. Nearly all the guard were intox-
icated, and they raved round the streets like
bloodthirsty tigers demanding the life of
every adherent of Peter. Matinka trem.
bled ; for was not her husband everywhere
known'as the favorite of the Czar! might
not his wife and children be sacrificed in his
stead ? She threw herself upon the floor
and with her children prayed for the divine
protection. She had prudently eqtinguish-
ed the light; but the blood-red fames of
houses already burning, glared fearfully into
the windows, and threw the A*diM"f the
praing family on the opposite *' W.
TO asu or OA- 09
Matinka now grewr retless and looked round
anxiotMy. It was not long. before the
sound of a carriage was heard, which stop-
bL th the side door. At.this a trembling
shudder ran over her, and she reached after
her children's hands, as if needing something
to which she might, cling.
A tall mWe, wrapped in an ample cloak,
strode hastily over the stone floor and
placed himself before the altar steps. It
was Menzikoff. Matinka stroveto rise, but
sank back powerless upon her seat. The
venerable priest took pity on her ap4 sup-
ported her to tie.side of her husbf who
s*ood resolutely silent and unmoved. And
there she was close to the heart of him shez
much loved, bowed with anguish, yet dw-
ing not so much as to touch the hem. of his
With an earnest, impressive tone the
priest now JP the ceremonial: "What.
94 ALJANDU uRNiiovl; Or,
God hath joined together, let not man put
asunder. But, on account of the hardness
of your hearts, as our Lord hath said, Mo-
ses commanded to give a writing of divorce-
ment, for preventing greater evil between
such married persons as cannot live in
unity.-Alexander Menzikoff, is it still your
purpose to dissolve the marriage into which
you entered before God! .and yours also
Matinka Natuskin ?"
k esikoff's "Yes" was sufficiently dis-
Auct ; Matinka's, on the other hand, sound-
ed like the last tones of the dying.
*" Then,"-continued the priest, "take
one another by the hand."
Into the warm living grasp of Menzikoff
was lail the icy hand of Matinka. She
trembled -so violently as to communicate a
shuddereven to her husbhed. It was the
last time their hands were to be united.
Must they not tremble ?
TBR1 Mau. OO r oKATN. 95
"Ten years ago," continued the priest,
"I joined your hands before this holy altar.
These hands I now separate, release you
from your marriage vows, and divorce you
in the name of the Triune God. May you
never have cause to repent of this step.
Go in peace."
Menzikoff turned from the altar: but
Matinka, no longer able to sustain the bur-
den of her grief, sunk down upon the steps.
The loud sobbing of the children attracted.
Menzikoffs attention. Looking round, he
saw Helen's little white cap, and Florin's
golden locks glimmering in the lamplight.
" Will you go with me? will you live with
me ?" he asked in a gentle tone, approach-
ing his children.
"No! No!" they replied with one
voictend passing close to their mo-
ther, embraced and strove to raise her.
He looked ea the group irresolutely for
96 ALUANDu MNzxIorr; o0,
a moment,-then turned again and left the
From this time, no more was heard of the
unhappy Matinka and her children.
rmt maLSs or GoaATM. 117
trary, in the naive manner of the boy some-
thing which pleased and flattered him. He
took him into his chamber and gave him the
forgotten order, for delivery to the officer
on watch; then plunging his hand into a
casket, brought out a whole handful of gold
pieces which he bestowed on the bewildered
page. This is for your mother," said he,
" as a reward for having brought up so good
a son. Such a one will, I trust, be also a
good servant. Keep yourself straight, and
I will not fall upon you like Sampson on the
Philistines, or like the Czar Peter on the
Swedes at Pultowa. I greatly need a ser-
vant on whom I can rely, for I know well
there are many snakes in my household.
You can do much for me by detecting these
creatures; and you will find in me a' ink-
ful master. And if I should now and then
chide you in the presence of the others
without cause, remember that it is only
show, not earnest. Now you may go."
118 ALEXANDEK MZLKUzOr; OR
Michaclow continued to be a faithful ser-
vant, though he did not carry it to the ex-
cess of playing the spy, or of betraying
every inconsiderable ,word or trifling fault
to his master. Menzikoffon his part, mani-
fested no special regard for him before his
comrades, but in private was all the more
friendly and condescending. On one occa-
sion, however, he did him great injustice.
No proof of Michaelow's innocence had the
least effect. He threatened him with the
knout, to hand him over to the police, to ex-
ile him to Siberia. The poor fellow stood
among his comrades as if struck dumb with
grief, when his master at length withdrew
to his own room. Menzikoff's anger seem-
ed so natural, that there could be no suspi-
cion of its being feigned. Quite broken
down with this injustice, Michaelow sat
down in a corner and leaned his head upon
his hand, while the clear drops ran from his
eyes. Willingly would he have given a
Taa ISnUsU or o aAtne
whole handful of the money which he had
lately received from the Prince, to have had
this occurrence not happen. In his sadness
he did not remark that his fellow-servants
bad all left the room with the exception of
one, named Carpakan. Come Michaelow!"
said he, "let us drive away melancholy
with a bottle of wine." He brought the
wine and drank one glass after another to
A queer old fellow is our master!" re-
sumed Carpakan. "One can never suit
him. In this world, now-a-days, it's no usa
to be honest: the hypocrites and flatterers
have it all their own way. What is a fel-
low to do ? He must howl with the wolves
if he would not be torn in pieces. To be
sure, all masters are not so bad as,ours.
There's young Prince Dolgorucki. He is not
so rich as our Prince, yet his servants fare
much better. For a trifling obligation, just
the least bit of information from Mensikoi's
AL3ZAUDZ 33rX1X0o17; .oO,
palace, it is said he will give handfuls of
gold. If I were only in the way of knowing
what you do, I should earn a handsome lit-
tle sum, and .no harm to my. conscience.
You need only to give the young Prince a
hint that you are ready to satisfy his curi-
osity, and pop your pocket is full. I just
tell you this out of friendship; keep it to
yourself, or you will have too many to join
you, and that would spoil the business."
' Michaelow paid little attention to this
talk at the time. But when, a few days
after, he had received from the Prince a let-
ter to the State Treasurer, and Carpakan
stopped him with the eager enquiry, to
whom it was addressed, his behavior struck
Michaelow as singular. He grew still more
thoughtful vben Carpakan offered to deliver
the letter himself. "No!" he replied,
"that is against my master's express com-
Just listen !" said Carpakan ia a eonoa
us nuus or oassuas. # 141
visit to a brother of hers stationed ip a little
village of Siberia. Full of tender emotions
was the mother's parting from her son,
whom she bade to be ever true to his mas-
ter. With tearful eyes Michaelow gaUed
long after.his departing mother and sister.
ENZIKOFF'S time was come, the
measure of his sins was full. His ene-
mies had not ested. In secret every thing
.ha4 been prepared for his overthrow. One
o is enemies, the Prince Dolgorucki, had,
was chamberlain"to the young Czar, wormed
his way into his. confidence and made him-
self indispensable to him. By degree the
man had uaremined Menzikoff's influence.
A new intance of fraud in the insatiable
Prince funiasld the immediate instrument
of effecting his ruin. It was this. The
TN FIRM o OF AZATIMM
young Czar had entrusted to Menzikoff a
large sum of money destined for his lrster;
he had diverted it to his own use. 'The
cunning Dolgarucki, who had become ac-
quainted with the affair through his infor-
mers, immediately put the Czar in posses-
sion V the facts, and by his artful represen-
tation of them, had excited him to the higt-
est pitch-of anger.
Menzikoff saw not the first shadow of the
storm lowering over him. One morning ac-
cording to his invariable custom, he repair-
ed to theapartments of the4Czar, to offer
the usual greetings. To his amazemenahe
found them forsaken and emyty. Not even
a single servant was' to be seen. He imme-
diately sent out messengers to learn what
had become of the Czar, and whitler he
was gone. With what chagrin did he re-
,ceive the tidings that; without a wvrd to his
former host, he had secretly left the house,
144 ALEXANDER MENZIKOrr; on,
and ta'.en up his quarters in a palace of his
Menzikoff Iknew without being told, that
this was the work of his energies. To re-
pel their accusations, and if possible to rein-
state, himself in the favor of his monarch,
he immediately stepped into his carrgke and
drove to Court. After a short time, he re-
turned at a slow pace. On reaching his
palace, he alighted, pale as death, and walk-
ed feebly up the steps of he grand stair-
case. The emperor had not even admitted
him to his presence, him, his future father-
it-law, the father of his betrothed bride !
The wife andhildreni of Menzikoff g "'fr.
ed round, anxiously enquiring what wls the
matter. He looked at them in silent an-
guiA. 0 my poor daughter !" he sighed
at length, gazing tenderly upon her : What
a bridegroom-Go, my children! go, dear
wife'! leave me alone; I need time for ma-
ture consideration of our circumstances."
THE PZRILI 01 FGRATNESS
cf the party, and tempting rolls. How
cleanly, how elegant looked the equipage
compared with that of the peasant ? What
an inviting fragrance rose from the delicious
hot drinks How quickly the disconsolate
visages now cheered up! It was as if a
great stone had fallen from their hearts;
yes, a faithful servant is indeed a treasure,
whose worth is first known when one is de-
prived of it. If Menzikoff had been able
and willing to pay fifty dollars for such a
cup of chocolate, he could not have had it
without the help of Michaelov,. Let mas-
ters and mistresses consider this, and re-
member that such service cannot, as they
too often suppose, be paid for in money.-
Miehaelow had thought to hiAself, that he
could in no way better regain the favor of
his master, than by preparing a comfortable
breakfast at this hour of need. With all the
necessary apparatus which he had himself
packed up he had repaired to the opposite
ALEXANDER KzN1zKorF; O1
cottage, and he now brought to the fainting
family the fruits of his successful labor.
Ah, thou good, faithful Michaelow!"
was the joyful cry with which he was wel-
comed by all. The Prince did not indeed
speak, but a thankful look upon his good
servant, showed that his feelings were
How grateful and refreshing was the
warm drink and the relishing food Then
the thankful Princess insisted that Michaelow
should partake with them, and the younger
daughter handed him the cup. The young
man blushed and refused, but was obliged
to yield. The young Prince, too, who had
always been very lordly towards his father's
servants, now took a mild and affectionate
tone towards Michaelow. So true it is that
a common affliction abases pride, and in-
clines the high to approach the low and to
recognize in him a brother.
After a brief delay, the journey was re-
TI MunFR or OuRMAIiNV
sumed. It was monotonous and sadenough.
Menzikoff fell again into his former gloom,
nor could the rest think of aught but their
present dark lot in contrast with their pre-
vious life of ease and splendor. The travel-
ling became more and more intolerable,
though in a carriage resting on elastic
springs and guarded by glass windows.
After the journey had proceeded with un-
sparing haste several days and nights suc-
cessively, it was permitted the exhausted
family to halt in a little village for a night's
rest. But how many conveniences were
wanting! No bed of eider down, no silk
counterpane All was dirty, coarse, aod
cold. Michaelow indeed slept well upon
a much worse bed, by the help of his sturdy
health and his quiet conscience. Mensi-
koff scarcely closed his eyes. The children
fared better; the Princess rested but little.
She felt nowise refreshed the next morning,
but looked very pale, and had.deep blue
168 ALtXANDIR XMBOIOrro; On,
circles round her sunken eyes. Violent and
repeated chills seized her. What was to be
done ? Formerly, on the slightest indispo-
sition of the Princess, the private physician
had been at hand, and had applied all his
skill for her restoration. Now everything
was wanting. The private physician had
vanished like the rest of the household, and
with him the medicine chest. No medical
heip was to be found in the village. Had
not the thoughtful Michaelow prepared for
her a warm strengthening tea, she would
have had to suffer, without aid.
By daybreak, they were obliged again to
enter the carriage and recommence their
endless wanderings. At length they ap-
proached the limits of Europe. The deso-
late vastness of Siberia, lay before them; a
country large enough to contain all Europe
with its numerous kingdoms, but with very
few inhabitants. A human dwelling is a
rarp sight on its immeasurable desert plains.
Tax PEUR 01 G&AhEU55.
And far, far within this frozen wilderness,
lay the end of their journey, the hamlet of
Beresow. What a vast tract was yet to be
The suffering Princess grew no better.
A repeated night's rest seemed of no avail.
With tender solicitude did the children sur-
round their beloved mother, and forgot in
care for her, their own altered condition.
Their neglected dress, their untended hair,
gave them already a far different' aspect
from that of former days, when served by
assiduous waiting maids, hairdressers, and
other attendants. Willingly would the
Princesses have mended their rent and worn
apparel, but they knew not how, even if
time and opportunity had been allowed
them. But this source of anxiety was soon
to be removed. The commandant of the
border-town, a rough, inhuman man, an-
nounced with a harsh voice to the exiles,
that they must here exchange their fine
ALRIANIIDL rMUmOWP OIL,
clothing for such as belonged to their con-
dition. At the same moment, a Russian
came forward bearing an armful of garments
made of a coarse brown woolen stuff. He
threw them on the ground; the command-
ant picked them over and handed to the
Prince a pair of pantaloons and a kind of
coat, with the words: "There, Menzikoff!
take 'em, and tear 'em soundly Here,
woman! There, wenches As for you,
fellow!" said he to the young Prince, "you
may take what's left."
Menzikoff silently received his new dress
and held it spread out before him as if he
wished to see its dimensions, but it was only
to conceal his feelings from his family. The
princess and her daughters retired without a
murmur into an adjoining clgpet. After a
short absence, the door opened and an
elderly peasant-woman stepped out with a
young girl on either hand. Heavy, awk-
ward, but warm shoes transformed the dain-
Tau izIS op O1 G3ATNU.
ty little feetintothelikeness of bears' paws.
The slender fingers of the Princesses peep-
ed out of the long sleeves of the coarse
dress, and their heads were covered by thick
shapeless caps, which permitted scarce half
the face to be seen. Suspended from the
shoulders by a hempen cord, hung great
rough mittens of fox-skin. With great dif-
ficulty had the poor exiles obtained permis-
sion to retain their body linen.
They were received at their entrance by
an old and young peasant similarly attired.
It was Prince Menzikoff and his son. Is
not this a becoming dress ?" asked the Prin-
cess, attempting to smile. The daughters
too, concealing their own feelings for their
parents' sake, cried with pretended gayety:
"Look, faler! we are going to the mas-
querade. Think you we shall be de-
But the sight broke the heart of Mensi-
koff. Had his wife and children loaded him